Sunday, April 26, 2015

Book Review: House of Secrets

Hello All!

This week, I'll be reviewing an amazing, action packed book by Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus: House of Secrets.

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While you're all oohing and aahhing at that awesome cover (which promises an action-packed roller coaster complete with pirates [hello, top left corner]), allow me to just say that this has literally rocketed to the top of my favorite book list. Catapulted, ya'll. It was so good.

Why I read this book: I was over at my friend's house and she just shoved it into my hands and was like, "read this." And I'm just like, "okay."

Publication Year: 2013    Number of Pages: 480

Author(s): Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus

Summary (from HarperCollins): 

Siblings Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker once had everything they could ever want. But everything changed when Dr. Walker lost his job. Now the family must relocate to an old Victorian house, formerly the home of occult novelist Denver Kristoff—a house that simultaneously feels creepy and too good to be true. By the time the Walkers realize that one of their neighbors has sinister plans for them, they’re banished to a primeval forest way off the grid.

Bloodthirsty medieval warriors patrol the woods around them, supernatural pirates roam the neighboring seas, and a power-hungry queen rules the land. To survive, the siblings will have to be braver than they ever thought possible—and to fight against their darkest impulses. The key may lie in their own connection to the secret Kristoff legacy. But as they unravel that legacy, they’ll discover that it’s not just their family that’s in danger . . . it’s the entire world.

Six things to love about House of Secrets:

  • Never a dull moment. Seriously. Never. In every single chapter they were always running from something, fighting something, or discovering something. J.K. Rowling wasn't kidding when she called it a "Breakneck, jam-packed roller coaster of adventure." 
  • The characters. Average siblings turned world-saving heroes. A creepy villainess. A WWI pilot. This book has it all.
  • The plotline. A desperate family moves into a creepy old mansion for an insanely low price and all furniture included. A creepy lady catapults the siblings into a world of an even creepier guys' books. They must fight to save the world!! Does it get any cooler, people? I think not.
  • Creepy....but not too creepy. Gave me chills, but not nightmares (thankfully).
  • The illustrations. Which are pretty awesome!
My thoughts: This was an amazing book. Action packed and creative, I feel like it's summed up in this review from J.K. Rowling: "A breakneck, jam-packed roller coaster of adventure about the power of books, House of Secrets comes complete with three resourceful sibling heroes, a seriously creepy villainess, and barrel loads of fantasy and fear." Spot on, J.K. Rowling. Spot on.

My rating: 8 1/2 out of 10 stars. I would like to say here that, due to some violence and intensity, I would recommend it to readers in the 5th grade and up.

Wanna read my super fantabulous post about meeting the one and only Avi? Click HERE.

Want a super cool behind-the-scenes look at House of Secrets? Click HERE and scroll down until you see "Top Ten Secrets Behind House of Secrets."

Comment and tell me about your favorite book where ordinary kids become heroes!

Thanks for reading,


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  1. Just sayin', but I *LOVE* the new look! Your blog looks really nice! The second I saw the title, my brain automatically wandered to the Percy Jackson book, "House of Hades". I don't know why. ANYWAY, "House of Secrets" sounds like a really fun book. I'm definitely going to look for it the next time I happen to be in the library. Thanks for the awesome review! :-)


    1. Thanks Cindy! I've been experimenting :P. Let me know what you think when you read it!!


  2. Fantastic cover. What a draw! The story sounds equally impressive and will add it to my list of books to read this year. Thanks for review.

    1. Isn't it? It gives you just a taste of the excitement. I'm sure you'll enjoy it!


  3. Love the new look as well! I'm in the process of reading this book right now. Its pretty good, although I don't believe that it will be on my favorites list. If you gave this book 8 1/2 stars, what book(s) would you give 10 stars to?


    1. I'm not sure, Abby. I don't really know if there is a perfect book, so I usually don't score higher than 9, but I guess some of my very favorites would be up there, like Princess Academy and The Fiddler :).

  4. I'm glad to hear it didn't give you nightmares because creepy books usually do that for me.

    Is that the same Chris Columbus, the director of Home Alone and some of the Harry Potter movies? No wonder it's action-packed! Fun review. Thanks.

  5. As a matter of fact it is, Joanne! He was originally going to make House of Secrets into a movie!

  6. Thanks for this review. I have had this book on my radar for awhile and hope to get to it soon. That cover is awesome.

  7. Huh, this looks like an interesting book. Great review -- it is now on my reading list! :D