Publisher : Dutton Books for Young Readers
Genre : Young Adult | Horror
Page Count: 289
Synopsis : 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. (From Goodreads)
Rating: DNF @ 48%
I received an eArc of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.
CW: Murder, gore, violence, hazing, blood, mentions of drugs and suicide.
Okay so… if you’ve been following me since the beginning, you should know that I really really enjoyed Stephanie Perkins’ contemporary romance trilogy, it was cute, adorable and well written. So, when I heard she was writing something new, I got excited, no matter the genre, I knew I’d read it. But… this is as far from I expected as it gets. I didn’t enjoy it one bit, it was dull, unexciting and just overall not the kind of horror book I like.
The writing is my favorite part of the book and the only thing that made me read as much as I did, it’s hypnotizing, and in good Stephanie Perkins fashion, the prose is simple and easy to read but still really enjoyable. One thing that is worth mentioning is that at some point through the novel there’s deadnaming and misgendering of a trans character that is called out as bad but still, it’s unnecessary and insensitive, especially coming from a cis writer. Now, it is said that those parts will be removed from the finished copies (I only read an eArc) but I can’t vouch for how good the modifications will be, so, just in case, I’m throwing it out there that they do exist in the arc but will hopefully be removed from the finished copies.
The plot is… I don’t even have words for it. Severly underwhelming. It starts with a bang and just flops. Even though I did not finish the book, I know how it ends and the murderer’s identity as well as their reasons for killing people do not make sense, it just feels random and like something thrown together at the last minute. The build-up to it is a huge problem too because… There is no build-up, I was never scared nor horrified by the events, why you may ask? Because this book isn’t horror in my opinion. It is a romance book with horror breaks every few chapters.
The book is written from Makani’s POV and she virtually knows nothing about the murder, has no link to them nor to most people who die throughout the novel, aside from the fact that they go to school with her. And the way the book is written is Makani and Ollie getting closer, resolving their conflicts and being cute together with a murder happening every few chapters. But here’s the thing, the murder’s might be very gore-y and graphic but they have no element of surprise because the book changes POV suddenly and gets narrated by the person who gets murdered so we know that that person will die before the killer even shows up.
Makani is certainly something. I didn’t like her and it wasn’t her fault. She’s nice enough but the author gave her this heavily secreted backstory that she kept hinting to every other page and it frustrated me. And as expected… that was underwhelming as well when revealed. I just don’t like it in general when a character has a “big secret” and does not reveal it through most of the narration, the narration is in her freaking head, why is she censoring herself?
Also, Makani is black-hawaiian and she felt… very stereotypical to me, I haven’t seen this criticism much (aside from a conversation I had about it with a friend who agrees) but she felt like she was done for diversity point. The only ways it was shown that she wasn’t white is by throwing around hawaiian dishes’ names and sentences that POC say, no real backbone to her being black nor Hawaiian really beside those random things that didn’t sit well with me. Add to that the fact that the author use “half-X, half-Y” to say she’s biracial. Just no. Unless the author is biracial and okay with being referred to that way, this is not a good look.
Anyway, this wasn’t a book for me and it took me 3 days to get through a bit over 100 pages, which… says a lot knowing that I had no Internet then and could’ve read the whole thing in a sitting. I love Stephanie Perkins’ contemporary romances, but horror just doesn’t work.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read There’s Someone Inside your House? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.