Early LibraryThing Book Review & Giveaway: Starter House by Sonja Condit

Publisher:  William Morrow

Release Date:  December 31, 2013

Pages:  384

ISBN: 0062283057

Source: Publisher & LibraryThing

Genre:  Mystery


Promising talent Sonja Condit makes her debut with Starter House, an eerie and mesmerizing tale about a young couple whose new house holds deadly secrets from the past, sure to appeal to fans of Heart-Shaped Box and The Thirteenth Tale.

From the moment Lacey sees the house with the beautiful wood staircase, she knows she’s found her dream home. Growing up rootless with her flighty mother, Ella Dane, a self-proclaimed psychic, Lacey is determined to give her unborn baby the stability she never had.

But shortly after she and her husband, Eric, move in, the warm and welcoming house becomes cold and dark. There is something malevolent within these walls that wants to hurt her unborn child—a terrifying presence that only she can sense. And there is Drew, a demanding and temperamental little boy who mysteriously appears when Lacey is alone.

To protect her unborn child and save her family, Lacy must discover the truth about her dream house and the troubled Drew—a decades-old mystery involving secrets, violence, and guilt—and confront an evil that has lingered in wait for years.

My Review:

I loved the cover! It’s the window of the “starter house”, and gives the impression that someone is looking out the window…guarding the house.  In order to give my review, I need to include 2 disclosures.

First, I absolutely HATE, yes, hate, when books are compared to other masterpieces.  I can understand there are books that may be similar, evoke the same emotions, and possibly have a similar storyline….but unless the book is a rewrite-it should be a stand-alone and not compared to other books. Period.

Secondly, when I read a book, I don’t like to guess what will come next or poke holes in a storyline.  Sure, some books may be a little obvious, while others may be a little too hokey and simply unrealistic.  However, that is the beauty of books: they are a great escape.  It’s not 48 Hours, the TV show.

With my two disclosures now shared: I can honestly say that I LOVED this book!  I’m a big scaredy cat and definitely will not read any demonic stories.  While it’s not a demonic storyline, it’s definitely creepy and kept me reading through the very last page.

If you’ve read my posts about e-readers, then you know that I prefer any kind of e-reader device over a paperback.  I typically read at bedtime, so finding the “perfect” book light hasn’t happened for me yet.  However, I managed to read this book at night, took it everywhere with me, and enjoyed the book to the very end!

It has all the elements of a great mystery: flawed characters, who are disconnected, so that they don’t share what they know until the very end (when it’s almost too late), an old house with a history of murders, a neighbor that knows more than he’s willing to share, a realtor that doesn’t want to sell the house but gives in because of a hefty commission, and a mom tuned into the supernatural….as well as the daughter (wife and homeowner).

Don’t rush through the book, realize it’s not Amityville House of Horrors (although it comes close), and know that everything will unfold as it needs to-leading up to a great ending!

Without giving too much away, I will answer these questions:

Why does Lacey seem intent to stay in a home that is obviously haunted?  First, she is wanting to give her unborn child what she never had: roots.  Also, by the time she realizes she needs to get out, she learns that where she goes-the ghost does too.

Why doesn’t Eric leave?  Because he’s mounted high in debt and doesn’t want to disappoint his wife, and he also doesn’t want to believe that there is any truth to what is presented to him by Lacey and others.

I enjoyed this book and loved how each chapter had a picture of the book cover…..just to remind you that someone is always watching!  The only suggestion I have is for the author: please be more visible on FB & Twitter, as well as amping up the website.

It’s such a fantastic book, that I’ve decided to offer this book as a giveaway!

A huge thanks to LibraryThing and the publisher for giving me an opportunity to read and review the book!

Scroll down to get the info!

About the Author:

Sonja Condit received her MFA from Converse College, where she studied with Robert Olmstead, Leslie Pietrzyk, R. T. Smith, and Marlin Barton. Her short fiction has appeared in Shenandoah magazine, among other publications. She plays principal bassoon in the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium. She teaches at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

Book Details:

Enter your name, email, and answer this question in the comment section:

What’s the name of the scariest movie you’ve seen?

Giveaway ends: March 30, 2014.

(US entries only).


17 thoughts on “Early LibraryThing Book Review & Giveaway: Starter House by Sonja Condit

  1. The scariest movie I have ever seen is Poltergeist. It gave me nightmares for months after watching it. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    Anita Yancey


  2. For me, it will always be HALLOWEEN with Jamie Lee Curtis. To this day, I hate the music cause it still scares the you know what out of me.


  3. The Ring. Mostly because I watched it on video. I slept with the lights on and the TV running reruns of comedy sitcoms for at least a week. Absolutely terrifying. I still won’t watch it again.


  4. The scariest movie I’ve seen is Silence of the Lamb. Definitely had nightmares for days and will not watch The Hannibal TV series on now. My Husband has to go to the other room to watch it when it’s on.


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