The Bargaining

The Bargaining

by Carly Anne West
4.4 5

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The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

The Shining meets The Conjuring in this scary and suspenseful novel “akin to old Stephen King novels” (School Library Journal).

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…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442441842
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 02/17/2015
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 311,626
Lexile: 940L (what's this?)
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Carly Anne West is a freelance writer with an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. She lives with her husband and son in Seattle, Washington. Visit her at

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The Bargaining 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
COBauer More than 1 year ago
THE BARGAINING is haunting and totally compelling. I was completely engrossed from start to finish. I haven’t read anything like it in quite some time. It was refreshing to read a story that was so completely about a mystery and how that mystery ends up shaping and ultimately redeeming our flawed protagonist.  Word of caution: this book is highly addictive and super creepy. I made the mistake of staying up til about 4 am reading it and let’s just say I didn’t sleep particularly well… ;) Highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book. A good structure for suspense and a like able main character. Highly recommended for those who like to be scared.
DCCM More than 1 year ago
Great book! Very scary :) I really liked the writing, the pacing and the structure. Well-written and a good buy. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! One of the few books that actually scared me. I could see this being a movie. Will definitely read The Murmuring by Carly Anne West and look forward to her writing more.
TeaAndSpooks More than 1 year ago
The Bargaining is Carly Anne West’s second book I believe, (the first being The Murmuring, which I will probably read very soon) and it follows the tragic life of Penny, a child of divorce who has recently loss someone close to her. She suffers from dissociation and hallucinations, and struggles with depression as well. She constantly blames herself for what happened, even though West does not really give us a clear picture of exactly what that event was until near the end of the story. The tension in this book is completely fathomable. It is so thick you could cut it with a knife. The characters are well written, each having a unique personality and a story. When Penny is dragged away for the summer to help her step mother renovate a dilapidated old house, you find out more about the step mom, April, as well. She is actually my favorite character and is really likable, dispelling the ‘evil step mother’ stereotype. Her parents, on the other hand, are both pretty awful. The setting for this is small town Washington in the dense woods of the Pacific Northwest. I actually have family who live in that same environment or area, just south of Seattle. So that was really cool for me to know exactly what the author was describing. It is definitely a creepy setting, so well done, Carly! The personalities in the small town near their summer project are very colorful and spooky. The house itself, located in the middle of the woods, completely isolated from the world, has a certain air about it that makes you heart beat a bit faster, even as a reader. It is actually a place I would love to spend the weekend! I’m a sucker for haunted houses! West is a master of leaving bread crumbs and holding back, so that the twists and turns are huge and hard to see coming. I picked this book up and two hours later I was finished with it. It was so good that I could not put it down! The introduction is captivating and terrifying. You really feel for these characters, especially if the reader has come from a broken home, lost a loved one, been abused, or dealt with mental illness. It really hits close to home for me, as I have lost many people that I love, some of which I blame myself for not being there enough for them (suicide). I also cope with chronic depression, history of suicide attempts and bouts of suicidal thoughts, and severe social anxiety. I guess that is why I relate so much to Penny, and what she has been through. Penny also has a love of photography, and it is one of her coping mechanisms throughout the book. This I can also relate to, as I enjoy photography in my spare time with my Nikon. All of these personal ties really made the book easy to ‘get into’ and I enjoyed it a lot. I will say that the ending left me a bit conflicted and wanting more. I reread the last two chapters over and over, trying to understand them better. I do not know if this is just me being silly or if the author did that on purpose to leave me stumped. In conclusion, if you like ghost stories that have a lot of depth and are extensively creepy, this is the book for you! You can search for the book on amazon to support this lovely author! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a good day!