Thursday, 20 August 2015

BLOG TOUR: The Dead House

Hey guys! 
Time for a blog tour! I'm really excited to be part of this blog tour because it's a bit unusual. It's a mirror one in honour of the two characters in the book. I've got Carly's answer to todays question and YA Interrobang has Kaitlin's! I've also got a review down below if you fancy checking it out. 
Today's question is:

What is your favourite scary story? 

Carly: For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted a puppy. It was my heart’s desire from as early as I an remember. I broke my heart weeping, begging my mother to let me have one. She always said no. It was too complicated, she said, to have a dog in the house when Kaitlyn and I were so . . . different. I couldn’t take care of a puppy if I was only there half of the day. And Kaitlyn . . . well, she didn’t want anything. No dog, no friends, nothing. She only wanted me, she would write to me.

When I was twelve, the puppy urge came on again, really strongly. But my school had noticed a decline in my homework and were keeping a closer eye on me. A puppy was simply out of the question. One morning, I opened my eyes to a Message Book entry that was longer than any Kaitlyn had ever left me before. It was a story—a whole story, just for me. 

This is what she wrote:

Once upon a time, there was a young girl, fresh out of university, living with her puppy, Lucky, in a pretty grimy flat in a backward part of London. She didn’t care. She was out of her parent’s house, qualified, employed, and best of all, she had her puppy. The girl and her puppy were closer than close.

But of course this joy at her new-found freedom didn’t quite stop the nervous fear she sometimes felt at night, all alone, without her University roommates or the sound of her parents in the other rooms, like back at home. Sometimes, she would get scared. 

It could be the dark—and then she’d put her hand under the bed where Lucky slept, and he would lick her palm reassuringly. She would feel immediately comforted to have him there, and would have no problem going back to sleep.

Sometimes it was just the thought she was all alone. And, again, she would slip her hand under the bed, and Lucky would give her a reassuring lick. 

One night, it wasn’t the dark that startled her awake, nor was it the idea of being alone. It was a sound. 

Drip . . . drip . . . drip . . .
She got out of bed, and checked the kitchen taps. One was a little loose, so she tightened it, and climbed back into bed, slipping her hand underneath the bed, where Lucky licked it. She smiled and closed her eyes. 

But the sound came again. 

Drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . 

Irritated, she got out of bed and checked her bathroom sink. The tap was a little loose, so she tightened it and went back to bed, slipping her hand underneath so Lucky could give her a reassuring lick. 

She fell into a light doze.

But the sound came again

Drip, drip, drip, drip . . .

This time, pretty pissed off and tired, she went into her bathroom and checked her sink. The faucet was tightly closed. She stormed into the kitchen and checked the sink there—same story. The toilet wasn’t dripping or refilling, but she could hear the dripping! 

Finally, she realized, she hadn’t checked the shower. She pulled back the curtain and stumbled back.

Hanging from the showerhead was her precious puppy, Lucky, his head almost wholly decapitated. Scrawled in the white tiles, in Lucky’s blood, read the words: PEOPLE CAN LICK TOO.


I loved Kaitlyn more than ever after I read that story. She was telling me that a puppy could be another way for someone to hurt her. And that was why she didn’t want one. She was warning me not to be blinded by trickery. She was taking care of me. I still want a puppy, but now I get why she doesn’t. And I can live with that.

Head over to YA Interrobang to see what Kaitlin has to say! 



The Dead House
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher

Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . . 

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?


Fair warning, this book is going to suck you in and it's partly because it's so easy to read and follow and partly because of the huge amounts of intrigue as you try to workout what the hell is going on until it takes a turn for the strange and then you're like "woah, okay, now it just got creepy" *runs around turning all the lights on and staring suspiciously at the mirrors and dark*. You should probably aim to read this in one sitting otherwise you'll end up totally obsessing over it and won't get anything else done until you can read it again anyway. You should also probably read it in daylight. Finishing the book and writing this before bed time was a tactical error haha. 

Like GoodReads says, it's a psychological thriller with the feel of an urban legend to it. You can easily picture it as being the kind of legend in your particular town about a building or a person. It had this very real and believable quality to it that made it all the more chilling. It's definitely unsettling to read, some parts more than others, and particularly towards the end. This book gets its hooks in to you from page one and those hooks stay firmly lodged, even after you've put the book down. 

The atmosphere in the book was incredibly palpable, and that's partly down to writing and partly, I think, down to the format of the book, the different mediums used to tell the story. Some of them gave off huge creepy vibes, some of them gave of this vibe I can't describe. You know when you're reading the police transcript and you can see in your mind how it looks on screen, how it would play out in a movie with the music that's kind of intrigue/creepy and you're getting all these hints dropped about what's to come, and it sends a shiver down your spine and a creeping sense of dread? That is the feeling you get reading certain parts of the book. There needs to be a word for it, and if there is my mind is blanking and not coming up with it! 

As I'm sure you've guessed from above, I actually found this book to be quite cinematic. Unusual considering it's told through transcripts a lot, but I could picture how it would play out, how it would be set up, blocked and so on. As I was reading my brain was playing it all out for me. To be quite honest with you, I really wasn't sure what I was expecting this book to be about, but I was mildly surprised when all the supernatural/paranormal stuff kicked off, but it was a good surprise, although swiftly followed by "sweet Jesus, this is going to majorly creep me out. I used to love Most Haunted, but it always, ALWAYS, creeped me out and made it hard for me to sleep. That show freaking haunts me and I think this book is going to as well. 

The format thing reminded me a bit of The Three and Day Four, the way it used all the different mediums, then gave you all the "evidence" and lets you kind of make up your own mind as you read, and at the end leaves you with no definitive answer. Was she mentally unstable or did it all actually happen like that? It's up to you to decide. That and the build up of dread. I loved the way the book was set out though. The diary entries, police interviews, medical notes, film footage/CCTV footage transcripts. It not only was an interesting approach to take, it added an extra creep factor, an extra dose of intrigue and sense of foreboding as you're reading (DAMMIT THAT'S THE WORD I WAS LOOKING FOR ABOVE METHINKS!), but it also keeps the narrative fresh as you go along. 

I'm not really sure how to describe characters to be honest, they where an interesting bunch to be sure. Kaitlyn/Carly in particular where truly fascinating to read about. Not to mention Naida and her beliefs and so on. The rest where interesting in their own ways but mostly in a "IS IT YOU!?" kind of way in regards to certain little mysteries that have to be solved. 

I'm not really sure what else to say about this book without giving too much away! It's so, so creepy, chilling, it's incredibly dark and you get the darkness oozing off the page. Even after finishing the book I'm still gripped by it, I still have questions, I'm still wondering and thinking about it. No word of a lie, this book will grab you and not let go no matter how much you try to shake it off. It's incredibly written and fantastic to read. 

Don't forget to check out the other dates of the tour! 



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