Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Book Review: Amber House

Author: Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)

"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever
We all know that Halloween is getting closer and closer! Well I don’t know about you all, but this puts me in the spirit every year for a creepy, spooky read. I like ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and the undead-whatever it is I will read it! Amber House definitely put me in the mood for the season. The cover was so alluring and I almost wanted to jump right into it. The girl, Sarah, is wearing a beautiful golden yellow gown that makes her pop. The house was the last thing that I noticed on the cover, but is definitely worth mentioning. I love when the cover ties in with the actual story!!
Sarah’s grandmother has recently passed away and her, her mother and younger brother have gone back to her mother’s childhood home to help tie up some loose ends. What Sarah does not expect when she goes back to the old Amber House is a house that comes alive! Sarah and her brother, Sammy, start to realize that things are not as they appear at the Amber House. Sammy starts to see things first and shortly after Sarah starts to believe him. I loved Sarah’s willingness to suspend her disbelief. At one point in the story she was ready and willing to believe anything and that makes her a very fun and spontaneous character.
I loved learning more and more about Sarah’s ancestors and their past at Amber House. I honestly felt scared with Sarah. I was afraid to turn every corner and explore each new room with her. This house was full of haunting memories that Sarah, and all other female relatives, could pick up on. I could picture the house as Sarah treaded down its long corridors and wandered its grounds. I honestly wanted to be there, even though I do not know how I would have gotten to sleep at night. We get bits and pieces from a journal, that Sarah found, that was written by some of her female relatives. This journal lets you take a look at the memories of the past and helps you to stay on track with Sarah and Sammy.
There is a potential love triangle between Sarah, Richard, and Jackson. Personally I loved Jackson and I loved his reclusive manner. He was quiet and kept to himself a lot and this made him all the more interesting. Sarah is a wonderful character and even though she has feelings for these boys she does not become some love struck teenager, but keeps her eyes on the prize and doesn’t stop searching for answers within Amber House. I think that Sarah just needs a place to feel accepted and as crazy as it sounds I believe that she finds that in the ghostly corridors of this manor.  
This book left me speechless. I honestly was not expecting to like it as much as I did. I could not put it down. I was so enthralled with Amber House and its characters and many haunting stories. This was the perfect book to get me in the mood for Halloween and I HIGHLY recommend it to others! It is engagingly gothic and perfect for a chilly Fall evening read!
***An e-copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers through NetGalley***


  1. It sounds excellent! I think I need to go get it from NG now, but I also have to finish reading my current ebook before I start a new one.

  2. Glad to hear this one lives up to its potential! Creepy/gothic novels are always welcome on my shelf.

  3. You are right. Perfect for Halloween! Great thoughts.

  4. Second review I have seen for this book. Both being very positive. I cannot wait to read it. It's on my list this month. Great review.

  5. I've seen four different reviews for this book, some loved it, some hated it. After reading your review, I really want to go any buy this book. Seems like a perfect book for the month of October! Can't wait to read, thanks for the review!
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