The Door to January
By Gillian French
Islandport Press, 2017. 193 pgs. Young Adult Fiction
Ever since she moved away from her hometown of Bernier, Main, Natalie has been having repetitive nightmares, nightmares that center on an old house in Bernier. When she goes back to visit in the summer, she’s trying to both figure out what the nightmares mean, and face the reason she left Bernier in the first place. With the help of her cousin, Teddy, Natalie makes some startling discoveries about the house, the people who lived there, and some of her repressed memories.
With multiple stories being told, in a book this short every word has to count. Right from the start there’s a lot going on, and it can be hard to keep up. Initially things felt a little clunky and disjointed, but as the setting and backstory were introduced it started feeling more cohesive. Finally it became a decent paranormal-thriller that kept me reading past my bedtime. That being said, some of the dialog felt overly contrived, and while I liked the characters, they didn’t necessarily feel real. I could recommend this for those looking for a shorter book, and who care more about an interesting, suspenseful, paranormal story, rather than rock solid writing.