Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT RESTHAVEN by @ErikTherme #YA #Mystery #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Judith has been reading Resthaven by Erik Therme


 My Review:

Rest Haven is quite short and I finished it in one session.  I haven’t read YA fiction before and it’s not really my thing so I’m trying to be fair.

Erik Therme’s writing style flows well and is easy to read. But the story is light on both descriptions of setting and of characters. As a reader,  I much prefer  descriptions to give me a sense of place and I like to, to some degree, to be able to picture a character.

The book is an interesting one of mystery and suspense, with various themes on peer pressures, friendship, life struggles, cruelty and death.

However it’s a slow starter; the plot only takes shape well into the book; perhaps not so much a plot as a series of action scenes with many twists and turns.

I found it difficult to empathise with any of the characters, even  Kaylee (who takes on the first person point of view). I think this is because they are presented all at once and, at first, there is very little to distinguish one from another except by name. Although, I need to say, this is remedied later on in the story where they become rounded as the reader learns more of each character’s past and current lives.

Even so, I think it would help if the characters were re-worked to be given more depth and different backgrounds from the beginning. The characters all seem to derive from unhappy, almost dysfunctional circumstances.

However, the dialogue seemed realistic enough for a group of fifteen year olds; the slang, the throw away sarcastic comments fitted in well with the characters.

On the whole I think this book would appeal to any teenager who wants a quick read of mystery and suspense. I think I’m just too old!

Links to buy

Amazon .co. uk 

Amazon .com:

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT RESTHAVEN by @ErikTherme #YA #Horror #WeekendBlogShare

Today’s Team Review is from Barb, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Barb has been reading Resthaven by Erik Therme

I’m not usually a horror fan, so when Erik Therme sent me his new release I had to first think about YA horror as a genre. [See Chunky Teen Soup and other #YA #horror tropes.]  But I was interested in the book for two reasons. The first is that I read his debut novel Mortom (see my review here) and called it one of the most well-written books I’ve ever not liked.

The second is the way he published the book. It went through the 30-day reader-selection process at Kindle Scout and was selected for publication after making it to the final stages. Kindle Scout says, “Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.”

[NOTE: for more on Erik’s publishing journey, see Crowdsourced publishing: An Iowa City author’s journey with Kindle Scout]


The last thing Kaylee wants to do is participate in a childish scavenger hunt–especially inside the abandoned retirement home on the edge of town. When she finds a bruised, deaf boy hiding inside one of the rooms, she vows to lead him to safety . . . only to discover the front doors are now padlocked, and her friends are nowhere to be found. Kaylee is about to learn that not everything that goes ‘bump in the night’ is imaginary, and sometimes there are worse things to fear than ghosts.
  • Book Title: Resthaven
  • Author: Erik Therme
  • Genre: YA Horror
    Length: 220 pages
    Release Date: Kindle Press (April 12, 2016)
    Purchase Links: Amazon Universal Link

4 gold starMy Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Resthaven

I have a little problem with Erik Therme’s books. I think they are terrifically written books with a great sense of pace and individual style and full of characters I really do not like. At all.

In Resthaven, the main character is fifteen-year-old Kaylee, who has transferred to a new school following her parent’s divorce. She’s furious at her parents, misses her old life and friends, and mortified when her mother forces her to attend a party given by one of her wealthy new classmates. Kaylee’s seething resentment holds the other girls up to a toxic lens as each of them reveals their own personal tragedies. She’s especially furious when the hostess takes them to an abandoned retirement home on the grounds of her house and sends them off on a scavenger hunt. Very soon the girls find themselves locked inside the crumbling structure, only to discover that they aren’t alone.

Author Therme ticks off the standard YA horror tropes is businesslike fashion. The building itself is not only abandoned and derelict, but almost completely dark because boards have been nailed across all window openings. The girls split up almost immediately, and despite the way they tell each other on a regular basis to stick together, they each keep heading off alone, facing the inevitable injury and danger as the building’s secrets are revealed.

And that’s where things got interesting for me. The girls are by turns mean, cowardly, jealous, self-serving, capable of betrayal, stupidity, empathy, and the occasional nice gesture. Each of them is aware that she is outside of the popular crowd. Indeed, there is apparently another party that day to which none of them were invited. In other words, they are like almost every teenager anywhere.

The stakes rise steadily as the dangers multiply. And without providing spoilers, I can say that when it comes to the usual tropes we expect to see—characters bonding under adversity, perhaps forming romantic attachments as one girl’s twin brother arrives, or facing a pivotal dark moment that turns this into a coming of age story—well, those things don’t actually happen.

Instead we get characters who behave realistically under increasing pressure and danger. They struggle to make what they encounter fit into their world view, with only limited success most of the time. And at the end three of them take away the one thing—friendship—that, I believe, each wanted most of all.

So, yes. I don’t like horror. I don’t like the girls in Resthaven. But I do like Erik Therme’s writing. As I said about his last book, it’s just that good. Therme is not interested in having the story “cure” any of his characters’ problems. Most people aren’t any better off at the end than where they started, and character development is at best subtle. Therme is a writer who is more interested in poking his characters—poking them hard and then even harder—to see what they’ll do.

But unlike his last book, this one holds out some promise of the characters bonding as they are instead of as they are changed into by their experience. I would give Resthaven four stars. These characters aren’t for everyone. They certainly aren’t warm or adorable, or even particularly likeable. And the structure of the story itself—no chapter divisions and little imposed editorial structure—might not appeal to everyone. But if you like good writing, a sense of pace, plenty of atmosphere and danger, and a strong voice, then I recommend Resthaven.

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RESTHAVEN by @ErikTherme #YA #Suspense #Bookreview #WeekendBlogShare

ResthavenResthaven by Erik Therme
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Resthaven is a YA suspense story. Kaylee is 15 and has recently moved house with her mother. With few friends she’s invited by Anna to a girls night with a few people from school, but she is reluctant to go.

She meets Jamie a sharp tongued girl who enjoys making others feel uncomfortable. Jamie leaves Kaylee in the garden where she discovers Wren, a silent thoughtful girl who doesn’t waste words on trivial chatter.

Anna and Sidney make up the last two girls in the party and Jamie leads them all to a closed Old Folks home for a scavenger hunt as the sun sets. Jamie enjoys trying to scare the others calling the place “The Dead Folks Home”. She is determined to bully them into staying in the creepy place.

The main body of the book is about the girls chasing around the huge home, getting lost, hurt and being chased, threatened and put in danger. The action is endless and leads to reader fatigue. The girls reveal their backgrounds in snippets, all having a tragedy to tell.

I believe this book misses its target audience which will strongly be teenage girls. The characters are all tense, hard and cold often untrustworthy which prevents the reader empathising with them. There needs to be many more in-depth and emotional parts which reflect true female thoughts and feelings. The action scenes in the home all follow a gaming style of adventure and perhaps show the author’s love of gaming, but which may not appeal so strongly with the target audience.

Find a copy here from or

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