I can’t stop talking about Stephanie Perkins’s latest book There’s Someone Inside Your House. You read that right, Stephanie Perkins, author of one of the best YA romance series around (Anna and the French Kiss; Lola and the Boy Next Door; Isla and the Happily Ever After. If you haven’t read them, treat yo’self) and editor of romance short stories collections WROTE A HORROR NOVEL.
To give you some context, I don’t do much slasher fiction. Waiting for people to get killed makes me anxious, and I *live* for Happily Ever After, so I usually only read one when forced. But–for some reason–I’ve been on a kick lately and this one was easily my favorite.
We get our first murder in chapter one
The core of the story is about Makani, who was sent from her home in Hawaii to her grandmother’s house in Small Town, Nebraska the year before because her parents can’t even deal with her while they get divorced (typical absentee parents, but worse because they are so self absorbed). Makani has adjusted pretty well, it’s not that kind of story. At least, she is until some starts killing off her classmates one by one.
The murders take place about every five chapters and they are grizzly for a chicken like me. The first murder is that star of the drama club and the murderer slices her throat open in the shape of a smiley face with Xs for eyes. Then the football star is murdered in the locker room; blood is everywhere in these deaths and Perkins does not leave out details.
But that’s not the most messed up part
For weeks–even months–leading up to the murders, the killer is gaslighting these kids and their families. I’m talking moving your shoes in the middle of the night, opening drawers and cabinets, moving the glass of water you just walked away from. All things that I could see myself ignoring as brain farts, and that makes it more terrifying. Think about how often you can’t find your keys! And, seriously, I am more afraid of voyeurs than anything else on the planet and that is specifically because of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s closet scene in I Know What You Did Last Summer (Actually, come to think of it, there are a lot of nods to that amazing movie in this book.).
Source I still can’t sleep with my closet door closed.
It is a YA novel, so there has to be a little romance. It *is* Stephanie Perkins after all. And who would Makani fall for but the quiet, pink haired boy that blew her off after their summer fling and is one of Makani’s BFFs top two serial killer suspects. Their romance is sweet, it feels natural, not fast or slow, but not terribly exciting. The excitement is all for the blood baths.
Let’s talk about that ending (Don’t want spoilers? Scroll on to the end!)
Alright, was the killer reveal gasp inducing? No. And that is the point: David is just blah, from his appearance (dark blonde and tan skin) to his personality, he didn’t stand out. People don’t think about him. They don’t consider he’d do anything as exciting as kill anyone. And his motive is kind of…boring. But, that is because he is boring.
No, what I really want to talk about is the moment after he kills Alex when I actually thought “Holy shit, she (Perkins) is going to kill everyone.” I can’t be the only one that was, honestly, a little disappointed she didn’t. SHE MADE ME WANT AN UNHAPPY ENDING, Y’ALL. I feel like my life has been forever changed.