There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: MacMillan Children’s Books
Publication date: 05 October 2017
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review will contain a tiny spoiler, which is marked as a warning.
There’s Someone Inside Your House was one of my top priorities for YALC. I hadn’t read anything by Perkins before, but it looked like the absolute perfect nostalgia trip. Growing up in the 90’s, teen slasher flicks were everywhere. While I was too terrified to actually watch most of them until I was older, they hold a special place in my heart. I absolutely had to get my hands on a copy of this book and was prepared to be scared.
Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.
One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.
International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.*
I’m sad to say that I was a little disappointed by There’s Someone Inside Your House. I’m not sure if my disappointment stemmed from my expectation of what this novel would be or if it was truly ‘just okay’. I feel that the copy you see above is incredibly misleading because the book is maybe 40% slashy goodness and 60% romance.
Makani moves from Hawaii to Nebraska following a horrible, life changing event that she feels immense guilt over. She’s adjusting to a new school, new friends, and a crush on the resident weird kid when the murders begin. Makani and her friends try to figure out who is behind the killings and why before one of the group ends up dead. However, most of the book follows the development of the romance between Makani and Olly, which should be really interesting. They’re not your typical YA couple — she’s wracked with guilt over the mysterious event that caused her to be sent to live with her grandmother and he’s the school weirdo/scapegoat with pink hair. Their relationship doesn’t even really have a big conflict like you normally see with a romantic subplot, making it a little bit dull. The conflict is that he doesn’t fit in with the typical Nebraska high school crowd and no one trust’s him – with the exception of a few fleeting doubts, Makani is always solidly in his corner. The focus on the main plot — which is what I imagine most of us are reading this particular book — gets lost amongst scene after scene of making out.
There were two big parts of the actual murder plot that I felt were quite weak. First of all, Makani’s mysterious reason for moving is incredibly anticlimactic. There’s this huge build-up to this reveal, which was artfully done, but when we find out why she had to leave her home and come live with her grandmother in Nebraska it just felt…lame. I rolled my eyes on the couch over how worked up she got about it. This is a book with high school kids being murdered and mutilated — I would have thought that Perkins would push the boat out on this major revelation.
The second big issue I have, and this is where very minor spoilers come into play, is that fact that we find out who the murderer is halfway through the book! I kept waiting for there to be a twist because there was no way we’d just be told exactly who the killer is so soon. This reveal removes every last bit of tension, build-up and thrilling excitement. The killer’s motivation also makes so little sense because there’s really nothing there to explain what it is — you just have to assume and roll with it.
Overall, I was really let down by what should have been a fantastic book. There were good bits to be sure and I was indeed entertained, but it could have been so much more. The nostalgia trip I was hoping for wasn’t there at all — it is so unlike the slasher films I was expecting it to be – and the tension fell flat midway through. Perhaps this is on me — I was thinking it would be I know What You Did Last Summer in book form. Perhaps it is on the author – going from sweet romance to horror is a pretty tough leap. If you’re looking for that kind of book, if say give this one a miss. However, if you’re looking for a summer beach read that’s fun and flies by, you should consider picking this up.
I’m struggling to rate this one because it’s not bad, but it’s not great.
Have you read There’s Someone Inside Your House? What did you think? Let me know!
*copy courtesy of Goodreads