Review: AmityAmity by Micol Ostow
Released by EgmontUSA on 1 January 2014
Genres: Horror
Pages: 368
Format: Ebook
Source: Received, Edelweiss

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When Connor's family moves to Amity, a secluded house on the peaceful banks of New England's Concord River, his nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons. destruction, and revenge. Dreams he kind of likes. Dreams he could make real, with Amity's help.

Ten years later, Gwen's family moves to Amity for a fresh start. Instead, she's haunted by lurid visions, disturbing voices, and questions about her own sanity. But with her history, who would ever believe her? And what could be done if they did?

Because Amity isn't just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a violent end as she's done before. As she'll do again. And again. And again.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This has not changed my opinion on the book in any way!

Before reading this book, I used to think about the faction from Divergent – when I heard the word Amity. The peaceful, kind, farming faction. Now, I think of this house. This awful haunted, poisoned house. Amity is about two families – the Webb’s, with Connor, Julie, Abel and their parents, and the Holt’s, with Gwen, Luke, their parents and dog Murray. The story is told through a dual POV (Connor and Gwen), as they endure the horror that Amity throws at them.

I had expected to be so spooked after reading this story, so spooked I had to sleep with the lights on, or wouldn’t sleep at all until it got light out again. But to be honest, I thought it was rather boring. I guess that’s just because it’s a book – if it had been a movie, I would have been freaking out from the first moment already. I just don’t think reading horror books will keep me up at night anymore. Still, this book was rather interesting.

Maybe you’ve figured it out already from the title, but this book was based on the Amityville Horror story, and to be honest I thought this book was actually about it, not just based off it. That was the main reason I decided to get this book from Edelweiss, because I wanted to read about the Amityville Horror. I don’t know how that actually went, so I can’t comment on whether Amity was a good based-off book. I personally just thought it lacked something… Scary.

First of all, the dual POV was rather annoying, though I get that the author wanted the story told from two different people. And it would kind of have given away a lot if the first half of the book was through Connor’s eyes, and the second half through Gwen’s. But yeah, I don’t know – I am not a fan of dual POV’s in general. Also maybe because I just didn’t like the characters. I started disliking Connor quite early on in the story, and I didn’t particularly care much about Gwen either. The writing wasn’t super special either, and to be honest it was a bit annoying at some points that sometimes it would be written like this:

Recalling the ominous shotgun sound of the
boathouse doors our first night at Amity
(she was shot in the head)
I was happy to oblige.

Like a sentence between brackets in between a sentence, this happened a lot, and after three or four times it got a bit annoying. It kind of reminded me of Tahereh Mafi’s writing, but I don’t know – while I liked it with Mafi’s books, I just didn’t like it in this book. (Not to mention there was a big ‘you’re/your’ mistake in this book, that just made me facepalm for a full minute before I could continue reading. Perhaps it got edited out before the book got published, but yeah I got an uncorrected proof so ughhhhhhhh).

No, I did not like Amity as much as I hoped I would, but it was enjoyable. I will certainly look up more stuff about the actual Amityville Horror story that this book was based on, and I will read that! If you love a nice horror story that isn’t too scary, you should try out Amity. If you’re looking for a Stephen King / American Horror Story worthy story, you should probably just read Stephen King books and watch AHS; because this isn’t as good as those, imo!

My opinion in one gif: