Tuesday, August 8, 2017

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Summary from Goodreads:
Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.
For the first time ever, I found a Stephanie Perkins book that I’m not totally in love with. I remember asking the publisher for this ARC at ALA and then practically jumping for joy when I was handed it. I remember thinking, “ I’d be fine not picking up any more books because this is all that I need.” I was kind of wrong. And I’m so glad I continued to pick up books.
I didn’t hate the book. I actually kind of loved certain parts of it. I loved the whole awkward romance story between Makani and Ollie. Everything about it was awesome. I loved the whole not knowing if it was just a summer thing and then not knowing if the other was ashamed thing. I loved how Perkins puts all doubt that runs in my head at the start of a relationship and manifests it not just in the girl’s head, but also in the guy’s. Everything felt so real with this, and wonderful.
That being said, I kind of feel like the author clearly has her strengths with contemporary type romances. And while I give her serious credit for branching outside these strengths and trying something new, her suspenseful horror writing just wasn’t cutting it for me. Every time another character was going to be murdered, the writing switches to that new character’s point of view. So…basically…the reader always knows when someone is about to die (with the exception of one mishap). And I hated this.
My favorite horror movies are the old ones. And the ironic thing is that the author even at one point refers to my favorite movie (Psycho). However, what Psycho accomplished and what this book failed at doing was seriously shocking me. I loved that the main character of Psycho dies half way through the movie. I was not suspecting that at all. I just don’t get why Perkins had to give the readers all the heads up she did when someone was about to die. It ruined all suspense and possible horror I could have had.
You also find out who the killer is rather quickly. This didn’t bother me so much because then the characters could question why the killer was doing what he/she was doing. What were the connections between the victims? I liked this element. That being said, the actual reason was super lame. Not all villains and serial killers need great reasons to do what they do; clearly, they are nuts. But, this one? It was a major disappointment for me.
Also, a major disappointment was Makani’s secret. She was holding back this major secret for most of the book. It’s the reason that led to her moving to this small, creepy town. But, I just wasn’t buying it. It didn’t seem big enough to encompass all the stress and blame that Makani had going on. Maybe if she was having some PTSD from her own experiences, I would have bought it, but it was all about the guilt she had for one moment that didn’t seem as terrible as she made it out to be.
There were some serious questions left un-answered. And okay, as I’m thinking about it now, maybe a lot of these questions were intentional red herrings. I really thought I had guessed who the killer was, but I was wrong. And maybe part of my disappointment is the fact that I couldn’t have figured it out if I wanted to. I felt a little bit jipped. But, maybe this was intentional. Sadly though, I felt a little bit jipped from a lot of different places: the killer (already mentioned), the lack of character development for the friends, the storyline with her parents having no explanation, Makani’s secret, and the final scene where it all ends.
I guess over all, Makani and Ollie were very well developed characters with a believable and shippable love story. But, everything else feel a bit flat and needed more handling. The parents, the grandma, the reason for the deaths, and the secrets (aka: everything else) needed to be more flushed out. I give this a 6/10.

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