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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

The Grip of It | Review


Rating - ⭐⭐1/2


"Julie and James settle into a house in a small town outside the city where they met. The move—prompted by James’s penchant for gambling, his inability to keep his impulses in check—is quick and seamless; both Julie and James are happy to leave behind their usual haunts and start afresh. But this house, which sits between ocean and forest, has plans for the unsuspecting couple.


As Julie and James try to settle into their home and their relationship, the house and its surrounding terrain become the locus of increasingly strange happenings. The architecture—claustrophobic, riddled with hidden rooms within rooms—becomes unrecognizable, decaying before their eyes. Stains are animated on the wall—contracting, expanding—and map themselves onto Julie’s body in the form of bruises; mold spores taint the water that James pours from the sink.


Together the couple embark on a panicked search for the source of their mutual torment, a journey that mires them in the history of their peculiar neighbors and the mysterious residents who lived in the house before Julia and James."


 

The Grip of It is a standalone horror novel by Jac Jemc.


This book doesn't have the best rating, so I went into this with the possibility that I could end up DNFing it. I didn't though, as I managed to speed my way through it in one sitting as I wanted to see how the story ended.


Let's get into the details.


 

WRITING


This book was rather unremarkable, and I had a lot of issues with the way it was written. The writing felt distant and the perspectives changed without saying who you were following, so it would take a bit to figure out who's POV it was. The chapters were also very short so the POVs kept changing rapidly.


One huge issue I had with the writing, and the story, was that there wasn't enough continuity. When a new chapter started, it would start with something else happening instead of continuing on where the last one left off. So the story was a bit of a chaotic mess that was hard to follow.



PLOT


I knew that I was in for a bit of a rough ride when, right off the bat, I knew that a portion of this book was going to be about Julie and James ignoring the signs that something wasn't quite right. That is always the worst part of any horror book or movie, the denial.


Once we moved past that though, it didn't get any better. At one point I had no idea what was even going on anymore because it was so chaotic. I get that this book was supposed to depict Julie and James' deteriorating mental states, but the way it was written was a bit of a mess.


After finishing reading, I wasn't satisfied at all because I realized that I was not given any answers. You usually get some kind of answer or reveal at the end of a horror book, but we didn't really get one here. The story just stopped in its place which was a bit infuriating.



CHARACTERS


I felt that Julie and James as characters were lacking. Or, maybe not lacking per se, but I just didn't care about them at all. That is always an issue about horror for me. I want to root for the characters, I don't want to not care about whether or not they die.



CONCLUDING THOUGHTS


In all honesty, the most exciting thing about this book was the fact that it mentioned cheese curds...


I think maybe listening to this on audio may have made the story more interesting and given it more atmosphere, but I don't know if that would have actually made me like the story more.

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