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

(Dark House #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  2,863 ratings  ·  542 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,
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published July 22nd 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  2,863 ratings  ·  542 reviews

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Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook
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
Faye, la Patata

A group of teens join a contest thinking the prize (a weekend to somewhere secluuuuuded!) is something that would give them the scare of their lives. They all win and then get stuck in a creepy house and subsequently, in a creepy "abandoned" amusement park. Little do they know, not everything is what it seems...


"Now wait just a minute, haven't I seen this premise before?" If that's what you're thinking right now, it's very likely that you're right. A shit-ton of times, really. We get movies l
Jen Ryland
Jan 22, 2014 added it
Shelves: july-2014
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
Edward Lorn
Sep 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: YA fans
Recommended to Edward by: BAM
I'm somewhere in the middle with this book. Let's discuss why, shall we?

The Bad: The characters are difficult to follow for the first, oh, 75 pages or so. Every POV is in first person, and each chapter is from a different character's perspective. Certain details that would help in keeping track of who's who aren't revealed until after page ninety. The easiest folks to separate are Parker (because of his script-writing style) and Natalie (because she's one odd duck). Yet Parker's script sections
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
I wasn't expecting anything fantasic out of this book but I was expecting a mindless good time. Sadly, this book was not even that.

I'm not really hard on YA horror novels but I do expect them to be enjoyable, but I don't pick apart the writing as hard as I might normally in a different category. That is mostly because I rate within the genre and do not compare other genres and YA horor is a not a strong point for the Young Adult category so I don't have a lot of FANTASTIC books to compare thing
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
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Not sure how I feel about this one, it was strange to say the very least. Full review to come!
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 to t
nidah05 (SleepDreamWrite)
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4 stars. No, hold up, you know what? I'm giving this a 5. I was going to read this along with the other two books I'm also reading. But I ignored this and found myself reading this more.

And before I knew it, I was halfway then near the end and then at the last page. What is up with that? Hmm, maybe it has to do with reading these at night? Its official, I'll read anything by this author. And I think I have.

So this book looked promising. Then later as I was reading the Touch series, I looked ba
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was ok


7 contestants win a competition to spend the weekend at a B&B, meet their favorite horror movie director and see a sneak peek of his newest film.
Their weekend vacation takes a dark turn when the contestants begin to go missing. Facing their worst nightmares is their only chance to escape and survive.

Personal opinion

I found this book to be a bit bland and a little dull for my liking. I was disappointed because it had so much potential with contestants being invited to spend the weekend
Lauren Stoolfire
I was expecting something much different from what I got. At least something that was going to be really creepy, but Welcome to the Dark House never quite lived up to that. Usually multiple POVs work for me, but that wasn't the case here either because I had a hard time differentiating between character voices. Overall, there was a lot of potential here but the story could have done with some reworking to make it all come together. ...more
Gray Cox
This was a dark, confusing twisted ride (pun totally intended)! I'm very conflicted about it, the ending was kind of everywhere and Shayla was just too much. ...more
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it

How do I even begin? I read Welcome to the Dark House for my Horror Reading Challenge, hosted by Tracy @ Cornerfolds, and was surprised how quickly I finished it! I really do love horror, even though I sometimes get freaked out super easily. Although that depends on the scenery and general storyline, so when I saw this book on Goodreads, I just knew I have to read it! The title intrigued me, the cover looks freaking awesome too - an amusement park! That can either be super scary or total bul
Tracy (Cornerfolds)

As the person hosting the Horror Reading Challenge this year, it should come as no surprise that I am a horror junkie. I love horror movies and horror books. Unfortunately, I have been let down by quite a few horrors this year. I had seen Welcome to the Dark House around a lot in the last several months, but I wasn't totally sold on the synopsis and the carnival on the cover made me wary. Carnival horror stories are so hit or miss... But when I saw this at the library the other day, I snatch
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“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
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
Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Heather by: lauren ♡
Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek

“Welcome To The Dark House” is a good horror book, unfortunately it wasn’t something that completely blew me away but it was definitely very fun and entertaining.

