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The Girl from the Well
     

The Girl from the Well

4.3 19
by Rin Chupeco
 

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I am where dead children go.

Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on.

Such is her

Overview

I am where dead children go.

Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on.

Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen's skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There's just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 06/16/2014
Chupeco makes a powerful debut with this unsettling ghost story, drawing from the same ancient Japanese legend that inspired The Ring and other horror pieces. Okiku is a vengeful spirit who wanders the world, tracking down those who abuse and murder children, killing them to free their victims’ souls. When Okiku encounters 15-year-old Tark Halloway, she discovers that he’s haunted by a terrifying spirit who is capable of great violence. Okiku has dispassionately existed only to take vengeance, and the unexpected fondness she develops for Tark and his cousin Callie eventually takes them to Japan, where Okiku confronts her own tragic origin and sees a chance to rid Tark of his demon. Told in a marvelously disjointed fashion from Okiku’s numbers-obsessed point of view, this story unfolds with creepy imagery and an intimate appreciation for Japanese horror, myth, and legend. The tropes Chupeco invokes will be familiar to any fan of J-horror, but the execution is spine-tingling, relying more on cinematic cuts than outright gore. Ages 14–up. Agent: Nicole LaBombard and Rebecca Podos, Rees Literary Agency. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
""[A] Stephen King—like horror story...A chilling, bloody ghost story that resonates." " - Kirkus

"Chupeco makes a powerful debut with this unsettling ghost story...told in a marvelously disjointed fashion from Okiku's numbers-obsessed point of view, this story unfolds with creepy imagery and an intimate appreciation for Japanese horror, myth, and legend. STARRED." - Publishers Weekly

""The most fascinating scenes contain darkly mesmerizing characters, such as a little girl named Sandra who can see ghosts, a psychopath called the Smiling Man, and the miko of the Chinsei shrine. Chupeco gives her best and most rhythmic passages to them and Okiku, who draws readers into the narrative with the depth of her broken soul and the majesty of her hard-won strength."
" - The Boston Globe

"The Girl from the Well is part The Ring, part The Grudge and part The Exorcist...A fantastically creepy story sure to keep readers up at night... Okiku is one of the most interesting YA characters to date. 41/2 Stars-TOP PICK!" - RT Book Reviews

""A dark novel that will appeal to horror fans, lovers of Elizabeth Scott's 'Living Dead Girl.'"" - School Library Journal

"The writing is beautiful. Descriptive in a poetic way, which just makes everything even creepier...I don't even know how to properly praise her [Chupeco], but she has to be one of the most talented writers to be published recently." - Paperback Wonderland

"There's a superior creep factor that is pervasive in every lyrical word of Chupeco's debut, and it's perfect for teens who enjoy traditional horror movies...the story is solidly scary and well worth the read.
" - Booklist

"This horror mystery has just the right blend of contemporary teenage life and the fantasy of a ghost story. It is well written and fast paced, and the characters both dead and alive are developed and engaging...well worth having in a teen collection that caters to fantasy and horror lovers." - VOYA Magazine

"Rin Chupeco does a fine job of integrating folklore and culture with J[apanese]-horror elements..It hit all the right horror notes with me, and I absolutely recommend it to fans looking for a good scare. " - The Book Smugglers

"This gorgeously written story reads like poetry--despite the demons." - Brazos Bookstore

"I never imagined I would love a horror novel for it's gorgeous prose and characters, but that's exactly how I feel about Rin Chupeco's The Girl from the Well. " - The Hiding Spot

VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Laura Lehner
“I am where dead children go.” So begins this dark tale of ghosts and the living humans who cross their paths. Okiku is an ancient spirit who avenges children who have died violently at the hands of others. She was a servant girl who was thrown in a well and left to die upside down three hundred years ago, and for that she preys on people who hurt children, sending them to painful and horrific deaths. Tarquin is the boy with mysterious tattoos with whom she is both obsessed and determined to protect from the demon that is slowly draining him of life, the demon that took hold of him after taking a trip to his mother’s native Japan as a young child. This horror mystery has just the right blend of contemporary teenage life and the fantasy of a ghost story. It is well written and fast paced, and the characters both dead and alive are developed and engaging. It is written from Okiku’s point of view, an interesting departure from a typical horror story—well worth having in a teen collection that caters to fantasy and horror lovers. Expect a sequel to come from this first-time author. Reviewer: Laura Lehner; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
07/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—This tale continues and reimagines the Japanese folktale of "Okiku and the Nine Plates." The title character is a ghost wandering Earth to free the souls of murdered children who live chained to their murderers. The author delivers on this interesting premise, which lends itself to some creepy moments, as the protagonist avenges the murdered children. A human teenage boy, Tark, catches her attention because she can sense something in him, tied to the strange moving tattoos his mother gave him when he was five. As she gets to know more about Tark and his disturbed mother, a friendship forms as they travel to Japan to figure out his story. The relationship between Okiku and Tark could have used a little more development to make the ending plausible, but readers used to fast-paced horror films will easily suspend disbelief. A dark novel that will appeal to horror fans, lovers of Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl (S. & S., 2008), and also potentially to teens interested in Japanese culture.—Sarah Jones, Clinton-Macomb Public Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-12
A Japanese ghost tries to fight an evil spirit that haunts a 15-year-old boy in this strange, Stephen King-like horror story.Okiku was brutally murdered 300 years ago at age 16 and has roamed the world ever since, killing child murderers. Murderers unwittingly carry the ghosts of those they have killed on their backs, making them easy for Okiku to spot. She's chasing down a particularly nasty serial killer when she encounters Tarquin, the son of an American man and a Japanese woman. Now institutionalized, Tarquin's mother inscribed strange tattoos on the boy, which act as seals to imprison the evil ghost inside him. The family travels to Japan after Tarquin's captive spirit horribly murders his mother so they can scatter the dead woman's ashes at a shrine. There, they meet some women who can try to free Tarquin from his spirit tormentor, but exorcisms aren't easy. Chupeco bases her modern horror story on an old Japanese folk tale about a vengeful spirit named Okiku. She writes in Okiku's formal, ghostly voice, requiring readers to piece together strange episodes that introduce not only Okiku, but also Tarquin and his family, only slowly revealing the severity of the danger Tarquin faces. They come together eventually to reveal the full story and, with their opacity, contribute to the book's slowly mounting suspense.A chilling, bloody ghost story that resonates. (Paranormal suspense. 14-18)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781492608684
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
05/01/2015
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
62,542
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
940L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Fireflies

I am where dead children go.

With other kinds of dead, it is different. Often their souls drift quietly away, like a leaf caught in the throes of a hidden whirlpool, slipping down without sound, away from sight. They roll and ebb gently with the tides until they sink beneath the waves and I no longer see where they go-like sputtering candlelight, like little embers that burn briefly and brightly for several drawn moments before their light goes out.

But they are not my territory. They are not my hunt.

And then there are the murdered dead. And they are peculiar, stranger things.

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

We are the fates that people fear to become. We are what happens to good persons and to bad persons and to everyone in between. Murdered deads live in storms without season, in time without flux. We do not go because people do not let us go.

The man refuses to let her go, though he does not know this yet. He is inside an apartment that smells of dirty cigarettes and stale beer. He sits on a couch and watches television, where a man tells jokes. But this man who wears a stained white shirt, with his pudgy arms and foul vapors, this man does not laugh. He has too much hair on his head and on his face and on his chest, and he is drinking from a bottle and not listening to anything but the alcohol in his thoughts. His mind tastes like sour wine, a dram of sake left out in the dark for too long.

There are other things inside this apartment that he owns. There are filthy jackets of shiny fabric (three). Empty bottles (twenty-one) dribble dregs of brown liquid onto the floor. Thin tobacco stalks (five) are grounded on a tiny tray, smoke curling over their stunted remains.

There are other things inside the apartment that he does not own. Small, pale pink scratches of cloth snagged against nails in the floorboards (three). A golden strand of hair, smothered within the confines of wood (one).

Something

gurgles,

from somewhere nearby. It is a loud and sudden noise, and it penetrates through the haze of his inebriation, startling him.

The Stained Shirt Man turns his head to a nearby wall and shouts, "You better fix that fuckin' toilet tomorrow, Shamrock!" mistaking one problem for another. If he is expecting a reply, he does not receive it, but he does not seem to care.

He does not look my way because he does not see me. Not yet.

But she does.

I can tell she has not been dead long. Her long, yellow hair hangs limply around her waist, her skin gray and brittle and bloated. The man drowned her quickly, so quickly that she does not realize it. This is why her mouth opens and closes, why she gulps at intervals like a starving fish, why she is puzzled at the way she does not breathe.

Her blue eyes look into mine from where I lie hidden, shrouded in shadow. An understanding passes between us for I, too, remember that terrible weight of water. Her prison had been of ceramic, mine wrought from cobbled stones. In the end, it made little difference to either of us.

The Stained Shirt Man does not see her, either. He does not notice the thin, bony arms clasped about his neck, or the manner in which her little rag dress is hiked up above her hips, her legs balanced against the small of his back. He does not notice the beginnings of decay that are ravaging a face that should have been delicate and pretty.

