The Abandoned House Review

This photo was kindly provided by the author to use for this post.

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing The Abandoned House by Karen Hollis. Before I get into the review, I’d like to say a massive thank you to her for kindly sending me a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: ✯✯✯✯

The Abandoned House follows the protagonist, Rebecca, who visits an abandoned house with her photographer friend Max, who is doing a photography competition. During several visits to the house, Rebecca has some strange encounters with a ghost which only she can see. Will she get to the bottom of the mystery, or will it be too late?

This was a really quick and great read, and once I started, I couldn’t put it down. I read the whole thing in just over an hour, whizzing through the pages to find out what happened next! I have to admit that the ending, although dark, was immensely satisfying and I really loved the way Karen resolved the story. It was nice seeing the character’s find out the truth about what really happened and the horrors that had went had happened in the house.

Throughout the novella, there were lots of flashbacks to Rebecca’s dancing and ballet, which I found really fun to read. I’ve never been much of a dancer but I’ve always held great respect for them and I really enjoyed reading the beginnings of Rebecca’s career – which was, unfortunately, cut short when she was still very young.

I also really enjoyed Elizabeth’s (the ghost’s) story. Karen included two different stories – Rebecca’s and Elizabeth’s – and, although I enjoyed them both, I think I’d have to say I preferred Elizabeth. What she went through was truly horrific and I needed to know what happened next. The novella, although short, was incredibly dark (a list of triggers can be found at the end of this review) and I really enjoyed it.

Of course, parts of Rebecca’s story balanced this darkness out, particularly the parts exploring her relationship with Max. I really liked Max’s character too – he was very likeable and clearly cared about Rebecca a lot. Their dates were really cute and provided some relief to the darker parts, as well as adding another dimension to the book.

I also really liked the references to covid and the pandemic. I feel like this is quite a small thing to pick up on but I don’t think I’ve actually read any other books that have mentioned the pandemic, even in passing. There were only a few references but I still found it really interesting!

However, despite all of that there was just something missing for me. As much as I liked Rebecca and Max together I would’ve liked to see more of them at the abandoned house and more spooky moments there. Having said that, it did provide some contemporary aspects, so I wouldn’t let this put you off!

Overall, I would recommend The Abandoned House to anyone looking for a quick entertaining mystery. I would also recommend it to anyone with a taste for the paranormal, as that was a major theme in this book.

However, please be mindful that this book has a lot of trigger warnings: sexual assault, alcoholism, rape (not graphic), drugs/alcohol abuse, death and death of a child.

I hope you enjoyed this review!

Ceri

55 thoughts on “The Abandoned House Review

  1. This sounds like an intriguing read but one that may have benefitted from being a full length book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It truly was! It definitely could’ve, I would’ve liked to see more of the house itself and the ghost and a longer book would’ve provided that. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  2. This book sounds like a good, short read! I’ve never heard of this author before but it’s great that she was able to give depth and dimension to her characters in such a short time.

    Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed your review!

    Loren | Plaid and Sugar

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely is! I hadn’t until she reached out either, but I’d definitely recommend checking out her work. It truly was, she definitely and talent! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.

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    1. Thank you so much! It definitely is, it’s becoming an important part of history and I like that books are starting to reflect that. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

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  3. I’m much too much of a wuss to read anything remotely scary! But I think the dancing flashbacks would help me to stay grounded with this book. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely get that haha, it’s not for everyone! I really enjoyed the dancing flashbacks, they provided a further sense of direction and were really interesting. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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    1. I’m so glad to hear that! I love a good scary book too, and it’s always nice to have a quick read, especially if you’ve stuck in a bit of a reading slump. No worries, I always try and include major ones! Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It sounds interesting but I’m a wimp when it comes to horror stories and ghosts, so it’s probably not one I’d listen too. Saying that I’m happy to read about murder, etc LOL! I’ve finally started A Good Girls Guide To Murder recommended by you a few weeks back and I’m enjoying that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely is – but ghost stories certainly aren’t for everyone! I love a good murder mystery too haha. I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying it, it’s one of my favourites so it’s always lovely to hear other people like it too! Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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  5. Can’t leave the fact that Rebecca and Max are the names from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier book haha.This one sounds quite interesting, thanks for sharing it with us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really appreciate the graphic warning as I don’t enjoy reading violence of certain nature. Your review was awesome I really enjoyed reading it! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ll admit that I’m definitely not one for spooky stories and this one sounds a little too frightening for my taste. But I like the concept of it a lot and it’s neat that there are several perspectives to learn from throughout. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely isn’t for everyone so I don’t blame you giving it a miss! The concept was definitely really interesting, and I loved the two different POVS, particularly with the difference in time too. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  8. Ooo, this sounds like a good read, right up street as its paranormal related! Anything horror/crime/mystery always intrigues me. I also like the little touch of covid being in it, I’ve not read or watching anything with that referenced. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on The Abandoned House.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely is, I really enjoyed it! I love that genre too, it’s quickly become a favourite of mine and The Abandoned House was great. So did I, little things like that can make it that much more relatable! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.

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