My past experience with Stephanie Perkins has been solid, having fully enjoyed her third romance YA Isla and the Happily Ever After for its sweet romance and great autism representation, so I was really intrigued when My Kinda Books announced her new horror novel There’s Someone Inside Your House.
When I say it’s a horror novel, what I mean is this is a novel version of cheesy old slasher movies. You know what I mean – the couple kissing in the car hear something weird outside, someone in a cornfield thinks they are being followed. As someone who hit their teenage years when Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, I found this positively nostalgic.
Makani Young arrives in Nebraska from Hawaii, leaving behind a mysterious past along with her original surname, somewhat baffled by the lack of sea. She made some new friends – Alex and Darby (trans boy rep, whoo!) – and after a summer kissing fling with aloof, strangely beautiful Ollie, she feels like she is starting to settle in.
That is until someone starts murdering all the teenagers. Who is the one killing all her peers in increasingly gruesome ways? Who will be next? Is her new boyfriend the one to blame?
What I admire most ardently about Perkins’ writing is her ability to make you care intently for characters within one page, people who she is ultimately about to bump off in a few more. Several of them crop up at various points in the novel, and it is only when you get to their point of view chapter that you suddenly care deeply for them. Then someone murders them really, really brutally. This cycle pops up quite a few times, meaning you know when you get to a non-Makani pov chapter that they are about to die – I really enjoyed this in the end as I started worrying about who was cropping up.
Alongside this is Makani’s blossoming romance with strange kid Ollie, which occupies a larger part of the narrative than you’d expect necessarily in a horror but which makes sense for Perkins, given romance is her bread and butter. It is great, and a little steamy.
There’s Someone Inside Your House is a very fun, gruesome little novel, best read in a couple of sittings to enjoy the tension hiking up as everyone scrambles to catch the killer before they kill more kids. Tremendously fun stuff.
Interested? Get it here.
What to read next:
- The Call by Peadar O’Guillin
- The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black
- As I Descended by Robin Talley
Thank you to My Kinda Books for sharing this copy with me at YALC.