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The House Hardcover – October 6, 2015
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Delilah Blue would do anything for her crush, Gavin. She is sent to boarding school after beating up bullies who attacked him. Seven years later, she is back in Kansas and her obsession with Gavin hasn't changed. The two become inseparable. But a dark force threatens their relationship—the house that Gavin lives in. It provides everything that Gavin could possibly want and need in life. But the house doesn't want Delilah to be part of his life. When it gets mad, it becomes possessed and terrible things happen to the two teens. Gavin soon realizes how abnormal this is and begins to wonder about what happened to his mother, of whom he has only vague memories. What will happen when he graduates and leaves for college? Will the house let him go? This eerie work by the author team of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings is told in chapters that alternate between Delilah's and Gavin's accounts. With a swiftly moving plot and eerie elements that will surely raise goose bumps, this novel can be enjoyed by voracious horror fans and reluctant readers alike. VERDICT Give to teens who enjoy spine-tingling haunted house and ghost stories like The Old Willis Place by Mary Downing Hahn (Clarion, 2004) and The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (HarperCollins, 2008).—Shannon Seglin, San Antonio Public Library
“Masterfully told and wholly original, THE HOUSE is a bold new take on the haunted house genre. Don’t read it at home alone. Or at night. Or at all, if you scare easy. You’ve been warned!” (Ransom Riggs, New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children)
“An entrancing, darkly romantic story that's equal parts beautiful and chilling. Once you enter The House, you'll be forever in its thrall. Welcome to your next obsession.” (Alexandra Bracken, New York Times bestselling author of The Darkest Minds series)
"Lauren taps into classic haunted-house memes, drawing those ideas to the max as they imbue House with a distinct, sinister personality. Intrigue builds, and suspense slowly creeps in....Don't read it at night." (Kirkus Reviews [STARRED REVIEW])
"It will send chills down your spine—or worse if House gets angry." (Booklist)
"With a swiftly moving plot and eerie elementsthat will surely raise goose bumps, this novel can be enjoyed by voracioushorror fans and reluctant readers alike." (School Library Journal)
Top customer reviews
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Before she was sent off to the school out east, she got into a fight with some kids who were picking on Gavin. He was a strange kid, grew up in a strange house, but to Delilah, he was perfectly out of the norm.
Now that she is back home, her protectiveness of Gavin returns just as strong as ever. She wants to know him, be near him, understand him. He however is hesitant to let her in, now matter how much he wants to. But when they finally give in to their feelings and he brings her into his life, she isn't as prepared as she thought she would be.
At first she is intrigued by this mystical and magical place. It's a fantasy land come true... until it isn't. She is face to face with something dark and sinister. Something that is just as protective and possessive of Gavin as she is.
This book was an excellent read. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale and the dark lure in the story. If you are into horror/fantasy/paranormal, this is a great book to dig into!
By saying, it was a bit different from what I was anticipating. Well… it’s only “different” because it’s my own fault.. you see, I lightly skimmed the blurb (hoping to go in blind) and I was highly enticed by the fear-factor warning from the Editorial Reviews:
” Don’t read it at home alone. Or at night. Or at all, if you scare easy. You’ve been warned!”
But… it ended up being… completely different from what I expected…In overall it was “meeeeh” in the fear factor area.. Meaning? It was not exactly the full-on fright-fest I was looking for, – I was REALLY looking forward to reading it while peeking through my fingers… It had a fun creep-factor (but I wouldn’t consider it horror… more of a YA scary movie)… Actually I can totally see it as a scary What-will-happen-next movie just not the “keep you up all night trembling even though all the lights are still on…” kind. It held my attention, although it was not an ” OMG!! I can’t put it down read”
I wanted more.. so MUCH.MORE!! Or better yet I should say GREAT premise, but a little misleading? Like I said.. my fault for assuming, but when I read the blurb I got goosebumps, I was sure it was perfect for this month, scary vibes, make me read it while hiding under my bed covers, peeking through my fingers because I was so scared??? Humph!!! I was convinced it was about a 30-something couple that moved to ” The house” of their dreams, but it had all these spooky, sinister, unexplainable things happening to it and to them; or maybe he was dead ? or dying? and she was his saving grace? I don’t know.. a lot of things came to mind, but all of them were WRONG!! – How sad!! :( – you know what they say about assuming, right?
Well, I should start saying this book is YA! The main characters are eighteen years old; – pause, stares at the ceiling, rolls eyes – ohhhkay! ( I was NOT expecting that)
Do I have a thing against YA? Heck no!
“I’ll admit, he’s not that bad-looking. I guess I just never noticed before,” he said.
“There’s something about him.”
“‘Not bad-looking’? Dhaval, that boy is sex on a stick.”
Two nicely groomed dark eyebrows inched upward. “Delilah Blue, what do you know about sex on a stick?”
“Nothing,” she said, grinning. “I don’t need to have ridden a roller coaster to know what one is, do I?”
Do I have a thing about YA and spooky/scary books ? A little bit..
Why? Because they are always just “pretend” spooky/scary, we don’t get the whole BANG! And for me this book need a cannon bang! LOL.. So yeah .. I didn’t read while peeking through my fingers or hid under my covers, or did anything to be honest, I just sat on my bed and read and before I knew it I was at 79% still looking for the scare me for life moment.. ( I didn’t come, btw)
“Do you think he wants to be your boyfriend?”
