This Appearing House

This Appearing House
Age Range
Release Date
August 16, 2022
Buy This Book
For as long as anyone could remember there wasn’t a house at the dead end of Juniper Drive . . . until one day there was.

When Jac first sees the House, she’s counting down to the five-year anniversary of her cancer diagnosis, when she hopefully will be declared NED, or “no evidence of disease.” But with a house appearing, and her hands shaking, and a fall off her bike, Jac is starting to wonder if these are symptoms—or if something stranger is happening.

Two classmates dare Jac and her friend Hazel to enter the House. Walking through the front door is the way in. It’s definitely not the way out. There’s something off about the House; Jac can feel it. The same way she knows it’s no coincidence that the House appeared for her five-year marker. It wants something from her. And she won’t be able to get out until she figures out what.

Editor review

1 review
The only way out is through.
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
The book fulfills the author’s goal to write a book showing a young person overcoming a serious illness. The journey isn’t without struggles, as Jac fears the disease is returning after five years of treatment. She takes a couple of falls, her hands start to twitch, and she might be experiencing hallucinations. How else can she explain the house that appeared at the end of Juniper Drive? The plot becomes a haunted house story, and the author’s skillful descriptions conjure creepy, eerie emotions. The experience inside the house is a metaphor for the internal battle Jac’s facing. The only way out is through, and she’ll eventually need to face her inner monsters.
Jac has recently moved to New Jersey, so school and friendships offer challenges. She hasn’t shared her health problems with anyone else, not even her best friend Hazel. Hazel has his own issues dealing with a bully intent on shaming him for his girl’s name. Hazel’s character isn’t going through a gender-identity crisis; he’s named for a rabbit in his mother’s favorite story. Jac has erected a figurative wall inside her mind to shield her feelings, so no one truly knows what’s happening to her.
The story spends a good deal of time describing Jac’s relationship with her mother. It’s complicated, as her mother tries to juggle being a caring parent while not being overly protective. Jac tries to live as normally as possible, but her mother’s constant questions about how she’s feeling sidetrack her thoughts. It’s hard to not obsess about the disease when her mother won’t let her forget. On the other hand, her mother must protect her daughter from harm, so she needs to know what’s going on. Mother and daughter want the same thing, but their efforts are in conflict. As I said, it’s complicated.
What didn’t work as well:
Most of the book doesn’t specifically mention Jac’s disease and simply talks about its symptoms. It’s not clear why the author chooses to keep it secret, since the book’s synopsis says it’s cancer. Why not use the word from the beginning? Jac struggles with accepting her diagnosis, but informing readers of the disease shouldn’t significantly affect the story.
The Final Verdict:
This book could be categorized as a ghost story, but it shares the profoundly emotional war that consumes people diagnosed with serious diseases. The author passionately expresses the fear, confusion, and anger of living with an illness. I highly recommend you give this book a shot.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account