"I try not to think about it, what I did to that boy." Seventeen-year-old Kenna Marsden has a secret. She's haunted by a violent tragedy she can't explain. Kenna's past has kept people-even her own mother-at a distance for years. Just when she finds a friend who loves her and life begins to improve, she's plunged into a new nightmare: her mom and twin sister are attacked, and the dark powers Kenna has struggled to suppress awaken with a vengeance. On the heels of the assault, Kenna is exiled to a nearby commune, known as Eclipse, to live with a relative she never knew she had. There, she discovers an extraordinary new way of life as she learns who she really is, and the wonders she's capable of. For the first time, she starts to feel like she belongs somewhere; that her terrible secret makes her beautiful and strong, not dangerous. But the longer she stays at Eclipse, the more she senses there is something menacing lurking underneath its idyllic veneer. And she begins to suspect that her new family may have sinister plans for her...
The Killing JarFeatured
The Killing Jar
Creepy, haunting tale of a girl with a deadly power. Her touch literally can kill. I love YA horror stories and this one totally doesn't disappoint!
What worked: This dark and haunting horror story introduces readers to seventeen-year-old Kenna who has a dangerous secret. As a child she ended up killing another child and finds out a horrific secret that her own mother hid from her. I really felt for Kenna and the cruel twist of fate that had been dealt to her.
Kenna's struggles to make sense of her so-called ability and not kill again really resonate in the beginning of this novel. Her own mother holds her at arm's length and warns her not to succumb to her ability. Kenna's struggles really hit too close to home when she has to hold back from the cute boy she likes. Just her touch could kill him.
The commune Eclipse has a surreal, almost Manson-type of feel only with people that don't age. That includes her age-less grandmother Rebecca. There is something almost too good to be true going on in Eclipse. Within the commune is a group of people that draw life force from things, including people, that are around them. These scenes inside Eclipse are at times hypnotic as we watch Kenna surrender to emotions and desires she's held back. That also includes desires she has to a cute guy with his own secrets.
A huge plus though of this novel has to be the love of sisters. Kenna will do just about anything to save her sickly twin sister even to the point of killing. The love and devotion is strong.
Though fast-moving, I had lots of questions on what exactly was going on in Eclipse. Kenna continues to ask Rebecca and I wanted to scream along with her when nothing was revealed. There was almost too much left unsaid until the climax of the story in which Kenna literally falls into the secret. That reveal had me gasping out loud. Even though I kind of knew it would involve this, it still caught me off guard.
Dark, haunting tale of a commune with deadly paranormal abilities that will take readers on a hypnotic trip. Mostly though this is a story about the power of love and choices.
2. Surrealism meets reality