House of Secrets is an exciting read full of adventure, humor, and lovable characters. However, it didn’t stand out for me like I expected it to, being Chris Columbus was a co-author with Ned Vizzini. And I also, wouldn’t have categorized this as a junior fiction read; rather I would have made it young adult because there are a lot of jokes I don’t think the younger ones would get and there’s quite a bit of violence.
For me, this book was just okay. Some scenes I just didn’t believe because the characters seemed to “get” and “catch on” to things a little too quickly if you know what I mean? The adventures were great too, but, I feel like they were a bit too easily accepted and resolved by the characters. ( I don’t know of 15 year old who could perform surgery..and without medical tools just because their dad was a doctor…) And a couple of the illustrations didn’t match the descriptions in the story. (Wish I had taken that one last class to get my editing certificate!! Gah!)
Getting past the wishy-washy parts, the characters themselves were lovable. Cordelia, the oldest sister, doomed to be the protector and a lover of obscure books. Brendan, the middle child with a love for video games and a desire to be a “man”. Eleanor the youngest child, cute and a bit dyslexic. And then the fictional pilot Will with a bit of an ego and an affinity for saving the day.
House of Secrets has a pretty unique plot with a house literally full of secrets, a Wind Witch, a Storm King, a magical book, a fantasy world, and some great crazy adventures. (I could have done without some of the violence, but hey, that’s just me.) Four kids are thrown into an different world where they would rather not be and must find a way back to the “real world”. But where are they? And why were they chosen to go on this adventure?
This is only Book One of a series so a lot of questions go unanswered and the book does end with a pretty good cliffhanger, so be prepared! I’m not sure if I will be continuing on with this series, since it wasn’t spectacular for me, but who knows. I think tweens might enjoy this a bit more since they probably aren’t as picky as I am 🙂