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It Will Just Be Us

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  583 ratings  ·  271 reviews
Sam Wakefield's ancestral home, a decaying mansion built on the edge of a swamp, isn't a place for children. Its labyrinthine halls, built by her mad ancestors, are filled with echoes of the past: ghosts and memories knotted together as one. In the presence of phantoms, it's all Sam can do to disentangle past from present in her daily life. But when her pregnant sister Eli ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 8th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  583 ratings  ·  271 reviews

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Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
My thanks to Crooked books, Jo Kaplan and Netgalley.
I've been thinking about this story all day. I still don't know what to say.
I didn't like this book at the beginning. It was a bit like being back in Elementary school, on Monday. For show and tell! I actually loved show and tell, but not so much in story form. Quickly though, this story took form and I was hooked.
You know how sometimes you read a book and you find yourself in sync with the author or story? That was me. I knew too much of what
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Trigger warning which I inadvertently forgot to mention when I first published this review: ANIMAL ABUSE of birds and frogs - I know this is a big no no for many so please be aware.

Calling all haunted house fans: Do I have a book for you!

It Will Just Be Us delivers chills and thrills and it will have you peaking through your fingers while reading. Just look at the perfection that is the cover. 😍 I really don't want to discuss the plot too much but I'll give you a little teaser:

After Samantha i
Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read dead people and they are in everywhere… That son of… faceless kid scared the living daylights out of me!!!

Another batshit crazy roller coaster ride I have, are you also in? Let’s dive into blurb:

Two daughters live with their mother at the haunted mansion built at the edge of the swamp. (Yeap, they should sue the real estate manager, oh, wait a minute, they inherited that place, my bad!) It is a place like same production designer of Netflix’s “Haunting of Hill House” worked on about the e
Does observation allow us to change reality? Or is there nothing at all that we can do to change what will someday occur?
All of this is to say: should I kill my nephew?

This book was really hard to rate. On the one hand it’s an unsettling, atmospheric tale about a house built on legend-laden swampland. On the other… it’s positively drowning in purple prose.

Sam Wakefield and her mother inhabit the manor that has belonged to their family for generations. It’s a bleak and unnatural place: the ho
Natalia  R
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
It Will Just Be Us by Jo Kaplan is a chilling gothic horror story that focuses on a family living in a haunted house. Our main character, Sam, has returned to her childhood home to live with her mom after a vicious robbery that left her struggling with PTSD. Sam's childhood home is not your average haunted house. It's a decaying mansion built on the edge of a mysterious swamp that has the ability to show Sam and her family echoes of the past and the ghosts of their ancestors. Sam and her family ...more
This novel has all the hallmarks of a classic gothic horror story. A sprawling, decaying mansion on the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia, a locked room, terrifying tales of a witch who lives in the water of the swamps and the ghosts of past inhabitants of the house and of one who is yet to be born.

Although his novel starts off slowly, first with Sam returning to her mother and her childhood home after a traumatic assault followed by her pregnant sister Elizabeth who has left her husba
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

I can feel something lurking on the other side of the closed door.
I'd like to explain to her so that she will not think me silly.
I'd like to explain to her that closed doors inherently provide us
with the potential for threat while offering a simulacrum of cold comfort

It's not often that I come across a modern Gothic novel told in a language that will make me fall dee
Lori Lamothe
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-tbr, gothic
Faulkner once said “The past is never dead. It isn't even past.” That quote couldn't be more fitting for Jo Kaplan's debut novel It Will Just Be Us. The novel is an eerie southern gothic tale set on a rambling mansion that borders a Virginia swamp.

Not only do Sam, her mother and her pregnant sister Elizabeth inhabit Wakefield, but it's also filled with holographic memories on an infinite loop. Or are they ghosts? Maybe something in between, because every room is filled with people who have live
Crystal Hiatt
It is a house haunted by memory; it digests us, all of us, and spits us out again at random.

