Friday, February 12, 2016
Fans of Neil Gaiman, R.L. Stine, and the Witching Hour will LOVE Grimm House!!
This book is written for middle schoolers so think age range between 12-14 years old. That being said I read this book with my 9 year old son and he and I both LOVED it.
This book has so many shades of creepy it's hard to pin it down but I'm going to try. If you were a kid in the 90's you probably read a lot of R.L. Stine and his wildly successful horror series Goosebumps. This book is like a combination of that and Neil Gaiman's Coraline. It's creepy and hauntingly beautiful.
The book begins with a young 10 year old girl Hadley whose parents are away on a cruise trip. Hadley is a dancer she has natural talent and the dedication to practice for hours to improve her natural talent. In other words Hadley has PASSION for dancing. This is important to note because passion is what the two "Aunts" are after when one shows up to her house to tell her that her parents have gone missing at sea.
Hadley is at first suspicious of this Aunt that she knew nothing about until this night but Aunt Maxine convinces her that she has to come with her until her parents can be found.
Enter GRIMM HOUSE. This is the name of the house that Aunt Maxine and her sister Aunt Charmaine live in. The house is old, mildewy, and everything a creepy haunted house should be. The aunts inform Hadley that she'll be in charge of cleaning the house because "that's what children are for". The aunts then take Hadley on a tour of Grimm House and it's important to pay attention to the details that Hadley notices throughout the house they play a part in the ending of the story. To that end I'm not going to go into too much detail about the house itself, I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise, the only major thing to note is the Aunts tell her not to go into the attic for ANY REASON!
Aunt Maxine says "It will be the end of you, and I mean that exactly as it sounds."
Hadley is put to work cleaning Grimm House and a routine soon follows. She is taught how to cook and it's her job to make breakfast every morning, then clean house, wash the dishes, then she gets an hour outside for "fresh air" but the sky over Grimm House is always grey and dreary. At night after dinner Hadley dances for the aunts and they cheer her on and clap for her until she dances until she's exhausted and sore. Each day is the same routine until Hadley is told to sweep the basement. It's in the basement that she makes the acquaintance of the green glowing eyed roach GiGi. GiGi can talk and so can all her roach friends. GiGi tells Hadley that the roaches can be her friends and help her. At first Hadley is resistant to GiGi's friendship but soon learns that the roaches of Grimm House are special in their own way.
I can't tell you too much more without giving away spoilers and that would be truly tragic. I can tell you that I haven't read a book this amazing in a long time. I could not put this book down and my son was just as obsessed with it. If you're looking for a great story to read with the lights on this is the one for you. Regardless of your age you're going to fall in love with Grimm House, Hadley, and all her roach friends.
Grimm House comes out on February 15th and you can pick up a copy online at Amazon. Yes just in time to gift this book to your valentine.