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House of Secrets (House of Secrets, #1)
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House of Secrets (House of Secrets #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  6,319 ratings  ·  699 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)
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Hashem Mandeel
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Community Reviews

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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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
Becky B
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!
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.
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
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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.
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
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
Kim McGee
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
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
Graeme Reynolds
When Brendan, Cordelia and Nell are forced to move to Kristoff House in San Francisco with their parents, they are less than happy. However things are about to get much worse. Before the family have time to order in a takeaway pizza, let alone unpack, they are attacked by a crazed witch who transports the children and the house to a magical world where they must search for a book of terrible power. If they fail, they will never see their parents again, however retrieving the book will mean that ...more
Glad I got my hands on this ARC! This book is definitely a wild ride! Kind of like The Wizard of OZ on steroids. Lots and lots of adventure and mystery, not to mention pirates, giants, a WWI pilot, witches, wild Viking/medieval-ish warriors, magic and mayhem. It's a crazy mish-mash, but somehow it all works together pretty well. I thought the Walker kids' personalities and relationships with each other were fun and young readers should be able to relate to them in many ways. However, it is fairl ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: House of Secrets by Chris Columbus 1 11 Apr 09, 2015 08:35PM  
Interviews with KidLit & SpecFic Authors 1 4 Mar 24, 2014 07:42AM  
WHat do you think of it? 1 6 Jan 21, 2014 10:54PM  
Bookies!: House of Secrets discussion! 5 19 Oct 27, 2013 08:00AM  
NED READERS: House of Secrets (House of Secrets, #1) 14 67 Aug 30, 2013 10:04AM  
Chapters Kingston...: Junior Teen: House of Secrets 1 4 Aug 07, 2013 06:44PM  
NED READERS: Ask Ned about the House of Secrets (#1) 9 59 Jul 19, 2013 11:25PM  
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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)

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