Book Review: Welcome to the Dark House (Dark House #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

July 25, 2014 Blog, Book Reviews, Horror 0

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.

Book Review: Welcome to the Dark House (Dark House #1) by Laurie Faria StolarzWelcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Series: Dark House #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on July 22nd 2014
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Source: NetGalley
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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.

My Thoughts

This definitely starts with a bang! The horror was very reminiscent of all the 80’s horror films I watched and loved! It was subtle at first so as a reader I wasn’t sure what was really going on or if the characters should be worried. Well of course they should be worried! It was just like those movies but these people actually asked to be in this. Silly right?

So, here is the one huge downside, the pov. Chapter to chapter it was a different person but it was all done in first person view. So although I was able to see what that character was seeing and KNOW only what that character knew, it would take me a minute to figure out who in the world that new character was. To say the least this was strange. And hard to wrap my head around sometimes. Once I started to get to know the characters it was a little easier but there are areas where there is no conversation and the reader is left to imagine who the character is. Unsettling!

There again though, once I got to know the characters I really started enjoying the plot. The creepiness of it all! The frustration behind the characters and the curiosity also… you think you’re just in a game to face your fears, you have no idea if it is true or not and that is where the fun really lies.

So, there were some really great moments but I never really felt totally with the story. I loved the plot and was intruiged to finish but I think I’m more curious about book two since I now know the characters. I think I’ll be able to delve in more without any frustrations, or so I hope.

In short:

Interesting! Good horror / thriller but don’t go into this thinking there will be answers. You will get none. Think of this as an 80’s horror in book form and you’ll love it!


The Author

Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston.

Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.

Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance. The four novels in the “BIFN” series have sold over 500,000 copies collectively.Stolarz has also announced a graphic novel entry into the series titled Black is for Beginnings, which she published in summer 2009

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