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I Belong

Review: Amity by Micol Ostow


AuthorMicol Ostow

Genre: YA Horror

Series: N/A

Publication Date: August 26, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 1606841564 (EgmontUSA)

ISBN-13: 978-1606841563 (EgmontUSA)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


When Connor’s family moves to Amity, a secluded house on the peaceful banks of New England’s Concord River, his nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons. destruction, and revenge. Dreams he kind of likes. Dreams he could make real, with Amity’s help.

Ten years later, Gwen’s family moves to Amity for a fresh start. Instead, she’s haunted by lurid visions, disturbing voices, and questions about her own sanity. But with her history, who would ever believe her? And what could be done if they did?

Because Amity isn’t just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a violent end as she’s done before. As she’ll do again. And again. And again.

Quick & Dirty: Amity was a disturbing novel that I couldn’t get through, though I think fans of horror will have more success.

Opening Sentence: Here is a house; bones of beam and joints of hardware, stone foundation smooth, solid as the core of the earth, nestled, pressed, cold and flat and dank against the hard-packed soil and all of its squirming secrets.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Amity is a house, but she is more than that. She lives for twisting minds and carrying out gruesome, violent plots. Connor’s family moves to Amity ten years before Gwen’s does, but both have terrifying stays. Connor cannot sleep without having horrible dreams of death and vengeance, and they’re starting to grow pleasant to him. Amity could help him make that destruction a reality. Gwen’s family, seeking a new beginning, moves later on. She is plagued by vivid visions and madness. Both will see firsthand the affects of Amity’s twisted will.

I couldn’t get through this novel. Part of it is that horror really isn’t my thing. It’s disturbing and weird and scary, which, I guess, is the point, but I’ve never really understood that point. Why chase after something that will only give you nightmares? I’ve seen one of the Paranormal Activity movies and that was more than enough to last a lifetime for me. Nevertheless, I attempted to go into this book with a clear mind. Sadly, even an open mindset couldn’t force me to enjoy this book.

It was a very morbid story, loosely inspired by the events at Amityville Horror house, but not retelling them. I never watched Amityville so I can’t be expected to know the similarities between the two, but after getting thirty percent of the way through this novel I never want to. It was strange and odd and chilling. Those are good enough qualities for a horror novel to have, I guess, but I could not handle how dark it was. I also found the main characters annoying and vindictive and couldn’t relate to either of them at all. Probably a good thing, seeing as they both were having horrible visions in a terrifying haunted house sort of setting. Another thing, however, was that I was very confused by the novel. I didn’t fully grasp what was going on a lot of the time. Some of that was the flashbacks between the two time periods, in which Connor the sociopath and Gwen were residing in Amity.

Let’s talk about Gwen’s family real quick. They go to get the house for a fresh start, and because it’s dirt cheap. It’s creepy, old, and weird stuff starts happening. Don’t you think the horrible stories about Amity and the super small price are a red flag? But no, Gwen’s family buys it anyway. Aw well. Have fun with that, even though every single warning sign is screaming. Don’t you think this sounds like the start of many different horror books or movies?

I feel that this book succeeded in important aspects of its genre, and I think that horror fans will have a grand old time. The book was well-written. Me being me, I could not stand the disturbing tone and and the confusion caused by the flashbacks. I got about thirty percent of the way through and I just couldn’t handle it. Then I had nightmares for three days straight. That’s horror for you!

Notable Scene:

“It’s so weird.” I followed her gaze.

“What? The way the house is, like, sideways?”

It was weird, kind of. Whoever designed Amity was trying to make the most of the land they had to work with, I guess; since the lot was deeper than it was wide, the house sat perpendicular from the road. So it was the side that looked out at you as you pulled up the drive, not the front.

And it did look out at you, eerily. That’s what Jules meant. That Amity sensed you.


FTC Advisory: EgmontUSA provided me with a copy of Amity. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Review: Amity by Micol Ostow, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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