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It’s a nightmare. And it’s killing her. Ever since sixteen-year-old Natalie Payson moved away from her hometown of Bernier, Maine, she’s had nightmares. And not just the usual ones. These are inside her, pulling her, calling her back, drawing her to a door, a house, a place, a time. Full of fear, full of danger. So this summer, Natalie’s going back to Bernier to face up to It’s a nightmare. And it’s killing her. Ever since sixteen-year-old Natalie Payson moved away from her hometown of Bernier, Maine, she’s had nightmares. And not just the usual ones. These are inside her, pulling her, calling her back, drawing her to a door, a house, a place, a time. Full of fear, full of danger. So this summer, Natalie’s going back to Bernier to face up to a few things: the reason she left town in the first place, the boy she’s trying hard not to trust, and the door in her dreams. But once she steps through the door, into a murky past, she’s entangled in someone else’s world. And only Natalie can help right the wrongs of both the past and the present.


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It’s a nightmare. And it’s killing her. Ever since sixteen-year-old Natalie Payson moved away from her hometown of Bernier, Maine, she’s had nightmares. And not just the usual ones. These are inside her, pulling her, calling her back, drawing her to a door, a house, a place, a time. Full of fear, full of danger. So this summer, Natalie’s going back to Bernier to face up to It’s a nightmare. And it’s killing her. Ever since sixteen-year-old Natalie Payson moved away from her hometown of Bernier, Maine, she’s had nightmares. And not just the usual ones. These are inside her, pulling her, calling her back, drawing her to a door, a house, a place, a time. Full of fear, full of danger. So this summer, Natalie’s going back to Bernier to face up to a few things: the reason she left town in the first place, the boy she’s trying hard not to trust, and the door in her dreams. But once she steps through the door, into a murky past, she’s entangled in someone else’s world. And only Natalie can help right the wrongs of both the past and the present.

30 review for The Door to January

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    When I first discovered The Door to January in my mailbox I immediately fell in love with the cover. I am always on the lookout for Young Adult novels that are a quick read and don’t require a long term investment on my end, and this one fit the bill perfectly. The blurb is fairly vague and I wasn’t 100% sure what the book would involve, but I was intrigued and excited to have found a story that felt so different than what is being published in the genre today. Initially I assumed the book had s When I first discovered The Door to January in my mailbox I immediately fell in love with the cover. I am always on the lookout for Young Adult novels that are a quick read and don’t require a long term investment on my end, and this one fit the bill perfectly. The blurb is fairly vague and I wasn’t 100% sure what the book would involve, but I was intrigued and excited to have found a story that felt so different than what is being published in the genre today. Initially I assumed the book had something to do with ghosts of the past, but I wasn’t aware that it was more along the lines of a mainstream Sci-Fi than a haunting. I say this because I found it refreshing and unique as opposed to the same old tale I was expecting; you know, the one we’ve seen multiple times over for teens? Not so here! The beginning had a slow start, one that established the setting and characters before jumping into the plot full on. I thoroughly enjoyed the pacing and found the characters likable and relatable, people we could root for. Because of the slow building suspense and snippets of action, the story is definitely character driven but not boring in the least. The aspect of time travel being crafted into such a modern concept through nightmares really hooked my attention; sometimes dueling POVs can get messy but I felt this is what kept the book glued together and functioning as it should. I know some readers are turned off by the idea of time travel, as it seems too much outside their comfort zone, but this novel felt more like a historical thriller geared toward a young adult audience. It’s difficult to explain, but The Door to January isn’t easily classified in any 1-2 genres. If you’re looking for a unique read that will spice up your usual schedule and style of books, I highly recommend giving this one a go. This novel was ever-changing; every time I thought I had it pinned down it grew and matured and turned in a direction I wasn’t quite expecting. I think that fans of speculative fiction with a focus on characters of a younger age will really enjoy this; there are some difficult topics covered with the kidnapping of young girls, but I felt it was tastefully done and nothing was over the top in a gratuitous form with graphic content. I’m really excited to see what others think of this one; add this to your fall reading list as it’s quick, exciting, and different! *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Elizabeth

