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The Harrowing

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,695 Ratings  ·  282 Reviews
Baird College's Mendenhall echoes with the footsteps of the last home-bound students heading off for Thanksgiving break, and Robin Stone swears she can feel the creepy, hundred-year-old residence hall breathe a sigh of relief for its long-awaited solitude. Or perhaps it's only gathering itself for the coming weekend.
As a massive storm dumps rain on the isolated campus, fo
Hardcover, 247 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by St. Martin's Press
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Jan 27, 2008 Trin rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror, american-lit
A simple ghost story stretched rather too long and with a bit too much emo for my tastes. Robin is a college student with angst—do you hear me? ANGST—who stays in her dorm over Thanksgiving instead of going home to her crazy (and ANGST-causing!) mom. She meets four other outcast-types, and then they all accidentally raise an evil spirit. As one does.

The first few séance-y scenes are the best in the book; Robin’s emo, which makes the first section drag, is finally sidelined, and there’s some fun
Aug 12, 2008 Trudi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not harrowing enough.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
The Harrowing was a pretty good book to read around Halloween. It was nicely scary, and the story idea was quite interesting. Ms. Sokoloff integrated Jewish creation lore into this story. I thought that it gave this story an individuality for a ghost story/supernatural horror story. This was a major strength of this novel.

I also really liked Robin, the main character. She starts this story at a complete low, but shows courage, ingenuity, and strength of character that is crucial for the ordeal
I read this with my horror group at Shelfari. I picked up this book during a free promotion by the author.
This is a story set at a Midwestern college campus. A handful of students are staying on campus over the Thanksgiving holiday. Of course, this is when things start to happen.
One of the students finds a Ouija board and together the group makes contact with a former student at the college, Zachary. From there, things go from bad to worse.
I don't want to spoil any part of the plot, but I can sa
Now this was one fantastic book. It was made into a movie as well. I knew beforehand that this was the case but I have a rule that I read the book first, movie second. Of course when I do this, I constantly criticize the movie every time saying out loud, "That didn't happen, hey, that wasn't like that in the book." LOL.

I watched the trailer on YouTube but haven't seen the movie as of yet. I look forward to it though.
If your looking for a good spooky tale that you can about read in one sitting t
Jun 19, 2010 Kasia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I wanted to adore this novel from beginning to end I have to say that it was a mixed bag of nuts. The first half was brilliant, well not literary genius but tantalizing and gripping, I was at the book's mercy as it kept tugging at me, begging to be read some more. The second half took a nose dive into the juvenile corner that it never managed to climb out of, overall I liked it but the ending fizzled out, if the author kept the momentum and originality going and actually made it scary ...more
Jeannie Sloan
Jul 10, 2010 Jeannie Sloan rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, ghost-current
This is a scary book.I read it in one sitting on a rainy day and boy was I spooked.The atmosphere outside may have had something to do with it but even if it was sunny I think that this book would have scared me quite a bit.
I think that my Goodreads friends will do themselves a favor by reading this book(especially Danielle and Grace).
There were interesting characters and the plot moved right along so that I didn't need to skip any pages which I tend to do with most books because they can get bo
Jan 30, 2009 Bookaholics rated it really liked it
The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff
Mass Market Paperback - October 30, 2007
4 Stars

Robin Stone is a troubled young woman. Her means of escape from her unbalanced mother was by running away to college paid with guilt money from her absentee father.
Still, she remains unhappy and depressed in the academic arena and feels like a shadow nobody will miss if she's gone. When Thanksgiving comes, she stays in the echoing Mendenhall dormitories rather than going home to her mother for the long holiday
Nov 26, 2015 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A competent, yet less-than-enthralling horror novel.
Zombieslayer/Alienhunter {Gandalf The Blonde}
Robin Stone, a freshman at Baird college, won't be going home for Thanksgiving weekend to her drunken mother.
Patrick O'Conner, football star, won't be going home to his institutionalized mother and psycho jock-building father.
Cain Jackson, musician (and orphan) has no one to go home to.
Lisa Marlowe isn't missed.
Martin Seltzer can't return to his 'faithful' father.
So, on a dark and stormy night, they all congregate in the lounge of their dorm, Mendenhall, and bond over beer, weed, and pure, unfli
Carolyn  Storer
Sep 13, 2009 Carolyn Storer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Harrowing is marketed as 'Scream meets The Exorcist' and I'd say that is a fair description. This is the debut novel of an author who's also a screenwriter, and it shows. This book reads like a movie; it's scary, jumpy, spine-chilling and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It's well written and yet has a nice easy flow to the prose without being too simplistic. The imagery is vivid and the atmosphere is tense.

