The Lake House

HarperTeen. Apr. 2023. 368p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063214071.
Gr 7 Up–Claire, Revya, and Mariana are strangers on their way to summer camp on a remote Maine island. When their boat driver drops them off, he directs them half a mile up a path to the titular Lake House, assures them that they’ll be greeted by the camp director, and leaves. When the girls reach the camp, they find to their horror, that the house has recently burned down. It’s still smoking, and there are no signs of life. A run back to the dock reveals that the boat is long gone. There’s no cell service, very little food, and they soon discover that whatever happened wasn’t an accident, which means they could be in danger. Part survival tale, part horror story, part coming-of-age journey—this book has a lot going for it. The action starts immediately and doesn’t let up. The cast of characters is diverse and multi-faceted—Mariana is gifted at fixing cars and tinkering with machines, and Revya has a background in MMA fighting. There is LGBTQIA+ representation (Mariana is bisexual) and mental health struggles (Claire lives with anxiety). Readers will enjoy watching these complex characters grow and change when confronted with unimaginable challenges. A plot twist takes the story in an unexpected direction, with plenty of nail-biting and chills-inducing moments.
VERDICT Recommended. Horror/thrillers are always in high demand in the library, and good ones are hard to find. The throwback cover and the description alone will be enough to get this one circulating.

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