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    EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS

    I am confused. I'm feeling both heartbroken and creeped out at the same time. What a weird combination. And look - this new YA installment is actually my favorite release from this author. Granted, I've only read the first book in the Merciless. But I felt that there's something about The Haunted that reminded me of the horror media that I actually consumed so this book kind of has a special place in my heart. I can't believe it. This book was as campy as R.L. Stine's Fear Street books but The Haunted had also been as violent and gory as American Horror Story: Murder House (a little bit). Sounds interesting? Then keep on reading! The story starts with a cheesy but boring prologue. I know, I didn't even expect to like this book. It wasn't riveting, scary, nor surprising. The scene was used as a shock factor like in the first few minutes of every episode of American Horror Story. Needless to say, I wasn't completely "sucked in" the story. Additionally, writing can be awkward. I remembered reading a scene where the main character felt that she was "flying," however she was actually "sinking." Sometimes though, the writing can be pretty on point. The details of the mc's paranormal experiences and the transitions (page by page or chapter by chapter) just flowed. It was like watching the story unfold in front of me. Writing wasn't choppy and it had been easy to imagine what the author wanted to show. Our main character harboring a secret (seems very Fear Street to me). She was kind of paranoid and hoping no one will learn anything about it. I admit that I could care less about the character. Fortunately, this book's plot driven so it didn't really matter. It did not affect my reading experience in a negative way. In fact, I was more curious how the author was going to end her story. Also, there had been some missed opportunities for other characters to be more involved in the story. I just felt that some characters needed more spotlight. Trigger warnings: blood, self-harm, abuse just to name a few. All in all, I liked the story and the romance (which was what I've been wanting since the beginning) except how it was all wrapped up. I just felt that it could've been handled differently. I understand that the author wanted to write this story but I badly wanted this novel to be more than this... I was just expecting something else entirely.
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