Horrid – Katrina Leno

There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very very good, but when she was bad she was horrid.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What an opening epigraph! This little rhyme is so disturbing and yet good. I loved that the author chose to divide the book in seven parts, each a sentence from the rhyme above, and it just fits the story amazingly.

What first immediately catched my attention about Horrid was of course it’s absolutely gorgeous cover. It’s stunning. The premisse seemed really intriguind too so I was curioius to read it (even though I admit I was a little scared lol).

One of the things I loved most about this book is how gothic it was. I have been studying about the gothic in my master’s and it was easy to catch many elements of the literary genre. From the deeply constructed atmosphere, the cold rainy setting in Maine, the eerie mysterious house; to the exploration of the themes of loss and grief and most importantly the past and it’s oppressive power over the protagonists lives.

This was my first contact with Katrina Leno’s work and I am glad to say I loved it. Her writing was smooth and fitted the theme of the story so well, the pace was wild (I read this in less than 24 hours) and once I started this story didn’t leave my mind.

Now I find it fit to mention that I am not a fan of scary stuff, I am scared easily, but slowly I am making my way through some horror pieces and it’s proving ot be actually delightful, as well as chilling and spooky, but nothing too scary which I can’t handle.

I loved all the revelations of the story, I think it all fit so well and made sense. It keeps you guessing and wondering until almost the very end, and another thing to be said is that this is a story filled with a certain ambiguity, especially the ending. I am not much of a fan of open endings but I am learning to deal with them and understand that some of them are actually the greatest fit to certain narratives. This one certainly was.

This is a story that holds a deeply power, it grips you and even haunts you a little bit and I think that for itself makes it already some kind of masterpiece. I would definitely call this book a contemporary gothic fiction.

You can purchase this book via my affiliate link and I’ll receive a small comission, just click here.

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