Thursday, November 3, 2016

Book Review: The Pumpkin House by Chad P. Brown

Title: The Pumpkin House
Author: Chad P. Brown
Publisher: Three Crows Books
Publication Date: March 7, 2013
Genre: Horror
Length: 110 pages
Format: paperback
Source: purchased

Every Halloween, Charles Keenan's farmhouse, dubbed as the Pumpkin House, is the main attraction for at least fifty miles in every direction. Mr. Keenan decorates his front yard with hundreds upon hundreds of jack-o'-lanterns in order to protect the good souls of Smith's Grove from a monster known as Old Notch-foot. 

Ronnie Lancaster volunteers at the Pumpkin House to escape from his own monster at home, his mother's boyfriend Rick. While volunteering, he meets Sarah Bowen, who still carries the haunting memories of a monster from her own past. 

As Halloween night approaches, friendships are formed, secrets are revealed, and the physical abuse Ronnie's mother endures from Rick comes to a head. Now, Ronnie must decide whether the legend of Old Notch-foot is true. 

My Thoughts:
Ronnie Lancaster wants nothing more than to escape his mother's abusive boyfriend, Rick, so he signs up to help out with the local 'Pumpkin House'. Elderly Mr. Keenan is known for carving a pumpkin for every single soul in town each year at Halloween. As the town grows, more and more people come to help the old man with the task. Ronnie is paired up with Sarah, who seems to have her own reasons for being there, and they soon become friends. When Ronnie first learns why Mr. Keenan carves the pumpkins, he doesn't believe him but the story of Old Notch-foot becomes all too real when Ronnie decides to take action on the evil that plagues his own life. 

I only know of this book because of my love for the cover artist, Abigail Larson. She does a lot of dark, macabre artwork that I absolutely adore. I'll admit that the title also really grabs my attention but for the most part, this was a cover buy. I'm always willing to add to my horror shelf though and I'm glad I took the chance. 

I really enjoyed this. The writing wasn't amazing and it was pretty predictable but this was perfect as a Halloween read. I really enjoyed the story of Old Notch-Foot and the idea of carving a pumpkin for every person to save their souls from an evil that no one but Mr. Keenan and his volunteers even seem to know about. 

Because of the dark themes in this book (abuse, rape, murder) I would probably only recommend to mature young readers and older despite that the characters in this book are 12 and 14 years old. It's not exactly scary but with the dark themes and the story itself, it makes for the perfect sort of book to read in October. 

My Rating: 3.75 - 4 stars

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