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Bookmasters and Edelweiss.) This was a YA story about a girl suffering from nightmares. Natalie was an okay character, but I found it hard to connect with her. The storyline in this was about Natalie investigating a recurring dream that she was having by visiting the abandoned house where she believed the dream took place. She visited this house with her cousin Teddy, and set up a recording device which picked up some odd noises/talking, (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Bookmasters and Edelweiss.) This was a YA story about a girl suffering from nightmares. Natalie was an okay character, but I found it hard to connect with her. The storyline in this was about Natalie investigating a recurring dream that she was having by visiting the abandoned house where she believed the dream took place. She visited this house with her cousin Teddy, and set up a recording device which picked up some odd noises/talking, and there seemed to also be some history between Natalie and a local boy called Lowell. I didn’t really find the story very engaging though, and when we started getting parts of the story set in 1948 I felt quite confused and even more disinterested. I found the ending likewise a little confusing, and the final line only confused me further. 4.5 out of 10

  3. 5 out of 5

    JenacideByBibliophile

    Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Gillian French, for an honest review. Opinion: “As Natalie moved closer to the door, she heard whispers. Girls’ voices hissed around the frame. ‘Natalie,’ the said. ‘Natalie.’ She opened the door to blackness colder than the pits of January.” Natalie Payson has been plagued with strange nightmares for the past two years, where voices call her to a house – a door. She has no idea what to make of these dreams or why it whispers to her in Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Gillian French, for an honest review. Opinion: “As Natalie moved closer to the door, she heard whispers. Girls’ voices hissed around the frame. ‘Natalie,’ the said. ‘Natalie.’ She opened the door to blackness colder than the pits of January.” Natalie Payson has been plagued with strange nightmares for the past two years, where voices call her to a house – a door. She has no idea what to make of these dreams or why it whispers to her in her sleep. A house as cold as ice, with frost and snow raining down within and a door that leads to…where? To find out, Natalie must go back to Bernier, Maine – the place she and her family moved away from after a traumatic event in the woods. With her cousin Teddy in tow, Natalie finally enters the mysterious house to get answers and to make the nightmares finally stop. But Natalie’s presence in Bernier sparks more than just a dark history within a farm house, and suddenly more truths that she was prepared for begin to emerge. Truths from both the past and present. As usual, Gillian French is grabbing her readers by the collar and yanking them into a world of perfectly expressed emotional trauma and deep imagination. The Door to January is the perfect winter read that will chill your spine and frost your windows. It captures the innocence and strength between two young people, Natalie and Teddy, as they begin to experience paranormal phenomena in a farm house in their town, while still dealing with an event from two years prior that changed their lives forever. This book showcases a hopefulness and sweetness coated in dark grit and sorrow that will leave you wanting more. You’ll come for the ghosts, but you’ll stay for the epic twist. “We are the weavers. We are the shearers. And you are the darning needle.” If you think you know where this story is going to go, you’re going to be wrong. One of the things I love about this author, is that she gives you just enough detail to know what you may be getting into, but the ride she takes you on is never what is expected. This book has a paranormal/fantastical ghost story element, as well as a large mystery/thriller aspect that makes it almost disturbingly realistic. These are two genres of books I love, and Gillian French has meshed them together in a YA novel that makes me soul sing! All I want to do now is find an abandoned house in the snow and discover its secrets. Seance, anyone? Natalie is your typical sweet and caring sixteen-year-old girl who has a close relationship with her cousin Teddy. She works hard at her Aunts’ restaurant, follows rules, and is highly respectful and just good-natured. Teddy is very smart and shy, and would most easily be described as a quiet brainiac type. The relationship between Teddy and is cousin is immensely pure and portrays so much loyalty and affection, I was almost weeping of jealousy for not having a Teddy of my own to watch my back! Together the two begin entering the house with a tape recorder to see if they can catch voices of ghosts or spirits within the house. As they do, Natalie begins to experience flashbacks into moments of history inside the home and on the property. As this story-line unfolds, another one begins to unravel as the reader continues. It explains the events that took place before Natalie moved away, and basically why she moved in the first place. More characters are introduced from that time as well, and a few of them are of the unsavory sort. I don’t want to go into any detail about them though, because that will give away some of the secrets involved in this AMAZING mystery. Just know that things get dark real fast and you’re going to need a safety blanket and a nice cup of tea to hide behind. The way that these two story-lines reveal themselves turned out to be something I really enjoyed. There wasn’t a lot of boring moments between the “good stuff” happening, because everything was a hint towards what was eventually going to be unmasked. I was not expecting the nightmares and the house to go in the direction it did, but I am so impressed with the creative way it was orchestrated. It was such a quick read because I needed to know what was going to happen, and honestly, I could do with at least 3 more books following Natalie and Teddy. All in all, this is a chilling tale that I highly recommend for readers who are looking for another Wintery tale to end the year with, or to go into 2020 with. Of course, please be aware that this book does get dark and touches on some serious issues that may be sensitive to some readers – but nothing too graphic, it is YA after all. If you’re looking for a tale that will make you shiver, read this!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mrs.Morgan

