The Turning
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The Turning

2.65 of 5 stars 2.65  ·  rating details  ·  493 ratings  ·  146 reviews
A dark house.
An isolated island.
Strange dreams
and even stranger
visions . . .

Jack is spending the summer on a private island far from modern conveniences. No Wi-Fi, no cell service, no one else on the island but a housekeeper and the two very peculiar children in his care. The first time Jack sees the huge black mansion atop a windswept hill, he senses something cold, som...more
Hardcover, ebook, 246 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by HarperTeen
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Community Reviews

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karen

"It's cold in here," she said.

"I know. I'm freezing," I said.

"But you're sick," she said. "I'm just dead."

"You're dead?" I said.

"You already knew that," she said.

"I am seriously sick," I said. "Is this really happening?"

"This is really happening," she said.

Once she said that, a lot of things seemed settled.


and what exactly, is settled?? well, that this epistolary retelling of The Turn of the Screw will lose a lot of the nuance of its source material, for one, and that while it isn't really as ba...more
TheBookSmugglers
This was SO bad. Original review posted on The Book Smugglers


The Turning is a failed, poorly-executed attempt at retelling Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw.

Jack is a high school senior who needs to save money for college and as such, has accepted a summer position as a babysitter. He is to take care of two orphaned children, Miles and Flora, at the only house on an isolated island where the two children live with a housekeeper. Jack has been hired by the children’s uncle who does not want to...more
Jennifer
I had two major issues with this book. The first is format. I've loved some books that use a letter writing or diary format, in fact, some of my favorite books have unreliable narrators so they often use a letter or diary format. Unfortunately for The Turning, the use of letter writing just isn't well done. Jack doesn't write at all like a teenage - I mean AT ALL. It is really disconcerting. He also frequently tells the reader about something that was told to him. So you get things like, "Sophie...more
Gem
Just finished an ARC of this book. I rarely read ghost stories so my creepy ratings are usually pretty skewed (ie. everything is scary).

The story is told in letters, mainly from the main character, Jack, to his girlfriend, Sophie. The story reads well, although the language doesn't exactly sound like a realistic teen boy to a teen girl. No matter though, as the letters are quite fluid and engaging. I read through this book in one sitting, mostly to find out what happened. I'm not familiar with...more
Sue Moro
The Turning is a modern day retelling of the Gothic classic The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.

The story is about a young man named Jack who is hired to babysit two orphans on an isolated island, owned by their Uncle who is their guardian. The island has no television, radio, internet, or phones. Quite oddly, the Uncle tells Jack he doesn't want to hear about anything that takes place on the island. Any circumstances that arise are to be handled by Jack and the children's guardian, Linda.

On th...more
Owen
*Spoilers included in this review*


I'm so disappointed. I really wanted to like this. I got it from the library (free finished copy to keep!) for an upcoming Halloween book club and I was so excited because the cover is amazing. It sounded really creepy too.


It is about a boy named Jack who, in order to get some money for college, goes to spend the summer on a remote island, Crackstone's Landing, babysitting two kids, Miles and Flora Crackstone, whose parent were killed in an accident. There is no...more
BAYA Librarian
In this modern retelling of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, high school student Jack takes a job as a guardian and playmate for two peculiar children on an isolated island. The children’s uncle, who hires Jack, says he wants no communication with Jack or with the orphaned children. The island has no telephone or Internet service, and Jack will see only Linda, the children’s full-time caretaker, and the occasional workman. But soon Jack begins to learn about the island’s strange past and be...more
Alicia
I'm not quite sure what I just read? I think it was a ghost story or was it about mental illness or two vampire-like, strange kids, or a creepy island, or a haunted house? I think it created some great suspense at the beginning as a very strange uncle interviews Jack to "play/entertain" his niece and nephew for a summer but the slow unravel of a sinister ghost story isn't sustained. There are a few mysterious stories that are told and set Jack up to begin hallucinating or dreaming and the odd pr...more
Maria
This book is labeled as young adult, but I would definitely mark it as a tween novel, just in case.

The Turning focuses on a teenager named Jack who has decided to work a summer job as a babysitter on an island secluded in the middle of nowhere, in what looks like a haunted castle. Yea...sounds like my idea of fun.

