Hello fellow book nerds!
I was so excited when I was asked to participate in this blog tour. I’ve had my eyes on Harrow Lake for a bit so I jumped right in.
I am a huge fan of horror and I was expecting many things from this book. While I did enjoy it for the most part, the ending was a huge disappointment for me.
Normally my review are spoiler free but to fully explain my reasoning there will be spoilers. If you do not want this book spoiled for you then please do not pay attention to the spoiler part. There will be a warning and the text will be strike through so you can by pass it.
So, here we go.
3 out of 5 stars
Taken from Goodreads
Things I know about Harrow Lake:
1.It’s where my father shot his most disturbing slasher film.
2.There’s something not right about this town.
Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker–she thinks nothing can scare her.
But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s quickly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot. The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map–and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.
And there’s someone–or something–stalking her every move.
The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.
“I keep my secrets safe.”
I was so excited for this book. Horror is one of my favorite genres and I still have yet to find a book to give me the creeps. Between the cover and the description I thought this was the one. As I continued reading it seemed like this might actually be the one. Then I got toward the end and my hope dropped. Let’s start at the beginning. This novel was really well written. I loved the atmosphere and everything was described so well every event that happened I could easily imagine. Growing up with a horror film director as a Dad, Lola has a wild imagination and was interested in the town her mother grew up in and the legends. As her time progressed there, she really started to believe the stories of Mister Jitters. I personally wished Ellis would have continued this path. It was so intriguing and held my interest. Was Mister Jitters real? Or was this all in Lola’s imagination? This is what kept me interested throughout. Then the ending hit and I was so disappointed. I get it, I do… but I don’t like it. It was so lackluster to the buildup created and just let me feeling unsatisfied. What I did find very successful was the interview in the beginning and the end tying into the story.
Is it possible to like and dislike a character? If so, that’s how I feel about Lola. In the beginning I really disliked her character. I don’t know what it was but I just couldn’t get into her. I started to like her a little more throughout the novel but she never clicked with me. And I just can’t pinpoint it. I don’t know if it was her attitude or just the way she was presented. I think this is also one of the reasons I didn’t like the ending. I had a hard time connecting with Lola so it just seemed like… Okay? There were moments I enjoyed her character a lot. When she wasn’t holding back and being honest. I understand that a lot of her actions were because of how she was raised so I don’t hold it against her character at all. The townsfolk of Harrow Lake really helped with the creep vibe. They either helped further Lola’s fear of Mister Jitters or helped her personality grow. Thank goodness for the other characters.
“But when you’re alone in the dark, impossible things grow bones and flesh.”
IF YOU DO NOT WANT THE ENDING SPOILED DO NOT READ THIS SECTION
Okay here it goes. This ending was so lackluster for me. The whole time we are trying to find out if Mister Jitters is real. At one point Mary Anne (Lola’s imaginary friend) comes back into her life. This is where it gets to, is any of this real? At one point, I was thinking this was going to be a Wicker Man sort of deal. Larry stabbed Nolan, tricked Lola into going to Harrow Lake to be sacrificed to Mister Jitters. Personally? I think that would have been a way better ending. First, we find out Lorelei was murdered then dumped there. It was Larry and Nolan who did it. Then the most ambiguous ending for Lola. This honestly sucked. I read this when thing waiting for something supernatural or anything really to find out this. I get it. The real monsters can be the ones we know but this just didn’t work for me for this specific story.
END OF SPOILER
“No, it’s this place, this town where time doesn’t move forward like it’s supposed to. Where stories get stuck in your head like a tooth burrowed deep in your flesh.”
Overall, Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis was a not what I was expecting. While the beginning and the environment are creepy, the ending was a huge miss. The entire buildup of the story just dropped into something that was not the least bit satisfying. I really wish there was more. The characters were okay. Lola was not my favorite character but I still enjoyed reading her story. I just found it hard to connect to her and really care. This story wasn’t a failure but it just wasn’t what I was expecting or hoping. I do recommend this book if your looking for a creepy and fast paced story with an ending you might not expect.
“So you never go into Harrow Lake woods on a moonless night, or the trees might mistake you for one of their own.”