The Sun Down Motel Review
Updated: May 7
I will always be the one to be rooting for the supernaturals to be there! And this one definitely delivered! The Sun Down Motel is a great Paranormal Mystery!
The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before.
Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn't right at the Sun Down, and before long she's determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…
This was my #EnchantedReadsBookClub pick for April! I loved reading and discussing this one!
This was such a great read! I had no idea what to expect with this one. This was my first read from this author, but I had heard great reviews on all her books. I’m excited to say, that after this read, I can’t wait to pick up her other book, The Broken Girls. Which actually was voted to become my next book club pick for May!
As for the genre that this was picked for, for my book club, I didn’t think it truly fit. For April, the genre picked was Horror, and I found that The Sun Down Motel was not very scary. And so for May, when the genre picked was Paranormal, and after finishing The Sun Down Motel, I knew The Broken Girls would be a perfect fit and it ended up winning the vote.
If you’re unfamiliar with how I run my book club, I let the community decide what we read based on the options I provide. At the end of each month, I post rounds of voting on my Instagram story for the next month’s pick, starting with the genre. I give four options and whichever genre wins, I then post another vote for the book pick, with four books that fit within that genre. Whichever book wins becomes the next book pick. And I never do the same genre in a row.
I thought The Sun Down Motel was definitely a ghost story and filled with paranormal, but I personally didn’t find it scary at all. But, since I had never read this book before or any of the author’s other books, I had no way of knowing how scary this would be. Especially since everyone has a different level of what is scary to them. That being said, there were a few in the discussion group that did find this book to be very scary for them. However, from my experience with reading horror, I’d place this book to be at the very low end of the horror scale. And it would be perfect for those just getting into horror or those that just want to dip their toes in.
While I didn’t find The Sun Down Motel scary, it was definitely creepy. More so in the beginning, I found the hauntings we see to be under the skin creepy. Though, as we continue through the book, things started to feel repetitive and so the level of creepy dropped drastically. Once the hauntings started after the halfway point of the book, I would think to myself, “Oh, we’re doing this again.”
I found the hauntings we see to be under the skin creepy.
Now, that being said, I wasn’t bored, even if that last comment might seem like I was. I just wasn’t shocked or scared by the hauntings we see especially by the second half of the book. I really enjoyed reading this one. I appreciated reading this mystery thriller that actually had supernaturals, not just the feels. I’ve read so many books, especially thrillers that had those paranormal feels and it turns out to be nothing but twisted human beings… *cough* Riley Sager *cough* There’s nothing wrong with those books, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed plenty of those and a few have even become my favorites. But I will always be the one to be rooting for the supernaturals to be there! And this one definitely delivered!
I will always be the one to be rooting for the supernaturals to be there! And this one definitely delivered!
As I mentioned, I truly enjoyed reading this. It flows so well! I read it in just two days, I didn’t want to stop reading. The premise follows two timelines, Carly who goes to a small town her aunt disappeared from thirty-five years before, and then her aunt, Viv, and what she had experienced all those years ago. I really loved this dual timeline setup. They played into each other so well, what we learned in one would correlate directly into the other.
Going back to the supernaturals, it was entertaining getting to know our ghosts and how they got there. Even though I didn’t necessarily find them scary, they really set the atmosphere we see at the motel. It reminded me a lot of The Shining, though I found that to actually be scary.
Even though I didn’t necessarily find them scary, they really set the atmosphere we see at the motel.
When we got to the end of the book, I will admit I was not surprised. I had worked towards this ending with the details we saw leading up to it. Especially in regards to the fate of the motel. However, even though I was not shocked by this. The fate of the motel was probably my favorite part of this book. I just loved it.
Another aspect I really loved was our strong female leads. I found both Carly and Viv great characters to follow. In both time periods, both women knew that being they were women and not men, they were at a disadvantage and would not be taken seriously. But they didn’t care, they worked around this and found other ways to get the outcome they wanted. I especially enjoyed seeing them point out internally that things would be different if they were a man. Because the unfortunate truth is it would be. I just love reading books with strong female leads like this, that push back the society norms.
Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable Paranormal Mystery, but a disappointing Horror. However, this could be scary for some, as I mentioned, a few in the book club did find this scary. I think if you scare easily but are interested in horror, this might be perfect for you. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys paranormal, mystery thrillers, and especially those who enjoy ghost stories.