Review: The Dead House

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Published: September 15th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Format: eBook
Rating: 4 out of 5

Three students: dead. 
Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace. 

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, "the girl of nowhere.

Kaitlyn's diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn't exist, and in a way, she doesn't - because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It's during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it.

They think I don't exist... I'm a symptom. They think I'm a disease I'm infecting Carly.
After a month of not reading because of school, The Dead House was the perfect book to get me back into my mojo. I was extremely sad that I could not read any spooky books during October, so when I finally had a chance to read I jumped at the opportunity to read this one. The Dead House pulled me in with its haunting cover and I could not stop thinking about it throughout October when I was deprived of books.

What stood out to me the most when I started reading was the weird relationship between Carly and Kaitlyn. I was really confused at who Kaitlyn is because the summary did not give me any clues. I assumed that Kaitlyn is the evil twin. However, the more I read the more I could tell that something was wrong between these two girls. They are not twins. After their parents die in an accident, Carly and Kaitlyn are brought to a mental institute and diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. Carly and Kaitlyn are one person.

The unique feature about their case is that the alter egos have regular, timed intervals of consciousness. Carly is the girl in the morning; she is bubbly, quirky, and the representation of the light. In contrast, Kaitlyn is violent and rebellious. She is the personification of the night. Kaitlyn has really dark thoughts but I still rooted for her because I understood why her behavior is harsh. She has never felt the warmth of the sun and has to find her own definition of what 'life' is when she is always alone and in the dark. Kaitlyn craves attention and secretly jealous of Carly's experiences during the day that she takes for granted.

The book is told through newspaper clippings, videos, interviews, and mainly journal entries. I was wary of the format in the beginning because I thought there would be a disconnection between the reader and the characters. While it was hard to sympathize with side characters, I had no trouble connecting with Carly and Kaitlyn because a majority of the book is told through Kaitlyn's journal entries. The entries were raw with emotion and realistically showed their descent into madness.

Without revealing too much, because my most favorite part of the book is how it catches you off guard, The Dead House slowly creeps up on you. It is absolutely crazy. Some parts of the book is predicable but the way the author intertwines horror and psychology makes the story super interesting. I do not get scared from books easily, but I honestly felt like someone was breathing down my neck during this book. This book has made me afraid of mirrors and phone calls (this one scene when Kaitlyn was on the phone *shudders*).

Overall, I think this book is amazing. It is really hard to come across quality horror books that actually scare the readers. Even if you are not a fan of horror books, I still would recommend this book because of it's unique plot. Get ready for a story that goes in strange directions and jump-scares!

It's been too long...


YES. I'M ALIVE. I am so sorry for not posting anything for a month. I keep using the excuse of school but I have to admit that sometimes I sit down to blog and end up getting distracted by Netflix or other random things. Other times I start books but wouldn't be attached enough to finish. I probably read the first ten pages of six books last month with no success. The problem there was because I knew deep down I did not have enough time to finish the books so I dropped them. I will try to reread those books again soon (Because I know The Weight of Feathers is a good book and yet...).

SO. What have I been doing this past month? Well... school *insert tears* It's not like I hate my classes but sometimes they are a lot of work. My most favorite class is Introduction to Criminal Law. SUPER COOL STUFF. I feel like I'm in How To Get Away With Murder. My roommate's name is Caroline and she's also a YA reader! Her favorite author is Jenny Han :) It's been a busy month trying to fight off the freshman fifteen and other zombie students who feel as dead as me but it's also super fun. I love being able to meet so many new people and those random free dance workshops that are around my campus. I live in a very small dorm which kinda sucks, however, a perk is that everyone in the dorm knows each other! It's hard to believe how much I've settled in college without my parents and home, but I'm still alive so I can't be doing too bad :)

Do you ever have those periods where you don't read and when you finally do you're like, "OMG. THIS IS AMAZING. WHY IN THE WORLD DID I STOP??" Yeah. That's me right now. I just finished The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich and the review will be going up VERY SOON. Hopefully, now I that I am more used to my schedule I'll be able to read more and write more reviews too!

You will be seeing more from me soon, I promise!! This adventure isn't over.