    2.5 Stars So, not as good as Grit. Grit had really great characterization that I felt The Door to January was missing. This is also not my typical read; which wouldn't make it good or bad on its own, but coupled with a few missing pieces, forced the lean to not as good even further. The Door to January is a paranormal thriller about a girl who cannot escape the town in which she grew up, nor a house that she has a connection to, but can't figure out how or why. This story flips between the "now" a 2.5 Stars So, not as good as Grit. Grit had really great characterization that I felt The Door to January was missing. This is also not my typical read; which wouldn't make it good or bad on its own, but coupled with a few missing pieces, forced the lean to not as good even further. The Door to January is a paranormal thriller about a girl who cannot escape the town in which she grew up, nor a house that she has a connection to, but can't figure out how or why. This story flips between the "now" and the 1940's. I have to admit that I enjoyed that part - the storyline within the 1940's was compelling - but not enough to float the entire book, for me . The premise was pretty creative, but the characters didn't stay with me like I wanted them to. Also, the beginning was way more tedious than I needed or wanted it to be, and for a pretty little book (my copy only had like 190 pages), it seemed way too long for me to be waiting for the story to really get started. French did seem to execute the ending well, but it wasn't an all out shocking moment like I think she expected it to be - if you followed the story as you went, you had already asked yourself the question that she proposed on the last page. Overall, not a bad read, but I was still left looking for more.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Islandport Press

    It's not easy to write a thriller that keeps a reader on the edge of their seat but Gillian French does it. She deftly weaves a story that spans time to deliver authentic young adult characters and a believable (nail-biting) plot in a setting that will ring true to small town residents everywhere. You won't be able put this one down. It's not easy to write a thriller that keeps a reader on the edge of their seat but Gillian French does it. She deftly weaves a story that spans time to deliver authentic young adult characters and a believable (nail-biting) plot in a setting that will ring true to small town residents everywhere. You won't be able put this one down.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Elaine

    It started with the dreams. The dreams of the house and the door to January. Natalie hasn't been in Bernier, Maine in two years, not after the tragic incident that nearly cost Natalie her life. Now, back in Bernier for the summer, Natalie is working at her aunt's diner and investigating the old abandoned house that's been in her dreams with her cousin, Teddy. Then, some strange objects start appearing at her house, and her dream and the incident start to collide. The Door to January is a thrilli It started with the dreams. The dreams of the house and the door to January. Natalie hasn't been in Bernier, Maine in two years, not after the tragic incident that nearly cost Natalie her life. Now, back in Bernier for the summer, Natalie is working at her aunt's diner and investigating the old abandoned house that's been in her dreams with her cousin, Teddy. Then, some strange objects start appearing at her house, and her dream and the incident start to collide. The Door to January is a thrilling paranormal novel that will have you hanging on the edge of every word. Wow. I have no words for this. The Door to January was amazing! It reminded me of the movie Paranormal Activity somewhat, which I had just watched recently before starting this novel. From the moment I started this novel, I was enraptured with what was going on, and it wouldn't have taken me so long to finish if I wasn't a college student with homework and friends to deal with. Going into this, I had high expectations for The Door to January, especially with French's novel Grit, which was amazing. Of course, French exceeded my expectations. I loved the simplicity of the novel. I feel like the shorter chapters and the shorter novel gave The Door to January a certain spark that wouldn't have been captured if the chapters and the book had been longer. I loved the characters, especially Teddy! Teddy had to be my favorite character. He's so calculating and exact, but he's loyal and caring, too. All of the best character traits were in Teddy. I also liked Lowell. On one hand, I liked Lowell because he was undeniably sexy. On the other hand, Lowell changed from middle school to high school, and I liked that he really wanted to make a difference in his life and try to reverse the bad that he did in middle school. I did like Natalie, but she annoyed me some. I was also very confused in some of the actions she did or her response to certain situations. Needless to say, all of the characters were very well planned out and crafted, and each had a quality that either made me love them, like them, or hate them. The Door to January is creepily thrilling novel that I enjoyed immensely.

