Review: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich (Spoiler Free)

the dead house

Title: The Dead House

Author: Dawn Kurtagich

Genre: YA Horror

Publication Date: September 15, 2015

Number of Pages: 432

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

I received an ARC through NetGalley.

Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of three teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy – only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace…

…until a diary is found hidden in the ruins.

But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn’t exist Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly?

The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails. And the diary.

The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known.

Man, this book was so creepy. It probably doesn’t help that I would only read it at night when everyone else in this house was asleep…

The Dead House totally would have been a one sitting read for me, but I actually had to put it down a few times because I was getting so creeped out that every little noise in my house had me paranoid. I honestly can’t even pin down just what it was that made this book so dang creepy, but trust me when I saw that it had me turning on all the lights just to get up and pee. I’ve been reading some really good horror lately, and The Dead House is one of my absolute favorites.

I absolutely loved the mixed media aspect of this story. Instead of straight narrative, The Dead House is told through interviews, video transcripts, and police reports. I read this as an e-galley, but I received my hardcover copy yesterday. I flipped through just to see how the formatting translated onto the pages… I’m in love. The finished copy managed to take things to the next level. I totally recommend checking out a physical copy if you’ve only ever read an e-copy. I honestly felt like I was flipping through a cold case file.

We’re coming up on October, and The Dead House is the PERFECT creepy fall time read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read some awesome YA horror. Four out of five stars.



      1. That’s so awesome! I’ve been really digging all the books with extra formatting coming out lately (Between the Pages by Picoult and van Leer; House of Leaves AND The Familiar by Mark Z. Danielewski….)


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