Robin, the main character, starts out as a very paranoid, self-pitying young woman
Carrie Hinkel-Gill
One of the things that I've noticed about many good books is that the first chapter gets overlooked in the revision process in favor of getting the rest nearly perfect.

That was the case here with this book. The beginning felt clunky. I honestly felt that the book should have started on page 7 with the following sentence: "In the two months she'd been at Baird, she made zero friends."

It wasn't until this point that I was actually drawn into the story. All the stuff before that felt, unnecessary
Aug 25, 2010 Elizabeth rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2008 Stephen rated it liked it
Ever since Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House scared the living hell out of me at age 11 (even if I didn't completely understand it all at the time), I've enjoyed stories that involve supernatural nasties. I love gloomy old houses, spooky woods, creaking noises at night, and all those things that hint at the existence of unseen entities lurking at the edge of the real world. Something about ghosties and ghoulies can still hit a few vital nerves that the most awful of real-world horrors ...more
Kathleen Valentine
Sep 22, 2012 Kathleen Valentine rated it really liked it
This is quite a nice little ghost/monster story! Five "discarded" college students, with nowhere to go for Thanksgiving, stay at school in an old dormitory where they discover a dilapidated Ouiji board. They decide to see what it has to say and - well - you can guess the rest. There are no great surprises but it is well-written and nicely paced with wonderful atmosphere and some very interesting characters. I thought it was a bit like "The Breakfast Club" meets Ghost Story but it also reminded m ...more
Jul 18, 2007 Annie rated it it was amazing
"The Harrowing is a basic haunting tale, but Sokoloff’s dreamed up an origin tale that draws from a source I haven’t really seen utilized before. I was impressed with her fresh take on a familiar template, and pleased that she managed to scare me."
Jun 09, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent ghost story!
Gokce ~Muslin Myst~
I gotta admit I didn't expect so much from this book, so it took me a while to actually read it until now. The plot remainded me so much of a teen slasher movie plot, you know, the ones where young people come together, for a ghost seance in an gothic looking school during Thanksgiving holiday as in this one, and one by one they get murdered, after unleashing an evil spirit that is. These movies usually go with a line as lame as, 'what started as an innocent game has become a race against evil.. ...more
Sep 25, 2016 Kendra rated it really liked it
Not as good as The Unseen, but Alexandra Sokoloff knows how to tell a good scary story.
Feb 17, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: age-ya, horror, 2014
Robin is spending the Thanksgiving holiday alone at her dorm, and she's plenty happy to be alone (even if it's a bit creepy)... but she isn't alone. Neither are the four others at the dorm, not after they pull out a Ouija board and call up a spirit. The spirit claims to be the ghost of a student named Zachary, but Martin thinks otherwise. He's convinced they are accessing Jung's collective unconscious, and he wants to keep it going as an experiment, despite the creepy stuff happening now...

I was
May 23, 2012 Dianne marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-have
Free TODAY 5/23/12

Baird College's Mendenhall echoes with the footsteps of the last home-bound students heading off for Thanksgiving break, and Robin Stone swears she can feel the creepy, hundred-year-old residence hall breathe a sigh of relief for its long-awaited solitude. Or perhaps it's only gathering itself for the coming weekend.

