Review of The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: bought
Publication date: August 5th, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genres & Themes: YA, Paranormal, Mystery, Retellings, Legend.


A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.



Is this really supposed to be a horror book? Like…for real? I’m surprised to say this, since I usually never read this genre (because of the chicken that I am), but I found it very dull and never did I have some goose bumps while reading. Goose bumps are mandatory to me when reading a (supposedly) horror and creepy story.

If someone who has read The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith and couldn’t sleep ALL NIGHT says this book was not scary, believe that person. On the other hand…that book was very different compared to this one.

It just didn’t have an atmosphere. And I don’t mean that it was calm. That (highly important) element was just not present, unfortunately.

The narration was interesting, Okiku sometimes names a person doing an action and other times refers to him/her as ‘the girl’, ‘the young boy’, ‘the woman’, etc. It was original.

Sadly, our narrator and main character doesn’t have much of a personality (due the lack of atmosphere, I presume?) Some can say it is normal since she is a spirit but I’ve read and saw movies in which a spirit/ghost has a hell of a personality/attitude. I guess since she isn’t bad nor good, she can easily be liked by readers and I admit that I didnotnot like her. She just lacked.

Japan’s culture and legends were original and enjoyable to read about, except that Okiku’s legend was just so…unrealistic—yes, I know. It is not a contemporary, I understand. BUT, I read some fantasy/paranormal stories that totally made believe in the demons, witches and those weird things that can ‘kill the world’ inside them. I would have appreciated to learn more about the spirits and especially the girl in black. More of a backup would have been very welcome.

The writing was good but, since there was a lack of atmosphere, it didn’t help with making my reading experience pleasant. If only there were one…I know I would have liked this book so much better.

Also, the men that killed young girls and boys, why did they do it? I mean, I understand that some were simply psychopaths, but I needed some reasons, whatever they could be and that in order to make those kills more realistic to my eyes.

Final verdict: It’s not a book I would personally recommend since some elements in this book weren’t of my liking and there are ones that could have been so much better. ALHTOUGH, it was original in its genre (I guess—lack of experience with it) and unpredictable, which is certainly a very good thing.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

76 thoughts on “Review of The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

  1. Ouch. I don’t typically read the horror genre since it takes a lot for me to end up being scared and I don’t think most books would accomplish that and it sounds like this one definitely wouldn’t. Hopefully your next read is more enjoyable Lola!


  2. I have been SO KEEN to read this book because it sounds so creepy and eerie! And a lot of people have said how scary it is … which is why it’s disappointing that you didn’t think it was scary!

    Personally, I am pretty hard to scare when it comes to books. The only one that I have read and can recall being truly scared when reading it late at night is Grimoire by Kim Wilkins. That is not only a fantastic scary book, but a fantastic book in general.

    I don’t like it when there is senseless killing in thriller/horror movies, so I don’t think I would be so fond of that aspect in this book.

    Nevertheless, I am still open to reading this book because I want to see if it scares me or not!

    Also, YAY for The Forbidden Game! I absolutely loved that trilogy, although the ending upset me. I LOVED Julian. 😦


    • Oh men, I’m not sure I’m ready for that Grimoire book yet. Still A BIT of a chicken (but less than before.) I don’t think at all that that book will scare you. :/

      That’s the RIGHT word!! ‘Senseless’ The killing was so SENSELESS!–just going to pretend I found it first. 😉

      Oh, I’m sorry you didn’t like ending…I was kind of predicting it…or at least expecting it.

      Thank you for stopping by! 😀


  3. I’ve been seeing this book more and more often now! It’s the same here for me. I happen to be something of a chicken when it comes to the horror genre so I don’t try out such books unless I get too curious. I’ve been meaning to read this book but now that you’ve said it, I don’t think this would exactly be a book I’d like. Still going to give it a try if I happen across it. Nice review! ^_^


  4. Hey! I’ve read these too. Or you know I would comment. Or maybe I should just comment your blog for fun that has nothing to do with the books.

    So Lola.

    How’s your day going?


  5. While I liked this one a touch more than you did Lola, I agree that the story needed something more. I was creeped out on a number of occasions (I’m a giant wuss), but I would have liked more information on the murderers she kills and answers to the question you posed – why’d they do it? It was a fairly short book, so there was definitely room to explore a few aspects with more depth!


  6. I’ve seen this book floating around recently but I had no idea what it was about until now. That is always a bummer when the main character drags. I mean a side character can drag and it’s not so bad but when it’s the main character it’s totally different. It can make or break the book. I’ll probably still check this one out to see what I think. Great review! Sorry you didn’t like this one.


  7. That’s too bad you found this lacked a certain something, it sounds like an interesting concept and like it could have been a great book if there was a bit more to it. Thanks for the review!


  8. Oh it’s too bad that it’s different from what you thought, mainly when you expect a real horror book. I saw nice things about it but now I don’t know…. not sure. thanks for your review.


