I read The Dead House in a single sitting. It blew my mind. Totally. Completely. Irreversibly. I literally cannot believe how amazing this book was –I read The Dead House in a single sitting. It blew my mind. Totally. Completely. Irreversibly. I literally cannot believe how amazing this book was – especially for someone's debut novel! I just... wow. I am seriously struggling to find the words. It's so hard... The Dead House is so freaking unique and it blew my goddamn mind. Ah, I need the words... Here goes… 'I AM NOT A SICKNESS!' Carly and Kaitlyn Johnson are unique: two sisters, two people, who share one body. Carly has the day. Kaitlyn belongs to the night. People think they are crazy. Are they? Naida Chounan-Dupré, a practitioner of Mala, doesn't think so. And then one night, twenty-five years ago, the school the girls attended burnt down. Three were killed. One vanished – Carly Johnson. Ever since, this event has become known as the Johnson Incident – but very little was actually known about it. Until a journal was found among the wreckage – a diary that belonged to Kaitlyn. Along with police interviews, Naida's video footage and psychiatry sessions, the diary finally sheds a light upon the mystery that happened all those years ago. What happened that night? Who set the fire? And who is Kaitlyn Johnson? I received The Dead House in the mail. It came with a post-it note on it, reading ‘I curse anyone who reads this book’. Also with it, an admissions form for the psychiatric hospital Carly and Kaitlyn were sent to. The moment I saw these intriguing little extras, I began to read. And just... whoa. I have never, ever read anything like The Dead House. It's going to be so hard to write this review – partly because I really don't want to write any spoilers, partly because it's so hard to describe everything this book made me feel, everything this book is. I just... God, I still don't have the words – not to do The Dead House justice. All of the characters were just... so amazingly made and so complex. I can't say much about them – I don't want to give anything away about this mind-blowing plot. But all of them just blew me away, because I never knew what to do with any of them. Kaitlyn was the most intriguing character. Broken, dark, scared, so lonely. And the biggest question, one everyone has to ask, is she even real? Is she crazy? Whatever you believe, you can't deny she's one of the most interesting characters in any YA paranormal thriller. Carly – we didn't see a lot of Carly. But we saw some of the notes the girls pass to one another – they are so close, so loving, it's so sweet... The first time Ari entered the story was hilarious – with the bowler hat and the "I have excellent taste. It'd be gay if I wasn't so straight." And their IM chats... killed me! Naida was another intriguing character – she was into Mala, a kind of magic. The whole thing was so fascinating, actually – and freaking terrifying! Enough with the characters! No spoilers, guys! I utterly adored Dawn's writing – it was phenomenal. The mix of diary entries, interviews, film footage and notes was pure genius and so brilliantly compelling. I was so addicted to every single word that Dawn wrote – every. single. damn. word. It was like a spell had been cast over me. If you know me, you know I love a good thriller. I've watched and read many – horrors and mysteries too. But I have never read a plotline quite like that of The Dead House. It was... whoa. I still can't get my head around it – still can't believe this brilliantly crafted, utterly terrifying, bloody brilliant story line. It is just... bloody hell. I seriously don't have the words! I never knew what to expect, was left desperate for more answers, left stunned, mind blown, and utterly lost for words. I just... bloody hell. The other issues – was this insanity or Mala? – were utterly intriguing. I know which I'm leaning towards, but either way... whoa. The complexity of the Johnson split personality disorder was utterly intriguing – and towards the end the theory about why rang true... As for Naida's dual-soul and Olen-based beliefs, those were just as intriguing, oddly just as believable too. It was all just... whoa (never have I said whoa so much in one review). This review is random ramblings – I'm not even sure it makes sense and I apologise. It's just The Dead House was so freaking amazing. It was scary as hell, utterly addictive and pure damn magic. I'm not sure how to tell you guys how goddamned and bloody fantastic. You can't blame me – only about ten percent of my thought process is going towards this review. Sixty percent is silent, lost for words, blown away. The other thirty is still trying to figure everything out, still trying to desperately piece together the clues, my thoughts, my mind, my heart. I just... Ok, I seriously have no words. So I'm going to do you all a favour and stop and give you a piece of advice instead. Buy The Dead House. Buy it right freaking now. Read it. Read it right freaking now. It is one of the most intense, most suspenseful, most shocking and most breath-taking thrillers you will read this year – or ever, actually. I honestly just can't recommend this bloody amazing book enough. It is... phenomenal. Unique. Incredible. And we're back to adjectives. I'll stop now. Just read it yourself – render yourself as incoherent as me. If you'll excuse me, I now have to go rock in a corner, hugging this book to my chest. I should be better in a year or two. Maybe....more
