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The Thin House

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Eleven-year-old Finn Anglin knows very little about his grandparents. He’s never met them! But when his mother drops him off outside their peculiar boarding house to spend the summer, Finn quickly discovers that Ezekiel and Eleanor Blacklock are not to be taken lightly. With work to do and time to explore, Finn learns more and more about his grandparents and their not-entirely-human guests. The Thin House shelters those with nowhere else to turn, and together, Finn and his friends unravel a mystery that has plagued his family for generations. For deep beneath the foundations of the Thin House, a monster laughs.

216 pages, Paperback

First published April 24, 2020

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About the author

Jake Nickens

3 books7 followers
Jake Nickens was born and raised in Southern Mississippi. He spent his childhood listening to family tall tales and reading comic books that turned him into the kind of adult who writes stories about jackalopes and vampire-librarians. He enjoys watching old boxing matches, reading mystery novels, and trying to make an edible gluten-free biscuit. He lives in Louisiana with his wife Lydia, and their Akita, Ceri.

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5 stars
19 (52%)
4 stars
14 (38%)
3 stars
2 (5%)
2 stars
1 (2%)
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0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for Siobhan Grady.
45 reviews58 followers
June 3, 2020
This book is only 200 pages long so it was such a quick read for me, I did find myself getting sad that I was near the end because I wasn’t ready for my journey to end in the Thin House. I felt like I was on this crazy adventure with Finn, I quickly became attached to his character within the first few chapters. In fact all the characters were beautifully written, with multiple personalities which all mixed well together making such an interesting plot. The mystery of the monster and the Thin House kept the excitement alive within the story.

Overall this is a quick, fun and thrilling coming of age book. The book is written maturely so it’s suitable for adults as well as children. I really recommend it for people who want to read something different, heart warming and a bit of creepy!
Profile Image for Shaked Reads.
148 reviews59 followers
June 16, 2020
The Thin House takes us into an adventure inside the confines of one spooky house. From werewolves to house sprites and monsters galore, we get a glimpse of the paranormal within every page. Each chapter brings with it a new conflict that gets resolved with profound and insightful concepts.
Finn's grandparents run a boarding house of sorts for monsters! So with every week spent in their house Finn learns more and more about the paranormal creatures that occupy it.
I really enjoyed this book! It reminded me of A Wrinkle in Time in it's writing, though this book seemed to be a bit more complex and more mature.
I loved Finn as a character but I thought it would have been better had he been older? Books with 11 year old protagonists are usually classified as Middle Grade books and this one was definitely NOT suitable for children that age, but more for the YA audience. I also thought that some of the concepts that were discussed in the book were too mature for an 11 year old to fully grasp the way that Finn did.
Even though the book is written from chapter to chapter- in segments- it still had an underlying plot to it. The plot doesn't carry from one chapter to another, but at the end all the chapters and tidbits of information tie down together to create one giant conclusion.
I loved the ending! It was short and sweet and I enjoyed it immensely.
Definitely recommend to people that are looking for a fun paranormal read!
Profile Image for Thais • tata.lifepages •.
367 reviews503 followers
June 2, 2020
I don't think I've ever felt pages fly in my hands so much as I did while reading this book. It was such an easy and fun read, that I couldn't make myself put it down until it was finished.

At first I had thought because of the age of the main character (I believe it was 11 years old) that it was going to be a middle grade fantasy or a light YA fantasy, but I was mistaken. The story was divided into these detailed segments that introduce you to a certain "monster" of the Thin House and with each segment Finn's character was developed and a hidden life lesson was presented to the reader. I was astounded by Finn's maturity for a child, he frequently talks and thinks in what appears to be an elaborate and wise manner. However, I only really noticed that this novel was much more mature and intense than what I thought it would be by the mention of adult topics in certain segments, such as abuse, death and suicide. A trigger warning could probably be introduced at the start of the book.

From all the diverse characters introduced, my favorite was Chester. I just found that cuddly little jackalope adorable and I love how protective he was of Finn. I was also delightfully intrigued by a certain 'happening' that occurs when Chester is given something he had been craving throughout the entire novel. I hope to find mentions of this circumstance in the subsequent books of the series. I also felt immediately connected to Eden, I loved the scenes where she appeared and the story got even better after she was introduced.

Even though the story is divided into segments for the unique monsters, it has an underlying plot that keeps the reader interested about multiple aspects that unfold as the story progresses such as: the grandparents background, why Finn's mom doesn't visit the place and whats behind that creepy grandfather clock? I love it how the author connects events at the end of the book to small hints given throughout the story, so that the reader has that delightful nostalgic moment where he remembers that hint and goes "Ahhhh, that's why!".

The novel is beautifully written, each monster is described so well that I had a clear visual on my mind and I must say I was even a bit scared! It speaks of family, friendship, stories, grief, etc, making the reader ponder at each underlying lesson. I hope to read the second book in the series!
Profile Image for Contemporary_literary_threads.
194 reviews14 followers
June 6, 2020
The Thin House by Jake Nickens' is a coming of age novella. A perfect page turner which falls under the horror / paranormal-esque category.
Told from a 11 year old Finn's perspective who has never visited his grandparents. But one summer his mother drops him at their place. Set in 90s Louisiana this book is a delight to read.
The indie writing style and all the clarity which author has build up in making the protagonist to tackle story's conflict is commendable.
The horror element of squeaky sounds, mysterious and absurd stories narrated by the grandparents hooks you to the book.
It's not that scary to an adult like me who have read stories by Poe or King, but to the audiences of age 11-15 can feel a pang of that hair raising on their hand.
Profile Image for Rutuja Ramteke.
1,517 reviews55 followers
May 29, 2020
🍩The Thin House🍩
Eleven-year-old Finn Anglin knows very little about his grandparents. In fact, he’s never met them. But when his mother drops him off outside their peculiar boarding house to spend the summer, Finn quickly discovers that Ezekiel and Eleanor Blacklock are not to be taken lightly.
🍩Middle grade fiction is my all time favorite and more favorite when it's totally adventurous. This is definitely one of those books, which I will recommend if someone asks me for a good MG fiction. The book revolves around Finn who is on a vacation with his grandparents in their creepy house, the book is filled with mystery as well as so much of suspense. It just transformed me to my childhood and the good stories I read back then. The book at a point also reminded me of "Goosebumps" serious which is my absolute favorite, the author did an amazing job in experimenting various elements and bringing fun, adventure, mystery and also slight of paranormal themes together. The concept and plot are the heart of the story, the traditional concept of visiting grandparents house for vacation is used but definitely with a new twist.
I love Finn's grandparents, at times they reminded of mine. Even the bond he shares with them is so beautifully potrayed. It was a very quick read, it's composed of less than ten chapters which held the readers tightly right from the start. I completed it in a single go because every chapter ended with a cliffhanger, a twist.
The characters are perfectly built, not to shallow and not to deep which makes it a perfect read for not just kids but for adults as well. I know MG books don't have illustrations definitely I wish this one had them few, Eleanor was also well built. This was a light read, won't demand for much of energy and attention but definitely will entertain the readers till the end. Can't wait to read the second book in the series.
It was truly nostalgic, definitely recommended.
Rating: 4.5🌟
Profile Image for Melina Lobo.
626 reviews79 followers
May 26, 2020
“A heart given to the wrong person is hard to reclaim. That’s why it’s so important to know the difference between genuine love and cheap imitations.”
At age eleven, Finn had never known his grandparents, his mother rarely spoke about them and they never visited neither has he ever met them.
But one summer, Finn's mom finally decides it'stime he met his grandparents.
But why now? After all these years and so many questions?
Finn uncovers secrets of his grandparents, but he also learns about the he evil waiting to escape, an evil that lurks at the bottom of the Thin House.
The Thin House is the first book in the Jackalope Stories, paranormal series by Jake Nickens.
It's a pretty good story egere my fascination mainly lay in the way the myths we know about various creatures were seen in a different light.
What was interesting about the way this book was written is many chapters were dedicated solely to a particular creature (like vampires and werewolves) and it will manages to weave itself together to create the perfect story.
I wouldn't say this is a horror novel because it wasn't scary, but it might be to someone younger in age.
Setting aside the paranormal part of this book another interesting thing was the sheer amount of thoughtful and meaningful quotes in this book. There were so many to choose from and this was the first time in forever I've had a hard time choosing a quote to start a review.
Coming to the characters, Finn is curious, but in this case curiosity kills the cat should have been taken a bit more seriously.
When it comes to the grandparents, their love and affection for each other knows no bounds and forgetting everything else, their relationship is goals.
Definitely one of my favourite reads of 2020, quick but entertaining and not heavy, just the way I like it.
Rated 10/10
Melina L.
Profile Image for Hanna Marie Williams.
6 reviews2 followers
May 27, 2020
From Ms. Dianna S. Welch
Former high school English teacher
Prairieville, LA:

