GHOST STORY/HAUNTED HORROR FANS!! GUESS WHAT? I read it. It was good! But it didn’t overwhelm me, and when it comes to haunted houses and horror, I want to be absolutely shocked and freaked out, and whipped into a frenzy!! And this didn’t quite get there for me.
It took me way too long to read despite being so certain that it would be a book I’d devour. I paid that full price for it (I didn’t even wait for it to go on sale), so you know I was rubbing my hands together with creepy-glee. I’m a huge fan of The Amityville Horror (the movie and the book), and this one definitely seemed to have “that feel” going in. I WAS ALL IN!!
I mean… the reviews are incredible for it (you’ll see), and my book-twin loved it!!
Tasha J: I’m 40% in to Home Before Dark as well, really loving it.
Tasha J: I hadn’t been truly afraid to read Home Before Dark as of yet. Maybe cuz I read it when it was light or in snippets here and there (I prefer a good binge read). But tonight, as I sit here in the dark and mysteries are unfolding, I’ve decided that enough is enough and I stopped mid chapter. To be continued in the morning, when it’s light. 😂 Even now, my eyeballs on the screen are scanning the peripheral shadows of my bedroom and I’m getting paranoid. I have to say, I like the writing. Really atmospheric. 👌🏻😉
Maryse: I LOVE atmospheric!!!!!!! That means it got under your skin and you’re just creeped out enough for it to worry you. LOL!!!
Tasha J: So, I finished Home Before Dark. Highly recommend this one also! It’s one you don’t wanna put down. Jaw dropping moments. Really, really hit the spot! I finished a booooook. *happy dance*
Maryse: OMG I LOVE HEARING THAT!!!!!!!!! I loved Amityville so I’m excited to try this one. Thank you book-twin! By the way, I didn’t even care about the cost, after reading your reaction-comments over the last few days, I HAD to one-click it.
Michele G: Tasha, based on your words of praise, I’m going to have to check out Home Before Dark. You didn’t steer me wrong with The Sun Down Motel – – I absolutely loved that one!
How could I resist? I COULD NOT.
Maryse: I’m just starting Tasha’s other recommendation, Home Before Dark. 😀 *claps with scaredy-cat gleeeee* 🙀🙀🙀
Michele G: Maryse, Home Before Dark looks so good! I have it high on my list.
Tasha J: Yes, Home Before Dark is also super engrossing…
Michelle B: Just finished it in one day. Amazing book
Maryse: Thank you so much for letting me know!!!! I love haunted house horror stories
And Tasha was SO right about the “atmospheric” part. IT IS. That house is creepy right off the bat and how the book starts? YES PLEASE. And it stays in that awesomeness for awhile. I was SO into it.
So what’s it about? I’ll say it via my initial reaction when I read the synopsis:
Maryse: OMG BLURB JOLT AGAIN!! HORROR/GHOST THRILLER ALERT!! This is totally up my creepy alley!!
HER FATHER WROTE A TRUE-STORY ACCOUNT of their stay in this terrifying house (like Amityville) and now she inherits the house – but she never believed any of it… until now…
Yep. THAT is what it’s about.
I can’t tell you much about the book, because there are all sorts of reveals regarding this haunted house, past history, current “things” going on… and it’s narrated via the past and the present (her father’s POV, through his best-selling book about the hauntings and their terrifying experience in the house years ago) and via his now adult daughter who doesn’t remember anything that he says happened in that house, and she thinks her dad’s book is full-on FAKE!
Is it? Isn’t it? Haunted? My lips are sealed on that aspect, and yes it did have a few scary scenes that should have affected me, but didn’t, because I felt like we were too busy investigating multiple past “deaths” in the house (and a recent disappearance), and it kept pulling me out of that “atmospheric” creepy mood.
So my anticipation of being scared straight by this horror story fizzled when it mostly turned into a murder mystery (of multiple sorts). 😉
OKAY NOW… skip this next part while I analyze the ins-and-outs of my interest in this story. If you intend on reading this, I don’t want you getting any preconceived ideas about where the book is going.
You might just LOVE this story (a ton of readers and reviewers did). So I don’t want to spoil anything for you.
I’d almost say, if it had allowed me to believe and sink into what I was reading, without so much back-and-forth POV switching (from the book he wrote to her present life), and without all the historical research, I might have felt this one differently. In all honesty? Now that I think about it, it comes down to… I just wanted to read her dad’s book! LOL!!!! THAT would have done it for me!!!
Maryse: I’m still trying to finish Home Before Dark. *sigh* It kind of turned into a murder mystery (and I’m not into those as much). I was really wanting something with that Amityville -HORROR feel. And while the house does mostly seem “haunted” with a few creepy scenes here and there (record player starting by itself at night – and a chandelier that turns on by itself – and the dark history of the house), it’s just not scaring me, because the focus of the book really is… elsewhere. So here I am at 70% and stalled.
Tasha J: I’m sad Home Before Dark isn’t doing it for you! I loved it, but I do love mysteries and I’m somewhat easily spooked.
Sometimes I wish I could be easily spooked… but then again, maybe I should be careful what I wish for. Eeeeeeep!
Oh and… my favorite part of this book? The fact that I think it actually haunted my Kindle app. 😂 I was reading this on my laptop in bed at night (so I wouldn’t have to hold it… I’ve hit myself in the face a few times with my Kindle, let’s just say).
Anyway, I digress…
Once I reached the last quarter of the book I could no longer open it. It crashed my app every time. I could open any other book. Just NOT this one. Then I deleted the book from my Kindle app and re-downloaded it in again, and yet again… it crashed and crashed. I downloaded the latest version of Kindle, and still… no go.
Maryse: I’m trying to finish my horror “Home Before Dark” I’m at 80-something % but my Kindle won’t open the book anymore. It keeps crashing. Hrmmm… I think it haunted it. I’m wondering if I should take that as a sign?
Michele G: Haunted kindle…lol…I’m dying.
Jan : Haunted kindle. LOL. You made me giggle. I do hate it when my kindle freezes or crashes. Doesn’t happen very often, but usually in the middle of an exciting bit.
So I gave up on it for awhile.
And then today, I decided. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON!!! I had to finish reading it via the Kindle Cloud Reader. *hrmph* But it worked!! 😀 I was going to get to the bottom of this story come hell or high water.
And I kept thinking…. hoping, that the last quarter would scare me gooooooood!! Maybe…? Like what if I thought one thing… like it was leading me, and then *BOO!!!!!!* and I’d be all OMG I GOT CHILLS. HELP!
And then I would love it and turn this whole thing around? *sigh*
That said, the story was well written enough that even though I had stopped reading it for a week or so, I was able to pick it right back up with no confusion. I still remembered everything and despite the fact that the feel of this story was not quite what I was wishing for, it was interesting, and did have a few scenes with that whole creep-factor and…
…there were a few last quarter twists that fell into place nicely (and that I didn’t see coming… namely because I was too busy hoping for er… “looking for” ghosts around every corner, and maybe a scary boogeyman under the bed). Or that scary lady on top of the armoire <— (WARNING!! DO NOT CLICK IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SCARED) in The Conjuring. Remember that scene? THAT WAS WHAT I WANTED HERE!! P.S. I LOVE these kinds of movies. I AM AN ADDICT.
And yes, there’s an armoire in this house… toooooo. 😉
Good read for those that like murder mysteries with some potentially scary supernatural stuff (again… my lips are sealed on that part), but for those who truly love horror and maybe having to sleep with the lights on, this is not it.