“Dhaval?” She laughed. “He’s about as straight as a rainbow.”
Gavin’s face scrunched up slightly with confusion. “Rainbows aren’t. . . Oh.” He looked up to where Dhaval walked in the distance.
“I had no idea.”
“Then you have the world’s worst gaydar.
Don’t get me wrong the story line is good, but I think in some parts it was too focused on the details, and scene descriptions than the actual dialogue.
He was the same, but not. His shirt was black, jeans were black, and shaggy black hair fell into his eyes… When he looked up at Delilah as he passed, the same eyes she remembered from all those years ago — dark and stormy and shadowed with black circles — seemed to flicker to life for a moment.
Just long enough for her to lose her breath.
He looked like he knew every one of her secrets. Who would have guessed that after six years Gavin Timothy would still seem so perfectly dangerous?
Apparently, Delilah was still smitten.
I think Christina Lauren have a very more mature writing style ( what I mean by “mature writing style” is that…they didn’t really achieve in giving me- an early 20’s girl- the ability to connect to 18 year old characters, it gave me an out-of-my-reading-element feel, and I think it should be quite the opposite).
“What do you want from me, Delilah?”
“I want to be the only girl you look at.”
“You already are.”
We spent a huge part of the book constantly in the main character’s heads -Dual POV- don’t get me wrong, I normally enjoy being “inside” the character’s mind, to understand their naivete thoughts, gooey emotions to their relevant- deeper thoughts, but with this book it was just too much and after awhile… I could no longer feel connected to them. At least… not how I need to be connected a book, it often lagged, too. Details and observations and introspection that lacked a certain connection, for me. Delilah had such a desperate quality to her that just made me so uncomfortable… but don’t get me wrong she has an inner strength that had me in awe, even if she was a little creepy
” …there were other secrets too— ones she might never share because she knew they made her weird. Secrets like her strange appreciation of gore: depictions of fifteenth-century torture devices, paintings of people dying at the hand of swords or arrows. The idea of reanimation, zombies, exorcism. Books on the Black Plague. It wasn’t that she particularly treasured the idea of dying, or of other people dying; it was the visceral reaction to the creepy, the spectacularly scary, the otherworldliness of horror. Delilah loved the catch of breath when she was afraid, the feel of goose bumps dancing up her arms.”
And Gavin.. ohhhhh ...Gavin, how to explain him? He is a loner !! LOL .. and very protective of The House;
“Don’t follow me home,” he said as gently as he could. “Please, Delilah, don’t ever follow me home again.”
He is handsome… reclusive and brooding… all things we like and love in our male heroes, but he also had this weird vibe that kept making me lift my eyebrows and in a surprise kind of way, but also in what-in-the-world kind of way. I am on a fence with him.. I like him, but I don’t really know what I like in him? Makes sense? :)
“Mmm?” He wiped a hand over his face.
“Are you. . . staring at my chest?”
Delilah nodded, moving her eyes up his neck to his face. “Yeah. Why?”
“Well. . . shouldn’t it be the other way around?” Oh. Delilah almost choked on her tongue.
I suppose my bond wasn’t fully forged with these characters and eventually….I just gave up trying to find a link me to the characters, and just wanted to reach the end in a way.. Right now, I am here writing this review I can honestly say that I am really feeling indifferent to the story, as a whole…
I don’t feel like writing much, or commenting more about it, maybe it is a great read, but it just wasn’t for me? Hmmm.. I’ll let you discover this story, these characters, on your own, but I’ll tell you… there just wasn’t enough of either of their backstories for me to feel like I knew them and could connect with them. The basics were there, but the element of fear and trepidation was pretty much removed (except for a few “scary” moments that had my attention), but overall… we were mostly just in their heads the entire way. Like I said before the dialogue was limited… and no hanky-panky.. like fade to black kind of scene? and even their kisses were fade to black… * rolls eyes* it was YA, Lee what were you expecting? 😛
In overall there were definitely a few “it” moments that had me gasping, but… so much of it was missing for me to experience it… and to call it a “horror” book. Deep down, I was hoping for deep and intense and a bit crazy, make me look weirdly at my house, to be afraid of the walking in my house while it’s dark kind of thing? So, I’m somewhat disappointed that I didn’t get wrapped up in this one as I would have liked (mind you, I did pretty much, finish it in one sitting). To me, it felt… too easy, too fast, too… “already over”. It wasn’t at all what I thought I was getting into…
On the surface this was a funny budding romance between two quirky people who just fit together. Once the story got going we saw that Gavin had a strange childhood. He wasnt raised by a person – he was raised by a House. For a short while you think ok that's creepy but what a cool concept. Well House doesnt like to share and we come to find out that if you make House mad bad things can happen.
The big showdown between Delilah and the House was cool when she pulled out her inner Buffy and kicked ass. There is a shocking revelation towards the end but we never really find out why the House was the way it was. END SPOILER
This was an entertaining read and if your looking for something spooky to read around Halloween I'd recommend this book.
Most recent customer reviews
Delilah returns home to finish out her senior year of high school after going to a boarding school for 6 years.Read more