Synopsis: Dream house . . . or bad dream?
When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.
But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into--as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house.
They soon discover there's something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school.
Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places--in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen's dream come true . . . or his worst nightmare.
My thoughts: Pros: If I had to sum up this book in one phrase, I would say “duality of adventure and horror.” Liparulo made lots of movie references, which I enjoyed, and I could see many of the scenes playing on a silver screen. He seemed to design that way, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this in the box office in coming years! The dark, woody surroundings and the run-down state of the house were successful settings for the mood of the book. They reminded me of Ted Dekker’s House, and the hallway was reminiscent of Inkheart and Indian in the Cupboard.
Cons: I feel that there could have been a few more surprises and oddities in and around the house, like the linen closet and locker 119. It wasn’t the best book of this type, and I hope the following books amp up the thrill, but it was still fun to read!
My rating: 3 stars
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