Review: Harrow by Amanda Troyer

Harrow by Amanda Troyer

Series: Currently Standalone… but I’m sure it will be a series.
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Horror
Publisher: Ivory Deer Books
Release Date: 27 August 2014
Length: 247 pages (ebook)

» Book Blurb
Can you see your fears?

Sixteen-year-old Brenna doesn’t believe her vivid imagination can hurt her, until she wakes up in a church, covered in blood. Blood that isn’t hers. She thinks her life can’t get much worse, but when she finally finds a way to escape her abusive home, her imagination turns to nightmarish hallucinations. 

Niven likes staying inside the abandoned church, hiding from his violent father. The two bond through art and misery, but Brenna knows good things in her life don’t last long. Her delusions take a horrific turn when she thinks she sees two men gruesomely murdered by a monster in the church basement, but in the end, she’s the one with blood on her hands.

» First Sentence
Dust swirls around in cursive when I kick tiny pebbles across the parking lot.

» My Review

Brenna has a story to tell. She suffers from hallucinations and they are becoming more frequent & violent. Brenna’s father is an alcoholic & sometimes abusive, her mother bailed on their family years ago and her older sister, Mabel, who hangs with the wrong crowd & gets into more trouble than she can handle. Not the most stable family. Brenna has one friend from school, Wyatt, who helps get her a job at the library and we meet Niven, who hides out in an abandoned church to escape from his own family troubles.

I was hesitant to read this book. The cover & blurb were intriguing enough for me though. Especially the bloody hands holding a rosary with crucifix. My husband is an Anglican Priest, so reading a YA book which is something that interests me, that is based in a church, which is something that interests him… well… I just had to give it a go!

Harrow is a contemporary YA, with a little paranormal & romance. I would also consider it to be Horror. I have a low tolerance for the scary stuff. Here’s a comment I made as I was reading: “Gosh I’m glad that reading is easier than watching a movie, because the spooky feelings & chilling noises freak me out but dead stinky corpses… That’s where I’d draw the line & stop a movie.” The story follows Brenna and Wyatt trying to uncover the truth about the disappearance of Wyatt’s brother.

All the characters are well developed. The writing is good. Its hard to describe this story as slow paced because the hallucinations really keep this interesting. I was never sure if it was her imagination or if it was really happening. It’s hard to trust what Brenna sees.

I enjoyed this haunting story. I was sucked in by the little romance and the tension in Brenna’s family relationships. I thought for sure she was abused by her father and her mother did a runner and left the girls behind.

The only dislike: Cliffhanger! I’m not too sure if its intentional, but there is definitely room for a second novel if the author wants to develop the story. But I just don’t think I can read a second story. It’s just too Harrow-ing for me and it’s likely to get scarier!

» My Rating

4 Leaf

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author for an honest review.

» Book Buy Links
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Kobo | iTunes

» Author Stalker Links

Amanda Troyer was born in the United States & as per her Twitter, lives in Ohio. According to her website, Amanda hated reading until she was introduced to Young Adult books in 2008. So we can thank her sister for her love of books and eventually, penning her very first novel, Harrow. For more contacts, see her website.
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  1. Amanda

    Thanks so much for the great review! I’m glad you liked it!

    As for a second book…. we’ll see. (BTW: If I were to write it, it’d be way more paranormal romance than horror… so you may read it!)

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