Saturday, April 2, 2016

Review: Harmony House by Nic Sheff

Harmony HouseHarmony House by Nic Sheff
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror.

After Jen’s alcoholic mother’s death, her father cracked. He dragged Jen to this dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to “start their new lives”—but Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Strange visions follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had.
My thoughts:
This book was such a mess!  From the description I was all set for a creepy thriller ride, but what I ultimately got was a crazy father spouting insane offensive nonsense and a daughter who couldn't quit self medicating and cursing like a sailor.  SO not what the book description promised.

This review will be filled with spoilers so you have been warned!!!!

Starting off I couldn't stand the main character Tessa.  She was rude and I am totally a fan of free speech and I know teenagers curse, but her language was WAY out of hand.  At times I felt completely uncomfortable and I just wanted to wash her mouth out with soap!  I get people talk like this I do, but in a book I would prefer the language toned down especially in a YA book.  That wasn't my only problem with her though.

She, in the beginning, seemed to be somewhat level headed and I did feel bad for her because of her father who was completely bat crap crazy, but she wasn't much better by the end!  She self medicated even after she found out something important about herself (which came out of left field since nowhere in the book did this particular topic come up) and she chose to make bad choices repeatedly.  Tessa was not a character I could ever stand behind even with her bad situation with her father.

Which brings me to her father.  Nowhere in the description of this book does it say anything about religion being inside it's pages.  Religion was ALL OVER this book and not in a good way or really even creepy way. It was very insane and offensive and just not what I signed up for when I picked this up.  If I had known going in this was going to be the main focus I would have completely passed on this book.  I don't like religion in my books for the most part, I can handle them in creepy ones because they do add an interesting spin at times, but this was not one of those times.  At one point I felt like the author had an agenda and was preaching through his character, not good AT ALL!

The biggest reason why this book didn't work for me though was the overall story line.  It made absolutely no sense!  And here is the biggest spoiler....the house had nothing to do with the craziness!!  There were a few scenes and I mean maybe two where the house might have had something going on, but in the end it was all about her crazy father and his past!  The author could have made this amazing if he would would have focused more on that factor and less on trying to make his readers feel icky.  I liked the backstory honestly, it was intriguing, creepy as all get out even with the religion aspect thrown in and I would have loved if this was the main focus.  And it was to a point, but the author got to caught up in trying to make this book about something else and it just all fell apart. 

The last thing I'll talk about it the writing.  I just didn't like it.  Every time someone came into the picture they were laughing!  I don't think the author ever used other verb to describe anybody and it drove me insane.  I also noticed a lot of inconsistencies like on one page the sun had set and then on the next page same scene she was out just before the sun set.  I know this is an ARC and I should overlook those things, but there were just so many of them that it got to be impossible to overlook.  Makes me wonder if the author rushed his work.  With some good editing this could have been so much better.

OH and one more thing, in the end I swear the author threw everything but the kitchen sink into this story. We have powers, religion, weird boys who come out of nowhere, and a medium.  I mean does the description mention any of these????  NOPE! 

Okay that's it I'm done. 

1 snowflake


  1. Well that's disappointing! I've looked at this book several times thinking it would be a good thriller! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. It might be a good thriller for some, but yeah for me it just didn't work =(

  2. I agree. I don't like religion thrown at me in a book unless there is a true connection with the story as you said.

    1. I think if the author had thrown this in a little more quietly instead of IN YOUR FACE it might have worked better maybe?? Good to know I am not the only one!

  3. Yikes! This sounds like a hot mess! I hate when the blurb totally misleads you on what the actual story is! Gah! I'm sorry you had to suffer through this one but thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! Hopefully your next read is/was better :)

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