Many people are like him; they do not feel burdened by the weight of those they kill. A rope braid around her thin wrist is attached to another folded over the man's arm. I wear a similar loop around my wrist, though unlike her, I endure this affliction with no one else. The rope trails several feet behind me, the edges shorn.

The man talking from inside the television disappears, and the thrum of static buzzes at the Stained Shirt Man's consciousness, nagging at him like an angry bee. Cursing again, he tosses his empty bottle away and strides to the box, fiddling with the dials. After a minute, he pounds a fist down on top of it once, twice, three times. The television continues to hum, unimpressed.

He is still angry when the lights in the room wink out one by one, leaving him nothing for company but the still-fizzling box.

"Son of a bitch!" he says, kicking it for good measure. As punishment, the noises stop and the television flickers back on, but the man telling jokes is nowhere to be seen. Instead, for a few seconds, something else flashes across the screen.

It is a wide, staring

eye

and it is looking back at him.

It disappears, though the buzzing continues. The man gapes. He is afraid at first-that delicious fear steals across his face-but when the image does not repeat itself soon, he begins to think and then to argue and then to dismiss, the way people do when they are seeking explanations for things that cannot be explained.

"Must have imagined it," he mutters to himself, rubbing at his temple and belching. The girl on his back says nothing.

The Stained Shirt Man moves to the bathroom and frowns when he turns on a switch but sees only darkness. Nonetheless, he moves toward the sink and begins to wash his face.

When he lifts his head, I am standing directly behind him, but only the top of my head and my eyes are visible over his own. The face rising over the back of his skull is one I have worn for many centuries, an oddity for one who has only seen sixteen years of life. But I have little cause to see myself in reflections, and sometimes I forget the face is mine.

Our gazes meet in the mirror, and the Stained Shirt Man shouts in alarm, stepping away. But when he turns back, all he sees is his own sweating face, drenched in water and fear.

Something gurgles

again.

This time, it is closer.

The Stained Shirt Man's eyes swing toward the bathtub. It is covered in dirt and grime and thin traces of bile. A large pool of blood is forming underneath it, spiraling outward until it touches the tips of his leather boots.

Tag,

the blood is saying.

You

are

it.

And from inside this bathtub a decomposing hand reaches out, grabbing the side with enough strength that the porcelain cracks from the urgency of its grip. The Stained Shirt Man slides to the floor in shock and fright, legs suddenly useless, as

I

heave myself up and over the side of the bathtub to land in a heap of flesh before him. I am writhing. My body stiffens and contracts, tangled hair obscuring enough features that you would not know what I am, only what I am not.

I gurgle a third time.

The Stained Shirt Man crawls back into the living room swearing and screaming. In his fright, he stains his pants with his own excrement. He grabs at a phone, but the line is dead. Stumbling back onto his feet, he tries to feel his way through the dark, the sputtering light of the television set his only guide. He finds the door and tugs at it frantically, but it will not open.

"Help me! Oh God oh God...Help me!"

He begins to drive his shoulder against the wood, his efforts redoubling once he realizes

I

have followed him out of the bathroom, slithering, slithering, bone joints cracking and noisy from disuse.

"Shamrock!" His voice totters on panic. "Shamrock, can you hear me! Anybody out there! I...Jesus! Jesus Christ, help me!"

There is terrible contorting in the way the figure he sees moves. It does not crawl. It does not speak. There is only a dreadful, singular purpose in the way its fingers and feet scuttle closer, spread from its body like a human spider, though I am neither human nor spider.

The Stained Shirt Man soon realizes the futility and sinks back to the ground. "Was it the girl?" he asks then, and in his piggish eyes, dreadful realization seeps through. "Was it the girl? I didn't mean to...I never-I swear I won't do it again, I swear! I won't do it again!"

He is right. He will never do this again.

"Please," he croaks, lifting his hands as if they could shield him, and whether he is asking for mercy or wishes to be killed quicker, I do not know. "Please please please pleasepleasepleaseplease."

Something gurgles one last time, and it is above him. He looks up.

This is how the Stained Shirt Man now sees me.

He sees a woman on the ceiling.

Her gray feet are bare, settled against the beams.

She hangs down.

Her chin is jutted out, her head twisted to the side in a way that the only thing certain is her broken neck.

She wears a loose, white kimono spattered in mud and blood.

Her hair floats down, drifting past her face like a thinly veiled curtain, but this does not protect him from the

sight

of her eyes.

There are no whites in her eyes; they are an impenetrable, dilated black.

Her skin is a mottled patchwork of abuse and bone, some of it stripped from the edges of her mouth. And yet her mouth is hollow, curved into a perpetual scream, jaws too wide to be alive.