"A Gathering, a Gathering, quieter than the storm!" The Iremongers are powerful, rich and very peculiar. They own the heaps – the rubbish – and have bu"A Gathering, a Gathering, quieter than the storm!" The Iremongers are powerful, rich and very peculiar. They own the heaps – the rubbish – and have built a house (and empire) upon them. But Clod is even more peculiar than the other Iremongers. He hears objects talk to him – birth objects, a possession given to each Iremonger as a baby, chosen specifically for them. His birth object is a bath plug called James Henry Hayward. When Aunt Rosamund's doorhandle – Alice Higgs – goes missing, things begin to go downhill. Especially when Lucy Pennant arrives and begins to work as a servant downstairs – and Clod begins to hear the objects say more than just their names for the first time in his life... It turns out there's a sickness in London. And in Heaphouse things are changing – strange things keep happening. Does it have something to do with Clod's strange ability? With the birth objects? What secrets lie among the heaps that surround the house of the Iremongers...? I'd seen Heap House talked about. I'd thought, yeah, that looks pretty good. And then I didn't buy it. But when I heard Olivia Mead talk about the series, heard how excited and in love she was, I knew I needed to read it as soon as possible. And I am now kicking myself for not picking it up sooner. Heap House is brilliantly bizarre and bonkers and so, so good! It is literally perfect for all Lemony Snicket fans – and for anyone who likes crazy steampunk-esque, Victorian-era books. Clod was a little odd (ha! that rhymed), but he was brilliant. Sure, he was a little naive and innocent at times (especially considering his age), but he was inquisitive and clever and funny too. Lucy was awesome – snarky, curious, rebellious and exactly what I like in a leading girl. I'm not going to lie to you, their relationship felt a little... not so real. Maybe it's because it's a MG book and I'm used to YA romances. Maybe it's because it felt a little quick. Maybe it's because I'm nit-picking – but I have to nit-pick, especially since this is pretty much my only nit to pick at! Ok, this analogy has gotten really weird and kind of gross... I just want to add that, towards the end, they were kind of totally adorable. Yes, they fell for one another fast. But they were very funny when the two of them together, and very cute too. Now, I'm going to move onto the rest of the Iremonger family – simply put, that family be crazy! Crazy and bizarre and absolutely intriguing. My favourite Iremonger had to be Tummis: he was just so amazing and the sweetest, funniest character ever, bless his cotton socks. I rather liked Uncle Aliver too – he was brilliant. I loathed Moorcus and was confused by Grandfather and Grandmother. The downstairs Iremongers (non-full-blooded family members who still had Iremonger blood, but not enough, and were therefore servants) were almost as quirky as the Upstairs Iremongers. Basically, the whole supporting cast was kooky and intriguing and often hilarious.
I adored Carey's writing: it was so fitting with the time period, so exciting and intriguing and brilliant. I loved that we got multiple POVs – our two main narrators were Clod and Lucy, but we got journal snippets from various other members of the Iremonger family. This mode of storytelling was brilliant and kept me utterly hooked. As did the plot: from the moment Heap House began, the story grabbed me and refused to let go. It's hard to write too much about the plot – no spoilers! – but I adored it. It was dark and addictive and suspenseful and mysterious and intriguing – but with funny moments too, to lighten the heap up! This world was pure genius! It was grittier, dirtier and way more interesting than any Victorian-era setting Dickens wrote about. It had elements of steampunk in it (AKA, one of my favourite ever genres and fashion style), but mostly it was dark and dirty and made of curious objects and whispering voices and piles of rubbish... It was like Victorian grunge-punk... OK, that's not a thing, forget that. But seriously, I was totally hooked by this creepy world and was absolutely desperate to find out all of its hidden, dirty little secrets. I'm finding it really hard to describe Heap House well, to find the words to do my feels justice. It was just so bonkers and so brilliant and so much fun to read! I never knew what to expect, didn't want to stop reading and was absolutely desperate for Foulsham the moment I put Heap House down! I mean, that ending... Wow! Talk about huge finales and shock cliff-hangers! Seriously, though: it you are looking for something fun and unique to read, love Lemony Snicket and a book that can make you laugh, think and sit on the edge of your seat, Heap House is an absolute must read! ...more