The Girl from the Well

304p. ebook available. Sourcebooks Fire. Aug. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781402292187.
Gr 9 Up—This tale continues and reimagines the Japanese folktale of "Okiku and the Nine Plates." The title character is a ghost wandering Earth to free the souls of murdered children who live chained to their murderers. The author delivers on this interesting premise, which lends itself to some creepy moments, as the protagonist avenges the murdered children. A human teenage boy, Tark, catches her attention because she can sense something in him, tied to the strange moving tattoos his mother gave him when he was five. As she gets to know more about Tark and his disturbed mother, a friendship forms as they travel to Japan to figure out his story. The relationship between Okiku and Tark could have used a little more development to make the ending plausible, but readers used to fast-paced horror films will easily suspend disbelief. A dark novel that will appeal to horror fans, lovers of Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl (S. & S., 2008), and also potentially to teens interested in Japanese culture.—Sarah Jones, Clinton-Macomb Public Library, MI

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