Book Review – Horrid by Katrina Leno


Title: Horrid

Author: Katrina Leno

Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers

Publication date: September 15th, 2020

327 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all — it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?


“The combined smell of coffee and used books felt like the intersection of all things good and necessary.”

Katrina Leno, Horrid

Somebody teach the main character how to use Google for goodness sake.

Okay – so I had a real issue with this book. Up until the very end, I was pretty invested in this story. Haunted house thrillers are one of my fave sub genres and this cover is GORGEOUS, so I was super excited to read it. But, the generall outline of a haunted house thriller is that the traumatic events happened in the past, the new owners of the house know about the stories but are cynical, and then the creepy things start happening. Or, it is set in ye olden times and there’s no internet to research the place. In Horrid, you have the traumatic event that happened in the past, but our MC is a high school student who DOESN’T GOOGLE THE LEGEND AROUND THE HOUSE?? Throughout the book she keeps thinking – wow, people seem to be keeping secrets from me, weird things are happening in this house, I want to know what happened here.

There is no believable way to write a story that banks on a 21st century teenage girl NOT googling what happened at the house in the past. I just don’t buy it. It’s absolutely the first thing I would do. ESPECIALLY when you find out at the end what the secret is – 100000% there would have been newspaper articles and internet postings about it. The girl had a phone, had the internet, and knew there was something going on. No way she doesn’t look it up. I just can’t get over it.

So, I’m sorry folks but this is the only review I have. Nothing else is important about the book because none of it should have happened.

Happy reading, folks!

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