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The Agony House

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,004 ratings  ·  211 reviews
Denise Farber has just moved back to New Orleans with her mom and step-dad. They left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and have finally returned, wagering the last of their family's money on fixing up an old, rundown house and converting it to a bed and breakfast.Nothing seems to work around the place, which doesn't seem too weird to Denise. The unexplained noises are a ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Cherie Priest Hey there! Sorry I didn't see this sooner - The Agony House is slated for this September, 2018. It was delayed due to a shift in personnel at the…moreHey there! Sorry I didn't see this sooner - The Agony House is slated for this September, 2018. It was delayed due to a shift in personnel at the publisher, but I promise it's on the horizon :)(less)

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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,004 ratings  ·  211 reviews

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Melissa Chung
Finally finished. I've been working on this one for almost a month. This is my first Cherie Priest book and just judging this book, I don't think I'll pick up more of her works. I'm giving this book 3 stars.

When I first heard about this book I thought it was a graphic novel (only). When I finally borrowed it from the library, I was slightly disappointed. It has some graphic novel illustrations within it's pages, but that kind of moves the story along.

I'll start off with characters. Our main
Denise, her mom, and her stepdad have just moved to New Orleans from Texas, where Denise and her mom got relocated and made a life after Denise’s dad died in Hurricane Katrina. Now they want to open a bed and breakfast in an old “nail house” -- one that sticks up like a nail because it’s the only house on its block. But the house doesn’t seem to want to cooperate with being remodeled. And a comic book Denise finds in the attic may hold clues as to what -- or who -- is making all the trouble.
It was cute. The illustrations were on point and everything was completely confusing until the end. As in, I did not expect the twist.

There was one twist and only one twist. It was a good twist, especially since I had to rethink the entire plot to see how it fit in.

Unfortunately, I ended up being more interested in the comic than the storyline itself, but I resisted the urge to skip all the text and read solely the comic. It was well illustrated, but a little short in terms of plot.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
5 Stars

Cherie Priest is a favorite author of mine. All things haunted house also a favorite of mine. Throw in some nice illustrations to this great story and you have a great book.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I knew I would like this, but ended up really loving it! It reminded me of Cherie's FANTASTIC and TERRIFYING The Family Plot, but for teens. I loved the comic pages woven into the story, and really love the look at the rebuilding of the NOLA community after Katrina.
Pablo G.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The instant I heard the words "Agony House" I knew I was going to like the book. And as I read it more I realized that I absolutely loved it. It had both thriller and comedy all in one book. Anyone that reads the book would definitely agree that this is an amazing book.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghosties, thriller
This book was a mess, and I'm so sad my love of spooky got me here. I was ready for all the spooks and the ghosties, but instead I got a super boring book that had parts that made me uncomfortable.

The premise of the novel is Denise, a girl from Texas, moves back to New Orleans after years of being away. She first left after Hurricane Katrina, which took away her dad and grandmother, and now she is back with her mother and stepfather to start over new. They move into a dilapidated house that is
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, from-publisher
***Big thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review***

This book is definitely different from what I normally read. I have never been into graphic novels, not that I'm against them, they just haven't been my thing. But this cover is gorgeous and I was intrigued by the synopsis. I had REALLY hoped that it would have been a BIT more scary.

This book focuses on a young girl, Denise, who moves back to New Orleans years after the big hurricane. She lost her father
This hybrid novel/graphic novel explores the story behind a haunted house in a gentrifying area of New Orleans. Since the book's told in third person, we don't get particularly close to Denise, but in the context of the story, this not only makes sense, it works well. When Denise, her mother, and stepfather, return to New Orleans to fix up an old home years after the storm, they're met with suspicion in the neighborhood. They're white, and the neighborhood is primarily black. There's smart ...more
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this for the Halloween display at the book store I work for. It's new, and will be a great addition for those who like YA titles. It's interesting, and the graphic portions of the story definitely enhance the written portions. There were a couple of bits that felt a tad bit...preachy...but they didn't take away from the overall story. My daughter is already asking to read it!

Note: For those who care about such things (like me), if you buy the HB version and don't wait for pb to come
Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
This is Cherie Priest's best book of her last several, in my opinion, in both adult and young adult catergories. It skews older than her last YA novel, I am Princess X, and meets the technical definition of a YA novel, but I think it works quite well as an adult novel as well, taking into account the teen character POV. It is also a better haunted house story than her last, The Family Plot. I firmly enjoyed this. In other reviews of Cherie Priest's novels I have described my frequent aversion to ...more
Lisa Wolf
Similarly to her work in the terrific I Am Princess X , in The Agony House author Cherie Priest tells a gripping story with comic book illustrations mixed in to tell a piece of the tale. When Denise discovers the hidden comic book in the creepy attic of her new house (which she bluntly refers to as a "craphole" at all times), the book seems to be a clue to the unexplainable events happening to the family as they try to make the old place livable once again.

