Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House by Janet Hill

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

*Disclaimer: This review may contain spoilers. All thoughts and opinions are my own, my preferences may be different to yours. Please keep that in mind.


It has been a year since Lucy Crisp graduated from high school and she still hasn’t found her calling. That is, until she discovers an exclusive arts college called Ladywyck Lodge. On a whim, she applies and is thrilled to be accepted into their program. Lucy moves to Esther Wren, the charming little town where it’s based, and stays in the house her father buys as an investment: a magnificent building built by a sea captain in 1876. The house has history and personality –perhaps too much personality. . .

Strange things start happening: Lucy hears voices and footsteps in empty rooms. She sees people and things that should not be there. Furniture disappears and elaborate desserts appear. What’s worse is that the strange events are not restricted to her house. Lucy begins to understand that the town and its inhabitants are hiding many secrets, and Ladywyck is at the heart. As the eerie happenings escalate, Lucy fears she is being threatened — but she is determined not to let fairy potions, spells and talk of witchcraft scare her away.

From Penguin Random House


The very first thing that stuck me when I started reading this was the beautiful illustrations dotted through out the book. The author, Janet Hill, painted them herself and it was such a unique thing to add. And they add and enhance to the whimsical nature of the story as it progresses. Plus it gives us a peak into the authors mind as they created the story.

The lead is Lucy Crisp, a young girl just trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. And while it seems that her dad is sort of okay with her trying to just figure out what she wants, the other half of the time he seems frustrated she hasn’t settled down or found something. She is naturally inqusitive and seems to have a natural talent for creating flower bunches.

She meets a bunch of colorful characters as she moves into a the house her dad purchases for her to live and and gets ready for the semsester starts. The weird sisters next door, the away with the fairies lady she meets at the school mixer and fellow students Scarlett and Daniel. There are so many things that I love about this story. The description and language for one. She doesn’t hold back. And with as whimiscal as this story is, she needs that descriptive language.

Lucy moves into a ‘haunted’ house to attend a very mysterious arts college. That is when things start to happen. Like really really weird spooky things happen. Which makes it perfect to read for October’s spooky month. Her neighbors on the one side seem kind and nice, a mother and daughter with ties to her house. And on the other side a family of witches? This is just the start of the weird.

I had high hopes for this book, but was dissapointed with how confusing and jumpy the plot felt. I thought that this was going to focus more on her time in the program and at school but it actually takes place the summer before the semester starts. The story seems to jump from one scene to the next. The transitions don’t seem to really be there at all. Plus there seem to be a lot of suspense built up with no resolutions. I was getting frustrated constantly by all the buildup. Some times build up, when down well, can be really good. But I just felt like there was too much going on and it made it difficult to keep straight.

*In an effort to not give away important plot points or spoilers I may intentionally leave parts out of my review. If you think I missed something significant it may be due to this reasoning.

Final Thoughts:

I am giving this book a 3.5 out of 5 cups of tea. I really loved the art work and I did like the story plot itself. I did not like how confused I felt through most of it. I had to keep stopping in an effort to just nopt give up from fustration. I don’t want you to take that as I think this book is bad. I actually think it is very good. It just wasn’t for me.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s book review! If you’ve read Lucy Crsip and the Vanishing House let me know what you thought. Or if you have any recommendations I am always open to hearing them!