I had a couple of issues with this book.

1) the entire novel is written in the form of letters between Jack and Sophie, his girlfriend, and Jack's dad. But to me, it was a great idea ex...more
April
Oct 16, 2012 April marked it as did-not-finish
The book begins with pages upon pages of the main character writing a letter and telling his girlfriend things she already knows in order to fill the reader in on his background. Skimming indicates that he later writes a letter to his father that includes an actual conversation they had with one another.

That sort of lazy storytelling just makes me furious so I'm walking away.
Alexandra
This book was very easy to read and I flew through it in a matter of hours. Francine Prose has a writing style that makes you not want to put the book down. And because the fact that this book was written in letters (to the main character's father and also to his girlfriend) instead of chapters, it made you want to finish each letter before closing the book.
I thought the setting of the book was very apropos for a horror novel: a remote island with a huge mansion in which live a cook and two cre...more
Tara
Review originally posted on my blog http://hobbitsies.net/2012/09/the-tur...

I haven’t read Turn of the Screw, but I had pretty mixed feelings towards The Turning by Francine Prose. I’m a huge fan of YA horror/thriller/mystery/creepy so I dove into The Turning with high expectations.

And I enjoyed a lot of The Turning. I really enjoyed the format at first – it’s not very often that you find a young adult book written in the epistolary format. But the thing about the epistolary format is that we ba...more
Life Between Coffee Spoons
Choosing a rating for this one was hard. Two stars feels so harsh, yet three stars feels far too generous.

Jack is a teenager hired to babysit two children for the summer on a remote island with no phones or television. Thus, to communicate with his father and girlfriend back home, he has to rely on writing letters. The epistolary format kept the book interesting, though I think it compromised some of the character depth.

The good: I've never read The Turn of the Screw, but this novel made me want...more
Brandy
Jack's summer job is to hang out with two eerily well-behaved children on an isolated island--no TV, phones, internet, cell service, nothing. Despite his early misgivings about the job (including the seagull screaming at him to turn back on the ferry over), he enjoys it--but there's still something weird. Then he starts seeing the man. And then the red-haired woman from the ferry. And then learns that they're both dead, and the mysteries keep on coming.

A retelling of The Turn of the Screw (which...more
Angelina Justice
I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn't. The character building was fantastic, but the writing and delivery were all wrong for our modern setting and the social constructs that society operates under.

The neverending, almost formal, letter format via which the narrator tells the story is the killing blow for this novel.

Potential fantastic....delivery epic fail.
Chris
Reviewed at Brunner's Bookshelf first.

I didn’t know what to expect from this book, nor did I really have high aspirations for this book right from the start. This had a really cool cover, and I think it was a Goodreads recommends based off of something on one of my shelves. I have had this sitting in my to-read list for a while now, and I was in need of a book fast, and this was all the library had available that I wanted to read. I really liked this book, and I’m so glad I read it.

As I said, t...more
Casey
Creepy, strange ghost story based on The Turn of the Screw. The epistolary format felt a bit forced, though, and the ending wasn't as much of a twist or an ambiguous ending as I wanted, it really just kind of ended completely abruptly. But teens will like the cover and the synopsis, so they may try it.
Cherry
3 stars

I think I found the book interesting (like I'm not sure right?)

Plot Summary
Jack was hired by Jim Crackstone to be a governess of his niece and nephew in an isolated island. The Kids, Miles and Flora is in care of Linda, the family cook and the one who take care of the kids since they were little.

"Flora was wearing a long white gown, edged with lace."


"And Miles wore pants, a blazer jacket with crest on the pocket, and - you're not going to believe this - a tie."


description

While on the ferry going to...more
paula
Not terrible, but not great, and never hit that shivery note of dread that I look for in a good horror story. Frankly, I'd rather read Henry James - and I'm not sure I've ever put those words together in a sentence before.
Cassi
I seriously LOVED this book so much and was all ready to give it 5 stars, and then I got to the end. The ending was horrible. Every good weird novel needs a twist and this novel had tons of suspense leading up to........nothing.
Sassy Spratt
Have you ever read a book, not quite sure if the main character was crazy or not? I felt like this throughout the entirety of The Turning, a psychological thriller type young adult novel about a boy named Jack, who spends the summer on a pretty creepy little island. A single, very rich family inherits the island, and people around the area who know of the place are very wary of it.