For a long moment we stare at each other-he, another girl's murderer, and I, another man's victim. Then my mouth widens further, and I

de

tach

myself from the ceiling to lunge, my unblinking eyes boring into his panicked, screaming face.

Meet the Author

Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She's been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living. Connect with Rin at www.rinchupeco.com.

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Girl from the Well 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars 'The Girl from the Well' is an incredibly creepy and chilling paranormal/horror novel that weaves both ghost story and Japanese legend. The story is told by Okiku - a dead girl that roams the world with one purpose - to kill murderers, especially ones who kill children. It's her specialty, since she's been doing it for hundreds of years. She never really takes interest in the living - especially not those she kills. After completing her task, she is able to free the souls of the children that were murdered. This gives her a moment of comfort and peace in her lonely existence. While stalking a new killer in a small town, she comes across a teenage boy who is covered with tattoos. These aren't normal tattoos - they seem to move and glow - and something about them attracts her. She begins to follow the boy around - learning about him, his life, his interests - and even protecting him from the evil that wishes him dead. For the first time in her afterlife, Okiku finds that protecting children from evil instead of just avenging them can be much more interesting and comforting than she knew. I absolutely love horror novels - including ones that are filled with ghosts and all that weird stuff. I knew that the book was being marketed as a mix of "Dexter" and "The Grudge" - so I thought I was sufficiently prepared for what to expect. I was not. For those of you who have seen the films "The Grudge" and "The Ring" - you know what the ghost girl characters look like. They scare the living bejeezus out of me. I can literally just think about them and get so freaked out that I can't sleep. How lovely that our narrator just happens to be almost identical to these characters. So after learning a bit about our main character - her appearance and purpose - I was already creeped out in the extreme. I tried to tell myself that the girl in the story was avenging children who were murdered and all that - but it really didn't help. I'm still freaking out over this book - and I read it over a week ago. I just wanted to describe the character to you in detail and to let you know how incredibly spooked I was/am. Don't forget to take into account that this is the author's debut novel. Seriously? I honestly never would have guessed it was her first book. How in the world did you get me to peek over my shoulder every two minutes and freak me out so bad? That fact alone was enough to cement the author as one with incredible skill and talent - and that she's going to be an author to watch for sure. The story itself is a very intricate tale - it's a great mix of legend and folklore with modern day society. I thought the author did a phenomenal job of weaving the Japanese legend into the main story line - even bringing the characters to a remote part of Japan. Once I got over (or used to) the main character's history and appearance - I was sucked deep into the story. There are so many vivid descriptions and details used that it felt like I was there alongside the characters. Even though the main character is a ghost - she is a wonderful choice for the book. I liked that she only went after people who killed kids - and then she was able to set them free. That made her a teeny bit less frightening. Her history and backstory - along with inner dialogue and thoughts - were fascinating and strangely realistic. The other major characters in the book were well written too - especially Tark. He was very realistic with problems at home and school, other typical teen issues, along with seeing things that others didn't and thinking he was crazy. The Japanese lore that was described in the book had me totally fascinated and I loved learning every little bit I could about it. The amount of detail that the author put into every part of this book shows - and it made it a mesmerizing read for me. I couldn't put it down and ended up reading it all in one sitting in a matter of hours. I could go on praising this book forever and I still wouldn't be able to do it justice. Very highly recommended for fans of ghost stories, paranormal, and horror novels - as well as those looking for a captivating and horrifying unique book. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love love love this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rin Chupeco does an awesome job of telling a horror story! "The Girl From The Well" was so well writen that I had nightmares for a week! Not kidding!!
terferj More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It has The Grudge/The Ring feel to it. What I really liked about this was it had enough creepiness, scariness, and horror without giving me nightmares. This is the kind of book I've been waiting for in the past few months of this genre that others didn't cut it. I also like that this is also based off a Japanese folklore. What I liked: *How Okiku passed the time with correcting the wrong-doing of a certain type of person *Helping Tark and his cousin, Callie, and why she felt she needed to *Told in Okiku's perspective *The story of why she became who she was *The descriptions of Japanese culture (food, clothing, etc.) *The interesting way it was written. Kept me wanting to read more. What I didn't like: *The story switching between first and third pov within the same paragraph I'm looking forward to reading the next book to see how things go. Got a glimpse of the next book with a couple chapters at the end of this book and it looks like it should be good. *I received this through NetGalley*
