[REVIEW] The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

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Title:
The Women in the Walls
Author: Amy Lukavics
Pub. Date: Septemver 27th, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Rating: ★★★★

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Lucy Acosta’s mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They’re inseparable—a family.

When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she’s ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother’s voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin’s sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.

MY REVIEW

Do the women in your family keep disappearing? It’s probably because you have a psychopath living in the walls.

The Women in the Walls is a disturbing, thrilling piece of work that keeps you entertained. Not only is there a mysterious aspect of why the women are disappearing and people dying, there’s also the horror of how they die and who -or what- is killing them. Lucy struggles with the recent disappearance of her aunt and the grief that seems to be driving her cousin insane. Does she try to talk to Margaret and risk making things worse or does she let her be? Does she question the specifics of the search for her aunt or does she trust her father? Nothing is as it appears to be and Lucy figures that out the hard way, being deceived and tricked more times than is healthy. Mystery, murder, obsession, and mental illness are all infused to create a thrilling, disturbing read bound to give you chills with its cold tone.

CHARACTERS
The detached, unemotional feeling we get from these characters helps the story keep up it’s disturbing, odd aspects. While it does make them seem rather flat and dull, it fleshed out the tone of the story to give you chills just from the images you’re bound to create from the descriptions, even if you find you don’t care about the character being harmed.

Lucy: Near the end, Lucy is complimented over and over again about how strong she is. Don’t get me wrong, she can be, but the majority of the time she was wallowing in grief and self pity, backing down from arguments even if they could’ve saved a life, and she still never changed or grew. She kept making the same mistakes, or saying screw it why does it matter anymore. She has no passion or dimension. Her “mental-illness” is hardly descriptive and explored, as we only get to hit the surface of why she does it and what she thinks about that drives her to it.

Margaret: We don’t have much of her, but from what we read, she is also selfish and rather uncaring. Lucy is the only person she seems to connect with and be nice to. And even then, she grew distant and rude, not that she could help it. She was driven mad by voices in the walls and eventually she couldn’t take it anymore. Her struggle with being alone and not having even Lucy to lean on was intriguing to read about. The deterioration of her mind was a rather quick process, though she did have her moments of clarity.

Felix: Yes, Lucy’s father. He is rather unemotional and selfish. Does he care that Margaret is going off the deep end? No. he just wants to cover it up so there’s no risk of tarnishing his reputation. I find he and Lucy are alike however. They both are selfish and uncaring, believe if they are strong and know what’s right.

WRITING
I will admit that it feels lacking. There’s not much emotion to it. I enjoyed reading this book, especially the ending (that isn’t even really an ending), but even so the slow pace in the first half of the book and the lack of emotional connection made the reading experience itself rather dull. What makes that up for me however, is that this really helps keep the tone creepy and that gives readers a lovely experience with the dark and thrilling aspects of the story.

PLOT
This book makes me feel like I should’ve seen the twists coming, but I really didn’t. I enjoyed the surprises and it definitely helped make my reading experience more enjoyable. It is rather repetitive though, with all the big dinners and Lucy’s search for answers in all the same places.

OVERALL
This is an enjoyable, dark read full of mystery. Murder and deceit are two great combinations.

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