This was an unfortunate DNF for me. I found it really difficult to follow a main character who was so unkind to others.
A wild ride that isn't afraid to play into tropes, THE NIGHT HOUSE is split into three parts that yield slightly diminishing returns. The first part is amazing - the second one fun and enjoyable - and the third, while the weakest of the bunch (and the most cliche) still gives a relatively satisfying enough conclusion. The book starts at its strongest with that first chapter, though. Man, that was tough.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this review copy in exchange for an honest opinion. Review has been posted on Amazon.
I am struggling with where my rating should land.
The first part I dug. Things are happening to Richard’s friends, weird creepy disappearances and the cops believe he killed these kids.
The atmosphere is great and I really enjoyed the sense of dread Nesbø built up. However, it lost me a little when Richard went to the institution. I had high hopes at the beginning and it just kept getting worse and worse.
The second part became unhinged and was like a fever dream and felt like a completely different story and the third part - what was that?
I really wanted to like this but I just didn’t. It may be for someone, but it’s not for me.
Not what I was expecting. Strange and kinda gross. Some may like it. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. It's Jo Nesbo. I don't even feel like I need to say more because his books have been entertaining me for years and this one is no different. Don't ask, just read.
The cover to The Night House by Jo Nesbo is what drew me in. That blood-soaked telephone receiver handing down in front of a spooky house was more than enough to hook me into reading the novel. I could only hope that the story beneath the cover by this award-winning author would more than match the creepiness of that cover.
No one believes Richard when he tells them the telephone receiver in the phone booth at the edge of the woods ate his classmate. Why should they? After all, not only was it an outlandish story, but no one in the small town of Ballantyne had any reason to believe Richard. He moved to the small town after the death of his parents and was taken in by his aunt and uncle. Richard was a loner and was seen as strange at best. The only person who seemed to believe him was Karen. She at least listened to his story and encouraged him to prove his innocence when everyone began to suspect him of the disappearance. When another classmate goes missing, this time shortly after leaving Richard’s house, the scrutiny only increased.
Only one thing seems clear to Richard: everything that has gone wrong in the small town is tied to the Night House. There is an evil that dwells there which has made the town rotten to the core. The house has claimed lives and, while he is not dead, Richard seems to be one of those lives. He knows the house must be destroyed. The only problem is that no one really knows just what the nature of the house is and, try as he might, he just never seems to be able to defeat it. Of course, all of this is tied to how Richard has come to view his life and his place in the story. The greatest problem that Richard must overcome is understanding exactly what his role is. This seems impossible, though, when Richard is not too sure of who he is himself.
I try to ensure that my reviews are fair and the reviews of this book seem to be all over the place. It seems as if the book works for the reader or fails. For me, this book was largely a failure. The book is largely split into two parts (three, really, but the second and third ran together in my mind). The first part of the novel is the story of Richard as a child trying to figure out what is going on in Ballantyne. No one will believe what he has seen and he is instantly the villain in everyone’s mind. As he works to unravel the mystery, the novel unfolds as a fairly standard young adult novel. There are some good passages of horror and a lot of standard fare for this type of story. It was an entertaining but uninspiring work of young adult horror that sprinted along and kept my attention while feeling a little bland.
It is when The Night House hits the second part that it comes off the rails. Nesbo throws a curve that completely changes everything, and it just does not work at all. This is supposed to be a total shock to surprise the reader and turn the story on its head. Instead, it left me struggling to finish the novel. I almost gave up on it about ¾ of the way through the novel but decided I had gone far enough to see it through and see if it would get back on track. It did not, unfortunately, and I was just happy to get to the end of the novel. I see what Nesbo was hoping to accomplish but it just falls flat. I had never gotten too invested in the story as it was not a great read from the beginning, but the ending of the novel just left me frustrated. Some readers will like this more than others, as the ratings and reviews suggest, but The Night House reads almost as a contractual obligation novel with a forced twist at the end to try to make it something it is not.
I would like to thank Knopf and NetGalley for this review copy. The Night House is available now.
Another win from Jo Nesbo! I am a huge fan of The Snowman so I was really looking forward to picking up a different type of read from Nesbo. This one definitely did the job. There is a slower beginning that might lose people, but keep pushing through. I think the second half pays off. If you're looking for a creepy and surprisingly dark read - check this one out.
Another incredible entry into the Nesbo canon of work. Whether it's part of a series or a standalone story, no one does this genre quite like Nesbo. Suspenseful, constantly captivating, and with characters you truly come to care about, he is a master of this style, and I am once again blown away by his creation.
