I received this free from the publisher via NetGalley
‘This Okiku only remembered pain, suffering, hate, vengeance. Time had taught me to temper the malice within. But for a long long time, I was a great and terrible thing. I was a creature that found pleasure in the ripping. In the tearing. I am no longer that monster. But memories of that creature still lurk within this well. There are some things that never fully die.’
Okiku is a ghost. She kills those who kill children. Hundreds of years ago she was thrown down a well, and she haunts and kills men like that of her murderer. She sees a strange boy. A boy with tattoos that move and creates unease in people who see them. This boy has something attached to him. Something dark which he carries with him where ever he goes. Okiku feels for this boy and his protective cousin and their journey will take them from the suburbs in America to remote valleys in Japan.
I was not sure about this going into it. I am not much of a fan for horror stories as I am easily scared and then proceed to sleep with the light on. The Girl From The Well , I personally, did not find that scary. Perhaps because it is harder to create fear on the written page unlike on a TV where you have music and the image itself which can give you quite a fright. Maybe younger people would find it scarier, although not too young as there are some disturbing grim scene which take place quite frequent in the book. Despite not being scary, it is undeniably a creepy and chilling book which does leave you with a feeling of unease.
I found this a very enjoyable read. I am going to be completely honest – I know very little about Japanese culture, despite my older sister being obsessed with Japan and the culture there. So I don’t know how accurate it was, but from what I’ve read of other reviews, it is pretty good. A good amount of knowledge is obviously shown by Rin Chupeco, so that is a big mighty plus. It was very interesting. I have read very little books that don’t take place solely in America with an American culture so The Girl From The Well was a very refreshing read. The story itself was pretty unique and compelling. The start did not capture my attention fully, (I know, shocking right? Who doesn’t love a pissed off ghost scaring the living daylights and murdering a child killer), I was interested, but not fully invested. That soon changed when I got to know Okiku more as well as Callie and Tarquin. I was soon flipping (as well as you can on a kindle) through the pages devouring the story. It lost it’s mojo slightly in the middle, but only for a fleeting moment.
I liked the friendship between Tarquin and his older and protective cousin Callie. But I liked the characters individually. Tarquin was sarcastic and funny and he seemed so down to earth. Callie had this motherly streak to her. She’s passionate, compassionate, caring, kind and brave and I really did like her character. I also liked the relationship between Tarquin, Callie and Okiku. Callie was wary of the vengeance ghost, rightly so, and Tarquin was very welcoming. Despite Okiku not really talking much, Rin Chupeco still managed to create a really interesting and complex dynamic between the three. I do applaud her for that. I was super duper happy that there was little to no romance. Praise the lords and shout to the heavens. How many YA books can you say that about. It was just so nice and refreshing to read the relationship between the three characters as platonic, and one of mutual respect and caring. Very nice.
The Girl From The Well is a compelling, complex and unique read. If you are looking for something different to read then I highly recommend The Girl From The Well.
This is coming out just a little over a month, you can pre-order a copy here at Book Depository
MY RATING: ★★★★☆ (4.5)