Nov 9, 2020

ARC Review--This is Not a Ghost Story by Andrea Portes

Nothing is as it seems in this chilling, twisting tale by bestselling author Andrea Portes, perfect for fans of Madeleine Roux and Danielle Vega.

Rife with dark humor and chilling twists, This Is Not a Ghost Story is American Horror Story meets There’s Someone Inside Your House. It will have readers flipping back to the very first page after the shocking finale.  

I am not welcome. Somehow I know that. Something doesn’t want me here.

Daffodil Franklin has plans for a quiet summer before her freshman year at college, and luckily, she’s found the job that can give her just that: housesitting a mansion for a wealthy couple.

But as the summer progresses and shadows lengthen, Daffodil comes to realize the house is more than it appears. The spacious home seems to close in on her, and as she takes the long road into town, she feels eyes on her the entire way, and something tugging her back.

What Daffodil doesn’t yet realize is that her job comes with a steep price. The house has a long-ago grudge it needs to settle . . . and Daffodil is the key to settling it.

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

When I saw the cover for This is Not a Ghost Story by Andrea Portes, I had chills! And the fact that the title is telling me it wasn’t a ghost story, I was fully expecting just that! Lol. And Andrea delivers on that mark, but it still wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

The story is told by Daffodil. It’s her story and it definitely sounds like a teenage girl telling you something that’s happening. Yes, happening. It’s very much in the moment and yet, it kind of threw me off. I don’t know why, maybe because it was more of a present tense sort of thing? It was a little off putting at times, because she would be talking about this or that instead of getting onto the course of what should be the story.

Daffodil makes an impromptu stop in a small town the summer before her freshmen year of college. She’s not sure why she stopped, something just drew here there. She soon finds herself with a summer job of house sitting and the money she’ll earn will greatly help her expenses for room and board at her college. But there’s something eerily strange about this house she’s watching. She hears strange things at night, catches glimpses of shadows and figures out of the corner of her eye. It’s frightening, you could say, yet she sticks to her job of keeping an eye on things, particularly the construction crew that is working out back, yet nothing ever seems to be built or progress made.

While trying to deny the strange things that are happening in this house, Daffodil also makes mention of things from her past. Mostly about meeting a boy and the terrible, terrible thing that happened with him. Naturally, it’s a gradual process of learning what that terrible thing was, but it’s a long time coming. We get bits and pieces of the story but you kind of start to get the idea of what it was before it’s revealed. So the pacing was a little hit or miss, sometimes it was moving steadily fast and then we come to a clip where things are dragging. It was a back and forth effort. I liked how some chapters were a bit abrupt and short, but then at the same time, it was usually during an exciting moment and we were taking a pause to reflect on something or other and then bam, back to the action.

This book definitely had its creep factor. There were some seriously sinister things happening and I did get the chills every now and then. But sadly, there just wasn’t enough creepiness. While there was still a good deal of the creepy, I was also expecting to learn why there is the creepy. We are given a newspaper clipping in the beginning of an event that happen, presumably in the house, but there’s never an explanation for all the creepy! I guess we needed Sam and Dean around to get that research done.

The ending, oh what can I say about that ending? There are comments, many comments. I feel like if I get into it, I could spoil it. The ending was enjoyable and not enjoyable. I liked it and I hated it. Mostly because I am still nagging about what the heck was up with that house?! There’s NO explanation for the creepy! I need an explanation for the creepy! Don’t just write it off as nothing! The thing about books with hauntings is there needs to be a reason for all the creepy! Who are the ghosts, what do they want? Are they on a hellmouth? GIVE ME SOMETHING! And yet, it’s nothing to worry about. I think that’s the part of the ending that nags at me the most. No explanation for all the weird that happened.

This is Not a Ghost Story was a fairly decent ghost story to be truthful. The narrative is a little rough and Daffodil has times of being an unreliable narrator, but only brief moments. The big drawback is not knowing enough about all the creepy things she saw and experienced. The ending is a whopper though. I did like the shock factor to some extent, but I think I would’ve enjoyed it more had I know why there was so much creepy happenings in that house! So if you’re looking for a spooky read this fall, you could easily give this one a try. It’s a fairly quick read in the long run and has a good scare factor…just don’t go into it expecting answers in the end because there are none.

Overall Rating 2.5/5 stars

This is Not a Ghost Story releases November 17, 2020

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