Book Review: HIDE by Kiersten White

I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in red on yellow below black ferris wheel
Genre: Horror
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: standalone

Blurb:

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 their dream futures or escape their haunting pasts–Mack feels sure that 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 this competition is more sinister than even 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.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

HIDE is a super creepy story about a game of hide and seek in an abandoned theme park where 14 contestants walk in but then start disappearing. Abandoned places are creepy enough as it is, and this book absolutely plays on this. There’s unexplained noises, mysterious disappearances, and people on the outside who clearly know something the contestants don’t.

The book is told from an omniscient narrator’s perspective, switching between the perspectives and heads of everyone involved, cutting away often just before the reveal of what’s going on to leave you certain that something horrible has happened, but not what. Seeing everything and everyone and everything (when allowed) also shows the scope of the awfulness, how many lives are affected, which would have been missing if there was only one narrator.

It’s an interesting balance of controlling information (the uneasy feeling of missing information with a single narrator) and giving a sense of how disturbingly far reaching it all is. The inclusion of diary entries from the town (which reveals what’s happening) also shows the historical reach of it, the twisted story behind it all.

The reason behind the disappearances is so twisted, but so in keeping with what would happen if it were possible. We as a society sacrifice these people in a more figurative way anyway to keep those at the top happy and sated and powerful. If this scenario was possible, someone would absolutely make this happen, and believe it was the right thing to do, for the greater good and something they deserved.

The ending was such a surprise, with a big “what happens next?” question. I loved the way they dealt with the situation, turning the situation on its head (and also my expectation of what would happen next.)


Read my reviews of other books by Kiersten White:

Young Adult:

Camelot Rising:

Standalones:

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