Review: Welcome to the Dark House (Welcome to the Dark House #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Book Title: Welcome to the Dark House
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Published Date: July 22nd, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA Horror
Series: Book One in Welcome to the Dark House duology
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from 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.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Disney Hyperion via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
Now this is how you do a horror book. 

I probably enjoyed it even more than I would have originally, because I read it in the dead of night. It was so creepy and I couldn’t put it down. I was up until nearly 4am because I had to know what happened and I had to know how it ended. After finishing it, I found out that it was book one of a duology, so YAY. I cannot wait to go back into this story next year. It’s gonna be a long wait.

It started off normally enough, with us meeting Ivy, Parker, Shayla, Natalie, Garth, Frankie, and there’s a 7th contestant, Taylor, who we don’t see much of in this book. I am definitely hoping we see more of her in book 2 because I think she has a lot to add to the story. The book is split up into six different POV’s and I was worried that I would have difficulty following the individual stories, and I did at first, but it wore off quickly.

Things start getting creepy that night and it only continues into the next day as they arrive at an abandoned amusement park. A whole lot of stuff goes down, and it’s truly scary stuff, I mean I had nightmares after I finished the book because of the stuff that happens in the amusement park.

Oh let’s not forget Nightmare Elf, hands down the scariest part of the book for me. It made me think of what would happen if you mixed The Elf on the Shelf with Chucky, and that was enough to give me massive goosebumps while I read this book. The Nightmare Elf visited me in my nightmares after I finished the book.

I have to admit, I love being scared in books, so I was really glad I read this book. I am seriously excited for book 2, and it’s definitely going to be a long wait, especially given the cliffhanger that this book ended in. It was a near perfect read for me, and I’m giving it 4.5 stars. If you like the Horror genre, I would definitely recommend this book. If you are easily scared, I’d avoid this book.

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