website statistics The Children on the Hill - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

The Children on the Hill

Availability: Ready to download

A genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, which brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us. 1978: at her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when s A genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, which brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us. 1978: at her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when she's home with her cherished grandchildren, Vi and Eric, she’s just Gran—teaching them how to take care of their pets, preparing them home-cooked meals, providing them with care and attention and love. Then one day Gran brings home a child to stay with the family. Iris—silent, hollow-eyed, skittish, and feral—does not behave like a normal girl. Still, Violet is thrilled to have a new playmate. She and Eric invite Iris to join their Monster Club, where they catalogue all kinds of monsters and dream up ways to defeat them. Before long, Iris begins to come out of her shell. She and Vi and Eric do everything together: ride their bicycles, go to the drive-in, meet at their clubhouse in secret to hunt monsters. Because, as Vi explains, monsters are everywhere. 2019: Lizzy Shelley, the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us, is traveling to Vermont, where a young girl has been abducted, and a monster sighting has the town in an uproar. She’s determined to hunt it down, because Lizzy knows better than anyone that monsters are real—and one of them is her very own sister. The Children on the Hill takes us on a breathless journey to face the primal fears that lurk within us all.


Compare

A genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, which brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us. 1978: at her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when s A genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, which brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us. 1978: at her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when she's home with her cherished grandchildren, Vi and Eric, she’s just Gran—teaching them how to take care of their pets, preparing them home-cooked meals, providing them with care and attention and love. Then one day Gran brings home a child to stay with the family. Iris—silent, hollow-eyed, skittish, and feral—does not behave like a normal girl. Still, Violet is thrilled to have a new playmate. She and Eric invite Iris to join their Monster Club, where they catalogue all kinds of monsters and dream up ways to defeat them. Before long, Iris begins to come out of her shell. She and Vi and Eric do everything together: ride their bicycles, go to the drive-in, meet at their clubhouse in secret to hunt monsters. Because, as Vi explains, monsters are everywhere. 2019: Lizzy Shelley, the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us, is traveling to Vermont, where a young girl has been abducted, and a monster sighting has the town in an uproar. She’s determined to hunt it down, because Lizzy knows better than anyone that monsters are real—and one of them is her very own sister. The Children on the Hill takes us on a breathless journey to face the primal fears that lurk within us all.

30 review for The Children on the Hill

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    I couldn’t help myself to start my review with this my all time favorite King of the author’s quote: “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and, sometimes, they win. “ This creepy, heart throbbing, intense, dark, chilling story is such a great tribute to Marry Shelly’s epic classic novel Frankenstein meets Ryan Murphy’s AHS’ season two: asylum with the vibes of so much disturbing, old school Stephen King novels! Am I fan of the author? Absolutely, I am. I swore to read I couldn’t help myself to start my review with this my all time favorite King of the author’s quote: “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and, sometimes, they win. “ This creepy, heart throbbing, intense, dark, chilling story is such a great tribute to Marry Shelly’s epic classic novel Frankenstein meets Ryan Murphy’s AHS’ season two: asylum with the vibes of so much disturbing, old school Stephen King novels! Am I fan of the author? Absolutely, I am. I swore to read anything she writes after finished “ The Invited”. Her dark tone, her gifted way of creating layered, unreliable, traumatized characters, the remarkable and riveting pacing, the way of her blending the different genres into an intriguing, mind bending, extremely smart story and well execution of entire thrilling elements with a jaw dropping conclusion, a quiet stunning summary of basic formula she used to create her magnificent novels! It’s too hard to write a review for this story without giving much away or any major spoilers. Firstly I have to admit: I loved this book so much! It scared the living daylights out of me! I couldn’t put it down and I honestly suffer from serious insomnia right now ! Because I lately work 12 hours a day for my latest tv project and instead of sleeping , I devoured this book at my spare time and I try surviving from this busy work day with less than a hour sleep. Is it worth it ? Absolutely! It’s worth to sleepless one week! ( not two because I don’t want to look like Christian Bale from Mechanist movie) There are two story lines: 1978 the events take place : an eerie treatment center located in picturesque Vermont founded by Dr. Helen Hildreth who reminds us Heinrich Himmler (whoshallnotbenamed ‘s right hand man) working on a little unusual and unconventional methods to treat her patients, living with her two poor grandchildren who are the survivors of car accident has taken their parents’ lives. One day she brought one of her young patient in her thirties named Iris who is wearing ugly orange hat, shy, reserved, scared, not talking. Her dear grandchildren Violet ( one of our thirteen years old, extra smart, observant for her age: who is also one of the narrators of the story) and Eric ( future’s veterinarian, caring any kind of wounded animal) take this lonely and weird girl under their wings, adding her to their mysterious Monster Club the special gathering they practice their rituals at each new and full moon cycles to catch the different kinds of monsters including ghouls, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires etc. and write a book about them with the help of Eric’s special monster illustrations. But something earth shattering happens too them : we don’t know what exactly. On the other time line (2019) we met Lizzy Shelley who is famous podcaster of Monsters among us travels to Vermont after hearing about another missing girl. And unfortunately she’s not the only one who vanished into thin air. For years there’s a pattern about missing girls whom nobody heard of after they’ve gone. She knows that there’s a monster out there from her past: the same monster hunts those girls and this monster will never intend to stop till she catches her! There is a very delicious twist near the end that I didn’t see it coming and overall: the heart pounding, breath taking, soul shaking mystery keep my attention intact. The surprising conclusions ( more than one) were smart, unexpected, well executed! No more words! I loved it! I’m giving five blazing monstrous, ultra exciting, another brilliant work of talented Ms. McMahon stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  2. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon In 1978 Vermont, Vi and Eric have a hybrid sort of carefree yet also highly structured life. Carefree because they are able, behind their Gran's back, to have a clubhouse in the woods where their Monster Club is housed. They get to ride their bikes to the drive in movies late at night, they get to have pets, and assist their Gran with some of her simple science endeavors. They can play in the great outdoors and their homeschooling puts them way ahead The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon In 1978 Vermont, Vi and Eric have a hybrid sort of carefree yet also highly structured life. Carefree because they are able, behind their Gran's back, to have a clubhouse in the woods where their Monster Club is housed. They get to ride their bikes to the drive in movies late at night, they get to have pets, and assist their Gran with some of her simple science endeavors. They can play in the great outdoors and their homeschooling puts them way ahead of other children their age. But they aren't allowed to mingle with the townspeople or kids their age. Gran doesn't think those people are good enough for them so Vi and Eric live a lonely life when it comes to human interaction. Sure there is the groundskeeper and the receptionist at Gran's clinic but they are usually chasing them away or being mean to them. And there are the mentally ill patients of Gran's but do they ever get better? Gran is a psychiatrist and she and her work associate are very secretive about their work, what with patient confidentiality and all. But Vi is extremely smart and curious and when Gran brings home a sad, broken girl, thirteen years old like Vi, and says Iris is going to be their new sister, Vi can't just let things rest. Iris has a scar across her head, she seems to be empty inside, a shell of a girl. But Vi and Eric let her join the Monster Club and teach her all about monsters and what to look for when you hunt them. There is also the 2019 timeline with Lizzy Shelley, who hosts the popular podcast, Monsters Among Us. Lizzy has a lot of fans now since she gained fame on TV for her monster hunts. But her strongest ambition is to find her long lost sister, a human monster, who might be responsible for girls who have gone missing. Both timelines work well, interspersed with each other, as we get to know Vi and Iris and the horrors they encounter, and Lizzy, who can't let the past go. Publication: April 26th Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for this ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** Sometimes a book just hits me at the right time, just when I need something really good to settle into!! For me “The Children on The Hill” was just the ticket. This novel kept me involved, searching for answers, and rooting for the protagonists that were trying to solve mysteries!! This wasn’t just any mystery, it was the story of where these children came from, what their background was and WHAT INFORMATION HAD BEEN KEPT FROM THEM!!!! Jennifer McMahon’s writing is once ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** Sometimes a book just hits me at the right time, just when I need something really good to settle into!! For me “The Children on The Hill” was just the ticket. This novel kept me involved, searching for answers, and rooting for the protagonists that were trying to solve mysteries!! This wasn’t just any mystery, it was the story of where these children came from, what their background was and WHAT INFORMATION HAD BEEN KEPT FROM THEM!!!! Jennifer McMahon’s writing is once again excellent, the two timelines flowed seamlessly throughout the novel. There was another element to the novel, a book published entitled “The Helping Hand of God” The True Story of the Hillside Inn, BUT IS IT REALLY THE TRUE STORY??? Briefly the plot: In the past, 1978, we have two children Vi and Eric, siblings, living with their Gran. Their parents were killed in an automobile accident. They love monsters, watch every movie they can as they sneak into the local drive in. They read every book that the library has to offer regarding monsters!! Their Gran is a doctor at the hospital on the hill. The kids know that she is a psychiatrist and works with people who have mental problems. One day Gran brings home a young girl, about Vi’s age. Her name is Iris and Gran asks Vi to be gentle with her as she has suffered some trauma. Slowly the children get to know Vi and even invite her into their very own monster club. They have a secret clubhouse and a secret book entitled “The Book of Monster” where they describe what they have seen and discovered about different “monsters”. But they have questions, Iris definitely wants to know about her background and Vi is on the hunt for information. In the present timeline, 2019 Lizzy is a podcaster. She has a show entitled “Monsters Among Us” where she explores stories and folklore which is brought to her attention. Right now she is on a personal assignment, back to Vermont where she was brought up. She is also looking for answers. WHAT WILL SHE FIND, WHAT MONSTERS WILL BE DISCOVERED!! There are lots of surprises in this novel and I had the feeling that this would make a great movie. Though the blurb will compare it to Frankenstein, this is REALLY SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY!! I will leave you to discover the many secrets in this book. I really loved it and I think most lovers of the mystery genre will enjoy it also. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss. It was my pleasure to read and review this novel.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael David (on hiatus)