BookZomB More than 1 year ago
A special thanks to Netgalley for providing me a free eARC of this beauty Throughout my five hours of completely destroying this book, I was picking up some serious Ring/Japanese horror vibes. Now, The Ring is one of my favorite movies of all time and, while I have never had any interest in J-horror, this books makes me want to literally bellyflop into that cesspool of cultural gore and awesomeness. The Girl from the Well is another one of my most anticipated books of 2014. In fact I have been looking forward to this since I knew it existed back in April. I haven't read much YA horror stories, despite the fact it's my favorite genre, mainly because they normally lack on everything except a serious gore factor. I'm happy to report this book has a huge gore factor, plus a strong heroine/hero, character development, word building, plot, and overall brilliance. The main character, Okiku, is (approximately) 316 years old and wanders the Earth in search of child killers that she murders. In doing so, she also frees the souls of all the children the killer victimized. Okiku merely exists, but when she is drawn to Tark, the boy with ever changing tattoos and a deranged mother, she finds herself entangled in a slew of gruesome curses, vengeful spirits, and the looming threat of evil. As a narrator, I love what Chupeco did with Okiku. She acts as an omniscient narrator, with the ability to see everyone and everything thanks to her long dead nature. While reading, I legitimately felt her anger and hatred for all the murderers in the story, along with her sorrow for her own brutal demise. Tark and his cousin Callie are the other two, living I might add, characters I should mention. Tark is the unknowing curse bearer and Callie is just a girl who got tangled up with the wrong people. Regardless, both of them had their unique quirks about them that made each of them memorable. The abundance of creepy dolls, creepy children and gore (three of my guilty pleasures) kept me interested and on the edge of my seat. This entire book was a roller coaster of fear, loss, and excitement. Rin Chupeco's writing is a rare combination of vivid and poetic. She doesn't spare any gruesome details, nor does he spare any of your feels. I recommend to literally everyone I've ever come into contact with.
ABookVacation More than 1 year ago
This novel is intense—from the very beginning—and scary to boot! If you’ve seen The Ring, then you’re familiar with the insanely creepy girl that crawls out of the well, out of the TV, and into the life of strangers—to kill them. Well, that very frightening girl is indeed our narrator! Talk about scary! Now, while the narrator, Okiku, is the same ghost-like figure from the movie, this is not that story. Instead, Chupeco focused heavily on the Japanese folklore surrounding Okiku’s murder and her ghostly decision to murder child killers and protect the pure of heart. Opening with Okiku standing on the ceiling observing a vile man who has murdered a young child, the introduction quickly escalates as Okuku removes all the lights and taunts the man as she appears in his mirror, crawls out of his bathtub, and ultimately sends him screaming to his watery death. INTENSE. I began this novel on a sunny afternoon, and I had chills as I descended into this amazing story. And it only gets better from there. As the story progresses, we see other characters through Okiku’s eye and also learn more about her and why she is haunting the world—including the circumstances surrounding her death. As the living main character, Tark comes on the scene, the ghost’s interest is piqued, and we learn much about ancient Japanese beliefs, the spirit world, and exorcisms. Of course, I saved the novel for the nighttime because I do enjoy a good scare, and that’s exactly what I got… The writing is unique, and our ghost, Okiku, is fascinated with numbers, hence, her constant counting throughout the novel. While generally a silent entity throughout, observing those around her but rarely speaking with them, we still learn so much about her and, as Tark’s darkness becomes ever more present, the things that go bump in the night will leave narrators completely and utterly petrified. I loved the characterization, and while not all the events seemed plausible to me in terms of how Tark’s father treated him, etc., the eerie nature of the novel has be almost believing in ghosts myself… This novel is great–from the scare factor to the characterization, I was in love from the very beginning. Read it. You don’t want to miss this fantastic story. Five stars.
Anonymous 11 months ago
This book was wonderfully creepy! Ir reminded me of the ring meets the sixth sense! Could not put it down! Great ending too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring!!!!!!!
eternalised More than 1 year ago
The Girl from the Well has been on my wishlist for over a year. Figuring out I’d never get my hands on it if I didn’t help destiny a little, I finally purchased it from Amazon a few weeks ago. From the mmoent it arrived in my mailbox, I finished it in a few days. The story is just so good, the characters so intriguing, and the use of Japanese folklore and legends gives it an unique, creepy vibe. I’m a huge horror buff, but Japanese horror is usually so creepy I can’t always stomach it. But reading about it? Sure thing. Okiku is a centuries’ old spirit. After getting murdered, she’s determined to find child murderers and punish them, and setting the children’s spirits free. But then she sees Tarquin, Tark as his family calls him, a fifteen-year-old boy covered in strange tattoos. Okiku senses another presence lingering near Tarquin, and it’s not a benevolent one. The tattoos are strange and eerie, and everyone seems to avoid the boy. Okiku’s interest is triggered, and she starts following him. The best parts of the book were the ones focusing on Japanese culture, and the ones actually happening in Japan. I loved reading about the country, the ancient legends, the mikos and how they perform exorcisms, and so on. The book is creepy (what did you expect), but it’s also original, has great writing, and is overall, a very enjoyable book, and certainly different from most other YA horror books. If you’re in the mood for some genuinely creepy horror, I recommend this book. I already ordered the sequel.
