Saturday, March 30, 2019

Mini Audiobook Review: Alone by Cyn Balog

Title: Alone
Author: Cyn Balog
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 277
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When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they're not going back to the city…or Seda's friends and school.

As the days grow shorter, Seda is filled with dread. They’re about to be cut off from the outside world, and she’s not sure she can handle the solitude or the darkness it brings out in her.

Then a group of teens get stranded near the mansion during a blizzard. Seda has no choice but to offer them shelter, even though she knows danger lurks in the dilapidated mansion—and in herself. And as the snow continues to fall, what Seda fears most is about to become her reality…

I've been wanting to read something by Cyn Balog for years, but never had the chance until Alone popped up on my library's Hoopla. I went into this book not knowing much about it, but seriously hoping for a really creepy horror experience, something I feel I don't get nearly enough of in YA.

Seda lives in an old mansion with her mom and siblings. It was never supposed to be a permanent residence, but her mom is seeming less and less like she's actually going to leave. There are entire wings of the house that are burned out and shut off with tarps and her mom refuses to let it go except to a very specific type of buyer. I felt for Seda and her family immediately. It's obvious that all everyone but Seda's mom wants is to go back to their normal lives.

On top of everything else, Seda is dealing with increasingly violent messages from her dead twin brother's voice in her head and doesn't know how to handle them. Seda is a delightfully unreliable narrator and her imaginary friend is extremely unnerving. I didn't love her as a character, but I did love never quite knowing what was real and what wasn't.

Everything goes completely off the rails when a group of stranded teens decides to take shelter through a storm and her mom offers to put on a murder mystery to occupy everyone and it seems like she's way too good at it. I feel like I can't say much about this book without spoiling anything, but it was definitely the horror I've been looking for!

Alone is an extremely fast-paced horror story that has a bit more to it than your standard YA horror book. There were twists and turns that I NEVER saw coming and I'm so excited that Cyn Balog was able to pull it off. I could definitely see this as a horror movie. I definitely recommend this for lovers of YA looking for a great creepy read.