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! Are monsters real? In Jennifer McMahon’s latest novel, Vi and Eric sure think so. The year is 1978, and they are children...living with their grandmother, the esteemed psychiatrist Helen Hildreth. One Day, the caring doctor brings home a young girl named Iris. Iris is not like other girls, but Vi and Eric latch onto her, making her an honorary sister. They even let her join the Monster Club...which now consists of the three of them. They’re writing a book where they discuss HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! Are monsters real? In Jennifer McMahon’s latest novel, Vi and Eric sure think so. The year is 1978, and they are children...living with their grandmother, the esteemed psychiatrist Helen Hildreth. One Day, the caring doctor brings home a young girl named Iris. Iris is not like other girls, but Vi and Eric latch onto her, making her an honorary sister. They even let her join the Monster Club...which now consists of the three of them. They’re writing a book where they discuss monsters and how to make them vanish. 41 years later (2019), podcaster Lizzy Shelley travels to a town where a teenager has vanished...after the young woman claimed to have seen a monster. There have been similar cases over the years. Lizzy is determined to stay on top of this. She’s also very familiar with monsters… ...After all, her sister is one. Inspired by Frankenstein, The Children on the Hill is atmospheric and richly written. I’ll be honest though. It took a bit for me to get into it. For one, it’s not scary. It’s also a bit more PG-13 than I expected. However, I was quickly entranced with figuring out the mysteries of past and present, and McMahon is a master at eloquent prose and gripping plots. I never read or saw all of the original Frankenstein, but I know enough. Using that background was a clever touch. Even though I guessed one major twist early on, there were still a couple surprises in store. Overall, this is an entertaining mystery that really won me over. I hope fans of the genre will be impressed, and rightly so. A captivating read and a faboosh match with fall weather, wine, and candles...but let’s be real: I’m about the wine and candles life all year long! 🙌 3.5 stars rounded up. Thank you to Gallery/Scout Press and Edelweiss for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: 4/26/22. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    Inspired by Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, this was a PERFECT seasonal read for October. First, I rewatched the 🍿 movie, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and then I immersed myself into this CREEPY new book. It’s 1978, and brilliant psychiatrist Dr. Helen Hildreth has brought home a child to stay at the Hillside Inn with her and her grandchildren, 13 year old, Vi and younger brother, Eric, and asked them to treat her like a sister. In fact, it’s uncanny, how much the child looks like Vi. But, Iris do Inspired by Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, this was a PERFECT seasonal read for October. First, I rewatched the 🍿 movie, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and then I immersed myself into this CREEPY new book. It’s 1978, and brilliant psychiatrist Dr. Helen Hildreth has brought home a child to stay at the Hillside Inn with her and her grandchildren, 13 year old, Vi and younger brother, Eric, and asked them to treat her like a sister. In fact, it’s uncanny, how much the child looks like Vi. But, Iris doesn’t speak, she wears her clothes inside out, and has on a filthy orange hat at all times, even at the dinner table, where she is also excused from saying the requisite “please and thank you”. The children are obsessed with trying to find monsters. They have a monster club, and a monster clubhouse and they are even writing a book - “The Book of Monsters” written by Violet Hildreth and Iris whose Last Name we don’t Know-illustrated by Eric Hildreth -and chapters of this “manual” are sprinkled throughout the story. 1980: A book is published-“The Helping Hand of God” The True Story of the Hillside Inn- the author, a young reporter named Julia Tetreault, Dark Passages Press, 1980 Excerpts of her account are also scattered throughout the book. 2019: Lizzy Shelley, is now the host of a popular podcast, Monsters Among Us (though we are not privy to any episodes) The latest “monster sighting” has her returning to Vermont, close to where she once lived as a child, under her given name. A teenager named Lauren Schumacher has disappeared from Chickering Island, shortly after she claimed to have met “Rattling Jane” the vengeful spirit of a woman murdered long ago and dumped in the lake. Rattling Jane is pictured as a female shaped figure made of fish and bird skeletons, feathers, rocks, and sometimes even trash. She beckons to those on land with a small pebble in her hand, offering you a “wish”. Some legends claim she is searching for her lost love-but others claim she is looking for her sister. That is the story that Lizzy likes best-because she knows that monsters walk among us in plain sight-after all, one is her very own sister. And, this one could be looking for her. The multi-layered story alternates between these four narratives but is told primarily through Vi’s eyes so be prepared to spend A LOT of time with a very smart 13 year old if you read this. There is lots of 70’s nostalgia, lots of ATMOSPHERE and the wonderfully descriptive prose, that we have come to love and expect from Jennifer McMahon. This sets up the story for the revelations of Lizzy’s 2019 timeline, which becomes more prevalent as the book progresses. Though you will definitely recognize the nod to Frankenstein, don’t worry, this story is definitely original enough to keep you reading late into the night. Thank you to Gallery/Scout Press for gifting me a VERY EARLY copy through Edelweiss. It was my pleasure to offer a candid review! AVAILABLE NOW!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on. Even now my blood boils at the recollection of this injustice. Mary Shelley - FRANKENSTEIN Omg! This book was exactly what I was looking for in a Mary Shelley sort of way! You can read the Synopsis yourself! Here’s my little thoughts: I loved the twists in the book. I love how the author kept me guessing. I hated that I couldn’t finish this book sooner with real life happening! It’s one of those I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on. Even now my blood boils at the recollection of this injustice. Mary Shelley - FRANKENSTEIN Omg! This book was exactly what I was looking for in a Mary Shelley sort of way! You can read the Synopsis yourself! Here’s my little thoughts: I loved the twists in the book. I love how the author kept me guessing. I hated that I couldn’t finish this book sooner with real life happening! It’s one of those you don’t want to put down, at least I didn’t. Vi and Eric live with their Gran in the house on the hill. Gran runs a mental ish place next door ish. But, what is really happening in this facility? And who is this Iris girl that’s come home to be their sister and where did she come from? There is creepiness and horror but you can decide for yourself what exactly is the horror. There is evil all around…what form do you think it will take.. Kudo’s Jennifer McMahon for another wonderful book!! *Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for a copy of this book! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 BLOG: https://melissa413readsalot.blogspot....

