“The best new horror of the season.” –Mashable
“Turn on—all—the lights before reading this hair-raiser full of serious Scream vibes.” –Seventeen
“Perkins deftly builds the suspense like a pro… Readers will be sleeping with one eye open.” —Booklist
I can’t actually remember how I heard about There’s Someone Inside Your House now that it’s been out for several months, however, I do remember reading the above reviews and thinking I absolutely had to get this book when it came out. It sat on my Amazon wishlist for a short while and once it was released I pounced. As a fan of horror and slasher movies and books, I thought for sure I would absolutely devour this one. I raced through this novel within just two days back in October of last year and then didn’t get around to actually writing a review until now. Why? Because I struggled to figure out how I actually felt about it. I both liked it and disliked it in equal measure.
The story opens up introducing us to a female character that is killed off within the first few pages. Like a few others, I wondered if our main character was really going to be gone so soon. Was this a flash-forward? What was happening? Luckily this girl was not our main character but I actually appreciated the little mislead Perkins gave us here. If anything it fueled the mystery on at a quicker pace. When we are introduced to our main character, she’s easily very likable. Perkins gives us a strong female lead that clearly isn’t going to take the upcoming events lying down. Mekani is harbouring a dark secret but doesn’t let this stand in her way of making friends and forming a core group of survivors early on in the story.
With most slasher/Who-Done-It novels, the identity of the killer is usually saved as an end reward. With TSIYH however, the identity is revealed just past the halfway mark – far too early. Again, Perkins makes the mistake of giving us an underdeveloped character thrown into the main plot and when you are told who the killer is, the ‘surprise’ falls flat. The only way such an early reveal could have worked would have been to have the killer be one of the core group (this also would have served as a reason to keep reading after such an early reveal). Had she actually taken the time to flesh out the killer’s character more with some more backstory, and made the novel itself a little longer, then this reveal would have worked.
I saw some complaints about the level of violence in the killings, however, the blood and gore element of the novel was definitely fitting for a slasher if you ask me. Quick, bloody, no clues left at the scene and typically incompetent detective work from the small town local police department. The problem with Perkins’ choice of victims was that they were all minor to relatively unknown characters. I felt no emotional connection when the victims died and our main characters probably would have felt the same had it not been so close to home. Although I will say that the murders were well written and gorier than I expected.
I will say this novel wasn’t horrible and it wasn’t as difficult to read as a lot of people are saying, but it also wasn’t a “hair-raiser” either (although I do see where the Scream comparisons come in to play). Ultimately there are two main elements to this novel: romance and (mild) horror, with the former unfortunately taking over. There’s Someone Inside Your House is chock full of teenage romance and plenty of make out/sex sessions, which detracted from the overall supposed seriousness of the situation given that people were being killed off left, right and center. Just one example is that two of the main characters made out during a moment of prayer for their classmates who had just been killed. Disappointing for a book that was touted as “The best new horror of the season.”
Stephanie Perkins is a YA romance writer and it shows. Had the writer cut out at least half of the romance element and given us a little more of a feel for the characters being killed off, half the amount of criticism it received would also have been halved (since horror fans are notoriously hard to please). I wouldn’t rule out reading another slasher novel by Perkins and you shouldn’t either. Reading through TSIYH, you can tell there is a good slasher in there, and I don’t doubt a second would actually be better now that she’s gotten her first out there for us to read. If you don’t mind romance, you’ll be able to enjoy this book no problem. If you’re like me and could do without it, you might want to go into this one with an open mind and an extra scoop of patience.
Goodreads Rating: 3.4
Amazon Rating: 3.7
My Rating: 3/5