Mini-Reviews: The Dead House, If You Wrong Us, The Girl With No Past

minireview

Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Dead House

Tite: The Dead House

Author: Dawn Kurtagich

Genre: Horror, Young Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you’ve finished reading.

Review: I enjoyed the book’s unique format the most, with the newspaper clippings, screenshots…this gave the book a realistic feel. The main character is compelling, and the way the author describes her dissociative identity disorder added an interesting angle to the book. However, the reason why is a little flat, and the book lacked creepiness.

If You Wrong Us

Title: If You Wrong Us

Author: Dawn Klehr

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

“An intricate psychological page-turner that explores the darker side of vengeance and reads like Gone Girl through a teen lens.” – Kirkus Reviews

Becca and Johnny become entangled after a car crash steals the lives of two people they love. Officially, the crash is an accident. But Becca and Johnny are convinced: someone did this.

As they plot revenge against the person responsible, a bond—intense, unyielding, and manic—takes hold of them. And in an unexpected turn of events, they fall for each other.

Or so they think.

In an upside-down world where decay is beautiful and love and hate become one, Becca and Johnny find themselves grappling with reality. Nothing is exactly what it seems, including what they’ve come to believe about the crash. Question is: will they learn the truth before it’s too late?

No. The question is: when they learn the truth, will they care?

Review: The first half of this book had all the ingredients for being a fast-paced, chilling psychological thriller, but unfortunately this unraveled during the second half. The climax was underwhelming, and it didn’t tie up all loose ends. The dual narrative worked well, and the characters were intriguing though. Enjoyable, but did not fulfill the high hopes I had for it after reading the first half.

The Girl with No Past

Title: The Girl With No Past

Author: Kathryn Croft

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.

Then, on the fourteenth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.

But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?

Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.

Review: It seems the opinions on this book are divided, but I’m fairly in the “I love this” camp. The back and forth between past and present works surprisingly well, and I could really connect to the main character, and understand most of her motivations. The author kept me guessing until the end, and overall, this was an amazing reading experience.

Comments

  1. Great mini-reviews 🙂

  2. I like the sound of the format of the first book, although the lack of creepiness makes me think it would disappoint me as well since it is listed as a horror. I’m not convinced about the second title either (glad it worked out for you, though), perhaps The Girl with No Past is what I’d opt for, it definitely gets my attention and your mini-review really got me intrigued!

  3. Ah, I loved THE DEAD HOUSE, I’m sorry that you didn’t it though 🙁 I felt like it was creepy in all the right places, but oh well 🙂 But the other two sound really interesting!

  4. Ugh, I hate it when horror books aren’t scary. If I pick up a book that calls itself “horror” it should have me creeping around corners to check for monsters!! Great reviews 🙂

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  5. The Dead House sounds like it should be so creepy! I’m sorry it fell a bit flat for you.

  6. I love these mini reviews, a great way for us to get glimpses into several books at once. 🙂 The Girl With No Past is one I’ve been kind of eyeing, and I think I may read it- it looks good, and I like the keeps me guessing until the end part. Adding it to my list. 🙂

  7. That stinks about the first one lacking in creepiness! But the formatting sounds cool with the newspaper clippings, etc. Same for the second one being underwhelming. But I’m glad you loved the last one!

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