Small Town Haunt (The Haunted – A Book Review)

The Haunted
Author: Danielle Vega
Published: 2019

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Penguin Random House

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

Rated S for a classic small-town haunting and teens harboring dark secrets.


“I wouldn’t want to spend the night alone at Steele House.”

“Steele House?”

“Didn’t you know your house had a name?”

Hendricks is new in town and is starting out with a clean slate. That was the whole purpose of the move. To leave her dark past behind her and it turns out to be easier than she expected. Then she learns from her new friends that she’s living in the most haunted house in town, the Steele House.

She quickly discovers the stories about the house aren’t just stories. Strange things start happening. She hears a cat around the house, but they don’t have a cat. Her little brother is seeing things and is even getting hurt. Hendricks, with the help of the mysterious boy next door, Eddie, is determined to put a stop to it before anything worse happens. Before they possibly become the next ones haunting the house.


Possibly spoiler-y but I’ll let you decide. This is just a warning.


Since reading Survive the Night, I’ve put Vega on my must-read list. She gets right down to the enticing chills and thrills of horror. Of course, my smart-self decided to read this at 2:30am. Moving to a new place and being the new kid isn’t easy, yet I was glad to see the pain of it swept aside so the book could just jump right into the ghost story. Hendricks went through a lot before the Steele House. I really liked her backstory and how it fueled the story. The boy next store, Eddie, was pretty cute and mysterious. Definitely that character where there’s more than meets the eye. There was really good chemistry between them. A broody dynamic between the two. However, I wish there’d been more interaction between them because the chemistry was so subtly sweet.

The small-town setting was so relatable. Very quaint with history and tradition and its own special quirks. The way the town and house fit together really pulled all of the cold and haunting feels that a true scary story has. Vega is just masterful! Her attention to the world gives it a breath of life. It truly blew me away.

Strong and chilling, there were parts that just didn’t fully compute to me and I think that’s because there were bits that just left me hanging. Grayson, for example. Hendricks’s ex. He came up so often and I’m not doubting the trauma he set into her head, but even knowing that he’d tried to get a hold of her and how dangerous he was, I kept expecting him to show up. Personally, watching him get whipped around by the ghosts in the Steele House would’ve been pretty cool because the Stir of Echoes (Check out this movie if you haven’t. Totally chilling.) vibes with this were strong.

Scarlet Readerr


The ending was crazy! I can’t officially say whether that’s good or bad though. On one hand, I love full circles and adore those who realize that happy endings don’t always happen. On the other hand, I feel like it fell short. The big moment, the massive important reveal, the most important part of the book and it just didn’t outdo the build-up. BUT! My heart was broken for everyone in the end.



While I got a little nit-picky in places, because horror, whether it’s a book or a movie, has those all the time, I really loved this! I got some chills and I got freaked out! Great emotional ties. Completely attention-grabbing. I couldn’t put it down.



“What kind of person see cats disappear into walls? Or imagines that someone chopped off her hair? What kind of person hallucinates voices? A crazy person, that’s who?” (p. 83)


More to come soon…                                                                                                



P.S. Song today? Only If For a Night by Florence + The Machine.


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Trapped in the Underground (Survive the Night – A Book Review)

Survive the Night
Author: Danielle Vega
Published: 2015

Survive the Night

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt


“We’re all going to die down here.”

Casey’s first night out of rehab, she’s taken to a party by her friends where her ex’s band is playing. After hearing about the wild rave, Survive the Night, she and her friends go on the hunt. Finding the rave down in an abandoned subway, Casey is overwhelmed by the enclosed space and drugs and alcohol; everything she worked hard to get free of. She puts on a brave face and tries to have fun anyway…until she finds the body of her friend, Julie, completely mutilated. Her friends think she was just seeing things due to withdrawal, but Casey knows what she saw.

The rave is broken up by the police, and Casey and her friends search for a way out of the tunnels only to discover that they’re trapped…and they’re not alone in the darkness. By who or what, they’re not sure. All they know is that it has claws and teeth, and it’s hunting them and there doesn’t seem to be a way out.

Creepy - Rebloggy

First things first. I’m a horror junkie. I live for the blood and guts when I’m not being a hapless romantic or thriving on paranormal adventures. If you’re searching for somebody to watch scary movies with then I’m your guy…girl. However, if there are clowns then I’m out. They eat people and are scary as hell. *shivers* Just no thank you.


This book was a lot of fun. It really made me think about the 90’s movies: I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream and The Faculty. Not so much because of plot, but because of the theme and style. I grew up with these movies and so many others, but this is the era that I flashed back to while reading. It made me giddy.


There was the group of friends, but not really friends, and there was the drama between exes and of course, the big bad. I finished this book all in one day and then discovered that my mom took and read it. Now, she listens to audio books (big fan of Stephen King and Dean Koontz), so I was surprised she picked up this book, since it’s the first time she’s picked up a physical—pages and all—book in years. She enjoyed it as well.

While the plot was predictable, the story was still a lot of fun. I loved the exciting feeling of wondering what was to come and most importantly, when. With a perfect amount of gore, I couldn’t get enough. My heart ached with sadness and burned with anger on this trek (in a good way, of course). Now, I can’t say it terrified me and kept me awake at night. It takes a little work to do that, and I don’t just mean the occasional jump-scare. But it did give my blood a bit of an adrenaline rush here and there as well as making my breath catch in anticipation.

A fun read. Certainly no holds back on the gory details and to make it better, you’re stuck in complete darkness. It’s got my approval.

oh yeah - giphy


“I inhale, trying to calm myself down, but the air tastes like fish and rot and something else, something sweet and familiar that makes me gag. I need to get out of here, The air’s too thick. I can’t breathe.” (Casey, p. 92)

“Then we’re running. Our shoes slap against the damp, trash-strewn ground and our breathing comes in gasps. My heart pounds in my ears, like a drum. We’re so loud. Everyone in the tunnels must hear us. I glance behind me, but the darkness is perfect. It presses against our backs like a solid thing.” (Casey, p. 134)

“I clench and unclench my hand, ignoring the sweat gathering on the back of my neck. I turn and stare in to the darkness. The sound cuts off abruptly. Like someone holding their breath.” (Casey, p. 189)

“This is it. I’m going to die.” (Casey, p. 249)


More to come soon…


P.S. Song today? Trip Switch by Nothing But Thieves.