The Devils You Know by M.C. Atwood (review)
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Reviewed by
Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor
Atwood, M.C. The Devils You Know. Soho Teen, 2017 [288p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-61695-788-9 $18.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-61695-789-6 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 8-12

Violet’s got a secret that would trash her reputation at school; athletic, charming Paul hides his love for LARPing for fear of losing his popularity; Ashley’s flirtations with other girls could damage her conservative politician father’s career; Dylan doesn’t want his parents to know he goes full goth at school; and Gretchen’s not really concealing anything, she’s just angry about nearly everything. The five seniors are brought together on a field trip to the infamous Boulder House, a sprawling estate turned museum built years ago by Maxwell Cartwright, Jr., a now-deceased local legend known for his eccentricity and maliciousness. The house is rumored to be haunted, and the teens find out just how real those stories are when they accidentally step through a magical portal and find themselves fighting off hordes of evil dolls, a flesh-eating clown, murderous angels, and one nasty devil. This is basically The Breakfast Club meets House of Horrors, and it capably balances campiness, pathos, action, and gore for a delightfully terrifying read. The story behind the house is given in snippets throughout the text, and the house, clearly a thinly veiled version of Wisconsin’s real-life House on the Rock, is vividly described. Narration shifts among the teens, and as their secrets are revealed their bond grows; though the message that friendship can overcome the perils of both hell and high school is a little overdone, the teens’ ultimate triumph is worth cheering for. No note about the House on the Rock is given, so be sure to point lovers of urban legends and folklore to that particularly creepy internet hole. [End Page 107]

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