Cover Image: Girl in the Walls

Girl in the Walls

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Member Reviews

Girl in the Walls, A J Knuse

Eventually, every hidden thing is found.

A poignant, sorrowing tale of grief and loss. Thanks to #NetGalley and #4thEstateandWilliamCollins for my ARC of this book.

This was a haunting but enjoyable read. With suspenseful elements, this was well written and crafted. A creepy, strong read. With underlying elements of folklore that haunt you as a reader.
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Thank you NetGalley, 4thestate and A.J. Gnuse for the ARC of GIRL IN THE WALLS. 
How many of us have thought there was something in the walls of our homes when we hear noises, maybe that we haven't heard before. Unlikely, but at the same time made a great intriguing premise for this book. I enjoyed it in the main but found myself skimming or skipping some of it in the middle unfortunately. I thought Eddie was a very interesting character, and I would have like to have discovered how Elise made it from being someone hiding in the nooks and crannies of a house to a young woman with her own apartment. I think it would have made for interesting reading and would have tied up some of the loose ends
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This one was a bit of a puzzler for me. I was expecting a creepy, gothic tale with a mysterious ghost-like figure prowling through an old mansion and scaring the young teenage inhabitants, but that is not what this is. Instead we meet Elise, a young girl who literally goes back to live inside the walls of her old family home following the tragic death of her parents. She lives alongside the new family but without them having any clue that she is there, other than the odd glimpse of a figure out of the corner of their eye, or the rapidly emptying cereal packet…

The story really begins when the youngest members of the family, Eddie and his brother Marshall, confide in each other that they suspect they are not alone in the house. While what follows is quite creepy and unsettling, it is not in any way supernatural. It is also rather far-fetched, and needs belief to be suspended in a lot of places (although I am aware that there are known cases of “people living in walls”, chillingly enough!). It therefore didn’t quite resonate with me in the way I expected, although the writing was good. I didn’t love it, but I’ll be interested to see what this author writes next. 

My thanks to the author, NetGalley, and the publisher for the arc to review.
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This book was incredible. It is about a young 11-year-old girl who chooses to live in the walls of her old home after her parents die unexpectedly. The house is now occupied by another family. The two sons become  suspicious of the odd noises they hear and missing items of food and begin to think someone is living in the walls. 

I love how the story developed; it was completely different to what I was expecting. If I didn't have to study and sleep, I could have easily spent a whole day reading the entire book. It became so tense at times I really did not want to put it down.  The ending was absolutely perfect. It was the right way to round off this story. 

Also, the short chapters and change of point of views were really effective and made for an enjoyable read.

I highly recommend this book.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Fourth Estate for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a voluntary and honest review.
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I'm afraid this wasn't for me, I stopped reading about halfway through. While I can see how this kind of book can be a huge success (it's both well written and very accessible, with characters that are easy to relate to), I found that the plot was dragging a little because of the focus on trying to build an atmosphere. I have to say I'm not a big fan of thrillers and am finicky when it comes to this genre, so maybe that's all it is. In any case, the magic didn't work for me.
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DNF at 20%. From the jacket and copy, along with the beautiful cover reveal trailer I saw on Instagram, I was expecting a ghostly, gothic thriller. The contents of the book didn't match up to those expectations, as I soon learned it was the story of the girl who lives in the walls, following her point of view as she occupies the house. It was less 'The Little Stranger' and more 'Room'. It seemed to be a compelling, well-written story, but wasn't what I was interested in reading about unfortunately.
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I found this atmospheric and moving. Eddie and Marshall live in an ordinary house, one that their parents are refurbishing. Things move around, there’s a feeling of being watched, odd noises....... Eddie, used to being the outsider even in his own family doesn’t share what he’s observed and he is the one who gets the closest to The Girl In The Walls. For there is a real girl in the walls, not a phantom or an overactive imagination.
Like a spectre she finds herself unable to move on from her family home after a tragedy and burrows in the crawl spaces, at the back of cupboards, paces the attic. She only comes out when the family are asleep or out of the house and she must never allow herself to be discovered.
Unable to contain their suspicions any longer, the boys enlist adult help, of a violent and uncontrollable kind.
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I’m a little shocked at the many 5 star reviews for this book. 

What first intrigued me as a plot seems to have fallen very flat. It’s categorised as adult fiction and described as a gothic tale, but it’s quite simply a modern story (it mentions Pop Tarts multiple times) about a young girl trying to hold onto her childhood home by hiding in the walls, and doing a terrible job about it. 

One of the biggest sins for me is that I’ve been left with a lot of unanswered questions - we never understand why the villain exists or does the job he does, we don’t find out what happens to her best friend who saves her life, and (spoiler alert) we don’t understand emotionally why she can finally move on either. 

An aspect of the plot I enjoyed was that this wall-dweller brings antagonistic brothers closer together with her terrible hiding tactics. Brotherly bonding is wonderfully heartwarming.

If you want a real gothic tale or some addictive tension in a story, I don’t think this one hits the mark.

