Monday, September 7, 2015

[Review: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich]

"The Dead House"
Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Series: None
Pages: 432
Genre: YA, Horror
Date Published: September 15th, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via NetGalley) for honest review


Debut author Dawn Kurtagich is dead on in this terrifying psychological thriller!

Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of three teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy - only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace...

...until a diary is found hidden in the ruins.

But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn't exist Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly?

The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails. And the diary.

The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To The Dead House,

What just happened? No, for real, what just happened? I think that you're the first book to freak me out this year. I've been searching for you, and I'm glad that we finally met. I just don't even know what more I should say. I guess you're just a really cool novel that's really well put together, and I dig it. Continue being you, cause you're one heck of a horror novel!

-The White Unicorn

Guys, this book was a trip. It freaked me out. It messed with my mind. It made me question everything about it. I didn't know what was going to happen, and I'm so glad that it ended up going the way it did, because The Dead House is one of those creepy books that I'm going to remember, while most I'd like to forget.

The novel is about two girls Carly and Kaitlyn Johnson. Or at least that's what they tell you. Both girls are stuck in one body, but have different personalities. Carly takes the daylight hours, and Kaitlyn only comes out in the dark of night. This big tragedy happens to them, and everyone thinks that the girls are just Carly struggling with Dissociative Identity Disorder, and that that is where Kaitlyn comes from. 

The girls are shipped off to a mental institution, and then, they are sent to a boarding school later on. The thing is, you don't know if Kaitlyn is just a split in Carly's personality, or if she's actually real. It's a mind trip. You get to know Kaitlyn and Carly through journal entries and sticky-notes, and they both seem so different. Another option presents itself later on. One that adds a paranormal element to the story, and adds even more creep factor than was there before.  I'd like to this that this second option is what was really going on the whole time.

The fact is that Kurtagich tells her story in diary entries, interview transcripts, video recordings, and police documents. She also jumps the time line around quite a bit, so you really have to pay attention to what is happening. Though it could be really annoying, Kurtagich weaves the pieces of her tale together masterfully. She keeps you confused, but gives you all the tools to understand what is happening to Carly and Kaitlyn on your own terms. 

This book is horrifying, and so much fun. As soon as the paranormal element comes in we see a whole bunch of teens working together to find out what is really going on inside of Carly, and the results prove deadly. Really deadly. 

Trust me, if you like a scary book, this is the one you should be reading next. It's fantastic!

5 Unicorns = Close to perfect!    

1 comment:

Tammy Sparks said...

I've been dying to get this book, and I'm glad I'm seeing so many positive reviews. October is just around the corner, so I'll have to get a copy to read for Halloween:)