Book Review: Hide by Kiersten White

08/26/2022     Charli     Book Reviews

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Book Review: Hide by Kiersten WhiteHide by Kiersten White
Published by Random House Worlds on 05/24/2022
Genres: Fiction / Horror, Fiction / Thrillers / Supernatural, Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
Pages: 256
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon // Books-A-Million
Goodreads
Bookhype
four-stars

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A high-stakes hide-and-seek competition turns deadly in this “marvelously creepy thrill ride of a book that keeps twisting until the very end” (Karen M. McManus, author of One of Us Is Lying

“The suspenseful plot combines elements of Thomas Tryon’s classic Harvest Home, Netflix’s Squid Game, and the social commentary of Jordan Peele’s film oeuvre and mixes these with a revelatory pacing reminiscent of Spielberg’s Jaws.”—Booklist

The challenge: Spend a week hiding in an abandoned amusement park and don’t get caught.

The prize: enough money to change everything.

Even though everyone is desperate to win—to seize a dream future or escape a haunting past—Mack is sure she can beat her competitors. All she has to do is hide, and she’s an expert at that.

It’s the reason she’s alive and her family isn’t.

But as the people around her begin disappearing one by one, Mack realizes that this competition is even more sinister than she imagined, and that together might be the only way to survive.

Fourteen competitors. Seven days. Everywhere to hide but nowhere to run.

Come out, come out, wherever you are.

CW: Murder, Death, Gore, Mentions of Devil Worship, Monsters/Demons, Suicide

I’d seen several people on BookTok talking about Hide by Kiersten White and saying how creepy and how good it was, so I decided to give it a read and see what I thought of it. Now Kiersten White is a big hit-and-miss author for me – I’ve pretty much done a DNF on every book I’ve read by her, until this one. This one actually hit with me. Maybe because it’s adult and not YA… although I usually prefer YA novels.

Genre – Horror, Suspense, Thriller

Since I am used to Kiersten White writing YA novels, I was very interested to hear that Hide was, in fact, considered an adult horror novel. I love horror novels, even though I don’t read enough of them. Comparing Hide to other horror novels, this isn’t extreme horror. You won’t find tons and tons of gore, although there is some gore – it wouldn’t be horror without at least a little bit of gore. To me this is a mix of The Hunger Games and any horror novel where someone summoned something and made a bargain with it. It isn’t splatterpunk or any extreme horror novel, but it definitely fits the horror genre. I wouldn’t really say it’s suspense or thriller too much, but there are some hallmarks of those genres as well – but most horror novels do have suspense/thriller vibes.

Characters

We learn to love the main characters that are spoken of – Mack, Ava One, LeGrand, and Brandon. We learn to hate Jaden and Ava Two because of their personalities. We don’t get as much about Ian, Christian, Rosiee, Isabella, Logan, Rebecca, Atrius, and Sydney, but we do get enough to know a tiny bit about them.

I really cared about Mack (Mackenzie), Ava One, LeGrand, and Brandon. They were real to me and I loved them. LeGrand was of particular interest to me because of certain aspects of his past that were revealed. Mack was also of great interest to me due to the pieces of her past that were revealed. Brandon and Ava One were just extra credit as far as characters I loved went.

I wanted to throttle Jaden and Ava Two throughout the book, which is most likely the intended outcome for those particular characters. I thought both were shallow, vapid, and just plain obnoxious. I can’t think of better examples of we-look-like-the-villains-of-the-story-but-we-are-victims-too. I didn’t like them and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to.

As for Ian, Christian, Rosiee, Isabella, Logan, Rebecca, Atrius, and Sydney, they were just fillers and fluff to me. I didn’t care one way or the other about them. They were just there until they weren’t.

As for Linda and other Asterion town residents, they’re easy to dislike. And I mean, very easy to dislike. There’s just not much to say about them because to say anything might spoil the book. Let’s just go with they’re not nice people and they kind of suck as human beings go – no, they really suck as human beings go.

Plot/Theme

This book had a great theme. Yes there are other horror novels with an amusement park, abandoned or otherwise as the setting. But that’s not the thing I’m going for. She literally created a “contest” to play “hide and seek” for 7 days in an abandoned amusement park – and this contest is anything but what it seems to be. By the time our unwitting players realize that something is very wrong, it’s way too late. They’re in danger and there’s nothing they can do about it – or can they?

I’m the first to admit, I hate amusement parks. Like, if you offer to take me to an amusement park, I’m going to turn you down. Now if you offer to take me to an abandoned amusement park to poke around – sure, I’m up for that. So it isn’t hard to see why our players were willing (besides the $50,000 prize money) to do this – I mean, how hard would it be to hide in an abandoned amusement park?

The ending has twists and turns that you won’t see coming. Whenever you think you know what they’re doing, you don’t. Trust me on this, you don’t. And if you do… did you peek at the ending? I loved the ending, I really did. It was very satisfying.

Pacing

This book can move a bit slowly at times, but for the most part, Hide is quite a fast-paced book. It’s under 300 pages and honestly, it only took me as long as it did to read it because I was reading other books instead of finishing it. Of course, this is my opinion and based on what I consider to be fast or slow paced. Your mileage may vary.

Prose/Writing Style

Again, Kiersten White’s books are hit-and-miss with me. Most of her YA books have not been to my liking. So when I went into this book, I was expecting to be bored with it or not particularly like it as I’ve always found her YA novels to be too slow paced for me. That wasn’t the case at all. I think she has a different, possibly better, writing style for adult novels than she does for YA, but that’s just me and my personal opinion.

I liked the way this book flowed and I liked the writing style used in this book a lot. If more of her books were written this way, I would definitely be a bigger fan of hers.

Recommendation

If you’re a horror fan and looking for something on the lighter side, prefer lighter horror, or if you’re just getting into horror, I’d recommend this book. It’s a good start to the horror genre, giving you some gore, some terror, but not enough to make a new horror fan say “nope, never doing that again” about reading a horror novel. However, if you’re used to darker, gorier, splatterpunk-type horror, this probably isn’t the book for you, unless like I said above, you’re looking for a horror novel that’s on the lighter side for a change of pace.

I gave this book four stars because it’s a great read, but it doesn’t have the wow-factor that would gain it 5 stars.

four-stars