★★★★ 4 Stars ★★★★
>> This book is a standalone, young adult, horror novel <<
Delilah and Gavin’s new love is threatened by a force uncomfortably close to home in this haunting novel from New York Times bestselling duo Christina Lauren, authors of Beautiful Bastard.
His shirt is black, jeans are black, and shaggy black hair falls into his eyes. And when Gavin looks up at Delilah, the dark eyes shadowed with bluish circles seem to flicker to life.
He lives in that house, the one at the edge of town. Spooky and maybe haunted. Something worse than haunted. And Gavin is trapped by its secrets.
Delilah and Gavin can’t resist each other. But staying together will exact a price beyond their imagining.
My Thoughts (Review)
Let me start off by saying that I heard a lot of fairly good reviews about this through friends on Goodreads. And, seeing as it is almost Halloween and I love to read spooky books this time of year I decided to pick it up when I saw it at the bookstore. My initial thoughts when reading were that the book was pretty good. I feel like it hooked you from the pages right from the beginning because the relationship between Gavin and Delilah was interesting. Then, as I kept reading I found the whole idea of the haunted house that takes care of Gavin to be quite awesome (and unique) and I couldn’t wait to keep reading. You see, this house; which is “haunted” has been taking care of Gavin since he was a baby. He has no parents and never did, so he didn’t know that his life was really different until he got older. But, when he finally reconnects with a girl that he always had feelings for it seems that the house gets jealous and starts to act in vengeful ways. Sounds interesting right? It certainly is.
“The house, and everything inside it was alive. The house followed them to the park, through some network of grass and roots and trees. The house could possess objects that Gavin would take him with- the tricycle, little things he could put in his pockets. The sweater she wore to the house had been possessed. It wasn’t a dream.”
Towards the middle of the book I felt like it started to drag on a bit. House, obviously mad with jealousy, started to make things change and started to go after Delilah because it wanted to have Gavin all to himself. With Delilah’s own morbid curiosity this didn’t bother her much until it started making her see things that weren’t really there. Thus, the real haunting begins and Gavin and Delilah must fight for his freedom before it’s too late.
“This house wasn’t being frustrated or wounded. For the first time in his life, Gavin knew that house was prepared to do whatever it took to keep him there.”
Overall, the book did a good job at showing the House for what it was- a demonic entity that controlled objects to do its bidding. I find this idea to be quite unique as it is something I have never encountered before. On the other hand, it really dragged in some parts for me and I found myself skimming over many of the pages just to get through it. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, it’s that I feel like it could have been told a bit quicker. So, I give this book 4 stars.
Places with boys always seem so dirty.
As soon as Delilah had the thought, she hated herself for it because it was exactly what her mother would think. Girls were just as dirty after all, with thick, sticky makeup and every flavor of perfume clouding the locker rooms. The public high school seemed to have a dim film layered over the lockers and floor, walls and windows. It was the first day back after the winter, so Delilah assumed that everything had been cleaned vigorously over the break, but maybe the fog of girl and boy hormones mixing together had permanently dulled every surface.
All around, students pressed past her and lockers slammed near her head, and she struggled to appear unaffected by the public-school chaos. Delilah looked down to the piece of paper clutched in her hand. Before she’d even been dressed and fed this morning, her mother had already begun highlighting all of the important information for her: locker number, locker combination, class schedule, teacher names.
“I should have printed a map for you,” Belinda Blue had said as the highlighter squeaked across the page. Delilah had looked away to the neat rows on the carpet left by the vacuum cleaner, had waved politely to her father as he’d walked into the kitchen wearing his standard outfit of tan pants, a short-sleeved white collar shirt, and a red tie. Even though he wasn’t going to work and maybe didn’t even have a job interview today, she couldn’t fault him for dressing the part. She, too, was still more comfortable in clothes that resembled her private-school uniform than she was with having this new freedom to wear whatever she wanted.
“Mom, it’s only two main buildings. I can handle it. Saint Ben’s had seven.
”Morton City High was smaller than Saint Benedict’s Academy in pretty much every way possible, from the size of the classrooms and number of buildings, to the minds of the student body. Whereas—perhaps unexpectedly—imagination had been embraced and nurtured in her beautiful Catholic school, there had always been a single way of thinking in her small Kansas hometown, a tendency to embrace normal and disregard anything else in hopes that it might simply go away.
It was what had happened to Delilah six years ago, after all. Her parents had tolerated her strangeness with shared looks of exasperation and long-suffering sighs, but then had shipped her off to Massachusetts as soon as an excuse presented itself.
“Still, you’re used to calm. This school is so big and loud.
”Delilah smiled. When her mother said “loud” she really meant “full of boys.” “I’m pretty sure I’ll make it out alive.”
About the Authors
NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHORS
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced eleven New York Times bestselling novels including Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger, Beautiful Player, Sweet Filthy Boy and Dirty Rowdy Thing. Their books have been translated into 25+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)