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Harrow Lake

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,079 ratings  ·  365 reviews
A can't-put-down, creepy thriller about the daughter of a horror film director who's not afraid of anything--until she gets to Harrow Lake.

Things I know about Harrow Lake:
1.It's where my father shot his most disturbing slasher film.
2.There's something not right about this town.

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker--she thinks nothing can scare her.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 25th 2020 by Dial Books
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,079 ratings  ·  365 reviews

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Kevin (Irish Reader)
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
4/4.5 Stars

This book was quite the surprise for me, as I didn’t expect myself to like it as much as I did. This book follows our main character, Lola, who is the daughter of a famous horror movie director. When her dad is attacked one night, Lola must return to live with her grandmother in Harrow Lake. Harrow Lake is the famous town where Lola’s dad most famous movie was filmed, and the town has its own scary stories and legends. While Lola is staying here she starts to uncover mysteries and dis
Johann (jobis89)
“Mr Jitters is coming.”

First of all, thank you to @penguinukbooks for the gifted copy! I had a bit of a mixed experience with this one, but can really see it appealing to certain readers.

Lola is the daughter of horror film director, Nolan Nox, whose most popular movie Nightjar was filmed in Harrow Lake - a town that relies heavily on the tourism that the movie brings. But this town has its own secrets, as well as it’s disturbing town legends...

This had a real 80s horror movie vibe, which obvious
When her famous film director father is stabbed by a mysterious assailant, Lola Nox is sent to live with her grandmother in Harrow Lake - the setting for her father's most famous film, and her mother's home town. Harrow Lake is almost like a shrine to Lola's mother Loralei, the woman who abandoned her as a child, with memories and images everywhere. But there are secrets in town that Loralei was running from, and Lola's appearance in Harrow Lake may have awakened the monstrous Mister Jitters.

Ellen Gail
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, edelweiss
Harrow Lake is a held breath.

Brain, consider yourself boggled.

Total honesty time - during the early pages of this book, I fully anticipated giving it two stars. I found the lead character Lola unengaging and some of the character choices were perplexing. Then something happened to me. I don't even know if I can pinpoint the exact moment in the book when it happened. It was like someone snapped a rubber band in my head and it just worked. I went from apathetic to LOVING it. I don't know if I
Dawn Kurtagich
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read an early version of this book and I’m smitten. Creepy, atmospheric and with all the right questions! Can’t wait to see a finished copy!
Melanie (mells_view)
”You know, some people think this place changes people who stay too long, and not in a good way. Like there’s something in the water here that feeds the badness deep down inside a person and makes it grow stronger. Sometimes . . . I think there’s something to that.”

Harrow Lake legitimately gave me chills. I realize that’s the point of a horror story, but honestly I had a difficult time reading this story at night, and I definitely had to have my eyes on the door when I did choose to read after d
Originally posted to I Should Read That

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.

Harrow Lake first burst onto my radar when the publishers were sending out the coolest looking proofs (seriously, check it out!) in the winter. I was immediately interested in the book as soon as I read the summary -- I’ve never been much of a horror reader but have been trying to dip my toe into the genre lately. Harrow Lake turned out to be a great stepping stone
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed on

Teenager Lola Nox is the daughter of horror filmmaker Nolan Nox. The book opens with Nolan being interviewed for Scream Screen Magazine. As the questions turn to the disappearance of Lola the interview cuts off and we are then sent back a year in time.

The year before Nolan is found stabbed in his apartment by Lola. Whilst Nolan is in the hospital there is no one else to look after Lola so she is sent to stay with the Grandmother she has never met before
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! Harrow Lake is mysterious and intriguing, and it has a couple delightfully spooky parts and storylines. There's a lot going on in this book, and while not everything was as clear cut as I had hoped, I still had a blast reading it.

My one annoyance was that the main character always says that everything is "Optimal". It's always capitalized, and it's CONSTANT. It was frustrating after a while, but I pretty much loved everything else.

