Monday 24 December 2012

359. House at the End of the Street by Lily Blake

House at the End of the Street by Lily Blake
Published October 2012 Atom

From the publisher:

Seeking a fresh start, newly divorced Sarah and her daughter Elissa find the house of their dreams in a small, upscale, rural town. But when startling and unexplainable events begin to happen, Sarah and Elissa learn the town is in the shadows of a chilling secret.
Years earlier, in the house next door, a daughter killed her parents in their beds and disappeared - leaving only a brother, Ryan, as the sole survivor.
Against Sarah's wishes, Elissa begins a relationship with the reclusive Ryan - and the closer they get, the deeper they're all pulled into a mystery more dangerous than they ever imagined.

One thing I normally steer clear of, are books that have been adapted from movies. I was at my local library, and I can honestly say that I am struggling to find things to read at this time of year.  It’s not so much the books, just life getting in the way.  So I saw this book, I hadn’t heard of, or seen the movie, and it looked like a quick read, so I gave it a go.  Let’s just say I probably won’t be reading any movie novelisations again in the near future.

The story begins with a flash back to a teenage girl murdering her parents in the middle of the night.  The book begins when Elissa and her Mother, move to town, ready to make a change with their lives.  They have moved next door to the house where the murder took place.  While most people in town are happy to gossip about what happened, Elissa wants to find out more.

There’s the regular ‘just moved to town’ stuff going on.  Being introduced to the neighbours, making friends, quickly finding out that those ‘good kids’ are actually the same ‘bad kids’ they moved to get away from. It’s not all bad though, as Elissa finds a group of musically inclined teens, who want her in their band, and then there’s Ryan, the son of the murdered neighbours.

My main niggle with this book is that because they are condensing a movie into 188 pages, there isn’t a lot of depth to the story, and everything seems to happen very quickly, it’s like reading on fast forward. My intention this year was never to write about books that I didn’t like, and while I didn’t love this one it did have a few good points.  There is a pretty good twist in the story, just when I thought I knew what might be going on, I realised I didn’t, and even at the very end, I thought I knew, but there was yet another twist.

The other good thing I will say about the book is that it’s something a non reader may pick up, because they recognise the movie image on the cover.  I am all for reading for pleasure, and while books that can change your life are important to me, there’s room for the other kind too, the ‘bubble gum for the brain’.  If this is the book that turns a teenager into a reader, then that is a good thing.
Who will like this book: Girls and boys age 14+
Read it if you like: stories with a twist

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