What a novel idea! Jake Nickens uses in his approach to the zombie, vampire, etc., literary genre. He vividly and skillfully creates pictures of a varied society of unusual entities that associate in what would seem to be normal interactions if we didn’t know better. He presents his major character, an 11 year old named Finn Anglin, who is visiting his grandparents for the first time. This fact alone would cause questions, but there is an aura of mystery which pervades the entire situation, and the author slips in bits and pieces of the answer just often enough to keep his readers hungry to know what more is to come. His characters are not only realistic, but his creation of situations and apt descriptions of their actions and reactions is quite well done. Along with these interactions, he manages to place some focus on current concerns, such as gun safety and conservation. His use of southern expressions that aptly fit the situations they describe is also a touch that enhances his narrative. And his description of the climatic finale will satisfy any reader who enjoys fierce action. This is not merely an other-worldly story, but an adventure with a very young man who handles himself with surprising maturity and acceptance of the situation he finds himself in and who rises to each and every challenge he faces. This book will especially appeal to teenage readers, but adult readers will also enjoy the journey.
Profile Image for Josh.
26 reviews6 followers
August 17, 2020
I saw someone on here add this book to their “want to read” list and that beautiful illustrated cover just drew me in!

It’s a lil coming-of-age where a young boy, Finn, goes to spend the summer with his grandparents who run a boarding house for all kinds of monsters and peculiar guests.

It’s a very easy and quick read. The chapters all read like episodes of a tv show. Each chapter about a different little adventure which all kind of wrapped up in it’s final chapter.

I loved the spookiness and the other worldly aspects of this book. We meet different kinds of people/creatures, all as exciting as the last. The characters were fleshed out as much as a short book can allow. What Finn got up to was fun and exciting. I believe there is to be more in this series, which is good because some things weren’t answered within this book and I’d like to find out what happened.

The final confrontation was slightly confusing, I can’t explain why without really ruining the ending, but things seemed a little convenient; however it was just one small issue and other than that I did enjoy the conclusion and the prologue. I’d definitely read another.

After reading this I wonder how many good stories and books I’m missing out on because they aren’t mainstream and are written by Indie Authors?
Profile Image for Kitabi Keeda.
310 reviews29 followers
June 7, 2020
By Jake Nickens

-> Mysterious at every step. Will keep you glued throughout.

#INSIGHT: The book revolves around a eleven-year-old boy who is visiting his grandparents for the first time. He gets to know a lot of other things about his grandparents and the house during his visit. While reading the book I just could not miss the level of maturity the boy had. The book has everything to make you feel astounded.

