Sunday, August 14, 2016

Diary of a Haunting

24885765When Paige moves from LA to Idaho with her mom and little brother after her parents’ high-profile divorce, she expects to completely hate her new life, and the small town doesn’t disappoint. Worse yet, the drafty old mansion they’ve rented is infested with flies, spiders, and other pests Paige doesn’t want to think about.

She chalks it up to her rural surroundings, but it’s harder to ignore the strange things happening around the house, from one can of ravioli becoming a dozen, to unreadable words appearing in the walls. Soon Paige’s little brother begins roaming the house at all hours of the night, and there’s something not right about the downstairs neighbor, who knows a lot more than he’s letting on.

Things only get creepier when she learns about the sinister cult that conducted experimental rituals in the house almost a hundred years earlier.
The more Paige investigates, and the deeper she digs, the clearer it all becomes: whatever is in the house, whatever is causing all the strange occurrences, has no intention of backing down without a fight.

Found in the aftermath, Diary of a Haunting collects the journal entries, letters, and photographs Paige left behind.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Diary of a Haunting, by M. Verano, was creepier than I thought it would be. The first person perspective that the diary is written in immediately pulls the reader into the story and action. Not only that, but the way the novel is framed by a letter, from Professor Verano validating what happened, is reminiscent of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The fact that Verano is a professor at an Idaho university, studying this Pronoica cult, gives fictional credit to the novel, enhancing it's horror factor as the reader wonders if it really did happen after all. 

Paige is the main character and narrator of the book, her electronic diary which is supposedly found after the ending. Paige is a loving sister, a concerned daughter, and an isolated teenager. Readers will connect with Paige through her emotional revelations about her dad cheating, her mother trying to restart her life, and her instant outsider status at her new high school. She's going through a lot of stress and this diary is her only outlet. Then creepy things start happening and she finds an unlikely friend in Chloe, the school weirdo, who believes in hauntings and ghosts. Together, they start to piece together the history of the house, but by then it may be too late. 

The plot begins with Paige, her brother, and her mom moving to Idaho. The house they move into is an old mansion that's been abandoned for a few years, but the owner's son is trying to fix it up. It's liveable with flies and spiders and no bears, thank goodness. When things start to happen, Paige becomes scared, her brother starts having seizures, and her mother thinks that even spirits have a right to live where they want. Paige doesn't agree. The longer the family is in the house, the more active the house becomes. The plot doesn't have a lot of dull moments and I read nearly the whole novel in one sitting. 

My favorite part about the book was the copied diary entries. Throughout the entire thing, some diary entries find themselves written twice, but the second copy is always filled with nonsense words, seemingly random, but when you pay attention, the diary is in fact revealing something else. The words add up to make a message... if only Paige had noticed that... 

The ending of the book is an unexpected bout of chaos. I didn't see it coming. There's a happy ending in there, but it's not actually at the end, which took me off guard. Just when you think it's all over... Amy Danziger Ross throws a curveball -- she's the real author of the book and writes under the pseudonym she uses to validate the story. Though she really did attend the University of Idaho. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys scary stories and is intrigued by ghosts, history, and hauntings. In fact, you can have my copy, just enter the giveaway below. :) Happy reading!

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

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  1. Oh wow. That's a creepy cover. Liking this one! And always looking for more haunted stories. They are among my favorites.

    My TT from The Madonna Of Notre Dame

  2. I won! This is so awesome. Thanks so much, Tracy!