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    When I crave a Big Mac, I want no Chicken Sandwich. I'm keeping my 3.5⭐ outlier review short. I wish I loved it more. It's pretty good, just not what I was expecting. I've enjoyed Jennifer McMahon's books for their eerie atmosphere and mild creepiness and I didn't fully get that here. While Gran and her... "home office" lend a mild gothic vibe akin to Frankenstein's lab, the alternating timeline 1978 ⇄ 2019 pulls me away from that place. I enjoyed the first half more when the children were young When I crave a Big Mac, I want no Chicken Sandwich. I'm keeping my 3.5⭐ outlier review short. I wish I loved it more. It's pretty good, just not what I was expecting. I've enjoyed Jennifer McMahon's books for their eerie atmosphere and mild creepiness and I didn't fully get that here. While Gran and her... "home office" lend a mild gothic vibe akin to Frankenstein's lab, the alternating timeline 1978 ⇄ 2019 pulls me away from that place. I enjoyed the first half more when the children were young than the second half which felt like a psychological thriller than a horror. The Children on the Hill is my least favorite of the three McMahon books that I read. I went back and forth between rounding it up or down but went with rounding down since I really enjoyed The Drowning Kind and that was a 4.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    The Children on the Hill caught me off guard with one big twist. It’s 1978, and when Vi and Eric complete their homeschool assignments, they spend their free time obsessing over monsters. They even began writing a book about it called “The Book of Monsters.” The two siblings live with their grandmother, Dr. Helen Hildreth, a renowned psychiatrist, on the grounds of the Hillside Inn. Dr. Hildreth is well-respected for her compassionate approach to treating people with various mental health symptom The Children on the Hill caught me off guard with one big twist. It’s 1978, and when Vi and Eric complete their homeschool assignments, they spend their free time obsessing over monsters. They even began writing a book about it called “The Book of Monsters.” The two siblings live with their grandmother, Dr. Helen Hildreth, a renowned psychiatrist, on the grounds of the Hillside Inn. Dr. Hildreth is well-respected for her compassionate approach to treating people with various mental health symptoms. One day, Dr. Hildreth introduces a young girl named Iris to her grandchildren, informing them that she will be living with them for the foreseeable future. Though she’s somewhat odd, the kids accept her, even inviting her to join their monster club. 2019: Lizzy, a popular podcaster, begins searching for a monster called Rattling Jane. She suspects that Rattling Jane is responsible for the disappearance of a young girl. Lizzy is confident she knows who is masquerading as Rattling Jane. If like me, you haven’t read Frankenstein but understand the gist, you’ll still probably enjoy this without any background knowledge. It took a while for me to become invested in this story because monsters like Sasquatch and Big Foot do not hold much interest to me. But once the story started rolling, I couldn’t put this down and was even frightened at certain points. The author nailed creating a creepy, anxious atmosphere with both timelines. Without getting into it too much, I liked that the author explored such a dark subject. It’s wild to think that people vouch for it even today. I recommend The Children on the Hill to those looking for an eerie story ripe with monsters. Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. https://booksandwheels.com