Favourite quote:

Her life was a film put on pause while the rest of the world churned relentlessly on.
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I was looking forward to reading this book only to be disappointed, Girl in the walls is a story about exactly the title, this story failed to excite me or drive me to read more,   I read the whole book thinking the plot will be in the next chapter only to be kept waiting.
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I have only just closed this book and have been staring at the wall with a "wow" . A hauntingly beautiful tale of Elise, the  "girl in the walls", who had hidden herself inside her family home after her parents' death. Returning to  the place that she last felt happy, Elise becomes a part of the house. The problem is, the house now belongs to another family.  How does she manage to live within the house? Do they know she is there? Can they hear her/sense her? Do the brothers living in  the house suspect someone is there in the house? Will they discover her?
It's not very often that I find a book that is unique. This was definitely that.  This book had me peering into the small spaces in my home, just to make sure no-one is there.
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Absolutely great book! Completely different to anything I’ve read previously but I have absolutely loved it 

Full review to follow on publication day
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A sincere thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for providing me with an ebook copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

This is not my usual genre,  however I wanted to take the opportunity to read something from outside my norm. And I am glad I did!! Thank you for  opening up my mind to something totally different. Characters were so well developed that I felt as though I knew them. I love when a book draws you into the story and it feels like you are living it with them.
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Interesting read, though not the supernatural story I was expecting.  Rather sad though.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my review.
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My word! What a page turner this turned into! I stayed up late last night finishing this unusual novel. 
This is not my usual type of fiction but the synopsis intrigued me. The story unfolds slowly at first as you get to know the characters and leaves you guessing as to the girl herself, why she's there and whether she is actually in the walls of the house or not. It has mystery and a definite gothic feel to it.
Once the boys living in the house put in motion attempts to discover her, the pace of the book ignites and it becomes more of a thriller, full of menace. I couldn't put it down until I reached the end and discovered what happens to Elise. 
Loved it!
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This is just as it sounds only so much more. Elise loses her parents in a car crash, she stays one night in foster care and then moves in between the walls of an old property that was once her home. There she feels safe, it’s a much needed embrace, a connection to her parents so she doesn’t entirely lose them and she searches the house when it’s empty for signs of them. The Mason family now occupy it - parents Nick and Laura and brothers Eddie and Marshall. The unfolding story is one of the most creative and original books I have read in a long time and I loved it!

This really is a “Literary Thriller” and is a unique way of examining survival and coping with grief. The descriptions are incredibly vivid, the house feels alive as do the objects in it. An intense atmosphere is created through this, in addition to the weather, nature and Norse Mythology which Elise reads to pass the solitary hours. I love how Odin, the One Eye, keeps that eye on her and the delicious humour of him talking to her! That is also poignant and sad too as she’s alone although she is sensed by Eddie and later Marshall and befriended by a delightful boy, Brodie. The brothers are interesting characters as through what occurs, two divided brothers become close and bond. As the story builds so does the tension which is really powerful as Elise becomes hunted. This is horrible to read about as you become invested in her survival and she, the boys and the house face terrible danger. There are some truly jaw dropping moments which threatens the characters with the addition of a huge tropical storm. It’s creepy in places and a bit supernatural as even the trees are watching events in the house, suspended as if with baited breath waiting for something to happen. It does and how. 

Overall, this is such a well written book. I love the short sharp chapters which works so well in building the story. It’s very original and is a most compelling atmospheric story of survival. I love the way it ends as it fits perfectly. Highly recommended. 

With thanks to NetGalley and 4th Estate for the much appreciated ARC for an honest review.
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Someone recently commented I have an eclectic taste in books and when I came across this title I realised I probably haven’t ever read anything gothic. Well, it seems I have a reputation to uphold and so, here we are.

“Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home,
stretching themselves until they’re as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can.
But soon enough, they can’t help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house.
Eventually, every hidden thing is found.”

Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak, where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?
And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?

I’m not sure where to begin without giving away any spoilers. This is a dark tale of grief, loss, and the need to belong. To hide in plain sight and to be home. To force yourself to grow up when you are still a child.

It is eerily captivating, so much so that I had to abandon reading at night and only read through the sunlit hours of the day, lest I have nightmares.

The prose is delightfully lyrical, with an aura of magic, mystery, perhaps even a hint of fantasy. The story is incredibly emotional, engulfing you in the protagonist’s dilemma. It is unlike anything I have read in a long, long time and if you believe you have the stomach for something unusual, I urge you give this a shot.

This ARC courtesy of Netgalley and 4th Estate Books.
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I received a free copy from Netgalley to review, here is the blurb:

"Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?

And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?"

When I first read the blurb I was excited and expecting a ghost story and couldn't wait to start it.  It got off to a slow start, and to be honest didn't really pick up the pace at all.  I hate giving bad reviews,, and don't want to here as I can see other people have loved this book.  Without giving away the story line, the book did not develop the way I was expecting, I found it difficult to finish as it didn't keep me engaged., and I found the ending disappointing.  I know this isn't a bad book, as I have said, it has lot's of good reviews.  It just was not for me, as I was expecting more of a horror novel. which I tend to read.  Basically, it you are reading this book based on the presumption this is a horror novel you might be advised to give this a miss..
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The sad but creepy story about a young girl who has lost her parents. 
She sneaks back into her old house and stays hidden from the family who live there now by staying in the walls. When the house is empty she can move about and make herself at home, until someone starts to notice her.
Thank you to NetGalley and 4th Estate and William Collins for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Just finished this unique book that drew me right in.Chilling with twists and turns characters that come alive .A book that is so different then what Inusually read so good so mind bending Incould not put it down.Will be recommending.#netgalley#4thestate
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I honestly, literally, do not know how to write a review for this book... 
2 or 3 stars? I couldn’t tell if it was meant to be middle grade or older for a long while. I don’t mind reading middle grade at all, I just couldn’t tell what it was until much later on in the story.  It’s not middle grade.  
I loved the sound of this book which is why I requested it from Netgalley, and I wanted to know what happened so I read it all, so that’s a good thing.  It just didn’t.... something.  It was weird in many ways... some, I guess, intentional, others I’m not so sure.  Weird is a good way to describe the book in general I think.
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