Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Door to January” as Want to Read:
The Door to January
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Door to January

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  39 reviews
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
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Islandport Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Door to January, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Door to January

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra ClareKing's Cage by Victoria AveyardCaraval by Stephanie GarberCarve the Mark by Veronica RothFlame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh
YA Novels of 2017
1,103 books — 8,459 voters
Caraval by Stephanie GarberThe Hate U Give by Angie ThomasWintersong by S. Jae-JonesGilded Cage by Vic JamesBlood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
YA Debuts 2017
215 books — 1,568 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  161 ratings  ·  39 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Door to January
Chelsea Humphrey
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
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 ...more
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,
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Gillian French, for an honest review.


“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
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
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. ...more
Carolyn Elaine
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
S.M. Parker
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Samantha (WLABB)
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, ya
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
Kendall • thegeekyyogi
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great mystery and ghost story. Must read!
Bookish Heidi
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Brenna Clark
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Ms. Yingling
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Natalie Gilbert
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it

‘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
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
Shanna Davis
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: print-read, ya
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
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Chance N
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Meghan Wyrd
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spooky, middle-grade
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.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
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! ...more
Amy N
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
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! ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss-arc
3.5 stars
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a short enjoyable "thriller" story. If you're looking for a quick thriller to read I'd recommend it. ...more
Jillian Greenawalt
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Compact but delightfully well-rounded and a bit spooky.
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Ellsworth Public ...: Goodreads Book Giveaway 3 7 Aug 19, 2017 07:23AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Shiver
  • Five Total Strangers
  • What You Hide
  • Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor
  • Cover Your Tracks
  • Guess Who
  • Jane Doe
  • Girl at Sea
  • You Let Me In
  • Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop
  • The Girls Weekend
  • Magical Thinking: True Stories
  • Follow Me to Ground
  • Be Not Far from Me
  • 25 Days 'Til Christmas
  • Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim, #1)
  • Rules of Engagement
  • All Your Twisted Secrets
See similar books…
Gillian French is the author of three novels for teens: GRIT (HarperTeen, THE DOOR TO JANUARY, and THE LIES THEY TELL (HarperTeen, 5/1/2018). Her short fiction has appeared in Odd Tree Press Quarterly, EMP Publishing's anthology Creepy Campfire Stories (for Grownups): Tales of Extreme Horror, Sanitarium Magazine, and The Realm Beyond. She holds a BA in English from the University of Maine, and liv ...more

News & Interviews

  Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team...
17 likes · 2 comments