By Katrina Leno

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From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone … and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all—it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears…

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more … horrid?


  • Praise for Horrid:
    Part of YALSA's 2021 Best Fiction for Young Adults List
     "The author crafts spooky set pieces and an intriguing cast of supporting characters [...] serving up an explosive finale [...]. A deliberately paced thriller with a frightful twist."

  • "Leno evokes a Stephen King-like creepiness that draws readers deeper into the story with each turn of the page. [...] [A] great choice for those interested in a gripping but speedy read. [...] Hand this to teens who binge-watched Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House."

    School Library Journal
  • "Leno (You Must Not Miss) permeates each scene with delicious frights [...] Poetic descriptions create an uncanny atmosphere, and nods to cozy bookstores and classic mysteries will charm bibliophiles as Leno effectively mixes terror with grief."

    Publishers Weekly
  • "This is movie-ready Gothic horror, with a deliciously foreboding setting, an increasingly unreliable narrator, and a Mommie Dearest plotline that carefully and effectively straddles the line between campy and disturbing...the pacing strikes just the right rhythm, moving erratically as Jane becomes more upset but pausing on the truly terrifying elements...Jane may be a fan of Agatha Christie, but this will more likely please readers of Shirley Jackson."

  • "Leno (You Must Not Miss, 2019) blends Agatha Christie and Shirley Jackson for a narrative that ranges from unsettling to genuinely terrifying. A sudden ending will leave readers gasping, and the deliberate descent through one girl's psyche is undeniably affecting."


On Sale
Sep 28, 2021
Page Count
336 pages

About the Author

NOVL - Headshot photo of Katrina Leno

Katrina Leno was born on the East Coast and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, including You Must Not Miss, Horrid, and Sometime in Summer. You can visit her online at katrinaleno.com.

From NOVL Nation

Horrid had me captivated in a way that doesn’t happen too often because the grief Jane felt was so raw and real it was overwhelming at times. And the mysterious gothic horror elements with the house and roses in the garden made for an eerie fascination.”

—Brandy, @Better_0ff_read 

“I devoured this story in a little over 4 hours. If you are looking for a ghastly story to haunt your Autumn and give you all the spooky vibes pick up a copy of Horrid by Katrina Leno.”

—Kimberly, @whimsicalnarratives 

“Do not begin reading this book unless you have time to read it in one sitting, unless you want to spend all of the intervening time thinking about the story and feeling desperate to get back into it. You’ve been forewarned!”

—Kelsea, A Novel Escape

“I loved everything about this book, but my favorite part was the sheer feeling of unease that crept off the pages. From unexplained noises to strange voices and irrational behavior from other characters, this book had me not only second-guessing each of the characters, but also second-guessing every strange noise and light in my own house.”

—Meigan, @DreamingInPages

“Katrina Leno jump started my spooky season mood with Horrid. A wonderful, atmospheric stand-alone story that left me on the edge of my seat and reading nonstop.”

—Ash, @ashesofabookdragon


Katrina Leno

About the Author

Katrina Leno was born on the East Coast and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels, including You Must Not Miss, Horrid, and Sometime in Summer. The Umbrella Maker’s Son is her middle grade debut. She has always loved the rain.

Learn more about this author