Author: Jane Kelley
Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery, Paranormal
Originally Published: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Retail Price: $16.99 USD
Page Count: 188
The house on Hemlock Road used to be someone’s home. Until something happened. Something that even after 80 years, can never be forgotten or forgiven . . . .
Eleven-year-old twins Hannah and Anna agree about everything—especially that they don’t want to move to the creepy old house on Hemlock Road.
But as soon as they move into the house, the twins start disagreeing for the first time in their lives. In fact, it’s almost as though something or someone is trying to drive them apart.
While Anna settles in, Hannah can’t ignore the strange things that keep happening on Hemlock Road. Why does she sense things that no one else in the family does? Like when the hemlock branch outside waves shush, shush. And at night, if she listens hard enough, it’s almost as though someone is trying to talk to her. Someone no one else can hear. Someone angry enough to want revenge. Hannah, are you listening?
Is the house haunted? Is Hannah crazy? Or does something in the house want her as a best friend—forever? (Goodreads)
What I Liked:
The main character, Hannah, is a sweet, misunderstood character. I feel really bad for her because of how her family treats her from basically the start. She’s treated so badly by her parents at the very beginning of the book when they don’t care about moving the twins. She’s such a sweet girl that’s just thought as crazy.
The scare and mystery was on point. It felt so good to relive the mystery because I remembered nothing. The way the author built up the story and slowly pieced together who the narrator was, was brilliant. We slowly learn the real story. Why? Because we had an unreliable narrartor. I haven’t read many books that had one, but I actually enjoyed it. Yes it was kind of annoying but it made the story work the way it was supposed to.
I liked that there was character development in literally everyone. Sadly, it takes a long time. Misunderstanding characters become understanding, Disbelieving believe. But none of it was major.
I actually liked Mildred. Maybe you will too even though she did what she did.
What I Didn’t Like:
I disliked Hannah’s family for basically the whole movie. They were all so rude to Hannah when she needed them the most, especially Anna. How could a twin who has been close to her sister her whole life, leave her when she seemed so desperate? Then there is also Selena, yes she pulls off her position well as the older sister, but she uses the meanness too much. She totally disrespects her little sisters for almost no reason, when she should be there for them too. Lastly, the parents. They shun one of their daughters without even trying to help her themselves. And they don’t listen. How could they not consider two out of three of their daughter’s feelings? It’s really messed up the type of “family” they are for most of the book.
If you have not read this book, do not continue. Spoilers ahead.
I didn’t always like the narrator. She was unreliable, and selfish. Yes, she’s been by herself for 80 years, but did she not notice she’s be doing what “her sister did” to Hannah if she let her drown. Ruth knew she couldn’t save Hannah if she drown. Ruth didn’t know that Anna would be able to hear and understand her when she told her Hannah was drowning. It was such a stupid decision of her to want a friend so badly because of what happened to her. At least she noticed it was a bad idea.
I also hated Emily. How dare she come into someone else’s home and claim their child needs help and that’s she’s crazy.