The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, narrated by Charlotte Perry and Christian Coulson
Genre: urban fantasy/psychological thriller, YA
Pub Date: September 15th 2015 by Little, Brown Young Readers
This is one of the best, most intense, creepiest books I’ve ever read. I would read it again in a heartbeat. I would buy it for myself and for my friends. I would buy copies for a local library and make sure they always had one on the shelf.
This book is filled with mystery, magic, and incomprehensable events that never fully resolve themselves but still leave you feeling resolved at the end. It plays with concepts I don’t see often in YA, and doesn’t shy away from hard questions. There is some questionable content, so I wouldn’t recommend it to all ages. But I am totally adding Dawn Kurtagich to my Author Watch list and hope you will too!
I don’t want to say too much about the story itself because I don’t want to spoil it. I requested the book, forgot about it, and then picked it at random having absolutely no idea what it was about. Suffice to say I was completely enthralled and enjoyed every moment of it. I can’t stress this enough: GO GET A COPY OF THIS BOOK IMEDIATELY. Audio, print, e-book, whatever. You will not be sorry.
Content/recommendation: some language, some sex, some violence. Most of the violence is mental torture the main character endures. Some witch-craft. Ages 16+.
About the Book
Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .
Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.
Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?
Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you've finished reading.
About the Author
Dawn Kurtagich is a writer of creepy, spooky and psychologically sinister YA fiction, where girls may descend into madness, boys may see monsters in men, and grown-ups may have something to hide. Her debut YA novel, The Dead House, is forthcoming from Hachette in 2015.
By the time she was eighteen, she had been to fifteen schools across two continents. The daughter of a British globe-trotter and single mother, she grew up all over the place, but her formative years were spent in Africa—on a mission, in the bush, in the city and in the desert.
She has been lucky enough to see an elephant stampede at close range, a giraffe tongue at very close range, and she once witnessed the stealing of her (and her friends’) underwear by very large, angry baboons. (This will most definitely end up in a book . . . ) While she has quite a few tales to tell about the jumping African baboon spider, she tends to save these for Halloween!
She writes over at the YA Scream Queens, a young adult blog for all things horror and thriller, and she is a member of the YA League and Author Allsorts.
Her life reads like a YA novel.