The Wakefield House is reminiscent of Winchester House. It's a labyrinth of corridors and rooms that echo the past, changing and transforming themselves at will. Phantom images of people and events of the house's history plays out like a movie reel. Even current residents are able to glimpse segments of their childhood memories-always there, unable to be forgotten.

This reads like a classic Southern Got
Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Many thanks to Net Galley, Crooked Lane books and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.

There are all sorts of classics and there’s a classic!

Wakefield Manor is decaying and situated at the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp makes it a brooding and haunted mansion. And yes, it is peculiarly haunted. Besides the fact that all the ancestors are walking up and down the long and dark corridors, the house does not also let its inhabitants forget, rev
Schizanthus Nerd
In Wakefield Manor, a decaying ancestral mansion brooding on the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia, there is a locked room.
And this is the sort of opening sentence that immediately sucks me into a book. A decaying mansion, a swamp and a locked room? Please tell me more!

Sam and her sister, Elizabeth, grew up in Wakefield Manor with their neglectful mother. Since it was built, the mansion has witnessed both the mundane and the horrors experienced by those who have lived there, and it h
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sam and her mom, Agnes live in their family's old creepy mansion. Which just so happens to be haunted by the memories and spirits of the past. Late one night, Sam's pregnant sister Elizabeth arrives at the door, suitcase in hand, as she's left her husband. That's when things change and Sam starts seeing a weird spirit of a boy with a not fully formed face and an X where each of his eyes should be. This is similar to another spirit Sam can see, except this one can talk to her across time and is v ...more
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, mystery, fantasy

Once the house has you, it doesn’t let you go.

They say Wakefield Manor is haunted. They say monsters might be lurking in the shadows of its walls. Or are those only the phantoms of the past residences? Just echoes of history?

But what if one can also encounter the ghosts of the future? And what if one of those yet unborn ghosts is evil incarnate?
Can one change the future?

They say in Wakefield Manor you should not directly look into the mirrors. Terrible things will happen if you do.
If you do, th
Oct 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
This seemed like a no-brainer choice for Halloween, but it was a bit too much for me: too much dramatic performance in the audio, too much flowery language, too much rambling, too much repetition. That being said, this definitely had a cool premise and an atmospheric, creepy vibe throughout the story, but it needed better editing to get a higher rating from me. It seemed to get lost in its own descriptions and perhaps forgot that it already talked about that...many times. Disorienting, but with ...more
What is it about things that horrify us that simultaneously attracts us? Like moths drawn to their own demise by candlelight, unable to look away from the burning beauty even as we draw closer, so close our flesh melts and sloughs off. The swamp, the shrouded in heavy mists and the odors of decay that conceal lurking predators and invisible quicksand, should warn all to stay away.
This is a bad place, the swamp communicates to us. Do not enter.

ARC requested on and provided by NetGalley.

I picked
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounding it to 5.0 stars! Full review on my blog soon.

It took me awhile to finish this. I would be lying if I say it didn’t scare me because it really freaking did! I’ve never read a Gothic/horror/mystery/thriller book in my entire life but this one is really good! I thought I wouldn’t like this but the end really amaze, surprise and enlightens me.

This story is about a mansion, which is near a swamp, with a “weird & scary” family as what everyone calls them. There are ghosts, a swamp witch,
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
IT WILL JUST BE US by Jo Kaplan is a gothic horror haunted house story that I was completely immersed in. The writing was absolutely incredible that slowly enveloped me into this haunting story.

Sam and her mother live in the Wakefield Manor, a decaying ancestral mansion situated right in the middle of the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia. The house has labyrinthine halls that were built by her mad ancestors, which reminded me a lot about the Winchester Mystery House I once visited in San Jose, Ca
WOW! I knew from the very first paragraph this book was going to be very good and special. Jo's writing is so beautiful, I really, really liked it. The characters are good. The setting is bewitching. An old mansion that may or may not change the layout whenever it pleases, with a big old haunted swamp in the backyard. The interactions between living characters are ghost of the past creates a dream like atmosphere. Sam reminded me a lot of Merricat in We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Both have ...more
Ludwig Reads
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Once this house has you, it doesn't let go."

