Book Review: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich


Get The Book Here (Amazon)

  • Pages: 440
  • Genre: Horror, Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller
  • Publisher: Orion Children’s Books UK

Rating: 4/5




Elmbridge High School burned down. Three students were killed in the blaze, twenty were injured, and one, Carly Johnson, disappeared.

For two decades, little was uncovered about what became known as the ‘Johnson Incident’.

I have had this book for a while, bought it a couple of weeks before Halloween – you know to get in the Halloween spirit and all. But, I only got around to reading it last week of December and finished it on the 1st of January.

But hey ho! On to the review.


Favourite Character:

I would have to say that out of all the characters in the book would be Ari – and he doesn’t come in until we get farther into the book. Of course, I also really liked most of the characters – like Kaitlyn, Scott, Naida, Haji, and John.

Characters: Realistic?

The characters were realistic – or they seem realistic in the way the author meant them to be. I believed everything they were saying and feeling.

But, not realistic in the sense that they stay true to what we know as facts – since it is a paranormal/horror book.


I really enjoyed the whole book. It kept me guessing on what was going to happen next, and when you thought that you’ve finally cracked the code – there’s something that throws you off again.

I really enjoyed quite a few scenes in the book, in the book – for instance the way Kaitlyn first Introduced us to who she thought was ‘Dee’ – it was so well written and vivid that I myself imagined her in the room with me (but that could also be thanks to my great imaginative skills when it comes to very creepy things)

The writing style of the author I also quite enjoyed – since it’s a book in different formats I.e. transcription of recorded conversations or videos, diary entries etc. you would think that it would get muddled and confusing – but it’s quite easy to follow and everything happens chronologically. If you’ve read Illuminae – that book was one of the hardest book to read but also quite enjoyable as it was such a unique book – you will find this read quite easy, although they are completely different from each other.

Feelings about the book?

I’ve felt all sorts of emotions whilst reading this book – it made me smile, cry – made me feel scared and creep out, confused and frustrated. It’s a whole spectrum of emotions – but most of all- I think i felt anxious and anticipation all throughout the book.

Was it engaging?

In my experience, I think it did a pretty good (excellent) job in engaging the audience – or in my case anyway. I was engrossed with the book – reading it everywhere I went and I just couldn’t stop myself from finding out what will happen next.


One of the things that I didn’t like about the book is that there want enough about Carly – I also wanted to know more about Carly and the things she does during the day.

Other than that – I am greatly satisfied with the book.

Overall Thoughts

To conclude everything, The Dead House is an great book to read if you enjoy reading paranormal, mystery or horror books.

This book will keep you guessing at who has done what to who and what’s going to happen next. When you think you’ve predicted who has done something it turns out it’s not them!

The book is creepy and scary at times – and the author has done a good job with the writing style and the layout of the book. I love how everything turned out at the end, and it’s a good way of ending the book where it did.


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