Wednesday, 18 October 2017

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

Oh, hi. It's been a while. I kind of let writing take a back seat the last few weeks because life got in the way. I spent a few days in Oxford the week before last and then I came down with the mother-of-all colds, leaving me feeling unlike my usual self. But I'm back and with a new review and hopefully a regular routine once more, so here we go:

2017 • 304 pages  Macmillian Children's Books

Makani Young is still adjusting to her new life with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska after her parents send her away from her beloved Hawaiian home. She’s made friends and has even had a hint of romance, yet her old life is hard to forget. But things in her new quiet little Nebraskan town take a strange turn when one by one, her classmates are violently murdered. No one knows who is next on the killer’s list or why they are being targeted, but Makani realises her past may soon catch up with her.

The title of this book alone – There’s Someone Inside Your House – has the familiar nostalgic feel to the popular slasher films of the 90’s. A quiet town, a group of high schoolers, each one of them inadvertently involved in a mass killing spree. Stephanie Perkins recreates that chilling plotline here in this contemporary YA thriller, with an attempt to flesh out the characters more than we would normally be accustomed to in this style of novel. Does it work? A little, although the focus on character development did cause the plot to fall a bit flat.

I think I expected a bit more from this novel. It starts well – the tension is built up from the beginning as we are told of the death of the first victim. The scenes where we see the murders were my favourite parts by far, which may seem morbid but I felt that they created the most atmosphere. While it’s not exactly frightening, it does have its fair share of guts and gore which I don’t mind but perhaps it’s something to be wary of if it’s not your thing. The thriller/slasher part of the story I really enjoyed; it was just what I was hoping for when I first started reading. However, it was the other half of the plot that let it down for me.

As a protagonist I knew from the get-go that Makani has something to hide. She’s a person of interest because you know she has a past she wants to keep hidden and the mystery of her story runs alongside the main plot. Yet the focus of this was taken away by her budding romantic relationship with Ollie, the school outcast. I don’t mind a bit of romance in a thriller story; it breaks things up a bit and adds another layer to the plot, but after a while this started to feel like a romance novel with a slasher side story. It was entertaining enough but it lacked a certain ‘umph’ that would have kept me completely hooked.

There’s Someone Inside Your House is an otherwise interesting addition to the young adult thriller genre. It doesn’t necessarily add anything new but it’s an entertaining read written in an easy style, and it’s a good story to get cosy with in the cold autumn months. If you like YA romances and thriller stories then this might be one to check out, but don’t go in to this expecting a complex and intricate plot.

Overall rating: 2 stars

If you'd like to check out my other reviews you can see them here. Until next time, happy reading, fellow book lovers.

My arc copy of There's Someone Inside Your House was sent to me by The Bookbag and my review originally appeared on their website.

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