Google+ Reading Teen: THE DEAD HOUSE by Dawn Kurtagich (Book & Audio) \\ I will be hiding in my closet for the next week, thank you

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

THE DEAD HOUSE by Dawn Kurtagich (Book & Audio) \\ I will be hiding in my closet for the next week, thank you

Review by Rachel & Andye
by Dawn Kurtagich
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 15, 2015)
Language: English

Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Hardcover | Audiobook | Goodreads
Welcome to the Dead House.

Three students: dead.

Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace.

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, "the girl of nowhere."

Kaitlyn's diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn't exist, and in a way, she doesn't - because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It's during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it.

Debut author Dawn Kurtagich masterfully weaves together a thrilling and terrifying story using psychiatric reports, witness testimonials, video footage, and the discovered diary - and as the mystery grows, the horrifying truth about what happened that night unfolds.
The Audio (from Andye):

I was a little skeptical about the audiobook version of this because the book is just really cool to look at. With its reports, email correspondences and such, I was worried the audiobook wouldn't be able to convey all of that as well. I was definitely wrong because this was probably the BEST AUDIO PRODUCTION I'VE EVER LISTENED TO. It was so incredibly well done. I can't describe how absolutely CREEPED OUT I was while listening. The different sections were set up by a male narrator, Christian Coulson, then the rest was read by the talented Charlotte Parry. Charlotte did an awesome job with the different characters. There was also creepy music that would sometimes play in the background. That added so much to the scare-factor. I swear I've never had so much anxiety while listening to/reading a book before. When there was a "recorded session" with Kaitlyn/Carly and her psychiatrist, it actually sounded like a recorded file. Literally the only thing I would change about this book would be that, in the book, there are things that are scratched out, and I would've made some sort of sound-effect for that. (They did that for the Shatter Me series and I thought it was really good.) Otherwise, I really think the audio enhanced this story SO MUCH for me. It made it ten times scarier. It's the first time I've ever really been scared by a book.

As far as how I liked the book, I agree completely with Rachel's review below! 

The book (by Rachel):

I'm a newbie YA horror reader, but even with my inexperience I can tell that The Dead House will be a hit among horror lovers. Creepy and spine-chilling from the start, this story carries an ominous edge that made me paranoid for days and jumpy at the slightest of sounds.

I love how this story starts with the accident and then goes back to the beginning. How did it happen? Who died? Why did this happen? There's so much mystery to this story that kept my interest throughout. I read this book in two sittings! There's a sense of foreboding throughout the story as well. That keeps us on edge even without all the suspense and eeriness that follows. 

This story is unlike one I've ever read. Told through diary entries, interview transcripts, video descriptions, notes, emails, and more, this story is uniquely written. I wasn't sure the story could be conveyed through such techniques, but this really worked well! It left parts out and let a more broad plot take place, we weren't stuck in the protagonist's head the whole time like in most books. 

We have the most unreliable protagonist ever. Carly suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder and has a nighttime personality Kaitlyn. It was so creepy to see this same "body" switch personalities. Carly is present in the daytime while Kaitlyn lives at night. Also I was pleasantly surprised by the characterization. I could really see and feel the distinctions between Carly and Kaitlyn's personalities. I still didn't fully understand why this happened to them, but oh well.

The romance had a bit of insta-love, and I had problems with that for reasons I can't share! Overall I really liked the cast of characters. It's astounding how well the characterization was considering we don't have the traditional form of writing/story-telling to develop their personalities. There's also the dangerous question of who to trust. I love all the mysteries and uncertainty this book incorporates.

The spook factor in this book was top notch. Kaitlyn's horrifying dreams of the dead house, the whisper carried on the winds, the hallucinations, the apparitions, the disappearances, everything is so well portrayed. This book will make you squirm and shiver. You'll look over your shoulder to make sure no one's watching you. Possession and some religious/spiritual cultures are also described which were fascinating. I love all the creepy aspects incorporated into this book! This is the perfect read for Halloween, I'd recommend you give this one a try.

Leave your thoughts

Post a Comment

Leave us a comment. Commenting people are our favorites! And we like to give things to favorites :)