The Dead House

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Author: Dawn Kurtagich

My Review: 5/5

I’ve never cared for YA novels. Even when I was a young teenager myself, I could never see the appeal of the same old fantasy love triangle scenarios. Those were really big in my day, maybe they still are, who knows. When you start to not recognize the Disney Stars on the J-14 or Tiger Beat magazines, you know you aren’t hip with the kids anymore. And since I don’t know who the hell Ross Lynch is, I guess I’m old now. All I know about him is he is some Teen Beach hottie who is going to be playing Jeffery Dahmer in an upcoming movie. Teen Beach hottie to now play a cannibalistic serial killer? This guy better have legit acting skills or I am going to be seriously pissed off when I see the movie.

ANYWAYS, I decided to take a break from reading my typical true crime cases to something lighter. I’m snickering at myself now for thinking that because I thought The Dead House was going to be a “light scary teen read.”

Boy, was I very wrong.

For one, I had no CLUE this story was the author’s debut novel. You would never guess considering it is an incredibly written story.

The formatting was very different, which I loved in the end. The book is compiled of diary entries, psych therapy sessions and police interrogation interviews. It kept the story fast paced and with so many twists, I had an extremely difficult time putting it down. That must have been how I finished the book in only two days.

I won’t give out too much about the story, but the jist of it is the tale is told from the perspective of Kaitlyn Johnson (for the most part,) who attends Elmbridge High. Except, many claim she isn’t real; and she might not be, because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson. They consider themselves sisters who share a body. Carly gets the daytime, Kaitlyn gets the night and considers herself “a child of darkness.” Carly is the good, shy and quiet one while Kaitlyn is stubborn, rebellious and self harms. And then one day, Kaitlyn wakes up in the morning to find Carly gone.

This was an insane read, but so amazing and I’ve NEVER read anything quite like it. The truth is, you don’t really know what is happening in the story. Is Kaitlyn real? Is she telling the truth? Is Carly real? Is Kaitlyn and Carly’s psychiatrist lying to them? Is there something paranormal creeping in the shadows?

The protagonist is sometimes so lost in her own thoughts you can’t even consider her reliable; so actually summarizing this book would be very difficult because you don’t for sure what is going on.

Bottom line, I just loved this novel. It’s a horror, but whether you consider it a psychological thriller or a paranormal story depends on what you think happens. And I think that is why this story is so deliciously addictive.

The Selection #1

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Author: Kiera Cass

My Rating: 2/5

“35 Girls. One Crown. The Competition of a Lifetime.”

I first heard of Kiera Cass when I stumbled on her awesome YouTube channel a couple of years ago. Her videos are hilarious, witty and entertaining.

I figured I’d give her fairly newish series a shot.

Basically, it’s The Hunger Games (minus the killing,) and The Bachelor (except you’re trying to steal the heart of a prince.) Ok, so for some, maybe that is a really sweet combination, but for me, the whole idea and plot fell short. Maybe it’s just the romance aspect that bored me to death, I rarely read any love triangle/romance novels. The Hunger Games had a love triangle arguably, but come on, there was oppression, rebellion and survival as well! I think the reason this book reminds me of the THG is that in both dystopian worlds, their societies are heavily controlled by a caste/class system. Similar to THG, in the Selection, you are born into a caste/district and the chance of climbing up in terms of careers and lifestyle are slim to none.

Or perhaps it was the cringe worthy names Cass decided to use that really made me shake my head in disbelief. One of the female character’s is called Tuesday, I shit you not, her name is Tuesday, after the day of the week. Oh, and the female protagonist of the series is called America Singer, who just happens to be a talented and paid singer, wow, didn’t see that one coming. And somehow, despite being a paid singer, America is in a low caste level…um, you would think jobs of the poor would be something less glamorous and more hard labour, or maybe that is just me?

I know a lot of people have been raving about this series, and maybe I would’ve enjoyed it too when I was a young teen, I’ll never know now.

I recommend this to teen girls, those who like romance novels or those who just enjoy The Bachelor in general. I, on the other hand, will not be continuing with this series.

(I still love her YouTube channel, so if you want, check it out here.)

Living Dead Girl

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My Rating: 5/5

Author: Elizabeth Scott

Living Dead Girl is easily the most disturbing and horrific novel I have ever read in my life, and that is saying something. I tend to read about the darkest and twisted human behaviour, frequently visiting the subreddit /r/gore and watch documentaries on child predators. Living Dead Girl is one of the few books that made me feel very uncomfortable and horrified while reading it. For its very twisted and detailed content, this book has been banned in many stores and schools.

The story is told by “Alice,” a fifteen year old girl who was abducted by a man when she was ten years old while she was on a field trip. During the five years “Alice” has been brainwashed and abused to the point of doing whatever her abductor expects from her, physically and mentally.

“Alice” was not the first girl her abductor has snatched off the streets. When the girl before Alice turned fifteen years old, she was soon after killed by “Alice’s” abductor. Because of this, “Alice” is very aware her time will eventually be up, just like the girl before her.

Living Dead Girl is surprisingly classified as a YA novel, something I find hard to believe. Elizabeth Scott is a YA writer, but this is way out of her happy, light, coming of age YA novels.

Honestly, I still do not know what to say about Living Dead Girl. I did not enjoy this book for its subject matter, and certainly will not be a book I will be rereading anytime soon, if ever at all; but the writing was excellent, the story was engrossing and haunting, easily earning five stars.

As stated above, this was the most horrific novel I have ever read, and be very wary there are pedophilia references and descriptive sexual, physical and mental abusive scenes.

I recommend this to anybody who is looking for the most disturbing and twisted YA novel on the planet, because Living Dead Girl certainly is just that.