Book Review | Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Posted on Thursday, August 7, 2014 4:30 AM
Welcome to the Dark HouseFormat: Hardback
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: July 22, 2014
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

My Thoughts:

I seriously don’t even know where to begin writing this review. Welcome to the Dark House was one of my most anticipated summer reads, from the moment I read the synopsis, I knew that it would be one that I had to get my hands on ASAP. I tried getting a copy from Netgalley but unfortunately got denied, so I pre-ordered it and just waited. When I finally got my copy from Amazon (which was over a week AFTER the release day, grrrr) I couldn’t wait to get started. And I think this book was one of the fastest that I have read this year, less than 24 hours. I was absolutely hooked and for the life of me, I couldn’t put it down.

Ok, enough fangirling for now, let me try to explain the awesomeness that is Welcome to the Dark House. Six years ago, Ivy Jensen’s parents were brutally murdered while she was in her room right across the hall and when the killer was finished with her parents, he came for her. Luckily Ivy had called the police when she was woken up to the sounds of her parents being killed so the sounds of sirens scared him away. But he was never caught, ever since that horrific night Ivy has dreams about the man who murdered parents. In her dreams he comes back for her. Fast forward to an email that Ivy receives which invites her to share her nightmare in order to win a trip to meet famous horror director Justin Blake. Ivy doesn’t care about winning the contest and she’s not a fan of horror, but she sends in her nightmare anyway in hopes that putting it on paper will help her face her fear.

Fast forward a little more and Ivy is chosen as one of seven contestants who win a trip to the ‘Dark House’ for a weekend filled with horror. But little do the contestants know, the horror will hit closer to home than they realize.

In my hefty elf sack, your nightmares will keep. Better think twice before falling asleep.

From the moment I read the first page, I was hooked. The writing was fantastic, the story was well paced and the characters were so diverse. Sure, I had my favorites *cough* Ivy, Parker *cough* but each character had their own voice and it was really interesting to be in every single one of their heads, with the exception of Taylor, who we will hopefully find out more about in the next book. I did still have a few lingering questions after finishing, but I have complete faith that all will be revealed in time.

Welcome to the Dark House is a wonderful, haunting ride full of twists and turns. The ending will leave you on the edge of your seat, dying for more. If you are a fan of the horror genre, then you shouldn’t pass this book up.

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Christy is a 27 year old wife, mother, nursing student and self proclaimed book addict. When she's not busy spending time with her family or learning to save lives, you can find her with a book in her hands, and a smile on her face.
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