Review: Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Posted October 23, 2014 by valeranne in Reviews / 6 Comments

Review: Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Welcome to the Dark House


by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Series: Dark House #1
Published on July 22nd, 2014
by Disney Hyperion
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

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.

2.5 Stars

I used to be OBSESSED with scary movies and my nostalgia helped me pick out this book. If you notice, there is a creeptastic Ferris wheel on the cover which alludes to…. an abandoned amusement park! Let me tell you, I love amusement parks and I think that an abandoned one is GREAT in both books and movies. It has so much potential for bad and terrifying things to happen and I just love it.

Welcome to the Dark House was definitely an interesting book; I was most definitely scared at times and the plot was incredibly unique. The book revolves around a contest put on by The Nightmare Elf (a movie franchise about an elf that is possessed) advertising that you can get rid of your fears in one weekend and meet the infamous creator, Justin Blake. Like I mentioned earlier, I have seen a ton of scary movies in my day and umm…. The Nightmare Elf would not be on my to-watch list, it reminded me too much of the Chucky series which, well everyone has their own opinions. Seven lucky guests are chosen and flown out to rid themselves of their nightmares; among these seven are: Ivy (who was across the hall when her parents were murdered), Natalie (…. can’t, too many spoilers), Parker (a huge movie buff), Shayla (who broke a promise and lost a friend), Garth Vader (forced to watch scary movies at a young age), and Frankie. Notice there are only six names because Taylor, the seventh member, disappeared after being shown to her room. The story is told through alternating views (minus Taylor) and it was fun and interesting, though a little confusing at times.

Time passes and things transpire and they are taken to a creepy abandoned theme park where they must face their fears to survive. It is a Justin Blake themed park, complete with rides that depict his movies and holograms that interact with the guests. THEN, as if it’s not cool enough, they each are told that they have to go on their own specific ride that is tailored for them to overcome their fears. What? That is crap creepy but also super cool. 

There will be a second book which means that a lot of stories started but none of them ended; it made the book unsatisfying to me as a reader. Overall, it was a really cool idea that didn’t have the ummph that it needed. I did like it but I will not be reading the sequel.

If you love horror books that don’t have any supernatural aspects, I think that you could really like this book.

About Laurie Faria Stolarz

Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston.

Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.

Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance. The four novels in the “BIFN” series have sold over 500,000 copies collectively.Stolarz has also announced a graphic novel entry into the series titled Black is for Beginnings, which she published in summer 2009

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6 responses to “Review: Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

  1. I don’t think I realized this was a series. I have this on my Kindle and I definitely plan on reading it as I love the author’s writing, and I’m a huge horror fan, but if it only teased the story and spent the time introducing the characters, I might just wait to read it until the sequel is available. I love that one of the character’s names is Garth Vader (haha!) and you’ve totally teased me in your review about what goes on with the characters. So maybe I won’t be able to wait…. hmmm. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Rachel recently posted: TALON by Julie Kagawa {Review}

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