Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Review: Amber House (Amber House #1)

Release Date: October 1, 2012
Authors: Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed
Publisher: Scholastic
Length: 368 pages

"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.


Protagonist: Sarah is about to discover a gift that lets her experience moments of history in Amber House, her family's grand Maryland estate that was just willed to her family by her deceased grandmother. At first Sarah is freaked out by the strange visions and spooky ghost-like figures, but overtime she begins to find joy in learning the history of her family. I can't begin to explain how in-depth these characters are, when I was reading about them I practically felt them with me, the detail is just incredible and the development of Sarah and her family is just perfect. We see Sarah overcoming challenges and seeing how her personality grows with each ordeal.

Romance: Now, I was thoroughly confused by this for a moment. Usually it's easy to tell, especially in a love triangle, who the protagonist will end up with. Even though the same rules apply here, for the most part, I found myself rooting for the other guy most of the time, which I kind of liked because it's a rarity when I root for the other side of a love triangle. In addition, I found the love triangle to not really be there for around half of the book, it wasn't until one of the characters was explaining something totally different that everything began to click, just not in the way I had originally thought.

Autism: I have so much respect for these authors. I had seen on Tucker Reed's Twitter, before reading, that she had an interest in Autism Awareness, and while reading the book I realized that they used the book as a format to raise awareness. I was so delighted to see these authors using their love of writing as a platform to help raise awareness. They way in how they did it was great, while reading the book it's not as if you get slapped with PSAs, but instead characters with autism are integrated into the story and the narrator explains what autism is and how it effects her and her family in a way that really just seems like world-building, it's perfect.

Predictability: This was one of those books where most of the time I would have a moderate understanding of where the story will go, but then it will be twisted here and there. There weren't many twists really, just a lot of shadow and mystery. It's kind of like being led through a maze with a only a flashlight, you kind of see where it's going but you still can't see the big picture until you're out of the maze. I really enjoyed it this way, it made everything come into perspective at the end in a very cool way.

Ending: Speaking of which, the ending was beyond crazy. It's almost as if this book was a stand-alone, however the best part is that it isn't. There were a few mysteries here and there that weren't entirely solved, but if the story had to end with this book it would have been fine. Since this series will be a trilogy, I'm excited to see what new discoveries our heroine can make and where the story can go after an ending like that.


This book was brilliantly written, had a crazy, yet awesome, ending, and incorporated a really important message. It's a great book about looking to the past to help in the present and preserve the future. I'd say this is an instant buy, however if you are a bit skeptical then borrow it from your local library, but I wouldn't be surprised if you still bought it soon after reading it.

1 comment:

  1. I've never hear of this one. Sounds good! Thanks for the review!