  9. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Erwin

    Happy publishing day!! The storyline of this book was great! It was interesting and kept me turning the pages. It was a slow burn suspense with some creepy parts in this book which were fantastic and well written. The ending was not as eventful and suspenseful as I was expecting it to be. As I was reading the ending, I kept thinking to myself, “That’s it?” The ending left me just a little disappointed as I was hoping for more. Overall, it was a good read though. 3.5 stars rounded to 4! McMahon f Happy publishing day!! The storyline of this book was great! It was interesting and kept me turning the pages. It was a slow burn suspense with some creepy parts in this book which were fantastic and well written. The ending was not as eventful and suspenseful as I was expecting it to be. As I was reading the ending, I kept thinking to myself, “That’s it?” The ending left me just a little disappointed as I was hoping for more. Overall, it was a good read though. 3.5 stars rounded to 4! McMahon fans will not be disappointed! Thank you Net Galley and Galley books for the ARC in return for my honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maiden Misty's Musings

    I waited three months for this book to hit my Kindle, and I am a mixed bag on the review. The only thing that bumped it up to a 4 star was because of the ending. I did not see that one coming. I think it would have been better to have grownup narrators as well. Maybe one of the nursing staff. Gran herself? I just felt it was missing that little extra that would have made it a real page turner. Overall, it was a good read and I would recommend it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    Hot diggity dang, that was BRILLIANT !!! The Children on the Hill is one not to be missed!! The hook, pace, setting and themes: Was the story a page-turner? Yes!! Jennifer McMahon uses elements of a supernatural thriller and psychological suspense with rip-roaring pacing that had me awake reading past my usual bedtime!! That’s not easy because I will fall asleep holding my book or kindle. Located on a top of a forested hill, Hillside Inn is known as one of the best psychiatric institutions in New E Hot diggity dang, that was BRILLIANT !!! The Children on the Hill is one not to be missed!! The hook, pace, setting and themes: Was the story a page-turner? Yes!! Jennifer McMahon uses elements of a supernatural thriller and psychological suspense with rip-roaring pacing that had me awake reading past my usual bedtime!! That’s not easy because I will fall asleep holding my book or kindle. Located on a top of a forested hill, Hillside Inn is known as one of the best psychiatric institutions in New England. There is something different about the Hillside Inn. It’s not your typical gothic setting using psychiatric institutions for its chilling atmosphere. It is more like a picturesque country estate rather than a hospital. Monsters are explored here. The ones who know they are monsters and the ones who don’t. Not a new thing to explore with the question, “Who are the real monsters.” However, in the hands of McMahon, finding out the answer is fresh and exciting!! Structure: The story is told in two lines. One in 1978, where we meet Violet, Eric, and Iris, and in 2019, in the POV of Lizzy as she hunts for a monster. There are chapters from The Monster, journal entries from The Book of Monsters by Violet, Eric, and Iris and snippets from an article written about Hillside Inn. The Characters: Are the characters interesting with flaws that drive the story forward and had me rooting for them? Yes!! They have secrets that add to the suspense to the story. I was rooting for Lizzy to find the monster she is hunting. Violet and Eric have a fascination with monsters. They have a club where they hunt them and write about them. When their Gran brings home a silent, fearful Iris who has no memory, Vi invites her to join their club and she promises to find out what secrets Gran is hiding. Central Conflict: What elements drive the story forward? McMahon uses cat and mouse elements with a game of hide and seek as Lizzy chases her monster. The tension that increases with every turn builds the thrills and chills needed to drive the story forward. The suspense created the questions I needed to know the answers to, and I couldn’t stop reading until I had them. Payoff: Was the story layered with clues to see some of the twists and turns coming with a rewarding payoff in the end? Yes!!! This is what I found brilliant about the story. The clues are there right from the beginning, and I can’t believe, after all the thrillers I read, I didn’t pick up on them. I love it when the final twists come as a shock, but it’s believable because the clues were there. That is what makes for a well-written, clever rewarding thriller. Would I recommend it? Absolutely!! I received a copy from the publisher

  12. 5 out of 5

    JaymeO

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! “Love is the only thing that can save this poor creature, and I am going to convince him that he is loved even at the cost of my own life.” -Dr. Frederick Frankenstein from Young Frankenstein Jennifer McMahon has done it again! Her modern spin on the Frankenstein monster story is superb. She has created an incredibly atmospheric and original storyline that will have you questioning everything! 1978 - All is not as it seems at the The Hillside Inn, a psychiatric hospital in V HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! “Love is the only thing that can save this poor creature, and I am going to convince him that he is loved even at the cost of my own life.” -Dr. Frederick Frankenstein from Young Frankenstein Jennifer McMahon has done it again! Her modern spin on the Frankenstein monster story is superb. She has created an incredibly atmospheric and original storyline that will have you questioning everything! 1978 - All is not as it seems at the The Hillside Inn, a psychiatric hospital in Vermont. Or is it? Vi and her brother Eric live on the property with their Gran, Dr. Hildreth. They believe that monsters exist and write all about them in a book they have created called The Book of Monsters. When Gran brings home a girl named Iris, they are told she is their new sister. Who is Iris and where did she come from? They must discover the Inn’s hidden secrets in order solve the mystery. 2019 - Lizzy Shelley is a monster hunter and podcast host. She is always searching for the creature who is thought to be kidnapping young girls. Could it be her sister? When Lauren Schumacher disappears from Chickering Island after seeing a monster called “Rattling Jane,” Lizzy is compelled to investigate. Do monsters really exist? Lizzy thinks so. The way that McMahon is able to weave folklore with fiction and monster stories really is impressive. She is constantly toeing the line between fact, fiction, fantasy, and more. While I did guess the initial twist, there were a few later ones that really shocked me! Finally, after much googling, I believe that this story might also be inspired by an actual movement in Vermont’s sordid history. But please read the book first! If you enjoy gothic thrillers, you are going to love this one! 4.5/5 stars rounded down Expected publication date 4/26/22 Thank you to Edelweiss and Gallery/Scout Press for the ARC of The Children on the Hill in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    L.A.

