Alone by Cyn Balog

Alone

When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they're not going back to the city…or Seda's friends and school. As the days grow shor...

Title:Alone
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Alone Reviews

  • Cillian

    Keep your eyes peeled for this one, children. Keep it at the top of your TBR if you enjoy subtle terror, unreliable narrators, and a unique setting: an almost dilapidated mansion in the middle of nowhere that used to be a murder mystery hotel.

    And I did not predict the ending; that was one big surprise.

  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    If there is one thing that Cyn Balog is famous for it is writing stories that are completely bizarre in the most perfect way. I can always count on getting something completely unheard of and something that more often than not, will throw me for a loop and make me think about it long after.

    When I saw that her latest was a horror book, I knew, just knew I needed to read it and without a doubt would love it. And I absolutely did love it. It gave me chills, it made me think and it left me with an u

    If there is one thing that Cyn Balog is famous for it is writing stories that are completely bizarre in the most perfect way. I can always count on getting something completely unheard of and something that more often than not, will throw me for a loop and make me think about it long after.

    When I saw that her latest was a horror book, I knew, just knew I needed to read it and without a doubt would love it. And I absolutely did love it. It gave me chills, it made me think and it left me with an unsettling feeling I absolutely adored. It was everything I expected from this author writing in this genre and it was so much darn fun. I highly recommend it if you want a fast paced, easily read in one sitting horror story that will leave you reeling and wanting more and even slightly unsettled.

    *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  • Crowinator

    Mini-review: This is the perfect set-up for a chilling tale -- an isolated mansion in the mountains, a lonely teenage girl with an oblivious family, and an unwelcome group of visitors trapped by an impassable blizzard -- and Balog puts its familiarity to good use, gradually building tension, manipulating reader expectations (through clever use of classic horror references), and subtly winding from one possible horror to another. She sets up several possible endings, yet still manages to end with

    Mini-review: This is the perfect set-up for a chilling tale -- an isolated mansion in the mountains, a lonely teenage girl with an oblivious family, and an unwelcome group of visitors trapped by an impassable blizzard -- and Balog puts its familiarity to good use, gradually building tension, manipulating reader expectations (through clever use of classic horror references), and subtly winding from one possible horror to another. She sets up several possible endings, yet still manages to end with a shocker. This mix of Clue, The Shining, and a host of other horror and slasher films could have been cliched--instead it felt surprising.

    Immediate reaction: That was such a pure and perfect reading experience, I don't know what to do with myself.

  • Delphine Lurin

    Alone by Cyn Balog is altogether thrilling, curious and strangely beautiful. Balog goes beyond authors to create a story that leaves readers puzzled, relieved, frightened, traumatized. The plot is unheard of. The writing style is quick paced and slow to climax; a paradox yes, a mistake no. The characters are disastrous and unknowingly on their way to their fate. The feelings provoked are doubt, sympathy hatred for things unseen. This chilling tale starts with the disturbing infatuation of a moth

    Alone by Cyn Balog is altogether thrilling, curious and strangely beautiful. Balog goes beyond authors to create a story that leaves readers puzzled, relieved, frightened, traumatized. The plot is unheard of. The writing style is quick paced and slow to climax; a paradox yes, a mistake no. The characters are disastrous and unknowingly on their way to their fate. The feelings provoked are doubt, sympathy hatred for things unseen. This chilling tale starts with the disturbing infatuation of a mother who inherits and old mansion, affecting her children’s contact with the outside world, especially her teenage daughter, Seda. Through Seda’s eyes we are trapped within the creaking rooms and dusty exterior of this place she fears she must now call home. All is sad, but quaintly uneventful until a group of friends lose their direction on their way to a winter resort. When these teens enter the mansion seeking safety, it is without pause that they enter a faraway, yet so close universe where fun is mixed with fear, and life becomes death.

    Seda’s mom is a horror film teacher so what more of a blessing than to inherit a haunted mansion from her grandparents? With initial plans to sell the old, creepy dwelling, Seda’s mom becomes increasingly infatuated and turns what would become a historical monument for sale a home for her family. She loses her reluctance to put the home up for her comes at the cost of her husband and she is left to raise her three children on her own, but she seems perfectly beside herself with the idea.

    She comes up with quirky ways to keep her two twins and her teenage daughter entertained like hide and seek games and deliciously exorbitant meals each night. This way, she is able to extend the length of their stay in the home, tucked well away from the rest of the world with little human contact other than a ski resort miles away.Inspired by the paranormal horror thriller movies from back in the day, Seda’s mom risks the unity of her family to chase a spooky ideal that cannot be found, so she decides to create it herself.

