As a teacher of secondary school English, I try to read as much YA fiction as I can. Actually, that’s not quite true… I love to read YA fiction and use my job as justification to read loads of it! Teenagers are a very discerning bunch when it comes to fiction – if they are choosing to read, it’s because they want a great story, and I find that they don’t often put up with slow burns.
The real USP of this novel is the cinematic backstory. There’s a load of film references here and it will really appeal to film fanatics. It’s set around Nolan, a famous film-director, his wife and star of his hit film ‘Nightjar’, Lorelei, and the town of Harrow Lake, where the film was filmed. I found ‘Harrow Lake’ to be cross between ‘Chucky’, ‘Arachnophobia’ and ‘The Wicker Man’ – plenty of creepiness, but at a level of horror that even I could cope with – if it were a film, I’d rate it a 12 rather than an 18. If there is a negative point that I’d make about this novel, it would be that it wants to be all genres of horror (insects, graveyards, monsters and humans) rather than just sticking to one.
I think that ‘Harrow Lake’ will be a really popular read this year. It’s fast-paced, and features interesting characters, fabulous settings, and some great twists.
(Orginally reviewed in August 2020)
- Publisher : Penguin (9 July 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0241397049
- ISBN-13 : 978-0241397046
- Reading age : 12 – 17 years