368p. Egmont USA. Aug. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781606841563; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9781606843802.
Gr 9 Up—Can a house be evil? Connor and Gwen know that it can. Two families, separated by 10 years, both move into Amity. Once they do, the house will not let go until it's wrenched every bit of terror out of them. Connor's vivid nightmares haunt him even in the daylight. Gwen, brought to Amity by her family to recover from her mental breakdown, senses the danger her family is in, but can't get them to believe her. Ostow's YA horror novel, inspired by the true-crime history of the Amityville Horror house, is told in two distinct voices in alternating sections. The thrilling plot keeps the pages turning and provides a few genuine gasps along the way. The end, unfortunately, feels a little rushed compared to the rest of the novel. Overall, a decent horror entry into a difficult genre for YA. Ostow's story is certainly not a rehash of older materials, but doesn't produce the chills of the source material in quite the same way. Still, steer teen horror fans who aren't quite ready for Stephen King, Peter Straub, or John Ajvide Lindqviste to this one.—Elaine Baran Black, Georgia Public Library Service, Atlanta
Alternating first-person narratives relate Connor's ("ten years earlier") and Gwen's ("now") frightening experiences in an Amityville Horror–inspired evil house. Gwen's story reveals her older brother Luke being manipulated into violence by Amity--like Connor was. Brief chapters full of choppy, repetitive sentences may appeal to reluctant readers but do little to amp up the suspense. The horror world-building lacks consistent logic.

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