Review: Amity by Micol Ostow

August 29, 2014 2 stars, Book Review, Giveaway 20 ★★

Review: Amity by Micol OstowAmity by Micol Ostow
Published by Egmont USA on August 26, 2014
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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.

Alternating between parallel narratives, Amity is a tense and terrifying tale suggested by true-crime events that will satisfy even the most demanding horror fan.


Picture every single horror cliche, roll it into a ball, and shove it down your throat. That’s that this book felt like for me.

Amity is marketed toward Stephen King AND American Horror Story fans, which is a big mistake in my opinion because it amps up the hype too high that this story can’t be appreciated for what it is. Amity is a story that should be read by either middle grade or really young adult, none of which are really into any of those two categories.

When I read the book, I kept picturing younger people AND I WAS RIGHT! Toward the end they do a quick time jump in the future, but for the most part Connor and Gwen are both around age 12 and the entire story is in their POV.

I did not sign up to be in a 12 year old’s mind.

Two timelines, two voices, but same events

The book is divided into Connor’s POV from 10 years into the past and Gwen’s POV in the future. This is an interesting idea, but with all of the same events happening to them back-to-back it felt so freaking long and boring. Here’s some exaggerated events for you:

– This house is super cheap for some unknown reason! Lets buy it!

– That house is looking at me the wrong way

– Did you feel that? It feels like I swallowed a bucket of blood–because somehow I know what that feels like

– I felt something touch me, but no one is there. That’s eery and completely original

– Oh look! There’s a basement, let’s go in there!

– This bathroom reeks like death, man

– Don’t look into that mirror! Don’t look into that mirror! Damn, she looked into it.

– There’s blood coming out of the faucets–screams–ahhh, we’re obviously going to die from this!

– I’m getting lots of blisters recently. It must be this house.

I couldn’t connect to these characters because there’s nothing about them that stands out. They are complete cardboard cutouts of young kids feeling “possessed” and their constant action and talk are all about the creepy house and nothing more. Nothing to make them realistic. The ideas of the mind deteriorating are always great ideas, but I feel this was short of awesome in execution because there’s only so many repeating of phrases I can take.

Things start to get really repetitive.

Plus I didn’t like Gwen’s POV at all:

“’Have you tried the phone yet?’ she asked.
I sucked in my breath. ‘No.’ I said shortly. ‘Why?’ There would be check-ins, updates with the doctors at some point, but not yet. And I was
(slept like the DEAD!)
fine right now.
Wasn’t I?
I squeezed my hands into tight fists, dug my fingernails into the healthy, unmarked flesh of my palms.
I was fine. I am.” (92)

I’m sorry but this
(I can’t get down with)
especially when there are multiple parts of it throughout the book.
(I can’t get down with)
And it’s sprinkled with the same words.

THERE IS NO CHAPTER THAT IS LONGER THAN 3 OR 4 PAGES!! (Some are just one page, one paragraph, and even one sentence)

It is really hard to set up a scene that way so most of them aren’t even set up. You’re just told some random ass things that happen to each of these people. Is there a world outside of this damn house?! You wouldn’t know except for the two chapters from Connor’s guidance counselor and Gwen’s psychiatrist.

I’m a horror fan so I may be a bit hard to please

Amity clearly had all of the ideas of horror–that you see in movies–but writing horror is different from watching it. I feel like this may have been better in movie form for the full effect. There were just too many cliches and unoriginality that it was a complete miss for me. It should definitely be marketed toward a younger person who gets scared really easily or who is just starting the genre.

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20 Responses to “Review: Amity by Micol Ostow”

    • Kat

      It literally has every single thing, almost like it’s trying to prove something. I do like that there is a lot of similarities between this and the original Amityville Horror story, but there’s nothing new to the table. You can find all of those details on Wikipedia.

      I agree though, I like it when YA can also appeal to people of all ages.
      Kat recently posted…AmityMy Profile

  1. Kirsty-Marie

    – Oh look! There’s a basement, let’s go in there! Haha! Though, in fairness, I’d probably do that. Yeah, the writing was a huge issue for me, so annoying. Really, really, annoying. And exactly, the same events! What’s. The. Point? >:( Disappointed.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: The JewelMy Profile

    • Kat

      You read it too? Did the ending feel flat to you? I feel like it was all rushed at once when they got back to the present.

      That writing just didn’t appeal to me either, I see what the author was going for, but it didn’t work for me at all.
      Kat recently posted…AmityMy Profile

    • Kat

      There’s so many other books to be had. But if you read another review (one that’s good about it) maybe they can persuade you. That happens to me often 🙂
      Kat recently posted…AmityMy Profile

    • Kat

      LOL! There was times where I was rolling my eyes! You never want that in a horror. EVER. There are ways to write in the creepiness without actually having all of that stuff anyway. I’ve seen it done before!
      Kat recently posted…AmityMy Profile

  2. Lori Hopkins

    Well now this just sucks. I have been looking forward to reading this. I have come across a few wishy-washy reviews, but for the most part, they were positive reviews. HMPH! Now I don’t know what to do…btw I am a huge horror fan. Nothing like reading a book that will have you looking over your shoulder, wondering what THAT noise was!

    • Kat

      I would recommend reading some of Burke’s short stories. They give me the creepy crawlies inside. Seriously, some good horror that doesn’t take a while to read. I have loved everything he writes so far.

      If you’re a true horror fan though, I wouldn’t bother. Only because you aren’t missing much. I could be wrong though. Maybe I just like gorier and creepier stuff, so it’s really up to you to find out if it’s worth it.
      Kat recently posted…AmityMy Profile

    • Kat

      Hmm…well like I said above, really just depends on what type of horror you enjoy and what feels you like. I, for one, thought this was boring and blehhh. Even the writing wasn’t all that special. If it was, I probably would have rated higher.
      Kat recently posted…AmityMy Profile