Review: Are You in the House Alone? by Richard Peck


in a sentence: it all starts when gail gets a very graphic and sexually violent note in her locker at school...and then the phone calls start, but only when she's all alone.

i must confess, this has been on my to-read list for awhile, but after a recent conversation with my friend elizabeth about goosebumps and fear street, i decided that now was the time to read it. i was hoping for something that would be so absorbingly scary that i could jump up in my seat as i was reading! high expectations, i know, but this book did a pretty darn good job of getting there.

you're introduced to a multitude of characters that could be the creep doing these things to gail, so you're guessing along with her to try and discover who the guy is.the first 2/3 of the book was what i expected - mysterious, creepy, scary, angsty. after the 'event' that shifts the story, i was not sure what to expect for the last 1/3 of it. however, this was a scary story, and if the scary part happens before the end, what are we to do with the rest? good thing richard peck had an idea of what to do, and executed it well.

at the same time viewing the entitlement issues of small town-high school dynamics and relationships paired with a suspensefully uncomfortable undertone, this book takes a hard look at some tough issues. as someone who is an avid Lifetime Movie Network fan and Law and Order: SVU, this book particularly spoke to me. happy endings are not a given. punishment isn't always just. victims sometimes make themselves more of a victim from their lack of action. if the first 2/3 of the book is the mystery, the last 1/3 is the genius of the author for taking that mystery and making it feel tangible and real.

though a bit clumsy in parts, especially with the veiled conclusion at the end, are you in the house alone was a thrill ride for the first part and a thoughtful pondering for the last part which made for a unique and relevant book. in particular, the last conversation between the mother and daughter about the overall conclusion. that gave me the heebie jeebies. i was hoping for something better than Fear Street (my memory of Fear Street rather as i have not read them since i was about 10), and i was not disappointed.

fave quotes: "When you've got a problem your friends can't face, you become a...leper" (87)
"I felt drunk with all the knowledge. I knew hew was missing an important, human part. Call it insanity if you feel like making excuses for him. He thought everything belonged to him and that he could do no wrong. Nobody had ever told him otherwise. At that moment it didn't even chill me to realize how many people there are like that in this world." (147)

fix er up: there were some loose ties i was not down with. the family's lawyer after the incident just sorts of fades into the background for example.

title: Are You In the House Alone
author: Richard Peck
genre: Horror, Mystery

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

2 comments:

  1. interesting that the creepy culprit is always a guy. too bad he didn't really flip the script and have a girl stalking a girl. that would've leapt off the surprise-o-meter.

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  2. Would you reccommend this one for someone who has been stalked? Just wondering if it would be to close to home for some...
    It sounds like a thrilling read to me!

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