inland

Title: Inland
Author: Kat Rosenfield
Release Date: 06/12/2014
Reviewed by: Em

Inland, a book by Kate Rosenfield, is about Callie Morgan, a girl with a mysterious disease that prevents her from breathing properly and often leaves her choking in the middle of the night. She’s had this illness since she was little, with no sign of a cure, but when she and her father move to the coast, she’s miraculously cured. This is great news, of course, but there’s something disturbing going on­­ something that’s calling Callie into the water.

I completely underestimated the description. This book is a perfect example of why they tell you not to judge books by their covers. I assumed it was going to be a fun book about mermaids and growing into your skin–uh, fins–but I was dead wrong. This book is creepy. Not creepy like a cheap horror movie, but creepy in a subtle way. For the first half everything’s hunky dory, but then you start to get the feeling that something’s wrong. Heartwarming scenes are described in a sort of distant way, and then at the end of the book, the main character says or does something unsettling. This feeling builds until you reach the climax, which is downright sinister and leaves your nerves on edge for the rest of the book.

Now, it may sound like I just described the stuff of nightmares, but I promise that this book isn’t horrific. I mean, it’s up to your interpretation, but I get freaked out when I read the Wikipedia summary of horror movies, but I didn’t think this book was scary. You’ll probably be fine. I would have liked it if the plot built up at a slower pace to match the eerie tone of the book. Towards the middle of the book, the fast pace starts to make sense for the story, but I wish the intro was drawn out more so readers could appreciate the contrast later on when the plot twists start coming in.

Anyway, I really liked this book. Rosenfield seems to know just the right words to put you into the character’s shoes. The diction was poetic and intense, and the imagery was beautiful. Countless books have been described as “chilling”, but this one genuinely fits the word. I recommend it to anyone looking for a classic tale with an eerie twist.

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