Determined to squeeze in some more books before the end of the month!
Thanks to the publisher for the free copy in exchange for my honest review
MIDNIGHT HOUSE – Ian Dawson (Released March 30th, 2021)
YA THRILLER TACKLES TOUGH TOPICS AROUND RECOVERING FROM TRAUMA, BASED OFF OF AUTHOR’S OWN KIDNAPPING AS A TEEN
More than twenty-five years ago author Ian Dawson was kidnapped by two older teen boys in a field behind his home in Redding, California. They held him captive for several hours and assaulted him before finally setting him free. This traumatic experience became the inspiration behind his debut YA thriller novel, The Field, which went on to become a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist.
He is now continuing the story with his latest release, Midnight House which picks up two years after the events of The Field, bringing readers on a thrilling new ride that also tackles themes of childhood trauma and recovery, friendship, peer pressure and deception.
“While The Field was more inspired by my actual kidnapping, Midnight House is more fictionalized,” Dawson shares. “But I wanted to tackle the topic of recovering from and de-stigmatizing trauma for teens, and I hope Midnight House will do just that.”
Midnight House follows sixteen-year-old Daniel Robinson. Haunted by the traumatic events of his abduction two years ago, Daniel has tried everything to make his escalating nightmares vanish. Failing to cope with it on his own, he knows it’s only a matter of time before his family, best friend, and his girlfriend notice the lingering effects of his insomnia. Will Daniel reach out for help, or allow the nightmares to consume his sanity?
Meanwhile, Daniel’s best friend, Kyle Hanson, has been invited by Enterprise’s Varsity basketball captain to take part in the Varsity team’s rituals at the mysterious Midnight House. Skeptical of their motives, Daniel takes matters into his own hands to find out what’s going on at the secretive hideaway. Is this Kyle’s chance to prove himself to the Varsity team, or is something more sinister at play?
As the boys navigate the complications of new friendships, jealousy, romance, and high school, their unbreakable bond and the strength of their friendship will be tested. Can they survive what’s waiting at Midnight House?
Midnight House touches on important topics for teens and adults. Dawson is also available for interview or commentary around these topics, including:
- The importance of being honest with your loved ones, no matter what it is you may be struggling with
- The dangers of hazing
- Healthy ways to deal with childhood trauma, and the healing process speaking with a counselor can have
- His own personal experience being kidnapped as teen, what it taught him, and what he wants other teens going through trauma to know
- Creative writing, the writing process, and adapting a real-life event into a fictionalized story.
Mini Review – My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
This is the follow up to THE FIELD, but this read perfectly as a standalone and I never felt lost or like I was missing vital information. MIDNIGHT HOUSE has a great premise and I’ll always love thrillers involving kidnappings, etc. However, this book takes on a whole other tone when you realize that the author is drawing from his own experience, meaning that he was actually kidnapped as a teen. Knowing this made the reading experience all the more intense and kept a level of curiosity as I was reading. How blurred is this line between reality and fiction? I now want to go back and pick up the first book. I loved the suspense, the twists, and going on this journey with both Daniel and Kyle.