Wednesday 21 October 2015

THE DEAD HOUSE by Dawn Kurtagich

Carly gets the day.
Kaitlin has the night.
But what is the truth?

Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High School burned down. The blaze killed three and injured twenty, and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. For two decades, little was revealed about what became known as the Johnson Incident.

Until now.

A diary has been found in the ruins of the school. In this diary, Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly's twin, tells of the strange and disturbing sequence of events leading to the incident.
But Kaitlyn doesn't exist. She never has.

October is here, which means it's time to get stuck into some creepy books. So when I received this from Hachette--thanks for sending me a copy!--I had to get stuck into it first chance I got. :)

Carly Johnson isn't like other girls. For one, she finds herself spending plenty of time in a mental hospital ward because she suffers from DID (Dissociative identity disorder). When she's not there, she attends and resides at Elmbridge High School. She's one person during the day, and another at night. Carly lives during the daylight hours, and Kaitlyn exists during the night. 

They are two souls living in one body. Two very different personalities. They never see each other and have never spoken because one fades when the other appears. The two girls leave each other messages and keep separate diaries. They also share friends, though Kaitlyn prefers to be alone in the darkness of night. Until she meets a guy who really seems to get her.

When Kaitlyn wakes up one morning, she figures out that Carly is missing. She's vanished and Kaitlyn can't get her back. Did something happen while messing around with a spirit board during a Halloween party? Did someone make Carly vanish? Or is there something more dubious going on? If Kaitlyn wants her sister back, she'll have to delve deep into her own mind and face a darkness she never imagined. Not to mention put trust in friends who might be working against her...

This is such an interesting book! Told via newspaper clippings, diary excerpts, random messages, interviews, and camera footage, a wicked story slowly unhinges. Throwing the reader into some pretty screwed up situations that keep you guessing until the very end.

The Dead House is an intriguing, freaky, spooky story that will make your skin crawl as you start to doubt what's real and what isn't as much as Kaitlyn does. There are quite a few creepy scenes, and the found-footage format really worked in this book. I was wondering how that would go... but I really liked it, and thought the way this story was told added to the reading experience. I also have to mention how pretty this book is. The pages are marked, the font is different for each situation, and the inside cover is lovely.

I really enjoyed this! It's perfect for Halloween.

The Dead House, October 2015, ISBN 9781780622347, Orion Children's Books

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