House Trap by Mike Mauthor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Rachel Evans is a sixteen year old overachiever who would take nothing less than to achieve her goal of getting into Dartmouth College. But Rachel’s life would never be the same once she stepped into the house of Alicia Hausefalle, the most popular girl in Wedds High School. Rachel was there to tutor her. She never expected to meet two strangers who were ready to end her life.
At first I was unsure of what I would reply to his email (which accounts for my delayed response, sorry v^^) because I really don’t know how to make proper book reviews. Eventually, I took the offer and told him that I can only say everything that I think and feel about the book. Fortunately, he told me that he actually liked it that way. =)
I am so happy that I accepted the author’s offer to give me a copy of this book so that I might make a review for it. I got no time wasted. And the book got me hooked by its first line.
So Here Goes.
The prologue has a gripping quality to it. Plus I can clearly see in my mind the setting and everything that’s happening from the peaceful-Christmassy-mood-of-the-neighborhood beginning to the traumatic-Halloweeny-aura-in-the-house ending. The scenes were playing in my mind much like a trailer of a suspense movie - the feeling that I’m not reading but watching as the story unfolds. I got so immersed that I had to remind myself that I might get late to work if I don’t stop reading.
The mood immediately changed to a lighter one as the beginning chapters introduce the characters. I met Rachel, who became a grade conscious student ever since her friends, dubbed as her closest, mocked her that she would never succeed in life because of her bad grades. I felt bad about this because my closest friends never discouraged me. Fortunately, there was Kristen, a friendly schoolmate and an active member of a church organization, who is always ready to lighten up a grumpy Rachel whenever Rachel thinks that she did badly in an exam. Of course, there’s this mean girl named Alicia, into whose house all the suspense, thrill, and a lot of breath-holding happened to me.
I remembered the movie Panic Room because the book's plot is very similar to it. But this one's more gripping for me because I got to imagine things on my own which is a lot scarier most of the time. Haha. Besides, after reading some fantasy novels lately, I thought that the feeling of suspense from this book is actually refreshing. XD
The traditional elements of suspense were there - countdown timers, running and then tripping along the way, a child sneezing while hiding under the bed, a door closing just in the nick of time, etc. But I don't know, they all still had great impacts on me. I was like hiding with Rachel, Amy, and Nathan, as well. Hahaha.
House Trap also taught lessons to its readers:
1. Never compromise your character even if a person doesn't treat you right.
"Ephesians 6:12-13- for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms - let me get to my point, Alicia is not my enemy and even if she might not treat me right, I'm not going to compromise my character."
2. Don't be too hard on yourself. Stop worrying too much. And just enjoy life. :)
...she felt she had wasted her life worrying and stressing out on things. She never realized how life was precious and yet so short.
There was one thing that I can't comprehend in the story. Rachel is supposed to be smart but she 'smashed the hard edge of the rope [ladder] against the bottom half of the glass window'. Why did she easily have to give away their positions to the strangers? I guess panic really muddles the mind. :p
Lastly, I think that the book needs another round of proofreading. I found some minor grammatical concerns in it like How I'm I going. I don't know if it's just my copy, though.
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