  7. 4 out of 5

    S.M. Parker

    The Door to January is a masterfully crafted thriller, with a slow build that makes you question several timelines at once. Sound confusing? It’s not. In the capable hands of French, the reader is simultaneously thrust into the conflicts—okay, horrors—of the present, recent past and historical past. These timelines are woven into one seamless narrative vine. French’s writing is starkly beautiful and inherently echoes the grounded nature of Mainers. French’s Yankee authenticity sings on every pag The Door to January is a masterfully crafted thriller, with a slow build that makes you question several timelines at once. Sound confusing? It’s not. In the capable hands of French, the reader is simultaneously thrust into the conflicts—okay, horrors—of the present, recent past and historical past. These timelines are woven into one seamless narrative vine. French’s writing is starkly beautiful and inherently echoes the grounded nature of Mainers. French’s Yankee authenticity sings on every page, in every exchange of dialogue. Beyond the beauty and the brilliance, this book stole my breath—I read the entire second half of the novel with my heart in my throat. Gah! So good.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Natalie's family fled Bernier after she and her cousin, Teddy, were attacked at gunpoint by local bullies. She had stayed away for three years, but felt a need to return in order to find out more about the nightmares that had been plaguing her. While back in Bernier, she "reunited" with her attackers, which awakened memories of that terrifying encounter, while also stumbling upon another mystery involving an abandoned house, which seems to call to her. I really enjoyed this blend of mystery, time Natalie's family fled Bernier after she and her cousin, Teddy, were attacked at gunpoint by local bullies. She had stayed away for three years, but felt a need to return in order to find out more about the nightmares that had been plaguing her. While back in Bernier, she "reunited" with her attackers, which awakened memories of that terrifying encounter, while also stumbling upon another mystery involving an abandoned house, which seems to call to her. I really enjoyed this blend of mystery, time traveling, and the paranormal. The elements were blended in such a way, that they worked well together. At first, I thought this was just going to be about Natalie's nightmares and the house, which slowly divulged pieces of a string of murders that took place in the late 40s. But, these were not the only flashes of the past revealed to Natalie. She also began seeing snippets from that dreaded day in the woods, which left one of her former friends dead and his murder still unsolved. By dropping pieces of both mysteries and weaving them with a little friendship, romance, and confrontation, I was left with a lot to think about, but French wove them in such a way, that I enjoyed collecting the pieces and trying to figure it out. I really liked the relationship between Teddy and Natalie. They had a great bond, which was tested, but still held up. I also liked the interactions between Natalie and Lowell, however, I wished we got to see more of them together. The relationship looked to be heading in a direction I was totally behind, but it was cut a little short. French made quite an interesting decision at the very end of this book. She switched the perspective and put some ideas out there, which made me question a few of the things I thought I learned from the rest of the story. I would love to be able to discuss the ending with her, because I want to see if my thoughts jibe with her intentions. Overall: A suspenseful tale with a touch of romance and the paranormal. **I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. BLOG|INSTAGRAM|BLOGLOVIN| FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kendall • thegeekyyogi

