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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

With Love for Horror Books: The Doll's Eye by Marina Cohen - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Hadley misses the way she and her mother used to be. They've recently moved out of their apartment in the big city and Hadley now has to share her mother with a stepfather and stepbrother. The house they moved into is in the suburbs. It isn't a pleasant place and it constantly gives Hadley an uneasy feeling. She longs for a warm and comfortable home, but instead she has to get used to a house that's musty and chilly. She doesn't feel completely at ease in her new surroundings and spending time with the additional family she never wanted makes Hadley feel deeply unhappy.

The house comes with a large number of items that have been left behind by the previous owners. One of those items is a dollhouse. The lovely tenant who's lived on the premises for a long time even gives Hadley new dolls for her treasured possession. However, something strange is going on with the dolls and the house and Hadley is curious to uncover their secrets. When she finds a glass eye she thinks it belongs to another doll, but which one? She knows something sinister is happening, when one night she accidentally makes a wish. Wishes can't be undone and it's the beginning of a very different time for Hadley. Will she be able to uncover the mystery behind the dollhouse before it's too late?

The Doll's Eye is a fantastic creepy story. I love frightening stories about dolls, so I was immediately intrigued by the subject of this book. Hadley is a sweet girl whose world has been turned upside down because her mother suddenly found love. Hadley has to get used to having a stepfather and a little brother and this isn't easy. She wants things to go back to the way they were, but that isn't what happens when she makes her wishes. Hadley knows something worrisome is going on with the house she's living in and the dollhouse she has in her room, but the question is if she can uncover its secrets quickly enough and fight the magic that's messing with her. Her search kept me on the edge of my seat and I read the book in one sitting because I was so anxious to discover if she'd eventually be okay again.

Marina Cohen has written a terrific eerie book. I was mesmerized by her writing from the start. It's captivating, descriptive and vivid. She knows how to divide tension and this constantly made me curious. I love it when an author manages to surprise me and Marina Cohen has definitely done that with this story. I was constantly amazed and loved the many unexpected twists and turns and overall scariness of her subject matter. The ending is sublime and gorgeously suffocating. I really loved The Doll's Eye, it's creative, distressing and enchanting.


If you love creepy stories about dolls The Doll's Eye is an absolute must-read. The story is originally meant for the 8-12 age category, but is definitely suitable for both children and adults.

About Marina Cohen

In case you missed it, my name is Marina Cohen, and I’m the author of several horror and fantasy books for kids and teens including THE INN BETWEEN, THE DOLL’S EYE, and coming soon, A BOX OF BONES.

I grew up in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, where I spent far too much time daydreaming, staring off into space, and asking myself what if…

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved a good ghost story. I especially enjoyed hearing true stories, like the one about a relative who visited a fortune teller resulting in dire consequences, or about mysterious dreams that were more like premonitions.

In elementary school, one of my favorite authors was Edgar Allen Poe. I absolutely loved The Tell-Tale Heart and The Pit and the Pendulum and aspired to write similar stories. I was also fascinated with various mythologies, which has heavily influenced my writing.

I have a B.A, B.Ed., and a Master’s Degree in French Literature. Prior to becoming a teacher and a writer, I had a number of jobs. I worked in a library, a grocery store, at a dance studio, and in a hotel. I also worked for Air Canada in both Canada and Germany.

I’m still drawn to the fantastical, the bizarre, and all things creepy, so when I’m not busy parenting, teaching French, writing, or doing various writing presentations, you can find me curled up with a good book that has me shivering, shuddering and clamoring for the lights. Or possibly playing with my creepy dolls…


Website // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube // Amazon


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m an elementary school teacher with a Masters degree in French Literature and I’m the author of several books for children and young teens. Though many of my novels might be classified as horror, I’d say they are more atmospherically creepy.

