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  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista
  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ARC Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

A shivery tale based on the popular legend that spawned Sadako, guaranteed to make the hairs at the back of your neck stand quite a few times, with an unlikely protagonist and an unusual style of storytelling. Strange yet not without a satisfying ending. All of the words before this just means I loved the book.

Title: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
Release Date: August 5th 2014
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Author (Thanks Rin!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out.

What to expect when you know you're reading a book that sounds frightful? Be scared, of course. But the thing is, The Girl from the Well will not bombard you at the get go with gruesome, gory scenes. Instead it introduces you to a girl who has spent hundreds of years in the dark, quietly watching, waiting for the right time to strike, making sure that the children, kidnapped and killed, will be avenged. Her name is Okiku, and she is the girl from the well.

Rin Chupeco convinced me to look closer into the story behind this infamous ghost, and Okiku convinced me to look closer into who she was before she became known as that spiteful spirit. Both combined made me enjoy the story tenfold. Okiku is a ghost unlike any other. It's fascinating to see the story unfold on her perspective, because that's what was most interesting to me: it's the thoughts of a ghost, mingling with what she sees and occasionally blending with bits and pieces of her life before she died and what happened after. Rin Chupeco has given Okiku a smart, catching voice in the story, but still managed to stay true to what she is supposed to be: a vengeful ghost.

Tarq and Callie are two other characters in the story that are worth looking at. Their dynamics as cousins are enjoyable to see, and the mystery surrounding Tarq's condition is something one would want to discover. Why the tattooes? I viewed Tarq not as a potential love interest at first, but as a child who needs protection, like Okiku does. Children are her domain after all. And the unusual fascination sustained the intrigue for me. Why this particular boy?

And then Rin Chupeco masterfully weaves in Japanese folklore and legend into the story, Shinto rituals and exorcisms, mikos, shrines and dolls, creating a dark, unsettling effect and gradually upping the creepy factor to a breaking point. There are things that are quite scary in this book, and bit by bit it turns into the chilling, horror story you expect it to be. I was gasping quite a few times, the hairs at the back of my neck stood up on quite a few scenes, but it just added fuel to my reading fire, to know what happens next. What little romance this book has was also catching in its uncommonness, and the way it ended was something you rarely expect. A tormented boy and a ghost, what a strange combination, but the author made it work.

With my love for anything Japanese quite big, my expectations for this book is high and I am quite impressed. The Girl from the Well is quite good in its unusual set-up, the charm stemming from the fact that it was a one of a kind take on a Japanese story we are all quite familiar of. Rin Chupeco's style of writing gave life to a fascinating ghost. The suspense and mystery was sustained throughout the story, and the ending will just make you feel torn and conflicted. Was it good or not?

Kai's favorite quote:
It is not in my nature to be interested in the living.
But there are many things, I have found, that defy nature.

Content (plot, story flow, character):
.5 off because there are Japanese terms that readers might not be familiar of and might confuse those who aren't knowledgeable with Japanese. Since I am reviewing an ARC, I'm not sure if there's a glossary of terms included in the finished copy. It should help.

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
That cover should give you an idea on what to expect while reading the book.


  1. This book definitely sounds like one that will give me chills! I didn't know before this that is was based off of a Japanese legend. That's really interesting! And it sounds like the author stayed true to the culture and the story. I'm excited to get to read this one! Awesome review!

    Ashtyn @ Wonderland’s Reader!

    1. Hey Ashlyn! It was... if you're familiar with the movie 'The Ring' and Sadako, that one is based on the same Japanese legend as this book.


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