Review of Dollhouse by Anya Allyn

Format: eBook
Genres: Paranormal, Mystery, Horror
Pages: 373
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: 05/2012
Find The Author: Website ¦ Twitter
Amazon UK/US ¦ Goodreads 

For fifteen year old Cassie Claiborne, there's only one good thing about moving from steamy Miami to the wild inland forests of Australia--the even wilder Ethan McAllister. But Ethan already has a girlfriend--Aisha Damaj--the girl with a hundred different moods a minute.

When Aisha goes missing on a hiking trip in the local mountains--presumed dead--the whole town points a finger at Ethan. Cassie defends Ethan fiercely. She's just about the only friend he has left.

Is Cassie letting her feelings for Ethan cloud her judgment? Or does something dark lurk out there in the forests?

As Dollhouse is labelled as a Paranormal story, I was originally worried about it going down the Twilight route, as so many books have done in the past few years. Paranormal Romance is a big thing and while many love it, I avoid it like the plague due to insta-love, copies of Wuthering Heights appearances and too many thoughts of 'achingly familiar'.However, this book sounded so cool I thought I'd give it a chance and just hope that there wasn't too much romance in the story.

I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of romance and there was none of the horrible cliches a paranormal usually has. The main character likes Ethan but they never really have any chance to act on it, due to all the creepy stuff that's going on, which was pretty refreshing. I'm not sure that relationship would work out anyway to be honest with you. He's her friend's boyfriend after all.

This would make a perfect movie and it's everything I look for in a horror movie - creepy woods? Check. Missing girls? Check. Creepy mysterious houses with secrets aplenty? Check! Somehow it has all these classic elements and manages to use them without going too far and coming across as cheesy, it was just perfect.

I have nothing but praise for this book and I can't wait to read the rest of the series but here, have some more! The paranormal elements are super creepy but overdone either, often I find them the main focus of the story and there's just too much going on. With Dollhouse, while the paranormal elements are obviously a bit focus, they're not at the same time? It's very hard to explain without giving away spoilers! One of my favourites this year, this book is a must read.


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