Monday, September 8, 2014
Book Review: The House on the Gulf
Recommended For: Ages 9 to Adult
When Britt's older brother, Bran, lands a summer job house-sitting for the Marquises, an elderly couple, it seems like a great opportunity. Britt and Bran have moved to Florida so their mother can finish college, and the house-sitting income will allow their mom to quit her job and take classes full-time. Having never lived in a real house before, Britt is thrilled. There's only one problem: Britt starts to suspect her family isn't supposed to be there.
She's been noticing that Bran is acting weird and defensive--he hides the Marquises' mail, won't let anyone touch the thermostat, and discourages Britt from meeting any of the neighbors. Determined to get to the bottom of things, Britt starts investigating and makes a startling discovery--the Marquises aren't who Bran has led her and their mom to believe. So whose house are they staying in, and why has Bran brought them there?
Wow. This book turned out quite different from what I expected. The ending was quite a surprise. I very much enjoyed this book.
The writing of this book was good, and, as always, Margaret Peterson Haddix drew me in with her deep character voice. Really, her character voice is always as if it's in first person when it's not. As for the other aspects, it seemed fine to me. No typos that I noticed.
This book was set in Florida in the modern times. It was in one of those beach communities where some people only stay for a certain time and there isn't much around. The setting was very well done.
This was what blew me away. The plot was VERY well done, down to the unexpected twist in the middle. It was very intriguing. I couldn't put this book down because of the plot, though that happens with quite a few books. Margaret Peterson Haddix did a very good job on the plot of this book.
Margaret Peterson Haddix always does a great job on her character development. This book was no exception. The characters were well-rounded, and Bran was especially well-done. I also liked Britt and her character arc, even though it was more off-screen than on-screen.
I say a hearty round of applause to Margaret Peterson Haddix for creating such a good book. I think anyone who likes reading would enjoy this book.