The story starts with Jack boarding a boat to get on this island. Immediately he starts witnessing some pretty dist...more
Robert Gordon
Great book. I never would have thought of this idea. The book makes me shiver its so creepy in a good way!!!
Sandy
Once again, it was the cover that drew me into wanting to read this book. I love stories about haunted houses and this one gave me hope that it would be a creepy, dark read. It couldn't have been that bad, I read it in 2 days, so this alone tells you that it was hard to put the book down.

The book started out decent with the creepy description of the two kids that Jack is supposed to be caring for, Miles and Flora. They were dressed in old world clothing and were very polite and intelligent for...more
Vy
Despite the low ratings, I still wanted to give this book a try because Turn of the Screw by Henry James is one of my favorite stories that I have read thus far. The Turning, I want to say is a sort of re-telling of James' work, but set in a modern era. I also really like that the protagonist, Jack, is male compared to James' story with the female governess. With just that simple change, I already knew that this story might bring something different to the table. Although it wasn't as creepy as...more
April
The Turning was an extremely quick red for me.i literally read it in a matter of hours and didn't want to put it down..especially since interesting things started happening straight off! I really liked the story, my heart was racing in suspense for bits and pieces of it. The ending I didn't quite see coming. I can see some ppl not liking the way it ended, but I did. It gave me chills. So all in all a very quick and fast paced likeable book especially for those who like a good ghost story or mino...more
Crystal Books Unbound
When I first saw the cover of this book, I thought to myself, “I must know what that book is about because it looks so creepy!” And then that synopsis sounded even creepier! So I went through the proper channels and practically begged for this ARC. I absolutely had to have it!

It was a really quick read which is something I am always grateful for. What kind of threw me off about it is the fact that it is written in letter form instead of chapters and I had a really hard time believing that a hig...more
Andrea at Reading Lark
*3.5 Rating
Review Posted on Reading Lark 10/22/12: http://readinglark.blogspot.com/2012/...

"The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James is one of my favorite short stories and such a perfect chilling read for the Halloween season. Last year around this time, I read Tighter by Adele Griffin (Read my review of that book!) because it was inspired by the classic James piece. I was ecstatic to find out about the release of this little gem this year. As soon as I received the book from the publisher, I move...more
Christianne
BAYA Review

Prose, Francine. The Turning. HarperTeen, 2012. 256 p. ISBN: 9780061999666. $17.99 All Teens **

In this modern retelling of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, high school student Jack takes a job as a guardian and playmate for two peculiar children on an isolated island. The children’s uncle, who hires Jack, says he wants no communication with Jack or with the orphaned children. The island has no telephone or Internet service, and Jack will see only Linda, the children’s full-time c...more
Jennifer
In a modern retelling of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, Francine Prose’s new novel The Turning transports readers to a haunted island. Jack has been hired by a wealthy man to babysit his niece and nephew, Miles and Flora, for two months until school starts. The children, whose parents died when they were very young, are living with are living in their family estate on an isolated island with the family cook, Mrs. Gross. Despite the fact that there is no Internet, television, or phone recep...more
Alex
Wow, I don't think my opinion of a book has ever changed this drastically while reading it. This started off okay, and by halfway through I was hooked. Then the ending came along and I was pissed off and annoyed. This book is only 250 pages so that is a very short period of time to have that many opinions!

This started off very slow, but I was intrigued enough to continue. The letter format turned me off in the beginning, as it just didn't seem to flow. I enjoy other epistolary novels, but it did...more
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Epic Reads Book Club: October Book Club: THE TURNING! 6 35 Oct 20, 2013 02:28PM  
Epic Reads Book Club: Do you believe the narrator? 2 19 Oct 20, 2013 01:42PM  
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Francine Prose (born in 1947 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American novelist. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1968, and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1991. She has sat on the board of judges for the PEN/Newman's Own Award, and her novel Blue Angel, a satire about sexual harassment on college campuses, was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is now teaching at Bard College.

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