A review by C J Dee
two and a half stars out of five
Elissa and her mother, Sarah, have moved to a quiet country town, leaving behind the big city and the memories of Elissa’s estranged father. However, there is a catch. The reason Sarah can afford the big house is the double murder that took place next door.
Four years ago young Carrie Anne killed her parents then fled without a trace. Elissa soon finds out that Carrie Anne’s brother Ryan still inhabits the house in which his sister killed their parents, much to the town gossips’ combined horror/delight.
After finding the high school kids aren’t as friendly as they first seem to be, Elissa finds comfort in the company of town outcast, Ryan. Something isn’t right in the neighbourhood though and Elissa is left wondering if perhaps Carrie Anne hasn’t gone as far as the townsfolk seem to think …
House at the End of the Street is a novelisation of the movie starring Jennifer Lawrence. Most novelisations of movies that I have read explore plot or character development depths that aren’t as easily achievable in movies. Unfortunately the length of House at the End of the Street simply didn’t lend itself to doing this. I was disappointed to find as little depth of plot and characters as you would expect from the source material, a psychological-thriller horror flick. That’s not to take anything away from that genre of movies, just that they are made for the purpose of quick scares that have you jumping in your seat; in this reviewer’s opinion, this isn’t a format that works well in novelisation.
None of the characters were particularly likeable but a few could have been had they been fleshed out a little bit more. Again, this could be put down to the fact I’m willing to excuse poor character development in a horror flick but expect more from the written form.
In saying all of that, House at the End of the Street was an easy horror read that I didn’t have to think too much about. I finished it in one sitting of about 90 minutes. Definitely a good book to break up a pile of heavy novels. While I saw a few of the plot points coming from miles away, there were certain points that had me surprised; it wins points for that.
I would recommend this book for people who enjoy young adult novels and simple but fun horror stories. However, given how long it took me to read it, I would probably recommend just watching the movie [run time: 101 minutes] and getting the little jumps that you should from a story like this.
Page count: 188 [excluding acknowledgements]