Ever since I can remember I’ve been a huge horror fan. I grew up listening to old German fairytales that could be quite dark and disturbing. In elementary school, while my classmates were reading Judy Blume, I was reading Edgar Allan Poe. I loved the Tell-Tale Heart and The Pit and the Pendulum and aspired to write similar stories. I enjoy fantasy, magic, monsters, and mystery, but I’m especially drawn to Gothic horror and ghost stories.

2. What makes your heart beat faster?

What frightens me most is what is not said. Not shown. What is left to the dark recesses of my imagination. For example, I love The Monkey’s Paw. What makes my heart race is the slow knock, knock, knock as I’m left to imagine what might await me on the other side of that locked door.

3. Which horror monster do you fear the most?

The demon. Definitely. I’d be far more afraid of encountering some pure embodiment of evil than I would creatures like vampires, werewolves, or zombies.

4. If the zombie apocalypse would happen today, what would you do?

Hey—if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

5. What's your favorite horror movie?

I have so many so I’ll cheat and list a few: The Amityville Horror, The Babadook, The Village, The Haunting of Julia, Rosemary’s Baby, Skelton Key, The Omen, Pumpkinhead. It’s a never-ending list.

6. What's your worst nightmare?

My worst nightmare would be losing someone dear to me and never knowing what happened to them. I drew upon this fear while writing The Inn Between.

7. If your book was made into a movie, who would play the lead characters and why?

If The Doll’s Eye were ever made into a movie I’d absolutely LOVE for Imelda Staunton to play Althea De Mone. Ah, but I think that gives too much away!

8. What inspired you to write horror stories?

Writers write the kinds of stories they like to read. Essentially, we write for ourselves. I love to read horror, so I love to write it. Nothing makes me happier than scaring myself! So, although I write middle-grade, beware—my stories can have some pretty dark elements.

9. What do you like the most about the horror genre?

Horror is a genre often not given enough credit. A great horror story is satisfying far beyond its capacity to frighten and shock. Great horror tells a story of life and death, of survival, of tradition, of choices and consequence, of bravery, of humanity. Great horror delves deep into our collective psychology and can be a metaphor of the greater evils and fears of society.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

I have a new middle grade novel set to release in spring 2019 titled A Box of Bones. I’m working on another manuscript, (I won’t divulge the title just yet) which I hope to complete in the next few months. In case you were wondering—it’s creepy too!


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed hardcover copy of The Doll's Eye.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. The Doll's Eye sounds like a creepy, spine-tingling page-turner. Love the cover too.

  2. Dolls have always creeped me out yet I still love to read horror stories about them. LOL This sounds creepy enough to keep me happy:)

  3. Sounds like a good sinister read! And I love the cover!

  4. wow, this looks really good, love a good thrilling gripper of a book!

  5. Wow, this sounds like a really creepy read. Looking forward to reading it.

  6. Sounds like a creepy, enthralling read to me. Great cover too, creepy insects included. :-)

  7. Sounds like a good book that would be difficult to put down.

  8. I love the cover. Covers pull me into a book and story as much as a synopsis does :)

  9. Interesting Cover! Creepy crawlers...;)

  10. the book sounds good-love the cover

    tiramisu392 (at)

  11. that is a creepy book cover makes me want to read the book

  12. Sounds like an eerie read, I'd love to add it to my bookcase

  13. I just really love the cover. I have my eyes on this book for a while now...

  14. I enjoy creepy stories. This is a kind of book that I know I would enjoy.

  15. OH looks good and scary lol, the cover alone would have made me buy it, YES I am a cover buyer... and 99% of the time I'm not disappointed

  16. the cover sure draws me in to want to read the book! Can't wait to read it!

  17. Wonderful interview! I'd so love to win this book in order to read it, thank you.

  18. I find the unknown/what's not seen very creepy, too.

  19. l love this genre, creepy and sinister

  20. Dolls are creepy! This sounds awesome.

  21. looks great x i used gto collect creepy dolls

  22. love this type of book

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