The premise of It Will Just Be Us by Jo Kaplan sounded so Shirley Jackson-esque, I knew I had to have it. And I’m honored to be part of the blog tour for this book!
Sam Wakefield lives with her mother in their family home, an old decaying mansion that sits on the edge of a marsh. But this isn’t an ordinary place. It has more rooms than you can count, with one room that always stays locked. And phantom echoes of people from the past – which can be seen and heard – occur throughout the house at any given time.
When Sam’s pregnant sister moves home, Sam begins to see a new phantom in the house: a malevolent, faceless boy. Can Sam figure out the house’s secrets – and the history behind the locked door – before it’s too late?
*I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher (Crooked Lane Books) in exchange for an honest review.
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It Will Just Be Us by Jo Kaplan: My Thoughts
This book gave me all the Shirley Jackson vibes. It really delivered on its creepy, ‘haunted house’ premise. If you liked the TV adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House, you’ll likely enjoy this, too!
It falls into the ‘literary horror’ category, so the writing is a bit more dense than you might expect from a typical horror novel. But I had no problem getting drawn into the story! It was eerie and atmospheric, with a constant sense of growing dread.
I loved all the spooky details, and how the history of the house presents itself. Instead of seeing everything linearly, we get glimpses of the past until finally, the full picture clicks into place.
Sam, Elizabeth, and their mother all felt unique and authentic to me. Of course, there were moments where I wanted to shout at them about certain choices they made! (But I understand it was necessary for the plot.)
Overall, this was deliciously creepy – like watching a nightmare unfold. Horror fans will love this one!
Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars
(Publication date: September 8th, 2020. Thank you to Crooked Lane Books for the review copy!)
If you’re looking for more horror book recommendations, check out my review for The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix.