Hide by Kiersten White #WyrdAndWonder Review

My Five Word TL:DR Review : I wanted to love it


I really did want to love this one and in fact had high expectations.  However, what I will say is that whilst I didn’t love it this was still a steady read and one that I felt compelled to make a rather mad dash through the pages to discover the reveal.

So Hide brings together 14 contestants who have applied to take part in a competition, the winner of which will receive $50,000.  Each day the contestants will all find a hiding place within an abandoned and now derelict amusement park.  Each day, two contestants will be eliminated.  The final contestant who remains undiscovered takes home the prize.  It sounds fairly simple, however, none of the contestants are prepared for what is actually seeking them.

What really drew me to this was the setting.  I just loved the idea of a game that takes place in an old amusement park.  I mean, the scope for an ever accelerating creep factor is just immense.  Just the thought of all those ramshackle rides, carousels with faded animals and rusted mechanics creaking menacingly, it’s too enticing.  And, I won’t deny that the setting is good, even more so because of its dark history.  The amusement park was a hugely successful endeavour until a tragedy involving a missing child saw the place closed under mysterious circumstances.  Now the stage for a strange and sinister competition with menacing undertones the place is inspired by the myth of the minotaur. The paths themselves like a labyrinth that lead to the centre of the park and the monster that awaits.

In terms of characters.  We predominantly follow one character, Mack, who has her own personal family tragedy to contend with, a history that makes her feel like a shoe-in for this competition.  Obviously we meet up with the other 13 characters that are taking part and this is the first issue that I struggled with.  Clearly it was always going to be difficult to make some of these characters feel substantial enough to form a real connection, this is also made more difficult because of the fact that as soon as the competition starts two characters per day would be eliminated so there is a throwaway element to also be considered.  However, I didn’t really find myself forming attachments to any of them.  The early entrants were basically there and then gone, we had a kind of inevitable teaming up of certain characters who then found themselves with the age old dilemma of having formed attachments but still wanting to win – well, until the nature of the competition itself was finally revealed.

I have to say that I enjoyed the writing.  This is an author that I’ve read before and I enjoy her style.  That being said, this is a book that takes the author from her usual YA genre into the adult genre and for me this still felt a little on the YA side.

In terms of criticisms.  I think a good deal of this boils down to my own expectations having gone off in the wrong direction.  I think I had notions that this would be an all out horror-fest, a kind of mindless slasher story where just a couple of survivors are left scrabbling around trying to stay alive.  As it is, there’s an age old underlying story of greed to this one that takes a look at wealth and privilege.  On top of this, in spite of the great setting and the high stakes I just didn’t really feel the tension or fear that I wanted or expected to feel.

Overall, I had no difficulty in reading this one as I was very curious about how everything would come together but it never quite reached the potential that I was hoping for.  I think maybe this also connects to the slight feeling of this erring on the side of YA and perhaps the older side of the YA market might enjoy this one more than I did.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 3 of 5 stars