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The Dead House

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  5,311 ratings  ·  1,419 reviews
Three students: dead.
Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace.

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, "the girl of nowhere."

Kaitlyn's diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed min
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Wendy The layering and music does comes back in the story at potentially key moments and adds to the experience. In my opinion, the effects do not overpower…moreThe layering and music does comes back in the story at potentially key moments and adds to the experience. In my opinion, the effects do not overpower the story itself, and the different voices and inflections for the characters make this a great listen.(less)

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Dawn Kurtagich
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote this!
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
A GR friend recommended my re-read of this book on audio and holy crow!! They were right! There are a couple of different narrators and some sound effects. Nothing too major, running, crumpling paper,etc. I immediately added the audio to my Audible wishlist. Loved it!😊

I can't believe this is the author's first novel! I'm in love with this book. It's set up like a crime case. The whole thing isn't like that, seeing as how you have to get to know the characters that play out in this creepy book, b
Hannah Greendale
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, young-adult
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Everyone knows about the Johnson Incident - people died, and one person went missing who was never found. Conspiracy theorists believe the culprit was Kaitlin Johnson. Only problem is, Kaitlin doesn't exist. According to Dr. Lansing, she's just a product of trauma, an alter ego created by Carly Johnson, a girl suffering from dissociative identity disorder.

The Dead House is a collection of transcribed inter
Ben Alderson
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

an extremely unique book. Nothing like I have read before! This will stay with me for a long time!
Steysha Kravits
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-favs

This. Book. Is. Pure. MADNESS!!!

It messed with my brain and left me speechless! I mean, if you`d asked me to retell the story, I wouldn`t have been able to. Just because I don`t know myself what really happened there. This book is a trickster, and we have a very unreliable main character.

Seriously, people, it blew my mind. I don`t even know what to think. This is so messed up. I have no idea what is true and what`s not. If you`re a fan of mysteries, then this story is for you.
Okay, let`s start
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

First let me say I had no idea before I got an ARC of this novel that it would be written in the epistolary style as a collection of mostly diary entries, though it also includes interview transcripts, descriptions of video footage, emails and newspaper articles, etc. Not to mention the huge visual component! I picked up The Dead House because I love horror and I’m also always on the lookout for good creepy YA, but serious
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Consider me spooked
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

You’ve surely heard this before, but here it is again: The Dead House is a very unusual sort of book, narrative-wise. It is a skillfully woven web of diary entries, video transcripts, police interview transcripts, e-mails and instant messages, newspaper clippings and other documents pertaining one horrible event known as the Johnson Incident. The concept itself is a brilliant one, wholly new and original. While it starts with two souls in one body, something we’ve certainly seen before, what Ku
Faye, la Patata
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: this wasn't a scary book. When we say 'scary', that's something I would give to the likes of Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics and Girl from the Well + The Suffering by Rin Chupeco. This wasn't even a mind-fuck of a book a la Dangerous Girls

However, that doesn't mean my mind didn't reel from it. Even though this didn't have the quiet or the jumpy horror I am well fond of, how this book delivered a kickass psychological paranormal thriller made me shiver in my boots.

1. Unreliable
Karima chermiti
In the end, we must decide for ourselves what we believe.

Goosebumps and shivers. The most engaging and scary book I've read this year. I honestly don't know what was real and what was not. I don't know which side to believe. It was the definition of insanity


full review posted

The dead house is not my first book by the author, Dawn Kurtagich. I already read And the Trees Crept in and let me just say that it was not a memorable reading experience so I was hesitant about this one, what can I
Tom Lewis
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you’re thinking about reading this book, go do it! This is about as close to a perfect horror novel as it gets. It reads like a police investigation into a series of unsolved murders, and unfolds through journal entries, descriptions of video footage, and taped interviews with witnesses. The most interesting parts to me were the journal entries. Most of these were written by the crime suspect, Kaitlyn Johnson, who we learn is the “alter” of Carly Johnson. They’re a split personality – two dis ...more
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Group and NetGalley.)

“My doctor is convinced that I’m not really here. She keeps trying to convince me of it, too.”

This book was just not for me.

The characters in this were slightly strange as they had one body and 2 personalities, and these personalities could only speak to each other by leaving post-it notes for the other to find.

The storyline in this was just all over the plac
Asghar Abbas
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Well, that was creepy. Checks and double checks, wow this is a first novel? How is this just the right amount of awesomeness ? Work of a pure wiccan, I am telling you. No, really. Some writers are endowed with raw talent. This book was truly disturbing.

I was so eager to read this. When I got this book I didn't know it was an epistolary novel, I was a little dismayed at first. I wanted more, and oddly enough it was more. And nope, nope, no I won't be mentioning Warpaint in this review. Not this
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
One thing that can be said about this time of year, is that it is full of wonderful creepy, crazy stories and The Dead House, definitely fits in with that description.

This book was, to say the least, unique in every way imaginable. From the content, to the setting, to the unreliable narrative to the secondary characters that can't be trusted. Where everyone's sanity is questioned and the mystery itself it just that, mysterious and sometimes hard to decipher.

