The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco // Creepy but not that remarkable


The Girl from the Well

by Rin Chupeco

Ebook, 272 pages

Published August 5th, 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire


I am where dead children go.

Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they’re due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on.

Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen’s skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There’s just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host.


When I first saw this book, my first impression is that this is a retelling of The Ring. I absolutely hate that movie. It still give me nightmares. Maybe because the first version I saw was the Japanese one, which as we all now, is so much more creepier than the US one. But anyway, I expected to be fully creeped out when I started it. This book managed to do it, but there are other factors that failed for me too.

What I Liked

  • How Japan was written in this book. I love how train takes such a huge part in this book and how the author managed to capture all the weirdness and awesomeness of Japan in a book. How the whole religion/supernatural aspect and how it is viewed in the country is also very well written.
  • The legends. Like I said, when I first saw this book I thought it was The Ring retelling and the author named the ghost Okiku. Even as the story goes, I couldn’t piece together the clue that it’s that Okiku. I also loved how it mentioned famous Japanese story such as Kaidan.
  • The atmosphere. For most of the book, the atmosphere is pretty ominous. While we know what happened and I had a vague guess how everything will went down, I still can’t help worrying for our characters and dreading the ending. It’s very well done.
  • The writing. I know a lot of people don’t like stream of conciousness writing, and I don’t either, but for some reason it works in this book! It showed polarising nature of Okiku, her thoughts, feelings, and hundred years of experience. It’s interesting to see the world through her eyes.
  • The ending.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The characters. I don’t feel like they are fleshed out enough?? The father is typical absent parent. Callie is caring, and it seems like that’s all she is. The mother has an interesting background and I wished it was explored more. I couldn’t phantom Tark at all, because I didn’t know which is him and which is the darkness.
  • The hint of romance. Please no. Romance is the exact reason why I dislike Anna Dressed in Blood. Can we just stop having unecessary romance please?
  • The plot is very straightforward and it kinda make the story unremarkable for me. It’s a shame because Okiko and the book’s atmosphere is amazing, yet the plot is forgetable.

Overall, I really liked it! The atmosphere is perfect and Japan is very well written here. I just wished the characters are more developed and *fingers crossed* there will be no romance. I also wished the plot will be more memorable in the next book.

And yes, there will be a second book. It sets in Aokigahara *brb preparing my heart and soul*




10 thoughts on “The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco // Creepy but not that remarkable

  1. I really don’t see the point of romance in horror books, unless the book’s more contemporary with a horror aspect to it, which this doesn’t seem like it is. But I’m so intrigued by the Ring retelling aspects, and the fact that it’s set in Japan. That sounds super awesome. Sorry this book didn’t totally do it for you, though, Tasya. ❤ Great review.

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks


  2. Hi Tasya!
    Wow, I really liked how you wrote this review – especially with how concise it was and I could easily see why and why you didn’t like it!
    I personally quite liked The Bone Witch, Chupeco’s other book, so I really appreciate this review. I find it odd that there was a romance in horror – unless it was like, a romantic horror? I am the biggest chicken wuss anyway (I really can’t stand horror movies because I don’t like the idea of being more frightened at night than I already am), and I think I’d be too busy being terrified to absorb any romance aspects. ;-;


  3. I loved reading your review for this book. I haven’t read it yet, so it’s interesting to see what you thought was great about it and what wasn’t such a hit. I have to agree about unnecessary romances in YA novels – I didn’t realize this had romance in it, and to be honest, it seems like one of those books that would have been much better without that.


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