Saturday, August 29, 2015

Review: Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano

First, thanks to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  Overall, I enjoyed the book, up until the end.  I was really excited to start it, when it showed up at the bookstore where I worked a little earlier than I thought it was supposed to be released.  The cover is just so awesome!  If you haven't seen the physical copy of the book, you should go to a bookstore and check it out.  The slipcover does something really cool when you take it off. 

So, the main character is a girl named Paige.  Her parents were Hollywood royalty, a director and an actress.  But her father has done what they all seem to do, traded her mother in for a younger model/actress.  So her mother has packed up Paige and her brother Logan and moved them out Idaho.  To a big old house in a tiny little town.  They live in a beautiful setting with mountains in the distance.  When they arrive, it is winter and Paige is kind of excited to see her first snow.  But the house has issues to start with. First, when they walk in, there are these fly paper strips hanging from the ceiling in the front hallway, and they are covered with flies.  Well, Paige's mother is kind of a hippy type person, and thinks this is cruel, so they take them down and throw them out.  But soon, like the next day, there are clouds of flies in the doorway now. Even though it is winter.  Not only that, Paige sees spiders everywhere. 

The best room in the house is taken by Logan, her younger brother.  She lets him have it because of the horrible noise that she hears from it, a buzzing type of noise, that no one besides Paige seems to hear.   Now, back to the spiders.  Paige has always been extremely creeped out by them.  So her brother suggests thinking about them in a scientific manner, and when she does her journaling/blogging, she makes a point to have counted them every day. 

The new school goes great until the most popular girl's boyfriend hits on Paige, and then she is stuck with only the weird girl in school, Chloe, as her friend.  Chloe is very interested in the house and wants to know if it is haunted, because it used to be a hospital.  There are strange noises and lights in the house, a door that is sealed off, and windows on the outside that aren't open to anything.  They find out what is in the basement, and it kind of ties into the whole story, though not necessarily in a frightening way.

The whole story is told through Paige's journal/diary as the title implies.  It gets creepier and creepier as the story goes along.  Her brother gets sick, something in the house is getting to him.  And then he has trouble sleeping.  There is a scene or two with the spiders that totally gave my skin the creepy-crawlies.  But then, then comes the ending.  It builds up so good, and is so good, and then, well let's just say the ending isn't a good book ending. 

Without giving anything away, the ending is a major twist.  The type that you often see in horror movies, which up until this point, the book has been just like one, in a good way. The problem is that in movies, you're able to see flashbacks, things to help you see just what you missed as you went along. As this is a diary, from one point of view, you don't get any of these flashbacks, any way to know for sure if the twist is real, or what.  And that honestly destroyed the whole book for me.  On Goodreads I gave it a 3 star rating, because up until the end it was so good, and soo scary.  But the ending almost made me drop it to a 2.  I think you can stop around page 295, or June 16th diary entry, if you want all the ends tied up neatly, problem solved kind of ending.  If you want it to kind of end like some movies do, but still an okay open type of ending, stop on page 296, or the June 17th, 3 am entry.  After that, it just all falls apart.