    Seda is an awkward and lanky girl with troubles of her own. Her little secret is her imaginary “friend”, a potentially dangerous voice living in her veins and speaking in her ind, taking control of her with every opportunity. While it’s normal for small children to have an imaginary friend, Seda’s has stayed with her and if anything has turned into an enemy on its way into infecting her mind and contact with the world around her. She tries to hush the voice and longs to return home to Boston and live a real teenage life once again with slumber parties, boyfriends, and college applications. As the months tick by it becomes increasingly hard for Seda to keep in contact with her friends from high school and she furrows deeper and deeper into her own mind, forgetting what it feels like to breathe outside of this new universe of fear and horror. She spends lots of time alone wandering about the house, as there is little to do outside in the freezing blizzard cold.

    Everything goes just as it should – banal, solemn, isolated until Seda runs into a group of teenagers one day in the forest who have lost their way to the ski resort. It is with their appearance in the house that the mansion truly does become exactly what Seda’s mother was hoping for – a paranormally haunting disaster.

    The reader has to wait and make it through more than half the book to finally make it into the very core of the novel – a solitarily stifling murder mystery. The eerie tone of Balog’s writing leads the reader into a game of “who killed killed whoever got killed.” And who is the one tugging the stings of this puppet show? None other than Seda’s overwhelmingly fun, yet completely twisted mother. This late plot is what really saved the book. The beginning was slow with very little happening, which caused me to think the book was simply going to be static with little to no development. However what bothered me about this was that it almost seems as though the book should be separated. The writing style, pacing, and chain of events changes quickly and almost abruptly from a girl battling her internal demons to a girl and a group of lost teenagers unknowingly playing the characters in a fanatic murderous game. These two parts could have been woven much tighter together, therefore improving the overall quality of the story. Each part by itself I enjoyed but together, they were just too different and need polishing for greater fluidity. The spooky tone remains the same which draws both parts of the book together but that is not enough with a book which is supposed to be a murder mystery, entailing that there is action, which is not the case in the first sixty percent.

    The story is told through Seda’s point of view which I loved because gave me the chance to enter her world and experience life in the mansion, and feel the voice inside her being awakened as the days become darker and more enclosed. Seda doesn’t think of herself as likable, pretty or capable of ever again being a normal teenager. The ways he describers herself and views herself in comparison to others is almost heartbreaking because it shows the affects that an absence of human contact can have on an individual’s perceptions of him or herself.

    This book was scary and immensely curious. It was unlike any thriller I have ever picked up before. The tone, writing style, characters, events – everything – was unexpected and, while not as satisfying as I would have hoped, given the strange ending, left me with goosebumps and heart-pounding questions and possibilities, never to be confirmed, always to be pondered upon. A book that leaves you thinking about it, even after you turn the last page; even after you close the book and put it back on the shelf; even as you open your next read. This is exactly what I look for in literature, something that makes me feel. Little does it matter what it makes me feel. The point is, it makes me feel.

  • Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

    Seda's horror film professor mother has inherited a "house of horror" from an aunt and uncle, and has moved Seda and her younger siblings there to prep it for sale. She seems to be enjoying it to much to sell it, even though it is in the middle of nowhere and Seda hates being there. It doesn't help that Seda had a twin who didn't make it, and who sort of lives in her mind, making her think she is crazy, and definitely making her an unreliable narrator. When

    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

    Seda's horror film professor mother has inherited a "house of horror" from an aunt and uncle, and has moved Seda and her younger siblings there to prep it for sale. She seems to be enjoying it to much to sell it, even though it is in the middle of nowhere and Seda hates being there. It doesn't help that Seda had a twin who didn't make it, and who sort of lives in her mind, making her think she is crazy, and definitely making her an unreliable narrator. When college students get stranded near the house, the mother is reluctant to help them at all, but eventually does. Seda takes a liking to one of them, but the creepy house is creepy for a reason, and before long, things begin to go awry.

    Strengths: This reminded me of Poblocki's The Ghost of Greylock, Alender's The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, and R.L. Stine's books set in creepy houses in the middle of nowhere. It was a bit slow to build up, but was definitely nicely creepy all the way through. The idea of a "house of horror" from the 1980s was a brilliant scheme, and I did really enjoy all of those details. Lots of twists, and definitely a surprise ending.

    Weaknesses: Not a huge fan of the unreliable narrator, and the mother irritated me by her insistence on staying with the house even when it caused her husband to leave.

    What I really think: A bit brutal at the end, but I will have to buy this since my readers have an insatiable desire for scary books and murder mysteries.

  • Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)

    When Seda's mom inherits a creepy old mansion full of secret rooms and passages, Seda isn't thrilled to be leaving her home in Boston, but her mother swears it's just temporary. As more and more time passes, Seda's mom decides she wants to renovate in order to find the perfect buyer for the house, which means they'll be living there longer than expected. 

    As winter sets in and a blizzard hits, a group of teens ends up stranded during the storm, and ends up staying with Seda and her family. When h

    When Seda's mom inherits a creepy old mansion full of secret rooms and passages, Seda isn't thrilled to be leaving her home in Boston, but her mother swears it's just temporary. As more and more time passes, Seda's mom decides she wants to renovate in order to find the perfect buyer for the house, which means they'll be living there longer than expected. 

