Review: Horrid


Title: Horrid
Author: Katrina Leno
Genre: YA Horror, Mystery
Page Count: 336
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date Published: September 15, 2020
You can find a copy here:


Immediately following the sudden loss of her father, Jane and her mother Ruth discover they are also broke – quickly prompting them to move across the country to the dilapidated old mansion Ruth inherited after her mother’s death. Swapping sunny California for dreary, cold Maine, Jane and Ruth set to work restoring this neglected manor from Ruth’s childhood.

But it is quickly apparent that something more sinister is happening within this house beyond the creaky, creepy house noises. Lights turn on in empty rooms, marbles roll unprompted across the halls, and then there are those tricky roses that are in full bloom … at the end of October.

What’s worse is it seems the whole sleepy, little town of Bells Hollow is in on a great secret, including her mother. A secret that Jane is determined to solve, even if it means opening that locked door down the hallway…


I don’t think I was the right audience for this. In fact, I know I wasn’t the right audience for this. So I’ve been trying to determine how to go about this review, for over two weeks.

Here’s the thing, I really didn’t like this. But I don’t think it is a bad book per se. I’ve seen this referred to as a good “gateway” book into horror, and I completely agree. As a teen/preteen I think I would’ve been all over this spooky setting with its traditional horror scenes. Maybe it’s the contemporary factor, but for me it read quite predictably, relying heavily on horror tropes and ultimately felt direction-less and rudder-less.

There wasn’t a lot of time spent on plot development, character development or the conversation on mental illness and grief that I was expecting after reading the blurb. It did deliver some nice, cold, autumnal atmosphere and plenty of creepy noises, “faulty” lighting, and a delicious crumbling, eerie, old mansion. Unfortunately this scary story didn’t quite deliver on the scary and instead served up a platter of all too common “scary” plot elements. I felt the overall story struggled to find its rhythm or direction, waffling between a contemporary trying to discuss grief & mental illness and a straight up paranormal ghost story, but never marrying the two. A plot that meandered, was repetitive, and eventually just headed nowhere, characters that couldn’t be told apart, little description, plot lines and characters left abandoned and an ending that just … well, ended. Not for me, but then I’m not sure I was ever the target market.

You May Also Like:


Written by Courtney Summers

Published by Wednesday Books

You can find it here:




Wilder Girls book coverWilder Girls

Written by Rory Power

Published by Ember

You can find it here:




The Bone HousesThe Bone Houses

Written by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Full review HERE.

You can find it here:



Any purchases made via retailer links provided in this article may result in this site receiving a share of that sale.

Welcome to And other tales. The little corner of the interweb where we don’t count cups of coffee, believe cancelling plans to stay home & read is just good life advice, refuse to acknowledge the calories in baked goods and will never judge you on the number of marshmallows in your hot chocolate or the size of your TBR piles. Curl up, get comfy and click through for book reviews, life chats, playlists, vegan & gluten free baking recipes, gift guides and more.

Newest Articles