    The Door To January is part coming of age, part mystery and part ghost story, oooooo. Considered a paranormal thriller this book has all of the makings for the perfect ghost story! Sixteen-year-old Natalie Payson is being drawn back to the home town her and her parents fled, after a terrible incident occurred, by a barrage of plaguing nightmares. Dangerous and mysterious things are pulling her back to Bernier, Maine, to an abandoned house and disembodied voice which she can no longer ignore. Nat The Door To January is part coming of age, part mystery and part ghost story, oooooo. Considered a paranormal thriller this book has all of the makings for the perfect ghost story! Sixteen-year-old Natalie Payson is being drawn back to the home town her and her parents fled, after a terrible incident occurred, by a barrage of plaguing nightmares. Dangerous and mysterious things are pulling her back to Bernier, Maine, to an abandoned house and disembodied voice which she can no longer ignore. Natalie chooses to return, to face up to all of the terrible things she’s been trying to forget and to unravel the murky past of a frightening mystery. Stepping through the frosted door appears to be the only way that Natalie can right the wrongs of both the past and the present, but will she accomplish all this before it’s too late? Okay, so right off the bat I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It’s an extremely well done YA title that actually shows the characters in a realistic light for their age. There have been many YA’s that I have read where the main character is 16 or 17, yet their actions seem more adult-like and far beyond what should be their maturity. I admit, sometimes this is fitting in a certain storyline, and there are certainly teenagers out there that act more mature for their age, but I also find it extremely refreshing when a 16-year-old actually acts like a 16-year-old, and honestly it was one of the best things about this book. Natalie has some very difficult issues thrust upon her shoulders, but she still handle them in a very teenage-like regard, not always handling things well, keeping secrets, but learning from her mistakes and growing as the story progresses. Teddy, Natalie’s cousin, also handles himself in a realistic teenage boy way, which I think makes this a great book for both boys and girls to read. Even the bullies in this book have the proper balance of maturity/immaturity that, in a way, made their actions all the more frightening. This book (sort of) has alternating storylines, it switches between the present and then memories of the past, still in Natalie’s point of view, all taking a place in the same small town, but Gillian weaves it all together just so. I actually really love the storyline of the past, as its main focus is a mysterious man and his younger sister who rarely leave the house and avoid interaction with neighbors as much as possible (how spooky). It has an immediate sense of foreboding, and as it’s broken up over the length of the book, I found myself eager for all of the information I could get. Alternatively the story of the present is quite chilling and is a mystery that actually kept me guessing until the end. I was really pleased with this as I’m often able to figure out a mystery before the end, but the characters personalities keep everything wrapped up tight. In all fairness though I could have been too distracted by what the heck was happening to Natalie, because that has its own level of strangeness. I will say that in the beginning I found the book to be a little rough, it felt like we jumped right into the story without much build up, but as I continued to read I came to understand why it was started that way, it left an air of mystery. Overall I found The Door To January to be quite compelling and I couldn’t put it down! This is definitely a book I’ll be recommending to friends and basically all of the young adults I come across. Oh! Also, if you live in Maine I think that you’ll get particular enjoyment out of the familiar landscape and way of life. It’s a fun spooky read and could easily capture the mind of anyone. Enjoy! P.S. On Thursday, September 7th, I will be posting an exclusive interview with the author Gillian French! Gillian is answering questions about the book, writing and some other fun stuff. If you're interesting you can find this on my blog www.thegeekyyogi.wordpress.com

  10. 5 out of 5

    Angie ☯

    The Door to January is a little complicated. Natalie is having nightmares about the past. She goes back to her hometown to confront the nightmares and to try to make sense of them. Through Natalie's dreams and her exploration she finds that her past, the distant past and the present are all linked. This story is her path to understand how they are all linked and to clear up a couple of mysteries in the process. The ending of the book is interesting; with the final sentence being one that makes yo The Door to January is a little complicated. Natalie is having nightmares about the past. She goes back to her hometown to confront the nightmares and to try to make sense of them. Through Natalie's dreams and her exploration she finds that her past, the distant past and the present are all linked. This story is her path to understand how they are all linked and to clear up a couple of mysteries in the process. The ending of the book is interesting; with the final sentence being one that makes you pause and reread it a couple of times. It leaves the door open (see what I did there!) to a sequel. If you like a quick read, that delivers on the mystery, but isn't extremely complex gives this a try. If there were a sequel, I would read it. **Just a note - I am obsessed with book titles; I want to know why it was chose and if the actual title appears in the book. For this one, it seems that all of the events took place in January and Natalie is the door that links everything.**

  11. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Great mystery and ghost story. Must read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bookish Heidi

    This is a very well written suspense novel. Nightmares bring Natalie back to her hometown to face her fears. She ends up in the house where her nightmares originated and she starts getting glimpses of the distant past every time she visits the house. Entities are informing her of the death of 2 girls and one that is being held in the basement of the barn. Simultaneously she is remembering something that happened to her 2 years ago. The 2 stories unravel together in the best way.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brenna Clark