This one reads almost like The Haunting Of Hill House, with Netflix’s style of production. The book is slow-moving while maintaining its literary-horror atmosphere after the first pages, but holds your interest with some intriguing mysteries...

What secrets lie in the room at the end of the dim hallway of the third floor in Wakefield Manor?
What’s the identity of the faceless boy only she keeps seeing commit disturbing acts?

This one is unraveled early
menna hafez
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I requested and received a Copy of this book from NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first novel to me by Jo Kaplan.
To be honest I am not big fan of horror stories but this one is good for me because it not contain a lot of scary scenes so I enjoyed it, especially this is debut for Jo .
Janelle Janson
3.5 stars!

IT WILL JUST BE US by Jo Kaplan is a gothic style haunted house story that is perfect for the spooky season. I believe houses can have memories and in Virginia, on the edge of a swamp, Sam Wakefield’s family mansion has a slew of them.

Sam and her mother reside in the home but one day her sister, Elizabeth (Liz), shows up unannounced. Liz is far along in her pregnancy, had terrible fight with her husband, and needs a place to stay. Unfortunately, this unsettling, ominous, and claustroph
Horror DNA
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tony-jones
If you’re on the hunt for a haunted house story from the top drawer, then look to further than Jo Kaplan’s It Will Just Be Us, which ticks just about every box. This subgenre is a very crowded marketplace, but this novel is so clever and effortlessly atmospheric it deserves to find a wide audience beyond the traditional horror crowd. It’s broody, twisty, and weaves lies and half-truths within the context of a very convincing first-person narrative which you will want to trust, but can never quit ...more
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Can a house keep memories? This is a thought provoking gothic tale. Atmospheric, eerie and full of dread, with great characters, including the house. There is a sense of uncertainty throughout the story with our lead - is she losing her mind? This is not one of those happily ever after stories but you will enjoy experiencing the creepy events that are happening. Creep factor = 5 Stars!

**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second book back to back I am first to read and review on GR. Lovely. This one had me at gothic something. Just seems like a pleasantly spooky read, even going by the cover alone. But apparently one mustn’t judge the book by the cover, even though it’s so easy and often accurate, so let’s judge the innards instead. Let’s say We Have Always Lived in this Castle And the legend of Winchester mansion had a baby. Weird, sure, but go with it. This is that baby. It’s a scary creepy kid, much like the b ...more
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-horror
What a wild ride.

It took me a little bit to get into this. At the start I found the writing a bit pretentious I admit, the author substituting 20 words where one will do. The long flowery descriptions of everything was distracting and the sisters were bitchy and unlikeable. I had trouble getting into the story.

But that gradually changed. The long flowery descriptions became creepier, setting the scene for a thrilling ghost story that I devoured in two days. It has been a while since I read anyt
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Horrific scenes unfold at eerie Wakefield Manor. If you like a fast paced off the beaten path creepy ghost story, this is a book like no other!

Thank you Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC.
Alex | | findingmontauk1
Aug 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: lohf, owned
It Will Just Be Us is a gothic story focusing on a creepy house, Wakefield Manor, and a mother and her two daughters who live there. One daughter, Elizabeth, had to return to the house after domestic dispute and she's pregnant. The other daughter, Sam, is now remembering that their house is not quite so normal. It can show you things... memories. "It is a house haunted by memory; it digests us, all of us, and spits us out again at random." Wakefield Manor is creepy enough as it is near a swamp w ...more
Alena Reading
Check out my new Booktube channel:

I found my new favorite gothic horror novel! I'm so lost for words after finishing it that I probably won't be able to write a cohesive review. So I'll just list all the things which were done amazingly well and made me love this book:

- beautiful writing
- eerie heavy atmosphere
- old haunted house with too many rooms and a disturbing history
- scary things happening from the very beginning
- chilling story about a swamp witc
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