Monday 2 October 2017

Book Review: There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins.

Product details:
Publisher:  Pan Macmillan.
Paperback, 320 pages.
Release date: October 5th 2017.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Ages: 14+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

Best known for her dreamy debut Anna and the French Kiss, popular contemporary YA author Stephanie Perkins turns her hand to horror in There’s Someone Inside Your House, with mixed results.  In this book, which sees high school students stalked by a depraved killer, Perkins equates bloody with scary, so while gore scores high, there is little in the way of suspense or tension and not so much as a sniff of a killer twist to catch the reader off guard.  As someone who has read and enjoyed much of Perkins’ previous works and is also a fan of the horror genre, it’s no exaggeration to stay that There’s Someone Inside Your House was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017, but the truth is I found this one tough going at times ---and not only because I prefer a slow-burn thriller to a bloody gore fest. 

Makani Young has been living in rural Nebraska, where football rules and corn is king, for little over a year when the murders begin.  A transfer from Hawaii, Makani moved to live with her grandmother at the height of her parents’ acrimonious divorce. At least that’s the official story.  As for the actual truth behind Makani’s arrival in Nebraska, well that’s something so terrible that Makani is willing to take to her grave: sooner rather than later if the high-school slasher has anything to do with it. 

So, when we meet Makani students are dropping like flies; throats slashed to bits and brains sliced to ribbons. Yum.  Initially, Makani and her snarky group of friends are not too concerned about the murders, preferring to gossip about their dead contemporaries rather than showing any type of genuine concern for the victims or their families. Yeah. I guess you could say that I didn’t really warm to Makani and friends.  Let’s just say if Makani’s so-snarky-it-hurts friend Alex was next up on the killers’ hit list, it really wouldn’t have bothered me at all. As for Makani, well she’s got other things on her mind, important things like her crush on edgy loner Ollie, who wears a lot of black and has hot pink hair. In rural Nebraska, or anywhere else in the world, Ollie stands out from the crowd - and Makani is hot for that.  However, since Ollie is a little different from the rest and has a tragic backstory to boot, Makani’s friends immediately peg him as the serial killer.  See, I told you they were a great bunch!

Ollie serves as a very willing love interest but he’s also a source of information as his older brother is a local cop who regularly leaves his case files lying open on the kitchen table. Cue gruesome descriptions of murder victims as Makani and Ollie decide to sneak a peek in between hook-ups. Whatever turns you on!  Makani and Ollie might be loved up, but let’s not forget there’s a killer on the loose, and he’s moving in on Makani. That’s right, our girl is next up on the killer’s hit list. But why? Does this have to do with Makani’s deep, dark secret? What is the motive behind the killings? That is the question. Unlike the killer reveal, which comes early on in the story, it’s the motive behind the killings that’s meant to keep readers guessing.  The actual motive behind the killings? Well, that was a let-down.  The cornfields were creepy, though.  You just know very bad things are going to happen when cornfields and horror combine.

I really, really, really wanted to like There’s Someone Inside Your House, but overall I have to say it was a miss for me.  If you like gruesome slasher-flicks where gore is everything, then maybe this one is for you.  As for me, I was hoping that the ‘motive reveal’ would save this somewhat lacklustre tale, but on that count, this one really didn’t come through for me.  Some you win, some you lose, I guess. 

P.S: I did think the stop-start romance between Makani and Ollie was cute in a very real and awkward wires-crossed kind of way. I just don’t think that should have been my favourite part of this horror show, y’know?

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