Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis – ARC Review

My Rating ~ Four Stars

RELEASE DATE:  18 August 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 320

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

RRP:  AU$16.99




Welcome to Harrow Lake. Someone’s expecting you . . .

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her.

But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone – or something – stalking her every move.

The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.




Thank you so much to Penguin Books Australia for sending me a copy of Harrow Lake in exchange for an honest review!


Harrow Lake is an atmospheric, supernatural horror that is reminiscent of some of the 80’s-90’s horror films, like Jeepers Creepers and others (look, I can’t remember the names of them, just that back then, when I used to be brave enough to watch horror movies, the actual stories stuck with me through every dark night 😅)

I loved the eerie feel to the writing and the old style creep factor with all things that scare me – dolls, abandoned carnivals, dark and spooky woods, claustrophobic tunnels and the downright scary descriptions of Mr Jitters.  The underlying mystery was well done and intriguing, and Lola herself was a bit of an unreliable narrator, which always adds something special to thriller stories.

Despite clearly being a horror book, Harrow Lake isn’t overly saturated in gory scenes. We’re taken on a nightmarish journey that leaves enough unsaid to really unsettle your mind and let your imagination fill in the gaps.  I actually wish this book was a little bit longer, just to flesh out a few of the side stories and answer more questions.  Although, in saying that, the feeling of being left a little confused and wondering on some parts of the storyline was very on point for the 80’s horror movie feel.

I absolutely adored the ARC copy of this book.  The cover was designed to look exactly like an old VHS tape, with a slipcase reminiscent of a VHS cover.  It matched the book’s theme perfectly and I’ll be displaying it on my shelf forever!




Photo from my Instagram account

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