3 star, YA

Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Love hurts…

Makani Young thought she’d left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She’s found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn’t far behind.

Then, one by one, the students of Osborne High begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.

For a horror book, this isn’t the worst I’ve come across (among the few I’ve touched). But in reality, this book could’ve been a lot better too.

Makani Young was a good protagonist to follow. Although we get the omniscient POV wherein we witness the last moments of each victim of the brutal killer in Osborne, there are still some things we don’t know. Like Makani’s mysterious past that led to her exile from Hawaii to the Midwestern US. Things like her secret definitely kept you on your toes and wanting to reach the end sooner than later.

I also really loved the pacing. This was such a fast read, and it doesn’t feel like a lot of time has passed to get through it. I read it in one sitting (late at night, unfortunately), and the flow kept me going when I otherwise probably would’ve set it down.

The mystery behind the slasher is also interesting enough. I absolutely had no suspects in mind. But the identity of the culprit is given away around the mid point of the book and that is either something you really like or don’t. There was a reason for it, but the book then morphed from a whodunnit to a manhunt. The suspense was still present – you never know when the killer would strike next regardless if you know the name/face – but the atmosphere of the book definitely changed.

I’m normally a girl who loves guessing the culprit in mysteries, but what kept me from getting bored (besides a still-active killer loose) was trying to guess the motive. To predict who could be a next potential target, one needs to think like a killer. *insert theme song of Criminal Minds*

There’s also romance in this! I’m not sure if that’s normal for this genre but I enjoyed the interactions between Makani and Ollie. Sometimes death and the scary stuff in life can show us what’s important to grasp now than save for later. At least these moments were great respites from all the death and chaos.

But in all honesty, horrors aren’t fully my thing, especially slasher horrors. The descriptions of the murders weren’t super graphic but they weren’t nothing either. Also, I don’t love the needless amount of slayings that occurred. Sometimes I reached a page and thought, noooo, not this person too.

The ending felt abrupt and unexpected. The climax delivered, I will admit, but the fall from that peak just cut off so quickly. I was so surprised to reach the Acknowledgement page because it didn’t feel like I had closure with these characters, especially Makani. How does one deal with the aftermath of such colossal tragedy in a small town like this? An epilogue here would’ve been great, you know?

Maybe I’m just not cut out for this genre and everything I’ve nitpicked was my own bias. My rating does reflect that it was enjoyable enough for a horror so if that’s what you’re purely looking for, Stephanie Perkins’ jump from cute and swoony rom-coms to slasher horrors was done well enough.

Overall Recommendation:

There’s Someone Inside Your House is your common slasher horror book with plenty of gruesome deaths and suspense dripping throughout. Our MC, Makani, has her own sordid past to unravel as we follow her through the aftermath of these tragedies. But with her own life potentially at risk of the killer’s path, it could be anyone who is out terrorizing this small town. Not to fear that it’s just endless killing, there is also a sweet romance between Makani and Ollie as they face everything together with her group of friends. There were too many unnecessary killings in my opinion at times, and we figure out the culprit earlier than I expected, but this wasn’t the worst of horrors that I’ve come across. It holds up in this genre if that’s what you like, so if that’s your thing or you want to explore the genre a little, I’d say this book isn’t a bad one to browse.

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