Review: The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco

Okiku wants vengeance and she gets it. Whenever there’s a monster hurting a child the same way she was hurt three hundred years ago in Japan her spirit is there to deliver punishment. But one American boy draws her like no other. The two are pulled into a world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from the American Midwest to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan. The boy is not a monster, but something evil writhes beneath his skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. Can Okiku protect him? Or is her presence only bringing more harm?

The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco. Book 1. 258 pages. Audiobook is narrated by Andi Arndt. Published September 2017 by Blackstone Audiobooks. Run time is 6 hours and 44 mins.

*Possible Triggers: dead children, hinted at pedophilia.

This book was one of my book club picks for early 2020. I had checked out the physical copy from the local library, BUT, when I started reading it, I had a very difficult time with the writing format. The way the author writes the dialogue of the ghost…. has…. all….. these…. pauses…. and it…. is…. too…. awkward…. to read. For me it really disrupted the flow and pacing of the book. Just too distracting and in 2020 I DNF’d it.

I decided to give the audiobook a try after hearing people say that the pacing was much better then the physical book.


With the audio, the pacing and pauses came off much creepier and very dark. It was already a fairly dark story but the narrator really does do a great job of making Okiku super creepy feeling. The pacing felt much faster with the audio and it made it easier for me to follow along. This time around I really enjoyed the story. If you are going to read this story, I definitely recommend the audiobook!

This story is all kinds of messed up. Young adult, but man it is a dark story. The plot deals with a lot of heavy topics- child death, pedophiles, killers, kidnappers, murderers and some nasty ghosts. While there is a lot of death, there is not much gore. The Girl From the Well introduces the readers to some very cool Asian folklore, magic, and monsters. I love seeing such strong Asian and Asian-American central starring characters in a horror novel. Okiku’s point of view was so fascinating and heartbreaking. Pretty epic show down at the end.

Second time around was definitely a good experience and I’m glad I gave this book another try. 🙂 I really enjoyed it and I look forward to listening to book number 2.

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