Title: The Girl From the Well
Author: Rin Chupeco
You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.
A dead girl walks the streets.
She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.
And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.
Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just killto get out.
The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.
“I am where dead children go.”
Okiku isn’t like other girls. She hunts murderers: specifically, child killers. She stalks them, terrifies them, and kills them. Oh, yeah. And she’s also a 300 year old dead girl.
Ever since her own horrific death, Okiku has been haunting men like the one who killed her all those years ago. And she’s never really thought of much else outside of her mission. That is, until she meets Tark – a strange boy with tattoos with an even stranger back story. And even stranger yet: she isn’t the only spirit following him around. He is being haunted by something even more malevolent.
As she decides to help him and starts immersing herself in his world, both she and Tark are drawn down a dark and twisted path, finding themselves in the midst of eerie doll rituals and exorcisms all the way in Japan. And as they learn more about Tark’s haunting, they also learn more about his mother and her past. It seems that there’s secrets haunting their family, too.
“It is not in my nature to be interested in the living.But there are many things, I have found, that defy nature.”
The first thing you need to know about me is that I am a huge, ginormous baby about all things scary. The second thing you need to know about me is that when I was 11 years old I went to a slumber party and watched my very first scary movie – The Ring. And the third thing you need to know about me is that after watching that movie, I didn’t sleep for weeks, had to have my TV covered with a sheet when I went to sleep, and refused to answer the phone because some girl might be on the other end saying YOU WILL DIE IN 7 DAYS. (Big. Baby.)
When I first picked up The Girl from the Well, I was already shaking in my boots by the end of the first chapter. And when I started seeing definite parallels to that movie, I was even more terrified. I don’t know if it’s just me, but this is the scariest book I have ever read. I had to take a LOT of breaks so that I’d be able to sleep at night, so I read it slower than the rest of the book group. But I must be a glutton for punishment, because I finished it.
And I am so happy I did! As much as I hate being scared, this writing, and this story, was so hauntingly brilliant. Rin Chupeco has done it again – not that I’m surprised. Honestly, this lady could write the ABCs on a piece of paper and I’d probably buy it. I grew to love Okiku, and loved watching her transform to a vengeful spirit to…a vengeful spirit with something of a conscience and a protective streak. I hope you love this book as much as I did!
“I am beginning to understand that there are better things than retribution.”