Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin

Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: ARC from ARCyling

Summary (from Goodreads):

Nothing is as it seems in this darkly romantic tale of infatuation and possession, inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

Becca was the perfect girlfriend: smart, gorgeous, and loved by everyone at New England’s premier boarding school, Thorn Abbey. But Becca's dead. And her boyfriend, Max, can’t get over his loss.

Then Tess transfers to Thorn Abbey. She’s shy, insecure, and ordinary—everything that Becca wasn't  And despite her roommate’s warnings, she falls for brooding Max.

Now Max finally has a reason to move on. Except it won’t be easy. Because Becca may be gone, but she’s not quite ready to let him go…

What I Liked:

I'm kind of meh about this one. I was totally sucked in by the cover and the dark synopsis, and the fact that this book was inspired by something else! I haven't read Rebecca, but I love books based on older stories or legends or myths or fairy tales. The premise of this book seemed amazing!

And there were things that impressed me! For example, throughout the entire book, I was mystified by the whole "Becca" thing. Who is Becca, really? What is going on? What does Devon have to do with the mess? How does everything fit together? Ohlin kept me interested the entire book - in terms of the plot and the mystery.

The romance between Max and Tess was, well, I'm split on how I feel about the romance, but I liked the romance. Max and Tess were good together. Tess was infatuated with Max, and Max seemed to like Tess, especially after everything with Becca.

I definitely think there was a dark and creepy feel to the book. Sometimes, the synopsis leads you to believe that the book will be gothic and dark and horror-like, and then the book isn't. Ohlin did an excellent job of setting the scene at Thorn Abbey. It adds to the weirdness that is Becca and her death and her ghost/haunting.

I really liked how interesting the story is, behind Becca's death, and overall, the romance in the book, and the setting. For those elements, this book was worth the read. I am happy to have had the chance to read and review this book!

What I Did Not Like:

However... I'm giving this book three stars. there were some things that I didn't like. For one, I kind of didn't like Tess overall. Like, she practically went INSANE at the sight of Max. Full-on infatuation. The first few scenes with her and Max are... painful. She's so awkward and weird around him, like she can't stop staring and drooling and jaw-dropping. He's JUST a GUY. Yes, he might be hot. But he's a guy. Tess completely loses her head over him... and it's not pretty. I was dying to throttle her sometimes.

Dying to throttle her. LOL!

Anyway. I also hated how Tess rolled with what Devon told her about anything. She let Devon talk her into the costume, which sent Max over the edge. She let Devon talk her into wearing some ridiculous getup when Tess was going to meet Max's parents... that didn't go well. You're not a ho. Don't dress like one. Poof!

So, I had problems with Tess. I also had problems with the supernatural aspect in general. It's totally not explained. I'm not sure if it's explained in Rebecca or not, but I feel like I wasn't clued in. And the ending - WOAH! How did that happen?!

The ending, in general, was okay. I'm not too weirded out, but I wanted more.

Would I Recommend It:

Meh. Not really. I was dying to read this one in  the months leading up to May. Now that I've read it, I realize I could have waited a long time before reading this one. Or not at all. I'm glad I read it, but now that I have read it, I really didn't have to go crazy for it.


3 stars. Meh. I was interested, and then it ended, and I was like, meh.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


  1. I'm going steer clear of this one. I'm not a fan of insta-infatuation. When the girl sees the hot guy and goes all slack-jawed and kind of foolish, that just really makes me mad. I want to tell the girl not to waste her time staring at the boy! So yeah, this doesn't sound like a book for me.

    1. Yes, it definitely had that in there. I didn't like it either. I hate bobble-headed girls like that. I hope you read something amazing instead, Becca! Thank you for commenting :)

  2. I've got to agree with you about the cover and synopsis. They sucked me in.
    And I agree with all the things you didn't like.
    I hate it when girls just loose their freakin' mind of some boy. Gah!

    I really had to pull deep just to finish this one. But the ending pretty cool so in the end I gave it two stars.

    I always get a little sad when a book has a great outside but the inside doesn't live up to the outside.

    1. Two marketing techniques honed to perfection, right? And yeah, the content made me a little sad. I enjoyed reading this book, but then, I didn't :\

      Thank you for commenting, Taylor! :)

  3. The cover really is stunning, and the premise is very intriguing. I am extremely disappointed that the MC is not a good one. I can't stand a girl that loses herself completely over a guy. That makes me crazy. I may still give this one a shot, because it does seem to have some good aspects. We shall see!

    1. That was one of the things that drew me to this book! But I really didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped. If you read it, I hope you really like it, Jaime!


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