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Are You in the House Alone? Paperback – April 1, 2000

3.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Forget it," Alison counseled. "It never happened." But it was happening. The obscene notes. "Stop reading that garbage!" Alison shrieked and grabbed the neatly lettered page from Gail's frozen hands. And whenever Gail was alone, the phone rang and went dead as soon as she answered it. As her world shaded into a nightmare, Gail, surrounded by friends, family, and teachers, found herself utterly alone.

Then one evening her nightmare became fact when she learned an even more tragic truth; in spite of violence and degradation, she was still alone, the victim of a crime that punished the innocent and let the criminal go free. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"Forget it," Alison counseled. "It never happened." But it was happening. The obscene notes. "Stop reading that garbage!" Alison shrieked and grabbed the neatly lettered page from Gail's frozen hands. And whenever Gail was alone, the phone rang and went dead as soon as she answered it. As her world shaded into a nightmare, Gail, surrounded by friends, family, and teachers, found herself utterly alone.

Then one evening her nightmare became fact when she learned an even more tragic truth; in spite of violence and degradation, she was still alone, the victim of a crime that punished the innocent and let the criminal go free. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 730 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reissue edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141306939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141306933
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,290,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The scariest kinds of stories are the ones that could easily happen to you. Unfortunately, Are You in the House Alone? is one of them. It is the story of a high school junior named Gail who is relentlessly stalked, then raped. Her rapist doesn't bother to disguise his identity -- he doesn't need to, because he knows he won't be brought to justice by a society which views sexually active women as "asking for it."
But the terror doesn't end there; after recovering from her physical injuries, Gail has her emotional scars repeatedly ripped open at her high school, where she is forced to see her attacker every day, never knowing if...or when...he will strike again.
This a daring premise for a young adult novel; thankfully, Peck doesn't soften it by making the tone shrill, preachy or simplistic. Like any good suspense story, each and every one of his characters have complex motivations that drive them to make sometimes surprising and often tragic decisions.
But the real secret to this book's excellence is its plot: tight, seamless, and riveting. As terrifying as the story is at times, you simply HAVE to push your fears aside and find out what happens next.
The icing on the cake is Peck's talent for creating a chilling atmosphere that is almost gothic without being over the top. Read the prologue and you'll see what I mean. His portrayal of high school is particularly insightful -- the students range from rich, popular athletes to working class intellectuals to ostracized bohemian artists; you'll probably recognize some of them from your own school.
I highly recommend Are You in the House Alone? for anyone wanting a scary read that will keep you looking over your shoulders for weeks after.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book when I was fifteen, and I think it would make me sick if I were to read it now. But more about that later. The main character, Gail, is not portrayed as a saint but rather as a sexually active sixteen year old-this makes it hard for some people, I suppose. Secretly, whether we will admit it or not, it's harder for some of us to empathize with a sexually active character who, as the rapist points out, isn't even wearing a bra when he attacks her. Grr, darn that Richard Peck, exposing our prejudices!
Honestly, Gail isn't a very likable character. She's kind of selfish, kind of manipulative, kind of meanly sarcastic...I think that's why I liked her so much. She's real. When she starts getting threatening notes and phone calls, she doesn't know what to do, and so, as most people would, she doesn't do much of anything. At this point we're screaming at the book to try to get her to do something, because we know what's coming. But the greatest strength of this novel is that it makes us wonder what we would do in a similar situation.
The most frustrating thing about this book is that it seems to carry the message that there's nothing we CAN do. Gail tries to defend herself but fails. She tries to punish the man responsible, but fails. Maybe that's reality, but not only is it extremely frustrating, it's a BAD message to send to victims:Don't try to prosocute your attacker, the justice system is against you. I don't think that's necessarily the message that Mr. Peck was trying to get accross, but that's how I felt when reading the book. That's why I can't give this book more than three stars. It's good, the characters seem real, but it's hard to like any of them, and by the end you're pulling your hair out over the unfairness at all.
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Format: Paperback
This is a dramatic, true-to-life book. The characters are believable, the aftermath played out perfectly, and the story tense and tautly written.
Yes, the book is about rape. Yes, there's injustice in the book. And I suspect that's very much the author's point. There is a lot of injustice in life, and you have to choose your battles wisely to have an effect on it.
And as to the girl not pressing charges because the guy's rich ... sadly, that's all too real. Most of us figure out very young that money matters. It matters in rape too. Since the girl in the book wasn't wealthy herself, severely injured, or a virgin, her attacker would most likely never have been convicted. Sad, revolting, but extremely true, and very well handled.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
PUBLISHING INFO: Viking Juvenile, 11/1976
REISSUED: 2000, Puffin Books
GENRE: YA Contemporary Suspense
SETTING: Connecticut, USA
MY GRADE: B

I'd never heard of this book before, not until last year when I watched the 9/1978 CBS made for television movie on Youtube. I finally bought the book and received it a few days ago. It's only 160 pages long and needed to be at least 100 pages longer.

The book didn't really seem dated at all. The plotline was almost completely believable. Some of the dialogue from the school's guidance counselors wasn't believable, with them not believing her and also some of the comments the police officer made to her.

The notes that Phil sent Gail were explicit but they weren't detailed in the book.

Near the end there was an incident where a female student was raped and beaten one night and Gail believes Phil did it. No reasons were given for that and no proof was brought forth.

How the film differs from the book: I think in the film they made her seventeen years old. There was no mention of her being on birth control pills. They also changed her last name from Osburne to Osborne. The woman Gail babysat for, her last name was changed from Montgomery to Hirsch. They changed her boyfriend Steve Pastorini's last name slightly to Pastorinis. She met him in the film but when the book began she'd already been dating him awhile. The movie takes place in California, not Connecticut.

I think Kathleen Beller did a pretty good acting job and didn't look too old for the part at twenty-two years old. She's now married to musician/professor Thomas Dolby (She Blinded Me With Science). Her friend Alison's acting was believable too though she didn't speak too much.
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