It has been hours since I have finis
Written from pieces of a journal, the story unravels in a unique way. Mostly there's journal entries, newspaper clippings and even some video camera screenshots (ones which I found to be creepy!). There is one main character but this character is also suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder, which used to be called multiple personality disorder. During the day one identity comes out and during the evening the other comes out. It was a little confusing at times, but you can tell how distinc ...more
This is the story of a girl with two halves. One personality within her is called Carly, she's around in the day time, the other is called Kaitlyn, she comes out at night. All their lives they have shared a body and left notes for one another to fill the other one in on what had happened that day, but the point where we pick up their story is when things are really going rather wrong for them. They are settled in a psychiatric hospital and being treated for multiple personality disorder. They do ...more
Cameron Chaney
Whaaaaaaaat just happened? Ugh, this book tore me to SHREADS! I feel like I just lost my own sanity, but it's so good!!! Video review to come.
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
‘I am lucky to be here. The Dead House descended like music curdling into time, and as it did I grew wet and cold, and it was dark and I was so alone… It had devoured me.’
3.5 stars! I liked it--(just outside my usual go-to genre)
For a book that would most likely get shelved in the "Young Adult" section in a bookstore or library, I'd have to recommend this to *anyone* of any age that enjoys certain storytelling devices. Let me elaborate:
Dawn Kurtagich is on to something. I'm quite convinced that
Taylor Knight
This book is so weird but I actually really enjoyed how strange it was. It was a really original and unique read and it was also really spooky and creepy. And just completely crazy. This had to be one of the craziest books that I've ever read. I'm still dumbfounded over this book.
This book was told through diary entries, video clips, and interviews so that was interesting but I honestly don't really like that format. I find it hard to follow and I can't really get invested in the characters. I
Aya Hamza
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, and some parts were so scary and it is not easy to get me scared!
It is so addictive and easily read in one setting. I have exams so I restricted myself to read it only before bed for 30 minutes or so. If I had the time, I would have finished it in one setting and probably enjoyed it even more.

The only thing that bothered me was that there were a couple of times that I felt confused and didn't get what was going on.. maybe because I was getting tired and sleepy. :D

I re
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

This book was awesome! If it weren't for the main plot twist which I saw coming this would have gotten 5 stars for sure.
It creeped me out at times and when I had to put it down I simply could not stop thinking about it. I seriously can not believe this is the author's debut novel.
It gave me major The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer feels which I loved!
To put it simply: it got me out of my reading slump. :D
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twenty-five years ago, the “Johnson Incident” took place: Elmbridge High burned down, several people were killed and one of the students, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now, a diary has been found that might shed some light into the events: the diary of Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s sister. A sister that doesn’t have a body of her own, a sister that shows up only at night, a sister that doesn’t officially exist.

Dawn Kurtagich’s The Dead House (Little Brown / Orion, September 2015) is yet another tale th
Paul Nash
D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder) or demonic possession? Read this haunting book and decide for yourself.

This book was haunting, eerie, creepy and downright fantastic!! This was like the "Blair Witch" of books. I don't mean the stories were the same or even similar, but in the way Dead House was written. This wasn't your average book / writing style that we are use to. It does have chapters and sectional parts, but the entire book was comprised of journal entries, interviews, personal note
Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
Review to come.
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

The Dead House is one messed up book and I say that in the best way possible.It's the kind of book that will mess up your brain to the point where you won't be able to tell the lies apart from the truth.

This book is mostly told in dairy format and for some people that may be a turn off but I thought it was a very interesting way to look at things. We may not be inside the main character’s mind but in a way we are. We sense her desperation
Imagine, for a moment, that you have a sister. A twin sister you communicate with every day, with whom you’re close, closer than close.

You can never speak directly, because you never exist at the same time, but you share a single body. She gets the day, you get the night, and there are always notes waiting from her when you… “wake up”.
When I was five, I asked Carly what they sun felt like, and she wrote: ‘Warm, Katie, so warm. Like a hot bath.’
And then your parents die, and you and your sister a
Erin Dunn
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

Short Review Summary:
Unique story with great twists and excellent writing.

I am in shock after finishing The Dead House. I am in shock because I can't believe that it's Dawn Kurtagich's debut novel. If I didn't know that this is her debut novel I would have never guessed. It's that well written and the story is that fantastic. The entire idea behind the book is just fascinating and the execution is magnificent.

I LOVE stories that really s
This would have been a four star read for me, but I felt like the story had a lot of buildup towards a big fiery ending, and then didn't deliver. I still enjoyed the book, and liked the interesting style.
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: debs-books, misc-wins
This was one strange and creepy book. The main character was one body with two people living out of it. She was Carly by day and Kaitlin by night.

The story was told my diary entries, newspaper accounts, doctor's notes, post it notes left between the girls and video taken by the room mate Nadia, but transcribed for the book.

It was like nothing I have read before. As much as I wanted to put it down (due to the different way it was written which was sometimes hard to follow), I couldn't. I just had
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Dawn Kurtagich is a writer of creepy, spooky and psychologically sinister YA fiction, where girls may descend into madness, boys may see monsters in men, and grown-ups may have something to hide. Her debut YA novel, THE DEAD HOUSE, was called "an evil and original story" by bestselling author R.L Stine and ""...a haunting new thriller..." by Entertainment Weekly. Her second novel, AND THE TREES CR ...more
“I've learned, in my tragic little life, that memories are like water. Not solid, like some people think. Once something happens, it isn't set it stone. It can change.

You can make yourself believe anything if you lie to yourself enough.”
“They think I don't exist . . . they think I'm like a disease. I'm infecting Carly.” 11 likes
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