FishThatReads More than 1 year ago
The Girl From The Well is a spine-tingling mystery which will keep you lurking with its marvelous, cultural plot. We are introduced by immediately knowing what is it that this spirit does. With this drastic first scene, there is no doubt that youll be like me, absolutely hooked and fully awake. This book had a middle which was less interesting than the rest. The Girl From The Well became a book I didnt feel the need to read more of. Yet, as I read on, my attention was captured once again, and it was definitely worth it in the all rounded, smooth ending. With the style of narration, it was hard to comprehend. the choppy and quick writing of the style of the writing really works well with Okiku's narration, as her existence is really long. But when Okiku narrates Callie or Tark, I tend to confuse it with a narration from the living character, not the dead ghost. Leading to a really confused Dory. My thoughts: "Yeah, I get enough now, its time to move on." I am used to fast-paced thrillers, and the pace of The Girl From The Well was slow, yet steady. The middle part of the novel was the slowest and really sucked, yet the creepiness of the novel lingered through it all. It was so beautiful to see such a culture [Japanese Spirit] in book which we barely speak of, let alone read about. If all of the cultural information is true, then I have learned so much. The details of Rin Chupecos research is shown so well through her book. It was meticulous to every train station and time. Okiku (the ghost) was a strange character who was trapped with what appeared to be an eternity. She was a good spirit even with her brutal forms of punishment. Tark was a young adolescent but was capable of bearing a lot of what happened to him, which is praise on its own. Tark wasn't naive in any way. Callie was a protective, parental figure teacher she is. Callie provided a sweet comfort in the story we couldn't find elsewhere. The Girl From The Well wasn't a horror story to give me nightmare, but it left a spine-tingling essence on the days I read this book, and even a few days after. *shivers*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chancie More than 1 year ago
It had poor writing, in my opinion, with a lot of info dumping, explanations instead of story-telling, and a cliche plot that is basically like most Japanese-based horror movies all rolled into one. It also wasn't scary by any means, and I am terrified of little girls like the main character. Overall, disappointing. I wanted to like it but didn't.
kcody03 More than 1 year ago
Bone chilling new story! The setting for this story was very detailed and complemented the over all tone nicely. The detailed descriptions helped to set the mood and make Okiku seem more real to me. The setting was similar to the grudge and Okiku's agenda eerily similar, but the similarities ended there. My favorite aspect of this book was that it was being told from the ghosts point of view. This made it all the more horrifying, but also gave us some more depth into the antagonist of the story. In ghost stories we rarely get to hear from the side of the monster. This was an intriguing new way to write a ghost story and give it real depth. I really enjoyed getting to see Okiku's point of view. Tark brings even more drama to this vigilante ghost's dark world. It was interesting to see how this normally malevolent ghost dealt with Tark. Her whole undead life revolved around eradicating those with evil intentions and this boy had just such a monster living inside him. To see her try to help him and fight her normal instincts to just kill was intriguing. The storyline was compelling and frightening! I loved getting inside Okiku's head and I'm sure anyone who loves a good chilling tale would not want to miss Okiku's story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just read the book,and it's beautiful.I'm not going to summarize it.It was just great.Don't argue until you read the book
tpolen More than 1 year ago
There's something about horror books that has always appealed to me. I read my first horror novel in third grade and soon after discovered Stephen King, which opened a new world for me. The best YA horror novel I've read in recent years has been Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake and although this book didn't rise to those heights, it was still one of the better horror novels I've read in a while. I dare you to read this novel and not picture Okiku as the creepy, slithery young girl from the movie The Ring. Imagery was not a problem for this author. Some parts of this book were so vivid they will raise the hairs on the back of your neck and make you feel like someone is standing behind you. Although Okiku is a murderer, you can't help but understand why she does it and root for her when she rids the world of another criminal and frees the souls of the victims. I also enjoyed the Japanese folklore woven throughout the book. Some readers have stated the writing style of this book was distracting, but I felt like it added to the story. Okiku