I don’t know how I let this book sit on my to be read shelf for so long. I really like a good mess with your mind horror and I think this got there for me. I will admit it was a little odd to be reading an adult book focused on a 14 year old, but as the story went on it made more and more sense. This is the kind of book where once you feel like you understand what’s happening something switches suddenly and everything you thought was true is wrong. 14 year old Richard moves in with his aunt and uncle after his parents die in a fire. But the small town they live in, Ballantyne, is strange. When another child is eaten by a phone in a phone booth Richard tries to tell the truth, but no one believes him and everyone thinks he is behind that child’s disappearance. I will say the main character Richard is hard to like, but I don’t think that makes him a bad protagonist of this story. As the story went on I felt like I understood him a bit better and understood why he was a bit of a jerk. I don’t think I have Jo Nesbo before but this one definitely intrigued me and I will be exploring more.
2.5 stars. Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush... good lord the circles my head is spinning in. I wish I could say I enjoyed this one but I just didn't. Left me feeling exhausted and like I had to reach for parts of the story that should have been there but weren't.
I didn’t connect to this one as much as I hoped. The premise sounded really fascinating but the writing style felt disjointed and choppy in a way that continually brought me out of the story.
Hmmmmm the ending on this one was just to much for me. I really loved the first half the book and wish we would have just followed that story. On this one I don’t want to say too much about the plot as I think it would be best to go into this knowing as little as possible. The first third of the book follows a young boy after his parents die and mysterious things begin to happen including the disappearance of some classmates as the new kid Richard of course is seen as an outsider. This book has a lot of twists and I didn’t see the ending on this one at all. For me personally it wasn’t a hit but I could see others really enjoying this. I have read some of Jo nesbo thrillers and have really enjoyed them but this one just didn’t feel the same but can’t wait to pick more from this author. I would like to thank NetGalley and the publishers for a chance to read this book for an honest review.
THE NIGHT HOUSE by @jonesboauthor - my first Nesbo - I generally liked the plot, but there was a LOT of fat-shaming and bullying (I know it supposedly had a purpose) that were just depressing and exhausting for me. Otherwise an ok book.
Thank you to the author, @netgalley and the publisher for the e-ARC.
THE NIGHT HOUSE – by Jo Nesbø – Translated from Norwegian by Neil Smith
‘there, bathed in moonlight, lay the house. The devil’s horns on the ridge, the oak tree through the roof, the black, blind windows reflecting the moonlight. The Night House.’
In a word, WOW! I was not expecting the story to play out the way it did, with Creepy-Goodness surrounding a Heartbreaking Center—Highly Recommend!!
Side Note: Love The Cover!—It immediately pulled me into the story. If you know you know, if you don’t . . . you will. ;)
Thank you, NetGalley and Knopf, Borzoi Books, (Penguin Random House LLC.), for providing me with an ebook of THE NIGHT HOUSE at the request of an honest review.
I was really into this book in the beginning! I thing it was so strange and bizarre in all the right ways, but it got very consistently fatphobic. And by the time I got to part 3, it felt like I had w whiplash from all the plot twists. I understand it was supposed to be confusing and blend the kind between fiction and reality, but it just didn’t land for me the way I wanted overall.
Unfortunately, The Night House proved to be a disappointment in my eyes. While I appreciate the creativity in its format and certain elements, the reliance on specific plot points that, I, personally do not like took away from the overall experience.
The initial part of the book captivated me with its traditional campy young adult-ish horror, despite some issues. However, as I progressed to part 2, the narrative took an unexpected and, frankly, peculiar turn. By the time I reached part 3, the story seemed to go downhill.
Although it didn't resonate with me, I think that other readers may find value in it. While I may not have loved it, others might.
Thank you, Netgalley, the author, and Knopf for the gifted e-book/audiobook! ❤️ #gifted. My review is comprised of my honest thoughts.
This was very interesting. It's creepy, weird, and suspenseful. Part 1 was so strong. It fell off after that for me. I tried to like it.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
Such a great horror book. Gave me the vibes of the kind of horror novels I loved when I was in high school.
Fast paced and quick read.
I'll admit, I've never actually read a book by Jo Nesbo, but the cover of this one was impossible to pass up. It has those perfect 80's horror vibes that I absolutely adore. I will say, the story wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but I did end up enjoying it quite a bit. It almost reminded me a bit of Goosebumps, but written for an older audience. I do think that nostalgic feeling carried a lot of the book for me, but based on how much I enjoyed this one, I'll probably go look at Nesbo's back catalog to see what else they're published.
Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for granting me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.