The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

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The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich is a YA Horror novel perfectly mixing paranormal elements and mental health!


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dead houseThree students: dead.
Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace.

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, “the girl of nowhere.”

Kaitlyn’s diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn’t exist, and in a way, she doesn’t – because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It’s during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it.

Debut author Dawn Kurtagich masterfully weaves together a thrilling and terrifying story using psychiatric reports, witness testimonials, video footage, and the discovered diary – and as the mystery grows, the horrifying truth about what happened that night unfolds.


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This book was so good!

I didn’t realize how crazy the plot was going to be in relation to mental health and personality disorders. I think what made this one feel extra creepy was the idea that this condition does exist and the possibility that someone could have these conflicting moments is just mind-boggling.

I will say that the first half and the second half of the book took on different vibes. I felt like the first half was more of a contemporary, horror twist while slowly, paranormal elements took it’s place. And the crazy part is that it blended so well.

This is a truly creepy, possession of a story. I give this book a scare factor of 4/5 (with Stephen King’s ‘IT‘ being a solid 5 for reference). I could feel my heart beating faster as the story progressed, and overall, it’s a really great Halloween read.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. As the story moves on, the characters become more and more complexed into this whirlwind of sanity vs insanity and the questioning of reality versus traumatic effects.

It was also really cool to see it being told in a multi-format way with the narration coming from letters, videos, interviews, and more!


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Published: 15 September 2015

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult Horror

Pages: 440

How I Read It: Hardcover


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Happy Reading,

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