September 23, 2017

To Die For • There's Someone Inside Your House

There's Someone Inside Your House book cover
Let me preface this review by admitting something: I am not a horror fan. While I don’t necessarily consider myself a complete coward, in the face of supernatural horrors and slasher flicks, I tend to prefer the option to flee versus the option to subject myself to the gruesome, the gory, the terrifying. And yet, I watch horror flicks. I wrote a script for a horror film we did in high school, created an entire group project centered around Sixth Sense, and even took a class dedicated to horror films in university. It is interesting for me to realize that, while I don’t necessarily prefer it, I do find horror fascinating… in a macabre sort of way.

So, why in the world did I decide to read There’s Someone Inside Your House? Especially because this is a slasher flick in novel form and of all the types of horror that there are in the world, slasher flicks are the ones I avoid because of a terrible tween experience watching I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and the unbearable discomfort I feel at the fact that this could happen to someone in real life?

First, and most important, is that it is by author Stephanie Perkins, who you might know from the Anna and the French Kiss series. I love the way she writes her stories, particularly how she brings characters into my life that I really and truly care about like they are real people. And second, I fully decided to read it after hearing Stephanie talk a little bit about it during the Penguin Teen breakfast I got to attend. (You can see a clip in this vlog!) She talked about her own experience with horror, how she was perpetually terrified of things until meeting a new friend and pretending to be braver changed her entire perspective. It made me want to be braver; it made me feel more comforted going into a slasher story, even though it’s not normally my cup of tea.

And you know what? It’ll sound odd, but I enjoyed There’s Someone Inside Your House. I say that sounds odd simply because the entire novel is centered around the hunt for a serial killer who is killing high school students one by one, and leaving the most gruesome calling cards. But it’s the truth: I read a slasher YA novel and I liked it.

Does this novel feature gory murder scenes and chilling moments? Absolutely. Did I feel uncomfortable-slash-terrified at those times? That would be a yes. Perkins succeeded in making me feel nervous, anxious enough to constantly check over my shoulder and triple check the locks on my doors. She terrified poor ol’ scaredy cat me and yet… I couldn’t stop reading. Because even though I was afraid, I also cared enough about the main cast of characters to want to see their story through. In true Perkins fashion, she brought the characters – chiefly Makani, Ollie, Alex, Darby, Makani’s grandmother – to life in a way where I couldn’t help but immediately warm to them.

Basically, what I’m saying is that Stephanie Perkins did the thing that most successful horror films do. She gave you folks to root for andmade the mystery-slash-murders a compelling thing that you couldn’t just look away from. I’m glad I decided to read There’s Someone Inside Your House, despite my initial reservations. It’s a Perkins novel with a serial killer twist, and it’s one hell of an entertaining combination that will certainly keep you turning pages until you find out how it ends.

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Source: ARC received at BEA 2017 (Thanks!)


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