Carrie meets American Horror Story meets The Shining in this terrifying YA horror novel from the author of Tweak and Schizo.
Something’s not right in Beach Haven.
Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror.
After her alcoholic mother’s death, Jen’s father cracked. He dragged Jen to a dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to start their new lives—but Jen can tell that the place has an unhappy history. She can feel it the same way she can feel her anger flowing out of her, affecting the world in strange ways she can’t explain.
But Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Visions of a strange boy who lived in the house long ago follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had.
Sheff (Schizo) uses Gothic trappings to explore the many forms that addiction can take. Strange things start happening soon after Jen Noonan and her father move into Harmony House on the New Jersey shore as winter caretakers. They are both grieving the death of Jen's alcoholic mother, yet her already religious father seems to be descending into dangerous zealotry. Soon Jen starts hearing voices, and the spooky old house isn't helping her mood, but she has met some new friends and hopes to settle in. It's not to be. As her father becomes increasingly consumed by religious fervor, Jen has visions of the home's evil past and copes by taking pills. Although entertaining, Sheff's story is rushed (especially the violent conclusion), with scares served up as if following a horror blueprint. Jen's burgeoning "powers" aren't explored much, and Colin, the nice local boy she meets, manifests at highly convenient times, such as to save her from a violent teen's attack. Even so, the book's chills might appeal to those looking for a quick, eerie read. Ages 14 up.