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Rashika, The Book Owl

So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).

Tied my mind into knots

The Dead House - Dawn Kurtagich

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

The Dead House is one messed up book and I say that in the best way possible.It's the kind of book that will mess up your brain to the point where you won't be able to tell the lies apart from the truth.

This book is mostly told in dairy format and for some people that may be a turn off but I thought it was a very interesting way to look at things. We may not be inside the main character’s mind but in a way we are. We sense her desperation, we feel the doubt gnawing at her and we get to witness her downward spiral.  

Kaitlyn is at best an unreliable main character. To her, all of her experiences hold true, yet when we get to see other pieces of evidence, readers at least have to question whether Kaitlyn is the person they want to trust.

Kaitlyn suffers from DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder. Or does she? Kaitlyn doesn’t think so. The way the author explores this illness within the book is fascinating. Kaitlyn and Carly are two halves of a whole. Carly comes out during the day and gets to live in a way Kaitlyn doesn't. Kaitlyn comes at night, when the world tends to sleep. She has never felt the sun on her skin, has never really had much of a chance to connect with people. According to her, it has always been this way. Kaitlyn is a character you pity. You wish someone would understand her but at the same time, that could just make things worse (and it did make things worse!)

One of my qualms with this book was Kaitlyn’s relationship with her therapist. I am tired of therapists always being seen as the bad guys (although that is starting to change a little). This relationship; however, was crucial to the book and Kaitlyn’s downward spiral. Kaitlyn is paranoid, she is lonely and she has no one to talk to. When the one person she should be able to trust doesn’t even think she is real, how can she not see her therapist as the bad guy?

The contents of this book are rediscovered two decades after the events of this book (with the book being set in 2025?) No the events did not take place in 1995, they took place in 2005. (Don’t judge me, I thought 10 years ago from 2015 was still in the 90s and I am not over the fact that this is no longer true. I AM GETTING OLDER. WTF?) The 20 year old case is reopened when this diary is found in the ruins and we as readers get access to the diary entries, the sessions between Kaitlyn and her therapist and videos that were recorded by Naida, Carly’s best friend.  This isn’t just a psychological thriller, this book gets downright creepy. There is witchcraft involved, visions, possessions, YOU NAME IT.

Moreover, every single character in this book is questionable. From Kaitlyn, to Nadia. The thing is, that in spite of this, Kurtagich makes you want to believe in her characters.

I know I wanted to.

This is the kind of book where readers will have varying reactions to. Maybe you’ll believe Kaitlyn. Maybe you will believe in the ghosts that have been haunting her and the voice she keeps hearing. Maybe you will believe she has been possessed. Or maybe, you’ll believe that she is a seriously ill teenager who desperately needs help and the *right* kind. Not one from a therapist who may or may not be over medicating her.

I know I am being a little vague in this review but this is just that kind of book that is best experienced on your own. You need to come to your own conclusions about what went down those two decades ago.

This is a fantastic, creepy book that isn’t about clean boxes. Nothing about this book is ‘neat.’ If you want a book that will tie everything up with a pretty knot, this is not for you. But, if you enjoy books that will twist your mind into pretty knots, you may need to check this hauntingly written book out.

Note that I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review