It’s the end of October, so I thought it absolutely necessary that I read something relevant to Halloween. My choice was Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed and Larkin Reed. (Whoa! Three authors!) With three authors, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew it was a haunted house kind of story, but would there be three perspectives, each written by an author? I later found out that wasn’t the case. Amber House follows Sarah, a teenager who just flew into Maryland for her grandmother’s funeral. Her family decides to stay at Amber House, the house her grandmother owned. There’s a lot of mystery and rumors about Amber House, mostly that it’s haunted. As Sarah discovers more and more of the house, she’s learns of the past and possibly a way to alter the future. Amber House is a mysterious, unpredictable and well-written story.
There’s lots of love about Amber House. What I loved the most was how much it was about family. Sarah is very close to her adorable little brother, Sammy. Their interactions were sweet and felt very realistic to me, since I have a little brother of my own. Their mother is quite curt and distant, and I completely felt Sarah’s frustration with her. Then we have the actual house full of stories from the past, and along with Sarah, we learn about her family history. All the while, we know that there’s something waiting to happen; it’s so mysterious and unpredictable.
The book is slow-moving, especially in the beginning, and the paces picks up as the story moves on. It still takes an effort to get into, but the pay-off is so worth it. It’s been awhile since I couldn’t predict the ending to a story. Realizing it now, all the clues were there, but it was executed so well that I didn’t make anything of them. The story is pleasingly complex; one can’t mindlessly read it. The ending is amazing, in that it goes full circle and ends on an intriguing note. The book work as a standalone, but luckily, it’s the first of a series.
I absolutely recommend Amber House for anyone looking for something different in YA horror. The complexities and elements of the story make it a worthwhile and thought-provoking read. It doesn’t answer all of my questions about the intricacies of the plot. But I’m assuming that the sequels will, and I’m looking forward to reading those whenever they come out.
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Publisher: Arthur A. Levine (October 2012)
Length: 368 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Amber House #1
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Ghosts, Family, Romance
Completed: October 2012