Denise is a great main character --
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
@Kidlitexchange #partner - I received a copy of this book from the Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Releases 9/25/18

Denise and her family move back to New Orleans in hopes of changing their fortune by renovating an old house and turning it into a bed and breakfast. Old houses are a tricky business to handle but when it becomes undeniable that the house didn't want Denise and her family around, she decides to push back and keep her family safe by
Annie Roberts
This book took a while to hook me in, and even so, it never really hooked me. The protagonist was too cynical at the beginning for my liking, the ghost mystery didn't really seem real and it all felt like an "it-was-all-a-dream" plotline. In the middle, though, when more side characters are introduced, is when the story finally begins to start chugging along. Terry, Norman, and Dom are all charming in their own right, and the struggles of race in their town seemed like the mystery was headed ...more
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pre2020reads
I received an ARC of this book from a giveaway. So I was so excited for this book, it looked like something right up my alley and it was!

While it took me so long to finish I truly don't know, but I always came back to it and it was enough important that I could pick it up and not at all wonder what had happened last time if been reading.

I feel like the book was a little over wordy at times and I found myself anxious to solve the mystery. The characters were all pretty enjoyable. It also made
1. Doesn't buy into the 'white standard' ie white characters are actually described as being white instead of only non-white characters having their skin colour mentioned.

2. No romance.

3. No teenage angst.

4. Some good social narration regarding gentrification.

5. No swearing, no drug use, no adult themes.

1. Story moves a little slowly at times.

2. The 'twist' is obvious from about two-thirds of the way through.

We really enjoyed this one. It was spooky in parts without being scary
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, foolscap-goh
A YA story that is as deep into horror as I like to get (ankle-deep) with a gothic haunted house, helpful neighbors, a story linked to a lost comic book, and home repairs complicated by that haunted bit I mentioned above. The setting is firmly New Orleans a decade after the flood, with our heroes returning to try to remake their lives. Kids have phones and the internet, and also juggle quarters to afford take-out.

The final scene with the showdown between ghosts was well done and kept me turning
Alyssa (Books Take You Places)
The Agony House was so great. I loved how there was a story within a story, it added to the entire depth of the novel. I liked Denise, and loved how her parents were not "absent parents," their relationship, especially with her stepdad, was very endearing. It is no surprise that my favorite parts of Agony House were the creepy bits! I loved the New Orleans setting and enjoyed traipsing about the old house with Denise. Recommended.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one! I'm glad I listened to it on audio because it was so atmospheric and spooky that way! The sound effects during the comic book portions were awesome and really added to the story! I do feel like it went a bit slow at times, but it eventually picked back up and turned out to be a great story! It felt so classic ghost story and I loved that!
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, lib18
a fun, feminist ghost story set in post Katrina New Orleans; an old house nightmare, with a mystery solved by an engaging, plucky young heroine who's not afraid to get help from the dead (with gentrification issues touched on)
Chrissy Harrold
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-young-adult
Thoroughly enjoyed it! Loved the comic weaved in. Cool story!
Kay Stevenson
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn’t put this down. Great mix of graphic novel into the story. Kids who like a good ghost story are going to LOVE this.
Ashley  Marie
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readingwitfoxes
I really enjoyed this
Shauna Yusko
3 1/2. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Princess X, but as a ghost story/mystery/haunted house story for middle school and high school it works.
Jan 02, 2019 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was gonna be a creepy horror story about a haunted house but it was actually really boring and lame. Now I’m sad.
Henry Bello
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice book if you want your middle grade kids to get into the horror genre. Well written and very misteriously. Love the characters and how they all met up
Kacie H
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Denise Farber is about to start her senior year of high school and has just moved with her mom, Sally, and stepdad, Mike, from Houston back to New Orleans, where she was born. Denise and her mom left New Orleans when Denise was just a baby, after the destruction caused by “The Storm” (Hurricane Katrina) and the resulting deaths of Denise’s father and grandmother. Her mom and stepdad have bought an old rundown Victorian house that they intend to fix up and convert into a bed and breakfast, as had ...more
I really liked the comic featured in this book and the mystery surrounding its author. I didn't see the plot twist coming but loved everything leading up to it. The ghostly pieces were perfectly spooky and helped keep me interested in an otherwise slower plot. This was a shorter read and there wasn't a lot for character or plot development outside of the house/ghost/comic related pieces.

Full review: https://picturethisliteraturecom.word...
Tiffany Robinson
Nov 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really thought I was going to like this book but nah. All the secondary characters seemed flat and one dimensional and I thought there was a lot of filler that didn’t need to be in the book. For a ghost story it was rather boring.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
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Cherie Priest is the author of two dozen books and novellas, most recently The Toll, The Family Plot, The Agony House, and the Philip K. Dick Award nominee Maplecroft; but she is perhaps best known for the steampunk pulp adventures of the Clockwork Century, beginning with Boneshaker. Her works have been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards for science fiction, and have won the Locus Award ...more