Thursday, May 3, 2018

There's Someone Inside Your House

Stephanie Perkins stepped way outside of her usual YA romance fare with There's Someone Inside Your House. A tribute to teen slasher flicks, this novel worked for me because the horror and gore was balanced with Perkins' typical great writing.

Makani Young moves to Nebraska to escape a tragic secret from her native Hawaii (that is hinted at ad nauseum throughout the book), but feels haunted by violence when her new classmates are killed in gruesome ways. Everyone feels like a suspect and it's only a matter of time before Makani is a target.

Fans of horror films will see where this novel is going from the start, except for one twist: the killer is revealed about halfway through the novel. This is a controversial choice, but I think it was appropriate in this era of school shootings. The surviving students spend a great deal of time speculating about the motivations of the killer, which, unfortunately, is a common occurrence. Along with the diversity, this felt like a modern touch on what could be a tired plot idea.

As a sixth grade teacher, this isn't an appropriate novel for me to recommend to my students, too much sex and gore. As a reader of YA fiction, I enjoyed the novel but still prefer Perkins' romances.

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