You can always grab my attention with a book
Liz Barnsley
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED this.Took me back to those 80s horror films and Kat Ellis has a GREAT writing style that involves you in every moment. Full review to follow nearer publication.
Dec 21, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This sounds so creepy and sounds exactly like something I would enjoy. Why does it have to come out in August 2020? 😭

I might just have to request this from Edelweiss. 👀


Update 12/28/19: I just requested this from Edelweiss! I hope they approve of my request and I can start this soon! 🤞🏻


Update 1/17/20: I just checked Edelweiss and guess what???? THEY CAME THROUGH AND APPROVED ME OF AN ARC YEEEEE-HAWWW 🙌🏻
Toya (the reading chemist)
Y’all this is NOT a book to read at night with the lights off. This book is creepy AF, but worth every page!

Lola Nox is the teenager daughter of the renowned horror film maker Nolan Nox. The book opens with Nolan’s interview with Scream Screen Magazine. During the interview, questions are asked about the disappearance of Nolan’s daughter, which sends us back to last year when Lola discovered Nolan in a pool of his own blood following a gruesome stabbing.

Since Nolan required hospitalization to re
Julie Zantopoulos
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
This one kept me up at night. I slept with doors shut, locked, and feet securely under blankets and not hanging over the side of the bed. I loved it.
Théo M. (bookswiththeo)
With more research and stronger establishment of atoms this could have been 5 stars. I will definitely try another work by this author though. There is a lot of potential there.
”Blood in the cracks..."

There's a bird stuck in the wall of my bedroom and last night while reading this book I could hear it tap-tap-tap-tap-TAPPING against the wall...

This was not Optimal.*

confused mark
*can we get an official count on this? Pretty sure I read this word over 100 times.
Erin A. Craig
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was everything I hoped for and more! Dare I say, it gave me the jitters!
Eve (Between The Bookends)
This book was okay. It was suitably spooky and atmospheric, but it was also choppy in places. Plot lines were introduced and then dropped. It was also a little confusing to follow at times. 🤷
The Coycaterpillar Reads
Wow.  Upon delving into Harrow Lake I’m not ashamed to admit I didn’t fully appreciate what I was getting into.  I thought it was going to be a plain sailing horror novel, a similar story but a story that was inevitable none the less.  WRONG.  I should have dug deeper just by one singular word used in the title – Harrow.  This story has the capability to encase your heart in ice, its harrowing and captivating and pushes ice cold water through your veins.  Be prepared for the author to give you a ...more
Angela Staudt
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Penguin Teen for Penguin an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, so going into this I didn't expect much creepiness or horror, because it's labeled as YA. Let me tell you, it was so frightening and scary in some parts that I had to take a breather from reading. I absolutely loved how well this was written, and how I was literally on the edge of my seat the entire time frantically flipping each page to find out what's going on.

We follow our main character Lola, who's father gets
Max Lau  • Maxxesbooktopia
If I were to write a blurb for this novel, it would be this: “Kat Ellis has created a richly-filled landscape of 80’s horror films and it lingers on your skin long after you finish the novel”. I adored this novel and as an avid fan of horror movies, I think this novel does justice for that genre as this novel has a lot of that good stuff in it eg. Diminutive town, estranged family, a character going insane and crazy town with ghastly notions. However, I do have some criticisms to make and I will ...more
Sep 15, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a very solid 3.5 star read that blends creepy as hell atmosphere with a really cool concept and almost delivers a pretty great read. Kat Ellis turns the shivery tinglies up to 11 with a story about Lola Nox, the sheltered daughter of the famous horror director Nolan Nox. Lola's mom Lorelei disappeared years ago after starring in Nolan's most famous film "Night Jar". Now she's kept a virtual prisoner by a father who's obsessed with his work and expects her to sacrifice everything for his ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Okay, I don’t often find YA horror to be all that scary, but Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis was definitely a bit spooky! In it, we follow Lola Nox, daughter of Nolan Nox, a celebrated horror film director who first made his name with the prohibition-era gothic piece Nightjar, which has since become a cult classic. It certainly also helped put the small mining town of Harrow Lake on the map, which was where most of the filming to
El Hyrst
Full review will be available as part of the blog tour on 14/05/2020:

