Book Review: The Agony House by Cherie Priest

Book Review: The Agony House by Cherie Priest

The Agony House
by Cherie Priest

Blurb: Denise Farber has just moved back to New Orleans with her mom and step-dad. They left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and have finally returned, wagering the last of their family's money on fixing up an old, rundown house and converting it to a bed and breakfast.Nothing seems to work around the place, which doesn't seem too weird to Denise. The unexplained noises are a little more out of the ordinary, but again, nothing too unusual. But when floors collapse, deadly objects rain down, and she hears creepy voices, it's clear to Denise that something more sinister lurks hidden here.Answers may lie in an old comic book Denise finds concealed in the attic: the lost, final project of a famous artist who disappeared in the 1950s. Denise isn't budging from her new home, so she must unravel the mystery-on the pages and off-if she and her family are to survive...

Cover Review: The cover is very similar to the author's other book, I Am Princess X. It keeps to the feel of the story with a nice creepy house and if you look at the back, there's a scary guy back there. Even better, if you lift the dust jacket, there's a different image underneath.

Plot: I liked this book partially because it's not just a scary story, it also has depth and mystery to it. There were kind of two plot-lines, figuring out the ghosts and Denise adjusting to her new home. It was high paced and spooky. (I unthinkingly read some at night and then had trouble sleeping.)

Characters: Denise could be a bit whiny, but I didn't find her as bad as normal YA protagonist are in her situation. She worked hard and she didn't complain as much as she could have. I found her interesting and likable.

Of the other characters in the book, there were Norman, Dom, and Terry. I liked Norman from the start. Dom was the sort of character I thought I would hate, but ended up liking. And Terry was just obnoxious and I had the strong urge to slap him.

World: It takes place in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, so that gives an interesting flavor to the book. I don't know much about that hurricane besides how deadly it was, but I know it affected a lot of people and this book shows that. I would have liked the setting to play a bigger role, but I guess there wasn't time with all the haunting action.

Other: My favorite thing about this book was the fact that Denise and her family were poor. Not can't-afford-the-latest-Iphone poor, but not-sure-how-we-can-afford-things poor. As someone who has never had a lot of money, I appreciated see that represented on page, because a lot of people are like that. My small rant is over.

Rating: 4 stars

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on scary books? Tell me in the comments.

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  1. This sounds very good! I don't mind a spooky book as long it is not icky. And I love mystery!

    1. You should try it. I was surprised by how much I liked it, and I don't normally enjoy scary books.


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