  9. Ohhhh, I’m a little sad that you did not like this one. I haven’t read it because I know I will be a little bias since the author is a Filipino. But your points here a really clear! Lovely review, Lola!

    In other news, you think I should try L.J Smith?? I want to be scared!! 😀

    P.S I cannot make a comment using WordPress 😦 IDK why.


    • Ooh lol I completely understand. If the author were Romanian, I would try to find more positive things I think though they’re so rare.

      YES. Though I was 14 at that time HAHAH so I don’t know if you’ll be scared too but, sure, try. ^^

      WHAT? I never heard of that!!!


  10. lols! people are so divided when it comes to this one. i’m not really a horror reader, i’m scred of EVERYTHING. so Mara Dyer is where my horror journey starts and stops. I love different legends and Japanese culture is just so freaking interesting! You didn’t like Okiku? Hmm. Funny. Jenny loved her voice. But yeah, she mentioned too that you don’t exactly know why this is done. Weird. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it that much, lovely 😦


  11. There’s such promise in this book — too bad it didn’t live up to it for you! I do so hate when that happens. And, yeah, I’m usually way too chicken to read any horror. I have to build up to it and, if I’m going to read it, I want it to really hit me where it hurts!


  12. Is it weird that The Forbidden Game did nothing to me? I was reading things and I just felt “okay”. The only part that really freaked me out was the part with the insects, and it’s becase I HATE them. I had been reading a lot about how this book was terrifying and whatnot, but now I’m not so sure.

    Great review, Lola! Your use of gifs is always wonderful. ;D

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Too bad 😦 Someone else – I can’t remember who now – was talking about how they were struggling through this book because it just wasn’t creepy, but was also weird because of the way the pov was written. I think I’ll pass, since I don’t pick up horror books too often anyway, if I’m going to, I want them to creep me out! Great review 🙂


  14. Unfortunately, this seems to be the general consensus with this one 😦 Reading the synopsis, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to read it, but I think I’ll probably pass. I totally agree with you that some books can make you believe the fantasy elements. If it can’t, I know I won’t be able to read it. And especially if the characters AND atmosphere are lacking? Nope. Great review 🙂


  15. Haha. When you said it didn’t give you goosebumps I immediately tried to think of all of the books that have given me goosebumps over the years and LJ Smith books were the first ones I thought about. They just have a creepy atmosphere, even her cheesier ones.

    Sorry this one wasn’t more creepy. I wasn’t planning on reading it because it didn’t really catch my attention. I have bad luck when it comes to scary books. They never scare me as much as I would like. It’s always the books I don’t expect that really creep me out.


  16. Ugh, sorry this one didn’t work out for you. I see where you’re coming from though. I saw sooo many reviews that said it was legitimately really scary though. SO NOW I’M TORN. I think I want to still try it, because I do love a good horror. But I do waaaant to be scared. >-< None of this mediocre stuff. 😉


  17. It seems everyone is reading this book! Yikes, sorry you didn’t enjoy this. Hmmm I thought I’d like this because of the horror aspect but since it seems there’s not much “horror” in it, I don’t think I’ll be reading this anytime soon. I don’t like characters who have no personality and paired with a lack of atmosphere?? That’s strange and totally a book turn-off. I am interested in the Japanese culture and elements though. Stunning review, Lola ❤


  18. I did feel the lack of personality you mentioned from the boy main character I can’t even remember his name now…but wait Tork

    But I figured Okiku was really the main character not him. I really enjoyed it sorry you didn’t as much.


  19. Yeah…I had to put this one aside. While the story was interesting to me, I had a hard time adjusting to the writing style, and definitely would have liked to have had a little more explanation, too. Not everything has to be explained, but some of it does.

    Sorry you were disappointed! Hopefully our next scary read will be better. 🙂

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


  20. Aww, this is definitely NOT what I want to hear about a horror book – that it wasn’t scary in the least! And what more, that it was DULL! Man, how disappointing, I was hoping this one would be a good read for this Hallowe’en.


  21. Awwww, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one Lola! Im one of those who ended up enjoying the book, mostly because it’s reminiscent of Japanese horror film characters that I enjoyed. I can understand your points in enjoying this as much as I did though, this book is definitely the type that you would either like or not, especially because of the quirky writing style. Lovely review, Lola! I like reading negative reviews of books I enjoyed, it just gives me another perspective 🙂


  22. Great review, Lola! I’m thinking I’m going to pass on this one . . . I don’t like dead things much to begin with and this one sounds . . . horrific without explanation, and if I’m going to read something horrific, I need to know the why. NEED.


  23. Thanks for the heads up ! I read Remnants of the dead recently, it needs editing but it really scared me, I read it during the day because I was too afraid to read it at night lol !


  24. Pingback: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco | booking rehab

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