Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

ARC, 347 pages

Release Date: July 22, 2014

Published by: Disney-Hyperion

Dark House, #1

Source: ATWT

For fans of: Thrillers, Horror, Contemporary, YA



     What’s your worst nightmare?
     For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.
     And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.
     Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.
     Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.
     By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.





     This book is definitely under the radar because I've noticed that not too many people like horror. This is exactly why I decided to give it a shot. I wanted people to know that although it is horror, it is still quite enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, at some parts it will scare the pants off you, but it is still good.


     In this story the characters have all won a contest by a huge horror movie mogul. The contest tells their worst nightmares and it wins them a look at the movie mogul's new project and a chance to meet him. All of the winners are huge fans so it's no surprise that they do anything to meet him. But then things get weird. people go missing and all the events they end up doing are more miserable than creepy fun.


     Even though this was an easy, quick read, I'm not so sure I liked the writing style. It had some really weird quotes in here that really left me wondering what the hell Stolarz was thinking. But then there were other times that I knew exactly what she was thinking: to scare her readers. Because let me tell you, there were some really intense scenes in this. Some where I had to stop reading and look around and make sure I was still by myself. Any little noise had me looking around and made me nervous. 


     I also didn't like the characters. Namely Garth. First off all you have this ridiculous name that I can't get over. But then you have to be an asshole too? When you have a weird ass name like that, you shouldn't draw too much attention to yourself lol And then there's Ivy's family. All these weird ass names! If they had popped up continuously throughout the book I probably wouldn't have finished reading it. Their names were just a bit too much. Especially Apple and Core. (See I told you!)


     In short, what really won this over for me was the creepiness. It was actually a lot scarier than I though it was going to be. The characters were weird and the writing style helped me fly through it, but I'm still not certain I loved this one. I will be reading "The Sequel" (if you've read this, you know why I added the parentheses) just to see what actually happens in the end! 
Overall, I give this


P.S. I'm thinking what sparked her idea for this was that super weird Elf on the Shelf thing that people have started doing the recent years. If it didn't creep me out before... It definitely does now!