As a massive storm dumps rain on the isolated campus, four other lonely students reveal themselves: Patrick, a handsome jock; Lisa, a manipulative tease; Cain, a br
Jul 14, 2009 Kristen rated it it was ok
Shelves: summer-2009
"The Harrowing" by Alexandra Sokoloff is about a group of five misfit college students who come together one Thanksgiving weekend when they each decide, separately, to stay on campus rather than to go home for the holiday. The story really takes off when one of the five, Lisa, finds a Ouija board and suggests they try to contact spirits. While I found that I felt the need to finish the book, it wasn't because I couldn't wait to find out what happened, but because I felt like I had already put to ...more
This was an excellent read - but be warned, I wouldn't advise reading this at night. Or on your own... Unless you like scaring yourself to pieces.

The uneasy atmosphere of the story creeps up on you slowly and subtly and it's one hell of a ride from start to finish. With sympathetic characters, a fascinating creation myth, and one incredibly scary adversary, there's lots to enjoy.

Yes, there are the gothic story tropes: the Ouija board, the misfit students, a deserted dorm building. But tropes are
Dec 15, 2014 Mia rated it did not like it
Deep sigh. Another book my library recommended for fans of Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger. I can only surmise that library staff believe that having a photograph of a large building on the cover makes the books enough alike to carry that recommendation. Or perhaps they recommend The Harrowing because, like The Little Stranger, it is printed on white paper with black ink.

In other words, the two books have nothing in common. Reading the Harrowing is like reading the screenplay to a highly unori
Oct 31, 2016 Plum-crazy rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
In parts maybe this wasn't as harrowing as I would have liked for a horror tale but at least it did seem to have "a proper storyline" & wasn't just a gory bloodfest like many of the teen-slasher type movies that it was reminiscent of - & if it isn't already a film I'm sure it soon will be (incidentally, since finishing it, I went back & read the author blurb &... surprise, surprise...she is a screenwriter, which will come in handy for the adaptation eh?)

It also seems this is a bo
Feb 08, 2014 Peter rated it it was amazing
Baird College Mendenhall dorm will be empty for this Thanksgiving break. Well almost empty! Robin Stone decided that she has nothing to go home for. Little did Robin know that there were four other students who had the same plans. The others were Patrick, a jock; Cain, a musician; Lisa, a tease; and Martin, a scholar. A massive storm dump wind and rain on the isolated campus.The five stumbled upon each other in the student lounge.Right from the beginning they felt that there was a presence in th ...more
✟ℜoxanne✟(Death by Book Avalanche)
The Harrowing is a great Ghost Story, very gripping and entertaining. The beginning was great and the ending was even better, at one point I was holding my breath and I just couldn't put the book down. I was so close to giving this book 5 stars but I was disappointed with some of the filler and unfortunately at times I did lose interest...however this only happened a couple of times. Overall, this was a great book with very likable characters in which I sometimes felt connected to so a very good ...more
Feb 04, 2009 Thee_ron_clark rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-horror, mystery
For the most part, I've never been really interested in reading ghost stories. As far as supernatural creatures go, ghosts really don't rate high on my list.

Well, I actually enjoyed it. I found it to be well-written and interesting. I enjoyed the blend of Jewish religious beliefs in the story and found it all quite pleasing. Two days after I started reading it, I was finished and am hoping this author's future works keep up.
Mar 10, 2013 Jo rated it liked it
I don't know if this would be considered New Adult or not. The protagonists were college age. There is a lot of language, sex and alcohol and drug abuse. It was a well done story, and I really liked the character of Robin. She transforms from an outsider to a girl who knows her worth and the value of her life.
Feb 07, 2008 Eric rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, 2008
I don't know about you, but I loved The Breakfast Club when it first came out (1985, I think). And so, apparently, did author Alexandra Sokoloff. The Harrowing turns the iconic John Hughes movie into a ghost story. Fair warning: You'll have the song "Don't You Forget About Me" by the Simple Minds in your brain the entire time.
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I'm the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker and Anthony Award-nominated author of the Amazon bestselling crime and supernatural thrillers The Harrowing, The Price, Book of Shadows, The Unseen, The Space Between, and the new Thriller Award- nominated Huntress/FBI thriller series: Huntress Moon, Blood Moon, Cold Moon. Bitter Moon, Hunger Moon. The New York Times Book Review has called me "a daugh ...more
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