Fifteen-year-old Piper Crenshaw knows her house is strange. It’s never needed repairs since it was built in the 1800s, and the lights flicker in response to things she says. As if those things aren’t creepy enough, it’s also the place where her mother committed murder.
To prove she’s not afraid of where she lives, Piper opens a forbidden door, which hides a staircase that leads to the ceiling. That’s when the flashbacks of the original residents from 1875 start, including a love affair between two young servants. Each vision pulls Piper deeper into not only their story, but also her house. Piper confides in her best friend, Todd, whom she's gradually falling for, but even he doesn't believe her. At least, not until her house gets axed during a prank, and the act injures Piper instead, cutting a gash the size of Texas into her stomach.
Piper realizes her house isn’t haunted—it’s alive. To sever her link to it, she must unravel the clues in the flashbacks and uncover the truth about her mother’s crime, before she becomes part of her house for good.
I received a free digital copy through netgalley.
Phobic was so surprisingly awesome that I can't find words for it. Whenever I find such a hidden gem that I know I only get to read because of blogging, I feel extremely happy. At these moments I forget all the time blogging takes away from my life, or the times when I was anxious over having to read a book in time. After all that's why I do this, to find books that I'd have never ever found if I didn't join to the book blogging community and of course to meet with you all, lovely people. :)
Let's start off with the bad, shall we? The only thing I didn't like about Phobic was the blurb. I hate when the blurb ruins a big thing in the book, and that was exactly what it did when mentioning the axing. The blurb suggests that Piper already knows about her connection to the house but she did not, until getting axed, that is. I don't like finding out things before the main character, and I hate it even more when she doesn't even get the chance to learn things before me. Besides this I had no other problems with the book.
The description of the house was perfect. I was able to imagine that creepy ass house with everything in it. And did I mention how easily Courtney Person can create a creepy atmosphere? Even though I wasn't really scared, this book definitely made me shiver at some parts. The story completely sucked me in and didn't let me go until the very end. The plot was incredibly exciting and made me want to read the whole novel in one seat. There were some parts when I felt like I couldn't read fast enough because I just had to know what was going to happen next. I never once got confused, and by the end everything was neatly closed and explained.
I was pleasantly surprised about how well I could connect to the characters. In many thriller/horror stories I find that the author concentrates on the plot rather than the characters. Meanwhile I had no problem connecting the Piper, she was all kind of awesome and while she had her immature moments she was still so more mature than her age. Todd was a great addition too, while there were many parts I didn't understand him by the end I liked him well enough.
Their friendship was really sweet. I loved that I had the chance to take a look at their childhood and see how it all started. The romance was pretty awesome too, considered to a thriller. I found their love believable and sweet, something that I'm sure every teenager dreams of.
All considered Phobic is recommend to all of those who love a good creepy YA horror story with real characters. Do not think for a moment that the characters' age makes this any less good than other YA horrors because it does not.
The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 5/5
The cover: 4/5
The characters: 4/5
Enjoy factor: 5/5
Do you know any 'hidden gems'? Tell me which one is your favorite!