This book gets a rare 5 stars from me, because it was just that absolutely fantastic that it has earned a special place on my “Will probably read again like 20 times this year” shelf.
I haven’t seen much hype about this book from other bloggers, and I’ve never watched Marzia Bisognin’s YouTube channel, so I honestly had no idea what to expect when I picked this up. But, as you all know, I’m in love with the horror genre, and I never pass up a potentially awesome novel that falls into that category. Plus, once I read the synopsis for this book, I knew it was something I absolutely HAD to check out!
Dream House starts off with what feels like one mission: to absolutely confuse the reader and lull them into a nice suspense filled cocoon. And what a mighty fine job it does. I spent the first few chapters wondering what was going on…we don’t really know anything at all about our main character (except that her name is Amethyst, and we pretty much only know that because the description tells us what her name is). Amethyst stumbles up to this house, and instantly knows that it’s the house of her dreams – it’s beautiful and everything she’s ever wanted in a home.
“I somehow have the strangest sensation that this is all I have ever dreamt of, ever since I was just a little girl – of owning a modest yet exquisite house, a house like this, surrounded by fields and the odd neighbour.”
So she stands there, pretty much staring at this beautiful house, until a kind couple opens the door and invites her inside to get out of the rain. She accepts, and that’s when things start to get weird for her.
Soon the man and woman disappear – Amethyst has no idea where they have gone or when they are coming back, yet she keeps telling herself that she has to stay and thank the couple for their hospitality. She meets Avery, who lives next door, and the two of them manage to strike up a friendship, so she at least has that. However, she starts having dreams of a little girl living in the house, saying the creepiest things, and an old woman coming to the door and insisting that she leave the house, or she will be stuck there forever.
Doors open and close on their own, she hears noises and people whispering, and Amethyst swears she knows someone else is in the house, even though no matter how hard she looks, she can never find anyone else. After a few days, she meets Alfred, the gardener, who seems a little grumpy and strange, and even when she asks Avery about him, all he can say is that she should probably stay away from him. Alfred is kind of scary, and Amethyst wonders if maybe he’s behind the strange things that are going on in the house.
As the dreams get more vivid and more weird things begin happening, such as the refrigerator magnets moving themselves around to spell out messages for her, Amethyst starts digging in order to solve the mystery that’s going on.
Dream House is set up so the chapters reflect each day that Amethyst spends in the house. I thought this was a really cool way to set up the book. Watching Amethyst solve the mystery about the house and herself is addicting – I finished this book in one sitting and wanted more instantly. Sure, it was confusing in the beginning, but by the end of the book, all of your questions get answered (and I even got a case of the super-feels at the end). There are a lot of creepy psychological elements to this book, which really add to the suspense. While I didn’t have a hard time figuring things out once I got halfway through the book, it still was shocking at the end when everything was revealed (and it’s done so in a way that makes the entire book add up).
Dream House was beautifully written and a wonderful addition to the YA horror genre. Marzia Bisognin needs to write more horror novels – she has an incredible talent and I’ll definitely be picking up anything else she writes!
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.