Bel Reviews: Anya Allyn's - "Dollhouse"
A statuesque young lady in an elaborate white gown draws the eye from the dark spooky looking woodland scene behind her, while curtains and a stage let you think maybe not everything is as concrete as first thought. It works well for the story and the ominous air of the trilogy.
The Goodreads Blurb reads…
“Fifteen year old Aisha disappears in the forests on a school hiking trip. She’s the latest in a string of children to vanish there over the past five years. The towns surrounding the forests are on edge and they demand answers. And wildboy Ethan—Aisha’s boyfriend—is on the run after he and his grandfather are blamed for Aisha’s disappearance.
Cassie is just about the only friend Ethan has left. She’s been secretly in love with him ever since her mother dragged her to the wilds of Australia from Florida six months ago.
Desperate to prove Ethan’s innocence, Cassie searches the forests with Ethan to find out what really happened to Aisha. But Ethan’s growing strangely silent, and Cassie’s left questioning if her feelings for him are clouding her judgement.
Cassie discovers a dark secret lurking in the heart of the forests; a secret world of nightmarish horrors—where nothing is as it seems, where the supernatural invades your soul, where the people she trusted most might be the people she can trust the least, and where escape exists only in dreams.”
We’re introduced to the story with a bunch of teenagers dealing with the aftermath of their classmate/girlfriend going missing. What starts out as a quite contemporary tale of kids carrying on when the adults have given up, continues into a story that throws you down the rabbit hole, makes you eat the cookies and drink the tea. Quite frankly it leaves you wondering which way is up.
I loved the build up to what I call ‘The big EEK’ because the dynamic within the group is quite convincing as a regular teenage drama. As for what ‘The big EEK’ is, think life-sized dolls and creepy carousels. Exactly… EEK!
I’m not normally a fan of spooky books, especially one where the spooky isn’t mixed with terrible humour and clichés coming out the wazoo. That being said I gritted my teeth (and read on in broad daylight) to get through the EEK, and found it was well worth it.
I think reading it during the cooler months would add an extra layer of goose bump inducing heebie jeebies for those who like to have the snot scared out of them. If not, the draw factors should be for the well written story and the left of field plot twists. Anya has done well to suck me (the big chicken) into loving her creepy portrayal of the wilds of Australia.
I’m sure I will be looking for book two Paperdolls in the near future. But if I read it it will be with the lights on, the doors locked, and the cats in the bed with me. Just Sayin’!
Kindle Edition, 373 pages
Published 2012 by CreateSpace