    Thank you so much to Gillian French for sending me a signed paperback copy of this stunning and literally chilling novel! I am currently in the middle of an Alabama summer, so it is absolutely sweltering outside, but as I devoured this tale today, I was positively freezing. It in itself is a door to January, a barrier which, once broken, leads to an icy and broken world where its characters struggle to keep their wits about them in a world that has stopped making any kind of realistic sense. We m Thank you so much to Gillian French for sending me a signed paperback copy of this stunning and literally chilling novel! I am currently in the middle of an Alabama summer, so it is absolutely sweltering outside, but as I devoured this tale today, I was positively freezing. It in itself is a door to January, a barrier which, once broken, leads to an icy and broken world where its characters struggle to keep their wits about them in a world that has stopped making any kind of realistic sense. We meet Natalie, who is plagued by nightmares. They started once she moved away from her hometown; a place where she lost her childhood in a tragic accident involving a former friend, her cousin, and a band of bullies. She dreams of a rotting house that has been left to the ravages of time, one that she can just barely remember being in that fateful night. In order to regain her memories and hopefully make her nightmares cease, she accepts a job at her aunt's restaurant under the guise that she is saving up to buy a car so that her parents will let her return to the town where the bullies of her past still lurk. Accompanied by her cousin, Teddy, she goes to the house and they start to experience odd things. There is definite proof of ghostly activity, and each encounter with these spirits makes the nightmares more vivid, so much so that she begins to slip into them during the day, and in those she is reliving the sordid past of the house. She is desperate to help the souls that are trapped there, but cannot figure out how. She balances this need with the terrifying truth that maybe the gang of kids that had taunted her as a kid are still out for her blood, and every second she spends in this Maine town brings her closer and closer to her own death. She faces a race against time to figure out the mysteries that have weaved themselves in her mind and refuse to let go. This book is such a fun ride. I have a soft spot in my heart for ghost stories, so I was already excited to read this, but I had no idea what else it had in store for me. There's more than one murder mystery, a tale of forgiveness, an unexpected romance, and even time travel! This may sound overwhelming, but they all blend together so seamlessly and make this novel exciting from start to finish. It's easy to pick up and finish in one day, and is engrossing to the point that you won't want to put it down. I just recommend bundling up as you read, because it will put a chill in your bones. Gillian is a queen of suspense, and I can't wait to read more from her!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    The Door to January did not give me the thrills I was hoping for. Natalie has nightmares about a traumatic event that happened two years ago. The nightmares aren't only about this event -- they are pulling her towards an old abandoned house in the town where she used to live. She feels compelled to go back to her old town for the summer and face her fears. She is staying with her aunt and her cousin, Teddy. Teddy is the only one who knows the real reason Natalie has returned. Natalie and Teddy vis The Door to January did not give me the thrills I was hoping for. Natalie has nightmares about a traumatic event that happened two years ago. The nightmares aren't only about this event -- they are pulling her towards an old abandoned house in the town where she used to live. She feels compelled to go back to her old town for the summer and face her fears. She is staying with her aunt and her cousin, Teddy. Teddy is the only one who knows the real reason Natalie has returned. Natalie and Teddy visit the old house and set up a recorder. Weird things begin to happen. There are really three POVs in The Door to January. We get Natalie's normal POV but also her dreams (which are in italics) and then she goes back in time for another POV. These sections from the past, where she is seeing the old inhabitants of the house, were not formatted correctly in the eARC. I'm sure that will be better in the final copy. The story lines all mesh together -- the past, the dreams, and the present -- to an exciting conclusion. It's hard to put my finger on why The Door to January just didn't do it for me. I never felt much suspense or many thrills. I liked the premise and the way things from the past were slowly revealed. But it just wasn't believable to me. I think maybe the story needed more depth. It is very short, and things happened quickly. In this case, maybe a little too quickly. Natalie seemed to take things very much in stride. She should have been freaking out! That's what I mean by depth. We needed to get more time for reactions to each new revelation before the next one came along. I'm being somewhat picky. I think for the intended audience, The Door to January would be appealing. And, like I said, it's a quick read and really moves. So this may be a good choice for reluctant readers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline Natalie moved from her hometown in Maine after an incident where one of her friends was shot, but no one could prove who did the shooting. She comes back for the summer to help her aunt out at her cafe, and also to investigate the nightmares that she is having. Her cousin Todd goes with her to a creepy house that is the setting of these dreams, and the two actually catch some "ghost" conversation on a voice recorder. More than that, Natalie gets sucked into E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline Natalie moved from her hometown in Maine after an incident where one of her friends was shot, but no one could prove who did the shooting. She comes back for the summer to help her aunt out at her cafe, and also to investigate the nightmares that she is having. Her cousin Todd goes with her to a creepy house that is the setting of these dreams, and the two actually catch some "ghost" conversation on a voice recorder. More than that, Natalie gets sucked into the past and witnesses atrocities that happened to three young girls in the 1940s. She somehow feels that the girls want her to avenge their deaths, but she is in even more danger from the group of friends from the shooting incident. While one of them, Lowell, seems to have grown up, several of them are even more dysfunctional and scary. Will Natalie be able to figure out both the historical and current mysteries? Strengths: I liked how the older and more current mysteries were presented together, and how one of them involved ghosts and the other involved friend drama. I would definitely buy this for a high school collection. Weaknesses: Too much human-on-human violence. Girls are kidnapped, kept captive, and killed. What I really think: I don't think I will buy this one. The kidnapping scenes were a bit much for middle school students.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Gilbert

