Review: My House Eats People
Posted by Ana Mardoll at Friday, March 04, 2011 Edit
My House Eats People
by Katherine McKay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My House Eats People / B003CV7R7I
When I was a kid, I used to have a fondness for the "scary" young adult books that my mother invariably did not let me buy. When the book fair would come to our school, I would have my list of books that I was allowed to buy all ready before hand, and I would hurriedly collect my books, pay my tab, and then rush over to the "scary" section to read as much of a randomly selected book as I could before the fair closed up and left. Ah, memories.
In a way, I'm glad that "My House Eats People" wasn't around when I was a kid, because I no doubt would have found it, read the first couple of chapters, been sent home, and would now be searching for it on LibraryThing's "Name That Book" forum, desperately trying to find it again so that I could read more. On the other hand, if "My House Eats People" *had* been around when I was a kid, I would surely be able to find it, buy it, and read it now, so in a way I'm back in the same predicament as I was decades ago.
This excerpt is beautifully written and has one of the scariest plot devices I've ever seen. The closest thing I can compare this to is "Coraline", but "My House" takes the horror a step farther with moving, creeping, junk critters that rather horrifyingly want to either cuddle or eat our protagonist (he's not sure which) and - worst of all - actually seem to be sad about the situation. This may be marked as YA, and I have no doubt that plenty of young adults would love this story, but I can honestly say that most of the adults I know would love to read this as well.
I almost hate to make any suggestions on this, because the plot is so perfect and the characterization and dialogue so far has been so superb, but I always have to make a suggestion or three, so here goes. When Julia refuses to go to the police station, she is understandably hysterical, but the dialogue feels a little off there - the "old wives / midwives" joke sort of stood out there as maybe needing a little work. I would also love to see the police station discussion anyway - "Coraline" the book had a pretty good example where she called the police and they were very sweet but just didn't believe her, and I really liked that part. You might incorporate something similar - maybe the police tell the kids to stop wasting their time, or something similar.
NOTE: This review is based on a sample excerpt of this book provided through the ABNA contest.
~ Ana Mardoll
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