author: Anya Allyn
series: Dollhouse #1
published: 2 May 2012
publisher: The Studio
genre(s): fantasy, gothic, horror
buy/shelve it: Amazon | Kobo | BookBub | BookHype | Goodreads
For fifteen year old Cassie Claiborne, there's only one good thing about moving from steamy Miami to the wild inland forests of Australia--the even wilder Ethan McAllister. But Ethan already has a girlfriend--Aisha Damaj--the girl with a hundred different moods a minute.
When Aisha goes missing on a hiking trip in the local mountains--presumed dead--the whole town points a finger at Ethan. Cassie defends Ethan fiercely. She's just about the only friend he has left.
Is Cassie letting her feelings for Ethan cloud her judgment? Or does something dark lurk out there in the forests?
I loved this! It is not often I come across a really well-written, suspenseful, thrilling horror novel written for the young adult demographic. There is no sex, no drugs, no extreme language… just thrilling, creepy horror that satisfies even my creepy taste as an adult! I also enjoyed the fact that this book can be just as easily enjoyed by guys. My 16yo son has read this book, too, and is as big a horror fan as I am and he loved it.
I have a true fondness for thrilling, suspenseful horror and this book fed that need. I will admit that I approached this book cautiously, especially after reading the author’s disclaimer about the lack of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. I generally find books that eliminate those things at any level are hard to get into, not generally realistic. The prose of this book was truly impressive, creating characters that were realistic and not “goody two shoes” types that I can’t stand. Every one of my senses was involved in reading this book, the author creating a plot and a world that was so vivid that I felt as if I were there.
It is dark, creepy, scary, and totally thrilling. I don’t want to talk much about the plot because I feel like that would both creep near the spoiler edge and ruin the experience of reading this for yourself. There were so many twists and turns and it completely kept me guessing.
Things to love about Dollhouse…
- The depth of the world. It had a fairly limited group of settings but it was full and rich and easily imaginable.
- The characters. Whether I liked them or was terrified by them, I was intrigued.
- The fear factor. Excellent horror level, especially since this is a YA novel!
If you like suspenseful horror and gothic mystique, you will enjoy this book!