In this eerie and suspenseful YA, a teen girl discovers what connects her to the hotel she calls home as horrifying visions lead her to the truth.
Nell Martin is moving again, this time to the Winslow Grand Hotel, built in 1878. As Nell is settling in, strange things begin to happen. Doors lock of their own accord, writing appears on bathroom walls–and most horrifying of all–visions of a dead boy permeate her waking life. Thinking it was her mind playing tricks on her, she soon finds the past and the present colliding as she learns horrific details of a murder that happened at the hotel in 1905 involving a girl named Lea.
Nell and a mysterious bellboy must relive that day in hopes of finally breaking a curse that imprisons them both. And Nell discovers what truly links her to the history of the Winslow Grand Hotel.
♥ This is being billed as The Shining meets Titanic, and it is such a perfect comp for this. But I’m going to go one further and add a dash of season 2, episode 19 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer–I Only Have Eyes for You, with just a pinch of Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett. ARE YOU INTERESTED YET??
♥ First things first–this is listed as horror, which I emphatically disagree with. It is haunting and creepy, romantic and gothic. But if House of Salt and Sorrows isn’t shelved as horror, there is NO WAY this one should be so don’t let that scare you off!
♥ If you like a good mystery though, this is an excellent haunted hotel ghost one! The dual timelines really work, as we see both young women trying to figure out their futures, 100 years apart. In 1907, Lea is being married off to a man that she has dreads being around-there’s just something scary about him, from the beginning-because he can help her family come back from financial ruin. But she falls in love with Alec, a low-class hotel worker she shouldn’t even be caught speaking to. I love a good forbidden romance trope, so this was an excellent addition to the story for me.
In 2019, Nell starts hearing music that no one else can hear, sleepwalking, having awful dreams of a little boy. When she meets Alec, she doesn’t even know if he’s real because her mind keeps playing tricks on her.
♥ The storylines intersect, there’s a lovely romance, and it’s a great gothic mystery with ghosts, in an old haunted hotel. I love haunted houses and hotels as a backdrop, so I really enjoyed this. But again, if you’re coming into this looking for horror, in my opinion you’re not going to find it here.
Final Thoughts: What you are going to find is dual POVs that are completely distinctive, with girls who have very different backgrounds and family lives, but still wind up having a few really key elements that link them together.
Favorite Quotes: “It is hello and goodbye and eternity all wrapped up into one. It is everything we should have had, if only our destinies had not already been decided for us.”
Chelsea Bobulski was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised on Disney movies, classic musicals, and Buckeye pride. She’s always had a penchant for the fantastical, the stories that teach us there is more to this world than meets the eye. She has a soft spot for characters with broken pasts, strange talents, and a dash of destiny in their bones. After graduating from The Ohio State University with a degree in history, she promptly married her high school sweetheart and settled down in Northwest Ohio with her notebooks and daydreams and copious amounts of chocolate. THE WOOD is her debut novel.
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Starts: 06 August 2019 – Ends: 20 August 2019
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