This book knows how to hit hard. Within one page of my eARC, I knew I was hooked, and Kat Ellis wasn’t afraid to raise the stakes before we’d even met the main character – I loved that I already knew I was pulled in for the long haul. The last chapter was equally potent – though of course I won’t talk about it because spoilers, and I loved the way it came back around to close the circle.
Elizabeth Tabler
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis is not at all what you think. Marketed as a YA Horror novel, you would think that maybe this might be a campy horror story. Perhaps with a 1980s vibe.

You would be entirely wrong.

Instead, Harrow lake is a story of intense psychological horror. I think in a lot of ways, psychological horror is much scarier than slasher horror. The reader can eternalize much of the plot; we readers all have psychological quirks. Harrow Lake is a good book for that. The lead character, Lol
Jun 09, 2020 marked it as dnf-arcs  ·  review of another edition
Skimmed. I found the idea of this irresistible, since it centres on the daughter of a famous horror director discovering strange secrets in the town where his most iconic film was shot. So I wanted to read it even though I knew it was YA. But the YA elements (Plucky Teens Investigating Things, obligatory love interest, a denouement I could see coming a mile off) were too dominant for me to properly enjoy it. Good concept and good atmosphere, I'm just too old to get the most out of it!

Review copy
Contrary Reader
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Twin Peak, Folk Horror meets Riverdale style magic. I thoroughly enjoyed its retro feel and it’s creeping unease. I hope there is a film
Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger
Follow my YA Book Blog for an optimal amount

Starting the story with an interview between a reporter and Lola's film director father one year later, we learn two things - that Lola's father survives the attack described in the first couple of chapters, and that Lola is missing. Lola's initial frustrations with her father and her sheltered life, trailing from movie set to movie set made me wonder if something sinister happened, or if she simply decided she had enough.

Lola moves to her Mother's hom
Michelle Harrison
A twisted thriller with a fantastically eerie setting in which nothing is what it seems. I loved the landmarks and gruesome history of Harrow Lake. The buried secrets, landslides, jitterbugs and the Bone Tree will stay with me for a long time. Kat Ellis’ monstrous Mr Jitters and the frozen-in-time movie setting makes for a chilling read that had me looking over my shoulder and holding my breath.
Lauren James
A dark and deceptively unreliable story of a girl visiting her mother's home town, where an iconic horror movie was filmed. Her mother was the lead star and her father the director - and her mother disappeared, leaving behind legends of real life monsters in the town. This is the spine-tingling horror novel that I've been waiting for: a mix of House of Leaves and The Haunting of Hill House. Really enjoyable and definitely not one to read in the middle of the night!
Elvina Zafril
Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis was a bit creepy and a bit intense. But at some parts it was just okay and not to eerie like the book suggested. Or maybe it’s just me?

Lola living her life in Harrow Lake after she was sent to her grandmother when she found out about the door her father stabbed in their apartment. Lola aware that Harrow Lake is a creepy town. She started to discover more and more about her mother and the town itself. The best part is when reading about the cannibalistic creature that liv
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Turning Pages by ...: August 2020 Pick of the Month - Kelsey 1 27 Aug 17, 2020 05:04PM  

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Kat Ellis is the author of YA novels PURGE, BLACKFIN SKY, and BREAKER, and the novella THE TWINS OF BLACKFIN in the THREE STRIKES collection. Her next book, HARROW LAKE, will be published in the summer of 2020.

You'll usually find Kat up to no good on Twitter, trekking through ruins and cemeteries with her camera, or watching scary films with her husband.

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