Thursday, December 07, 2023

REVIEW: A Place for Vanishing by Ann Fraistat

A Place for Vanishing
My Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

An eerie and atmospheric gothic horror, complete with haunted house, séances, and ghosts! What more could a girl ask for?

After her bipolar diagnosis and suicide attempt (potential trigger warning), Libby and her family move into her mother's ancestral home attempting a fresh start. At first glance, the house appears to be hella creepy—decades of decay, an overabundance of creepy crawlies, and freaky stained glass windows depicting various insects and other unsettling scenes. Soon enough, Libby uncovers disturbing news about the house's sinister past including masked séances and strange disappearances, and begins to suspect the the answer to unlocking the truth lies in the strange insect masks attached to several of the windows.

"We all wear masks—to hide our imperfections, to make us stronger and braver. But if Libby keeps hers on for too long, she might just lose herself—and everyone she loves."

As you read, you come to realize just how multi-layered the above quote really is. Like the metaphorical masks worn by people like Libby to hide what's they're feeling inside, but also referring to the disturbing insect masks which not only house a spirit of their own, but also endow the wearer with supernatural abilities attributed to that particular insect.

This book was amazing! Hard to put down and kept me on the edge of my seat. I fell in love with the characters—they were so real and yet so broken. Libby's bipolar disorder was treated with respect and compassion, and it really added a whole other dimension to the story, as opposed to just being there for the sake of diversity. The character and world building was phenomenal as well, the tension slowly simmering throughout until everything really came to a boil at the final séance. I'm very much looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.

A Place for Vanishing will be published on January 14, 2024, but you can preorder it at Amazon now.

Many thanks to Random House/Delacorte Press for providing me with a digital advance reader copy for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

#APlaceforVanishing #NetGalley

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