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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,193 ratings  ·  300 reviews
When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they're not going back to the city…or Seda's friends and school.

As the days grow shor
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire (first published November 1st 2017)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  1,193 ratings  ·  300 reviews

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Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
If there is one thing that Cyn Balog is famous for it is writing stories that are completely bizarre in the most perfect way. I can always count on getting something completely unheard of and something that more often than not, will throw me for a loop and make me think about it long after.

When I saw that her latest was a horror book, I knew, just knew I needed to read it and without a doubt would love it. And I absolutely did love it. It gave me chills, it made me think and it left me with an u
Mini-review: This is the perfect set-up for a chilling tale -- an isolated mansion in the mountains, a lonely teenage girl with an oblivious family, and an unwelcome group of visitors trapped by an impassable blizzard -- and Balog puts its familiarity to good use, gradually building tension, manipulating reader expectations (through clever use of classic horror references), and subtly winding from one possible horror to another. She sets up several possible endings, yet still manages to end with ...more
Fidan Lurin
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
There's a special excitement to novels where the story isn't what it appears to be. Deception is hiding somewhere in the narrative, but where? Is the main character fooling themselves, or is someone else doing it? Is the conspiracy so broad that we're too close to the story to detect it? YA novels such as We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, and After the First Death by Robert Cormier outwit us to chilling effect; storytelling doesn't get much better than when the b ...more
Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
When Seda's mom inherits a creepy old mansion full of secret rooms and passages, Seda isn't thrilled to be leaving her home in Boston, but her mother swears it's just temporary. As more and more time passes, Seda's mom decides she wants to renovate in order to find the perfect buyer for the house, which means they'll be living there longer than expected. 

As winter sets in and a blizzard hits, a group of teens ends up stranded during the storm, and ends up staying with Seda and her family. When h
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Young Seda feels so alone since her family has left Boston and is now living in a run-down macabre mansion with no-one nearby to help them. A snowstorm is coming, so now they're really trapped! Some teens arrive in need of help, but what lies ahead? Perfect creepiness for young adults. A nice little homage to "The Shining" for our younger readers.

**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review**

Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
So this is going to be one of those reviews which is hard to write because almost anything I say could give the entire thing away. Seda and her family, which consists of her mother and two sets of twins, move to a remote run-down home in the mountains which was previously used as a murder mystery B&B. That is important because all the creepy plots only add to the atmosphere of the dilapidated residence. Seda's father had no desire to stay on and left the family to return to Boston. Seda is lonel ...more
Brittany Lamb
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Okay. So, it's been a few days (or six) since I finished this book. But I really had to get my thoughts together on this one.

I am still struggling with the rating, because there are parts about this book that just scream, "3 STARS!", but there was so much that was good about this book, that I think I finally just decided to let it outweigh the bad (for the most part).

Alright. No more stalling. Lets get to it. Venture on for lots of spoilers (because that's pretty much what I do in these re
Jul 31, 2018 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
this was honestly not what i thought it would be at all.
things the blurb doesn't mention that i feel were pretty important:
-seda has a voice in her head, her dead twin that she absorbed in the womb named Sawyer. presumably she has some mental illness that causes this, and he has told her to hurt herself and others throughout her whole life, but it's never actually discussed because she told her mother he was just an imaginary friend. i'm kind of sick of authors using mental illnesses and not act
Rachel Bea
3.5 stars
Mostly predictable, but I liked the ending.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, kindle
Received from: SOURCEBOOKS Fire
Received Via:

Why this book?
Seemed interesting

What I thought

This book didn't really leave an impact on me. I'm forgetting it already, but I remember the twist was just really messed up. Especially because one guy seriously what an ass! I also didn't feel creeped out all.
Tracy (Cornerfolds)
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019, mystery, horror, ya
Read more of my reviews at!

I've been wanting to read something by Cyn Balog for years, but never had the chance until Alone popped up on my library's Hoopla. I went into this book not knowing much about it, but seriously hoping for a really creepy horror experience, something I feel I don't get nearly enough of in YA.

Seda lives in an old mansion with her mom and siblings. It was never supposed to be a permanent residence, but her mom is seeming less and less like she's actually g
Kim Friant
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Holy. Crap. I was speechless after closing this book. And I’ve been procrastinating writing this review because I really don’t know what to say. All the things I want to say will give away too much so I can’t say any of it! There are so many twists and turn in this book, the atmosphere is creepy, yet again I had to turn lights on while reading it . . . I mean dang! I really have nothing bad to say about this book. I read it in one day and I had the shivers after finishing it. My husband is a hor ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fast paced and enjoyably thrilling read. I didn’t care for any of the characters aside from Heath and I hated the Mom, what a complete moron. Despite this feeling, or lack of, i was interested in the story and wanted to see where it was going next. The book certainly picks up at around the halfway mark and never lets up from there. I liked the ending despite it being mostly cliche, although I didn’t see it coming lol, but it also had a darkness to it which I appreciated. The story pus ...more
Keep your eyes peeled for this one, children. Keep it at the top of your TBR if you enjoy subtle terror, unreliable narrators, and a unique setting: an almost dilapidated mansion in the middle of nowhere that used to be a murder mystery hotel.
And I did not predict the ending; that was one big surprise.
Ms. Yingling
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Seda's horror film professor mother has inherited a "house of horror" from an aunt and uncle, and has moved Seda and her younger siblings there to prep it for sale. She seems to be enjoying it to much to sell it, even though it is in the middle of nowhere and Seda hates being there. It doesn't help that Seda had a twin who didn't make it, and who sort of lives in her mind, making her think she is crazy, and definitely making her an unreliable narrator. When
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hall-of-fame
I am a grade A scaredy cat. I can barely watch a horror film at home, even with the volume turned down, lights on, and my dog buried in my lap. Needless to say, I had no idea what I was getting myself into with this book. Needless to say, I am so glad I did read it.