is a ghost who kills people, a spirit who hasn't moved on for over three hundred years. Her life doesn't consist of unicorns and rainbows, so the writing wasn't warm and gushy, but instead reflected Okiku's feelings of coldness and isolation. On the other hand, Tark's character wasn't as well-developed and I never felt like I knew him. As he was such a large part of the story, I expected to learn more about him throughout the book, but he remained a mystery for the most part. There were also numerous grammatical errors - singulars, plurals, and tenses - that I hope were corrected in the final printing. Although this book wasn't without some negatives, it was still a cut above most of the YA horror novels I've read and I'd recommend it to any horror fans looking for an eerie, enjoyable read. If you have an overactive imagination, you probably shouldn't read this alone. This review was based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
Patito_de_Hule More than 1 year ago
Summary: Tarquin (Tark) Halloway has been haunted his entire life. With a mentally ill mother and a caring father who works too much, he feels he has no one to talk to about the strange lady that slinks through mirrors and makes Tark do terrible things. But when he meets a roaming spirit, Okiku, they both begin to remember what it is to be human. With the help from Tark's cousin Callie, Okiku and Tark must rid himself of his haunting. My Thoughts: Let me tell you, if I had read this book when I was 14, I would have been sleeping with the lights on for weeks. The spookiness / imagery is reminiscent of Japanese horror films that The Grudge (Ju-On: The Grudge) and The Ring (Ringu) were based on. (Have you seen the originals? Not the American remakes. Watch the real thing. Darn spooky! That's what The Girl From the Well is like.) Same evil-ghost-child-with-long-creepy-hair-staring-at-you-in-crazy-fast-did-that-actually-just-happen-flashes feel to it. Part of Rin Chupeco's spooky genius is her narration style. The story is narrated from the POV of the ghost, Okiku. Often, it reads like a 3rd person omniscient narrative, because Okiku mostly observes rather than acting. I often forgot I was reading a first person POV, and then suddenly Okiku would say something in the first person, and it was like she had just appeared out of nowhere. Like a ghost. Spooky. And then, sometimes Okiku would describe herself in the third person - a description of a ghost as Callie or Tark would have seen. This gave Okiku's character a sense of otherness. She felt inhuman. Ineffable. Overall, I think this was an fantastic book, and I look forward to reading more of Chupeco's works. I miss the old days when ghosts were ghosts and monsters were monsters. I applaud Chupeco's work as one more for the #reclaimhorror team. (Ok, I just made that hashtag up, so technically she's the first on the team. But it's all good.)
Addicted_Readers More than 1 year ago
4 Stars When I first heard of THE GIRL FROM THE WELL I was jumping through hoops trying get a early copy of this book! I loved the premises of this book and it sounded sooo creepy delicious, that I just knew I was going to enjoy it!! And enjoy it I did!!! THE PLOT Okiku came to her demise 300 years ago after being murdered and thrown down a well, where her body has remained. Her spirit has yet to find peace and has been roaming the Streets searching for murders, and hunting them down one by one. All while torturing and bringing forth their worst nightmares... But everything changes in Okiku's existence when a mysterious boy bearing strange tattoos finds his way into her world. Okiku has this unexplainable pull to this strange boy like nothing she's ever experienced in her 300 years of roaming the earth as a spirit. But soon both lives intertwine and find themselves drawn into an eerie world full of murders, exorcisms, doll rituals, vengeful spirits, and other sinisterly creepy paranormal beings, that will change their world forever! This book scared the hell out of me!! And I loved the chills and thrills this book brought with it's dark, gory, vengeful world!! I'm not one to be scared by a good horror novel, but this book sent me hiding under the covers, crawling closer and closer to my husband on more then one occasion!! THIS BOOK IS... Equal parts awesome + Equal parts scary = ONE HELL OF A NOVEL!! Overall, THE GIRL FROM THE WELL was an awesomely creepy, refreshingly dark, twisted world, with vivid elements and disturbing events that will leave you breathless, and scared out of your mind needing more! If any of those are your "thing", then pick THE GIRL FROM THE WELL up now, I'm certain you will not be disappointed! NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Sourcebooks Fire for reviewing purposes! All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
This book scared the crap out of me! In all honesty, I had a hard time falling asleep after reading just a few chapters a night. And that’s what I absolutely loved about this book! I’m a huge fan of those Japanese horror movies such as The Ring and The Grudge, so The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco was exactly the horror read that I would enjoy, right to the end. As per Wikipedia, “The story of Okiku and the Nine Plates is one of the most famous in Japanese folklore, and continues to resonate with audiences today.” The Girl from the Well is a story about a ghost, Okiku, who hunts and kills child killers. Why does she exact this type of revenge? Let’s just say that it has something to do with her past, over three hundred years ago, where she too, was a victim of such a heinous event. For hundreds of years, she would terrorize those who deserved the worse kind of punishment for their crimes against children. It was business as usual, until one day, a new family moves into the neighbourhood. A new family that brings with it an interesting boy covered in tattoos. A boy that has no idea what else he has brought with him. From the very first page, to the very last sentence, I was totally drawn to The Girl from the Well. I’m all for vengeful spirit stories and movies. As I’m sure you can all attest to, reading a scary book can be even more terrifying than watching a scary movie. Your mind can take you to places and see things that directors/producers/special effects/actors cannot do. And because of that, the actions that Okiku does against these sick individuals was magnified a hundred fold in my mind. Even the little descriptions like the way in which the spirit would stutter walk/crawl, or whatever, was even scarier than anything that I’ve seen in the movies. My mind is a scary, scary place. As I said in the beginning, I had a really hard time falling asleep once I got into this book. The visuals in my head were terrifying. There is not one, but two of these chilling spirits in the book, both scary in their own right. I really enjoyed watching the connection and friendship between Okiku and Tark grow. It seemed like a new thing for the both of them. For Okiku because she has been a spirit with no mercy for so long, and not befriending anyone due to her line of work, and for Tark because he has always been bullied, pushed around, and considered down-right weird that no one would befriend him, which totally saddened me. Especially after you find out his past and what he has had to go through at such a young age. I would recommend The Girl from the Well by Rin Cupeco to fans of Japanese horror films as listed at the beginning. If you’re looking for a read that will keep you up at night due to the storyline and the sheer scariness of the book, this one is definitely the one for you.
Books4Tomorrow More than 1 year ago
Before you read my review, read the book summary first if you haven’t done so yet.  Alright. I take it you know what the book is about. Are you as intrigued by the book summary as I was? Those who know a little about me know I’m a huge horror fan. I love horror books and horror movies. According to the book summary, The Girl from the Well is pitched as Dexter meets The Grudge. Dexter is undoubtedly one of my many favorite tv shows, and I have watched both Japanese horror movies, The Grudge and The Ring. I enjoyed both (especially the first The Grudge movie starring Sarah Michelle Gellar).  I have no idea how this book can be compared to Dexter since he isn’t a vengeful spirit, but I see how certain elements in this story are similar to The Grudge. In fact, I think the main thing about this story that pushed all the wrong buttons with me is that too many elements in this book have been “borrowed” from The Grudge, as well as The Ring.  The second thing which made this book tremendously less enjoyable for me is the narrative. It’s in third person, which isn’t so much a problem for me, but for the first forty percent or so, I wasn’t sure who the narrator was. Only later did I figure out it’s from one point of view, and the entire story is being told by a three-hundred-year-old spirit. I only got used to this form of narrative towards the end of the story. It didn’t exactly endear the characters to me, and instead it made it harder for me to connect, or feel anything, for them. I found it implausible that Okiku, the spirit from whose point of view the story is told, would know what Callie is thinking, feeling, or seeing at any given time. She might be a ghost, but she’s not all-knowing.   The third issue I had was the writing. I knew I was reading an ARC copy, so I’m not talking about the grammar or formatting. I’m talking about the way it is written with the jumbled thoughts Okiku has which hampers the flow, the sudden changes between scenes, and the counting. What the heck was up with the counting? I understood why the number nine would set her off on a psychopathic rampage, and I’m also sure it was intended as one of Okiku’s quirks, but eventually it became an annoyance.  The aforementioned were the things that didn’t work for me in this book. What warrants it a three-star rating is that I liked the idea behind the story, even though much was borrowed from the two previously mentioned movies. The ending was also absolutely perfect. The idea of a vengeful spirit becoming...less vengeful, and avenging her death in a somewhat moral manner, is a concept I feel is new and original (maybe that’s the comparison to the tv series, Dexter). Out of all the characters, Okiku was the only one for which I felt sympathy, as well as gratitude when she played hero. I didn’t care about any of the other characters, but this was mainly due to the writing.  I was hoping this book would scare the bejeesus out of me, that’s why I requested it for review. But, alas, it failed to do so. If I hadn’t seen the above two movies several times, The Girl from the Well would’ve had me sleeping with the lights on. The horror scenes and exorcism was written really well. The descriptions of Okiku in her vengeful form, and the other evil spirit inhabiting Tark’s body (the boy with the many strange tattoos), were also done extremely well, even though they are described as looking exactly like the characters in The Grudge and The Ring. Because of that, these two spirits didn’t faze me at all, and the horror element in this book was lost for me. But, if you’re not so much into the horror genre, and you just want a quick read to send chills down your spine, you’ll certainly love this book. There are evil spirits, a lunatic trying to kill her child, freaky dolls, Japanese lore, and an exorcism that will assure you a week’s worth of nightmares. If you’re a hardcore horror fan, though, this wouldn’t be the book I’d recommend for you.