Book review – If You See Her by Ania Ahlborn

Caidyn's review (1)

If You See Her

4.5/5

CW: suicide, unhealthy obsession, and alcoholism


Ania Ahlborn does it again! Yet again, she’s managed to impress me with her knowledge of how to write a story and how to keep me hooked. I don’t know if any other author could have made this such a taut, intense tale.

Really, this is a story of obsession. It was so interesting to read it and how it transferred. As usual, she toes the line of what is supernatural and what is psychosis. She does that in nearly all of her books and I just love how deftly she manages it. It never dips too much one way or the other. I never feel like she’s leading me somewhere but is guiding me to make my own decision at the end about what really happened.

The story follows Jesse. In high school, he and his friends, Casey and Reed, decided to go to an old, abandoned house after a night of drinking. Three friends go in, two, Jesse and Casey, come out. Reed commits suicide in the house with them there. Or, did he?

After that, Jesse becomes an alcoholic and, eventually, gets his life together again. He’s a teacher with a wife — his high school sweetheart — and one child. All until Casey comes around. Casey moved on with his life and became a YouTube star. But, now he wants to go back to the house for whatever reason.

And then the cycle starts up again.

Really, this is a story of obsession. It was so interesting to read it and how it transferred. As usual, she toes the line of what is supernatural and what is psychosis. She does that in nearly all of her books and I just love how deftly she manages it. It never dips too much one way or the other. I never feel like she’s leading me somewhere but is guiding me to make my own decision at the end about what really happened.

I felt like the characters and their motivations were very real and believable. I loved watching the descent into madness and the struggle to resurface from it. It was really wonderful to read.

The book was very slow. It felt like it could have made a good short story but it was expanded into something larger. At times, it dragged. I think the backstory of the ghosts and the flashbacks didn’t work as well for me as I wanted it to, but it was still interesting to read as it was all central to what Jesse goes through.

As usual, Ahlborn crafted a very interesting and compelling story. It was just a joy to read. I nearly devoured it all in one sitting, so that says a lot!


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