Devil in Ohio by Diara Polatin is a YA horror, thriller story perfect for fans of American Horror Story.
*Trigger Warnings: physical and sexual abuse*
“A strange, damaged girl lives with a family after escaping a cult in this debut YA suspense/thriller that was inspired by true events.
When fifteen-year-old Jules Mathis comes home from school to find a strange girl, her mother explains that Mae is one of her patients at the hospital and will be staying with their family for a few days. But shortly after, Mae is wearing Jules’ clothes, sleeping in her bedroom, edging her out of her position on the school paper, and kissing Jules’s crush. Then things get weird.
Jules walks in on a half-dressed Mae, she’s startled to see a pentagram carved into her back. Soon white roses start turning up on the front porch, a rabid dog bites one of Jules’ sisters, and Jules’ parents, who never fight, start arguing behind closed doors.
Jules pieces clues together and discovers that Mae may be a survivor of the strange cult that has taken over a nearby town. And they will stop at nothing to get Mae back.“
This book was interesting.
Going into this one, I wasn’t expecting it to be as disturbing as it was. Devil in Ohio does surround references of heavy physical and some sexual abuse, so if you are sensitive to either of those topics, this may not be the best book to pick up.
But I have to say that I rather enjoyed reading it. The prologue definitely drew me into the plot line and made me want to know more about what is going on. Because like always, I had forgotten what this book was about before picking it up yesterday.
The story was a fairly quick read. I read this one in three sittings (within a day and a half). I will have to say that I felt myself a little bored with the more contemporary, high-school aspects of this book. Since I am one that draws more to the horror/fantasy worlds, this is expectant for me. The entire book seemed to fit in well between Julie and Mae’s drastically different worlds.
But I have to say that the Mom in this book is a character that just gets on your nerves. The plot twist with her towards the end wasn’t a huge surprise with me. If you are someone who easily notices the plot hints, you may not be as surprised either.
Now, Mae. She was an interesting psych character. There was a huge jump between the beginning and end of this book. Again, the drama that unfolds was a little bit of a give-away while also being a bit surprising. It’s like you know how she may act, but that’s definitely not how you want her to be. The horror part of her character was written pretty nicely as well. This book isn’t ‘horror’ as in don’t-read-this-in-the-dark horror but more of the disturbing horror. If you love books about cults or are fans of American Horror Story, I highly recommend this book!
Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. My only fault with this book was some of the use of the more contemporary forms to the story with the high-school drama. There were those typical YA moments that made the story feel a little bland at some parts. But other than that, this book was disturbingly exhilarating with a new take on friendship.
Published: 7 November 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Young Adult Horror
How I Read It: eARC from Publisher
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All of my book reviews contain my opinion only and are not influenced in any way.*
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