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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

The September House | Review

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐1/2

"When Margaret and her husband Hal bought the large Victorian house on Hawthorn Street—for sale at a surprisingly reasonable price—they couldn’t believe they finally had a home of their own. Then they discovered the hauntings. Every September, the walls drip blood. The ghosts of former inhabitants appear, and all of them are terrified of something that lurks in the basement. Most people would flee.

Margaret is not most people.

Margaret is staying. It’s her house. But after four years Hal can’t take it anymore, and he leaves abruptly. Now, he’s not returning calls, and their daughter Katherine—who knows nothing about the hauntings—arrives, intent on looking for her missing father. To make things worse, September has just begun, and with every attempt Margaret and Katherine make at finding Hal, the hauntings grow more harrowing, because there are some secrets the house needs to keep."


The September House is a standalone horror novel by Carissa Orlando.

A Goodreads nominee for best horror, I had mixed feelings going into this. Not that the Goodreads Choice Awards is ever entirely accurate, but I kept seeing that people either liked this book or were disappointed by it. I ended up somewhere in the middle with this one.

Here's the thing, I love the idea of a haunted house, but it rarely ends up translating very well in text for me. Whether it be because the story fell flat or it pulled a scooby-doo on me, it just doesn't live up to my expectations. This didn't end up being bad but only scored a bit higher than 'meh'. Margaret's very nonchalant attitude towards the fact that her house is haunted and the walls were literally bleeding ended up throwing me off, since I would have been out of there rather than stick around and just deal with it. If it was just that, actually, maybe I would end up staying, but the creepy man in the basement would be enough to send me packing.

Seeing as her attitude did not change throughout the entirety of the book, it did hinder my reading experience and caused a bit of a lack of interest in the story. Katherine and her character did not help as well and only added fuel to the frustration. It didn't get much better as the story slowly got revealed, and the climax was a bit anticlimactic wasn't bad. Not great, but not the worst which is why I gave it my 'okay' rating.

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