    ‘The Door to January’ is a chilling tale, following Natalie Payson, two-and-a-half years after an event that completely changed her life. But when she starts having nightmares tied to a place that she left in her past, the only way she can find the truth is to return to her hometown and face the memories that have been haunting her. Gillian French completely threw me for a loop in this story. Once I started this book, I found it impossible to put down, even for a moment. I loved that the premise ‘The Door to January’ is a chilling tale, following Natalie Payson, two-and-a-half years after an event that completely changed her life. But when she starts having nightmares tied to a place that she left in her past, the only way she can find the truth is to return to her hometown and face the memories that have been haunting her. Gillian French completely threw me for a loop in this story. Once I started this book, I found it impossible to put down, even for a moment. I loved that the premise is about a girl who has been entangled far too deep into the past, so that her whole future is in question. It created a fast paced storyline that was easy to get sucked in. There are so many things that I enjoyed well reading, such as the characters. I thought that Natalie was a very relatable character, which realistic doubts and flaws. As well as, her cousin Teddy, who I just loved, will there ever be a more reliable partner-in- crime?? Lastly, the atmosphere, where the book takes place in a small town in Maine (which is where I am from), is absolutely perfect!! I had such a nostalgic feeling the entire time I was reading. Soo, all I can say is that if you are looking to enjoy a quick-paced, paranormal thriller with hometown vibes, I would highly recommend The Door to January. (I really enjoyed this story and gave it 4.5 stars!!)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    I seriously struggled to get into and ultimately finish Gillian French’s paranormal thriller “The Door to January” and although two genres were blended together well enough I found myself drifting off whenever central character Natalie had one of her uninvolving dreams. Natalie and her cousin have returned to their old town after a few years away as she feels the nightmares she is plagued by are connected to a violent incident which led her to leaving the town in the first place. Along the way s I seriously struggled to get into and ultimately finish Gillian French’s paranormal thriller “The Door to January” and although two genres were blended together well enough I found myself drifting off whenever central character Natalie had one of her uninvolving dreams. Natalie and her cousin have returned to their old town after a few years away as she feels the nightmares she is plagued by are connected to a violent incident which led her to leaving the town in the first place. Along the way she stumbles upon another mystery involving an abandoned house which becomes central to the plot. Although there was nothing wrong with the writing I found the book pedestrian and the different fonts to signify the varying time sequences, including the murders in the 1940s, particularly irritating. The mysteries come together well enough, and the characters develop, but once again I wondered who exactly this book was aimed at? I just cannot see teenagers engaging with it at all as there was little to tap into and I think it will struggle to find both a niche and an audience. There wasn’t much on offer here except for some paranormal suspense, which again came across as another book aimed at a female audience. And where was the horror? I must have missed it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shanna Davis

