There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

15797848Stephanie Perkins’ YA horror/thriller novel, There’s Someone Inside Your House, will have adults and teens alike reeling until the very last page. Think Scream, but much more original and clever! Try to go right to sleep after finishing this book and let me know how that works out for you. It certainly didn’t work for me!

Makani left Hawaii and is now in her senior year at a small school in rural Nebraska, in the farming town of Osborne. She lives with her aging, and somewhat senile grandmother, sent to help her by her soon-to-be-divorced and non-present parents, who stayed behind in Hawaii. Her two best friends are Alex and Darby, and though she sometimes feels like the third-wheel of the group, she is going through the motions of surviving high school, all the while trying to keep a low profile so that no one finds out the true reason she left Hawaii and changed her last name to Young. Makani starts to take a renewed interest in Ollie Larssen, one of her classmates who is sexy and mysterious, but doesn’t care what others think about him, or his recent hot pink hair color. Ollie lives with his slightly older brother, Chris, a town police officer, because their parents were killed by a drunk driver a few years ago.

As Makani and Ollie get to know each other better (nothing like a good steamy romance!), random high school students are being brutally murdered one-by-one.  Makani fearfully begins to wonder who will be next. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how the students are being chosen at random, but Makani can’t help but wonder if her past and the incident in Hawaii is finally catching up with her in Nebraska. The murders start to increase at an alarming rate, but the killer manages to escape capture, leaving a gruesome setup at each murder scene.

The book is packed with both fear and romance, a killer combination that will keep readers fascinated. I couldn’t put the book down! It was a very fast read, but the scenes and grisly details stayed with me well after I had read the last page. The murder scenes were bizarre and original, causing Perkins’ first horror novel to be a stand-out from other books of this genre.

Perhaps my favorite thing about the book is that the killer is revealed about three-quarters of the way through the book, and readers don’t have to wait until the final page to know who it is. However, even after the killer is revealed (in a most unsettling & painful way for Makani and Ollie, by the way), he/she keeps on killing, right under everyone’s noses. It’s crazy! The plot is original, wildly entertaining, and filled with creepy moments. When you start a young adult novel and one of the characters is murdered savagely in the first chapter, you know it’s going to be a game-changer for young adult horror. Fans of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer will absolutely love this book!

To quote of my high school student readers, “It was a real slasher!” (She gave it a 10 of 10.)

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Last Words by Michael Koryta

This book will be published by Little, Brown, and Company on August 18, 2015. I decided to read it because I knew the author lived in Bloomington, IN (at least part time) and the story took place mostly in a fictional small town in southern Indiana. Being an Indiana girl, born and raised, I was intrigued. I truly enjoyed the story. It has quite a bit of suspense and mystery, which kept me flying through the pages. The most fascinating part of the story to me was the setting in southern Indiana where caves and caverns are plentiful. I’ve been through many caves in that area, but only in the portions where public are allowed of course. I find the rest of the cave system dark and creepy, and one couldn’t pay me to be in them. Perhaps that is why this book gave me such a chill at times.

Mark Novak has lost his wife and the murderer has still not been caught or punished. For fear that he may lose his job due to his rash behavior, Mark’s boss, Jeff sends him to a small town named Garrison, Indiana to check out a cold case disappearance and possible homicide from 10 years ago. Ridley Barnes, the local crazy and best known cave expert is thought to have been involved in the disappearance and death of Sarah Martin, whose body he pulled from Trapdoor cave 10 years ago. The problem is that Ridley claims to not have any memory of his time in the cave or how he found Sarah’s body and brought her to the surface. He contacts Mark and asks him to come and investigate the case to see if he can finally provide the truth for Ridley and others. Was he involved? Did he kill Sarah? What really happened? Mark heads from his home state of Florida to snow covered, cold Indiana and has no intention of doing much with the case, only appeasing his boss. However, he soon becomes involved in more ways than one and even after a near death experience, decides to stick around until he uncovers the truth, no matter who or what tries to get in the way. Like I said, I would totally recommend this book because it is well written and fascinating. I was surprised at the ending because it didn’t end like I thought it might. Also, I think the author left it open for a sequel, or at least more stories with Mark Novak in them. I do hope he writes another one soon. Read it…you won’t be sorry!