This was a creepy and haunting read that I couldn't put down. A twist on The Shining, it certainly holds up to that name when almost every chapter has me left with my jaw dropped. The pacing is solid throughout, and it flows along un
So I always knew I didn't really like silly, cheap twist endings, but this book has made me realise that it's more than that: I actually bloody hate them. ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The ending had me in total disbelief! It was a twist that I wasn't expecting! ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: goodreads-2018
I liked the premise of this book. It was a unique story line. The ending was chilling with a twist.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
It almost reminded me of a movie I watched as a Teenager. I thought I creepy house, feelings of dread and a group of teenagers? Yes, please! That was until I read it.

Ok so don't get me wrong this book wasn't takes quite a few pages to get to the really good parts, about 60% in. I understand what she was trying to do but I think instead of focusing on how creepy the house was, the characters needed more of something. There is a part in the book that explains that Seda has an inner
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought the premise of this book was really unique and interesting. I didn’t find it so much scary as creepy. I was creeped out the whole time while reading this book. I didn’t expect the ending at all which was a huge reason why I did end up liking the book. I also liked the fact the the story didn’t drag, it was just the right pace. As always short chapters with cliff hanging endings in thrillers or horror book always make me happy, so I was glad that was a characteristic of the book.
I didn
Colona Public Library
Seda's mom inherits a house from her aunt and uncle. The house is unique and has a storied history that runs back multiple generations. Her deceased aunt and uncle used the house as a Hotel Murder House. They would put on Murder Mysteries with their paying guests every weekend. When the family moves in, there is blood and fake dead bodies in every room. Her mom plans on cleaning it up and selling it and moving back to Boston. When a snow storm hits, a group of teenagers are stranded and her moth ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
"Welcome to the most haunted mansion in Allegheny County. The legend of this home says that no one has ever been able to live here through the winter without succumbing to the disorienting effect of Solitude Mountain."

I liked the idea of this house and all these siblings locked in it for months - so much they rarely bathe and completely lose track of what day it is. They have little to no connection to the outside world other than random shopping trips to the market that is 10 miles away. As the
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fifteen year old Seda Helm, her 4 siblings (2 sets of twins) and her mother, an author and college professor, are spending the summer at an old mansion that her mother inherited from an aunt and uncle. It used to be a murder mystery hotel with it's many secret passages and many, many guest rooms. It was fun at first exploring the old place, but now winter is setting in and Seda's mom has decided she wants to stay and renovate the old place. Seda is missing all her friends in Boston and wants to ...more

I had no idea I would end up liking this story and all its craziness as much as I did, with how slow the first few chapters were and me not really being pulled in by the main character. But once things started to pick up and the situation went awry, I became well-investigated and needed to know if my suspicions were accurate, especially about Seda. I knew she wasn't all the way there, but I did not see her remarks toward the end coming.

Before I get into why this dark and twisted story e
Brooke (The Cover Contessa)
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like a good scary story that doesn't leave me unable to go to sleep! This is that story.
The setting, an old hotel where murder mysteries used to play out. A snow storm that keeps anyone from going anywhere. A mother with a great imagination. All put together to form an intense and fun story.
If you like The Shining, but you don't like your books too scary, this is perfect for you.
The characters are fun. The scenes are well thought out. The suspense is just the right amount of scary versus not
A crumbling mansion on a secluded mountain during a blizzard sets the scene of Cyn Balog's novel Alone. This mansion was left to Seda's mother after her aunt and uncle die. Seda, 16, is desperate to get back home to Boston but her mom, a writer, can't seem to part ways with the mansion and decides they'll stay awhile. I should mention that when her aunt and uncle owned it they were using it as Murder Mystery Hotel and the devilish props and novelty items still decorate the house giving anyone th ...more
Megan (Under the Book Cover)
Review also posted at:


Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for review! All opinions are my own.

This is one of those books where the cover and the synopsis worked together to draw me in and make me want to read it. Unfortunately, this was a huge disappointment for me and...well, that's about it.

I generally explain the plot a bit in my own words, but the synopsis above does a pretty good
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Crazy for Young A...: Alone by Cyn Balog → Start Date: March 10th, 2018 15 10 Mar 13, 2018 07:19PM  

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Cyn Balog is a normal, everyday Jersey Girl who always believed magical things can happen to us when we least expect them. She is author of young adult paranormals FAIRY TALE (2009), SLEEPLESS(2010), STARSTRUCK (2011), TOUCHED (2012), and her most recent release: DEAD RIVER (2013).e. She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters.

She also writes under the pen name Nichola

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“Mother refuses to sell to a buyer who’ll “ruin it,” which also seems to include making it a normal bed-and-breakfast or house. Though it has quaint Gothic architecture and decor, the mannequin body parts in seemingly every closet, brownish fake bloodstains on the wallpaper, and nooses hanging from ceilings aren’t the kind of characteristics anyone wants to preserve.” 0 likes
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