    If a cover can determine which book to read, then this one wins! Although it gives reference to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, it is due to 3 children and their fascination with monsters. It is more than that in this dark endeavor to monsters we create in our minds and those that walk among us. As one of the characters mentions, “(Mary Shelley) She’s the one who started it all.” It’s more about nature vs nurture and eugenics sparked in the 1920’s in Vermont. Shout out to the 70’s nostalgia when 3 If a cover can determine which book to read, then this one wins! Although it gives reference to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, it is due to 3 children and their fascination with monsters. It is more than that in this dark endeavor to monsters we create in our minds and those that walk among us. As one of the characters mentions, “(Mary Shelley) She’s the one who started it all.” It’s more about nature vs nurture and eugenics sparked in the 1920’s in Vermont. Shout out to the 70’s nostalgia when 3 children take you through good times with Rock-‘em Sock-’em Robots, crochet sunflower afghan, brown carpet, mustard drapes, beaded macramé, pop rocks and paint by numbers…loved it!! Psychiatrist Dr. Helen Hildreth runs the treatment center in Vermont for the mentally ill. Before it was The Hillside Inn sanatorium, it carried a rich history as a Civil War Hospital. She raises her 2 grandchildren which are allowed to interact with the patients, live next door & home schooled. Vi and Eric are beyond their years in intelligence. They are fascinated by monsters and created a Monster Club as well as a Book of Monsters. When their grandmother brings home a small, feral-like child, they are instructed to accept Iris as their sister. Fast forward 41 years to 2019, Lizzie Shares a podcast Monsters Among Us and investigates a local girl missing and abducted by the legend monster Rattling Jane. She knows this monster because she thinks it’s her sister. Another interesting character is Julia Tetreault, the author of “The Helping Hand of God: The true story of the Hillside Inn”. Exposing the real monsters and haunting tales of the halls in B West. You think you know what this is about but you have no idea! Shocking, intense and disturbing with no desire to put it down!! The author blends into several genres that will leave you astounded and wanting more from this author. “The tragedies we endure shape our lives: We carry them like shadows.” Thank you NetGalley and Gallery Books for this astonishing title in exchange for my honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    What a great book to read during this time of year. When it gets dark sooner, is chilly, damp and you can smell wood smoke in the air” Jennifer McMahon is quite skilled at writing something-is-not-quite-right books. You know, the creepy ones, the ones you read that leave you with the little hairs standing up on the back of your neck, wondering just what she has up her sleeve. Don't confuse The Children on the Hill with the children of the corn. This isn't horror although some horrific things hav What a great book to read during this time of year. When it gets dark sooner, is chilly, damp and you can smell wood smoke in the air” Jennifer McMahon is quite skilled at writing something-is-not-quite-right books. You know, the creepy ones, the ones you read that leave you with the little hairs standing up on the back of your neck, wondering just what she has up her sleeve. Don't confuse The Children on the Hill with the children of the corn. This isn't horror although some horrific things have happened in this book! 1978 -Violet (VI) and her brother, Eric live in Vermont with their grandmother who is a renowned Psychiatrist. One day she brings home a young girl named Iris. She doesn't speak at first and she appears uneasy and fearful. The children, especially Violent try to draw her out and include her in their club - the Monster hunting club. They have also written a journal about monsters, how to detect them, what to do with them, because as they know - monsters are everywhere. 2019 -Lizzy Shelley, is the host of Monsters Among Us, a popular podcast. is traveling to Vermont where a young girl has been taken. Lizzy has made a career out of hunting monsters. She knows monsters are real - her sister is one. Again, this isn't horror, nor is it scary - but it does have a sense of dread, of tension, and unease. It will have readers wondering and trying to figure things out. I especially enjoyed the journal entries of the kids, the talk of monsters, I thought it was a very nice touch and really added to the story. Speaking of the story, this book goes back and forth between 1978 and 2019. Each time readers are given more info and more food for thought. I have been a fan since I read The Winter People, it remains a favorite. McMahon is a go to author for me and I found this one to be enjoyable as well. Perfect for long fall nights, curled up with a blanket, candles lit. Fans of McMahon will not be disappointed. Thank you to Gallery/Scout Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  15. 5 out of 5

    Norma

    Menacing, heart-pounding suspense, and riveting! THE CHILDREN ON THE HILL by JENNIFER McMAHON is an engrossing, disturbing, chilling, and highly entertaining story that immediately grabbed my attention, and hooked me from the very first page. I loved the creepy asylum atmosphere, and totally appreciated how the author paid homage to Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein in this story. It was thrilling and just about perfect. This book totally took me by surprise with one of the best shocking plot tw Menacing, heart-pounding suspense, and riveting! THE CHILDREN ON THE HILL by JENNIFER McMAHON is an engrossing, disturbing, chilling, and highly entertaining story that immediately grabbed my attention, and hooked me from the very first page. I loved the creepy asylum atmosphere, and totally appreciated how the author paid homage to Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein in this story. It was thrilling and just about perfect. This book totally took me by surprise with one of the best shocking plot twists ever which I didn’t see coming at all. In fact I wasn’t even sure how I missed it. All things were alluded to so it wasn’t anything that came out of nowhere. It was all there just a misdirection that the author so brilliantly wrote into the story. I’m still reeling at how perfect it was and wondering how in the world I missed it. This book was right up my alley, had my stomach in knots, and I was reading it as fast as I could. Once you start reading this one I suggest to just keep on going to keep that eerie and suspenseful feeling high as this is where nightmares live! Expected On Sale Date: April 26, 2022. Thank you so much to NetGalley, Jennifer McMahon and Simon & Schuster Canada for my digital reviewer copy. It was a darn good creepy book. I am a huge fan of this author and will read anything that she writes. Would definitely recommend it!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Such a dark, atmospheric book that would be perfect to read near halloween! I loved all the monster parallels and also I loved the setting. An old psychiatric hospital where you don't know exactly what's going on? Really enjoyed this and can't wait to read more by this author! Such a dark, atmospheric book that would be perfect to read near halloween! I loved all the monster parallels and also I loved the setting. An old psychiatric hospital where you don't know exactly what's going on? Really enjoyed this and can't wait to read more by this author!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Shuster Canada for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. Wow, Jennifer McMahon can spin a tale and whip up a suspense-filled novel that keeps me riveted to my couch like no other. From page 1, I was hooked on this tale as the novel bounces back and forth from 2019 to 1978. In the 1978 storyline, VI and Eric live with Gran, a successful doctor in Vermont who runs a psychiatric facility known as the Inn. Vi and Eric are always on the hunt for monsters and Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Shuster Canada for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. Wow, Jennifer McMahon can spin a tale and whip up a suspense-filled novel that keeps me riveted to my couch like no other. From page 1, I was hooked on this tale as the novel bounces back and forth from 2019 to 1978. In the 1978 storyline, VI and Eric live with Gran, a successful doctor in Vermont who runs a psychiatric facility known as the Inn. Vi and Eric are always on the hunt for monsters and write and illustrate a book on how to find and catch them. The children are asked to look after the new arrival, Iris who cannot remember anything about her life before arriving at the Inn. Increasingly, the children are curious about what exactly their grandmother is doing and what a strange monster known as the Ghoul has to do with it. In the 2019 storyline, we meet Lizzy, a podcaster who specializes in stories of the supernatural desperately seeking her sister and finding that her path leads to Vermont and the recent disappearance of a local girl. I don't dabble in the horror genre at all, don't really like monster movies but Jennifer McMahon creates enough of a creepy atmosphere that I probably am better off sleeping with the lights on. All I know is that with each book I read of this author, I become more and more accepting that I will just travel down any dark path she takes me on- no matter what monsters lie waiting for me. Expected publication 26/04/22 Goodreads review 25/03/22

