Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: The Bargaining by Carly Anne West


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….

Publication Date: February 17, 2015

The Bargaining was a much scarier book than I anticipated! Something about ghostly children always gives me the heebie jeebies. There was also a good central mystery that kept me turning the pages in order to find out what had happened to the kids in town who went missing in the North Woods.

Penny was a hard character to like. She eventually grew on me, but it took a really long time. I think her flawed character actually worked well for the horror story. I also liked watching her relationships with her dad, stepmother and stepbrother grow as the story progressed. From the description, I thought she’d have a romance with local boy Miller, but there wasn’t a romantic element in the story.

The story was definitely creepy. There were a few really frightening scenes and I found it crazy how well Penny handled the horrors she found inside the Carver House. I thought the strongest part of the book was during the dreamlike sequences where the missing kids of the North Woods would reach out to Penny for help.

What I didn’t like about The Bargaining was how confusing the story became. The details were too vague and the resolution wasn’t what I hoped for. I don’t mind being left with unanswered questions, but the conclusion was way too open-ended.

Overall, if you’re looking for a YA horror novel for a rainy day, then The Bargaining is a solid choice.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!   


  1. Perhaps it shall become a series? Who knows any more. LOL! As always, awesome review. Thanks for sharing :) WRITE ON!

  2. Sorry to hear that it took a bit to get attached to Penny.