Book Review: Amity by Micol Ostow

19141361Title: Amity

Author: Micol Ostow

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghosts, Horror

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

For fans of Stephen King and American Horror Story, a gruesome thriller suggested by the events of the Amityville Horror.

Connor’s family moves to Amity to escape shady business deals. Ten years later, Gwen’s family moves to Amity for a fresh start after she’s recovered from a psychotic break.

But something is not right about this secluded house. Connor’s nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons and destruction. Dreams he kind of likes. Gwen has lurid visions of corpses that aren’t there and bleeding blisters that disappear in the blink of an eye. She knows Amity is evil and she must get her family out, but who would ever believe her?

Amity isn’t just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a bloody end as she’s done before. As she’ll do again.

Alternating between parallel narratives, Amity is a tense and terrifying tale suggested by true-crime events that will satisfy even the most demanding horror fan.

When I started reading Amity, I thought at first it would be a retelling of the original events that happened in Amity. I mean – who hasn’t heard of the Amityville Horror? Instead it’s a story inspired by the events, but not exactly retelling them. I’m cool with that, because I already knew how the Amityville events end, and at least in this story, I had no clue how it would end.

The story involves two seperate timelines. Connor and his family move to Amity, and soon enough, Connor starts having nightmares about demons, destruction, and darkness. However, Connor has always been an oddball, and he’s not as scared of the nightmares as a regular person would be. He has trouble feeling emotions, feeling love, and he kind of likes those dreams.

Ten years later, Gwen’s family moves to Amity, into the same house, after Gwen is recovering from a psychotic break. While she thought she had it under control, as soon as she steps into the house they bought at Amity, she has visions of corpses and other horrbile things.

With two timelines interlapsing, and two emotionally-damaged characters playing the main parts, it’s no wonder that Amity is an intriguing book. Not only are the characters highly complex, they also have intriguing background history. The house itself is so horrific and twisted it almost feels like a character all on its own.

One of the best haunted house books I’ve read in a while. The book focuses not only on the potential haunting of the Amity house, but on the descent into madness from both characters as well – each of them in their own way, leaving it in the middle whether the Amity house is truly haunted, or the characters are. The Connor timeline was my favorite.

If you’re a fan of YA horror, Amity is the one book you shouldn’t excluse from your list. Go read it, like right now.

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