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luvtoread

    "Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men?" (1978) When Violet (Vi) was just thirteen years old and her brother Eric was a few years younger, who were raised by their loving grandmother a world famous psychiatrist, who one day brought home a strange and tormented girl around Vi's age and was told she would be their new adopted sister named Iris. Poor Iris had bruises and scars all over her body and didn't speak for a long time so Vi was gentle and kind to her loving the idea of having a sist "Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men?" (1978) When Violet (Vi) was just thirteen years old and her brother Eric was a few years younger, who were raised by their loving grandmother a world famous psychiatrist, who one day brought home a strange and tormented girl around Vi's age and was told she would be their new adopted sister named Iris. Poor Iris had bruises and scars all over her body and didn't speak for a long time so Vi was gentle and kind to her loving the idea of having a sister and playmate. Vi and Eric had their own special monster's club and accepted Iris in their group that they took very seriously while believing in every type of monster they could dream up and they were even were keeping an illustrated diary of all their adventures until the day when the trio found out monsters were very real and their life as they knew it was no more. (2019) Lizzy Shelley, a podcast star on cryptid and monster-hunting broadcast has finally come back to Vermont where she grew up seeking some proof about the local legend of "Rattling Jane" where a young teenage girl has gone missing after she told her friends that she saw "Rattling Jane" days before she disappeared plus many years ago a similar story was told about another teenage girl who went missing and she was never seen again. Lizzy has been a monster-hunter her entire life seeking proof that monsters are real because Lizzy knows they exist.. Lizzy's sister was a real life monster. WoW! What a story. This was a captivating story from page one until the very last page where the writer brought in one final unbelievably, exciting and unexpected twist that had me speechless for several minutes! There are many good books out there that are enjoyable and interesting but it's rare and special to find an author who can lure the reader in with compelling thoughts and stories being transferred from their head to being printed on the pages of a book. Fortunately this is what Jennifer McMahon has done with this book and others that she has written. I am a fan of this author for life! This book had it all especially excellent storytelling and the heartfelt characters which made the novel come to life in the best of ways. I experienced so many different emotions throughout the book as in feeling love, tension, sadness, fear, horror and absolute terror that I couldn't wait to finish the book yet I still didn't want it to come to an end. I highly recommend this novel to all horror lovers knowing they will be in for a true horror experience! I want to thank the author "Jennifer McMahon", the publisher "Gallery Books" and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this ARC and any thoughts or opinions expressed are unbiased and mine alone! I have given this fantastic book a rating of 5 DELICIOUSLY CREEPY AND DISTURBING 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 STARS!! Title: The Children On The Hill Author: Jennifer McMahon Publisher: Gallery Books Gallery /Scout Press Publication Date: April 26, 2022

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    ”Monsters are real. They're all around us, whether we can see them or not.” I read monster books all the time. They, the monsters, live inside of books. But, it's been awhile since I read a story that took me back to my childhood belief. When we are kids - and while I say this this I am very much including the kids in The Children on the Hill - they lived in more than the books I read. Do you remember? Often times I (or you) believed because it was a fun thing to do with friends, a game to b ”Monsters are real. They're all around us, whether we can see them or not.” I read monster books all the time. They, the monsters, live inside of books. But, it's been awhile since I read a story that took me back to my childhood belief. When we are kids - and while I say this this I am very much including the kids in The Children on the Hill - they lived in more than the books I read. Do you remember? Often times I (or you) believed because it was a fun thing to do with friends, a game to be played, a scene recalled from the movies. But later in the dark, when you're alone... In my head, I have remembered each monster from my childhood. Vi and Eric put them down in their Book of Monsters. As siblings, it is their fun and their truth. How to kill a monster: Stake through the heart, a silver bullet, holy water. Grandma Helen brought Iris home to live with Vi and Eric. Did she come from Hillside Inn, the psychiatric center across the road where Gran works as director? That's only for adults. Vi simply knows that something happened in Iris's past, and therefore doesn't speak. “She will find her voice again”, said Gran. “Treat her like a sister. Help her. Tell me.” Certain memories are coming back now. Do the monsters in their book walk the woods in which they all now play? Or closer still? ”There are two main types of monsters. The first type know they're monsters.........The second, more dangerous type may not even understand that they're monsters.” Forty years have passed, and still she hunts the unexplained. It has always been her life, now a part of her podcast and last year's show Monster's Among Us. What happened in the past remains, and so she'll chase the alert of another missing girl. Always in a different part of the country. Always on a full moon. An encounter with a legendary creature. Real, or ghost? Nostalgia of the past and the mystery carried through the years are this novels two biggest strengths. The one seamlessly leads to the other. If you're a reader who prefers either of those two things, then the combination of the two should be satisfying. McMahon's writing is spot-on absorbing. ”Who are we without our memories? Without our fears? Without our traumas?”

