Review: Amity by Micol Ostow

Amity by Micol Ostow

For fans of Stephen King and American Horror Story, a gruesome thriller suggested by the events of the Amityville Horror.

Connor’s family moves to Amity to escape shady business deals. Ten years later, Gwen’s family moves to Amity for a fresh start after she’s recovered from a psychotic break.

But something is not right about this secluded house. Connor’s nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons and destruction. Dreams he kind of likes. Gwen has lurid visions of corpses that aren’t there and bleeding blisters that disappear in the blink of an eye. She knows Amity is evil and she must get her family out, but who would ever believe her?

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 bloody end as she’s done before. As she’ll do again.

Title: Amity
Author: Micol Ostow
Source: ARC from Edwelweiss
Publication date: August 26, 2014

I received Amity from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I haven’t read too many horror books, and especially not YA horror. It’s not a popular genre, I guess, so it’s not as easy to find and you don’t hear about it as much as others, like dystopians and contemporaries. I try not to read only what’s popular, but there’s only so much time to read and I hear about all these books and I want to read them because they do sound good. So sometimes the less popular ones get overlooked, not because they’re not good, but because they’re not as accessible. I can’t read what I don’t know about and unless I seek them out, I’m less likely to discover them.

Unfortunately, Amity isn’t as good as I hoped. Its major problem is that it’s supposed to be a horror book and it’s just not scary. Granted, I don’t scare easily. Remember when The Ring came out and everyone thought it was so scary? I saw it a year or so later (because I don’t go to movies; I rent them or watch them on cable) and I didn’t think it was scary at all. The same thing happened with Paranormal Activity. “It was the scariest movie I’ve ever seen!” Uh, no.

In addition to being the title of the book, Amity is also the name of a house. Seventeen year old Connor and his family moved into Amity ten years ago. Gwen moved into Amity with her family a month ago. That’s another problem I had with Amity, the book. There are two families, each with multiple children, and it’s hard to keep track of them all. Which kid goes with which family? I don’t think I ever did get them straight, and it was especially hard when I realized I wasn’t enjoying the book the way I expected to and my mind started to wander.

Connor and Gwen, though, are the main characters. Two teenagers, ten years apart, both experience strange things in their new home immediately upon moving in. It has all the hallmarks of a scary read, but I think it would work better as a movie than a book. The writing seems choppy and disjointed to me. I’m not sure that wasn’t the author’s intention, but it makes it harder to follow along. What happens, exactly, to each of them, is a little confusing. It’s also difficult to tell how much time is passing. Although neither family lasted more than a month there, it felt like it should have been a lot longer. There are times when something seems to be building up and then…nothing happens. The ending is rushed and doesn’t feel complete.

In the end, I like the idea of Amity more than the result. It just doesn’t live up to my expectations. I’m not giving up on YA horror yet, but I’m hoping the genre has more to offer than this.




  1. Yep, I did like how the house felt like a character, but this one failed for me as well.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina JeffriesMy Profile

  2. It sounded like it had a lot of potential but sadly didn’t deliver. I haven’t read much horror either but I’d like to. And unlike you I scare easy!
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…The Sunday Post : Get your Bookish NewsMy Profile

  3. It seems that quite a few people agree with you about this one. I have only found a handful of reviews that liked Amity. It kind of sounds like a big old confusing mess. I am iffy with horror to begin with, and if it is just confusing and pointless, I am probably going to pass. Thanks for the great review!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…ARC Review: The Wanted by Lauren Nicolle TaylorMy Profile


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