Book Review: The Invitation by Diane Hoh

13490987Title: The Invitation
Author: Diane Hoh
Genre: MG, Horror, Thriller
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication Date: March 27th 2012
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Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for honest review.

For the high schoolers of Greenhaven, Cass Rockham’s fall party is the social event of the year. Each October, students wait by theirmailboxes, praying for the gilt-edged invitation that grants entry into theinner circle of the most popular crowd. And now Cass has planned her finestparty yet, with a new sauna, a hot band, and no parents for miles. But to make this party really killer, Cass tops it all off with a sinister twist.

Nerdy Sarah Drew is shocked when she and her friends receive invitations to Cass’s affair. For years she’s steered clear of the popular kids, and now they want her to come to their party? Sarah is wary, but her friends talk her into coming with them. But she regrets it quickly, for at Cass Rockham’s mansion, the only party favor is death.

Sarah and her friends have been invited to the party of the year, Cass Rockham’s fall party. The only thing strange about that is that Sarah and her friends aren’t exactly popular – some consider them the greatest nerds of the entire school, and Cass doesn’t really like them either. But the girls are so happy they were invited that they don’t even consider the reasons why they were may not be as friendly as they thought at first. But as soon as they arrive at the party, they realize something’s wrong. They’re placed in seperate rooms, all by themselve. They’re used as the ‘missing objects’ in a scavanger hunt, and can only get out of their hiding spot when someone finds them. Unfortunately Cass’ party plans go terribly wrong when there’s an actual murderer in their midst.

I had trouble rating this book as YA or MG. The story is so simple and straightforward that it reads like MG, although it’s originally intended for YA audiences. If you read the Fear Street series by R.L. Stine, or the books by Christopher Pike when you were growing up, like I did, than this book will definitely bring forth some nostalgia, although it’s hardly as good as the books I just mentioned. As I said, the plot is pretty simple. Nerd girls go to a party and end up in the middle of a murder mystery. Someone is out to kill them. No hints whatsoever are given about who the killer is, but it didn’t come as a real surprise when it was revealed either, more like a Deus ex Machina though. The characters were pretty bland. Most of Sarah’s friends were two-dimensional.

What angered me is how all of them waited on their friends to burst them out, as opposed to actually doing something themselves. I understand some people may be like this, but definitely not everyone.

Also, this book is part of the Point Horror series, and while it’s advertised as horror, it certainly isn’t. The story was more like a murder mystery, and there are no real threats or people getting severely hurt anywhere. Overall, a nice read, but for a younger audience. I’d say kids crossing over from MG to YA.

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