Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “House of Secrets (House of Secrets, #1)” as Want to Read:
House of Secrets (House of Secrets, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

House of Secrets (House of Secrets #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,913 Ratings  ·  754 Reviews
The Walker kids had it all: loving parents, a big house in San Francisco, all the latest video games . . . but everything changed when their father lost his job as a result of an inexplicable transgression. Now the family is moving into Kristoff House, a mysterious place built nearly a century earlier by Denver Kristoff, a troubled writer with a penchant for the occult.

Hardcover, 490 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Balzer + Bray (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The School for Good and Evil by Soman ChainaniThe Runaway King by Jennifer A. NielsenRump by Liesl ShurtliffThe Ability by M.M. VaughanThe House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Middle Grade Novels of 2013
19th out of 365 books — 731 voters
The Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Lost Hero by Rick RiordanThe Son of Neptune by Rick RiordanHarry Potter Boxset by J.K. RowlingThe Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
best book for 10-15 yrs written after 2005
112th out of 432 books — 604 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mohammed Arabey
",خطير جدا, مكتظ بالأحداث الرهيبه المتسارعه في مغامره عن القوه السريه.. للكـتب
" بـيــت الأســرار "
يأتيكم كاملا مع ثلاثه من الابناء الاذكياء واسعوا الحيله , وأشرار مرعبون بحق , واحداث مليئه بالفانتازيا,الخيال والرعب "

هكذا تصف جي كي رولينج الروايه في الغلاف الخلفي للكتاب, واري انها بهذا افسدت لي ان آاتي بأي جديد لوصف احساسي بالروايه
لان اي حد حيقرأ الروايه حيحس ان الكلام الوحيد لوصفها هو ما كتبته المؤلفه لوصف العيش مع عائله ووكر في البيت المرعب...واسراره الاكثر رعبا

من تيماتي المفضله ه
Mohammed Arabey
Dec 18, 2014 Mohammed Arabey rated it really liked it
"A Breakneck, Jam-Packed Roller Coaster of an adventure about the Secret Power of books,
House of Secrets comes complete with three resourceful sibling heroes, a seriously creepy villainess, and barrel loads of fantasy and fear."

That's how J.K.Rowling describe the book in the back cover...and That's how she ruined for me an opportunity to express my feeling about the book...
I believe anyone read it will think about the same lines to describe the experience of living with the Walkers family in t
Jun 29, 2013 Julia rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
J.K. Rowling put a "blurb" for this book as being a "breakneck roller coaster of an adventure." Sadly, roller coasters make me very seasick, and this book left me feeling much the same way.

Chris Columbus directed the first two Harry Potter films, and is now helming the Percy Jackson films, so I'm sure he loves the world of fantasy and adventure.

However, this first book in the "House of Secrets" series is just WAY too busy and frenetic. He throws in everything but the kitchen sink, and in so doin
Darth J
Sep 05, 2014 Darth J rated it did not like it
Pre-read reaction:


Post-read review:
Wow, it’s official: Chris Columbus has lost his touch. The man responsible for directing some of the best family movies now has no idea how to appeal to children in an intelligent or original manner anymore. He should honestly just stick to producing instead of writing or directing. The well is dry; the magic is dead. He’s a muggle now.

First of all, this book reads like an unhip dad who is trying too hard to seem cool to his kid
Enter to win House Of Secrets on my blog!
"Sometimes you can't get your life back. Sometimes you have to take it back."

I have been a fan of Ned Vizzini ever since I read It's Kind Of A Funny Story a couple years ago (If you haven't read this book yet, what are you waiting for? Stop reading this review immediately and get It's Kind Of A Funny Story. I know you'll thank me later). I have read everything by Vizzini except for Teen Angst? Naaah . . . which I need to read pronto. I even interview
Kat Heckenbach
Jan 12, 2014 Kat Heckenbach rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I gave up about 2/3 of the way through. There was potential for this story, but it never got off the ground. There was no real plot once the kids got trapped in the books' stories--they just went from one tight squeeze to another with no actual progress. The characters were just barely fleshed out enough for me to care about them at all, but after a while the lack of plot made even that go away.

One of my biggest complaints was little Eleanor. While I liked her, she was completely unrealistic. An
Niahara Erskine
Apr 17, 2013 Niahara Erskine rated it it was amazing
I love reading Middle Grade novel. I think these books are the ones that you can enjoy and cherish no matter how old you are. There is a feeling of innocence surrounding a good MG novel that always leaves me giddy. As a result, taking into account my fondness for MG novels, I was looking forward to reading Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus's "House of Secrets". The description and cover alone were enough to make me curious about the book. I can definitely say I was not disappointed. The book is ver ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Alright, audiobook reviews can be sort of tricky to review, since the experience can be so different from reviewing a print book. I notice such different things and don't tend to remember super specific details as well. I'm going to try borrowing (with approval, of course) April of Good Books and Good Wine's format she's been using lately.

