Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Home Sweet Horror by James Preller Review


Book Nerd Review by Jordan

Welcome. Have a seat. Let us tell you a story. But be warned. Home Sweet Horror isn't just any tale. This is a Scary Tale.

Meet Liam Finn, who's just moved into a new home with his father and sister. But this old house that seems empty, isn't . . . Bloody Mary is here. Called back from the dead by a game, she's just dying to talk.





EXCERPT
1

THE HOUSE ON THE HILL

"Wake up, Liam. We're here," Mr. Finn whispered from the driver's seat. "Our new home."

The eight-year-old boy rubbed his eyes, groggy from the long drive. He looked out the car window, blinking into the dark. "What time is it?"

"Around midnight," his father said. "You three have been crashed out for hours."

Liam became aware of the warm body pressed against him. His hand fell on the sleeping dog's neck. On the other side of the dog, Liam's older sister, Kelly, slept with her head pitched forward. Even in sleep, Kelly's hand clutched her necklace. It was once her mother's ring, a parting gift that Kelly wore on a chain around her neck.

"Let her rest," Mr. Finn said, as if reading Liam's mind. "I've been enjoying the peace and quiet." 

Kelly had been against the move. She'd crossed her arms and vowed, "Nuh-uh, I'm not going. I like it here in Hopeville." She'd argued, threw tantrums, said horrible things. But Mr. Finn decided that it was time for a fresh start, and that was that. Their mother would have wanted it this way.

Liam felt his chest tighten at the thought. Even after eighteen months, her memory caused his heart to swell and his breath to grow short and shallow, like the early signs of an asthma attack. He fingered the inhaler in his pocket. Breathe in, breathe out, he told himself. Breathe in, breathe out.

The road was quiet, with dim streetlights and a few darkened homes across the way. Each house was set apart on high, rolling lots, not as crowded as Liam's old neighborhood. He looked back at the battered old house on the hill. It was big, larger than he'd imagined from the photographs. The two windows on the second floor—with half-drawn shades like lazy yellow eyelids—reminded Liam of watchful eyes. He imagined that the house looked down upon them out of those eyes. Looming, waiting, watching. The front door's brass knocker looked like a nose.

The dog, Doolin, rose stiffly on ancient legs. She stretched, sniffed, and whined softly in the dark of night. 

"What's the matter, girl? You need to do your business?"

Liam opened the door. He stepped into a bath of warm, late-summer air. He beckoned to the dog. 

"Come on, girl. Let's check out the new place," Liam urged.

The dog did not budge. Instead, she backed away, pressing into Kelly.

Liam's sister stirred, grumbled. "Shut up, Liam, will ya? I'm trying to sleep."

She pushed the dog away.

Mr. Finn popped the trunk, moved around to the back of the car. The big moving van with all their belongings would be arriving tomorrow. "Don't expect a palace," Mr. Finn called out brightly. He pulled out three sleeping bags, pillows, a flashlight. "It'll be fun, like a camping trip. Just remember, guys. This place needs a lot of work."

A flicker of light caught Liam's eye. He glanced up at the house. And a zipper of fear ran down his spine. Just darkness, silence, and an empty road. It was nothing, he told himself. But the sudden flash appeared again, a flicker of light from one of the windows. On, then off. Liam glanced at his father.

 Mr. Finn didn't see it.

The light came from the window on the right. Maybe my bedroom, Liam guessed. It felt to Liam as if the house's great eye had opened and shut. A wink. As if to say, I know a secret. 

"There's no one inside?" Liam asked.

"Don't be a dweeb," Kelly grumbled. She climbed out of the car, unfolding her long limbs. "I seriously doubt that anybody besides us would live in a dump like this."

Liam ignored Kelly's comment. The death of their mother had changed his sister. Nowadays, she seemed angry all the time. Liam missed his sister, the good times they used to share. These days she shut herself off, spending hours alone in her room. Maybe things would get better in the new place.

Ed Finn put a strong arm around his son's shoulders. "This old house has been empty for two years," he said. "It's a fixer-upper. That's why I got such a great price."

Text copyright © 2013 by James Preller.
Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Iacopo Bruno



This was one of my favorite and scariest book I ever Read! I really enjoyed this book. The scariest part was when they were driving around to find Doolin. Then a lady with long hair and white appeared out of nowhere. That part gave me the chills. I loved the main characters, Kelly Liam, and the Dad. I recommend others to read the scary book.

Here are Jordan's written reviews as he reads per chapter. Just click the picture to enlarge. ***WARNING** Review Contains SPOILERS. Do NOT click the pictures if you do not wish to be Spoiled.



Here are some Illustrations by Iacopo Bruno

 
  

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Author Spotlight

James Preller is the author of the popular Jigsaw Jones mystery books, which have sold more than 10 million copies since 1998. He is also the author of Bystander, named a 2009 Junior Library Guild Selection, Six Innings, an ALA Notable Book, and Mighty Casey, his own twist on the classic poem, “Casey at the Bat.” In addition to writing full-time, Preller plays in a men’s hardball league and coaches Little League. He compares coaching kids to “trying to hold the attention of a herd of earthworms.” He lives in Delmar, New York with his wife, three children, cats and dog.

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7 comments:

  1. The thing that scares me the most is being alone in a darkened house and hearing unrecognizable noises.

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  2. Hm. What scares me the most? A question that could elicit an overly revealing answer? And monsters. Bad monsters.

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  3. Losing people I love. THAT'S the most scary thing!

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  4. Something that really scares me is roller coasters. And when my dogs stare something invisible in the house and bark at it.

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  5. Unexplained noises in the night scare me.

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  6. My students want to reread it themselves as well as get the rest of this series. It is a great read aloud for Halloween for reluctant readers so I highly recommend it!

    Inflow Shoretel Reseller

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  7. I am claustrophobic. Tight places scare me the most.

    ReplyDelete