Title: There’s Someone Inside Your House
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Page Count: 287
Publisher: Dutton Books
Original Publication Date: 2017
Genre(s): Young adult, Mystery, Horror
Who knew YA could be so gruesome? Especially YA written by Stephanie Perkins, author of the Anna and the French Kiss series. I didn’t expect much from this horror/thriller but found myself devouring it with fear and excitement.
Makani Young was forced to leave her life behind in Hawaii after a terrible accident. She now lives with her grandmother in Osborne, Nebraska—basically, a giant corn field, the most boring place on the planet. That is, until Makani’s classmates started turning up dead. And not just dead—horribly, disgustingly mutilated. Makani and her friends find themselves in the middle of a nightmare, and with no suspect or motive apparent, anyone could be next.
Who loves reading about their greatest fears? I DO!! I did a lot of research on the horror genre in college, and supposedly, horror is supposed to help you face your fears in a safe environment. Supposedly. And you’re supposedly supposed to come out of it having “survived” the experience and feeling not only entertained but a whole lot better about the whole scary situation. Well, I definitely don’t feel better about serial killers or the thought of someone being in my house. I’ll never not do a house check every time I come home from work and every night before bed. When you live on the first floor and have 0 protection against anything or anyone, there are literally endless thoughts about scary things. So, reading There’s Someone Inside You House was a terrifying experience for me that I did survive, but so did my fear.
The novel is told in third-person and follows Makani Young as she not only tries to hide her secret past from her new friends, but also tries not to be the killer’s next victim. Sound easy enough, right? Makani is not a great MC. In fact, I mostly disliked her throughout the novel. I felt she was super immature (as most high schoolers are, I suppose) and just felt a general dislike towards her. Her friends, Alex and Darby, were not much better. Darby was alright, I suppose, but Alex was really not the best friend towards Makani. Ollie, on the other hand—I liked him a lot. How he put up with Makani I have no idea, but he was a real cutie. And brave, too. If there’s someone in my house, I hope Ollie is there.
A lot of people complain there’s too much romance between Makani and Ollie in the novel. Um, they’re high schoolers… Yes, this is a horror novel, but the entire novel cannot just be straight-up slashing and killing. There wouldn’t be any suspense. You have to slowly transition from normality to horror. That creates the thrill. I actually found this novel to be incredibly suspenseful. I was so into it I had to slow myself down. My eyes were trying to read faster than my brain could comprehend so that I could find out what was going on faster. It was awesome. I love a book that can get my heart racing, and this one did. It was totally terrifying. I read some of it while my girlfriend slept and actually had to put the book down and do a house check.
It starts out more as a B-movie horror film, but I think it progressively gets better (and scarier). There are a lot of dead bodies in this story—more than I’d ever think possible, especially in a YA horror novel. And they are explicitly gruesome, so if you’re squeamish, I would proceed with caution. My stomach churned. It was amazing. My only issue was that I didn’t think the killer’s reason for killing was very creative. It seemed unrealistic. But that’s okay, I wasn’t truly expecting some sophisticated literature, here.
If you’re looking for a quick thrill, this is definitely a good book to pick up. I almost wish I would have saved it for Halloween! I really got caught up in the story, and I won’t forget to do a house check ever again. That’s for sure.
— “I guess you never really know what’s going on inside someone else’s head.”