The last thing Kaylee wants to do is participate in a childish scavenger hunt–especially inside the abandoned retirement home on the edge of town. When she finds a bruised, deaf boy hiding inside one of the rooms, she vows to lead him to safety . . . only to discover the front doors are now padlocked, and her friends are nowhere to be found. Kaylee is about to learn that not everything that goes ‘bump in the night’ is imaginary, and sometimes there are worse things to fear than ghosts. (goodreads.com)
SPOILER WARNING (not sure if I’m spoiling or not but I’m finding I can’t talk about certain parts of the book without mentioning relevant plot points so just to be on the safe side)
This looked like it was pegged as a horror novel, which is why it had me interested. But ultimately the story is kind of depressing and leaves threads dangling that probably should have been tied up.
The characters themselves almost felt like caricatures of teenagers. For most of the story there are just girls that all fit very particular molds, none of them really like each other, and it seems like the only way they knew how to talk is by screeching at each other. It got to a point where I was flinching every time one of them talked (or yelled, they yelled at each other a lot) because it was hard to tolerate their dialogue. I think it was meant to be a result of a stressed situation for all of them, but since this cattiness started prior to everything happening it didn’t work out that way for me.
The story thread with Jamie is just left dangling and that doesn’t sit right with me. Circumstances were set up with her that pointed to potentials later on in the story that didn’t end up panning out. I’m not opposed to red herrings but Jamie’s part in this story isn’t finished. It’s not even explained. She served the purpose of the story happening and that’s it. The part where Kaylee overhears Jamie’s guardians was ultimately irrelevant. The whole padlocked into the building was left unanswered although vaguely explained (which obviously wasn’t satisfying for me because in all their running around no one found the alternate entrance they mentioned? really?).
Then the actual “horror” part was actually just a sad story but the tension kept trying to ride itself on it and it just wasn’t working for me. To me the real villain of the story disappeared for most of it while a stand-in was left there to keep things entertaining, but the tension felt forced.
RESTHAVEN tried to maintain tension, but it wasn’t working for me. I felt a lot of what happened was self-imposed by the characters being overreactive idiots, and I think the horror would have been better placed in Jamie than where it ended up. Where it ended up just ended up turning the story into an unexpected buzzkill that felt off the mark.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.