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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Belated Book Birthday to...Starter House by Sonja Condit!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…the place to be this 2014 for great reads indeed.

How can I say, well type technically, that statement so confidently?  Well, experience of course…as in the first two books of the year, actually READ this year, have BOTH been A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  Curious?  You’ve already heard about the one (Rachel’s Folly by Monica Bruno) and today we’ll reveal the second.  Remember the teaser from yesterday?  Today. We reveal all (not really, but at least enough to peak your interest even more ^_^)!  Are you ready?  You best be because if you don’t come prepared to THIS house warming party, you might not make it out…well, alive at least.  (Dun dun dunnnn….)  Today’s book of choice is…

Sonja Condit
William Morrow

About the book…
 From the moment Lacey sees the house with the beautiful wood staircase, she knows she’s found her dream home. Growing up rootless with her flighty mother, Ella Dane, a self-proclaimed psychic, Lacey is determined to give her unborn baby the stability she never had. But shortly after she and her husband, Eric, move in, the warm and welcoming house becomes cold and dark. There is something malevolent within these walls that wants to hurt her unborn child—a terrifying presence that only she can sense. And there is Drew, a demanding and temperamental little boy who mysteriously appears when Lacey is alone. To protect her unborn child and save her family, Lacy must discover the truth about her dream house and the troubled Drew—a decades-old mystery involving secrets, violence, and guilt—and confront an evil that has lingered in wait for years.

Oh me, oh my.  This book will definitely serves as a cautionary tale for those house hunting for their first, second, or last place to call home…emphasis on last there.  *-*

The happily married couple has it all worked out.  Limited courtship, followed by an engagement complete with a turn in financial situations for one half of the pair testing both their love and their resolve to make things work.  Doesn’t sound terrible now, does it?  Oh, but those are only the beginning bumps in the road to their happily ever after…and I’m not talking about unplanned pregnancies here.  You see, the couple is in fact having a baby…that is if their newly chosen dwelling will let them.  How can a house prevent a birth?  It’s not really preventing it that’s the problem; it’s allowing the newly born soul to live.  *cue ominous music*

There’s something about their idyllic new house that the previous owner (and current next door neighbor…for now at least) failed to reveal.  Something that new owners, particularly in their situation, REALLY would have wanted to know before hand.  Might have changed their whole view of this “house-in-need-of-TLC” to “house-that-should-be-avoided-at-all-costs” before things got out of hand…and boy do they EVER get out of hand.  History as we’re told repeats itself and the same can be said here…just not in an “okay-I-learned-a-lesson” sorta way.  Good thing our leading lady has had some experience in this department already….with the supernatural, I mean.  Her mother may not have imparted a great many life lessons worth remembering, but a predisposition to accept and respond to those still in our plain and yet not, will definitely come in handy.  Moving forward....

Aside from the troubling events unfolding, we have the characters themselves.  The majority of the story is seen through Lacey's eyes and mind.  She has a good soul, though her life has been touched by darkness, more than she even knows.  Her choices may not always have seemed right by they were definitely understandable given the circumstances and her past.  Eric, her husband, is a bit of a mess.  He means well but he's quick to anger; he's caring and yet weighed down by work to the point of depression.  He swings back and forth like a gate that won't aspect to remember when things get hairy later on.  Speaking of hairy, there's Harry...the former owner and next door neighbor, currently.   He's got a past littered with hopes and dreams, kindness given and faith taken away, but it's his more recent decisions this past decade or so that'll really turn your head.  Add to this growing brood, Ella Dane, Lacey's mother; a quirky character that can infuriate the calmest mind but someone worth knowing nonetheless, for obvious reasons and not so obvious ones.  Then, we have Drew...

How to explain him?  I mean, he's a young lad that loves to ride his bicycle past the house, appear for impromptu cookies and milk, play random games of chutes and ladders while telling you he's not cheating, and....has a temper that will knock your socks off, or your head; whichever is faster.  *o*  It's hard to imagine all of this from a little 6-8 year old, don't you think?  Oh buddy, you haven't even heard the best parts. Suffice it to say that leaving the house behind in all it's living and non-living colors would've have been hard....for like to seconds.  Otherwise, count me outtie.  Just sayin'....he's not someone to PO if you know what I mean....
The final scenes of the book were the only thing that really gave me pause.  When things were finally revealing themselves, the unraveling of past, present and future, who was who, what was what, and the final outcome for everyone and everything, it got a little discombobulating.  HOWEVER, give it a second…read it through carefully, maybe even reread a passage or two, and you’ll be right on track again with an “Ah HA” moment of your own to laugh about later and share with those you meet.  Trust me, this is one book you’ll definitely want to share.

In conclusion, a read for those open to the idea of “something else” out there and ready to fight alongside our leading lady for love, family and life in general.  It’s a story that tosses the notion of the ideal family right out the window (with good reason) and invites you to take life as it’s doled out because sometimes picture perfect is more facade than reality.  That whole “don’t judge a book by its cover” thing…revisited, revived, and re-imagined, all on display in a tale that’s creepy on the outside but running strong with undercurrents of love and understanding.  Don’t buy what I’m selling?  Read it.  You will.  Recommended for older teens and beyond who are seeking a GREAT addition to their 2014 (or any year frankly!) reading list.

ARC for review courtesy of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, be sure to stop by their official site.  This title is available now, so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time…happy reading!


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