    Ohhhh, how I loved this book! I don't often read YA novels for pleasure, but being a high school English teacher, I know what my students like, and this chilling tale features it all! I was highly entertained, and read obsessively until I finished, having to know the fate of Natalie, our protagonist, and her crew of comrades. Following a tragic incident involving her cousin and classmates, Natalie begins experiencing terrifying and all-consuming nightmares. These lead her to a house that exists Ohhhh, how I loved this book! I don't often read YA novels for pleasure, but being a high school English teacher, I know what my students like, and this chilling tale features it all! I was highly entertained, and read obsessively until I finished, having to know the fate of Natalie, our protagonist, and her crew of comrades. Following a tragic incident involving her cousin and classmates, Natalie begins experiencing terrifying and all-consuming nightmares. These lead her to a house that exists in both her dreams, and reality. When she bravely chooses to return to the location of both the tragedy and her nightmares, she sets in motion a series of events that reveal both secrets of the past, and her own psyche. The storyline follows events in both the present, and the past, very effectively increasing tension until the pulse-pounding conclusion. French effortlessly weaves the supernatural into this very believable teenage drama, and the journey is both suspenseful and rewarding for the reader! Thank you to Gillian French and Islandport Press for a copy of The Door to January, in return for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This was between 2.5-3 stars for me. I absolutely loved Grit that came out earlier this year and it's still one of my top favorites from 2017, but this book reads like it was the author's first book she wrote and it didn't get much editing. There was some choppy discussions and descriptions, and it felt like the reader got thrown into a fairly paranormal scenario without much explanation of terms getting thrown around like a "psychic fallout". Side note: what's up with so many YA authors publish This was between 2.5-3 stars for me. I absolutely loved Grit that came out earlier this year and it's still one of my top favorites from 2017, but this book reads like it was the author's first book she wrote and it didn't get much editing. There was some choppy discussions and descriptions, and it felt like the reader got thrown into a fairly paranormal scenario without much explanation of terms getting thrown around like a "psychic fallout". Side note: what's up with so many YA authors publishing two books in 2017? Gillian French, Adam Silvera, Mindy McGinnis, Alan Gratz, Jason Reynolds (three books!!) etc. I'm not complaining, I've just never noticed this happen before...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Well written short novel with some paranormal and time travel thrown together. There's a mystery in the far past, Natalie's own recent past, and the present where the story slowly unfolds and ties together by the end that was satisfying. I liked that it didn't try to make itself longer than it needed to be, either. And the cover is gorgeous, and the title works really well, too. I love it when you've read a book and the cover and title make sense and feel right. Well written short novel with some paranormal and time travel thrown together. There's a mystery in the far past, Natalie's own recent past, and the present where the story slowly unfolds and ties together by the end that was satisfying. I liked that it didn't try to make itself longer than it needed to be, either. And the cover is gorgeous, and the title works really well, too. I love it when you've read a book and the cover and title make sense and feel right.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Natalie returns to her home town two years after she and her cousin, Teddy, were terrorized in the woods. She has been called back by vivid nightmares of an abandoned farm house. As the pair dive into the house's morbid past, their own past creeps up again. horror & time travel (science fiction / historical thriller) 16 year old Takes place in Maine Natalie returns to her home town two years after she and her cousin, Teddy, were terrorized in the woods. She has been called back by vivid nightmares of an abandoned farm house. As the pair dive into the house's morbid past, their own past creeps up again. horror & time travel (science fiction / historical thriller) 16 year old Takes place in Maine

  22. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Quick read so not a big time investment. I found the plot intriguing but the writing too fragmented leaving me trying to piece together events too often. It's hard to connect with any if the characters. I will say the story picked up in the second half but still very scattered in my opinion when it didn't have to be. Quick read so not a big time investment. I found the plot intriguing but the writing too fragmented leaving me trying to piece together events too often. It's hard to connect with any if the characters. I will say the story picked up in the second half but still very scattered in my opinion when it didn't have to be.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Not sure how French managed to fit so much into such a short novel but she did it very successfully. Some of the supernatural elements were a bit cheesy for my tastes, but other parts were legit terrifying. Too many great things not to rate this highly. Would definitely read something else by this author.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chance N

    Very well written, and very suspenseful! I couldn't put it down! It got really dark at the end and I didn't expect the guilty person to be who it was. All in all it was a very good read, and I loved the style of writing and Natalie, the main character, was a very strong and very relatable character. Very well written, and very suspenseful! I couldn't put it down! It got really dark at the end and I didn't expect the guilty person to be who it was. All in all it was a very good read, and I loved the style of writing and Natalie, the main character, was a very strong and very relatable character.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Meghan Wyrd

    Local local local!!! Loved the story, very spooky and engaging. The hints of romance aided with character development without getting annoying. Love this great addition to Maine literature written by a Mainer.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Monical

    Quick YA read. The plot is disorganized and disjointed, the characters flat and inconsistent, but the concept is intriguing. According to the flyleaf, this is the author's second YA book-- so I'd say, keep trying! Quick YA read. The plot is disorganized and disjointed, the characters flat and inconsistent, but the concept is intriguing. According to the flyleaf, this is the author's second YA book-- so I'd say, keep trying!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy N

    Very intriguing story line, jumping between the two mysteries and how they tied together kept my attention throughout this intense thriller. I havent read a book but Gillian French that i haven't liked. Please write more i love the twist and turns you take the reader on! Very intriguing story line, jumping between the two mysteries and how they tied together kept my attention throughout this intense thriller. I havent read a book but Gillian French that i haven't liked. Please write more i love the twist and turns you take the reader on!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    3.5 stars

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bobbie

    It was a short enjoyable "thriller" story. If you're looking for a quick thriller to read I'd recommend it. It was a short enjoyable "thriller" story. If you're looking for a quick thriller to read I'd recommend it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Greenawalt

    Compact but delightfully well-rounded and a bit spooky.

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