The House in the Pines – Ana Reyes

I’m feeling good about how I’m doing getting my reviews up this month so far! Let’s hope this continues throughout the year because I always hate when I fall behind on these and do all the mini reviews in a panic.

Thanks to Dutton Books for the gifted copy in exchange for my honest review

THE HOUSE IN THE PINES – Ana Reyes (Released January 3rd, 2023)

This is now Reese’s Book Club pick – so be prepared for the stickers on the covers! I’m relieved I got this copy before that was announced, so my book remains sticker-free

Book Description:

Armed with only hazy memories, a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death, and has since spent her life trying to forget, sets out to track down answers. What she uncovers, deep in the woods, is hardly to be believed….

Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.

Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer–the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.

At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin….

Utterly unique and captivating, The House in the Pines keeps you guessing about whether we can ever fully confront the past and return home.

My Thoughts: 3/5 stars

I definitely recommend checking out Chandra’s (wherethereadergrows on Instagram) review as well because she hit the nail on the head. I was expecting a thriller, not a slower suspense read, so that alone ruined the experience for me. The main character being unreliable because of their substance use is something we’ve seen in so many books in this genre. I think I was hoping for something a little more. The folklore was the highlight for me, hands down, so that was a bright spot! I think if you love these slower suspense books and those pesky unreliable narrators, then this should 100% be on your TBR.

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