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Review: The Turning

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Turning by Francine Prose
Release Date:September 25, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 256
Buy The Book: Amazon

The Turning

Jack is babysitting for the summer on an isolated island with no Wi-Fi, no cell service, and no one else around but a housekeeper and two very peculiar children. He immediately senses something sinister-and it's not just the creepy black house he's living in. Soon he is feeling terribly isolated and alone, but then he discovers there are others. The problem is, he's the only who can see them. As secrets are revealed and darker truths surface, Jack desperately struggles to maintain a grip on reality. He knows what he sees, and he isn't crazy…Or is he?

Where does reality end and insanity begin? The Turn of the Screw reinvented for modern-day teens, by National Book Award finalist Francine Prose.

I love a good scary read, so that combined with the fact that it is a retelling had me all hyped up! Plus, I totally adore the creepy cover. Eeek! I curled up with this and a hot cup of tea and was in for an interesting night indeed!

First off, the story is told through a series of letters that the main character Jack writes to his father and his girlfriend. I always love when stories are told through letters so I loved that aspect of it, although I wish we'd have seen Jack's hand writing. That would've made it even better! Because these are letters of Jack's time on the island, we get a male point of view which is always refreshing and very welcomed in YA. I really enjoyed seeing things from Jack's eyes and feeling the suspense and curiosity that he must be going through.

The story isn't so much about Jack himself, as it is about past events that have happened on the island and mysterious goings on. I think because of the cover I was expecting a super scary book and had myself all prepared for one. This was more suspenseful and mysterious than anything else. Like a good Alfred Hitchcock film. There were times where I was wondering what was real, if anything, and I had several theories planned out.

I won't give away anything, but the ending left me satisfied but still thinking "wait, what???" I've never read The Turning of the Screw, so I have nothing to compare it with, but this retelling was well written and entertaining!


  1. I haven't read the original story, but the premise sounds scary but awesome! And.. I loooooveeee the cover!!! It's sad to hear that it not completely woed you over though..

  2. oh I am not a big fan of stories that are told in letters, and you are write, a sample of his handwriting would have made it even better!! But I love a scary book and this cover is GORGEOUS so I will check it out!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  3. This book sounds really interesting and I really wanted to read it, but now I don't know. The whole letters thing kinda puts me off a bit. I really love creepy stories so maybe the way it's written wouldn't bother me too much. Great review!!

  4. I really enjoy stories that are told through letters and/or diaries. I like the feel of them. This one sounds like a good book, I'll definitely be putting it on my TBR list.

  5. I haven't read Turn of the Screw and I am not a fan of stories told in letters. But I do love scary stories and I have this on my pile, so I'll give it a try!

    PS Behind on the Voice, but when I catch up I will email you


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