A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman is an incredible novella full of both charm and horror.
If you’re looking for an incredibly creepy read, I would highly recommend this! I was hooked immediately and absolutely could not stop reading.
My Thoughts on A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman
What a wonderfully creepy novella! This is the type of book that you just need to dive into, so I highly recommend you return to this review after you have read the book if you want to stay totally clueless before reading.
If not, feel free to continue on!
So first of all, the writing… Josh Malerman is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite authors. He writes suspense so wonderfully! After reading Bird Box, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on another of his works. This one certainly didn’t disappoint. There were so many situations that the characters got into that made me feel super tense and anxious, and that is exactly what I look for when reading a book like this!
Speaking of the characters, I really enjoyed both James and Amelia, two seventeen-year-old kids. Through both their dialogue and inner thoughts, they both seemed so incredibly real to me! I absolutely loved that we were introduced to both of them right as James got the courage to ask her out.
I also loved the way that Josh Malerman wrote the storyline. When the situation called for it, there were short chapters that were from just one of the characters perspectives. But for the majority of the book, the pages included both of the main characters perspectives, one right after the other. For example:
“Sorry,” he said again.
“No. Don’t worry. I just imagined us drowning is all.”
Was that a dumb joke?
James felt dumb, too.
“Turkey sandwich?” he asked. “Chips? Water?”
“Sounds good. Sounds like a meal deal.”
Another dumb joke. Who would bring up a meal deal while surrounded by everything that was so much the opposite of a meal deal?
But James smiled.
I don’t think this novella would have been as effective if it had dual perspectives organized into a strict A, B, A, B chapter format.
The plot was so interesting to me. Each time the teens entered the house, I felt my anxiety rising! I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
My Favorite Passages from A House at the Bottom of a Lake
He swim up the stairs and it felt like running uphill, the resistance, the fatigue, do you and patience of a nightmare.
And while he always dreamed he’d perform with honor if he was ever this afraid, he’d underestimated how afraid this was.
And yet, what came next was the only thing that could have frightened him more than he already was.
It was the scariest thing that could happen inside a house underwater, the house at the bottom of the lake.
My Final Thoughts on A House at the Bottom of a Lake
I absolutely loved this novella. The storyline was wonderfully written, the characters were relatable, and the suspense was great! I would recommend this book to others who really enjoyed The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King.
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