After seven years tucked away at an East coast boarding school, Delilah Blue returns to her small Kansas hometown to find that not much has changed. Her parents are still uptight and disinterested, her bedroom is exactly the way she left it, and the outcast Gavin Timothy still looks like he’s crawled out of one of her dark, twisted drawings.
Delilah is instantly smitten.
Gavin has always lived in the strange house: an odd building isolated in a stand of trees where the town gives in to mild wilderness. The house is an irresistible lure for Delilah, but the tall fence surrounding it exists for good reason, and Gavin urges Delilah to be careful. Whatever lives with him there isn’t human, and isn’t afraid of hurting her to keep her away.
“A rebellious girl falls for a strange boy who lives in an even stranger house [in this] superior and unusual horror story.” Kirkus, starred review.
“Masterfully told and wholly original, THE HOUSE is a bold new take on the haunted house genre.” (Ransom Riggs, New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children)
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“A rebellious girl falls for a strange boy who lives in an even stranger house. This superior and unusual horror story opens with Delilah, who feels neglected by her unfeeling parents. She’s attracted to Gavin, who has lived quite differently: he was raised by the house he dwells in, a living being that loves him and cares for him. He communicates with House and its various parts, such as Fireplace, which tends its own fire, Bed, which stretches at his request, and Piano, which taught him how to play music. He has no idea what happened to his mother, only that House has always cared for him, serving him abundant food and giving him toys. When he brings Delilah home, and she asks where he wants to go to college, the room becomes colder. House clearly doesn’t like Delilah, but leaving it isn’t going to be so easy. With great secrecy, they begin to plan their escape. Things will, of course, go horribly wrong. Lauren (a joint pen name for Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) taps into classic haunted-house memes, drawing those ideas to the max as they imbue House with a distinct, sinister personality. Intrigue builds, and suspense slowly creeps in as readers begin to realize the extent to which House can control events, and the real danger in which the teens find themselves constantly ratchets up.”– Kirkus
“As usual, Christina Lauren has written a fantastic story and The House does not disappoint. Even fans of Christina Lauren’s romance novels will enjoy their venture into the Young Adult genre. The plot line keeps the reader glued to the pages (or e-reader) and you won’t ever want to skip ahead. Every detail will have you wondering if maybe your own house could be haunted, too. Readers will love Delilah for her strength, oddities, and self-confidence. If there’s one thing Christina Lauren excels in it’s writing amazing female characters. You won't find a damsel in distress here. If you don’t want to be Delilah you will wish that she was your best friend. One of my favorite parts about The House was that while the novel is considered young adult, it is anything but the typical romance story. Delilah is part of that reason, and Gavin is the other. He’s the odd boy out, with an even odder upraising, and a budding sexuality to delight. Deep down he’s the guy you want by your side, the one who only cares for others. Mix the romance in with the haunted house and you have a recipe for perfection. This reviewer can’t wait to read The House all over again.”– Sonya Field, Hypable
“Gavin and Delilah are falling for each other, despite their very different backgrounds. Delilah was raised by indifferent parents, who packed her off to boarding school for six years of her life. Gavin, on the other hand, was raised by House, a sentient, caring structure that tends to his every need. House provides him with food and shelter, music lessons and warmth—and House doesn’t want its attentions to be displaced. As Gavin and Delilah become closer, House gets angrier, until they realize they need to plot their escape. But getting away is going to be harder than they, or the reader, can imagine, in an imaginative horror story that keeps tightening the screws.”– Melissa Albert, Barnes and Noble Teen Blog