Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review: Amity by Micol Ostow

Probably almost everyone has heard about the famous so-called haunted house in Amityville, New York, where the Lutz family fled from their house after living there only 28 days in the middle 1970s. They claimed the house was haunted. In 1977, their experiences inside the 112 Ocean Avenue house was chronicled in the best-selling novel, titledThe Amityville Horror. Several non-fiction book sequel were later published, along with a few fiction titles as well. Ten film sequels were made, including a prequel and a remake. Another sequel is being filmed for 2015.

Thanks to NetGalley, I got my hands on an advanced readers copy of the new horror book, Amity, written by Micol Ostow. Now, I have read the original 1977 novel and I have seen all the movies, even the really low-budget ones, so naturally I was excited to read the new young adult take on the familiar storyline.

Amity is told from the point-of-view of two teens, but with a little twist, they are from different time-lines. Connor Webb's story takes place ten years before Gwendolyn (Gwen) Hall and her family moves into the house.

The book flips back and forth from the two teenagers' narrations, giving us readers a first-hand account of the dark madness that is hidden inside Amity!

While Amity is written for a young adult audience, there are several dark, twisted turns hidden within that may bring in adult horror fans as well. Unlike The Amityville Horror remake and a few recent horror books, Amity doesn't rely on graphic images or blood being splatter to scary its readers, but instead it use an old-school horror approach, where the fears and emotions of the main characters take center stage, leading the reader to become psychological absorbed into the plot.

If you have seen the movies or at least know a little about the "real" events that took place at 112 Ocean Avenue, then you'll easily see the parallels between the fictional Webb and Hall families to the real DeFeo and Lutz families. You may think the author would settle for a happy ending because it is aimed for young adults, but think again, as there are a few last minute twists at the ending. Overall, Amity is a well-written, terrifying new version of The Amityville Horror and I highly recommend it to horror fans.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

About the Author: 

Micol Ostow has been writing professionally since 2004, and in that time has written and/or ghostwritten over 40 published works for young readers. She started her reign of terror with Egmont with her novel family, which Elizabeth Burns named a favorite of 2012 on her School Library Journal-syndicated blog, A Chair, a Fireplace, a Tea Cozy. Micol's graphic novel, So Punk Rock (and Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother), was named a 2009 Booklist Top Ten Arts Books for Youth Selection, a Booklist Top Ten Religion Books for Youth Selection, and a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Teens. She received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and currently teaches a popular young-adult writing workshop through

She lives and works in New York City, alongside her Emmy Award-winning husband, their daughter, and a finicky French bulldog.

Visit her at The author lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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