Today I am going to be giving you a spoiler-free review of Jo Kaplan’s upcoming new release (publication date: August 11th 2020) of It Will Just Be Us. I received an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from NetGalley and was also given the opportunity to interview the author herself! You can check out that Q&A here. If you are interested in pre-ordering a copy, please click here. Without further ado, let’s get into this review!
Sam Wakefield’s ancestral home is a decaying mansion built on the edge of an overgrown swamp. Built by her mad ancestors, Sam has possessed a unique gift since she was a little girl. She can witness echoes of the past and the ghosts of those that came before her. When her pregnant sister Elizabeth, moves in with her and her mother, Sam begins to see a faceless-boy whom she suspects is a symbolic prophecy of her unborn nephew. She is further disturbed when he starts to commit extremely disturbing acts and taunts her throughout the labyrinthine hallways of the mansion. As Elizabeth’s due date approaches, Sam is determined to prevent an innocent baby from evolving into the evil child he is destined to become. Moreover, the boy appears to be connected to a room within the mansion that has always been locked. What will Sam find once the door finally opens and will she be able to save her family from their dark destiny?
Sam Wakefield is our protagonist and it is through her eyes that we gain insight into not only her life in the present, but also the ghosts of the past. She is an archaeology teacher with a reputation for being quite odd. Throughout the novel, we learn about her tumultuous relationship with her sister Elizabeth and her brother-in-law Donovan. Sam feels incredibly connected to her home, the Wakefield history and her ancestors; having witnessed their memories and presence throughout the mansion. She lives with her alcoholic, negligent mother and strong-willed sister, after Elizabeth decides to leave her husband and move in quite late into her pregnancy. The characters in both past and present are equally important to the story itself; intertwining and creating meaning as the reader gets deeper into the story. It is a little bit difficult to trust Sam as the narrator purely due to her inability to discern reality from memory, but I felt she was the most developed and interesting character within the book.
THE WRITING STYLE
The writing style was incredibly strong, beautiful and poetic. It was almost dreamlike but also unsettling as I found myself rather disturbed by certain moments. In my opinion, this is exactly what I desire from a horror novel. I want to be moved but I also want to be scared. The author was able to evoke emotion and fear quite seamlessly. I also felt she painted such a vivid picture with her descriptions. I was utterly absorbed in the novel to the point where I felt like I was getting lost in the hallways of the decrepit mansion. As a huge fan of the horror genre, I couldn’t recommend this story enough. It was hauntingly magnificent…
I gave this an easy 5/5 stars!
I hope you enjoyed this honest, spoiler-free review. Feel free to order a copy for yourself from the link above.
Thank you for reading
Peace & Love xoxo
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