What rating would you give it?
2.5 of 5 Stars
Give us a summary.
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.
“The Grownup,” originally appeared as “What Do You Do?” in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology.
What did you think of the book?
Okay. So I had high hopes for this one. Really, I did.
I found it rather oddly at my local library, stuck in-between two ENORMOUS books that just caused this tiny, itty-bitty thing of a book to stand out even more prominently on the bottom shelf of that aisle.
I opened the cover. Read the description. Turned it over and found these onimous words printed IN HUGE, BOLD LETTERS:
“YOU LIKE GHOST STORIES?”
and I was hooked.
Sat down in the library. Finished reading it in a single sitting.
And was THOROUGHLY DISAPPOINTED AFTER BEING ENTERTAINED AND ENTHRALLED FOR NEARLY 50 PAGES OF SUSPENSE AND WONDERING.
When I started, I honest to goodness enjoyed this story. I really, REALLY did.
Then from, like, page 47 or so it all started to go to hell and the whole damned thing just fell apart. I honestly have no idea why the author decided – of all things – to give us such a crap-shoot ending to such a promising short story! In fact, it’s because of the way the story ended that I can’t possibly say I enjoyed reading this. I felt cheated and used.
…which I guess might have been the feeling the author was going for, considering the main character’s lifelong profession and occupation (and even the way in which the story, itself, ended). It’s just… I don’t think you’d want YOUR READERS feeling like they’ve been duped because it probably won’t do well in endearing them to you so they’ll come back to read more of your books. (*accent* You know what I’m sayin’, sweetheart?)
The pacing was good, and the writing itself was very good. Simple. To the point. The voice of each character was superb. That first line definitely got me from the start. If nothing else I kept turning to the next page simply because I kept uttering, “What? …..WHAT?” under my breathe with each turn.
But ultimately… I feel like I was click-baited IRL. That’s NOT a good feeling AT ALL, so no way is this book getting my recommendation — UNLESS, that’s the sort of feeling you’re going for. Or you wanna give this book to someone as a prank. Then by all means.
Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?
I think the biggest one (and the one that threw me because it was so unexpected) were the copious recounts of sexual situations enacted by the MC.
There were also some implications of “bad family life” going on, ghost stories, hauntings, and mentions of grisly murder.
Does it count towards any reading challenges?
Would you recommend this book?
As mentioned before, I – personally – wouldn’t. Maybe only as a prank or something.
Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)
Publication Date: Nov 2015
Genre & Themes: Fiction,
Short Stories, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Borrowed from local Library
Challenge: 2019 GoodReads Reading Challenge,