A Place for Vanishing
by Ann Fraistat
Indie Author: No
Kindle Unlimited: No
Publication Date: 1.16.2024

YA Dark Fantasy
Mental Health Fiction
Paranormal Ghost Stories

Page Count: 464 Pages


A teen girl and her family return to her mother’s childhood home, only to discover that the house’s strange beauty may disguise a sinister past, in this contemporary gothic horror from the author of What We Harvest.

The house was supposed to be a fresh start. That’s what Libby’s mom said. And after Libby’s recent bipolar III diagnosis and the tragedy that preceded it, Libby knows she and her family need to find a new normal.

But Libby’s new home turns out to be anything but normal. Scores of bugs haunt its winding halls, towering stained-glass windows feature strange, insectile designs, and the garden teems with impossibly blue roses. And then there are the rumors. The locals, including the mysterious boy next door, tell stories about disappearances tied to the house, stretching back over a century to its first owners. Owners who supposedly hosted legendary masked séances on its grounds.

Libby’s mom refuses to hear anything that could derail their family’s perfect new beginning, but Libby knows better. The house is keeping secrets from her, and something tells her that the key to unlocking them lies in the eerie, bug-shaped masks hidden throughout the property.

We all wear masks—to hide our imperfections, to make us stronger and braver. But if Libby keeps hers on for too long, she might just lose herself—and everyone she loves.

Sabetha’s Review:

Top five reads of 2023. This book creeped me out. 100% a must read.

WARNING: If you are not comfortable with bugs as the form of horror, do not read this book.

Now that is out of the way, let me tell you about the book that made my skin crawl. Having to try and sleep between reading sections was not a good move because I couldn’t get the bugs out of head.

Libby and her family find themselves at a home that has an unsettling past because they need a fresh start due to Libby’s suicide attempt. There is more to be unraveled here but spoilers, so go with it.

The YA of this book is very well done. Libby and her sister Vivi (this similar naming is literally the worst) are well written characters that act their age. They have issues that will be unraveled as they communicate, and they are true to the nosey teens, with low risk assessment abilities. Due to Libby’s mental health she is an untrustworthy main character that second guesses herself and what is real.

The slow build up of the plot really makes this book. Discovering the paranormal aspects along with the girls had me on edge throughout the story. Throw in the teen romance, teen emotions, plus all the family secrets, it really seals the levels of plot arcs happening.

There was no way the book could have prepared me for the last 25%, I wasn’t ready for what the truth of the masks and the disappearances turns out to be. There were signs throughout the story, don’t get me wrong. I just couldn’t fathom the plot taking the turn it did. I can’t even give you a reference to another book that did something similar because it will give it away.

Also, way to slip in that sweet ace rep, like so much perfection to the way it’s referenced, this is how it’s done. So natural it’s like people actually live this way?! I am obsessed with how it was written in. Thank you to the author.

I loved it. Bugs are creepy af. When you make them a catalyst to a ghost / spirit story, it’s going to get freaky. Everything gets wrapped up with a jump forward as the last chapter which is my FAVORITE way to end these type of intense books. I need that rainbow people! Thank you to netgalley for an advanced copy of this read.

You’ll love this book if you enjoy your paranormal ready to have a bit of suspense, and surprises.

TW: Suicide is HEAVILY discussed in this book. From how it effects the family members, to how it effects the person. After thoughts, and lead up thoughts. The actual attempt is described in this book. I cannot stress enough how much suicide is discussed in this book. I am pretty sure this book is an allegory for all aspects of suicide, and mental health.

Read more reviews from Sabetha!

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