    As winter sets in and a blizzard hits, a group of teens ends up stranded during the storm, and ends up staying with Seda and her family. When her mom decides to set up a murder mystery for them to complete to stave off the boredom, Seda's nightmares may just become reality...

    I was really intrigued by the premise of Alone, especially because I always want to read creepy books around Halloween! I absolutely loved the atmosphere that Alone created. It was dark and creepy, and I felt a definite eerie vibe as I was reading it, which a lot of books fail to do for me, so I was thrilled with that aspect of the book! 

    I really enjoyed the beginning of the book and the set up, and I absolutely loved the last 40%, but I did feel like there was a period of the book from 30-50% or so of the way in that it felt like not much was happening, and I was waiting for the main plot to start. Despite that, the book is short and engaging, so it's super easy to binge read! 

    I won't spoil anything, but I absolutely loved the ending of the book, though I do have a few unanswered questions! I like that though - not everything needs a black and white ending. Overall, I loved the book and rated it 4 stars! I've had Unnatural Deeds by the same author on my to read list for a while, so I'll definitely have to get to that one soon! 

    Thank you to Netgalley, Sourcebooks Fire, and Cyn Balog for an advanced copy of the book. It was my pleasure to provide an honest review. Alone is out today, so be sure to check this one out! 

  • Pamela

    3.5 stars. Young Seda feels so alone since her family has left Boston and is now living in a run-down macabre mansion with no-one nearby to help them. A snowstorm is coming, so now they're really trapped! Some teens arrive in need of help, but what lies ahead? Perfect creepiness for young adults. A nice little homage to "The Shining" for our younger readers.

    **Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review**

  • Kim

    Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

    Release Date: November 1, 2017

    3 1/2 Stars

    Alone pays homage to The Shining, by Stephen King, yet it has several unique twists of its own that sets it apart. Seda, the unreliable narrator, kept me guessing as to who she was and what her motivations were. The descriptive setting is the best part of the story, and its eeriness and claustrophobic atmosphere creep off the pages and surround you. The pace ho

    Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

    Release Date: November 1, 2017

    3 1/2 Stars

    Alone pays homage to The Shining, by Stephen King, yet it has several unique twists of its own that sets it apart. Seda, the unreliable narrator, kept me guessing as to who she was and what her motivations were. The descriptive setting is the best part of the story, and its eeriness and claustrophobic atmosphere creep off the pages and surround you. The pace however, was extremely slow for about 70% of the book and at times I was ready to tear out my hair waiting for something, ANYTHING, to happen. And then it finally did, and YIKES! What a rollercoaster ride!

    While Alone didn't live up to my admittedly high expectations, I still enjoyed it and think it would make a good read for teens, especially this time of year. It's creepy and unsettling and I guarantee the ending will leave you with goosebumps!

    Also reviewed at

  • Tabby

    Seemed interesting

    This book didn't really leave an impact on me. I'm forgetting it already, but I remember the twist was just really messed up. Especially because one guy seriously what an ass! I also didn't feel creeped out all.

  • Barb (Boxermommyreads)

    So this is going to be one of those reviews which is hard to write because almost anything I say could give the entire thing away. Seda and her family, which consists of her mother and two sets of twins, move to a remote run-down home in the mountains which was previously used as a murder mystery B&B. That is important because all the creepy plots only add to the atmosphere of the dilapidated residence. Seda's father had no desire to stay on and left the family to return to Boston. Seda is l

    So this is going to be one of those reviews which is hard to write because almost anything I say could give the entire thing away. Seda and her family, which consists of her mother and two sets of twins, move to a remote run-down home in the mountains which was previously used as a murder mystery B&B. That is important because all the creepy plots only add to the atmosphere of the dilapidated residence. Seda's father had no desire to stay on and left the family to return to Boston. Seda is lonely and feels totally out of place. Seda is also haunted by her twin, which she reported absorbed in her mother's womb.

    One night a car full of teens breaks down and Seda finds them holed up on the property. They are eventually invited in to stay by Seda's mother and since Seda's birthday is right around the corner, a murder mystery party ensues - but is everyone who dies acting?

    This was a quick read and I think it's really suited to a shorter novel. It was also a great read for the Halloween season. However, it is one of the books which the entire time you are reading it you have a constant "WTF?" look on your face. I even asked my husband at one point if I looked as confused as I felt. I never really felt a huge attachment to Seda but I did feel for her being stuck in the middle of nowhere with her mother and a bunch of young kids.

    To say there is a twist at the end is probably the understatement of the year. The problem I had is a good friend of mine had read the book right before me and while she was careful not to spoil anything, the ending I had dreamed up was much different than the one which actually occurred. That being said, this book ALMOST got 4/5 and probably would have if I had enjoyed the outcome a tad better. However, it was a solid enjoyable spooky read for the Halloween season.

    I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and the published in exchange for an honest review.

Books Finder is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.