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    ‘Who is the real monster? The creature being made, or the one creating it?’ - Jennifer McMahon, The Children on the Hill I’m having a bit of a hard time gathering my thoughts on this one. I really, really enjoyed this up until the very end where it fell flat for me… I mean like ‘face plant’ flop. It was fun seeing the 70’s story unfold through VI’s narration. I loved the late 70’s nostalgia and could picture this time period so vividly. I, also, thought the nods to Frankenstein were well done and ‘Who is the real monster? The creature being made, or the one creating it?’ - Jennifer McMahon, The Children on the Hill I’m having a bit of a hard time gathering my thoughts on this one. I really, really enjoyed this up until the very end where it fell flat for me… I mean like ‘face plant’ flop. It was fun seeing the 70’s story unfold through VI’s narration. I loved the late 70’s nostalgia and could picture this time period so vividly. I, also, thought the nods to Frankenstein were well done and very appropriate to the themes of the story. This was easily a 5-star read for me if not for the ending, which was just not what I’d built up for. I wanted something more dynamic and less rushed. The involvement of Skink was a lil head scratching… I didn’t feel the need for it. Also, I’m not a fan of the title and feel it could’ve been more creative if it had included the nod to Frankenstein which is such an intricate element of the story. All in all, I enjoyed this but wish the ending had been as well thought out as the rest of the story. 3.5 stars. ***ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. 5 stars! I really enjoyed this one! The Children on the Hill might be my favorite Jennifer McMahon book to date! The book goes between the past and present time. In 1978, Vi and Eric are living in Vermont with their grandma, Dr. Helen Hildreth who oversees a treatment center for the mentally ill. Vi and Eric love their Gran and the life they have while living next to the treatment center. While getting home schooling from t ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. 5 stars! I really enjoyed this one! The Children on the Hill might be my favorite Jennifer McMahon book to date! The book goes between the past and present time. In 1978, Vi and Eric are living in Vermont with their grandma, Dr. Helen Hildreth who oversees a treatment center for the mentally ill. Vi and Eric love their Gran and the life they have while living next to the treatment center. While getting home schooling from their Gran, Vi and Eric feel like their life is pretty good. They have started a Monster Club and love anything that involves monsters from movies, books, to the superstation of it all. One day, Gran brings home a silent and scared girl from the treatment center. She wants Vi & Eric to help guide Iris into feeling normal and hopefully talk again. Iris doesn’t know what to think or remember about her past life, but she really likes Vi, Eric and the life they live. She joins the Monster Club, feels like she's got a family and starts coming out of her shell. Fast forward to present time, 2019. Lizzy Shelley is traveling to Vermont to find a missing girl. A monster was sighted taking her away and everyone is worried about the other children in the area. Lizzy is a host of a famous podcast about monsters and feels like she’s a bit of an expert. Not only does she investigate claims of monster sightings, she feels like her sister is a monster too. The Children on the Hill has great plot twists, wonderful characters and an underlying plot that feels like Frankenstein could suddenly run out of the trees while screaming utter madness. I really liked this one more then I thought I would. The plot and characters are fully developed and the ending was fantastic in my opinion. Definitely pick this one up if you have a love of thrillers, supernatural themes and monsters that hide in the dark!

  22. 4 out of 5

    DeAnn

    4 who’s afraid of monsters stars Are you afraid of monsters? Children are often obsessed, and some are frightened of monsters. We used “monster spray” at my house to keep them away. This atmospheric tale takes us back and forth between the childhood of a set of siblings and the more present day. Vi and Eric are being raised by their grandmother, she’s a famous psychiatrist and they live next door to the treatment center, the Hillside Inn, that she runs in Vermont. Gran takes excellent care of them, 4 who’s afraid of monsters stars Are you afraid of monsters? Children are often obsessed, and some are frightened of monsters. We used “monster spray” at my house to keep them away. This atmospheric tale takes us back and forth between the childhood of a set of siblings and the more present day. Vi and Eric are being raised by their grandmother, she’s a famous psychiatrist and they live next door to the treatment center, the Hillside Inn, that she runs in Vermont. Gran takes excellent care of them, but they are a bit isolated, being homeschooled and not allowed to befriend other children. One day Gran brings home a new “sister” to join the family, the very quiet Iris. Soon Vi and Eric have added Iris to their Monster Club, and they are teaching her all about the family while they put together their monster scrapbook. Vi starts to take an interest in what is happening at the treatment center and undertakes her own investigation. In the modern-day storyline, we meet up with Lizzy as she works on her Monster podcast, she’s tracking down monsters all over the country and trying to catch them. She’s hot on the trail of her sister – has she become a monster? Will the past stay in the past? With nods to Frankenstein, this one explores mental health treatment and the monsters that live inside all of us! Thank you to Gallery/Scout Press for the copy of this one to read and review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

    Wow! I loved this book and I want to shout it from the rooftops. “Monsters are real and living among us.” That is the belief of Vi and Eric. They are obsessed with any and everything that has to do with monsters. They get the chance to share their monster obsession with Iris, a young girl their grandmother, psychiatrist Dr. Helen Hildreth, brings home. Vi is told to treat her like a sister. The three children are soon inseparable. Eventually Iris becomes a member of their monster club where they Wow! I loved this book and I want to shout it from the rooftops. “Monsters are real and living among us.” That is the belief of Vi and Eric. They are obsessed with any and everything that has to do with monsters. They get the chance to share their monster obsession with Iris, a young girl their grandmother, psychiatrist Dr. Helen Hildreth, brings home. Vi is told to treat her like a sister. The three children are soon inseparable. Eventually Iris becomes a member of their monster club where they discuss ways to hunt monsters. ‘They can pass as human. They hide in plain sight.” Needless to say, this book gripped me from the beginning. Switching from 1978 to 2019, the past and present collide with twists and turns I never saw coming. This book is described as genre- defying and I couldn’t agree more. It’s not horror, yet there were times that the book sent chills down my spine. I wouldn’t classify it as a thriller, but it had twists that were jaw-dropping and totally unexpected. It’s atmospheric, chilling, emotional and captivating. I highly recommend this book!! Jennifer McMahon’s writing is transcendent. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thank you NetGalley and Gallery/Scout Press for my ARC.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dutchie

