Review: The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

22456909The Bargaining
By: Carly Anne West
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: Feb 17, 2015
Genre: YA Horror

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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….


1thoughtsPenny got into a lot of trouble resulting in her mother passing the parenting reigns off to Penny’s father. She finds herself with a family she barely knows, in a new town, starting a new life. Except she can’t get over her past. It still haunts her… literally. If that isn’t bad enough, Penny’s step-mother purchases a house in the boondocks with the hopes of flipping it and turning it into an adorable bed and breakfast. However, Penny soon finds out that her past isn’t the only thing that can cause nightmares.

I was really excited to read this story. It sounded like a good ol’ ghost story set in the woods. It started off really good with the locals acting weird anytime Penny or her step-mom brought up what house they bought. That’s when the people went from friendly to rude in 2 seconds flat. Penny also starts to notice something is odd with the boy who’s painted into the mural on the wall of the house. You started to learn right away that something was up with that house.

“I shift my focus to the boy in the mural and am horrified to find him staring wide-eyed at the same window.”

However, this story didn’t work for me. I wasn’t a huge fan of Penny. Not only of her attitude itself but she did things that made no sense. Like for instance, if you think you are being visited by a ghost, why oh why would you run into the woods – the remote woods around your house – if you think you hear a little girl out there. Just some of the things she did just baffled me. You know, considering she was being visited by the boy who’s face was painted into a mural on the wall in one of the rooms. I was also confused about what was really going on and nothing really got answered in the end.

I liked the sound of this book and maybe it was just me who had a rough time getting into it. There were parts that were pretty creepy though, which was what I was looking for. All in all, it was an okay read. I didn’t like the fact that after reading it, I still have no idea what was really going on. The only one that saw the ghosts was Penny. However, I thought the ending would result in her step-mom getting on board, but even still it seemed like it was just crazy Penny running out into the woods again, rolling around in the mud, screaming like a banshee. I just wish the author clued us in along the way with what was going on or had a big revealing in the end. However, I finished the book feeling confused.


1favequote“If I could erase it all, I would. But here’s the thing about ‘would.’ It’s the most useless word in the entire dictionary.”


One Thought on “Review: The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

  1. Aw, pity it sucked a bit…I LOVE horror, but yeah, Penny sounds like she was making some incredibly stupid decisions. Gah. Why on earth would you run into creepy woods if you thought something bad was happening??
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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