The Plot

This book is PERFECT for any horror movie lovers because it’s basically a slasher movie in book form, seriously, it reads exactly like a horror film. Which has it’s downsides as well as upsides. The downside being that this makes the book feel a little corny at times and a bit underdev
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you like horror flicks with twisty plot lines and characters that are there just so they can get killed off, you will really like Welcome to the Dark House. Think something along the lines of I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream, Saw and House on the Haunted Hill all mashed up together. The book isn't as gore as Saw, obviously (though it does have its fair share of dead bodies), and there are no revenge-seeking ghosts either, but the plot construction and the somewhat stereotypical charact ...more
Jul 06, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Laura (Booksforbreakfast)
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I want to start by saying I love Laurie Faria Stolarz - her Touch series is one of my favorites. When I found out about this book, I had to read it. Despite me not loving some things about Parker and Ivy, I was able to finish it in two sittings.

I thought the writing was awesome, and I was captivated from start to finish. This idea was awesome. There is someone out there taking your fears and your most vulnerable thoughts and bringing them into reality, them forcing you to live them, it’s all ver
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Welcome to the Dark House. Where you've come to stay and we hope you'll play."

This book was so wonderfully creepy and left me definitely desperate to get book 2!

I was so lucky. I had the perfect setting for this book. I had this over a 2 night camping trip and got to read it in the middle of the night in the middle of the woods all alone with just the suspense and crazy creepy book for company.

the perfect setting.

I am also a huge fan of horror movies. I love bloody gore, the scary jump "boo!"
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Wordpress Blog | Twitter

The story hooked me within the first page. Ivy is clearly the final girl, with the most interesting history - her parents were murdered six years ago and she's still grieving, having nightmares every night. I love unique stories, which is why the plot of this book intrigued me so much - seven teenagers facing their fears at a creepy funfair.

There's a lot of different back stories here from body dysmorphia to post traumatic stress disorder and even with each character havi
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Alex Horsey
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing! Had me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing. I'm gonna be talking more about the awesomeness of this book in a book talk on my channel athousandyearsofBOOKS!... Sorry, shameless self promotion. ...more
♔ VEE ♔
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
So awesome to have another book by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Jessica (a GREAT read)
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Laurie Faria Stolarz’s Welcome to the Dark House was just the kind of creeptacular read I was looking for! I read her Blue is for Nightmares series once upon a time ago and was quick to fall in love with that and have had her other books on my TBR pile for ages! Well, this October I was determined to read one of her books and chose this duology and it was the best decision ever!

The book is told through six different points of view of six teenagers who won a contest from a famous movie producer,
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
WELCOME TO THE DARK HOUSE has a lot of creepy pieces to it that when put together create a pretty scary scenario. A bunch of fans of this movie producer end up getting selected to attend this creeptastic event (although no one seems to question that they’re all the same age, but the only age restrictions on the contest they entered were that you had to be at least 18 to enter) and right from day one someone’s missing. Then a hostess goes missing. Creepy writings find their way onto people’s wall ...more
Nov 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Holy crap this book was good! This thriller messed with my head so much, and I could not put it down. I had to get answers, and it was such a quick read. It moved at a fast but good pace, and I was completely immersed in the story.
The characters were really good, and I felt like they were all distinct but that they each had small things that connected them. I liked Ivy and Parker, and the relationship they developed. I also liked Frankie, and I thought Natalie was really interesting.
The p
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This was an interesting horror story. It moved along at a rapid pace and I won't say I was bored. However, I think it could have been a much better story if there had been more character development. There is no lack of action. Something is always happening so action fans should find this more than satisfactory. I probably will read the next in the series, so I think it has more positives than negatives. ...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

Other books in the series

Dark House (2 books)
  • Return to the Dark House (Dark House, #2)

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