    I always am super excited to get my paws on McMahon's latest book and I was thrilled to score a copy at the library as soon as it was available! When I first read the blurb that this was inspired by Frankenstein and had a "Monster Club" I was a bit leery of whether this would be for me or not, but I have always loved McMahon's books so figured it couldn't hurt to give it a try. So glad I did! The setting takes place in Vermont at a place called Hillside Inn which is a mental treatment facility. I I always am super excited to get my paws on McMahon's latest book and I was thrilled to score a copy at the library as soon as it was available! When I first read the blurb that this was inspired by Frankenstein and had a "Monster Club" I was a bit leery of whether this would be for me or not, but I have always loved McMahon's books so figured it couldn't hurt to give it a try. So glad I did! The setting takes place in Vermont at a place called Hillside Inn which is a mental treatment facility. In charge of the hospital/treatment center is Dr. Hildreth who lives onsite with her two grandchildren, Vi and Eric. One day Gran comes home with Iris, a new child she hopes Eric and Vi can bring out of her shell. Vi and Eric have very creative imaginations that involve hunting down so called Monsters for their Monster Club and gladly invite Iris into their club and treat her as a sister. All of this takes place in 1978 and was super atmospheric and loved hearing about the nostalgia from that time - I always love books that take place during this time frame. I will admit I've never seen the movies mentioned - I was too chicken but knew enough of them I could make the connections. Also thrown in are excerpts from a book written in 1980 about the Hillside Inn that gives a bit more backstory into the history of the treatment center. I REALLY enjoyed these excerpts Chapters then alternate to 2019 where Lizzy, a podcaster, is investigating some missing girls and the monsters that may have been involved in abducting them. These timelines and characters were all woven together really well. I'm so glad I didn't let the blurb distract me from reading this....I should know better though, I have never NOT liked anything by this author.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann

    Look for my review at Cemetery Dance soon. But I will say if you have been waiting for McMahon to return to that same kind of psychological thriller, dark mystery, horror adjacent vibe she had going on with The Winter People, this is your ticket. I loved this.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    Some monsters are born that way. Some are made. I have weeds woven into my hair. I am covered in a dress of bones, sticks, cattail stalks, old fishing line and bobbers. I am my own wind chime, rattling as I run. I smell like the lake, like rot and ruin and damp forgotten things. . . . I'm a real monster now. Since the tragic car accident that killed their parents, Vi and her brother, Eric, have lived with their grandmother at Hillside Inn, one of the best private psychiatric institutions in New En Some monsters are born that way. Some are made. I have weeds woven into my hair. I am covered in a dress of bones, sticks, cattail stalks, old fishing line and bobbers. I am my own wind chime, rattling as I run. I smell like the lake, like rot and ruin and damp forgotten things. . . . I'm a real monster now. Since the tragic car accident that killed their parents, Vi and her brother, Eric, have lived with their grandmother at Hillside Inn, one of the best private psychiatric institutions in New England. . . . the Inn was not like any other hospital anywhere. Though the center does not accept children as patients, one day a girl around Vi's age arrives to live with the siblings. Their grandmother encourages them to accept Iris, but not to encourage her to remember her past. Naturally, that's exactly what the kids decide to do . . . with very unpleasant consequences. We also meet Lizzy, minor television celebrity, and host of a popular monster hunting podcast. She's been all over the country investigating the strange and unusual, but has scrupulously avoided her home state of Vermont. The most terrifying unfaceable monster of all dwelled in those hills and mountains; the dark, shadowy form of my own past. But she's in Vermont now to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl whom the locals insist was taken by a rumored local specter known as "Rattling Jane." Lizzy thinks she may know the monster, however; she's sure it's her sister. And, her terrifying past is about to catch up with her. This is another chilling winner by McMahon. Her tale unfolds slowly, with well-timed twists and surprises to keep you turning the pages. A fine spooky story for any time of the year. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    Psychological thriller that kept me guessing until the end.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    ⚠️Outlier Alert⚠️ So many amazing reviewers on here and on my friend's list have given this 4-5 stars. Seriously, current GRs rating is 4.06. So take this review with a grain of salt. We mainly have two timelines: one in the present and one in the 70s. In the first half of the book, the 70s timeline was intriguing and the present was slow. In the second half, it was flipped. It kept the pacing off-balanced. In order to keep the timelines aligned for reveals, dull filler had to be added. So themes a ⚠️Outlier Alert⚠️ So many amazing reviewers on here and on my friend's list have given this 4-5 stars. Seriously, current GRs rating is 4.06. So take this review with a grain of salt. We mainly have two timelines: one in the present and one in the 70s. In the first half of the book, the 70s timeline was intriguing and the present was slow. In the second half, it was flipped. It kept the pacing off-balanced. In order to keep the timelines aligned for reveals, dull filler had to be added. So themes and mantras were pounded into the reader's brain repeatedly. It became tiresome after a while. There was a scene that really bothered me. Don't worry, it's not a spoiler. We have two foster sisters we watch bond for 200+ pages. Then, suddenly, they want to kiss each other? They all of a sudden aren't family, but wannabe lovers? At the age of 11 or 13? It served no purpose and was never mentioned again. Take those paragraphs out of the book and it changes nothing. It was awkward and disjointing. It hung in the air like sour morning breath. The writing was excellent and the atmosphere was very well done. I loved the reimagining of Frankenstein here and the kudos given to Mary Shelley. This was humming along (at a snail's pace) to a solid 3 stars; good, not great. But then THAT ending came. I honestly can't remember the last time I was so disappointed in an ending. Sigh.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marci Colyer

    Vi and Eric are two young kids who have lots of fun with monster hunts and a monster book club. Their grandmother is raiding them and is a psychiatrist hence they live on the hill with the facility close by. However when gran brings home another child Iris, Vi becomes very curious about where she came from and wants to find out what happened to her. Then there’s another timeline of Lilly who is grown up and has a pod cast regarding monster hunts. She’s on a hunt to find her sister who she believ Vi and Eric are two young kids who have lots of fun with monster hunts and a monster book club. Their grandmother is raiding them and is a psychiatrist hence they live on the hill with the facility close by. However when gran brings home another child Iris, Vi becomes very curious about where she came from and wants to find out what happened to her. Then there’s another timeline of Lilly who is grown up and has a pod cast regarding monster hunts. She’s on a hunt to find her sister who she believes is a monster. The timelines from long ago and present clash to show just what has happened to these children as grown adults. Fascinating story that kept me entertained til the end!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Miya (in a puddle of pain)

    I am a big Jennifer McMahon fan. I really enjoy her writing. This book didn't fail me and my expectations. She always keeps me guessing. I thought this story could go two ways, but she got me as always. It took me for a wild ride. So fun! Creepy, strange, magical, mythical, emotional, all the good stuff. I will forever preorder anything she writes. Really really liked this one! I am a big Jennifer McMahon fan. I really enjoy her writing. This book didn't fail me and my expectations. She always keeps me guessing. I thought this story could go two ways, but she got me as always. It took me for a wild ride. So fun! Creepy, strange, magical, mythical, emotional, all the good stuff. I will forever preorder anything she writes. Really really liked this one!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...