Book Review: Thornhill

Happy Friday Everyone,

We made it!

If you too are working from home, you are probably feeling like every day seems to blend into the next with little difference. Quick reminder to switch things up a little every day if you can. Stay safe and most of all sane!

To follow up on my Buddy Read post, I’m posting my individual review of Thornhill by Pam Smy.


This is also the first book by Pam Smy, and I really didn’t know what to expect, but the cover and blurb had me super excited and hopeful. Let’s see how things went!


Parallel plotlines, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.
Mary is an orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it’s closing down for good. But when a bully goes too far, Mary’s revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

Years later, Ella moves to a new town where she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute. Determined to befriend the mysterious, evasive girl she sees there, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s history and uncover its secrets.

Ella’s story is told through striking, bold art; Mary’s is told through diary entries. Each informs the other until the two eventually intersect to reveal the truth behind Thornhill’s shadowy past, once and for all. Strikingly told and masterfully illustrated, Pam Smy bends genres and expectations alike.

The Review:



I gave this book five fantastic stars!

This is my first time reading something by Pam Smy, and man, this book gave me all the feels. Every single one of them, I’m telling you!

This book centers around two young girls, Mary and Ella. Their plotlines are woven together although Mary’s POV takes place decades before Ella’s.

Mary is a quiet girl. She keeps to herself in her room making clay dolls, hoping that the others will leave her alone and stop picking on her once and for all, especially her.

Ella is a lonely girl. She just moved into a house overlooking the Thornhill house, but when she starts to see someone on the grounds, she investigates, embarking on a quest that’ll reveal to her the horrific past of Thornhill house.

It’s hard to know where to start, that’s how much I loved this book. Can you say instafavorite?

The characters were great. I absolutely loved Mary. She’s a bright, talented young girl who has a good head on her shoulders. Unfortunately, most people don’t see her that way. Instead, they pick on her for being different, for being special.

The way people treated her in this book really tugged at my heart, and I seriously wanted to throat-punch, drop kick, and sucker punch every single person who threw a snickery remark her way or hurt her.

Ella was great too. Although we only get to know her through the picture pages, I still feel like we got a very good impression of her. She’s alone all the time, and so tired of being lonely.

The plot was not what I was expecting, but it was great regardless. A central theme of this book is bullying, and experiencing Mary’s circumstances really brought me back to my childhood. There weren’t a ton of plot twists, but it didn’t matter. The plot was simple and executed flawlessly.  I had to know what was going to happen to Mary and Ella.

I will say that I didn’t necessarily agree with the ending, but still felt it gave the story a conclusive end.

All in all, I couldn’t get enough of this book, and I’m extremely proud to put this on my bookshelf at home with all my other favorites.

Give this one a chance, you will not be disappointed!

That’s a Wrap!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!

Have you read this book before? What did you think? Do you have a book recommendation similar to this one? Feel free to share in the comments!

If you’d like to see other reviews of mine, feel free to check out my blog homepage or my GoodReads. You can also follow my GoodReads reviews here. There are some great binge-worthy books on there!

Have a great day!

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