#REVIEW: Jake Nickens has done a commendable job with the storyline of this book. The best part of the book is its connectivity through the chapters. While all the chapters talk about their respective character but still the underlying story moves swiftly throughout. The involvement of the paranormal and supernatural characters makes the book all the more interesting.

#STRENGTH: I would start with the cover page of the book. It surely blends well with the story and the title. The writing style of the author is very unique. The language is easy. The storyline is fantastic and is a welcome change. I just could not keep the book down after starting it.

#WEAKNESS: I could have been more detailed on certain aspects.

#TARGET READERS: Kids are definitely going to love this book.

#AGE GROUP: 13-25

3 reviews2 followers
May 10, 2020
The Thin House is a well-packaged supernatural adventure story featuring young Finn, a boy dropped off for the summer at his grandparents’ most unusual boarding house. During Finn’s stay, he meets new friends, learns valuable skills, and the importance of family and love. Finn’s summer is presented in well-woven chapters stuffed with memorable and fully-realized characters. While reading, I laughed at their jokes, commiserated with their troubles, and craved their cooking.

This book provides valuable insights for readers of all ages. Finn provides an outlet for the audience to confront fear, grief, loss, and prejudice, all while seeing the very best of humanity in rather unexpected sources. The Thin House has it all, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys ghost stories, summer adventures, or Southern cooking.
2 reviews
May 5, 2020
I really enjoyed reading the Thin House and felt that the story was very well written. I especially enjoyed the mix of well-known folktale figures along with mysterious and unfamiliar creatures of legend and myth. The insertion of these stories into a real world setting is captivating, and transports the reader to a extraordinary version of our world. I couldn't put it down! I definitely recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good fantasy spliced with the world we know and love.
1 review
May 8, 2020
If you loved getting lost in a book as a kid, grab this book and get ready to be transported to a southern comfort setting with a mystical twist. I loved the character development in this book and by the end it’ll have you feeling like you were right beside Finn on his summer adventure wishing it wasn’t over.
1 review
May 17, 2020
The thin house invites you in and makes you wish you could stay longer. Every page pulls you deeper into the story. Finn is a realistic and relatable protagonist and his grandparents feel like family. This a book all ages could pick up and get wrapped up in.
28 reviews2 followers
February 21, 2021
Boy visits and stays the summer witb the grandparents he has never met. Finds out they are running a boarding house for monsters. He gets to know his grandparents and make new friends along the way!
It is fun teenage book and I wanted to know the back story and how things would work out.
February 12, 2021
This is an excellent story for upper elementary grades! Finn's adventures with his mysterious grandparents and their even stranger guests will leave you entertained and enlightened.
May 19, 2021
Great story of a young boy and his summer adventures at his grandparents house. Keeps you interested throughout the book. I also love the second of these books. Can’t wait for the next one.
Profile Image for Myria Candies.
Author 7 books50 followers
September 23, 2020
What a great read! I enjoyed it throughly because of many things, but the thing I was drawn to the most were the unique characters. Even though they were monsters, they had a sort of humanity. I loved the mystery in this book and hope that this isn't the end for The Thin House. Can't wait to see more stories from Jake Nickens.
Profile Image for Julie Elise Landry.
Author 1 book17 followers
July 17, 2020
The Thin House is a nuanced paranormal coming-of-age story set in rural Louisiana with captivating characters and a well-paced plot. This page-turning treasure presents a unique perspective on moving through life, fueled by a medley of stories, monsters, and myths strung together with ample heart.

Though it is the first book in a developing series, The Thin House functions well as a standalone read. And once the fourth chapter takes off, you’re unlikely to put it down. The author has built a world in which vampires, yoga lessons, shotguns, marshmallows, and silver knuckles all co-exist seamlessly, and he tackles a range of difficult subjects with honesty and clarity.

If you enjoyed Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood—and look forward to some danger and a few solidly choreographed fight scenes—support an indie author and read The Thin House.
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews

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