The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen by Katherine Howe (Review)


*I received a physical copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: A haunting, contemporary love story from the New York Timesbestselling author of Conversion

It’s summertime in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic’s in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.

As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose petal lips and her entrancing glow. But there’s something about her that he can’t put his finger on that makes him wonder about this intriguing hipster girl from the Village. Why does she use such strange slang? Why does she always seem so reserved and distant? And, most importantly, why does he only seem to run into her on one block near the Bowery? Annie’s hiding something, a dark secret from her past that may be the answer to all of Wes’s questions . . .

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mystery, Horror

My thoughts: Wes Auckerman is reluctantly helping his friend create a unique video for his college course they are both taking at NYU. So one night, Wes’ friend makes him attend a seance they are filming where Wes sees a mysterious girl named Annie. Wes begins to bump into Annie in suddenly throughout the story and he begins to notice that she isn’t as normal as he thought. Annie is searching for something, something she can’t seem to live without, and she needs Wes’ help to find it. Racing against the clock, Wes slowly unfurls the mystery shrouding Annie and the problems threatening her life.

I expected this story to be full of horror scenes from the cryptic summary the book had, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that this story wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. I found the story’s mystery to be incredibly interesting and it wasn’t confusing at all like other mystery novels are. It was well paced and unfolded in a way that wasn’t predictable to me. I especially loved the dual POVs that showed the reader all angles of Wes and Annie’s story that eventually wove together to create this mystical story that I would highly recommend. 

One of my favorite aspects of the story was Wes’ POV which was humorous thanks to his awkward and unsure behavior around Annie. Reading his internal monologue added a comic relief to the dark story. He was such a fun character to read about when he was interacting with others because of his sarcasm and descriptions of the city that brought the setting to life. I didn’t enjoy Annie’s POV as much as Wes’ because it was a bit drier and not as open to the reader as Wes was. At points I found certain descriptions of her sections of the story to be a bit bland, but that was the only portion of the story that I didn’t fully enjoy. Other than that, I also really liked Annie’s character that was a bit naive and sweet. 

The descriptions of the city were accurate and lovely to read about (which I really appreciated since I live minutes from NYC). I also enjoyed reading about all the supporting characters in this story that all provided help to Wes and Annie during their journey to find what Annie needed most. This book began and ended smoothly without any rushed scenes or plot holes. I did wish that the ending chapters were fleshed out a bit more to describe how Wes felt once the mystery was solved. But it did not ruin the book in anyway. This is a great Halloween/autumnal book to read that I would recommend to everyone considering it isn’t that horrifying to read.   

Book Info: Goodreads | Barnes and Noble | Amazon


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