Hi everyone! Today I’m bringing to you another ARC review! I have a ton of ARCs from earlier this year that I still need to get to, but this is the final one that I have that hasn’t come out yet so now I can either focus on reading some of the earlier ARCs, or try to get a head start on my 2021 ARCs.
The Open House
by Sam Carrington
Release date: December 10th 2020
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ .5
Trigger Warnings: death, disappearances, divorce
Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves…
Nick and Amber Miller are splitting up and selling their Devon family home. But despite the desirable location, the house isn’t moving. Not a single viewing so far..
When their estate agent suggests an open house event, Amber agrees, even as she worries about their gossiping neighbours attending and snooping around their home.
But Amber has more to worry about than nosy neighbours. Because thirteen people enter her house that afternoon, and only twelve leave.
Someone doesn’t want the house to sell, and is willing to do anything to stop it…
Thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
When I started this one, I was really getting into it but quickly I started to notice that the writing could definitely use another round or two of edits. As this is an ARC, I can’t say for sure if it will get those edits before being published, but I sincerely hope so! The use of hyphens in almost every single sentence was distracting. I also got confused quite a few times on who was speaking, because sometimes there wouldn’t be any quotation marks between one person and the next, or any indication as to who was speaking.
I also found the way the 8 year old son was written fairly unbelievable, because he spoke so eloquently and was very objective about things, to the point where if you weren’t told his age, you could’ve easily said he was in his late teens or early 20s and I would’ve believed it.
I do think the premise was really interesting. A couple trying to sell their house after a split holds an open house, and while 13 people enter, only 12 leave. I ended up not liking the way that this was woven into the story at the end, because in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter at all and nothing was really done with the knowledge of why only 12 people left.
Outside of the writing, I did enjoy the book for the most part, until about 50-60% through when I started getting antsy that we weren’t getting any sort of reveals. Each of the twists started to get progressively more ridiculous to me, and there was a LOT happening because there are so many subplots. I think this could’ve benefitted from focusing on ONE aspect of the story and cut out the strange side plots. I also didn’t think that there was any way for you to connect the dots and see what was happening, because there weren’t really any clues laid out for you and the way that it’s written only gives vague answers or descriptions.
I definitely didn’t agree with the decision Amber made at the end, because it was so out of character for her that I was just…confused as to why she made that choice. There were almost two endings, one about the house and one about the people. The way the mystery around the house was resolved felt a little….bland? It didn’t feel like it mattered all that much. The ending with all the people involved was a little convoluted, but I think if that had been the focus of the entire book and was cleaned up a bit, maybe it would’ve been better.
I did however really like the atmosphere created! It was very eerie and I felt paranoid along with the characters about what was going on.
All in all, I liked the first 60%, which was fast paced and suspenseful, but from there it was downhill for me.