Why Did I Read This Book?
Okay, this may not reflect particularly well on me as a person, but the allure was equal parts the famous name and the awesome cover.
Becky B
May 24, 2013 Becky B rated it did not like it
The Walker kids are trying to make the best of their situation. They have to move into a cheaper place because their dad lost his surgeon position due to an incident, involving sleepwalking and carving strange symbols into the skin of a patient. But the new house looks way too cool for the asking price. It's an old mansion and comes complete with cool furnishings. The family thinks it is too good to be true. It turns out, they may be right. After they move in the old lady who lives next door goe ...more
Jillian -always aspiring-
J.K. Rowling gave a blurb for this book (and she rarely does that), so I must give it a fair chance!
Xander ForeverBookish
The Walker family is in a situation. Dr. Walker, the dad lost his job after cutting an eye shape into a patient's chest with a knife at his hospital. Now they live in a small apartment, and are looking for a house. They find the huge Kristoff House, over-looking the Golden Gate Bridge, built after the San Francisco earthquake by Denver Kristoff, a well-known author. They move in, and they are in the middle of dinner when a woman knocks on the door that claims she is their neighbor. She then turn ...more
Apr 23, 2013 Henrietta rated it liked it
Do you like stories that invoke vivid images in your mind while you’re reading?

If so, you’ll probably enjoy reading House of Secrets.

While the story has its funny, wild and untamed moments, House of Secrets is certainly not a cute, feel-good type of middle-grade fantasy. In the story, we have Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker – the children of two loving parents who are desperately trying to get themselves out of a tough financial situation. When the real estate agent finds them a home that
John Rea-Hedrick
I only made it through the beginning of chapter 12.

This story just never took off for me. There was a lot of telling where there could have been showing. Also, the appearance (and recurrence) of the phrase "before the incident" really bugged me. It was as if the authors thought there was a need to wave a huge flag saying, "There's a BIG secret coming! We're not going to tell you what it is, but we wanted to you know it was coming so you'll keep reading!"

I think the last straw for me was when som
Savannah Andrea Smith
It's funny how the books that I love the most, I don't really put a lot of thought into before buying. I stumbled upon this book while grocery shopping with my dad at Sam's Club and convinced him (after reading the JK Rowling blurb and the synopsis, I was pretty sure this would be a fun read) I needed another book. And that was it. It was cool-looking, but I didn't exactly do any research on it before tossing it in the shopping cart next to the frozen Barramundi and family-pack of broccoli.

Barb Middleton
Jun 30, 2013 Barb Middleton rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 22, 2013 Keira rated it it was ok
What can I say? I hoped for more. I requested this book with the hope of finding a good follow-up to The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini (I loved it as do many of my students). This title came to our attention and I volunteered to read it. I read the summary. I knew the book was not going to be a perfect match, but I hoped that the tone, the style, and the characterization would be similar enough to recommend to my Other Normals groupies. Not so. But that was OK, because I was happy enough to read ...more
Rachel Lightwood
If you're looking for a middle grade fantasy book, this is the one you need to pick up. This wasn't what I was expecting at all. Do not let the title intimidate you - this is nothing like that terrible Monster House movie that I thought it would be similar to. There is so much more to the story than that.

I was never bored. The book is jam-packed with action despite being about 550 pages long and over seventy-five chapters. There is just the right amount of suspense and character-driven parts to
Mike (the Paladin)
I have read quite a number of YA fantasies. They run the gamut from "wow really great" to "crap why did I ever start this?". This book is.....firmly in the gray area. "Ahhhh, it's okay".

I don't want to give the book 2 stars as I tend to think of that as the beginning of "negative numbers" but while I didn't dislike this book, I was never enthused about it.

The story telling is "cute" we get the talk of the "incident" throughout the book. We get the (view spoiler) and
Aug 21, 2013 B. marked it as unfinished
I could've gotten through this book, but I doubt it would've been worth it. The POV was constantly rotating between the three protagonist-children, all of whom were shallow, irritating, and development-less from the very beginning.

As I abandoned it before anything much began to happen, it might be an interesting book story-wise. I simply didn't see a point in wading through the viewpoint ping-pong among unsympathetic tritagonists.
May 16, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
It was an enjoyable read with likeable characters and satisfying plotline.I loved the bond between the three siblings and how they overcame obstacles by cooperating effectively.I will probably pick up the 2nd book in the series since I enjoyed the first book immensely. I recommend this to anyone who is into fantasy books.
Feb 23, 2013 Lisa rated it it was ok
I also wanted to really like this book. The amount of violence (much of it described in graphic detail) experienced by these three children may make for a great action scene in a movie, but here merely seemed inappropriate and out-of-touch with the intended audience. I really wanted to give it one star.
Rachel Watkins
Mar 14, 2013 Rachel Watkins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, middle-grade
Wow. This middle grade adventure book has everything: suspense, mystery, thrills, and chills. Did I mention pirates, giants, and evil villians? The three children protaganists are totally real and human. This book is a grand ride. My 11 year old daughter and I both loved it!
Sally Kruger
There has been an incident and the Walker family must relocate. The realtor is about to show them the Kristoff House in an area known as Sea Cliff. Since moving is the last thing the children Cordelia, Brendan, and Eleanor want, they are suspicious when the realtor gushes about how fabulous this house is.

Sea Cliff is no joke. Kristoff House is balanced precariously on a cliff with portions of the structure supported by stilts and something described as "earthquake" barrels. The family is promise
Laura Martinelli
I need to explain my feelings on Chris Columbus before I get to the review proper. For those of you unfamiliar with the name, he directed the first two Harry Potter movies (and Percy Jackson, and Home Alone and Rent. I have many feelings about that last one). I also personally consider the first two Potters as being the worst of the films; they’re relatively faithful adaptations but boring movies. IMO, Columbus doesn’t bring a great visionary style and lacks the ‘magic’ touch, if you will. So, w ...more
May 22, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The House of Secrets follows 3 siblings, Cordelia, Brendan and Eleanor Walker as they move into a new house with their parents. The Kristoff House is much more than it first seems. Dark magic is soon unleashed, taking the Walker children on an epic adventure, filled with warriors, giants, pirates and a mad witch.
I will admit I brought this book purely because Chris Columbus directed Harry Potter and it was blurbed by J.K Rowling. I am glad I did though. The book was action-packed and fast paced
Kim McGee
Apr 21, 2013 Kim McGee rated it it was amazing
House of Secrets is going to be the next big thing because it has everything that kids and adults would want in a fantasy series - pirates, evil witches, a giant, a dashing British fighter pilot, knights, precocious children, earthquakes and tons of magic. From the first page Chris Columbus (director of Harry Potter fame) and Ned Vizzini (young adult author) work their magic and introduce us to a special house set just beyond San Francisco. A house with a terrible secret and one that the three W ...more
Dion Yulianto
"Orang-orang yang menyerah tak pernah menulis sejarah!"

Nama besar JK Rowling yang tertera di depan, plus nama agung Chris Columbus yang sukses menggarap beberapa film seri Harry Potter nan dahsyat itu rupanya (menurut saya loh) kurang bisa menjamin buku ini WOW. Buku ini ceritanya seru, itu poin plusnya. Susah sekali meletakkan buku ini kalau belum selesai. Saya sampai bawa ke kantor dan mencuri-curi baca agar bisa tahu bagaimana kelanjutan petualangan 3 bersaudara Walker bersama Will si penerba
2.5 stars

I disliked how disjointed this book felt in the first half. Things started to get better once Will was introduced to the story. I'm not sure if I would read the sequel or not. It's definitely far from the best middle grade books I ever read, but it wasn't all bad either.
Cintya Larasinta
How do you feel sent into a world of fantasies books? This so happens spinning adventure crazy world of books and the creatures that had never found. bahkan lebih menarik dari INKHEART.
This story is compelling, enjoyable to read, great fun, and sure to be popular.

Pada suatu hari, Ayah dari Walker Dr. Jacob Walker telah kehilangan pekerjaan dan memutuskan pindah kota baru, membeli rumah dengan harga murah. Cordelia (15 th), Brendan (12 th), dan Eleano
Aug 15, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok
While I loved the premise of this book, I did not love the book itself. It was just okay, hence the two stars. At times, I wondered if I was drunk when I was reading it or if someone had found a way to rip pages our of an ebook. The problem was that the narrative would jump. I would be reading along, end of chapter or page, turn the page and suddenly it was though I had skipped a chapter or 20 pages. My theory is that the book was directed more than it was written. The book would make a great sc ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book Ramblings: House of Secrets 12 3 Feb 08, 2016 07:56PM  
Did it sound like a movie to anyone else?? 3 9 Jan 14, 2016 03:49AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: House of Secrets by Chris Columbus 1 11 Apr 10, 2015 05:35AM  
Interviews with KidLit & SpecFic Authors 1 4 Mar 24, 2014 03:42PM  
WHat do you think of it? 1 6 Jan 22, 2014 07:54AM  
Bookies!: House of Secrets discussion! 5 19 Oct 27, 2013 04:00PM  
NED READERS: House of Secrets (House of Secrets, #1) 14 67 Aug 30, 2013 07:04PM  
  • The Key and the Flame
  • The Menagerie (Menagerie, #1)
  • Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg, #1)
  • Destiny, Rewritten
  • Through the Skylight
  • The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P., #1)
  • Hold Fast
  • The Forbidden Stone (The Copernicus Legacy, #1)
  • The Invisible Tower (Otherworld Chronicles, #1)
  • The Path of Names
  • The Colossus Rises (Seven Wonders, #1)
  • Jinx
  • Poseidon and the Sea of Fury (Heroes in Training, #2)
  • What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World
  • The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle (The League of Princes, #2)
  • Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, #1)
  • Horten's Incredible Illusions: Magic, Mystery & Another Very Strange Adventure
  • The Twistrose Key
Chris Joseph Columbus is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Columbus is known for such movies as Gremlins, The Goonies, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Home Alone, the last receiving a British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Film.
More about Chris Columbus...

Other Books in the Series

House of Secrets (3 books)
  • Battle of the Beasts (House of Secrets, #2)
  • Clash of the Worlds (House of Secrets, #3)

Share This Book

“Losing yourself in a book is the best” 10 likes
“Books lay on the floor in literary dunes.” 8 likes
More quotes…