The Bargaining by Carly Anne West
ARC Received by Edelweiss
The Bargaining is one of those books that makes you think about what goes bump in the night, about strange myths and legends, and frankly about making a deal with the Devil. Penny has had a pretty bad few months. Her friend is dead, and Penny feels so guilty that her friend's ghost is haunting her. It isn't clear in the beginning why Penny feels guilty, but it's quickly understood that this experience has changed her profoundly. Her mother cannot deal with it anymore and decides to ship her off to her father's house. Now at her father's Penny has been notified that she will be spending her Summer a few hours away with her stepmom reconstructing a house she just purchased with only her camera and a journal full of unsent letters as her company.
Penny knows immediately there is something wrong with the house and with the surrounding woods. The town folks are not very welcoming either, when they find out her stepmom has purchased the old Carver House. It almost seems like there is a deadly secret and they wish to push these new folks out of town. Almost instantly, on the first night, Penny is visited by a ghost of a young boy who claims he wants to show her something. What Penny sees, hears, and understands are puzzle pieces to a very morbid and dark story. Enter Miller, the young general store owner who has a connection to the house. He knows more than he is willing to share. After some more visits and investigation Penny realizes that she is in over her head and that these secrets that lie in this dead town.
Such a creepy story. I know I gave it 3.5 stars but it's one of those stories that even with all it's faults makes you speed through it just to know, just so that you're not stuck in this horrific little world built by the author. I wanted to know if Rae was a figment of Penny's imagination because of her guilty, or if Rae was really a ghost. I wanted to know what happened to Miller's brother, and the rest of the kids who were lost in the woods. I wanted Penny and her stepmom to leave that place. I wanted so much... this book just had me constantly wanting more information and more creepiness.
3.5 stars. Thanks Edelweiss.