Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Come one, come all to perhaps the creepiest cabin/amusement park duo to ever grace young adult fiction. Perhaps, all fiction, but I’m not going to read all the other ones to find out.
This was my first true experience with the horror genre. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I have avoided this particular genre like green beans, green peas, broccoli…basically any green veggies besides lettuce. However, this book was the perfect way to dive into this new genre for me.
The story introduces us to our cast of characters that are all spending the weekend at a replica cabin of one of the most famous horror movies. They got this wonderfully weird prize after winning an essay contest where they had to describe their biggest and darkest fear. We’ve got Ivy, a girl who had dealt with a previous trauma that left both her parents dead and her emotionally scared; Garth, the cliche goth guy obsessed with all things horror movies; Parker, the nice guy filmmaker wannabe; Frankie…I don’t remember much about Frankie (let’s pretend there is a good description of him right here); Natalie, the emotionally strange Justin Blake horror movie fanatic; and Shayla…ugh, her and Frankie are just known as good, cool people in my brain, not any other details. But wait, seven contestants won…what happened to Taylor? Why did she disappear before everyone else got there? Is there something more to the story…and could explain why things turning creepier by the second?
I had loved Project 17 by the same author, and she did not disappoint with this new story. She has a great ability to create a brilliant cast of characters that were all different and all sorts of messed up. Yes, I do agree some of the characterization was a bit shallow, but the truth is, how deep can you get with the cast she created and the atmosphere she spun? There was so much to focus on, and I loved that because it left me constantly surprised with what the author pulled out.
The storyline was haunting as well. It put me on edge, and it was honestly just creepy as all get up. The whole greatest fears looming over them and the creepy cabin in the woods was the perfect setup for something big, and wowza, that was one killer ending. This book stayed in my head wayyyyyy longer than it meant to, and I devoured it in a day.
This was a great book period, and the perfect way to step into the horror genre. I would definitely recommend this creepy little book!
Check it out: