Sometimes you really click with a book and it’s like OMG WHERE HAS THIS BOOK BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE and other times, you read a book and think, hmmmm, I guess that was okay? Y’all, House Of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini was a pretty okay read for me. I was kind of expecting more bang for my buck because of the JK Rowling blurb, so perhaps that is why my expectations were a tad too high which certainly colors how I personally read a book.
The Walker family is currently looking for a new home, as they had to downsize after the loss of Dr. Walker’s job. When the real estate agent brings the family to the Kristoff mansion, the family thinks there’s just no way, but luckily the house is way cheaper than expected. So, anyways, they buy the mansion. Unfortunately, this creepy old lady is super pissed, so she magically sends the Walker children – Brendan, Cordelia, and Eleanor into books written by the mansion’s previous owner, Denver Kristoff. The children come across barbarians, pirates, and more as they try to find their way back home to their parents. It turns out that the Kristoff mansion is a House Of Secrets (see what I did there).
I guess I should go over the things I liked about House Of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini first. For one, I liked that there were two main female characters who both had different strengths and were active and actually did things and weren’t you know, sitting in the background waiting for their brother to save them. I will admit, I identified with Cordelia because she is the oldest and she’s bookish and totally the leader of the siblings, just like me. Anyways. I also really liked the concept — of how the three Walker kids were pulled into different novels written by Denver Kristoff, I guess because I always thought it would be so cool to travel into books that I really liked.
As for things I did not like. Well, you guys, here is the thing, I actually really enjoy reading very long books. I occasionally think, the longer the better. However, the fact of the matter is, I just kept waiting for House Of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini to end. It’s just that there’s so much going on and I kind of felt exhausted by the end. That is not to say this is a slow book, it’s definitely not. It’s actually a very quick read for such a long book. My whole problem is that I never entirely bought into the book. I felt this whole disconnect between myself and the story. I mean, I read the book and got through all the pages and didn’t feel the need to DNF, but I never ever felt the need to pick it up and read it when I wasn’t on my exercise bike. I just wasn’t all that compelled.
I know, I know this is not my greatest review ever — that will happen when you review and watch FRIENDS at the same time. But, ya know, I gave this book a fair shake and I tried to love it, but ended up feeling sort of indifferent. Maybe, if I was younger and not expecting JK Rowling quality (because of the blurb), but yes, I couldn’t get into it. I would say the ideal audience for this book would be actual middle school students who are into fantasy adventure books.
Disclosure: Received for review.
Other reviews of House Of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini:
There’s A Book – “blends a bit of creepy along with that Jumanji and/or Zathura feel of adventure”
Tripping Over Books – “really fun start to a series that promises to keep readers invested and enchanted.”
A Reader Of Fictions -“I totally pictured the creepy Dahlia Kristoff as Ursula from The Little Mermaid“