Day 3 out of 7 of reading YA: The Girl From the Well
It is not in my nature to be interested in the living. But there are many things, I have found, that defy nature.
You’ve seen the horror movies. Okiku. A girl in a dirty white dress and long black hair covering her face. She is dead and she is terrifying. But Rin Chupeco’s YA novel The Girl From the Well, proves that just because Okiku’s dead doesn’t mean she’s all bad. Sure she kills every once in a while, but only child killers like the man who killed her three hundred years ago. While she continues this life of retribution, she encounters Tark, a mysterious boy covered in strange tattoos. The more she follows Tark, the deeper Okiku finds herself drawn into a world of rituals and spirits that takes her from America back to her native land Japan.
I love books that delve into mythology, and was excited to read a book that deals with some Japanese folklore. Those mythic details weave throughout the story and add to the ambiance and creepy feel of the novel. However, if you’ll looking for a horror YA to read under the covers at night, The Girl From the Well is not the story you’re looking for. The creepy factor comes not from terror but from a sense of detachment. Okiku, as a dead girl walking the streets, is of course detached from the world around her and the tattooed boy Tark, though alive, lives detached from the rest of the world because of his own inner demons. Chupeco infuses that sense of detachment and loneliness throughout the story creating a gloomy and melancholy feel.
Overall, this was a good read for me. There were moments where I totally bought into the creepy feel Chupeco created, moments where I learned something new, and moments where I just enjoyed Tark’s sarcastic manner. Reading The Girl from the Well might just have me searching Goodreads for some more Japanese folklore fiction.
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger