Welcome to the Dark House (Dark House, #1)
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Welcome to the Dark House (Dark House #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  360 ratings  ·  130 reviews
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,...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 22nd 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,294)
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Giselle
Welcome to the Dark House is a pretty great horror story, especially for horror-movie loving readers. However it reads just like a horror movie as well - you barely get to know the cast, and when one dies/disappears you're not going to care all that much.

Ultimately told in multiple viewpoints, we're first introduced to Ivy, who I consider to be the main character in this story. She's the only character that we get to know with any amount of depth. We learn of her tragic past and how it haunts h...more
Jen Ryland
Garth Vader? That just made me giggle..

Actual review: This book gave me pretty much what I was expecting: a fast-paced, campy, mildly scary story of a bunch of kids trapped in a replica of a movie horror house. There are seven kids trapped in the house, six of whom (!) are POV characters, and all of of whom are a particular type. The multitude of people to keep straight had me a bit confused at times and also prevented much character development, but the story moved along at a brisk pace and the...more
AH
This was an OK read for me but I can see the appeal for young adult readers who may want to read something other than R.L. Stine. Welcome to the Dark House reminded me a little of those Scream or Freddie Kruger movies with the bulk of the book taking place in an old abandoned amusement park - creepy!

Seven teens have won a contest where they get to meet their favorite horror movie producer of the Nightmare Elf series. They've each submitted their scariest nightmare and - you guessed it - the onl...more
Jo
The following review was written in the mistaken belief that this was a stand-alone novel. I have been informed that there will be a sequel so I will amend my review from 3 stars to 4. Here goes how the review would have went if I had known there was a sequel... I liked everything about this novel except for that cliff hanger ending. I am beyond ready for the next book to explain all the creepiness away. The writing was suspenseful and eerie. I have always been afraid of carnivals since I was li...more
SoWrongItsRANDI {Bell, Book & Candle}
Bell, Book & Candle | Welcome to the Dark House Review




I've been waiting to get my hands on this book for what seems like forever. Just a FYI, my nickname since childhood was Goosebumps, hence the appeal of this story for me. Originally I thought this was a stand alone novel, but it actually has a sequel, much to my amazement.

While I was reading, this I was camping out in the woods at night. Suffice it to say I was getting a little creeped out every time I heard a twig snap, which only added...more
Amy

“In a thousand words or less, describe your worst nightmare… and let your nightmares be gone.”
That’s all it took for 7 contest winners to win the chance of a lifetime- an all exclusive, paid weekend; featuring a behind- the-scenes look at the horror sensation and director, Justin Blake of the Nightmare Elf, and his latest film. Promising to give them a weekend they won’t forget.

For Ivy Jensen, nothing sounds better than the chance to rid her life of the nightmare that haunts her every night, th...more
Rayne
2.5 stars

I had with this book the exact same problem I had with the only other book I've read by Stolarz, Project 17, coincidentally another horror novel about a group of teens stuck somewhere creepy. The ideas behind the novel are really good. Clichéd under horror standards, but interesting and full of potential nonetheless. The problem is that Stolarz doesn't know how to work them, and even worse, she relies on insufferably annoying, shallow and cartoonish characters to tell her tale.

I took a...more
May
I'd been waiting for this book forever and got an advanced copy. I loved it! So scary and suspenseful. OMG that scene underground!!! But just as enthralling were the characters, each with their own agendas and histories. I think I loved Natalie and Garth's stories best. It's one thing to scare the reader but another thing entirely to make the reader feel for the characters and make them all distinct. I can't recommend more.
Aeicha
I love me a campy, scream-fest B horror movie, and that’ exactly what Laurie Faria Stolarz’s Welcome to the Dark House feels like, right down to the cliche, yet fun scare tactics; predictable, yet entertaining plot; and rigidly characterized, yet amusing cast.

Everyone has nightmares, some people are just more haunted by there’s than others. Seven essay contest winners are given the opportunity of a lifetime and win a trip to an exclusive, behind the scenes look at the new horror movie from famou...more
Kate
It's hard to find good YA horror, because the genre that was so popular when I was a teen has pretty much disappeared. Which is fine, in some regards, because YA in general has upped its standards- characters who act their age (I think in the 80's and 90's if you were writing a character who was 16, it was for an audience 14 years and younger), authors tackle heavier subjects, and books are no longer 200 pages on average.

Stolarz does present day YA horror right. No, you probably won't find as m...more
♔Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Veronica Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♔
So awesome to have another book by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Christy (Christy's Book Addiction)
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 th...more
Vickie Ramage
I do consider myself a horror movie fan, the scarier and bloodier the better. I love anything unique most of all, which is why the plot of this book intrigued me so much - seven teenagers facing their fears at a creepy funfair? Hell yeah!

The book hooked me within the first page. Ivy is clearly the lead character with the most interesting history - her parents were murdered six years ago and she's never quite got over it (you wouldn't really), having nightmares every night. I think Ivy applied to...more
Mallory Heart Reviews
Whoa! This novel is "some scary!" Aimed at higher YA/ NA, still it frightened this antique reviewer! Author Laurie Faria Stolarz takes the often-reworked "multiple individuals invited to---haunted. House/resort/tropical island/exotic hotel"---and recreates it brilliantly into a plot line that is snappy, scary, and tautly knitted. I "fell in love" with each of the characters (empathy-wise) because they are so cleverly delineated. 3 cheers and 12 stars for this winner!!
Suz
I am not a frequent reader of horror, which is why I did not rate it more highly, so keep that in mind as you read this.

The story in Welcome to the Dark House is a view into the world of horror films and their fandom. Celebrated horror film producer, Justin Blake, holds a contest in which 7 lucky winners receive an all-expenses paid weekend, the chance to meet Blake himself, and see what his next big project will be. Their entry into the contest is a 1,000 word essay describing in detail their...more
Sarah
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

The moment I started reading Welcome to the Dark House, I just knew I was going to like it. I could say that this novel has the strongest beginning chapter among all the books I've read this year. The only question in my mind was: Can Welcome to the Dark House sustain this promising start?

The answer is it did, for the most part. We have multiple POVs that might seem seriously daunting if not properly handled, but it worked surprisingly well and it kept things interesting....more
Kate
I read this ARC via Netgalley.

Ivy Jensen's parents were brutally murdered when she was twelve, and she only barely escaped. After years living with a foster family in witness protection, she receives an invitation to a contest. If her essay on her worst nightmare is chosen, she'll join several other fans of horror master Justin Blake.

Not surprisingly, Ivy's nightmare of her parents' murder is one of the six winners. Immediately upon arriving at Dark House, one of the contestants, Taylor, disappe...more
Katie Walton
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz is kind of like a modern re-telling of the House on Haunted Hill. A group of teenagers enter a contest to meet their favorite horror icon and film director. Before meeting the celebrity they love, the teens must participate in a weekend of frights that will make them face their deepest, darkest fears. This book is like the love child of a horror movie and a MTV reality show. The characters are all believably flawed, and yet engaging. The frights...more
Benni
Review: http://bennitheblog.com/bookbiters/we...

Six years ago, a serial killer murdered Ivy Jenson’s parents in their bedroom. The police arrived just in time for the murderer to spare Ivy, but not in time to catch him. Since then, Ivy has been plagued with nightmares, reliving that night with a more sinister ending: the killer with the bird-like eyes stabs her.

One day, Ivy receives a Nightmare Elf e-newsletter, promising to rid winners of their nightmares for good (Nightmare Elf is the murderou...more
Anna Janelle
Welcome to the Dark House - an atmospheric, suspenseful YA horror that will have older readers reminiscing about the guilty pleasures of the past. For me, this book was immediately reminiscent of my pre-teen favorites penned by R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike. Like those books of yore, this one immediately grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go until I had finished it- all in the dark, all in the course of several very late-night hours in bed. It was scary. It was fun. It was frustrating. (Why...more
Beckie
I finished in less than 5 hours. Yes, it was THAT good! I love horror in young adult fiction but sadly there are not many pure horror books out there. One of the BEST BOOK so far of 2014 for me.
Jennifer
Received advanced reader copy from publisher at PLA 2014

What is your worst nightmare? Mine is telling someone my worst nightmare then having it come back to haunt me! In Welcome to the Dark House seven superfans of “master of horror” write essays detailing their own worst nightmares and win a trip to see a preview of the director Justin Blake’s new film. When they arrive at their destination, the superfans find they are walking into recreations of Blake’s film sets … and they are forced to face...more
Darcy
MTV's The Real World meets Scream. Loved, Loved, LOVED this. Garth is my favorite. I hear a sequel is in the works. Seriously. Can't. Wait.
Amber
Laurie is a fantastic author, and she has done it again. I've been a huge fan of her writing for years and this book did not let me down. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of the book! It starts off leading you in and wondering whats going on, and as the book progresses the curiosity just grows. Each character has their own nightmare that gets them a trip to The Dark House. Ivy and Natalie were my favorite characters, both with amazing vivid dreams. I don't want to give any spoilers away...more
Amir (The Not-So-Literary Heiresses)
Welcome to the Dark House felt very much like a slasher film. You are introduced to a group of misfit characters who’ve been lured together in a location in the middle of nowhere and if you’re like me who watch a lot of said films, we all know that not everyone will survive. In this case, we get seven essay winners of a contest hosted by acclaimed horror director Justin Blake where they are promised a weekend of behind-the-scenes exclusivity, including meeting the director himself. The book is t...more
Morgan N
This review is from the perspective of somebody who has never watched nor read anything horror related because I am a wimp in that sector.
I loved this book.
I loved the characters.
this wasn't even supposed to be my book when I bought at the store. I got it for my horror-loving friend's birthday.
I thought, "eh why not sit down a read a chapter or two?"
one day later I'm done with the book and sitting here typing a review on it.
so yes, thank you Laurie Faria Stolarz for introducing me to the gen...more
JennRenee


This was a very anticipated read for me. I am a huge classic horror movie kind of girl. The 90's type of horrors... Scream, I know what You did Last Summer, and so on. I was so hoping this would be that kind of book, I was looking forward to the nostalgia of horror movies from my youth and in many ways this book pulled it off for me. There were some things that I thought could have been done a better but in the end I was very pleased. I enjoyed the book from first page to last page. The end did...more
Max Baker
How many heart emojis is too many? Twelve? Seventy-five? Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred? Whatever number it is..it's not enough!

Welcome to the Dark House is one of my favorites of 2014 hands down. Maybe it's because I'm a huge horror movie fan. Or maybe it's because I haven't read a really good horror story with an actual in-depth plot in a while. Whatever the reason, I'm glad it is what it is.

The main focus of this book is on seven teenagers who won an essay contest to meet a fam...more
Hannah (Vamp of Savannah)
After writing a fairly scathing review of Welcome to the Dark House The author herself, Laurie Faria Stolarz, commented on my review to let me know there will be a sequel. My opinions about the story and ending depended mostly on the fact that this book appeared to be a standalone and was therefore terribly disappointing.

That being said I am amending my review to reflect this new information.


Now that I know this book is the first in a series I'm in a better position to say it was a decent read....more
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
**I received this book from Netgalley / Disney-Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Mystery, Horror
*Rating* 3-3.5

*My Thoughts*

Welcome to the Dark House is apparently the first book in the Dark House series by Laurie Faria Stolarz and that's a good thing since there are plenty of questions, and not enough answers to go around. You could say that this story gives readers a chance to understand the writer, and...more
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Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston.

Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.

Stolarz found sales success with he...more
More about Laurie Faria Stolarz...
Deadly Little Secret (Touch, #1) Blue is for Nightmares (Blue is for Nightmares, #1) Deadly Little Lies (Touch, #2) White Is for Magic (Blue is for Nightmares, #2) Silver Is for Secrets (Blue is for Nightmares, #3)

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