(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 15th 2015
Genres: Depression & Mental Illness, Europe, Horror & Ghost Stories, People & Places, Social Issues, Young Adult
Welcome to the Dead House. Three students: dead.Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace.Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, "the girl of nowhere."Kaitlyn's diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn't exist, and in a way, she doesn't - because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It's during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it. Debut author Dawn Kurtagich masterfully weaves together a thrilling and terrifying story using psychiatric reports, witness testimonials, video footage, and the discovered diary - and as the mystery grows, the horrifying truth about what happened that night unfolds.
First of all – I adore this cover… it’s what initially caught my attention when I saw this title at BEA. Then I read the summary and just knew I needed to get this in my hands.
If you’re looking for something in the vein of a non-traditional story… and by that I mean it’s not simply told via words on the page in a typical story format you definitely need to grab this one. This is told through reports, witness testimonials, video footage and a specific diary and it was so unique and interesting.
Kaitlyn and Carly share a life… Carly is present during the day and Kaitlyn at night. The mystery started two decades ago with a fire that sweeps through Elmbridge high taking the lives of three students and one who disappears. Kaitlyn’s diary is found among the wreckage and tells the story of what happened that night in the Dead House.
I have to say that while it seems like it would be creepy and a bit scary, I honestly didn’t ever really feel that way. I think that had more to do with the way the story was told because instead of connecting on an emotional level with the characters, I felt more like I was watching what happened from a distance. Though admittedly, it takes quite a bit to creep me out and scare me, but I honestly think that you’ll find this filled with more suspense filled moments than ones filled with horror.
I honestly enjoyed the way the story unfolded and the unique way it was told and it seems that a lot more authors are giving this a try and it excites me because it definitely lends itself to a different kind of reading experience.
There are a lot of paranormal things going on in this book … and unfortunately I can’t spill a lot because I’m not going to be a story ruiner, but I think if you’re looking for a unique read with an interesting premise and a riveting story you’ll want to pick this one up!
I’m definitely excited for whatever Dawn Kurtagich writes next!