Review: Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

So last week, while reading the young adult horror novel Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz, I couldn’t help but to gush to everyone who would listen about how much I loved this book.

I loved it so much. that last week I even wrote a post where I dream-casted the main characters in this book. It was a blast! And to top it off, the person I used to cast the main character Ivy, happened to be the same person that the author envisioned for the role. How cool is that? She did a great job with characterization for the reader to envision the right person!

Now that I’m done with the book, I wanted to share my thoughts on it. Warning: OH MY GOD THIS BOOK IS AWESOME I CAN’T EVEN…

About Welcome to the Dark House

Welcome to the Dark House

What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.

Review of Welcome to the Dark House

Wow. Just wow.

I barely even know where to start on this book. You MUST read this book.

Welcome to the Dark House has it all: intrigue, action, mystery, horror, suspense, humor, romance… I feel like finally, someone wrote THE book I’ve been waiting to read. It’s very rare that I find a novel that contains equal parks of horror and darkness, they combine so perfectly together here to create one deadly, addicting elixir. I’m very rarely jumpy, and this book had me reading alone in the dark, jumping at every single creak in the house. I absolutely loved it. Then again, Stolarz never disappoints and is on my auto-buy list.

There’s just something wonderfully dark and delicious about reading about these characters confronting their biggest fears. My fears soon combined with theirs, melting into one big Dark House nightmare, where my panic and the main character’s were indistinguishable from one another. On a deeper level, it really makes you think. What am I most afraid of? What would I do if I were face to face with my biggest fear. If that doesn’t reveal character, I don’t know what does.

Not to mention, I’m a huge fan of slasher flicks. In fact, Michael Myers is my absolute favorite, so having a book with a serial killer lurking around every fear-filled corner was absolutely fantastic. I definitely see this book as containing as our generations Michael or Jason.

Naturally, along with it’s macabre charm, this book has many other wonderful book charms. Stolarz did fantastic with the characterization – I loved the characters. They were all so flawed and so different, it was a joy to read their dynamics together. Like any group of people from different backgrounds and walks of life, they don’t get along, and just that alone in this book is entertainment at its finest. I love the odd character quirks too… a boy that can sniff out your blood type. A girl who has a nervous habit of pulling out her own hair. It’s fascinating and part of what made these characters feel so real. She also did a fantastic job making the horror chain of novels and the director Justin Blake feel real, like they were just another successful Hollywood horror chain that we all knew. Very well done.

Pacing – Loved the pacing of this book. It was never dull for a moment. I found myself racing through the pages, thirsting for more. I didn’t want to put it down. In fact, I didn’t want to do anything but read this all the way through. And when I found myself reading the final page, I was whimpering for book 2. And thank God, there will be a book 2!

Plot – The plot had more twists and turns than any rollercoaster I’ve ever been on. I didn’t see the end coming. Not at all. Not even a bit. I didn’t see the plot arc coming. That’s one thing I loved about this book. The unpredictability and the voyage into the dangerous unknown.

I wholeheartedly loved this book and I wildly thank Disney Hyperion and Laurie Faria Stolarz for Welcome to the Dark House. It’s one of the best books of 2014 and I recommend it to anyone who loves a good scare, an unpredictable story, and a satisfying read.

I give this book 5 out of 5 dead bodies!


So thank you to Laurie Faria Stolarz for a fantastic, freaky, awesome, read. I seriously CAN NOT wait for the sequel.

Have you read Welcome to the Dark House? Do you have another horror recommendation for me? Let me know in the comments below!

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