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The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

Thursday, February 12, 2015
The fact that neither of her parents wants to deal with her is nothing new to Penny. She’s used to being discussed like a problem, a problem her mother has finally passed on to her father. What she hasn’t gotten used to is her stepmother…especially when she finds out that she’ll have to spend the summer with April in the remote woods of Washington to restore a broken-down old house.

Set deep in a dense forest, the old Carver House is filled with abandoned antique furniture, rich architectural details, and its own chilling past. The only respite Penny can find away from April’s renovations is in Miller, the young guy who runs the local general store. He’s her only chance at a normal, and enjoyable, summer.

But Miller has his own connection to the Carver House, and it’s one that goes beyond the mysterious tapping Penny hears at her window, the handprints she finds smudging the glass panes, and the visions of children who beckon Penny to follow them into the dark woods. Miller’s past just might threaten to become the terror of Penny’s future….
 

Goodreads Summary

If you're looking for a great blend of horror, slight romance, and a thrilling story then you should grab this book!  Penny's parents had a fairly nasty divorce and she has recently been shuffled from her mom to her dad.  She lost her friend not too long ago and feels partly responsible.  She doesn't feel connected to her step-mom despite her step-mom, April, trying to form a relationship with her.  When April takes on a project to restore a house in a small town, Penny is enlisted to help her out.  Little do the two know that there are mysteries connected to the town and the house and odd thumps-literally-in the night.

I loved Penny's character.  She was sullen and had her pouty moments, but she felt like a real person to me.  I liked how she had a bit of an investigative personality and that she doesn't back down from a challenge.  April had a sunny personality and I found it sweet that she tried so hard to make things fun for Penny.  Miller always had an air of mystery to him and I distrusted him through most of the book.  

The book was so fast-paced and had quite a few twists and turns that had me turning the pages far longer into the night than I meant to.   This was a wonderful book and perfect for young adult/teen readers.

5 Stars

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