I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Genres: Horror, Suspense, Thriller, YA
Published by Disney Hyperion on July 22nd, 2014
Buy on Amazon
What’s your worst nightmare?
For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.
And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.
Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.
Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.
By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.
First thoughts: It had the potential to be a pretty decent creepy novel.
Although I have heard of some of this authors novels this is actually my first read from her. I did like this novel, but I just didn’t love it like I wanted too. Welcome to the Dark House is told in multiple first person POV’s and there are six (seven if you count Taylor but she is missing) teenager who have told the Nightmare Elf their worst nightmare and been chosen to meet Justin Blake. Justin Blake is a horror director and the one responsible for the Nightmare Elf series. Most of the teens going are huge Justin Blake fans for at least horror fans, but Ivy is not. Ivy is one of the main characters out of the six and she wrote about the nightmare she keeps having in hopes of sort of facing her fears. Her parent’s were killed when she was younger and she seen the man’s eyes and he has always vowed to find her. She knows that her parents were killed by a serial killer and that is why she was moved into protective custody, name changed and placed in foster care, but her parents killer haunts her. She doesn’t understand how people can enjoy horror movies because she has lived through such horror herself.
Parker, who takes up with Ivy wants to be a movie maker himself so meeting Justin would be great for his career in films. Natalie, is just a really strange character who talks to herself a lot (you find out who she is talking to but I won’t say) and she has a thing about mirrors and looking at herself (she doesn’t like her reflection). Garth grew up in a strange family and loving horror was his way to cope. Shayla and Frankie are just die hard horror fans and each have their creepy reasons for being fascinated.
Things are a bit strange from the beginning as everything is sort of geared towards Justin Blakes films. Taylor is missing from the beginning and you don’t actually get to meet her, so is she real or not? Then they are all taken to an amusement park that is set in a horror theme and all of their cell phones and cameras are taken away. That would have made me a bit leery about what is going on. Then they are locked in. Most of them think it’s great but Natalie doesn’t think it’s a good thing and neither does Ivy. I don’t want to get into anything because I don’t want to ruin the plot and it’s sort of hard to talk about without revealing something.
The book really gets interesting once they enter the amusement park but that was about half way into the book, but I knew this was the first book and every good horror movie needs a sequel, so that didn’t really bother me much. Overall, I did enjoy the book but I did have some things that totally bothered me and is the reason it didn’t make it to a four star read.
The multiple POV was hard to follow because it was done in the first person. I don’t mind first person POV when there is two or maybe three POV’s and they start out at the beginning of a chapter. These POV’s changed within the chapters and some times it took me a little bit to figure out who was talking…it’s going along and then a comment is made about Shayla and then I am like..oh it’s Frankie who is POV I am in..I didn’t like that at all. It took so much away from the read for me. I know this is suppose to sort of read like a horror movie, but I think I would have liked it more if the POV was in third person. I want to let everyone know that my problem I have here with the POV might not happen in the finished product as the author said that there is suppose to be art work that lets you know who is speaking.
The ending, although it wasn’t really a cliffhanger, it just sort of ended. I kept trying to flip pages on my kindle and nothing would happen and I kept thinking, really that is it. When I think about it I guess it does sort of have that ending in horror movies where you know there will be a sequel, but I didn’t like it. I did like it enough to want to read the next book in the series as I have to know what exactly happened to everyone as it does leave you with a hmmm sort of ending.
If you are into YA horror/suspense type book then I think it is definitely worth checking out but you have been warned of the ending..lol.