The Agony House
Denise Farber has just moved back to New Orleans with her mom and step-dad. They left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and have finally returned, wagering the last of their family's money on fixing up an old, rundown house and converting it to a bed and breakfast.Nothing seems to work around the place, which doesn't seem too weird to Denise. The unexplained noises are a little more out of the ordinary, but again, nothing too unusual. But when floors collapse, deadly objects rain down, and she hears creepy voices, it's clear to Denise that something more sinister lurks hidden here.Answers may lie in an old comic book Denise finds concealed in the attic: the lost, final project of a famous artist who disappeared in the 1950s. Denise isn't budging from her new home, so she must unravel the mystery-on the pages and off-if she and her family are to survive...

The Agony House Details

TitleThe Agony House
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 25th, 2018
PublisherScholastic Inc.
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Horror, Young Adult, Mystery, Fiction

The Agony House Review

  • Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    ***Big thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review***This book is definitely different from what I normally read. I have never been into graphic novels, not that I'm against them, they just haven't been my thing. But this cover is gorgeous and I was intrigued by the synopsis. I had REALLY hoped that it would have been a BIT more scary. This book focuses on a young girl, Denise, who moves back to New Orleans years after the big hurricane. She lost her father ***Big thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review***This book is definitely different from what I normally read. I have never been into graphic novels, not that I'm against them, they just haven't been my thing. But this cover is gorgeous and I was intrigued by the synopsis. I had REALLY hoped that it would have been a BIT more scary. This book focuses on a young girl, Denise, who moves back to New Orleans years after the big hurricane. She lost her father and her grandfather in "the Storm". Her mother and her step dad throw all of their money into an old house with hopes of sprucing it up and opening up a bed and breakfast. Besides the house being a "crap hole", Denise is not too excited about being away from her friends for her Senior year. She is also less than thrilled when weird things start happening around the house.Her and a neighbor kid find a comic wrapped in plastic up in the attic. They start to read it, and throughout the book, whenever something happens in the comic the same thing happens in real life. Windows slam shut on hands, nails trip people up the stairs, porches cave in. It's like the house, or someone, doesn't want them there. Things progress as Denise uncovers secrets about the house, the past owner, and the mysterious comic. Not all things are as they seem. And one night, things come to a scary confrontation.This story is cute, and has a good sense of mystery to it. It's the typical, good ghost bad ghost situation and it all ends happily. I did feel like there were some parts of the book that were pushed or stressed a little too much. They brought up the fact about white people coming in and buying houses and trying to "white up" the neighborhoods. It was mentioned several times and really didn't have ANYTHING to do with the story. Nothing at all.Again, I would have liked the story to be a BIT more scary. All the really good ghost stuff happened in like the last 3 chapters. It was a cute little ghost story though! The writing was great!
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    This hybrid novel/graphic novel explores the story behind a haunted house in a gentrifying area of New Orleans. Since the book's told in third person, we don't get particularly close to Denise, but in the context of the story, this not only makes sense, it works well. When Denise, her mother, and stepfather, return to New Orleans to fix up an old home years after the storm, they're met with suspicion in the neighborhood. They're white, and the neighborhood is primarily black. There's smart discu This hybrid novel/graphic novel explores the story behind a haunted house in a gentrifying area of New Orleans. Since the book's told in third person, we don't get particularly close to Denise, but in the context of the story, this not only makes sense, it works well. When Denise, her mother, and stepfather, return to New Orleans to fix up an old home years after the storm, they're met with suspicion in the neighborhood. They're white, and the neighborhood is primarily black. There's smart discussion of gentrification and the issues surrounding it, without feeling like a lecture or like Denise and her family weren't welcome (there's a particularly poignant part about employing the neighbors to help with fixing the home and then, when it turns into a BnB, employing them with fair wages). But the ghost story is the key here! Denise and her new friend discover a comic in the spooky attic and -- surprise! -- the comic is the key to understanding the weird, ghostlike experiences they're having in the home. There's a neat look at comic culture and how, during the era of CCA, women and people of color weren't allowed to play real roles in the stories. Fun horror, perfect for younger YA readers (& no problem for middle grade readers, either). This is a book without romance for any readers seeking that out.
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  • Akoss
    January 1, 1970
    @Kidlitexchange #partner - I received a copy of this book from the Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.Releases 9/25/18Denise and her family move back to New Orleans in hopes of changing their fortune by renovating an old house and turning it into a bed and breakfast. Old houses are a tricky business to handle but when it becomes undeniable that the house didn't want Denise and her family around, she decides to push back and keep her family safe by un @Kidlitexchange #partner - I received a copy of this book from the Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.Releases 9/25/18Denise and her family move back to New Orleans in hopes of changing their fortune by renovating an old house and turning it into a bed and breakfast. Old houses are a tricky business to handle but when it becomes undeniable that the house didn't want Denise and her family around, she decides to push back and keep her family safe by uncovering the house's dark past.My favorite kind of scary story is the kind that makes me jumpy, the kind that makes me wonder if what the character sees is real or an illusion, and the kind that makes me paranoid about anything remotely odd. Cherie Priest delivers all of that and more. The combination of prose and graphic novel panels adds a neat interactive level to the reading experience.Wondering about what unsettling details Denise will uncover in her search through the house's past makes this book a thrilling page turner and so hard to put down.Agony House is an excellent horror read that doesn't over do it. I highly recommend you read it in one sitting.
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  • Billie
    January 1, 1970
    A New Orleans haunted house story with graphic novel elements? Yes, Please!For someone who devoured a steady diet of Lois Duncan as a tween, this was right up my alley. Bonus points to Ms. Priest for including social, racial, and economic issues in a way that is educational but not preachy. And a healthy step-parent/step-kid relationship? Extra bonus points, plus gold stars and sparkles. (And unicorns and donuts for the shout-out to indie booksellers.)And now I really want a Lucida Might comic s A New Orleans haunted house story with graphic novel elements? Yes, Please!For someone who devoured a steady diet of Lois Duncan as a tween, this was right up my alley. Bonus points to Ms. Priest for including social, racial, and economic issues in a way that is educational but not preachy. And a healthy step-parent/step-kid relationship? Extra bonus points, plus gold stars and sparkles. (And unicorns and donuts for the shout-out to indie booksellers.)And now I really want a Lucida Might comic series. Please, someone at Graphix, make that a thing.
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  • Cassi
    January 1, 1970
    This book was amazing! Everything I wanted it to be and more. I loved I Am Princess X and I was really excited to hear that she had a new book coming out in a similar format. I saw copies available at ALA and I picked it up without even reading the synopsis. Then I read the synopsis and was even more excited.It was incredibly apropos that I received a copy of this book at ALA in New Orleans because this is a book set in New Orleans, which is just one great thing about it. And the mystery and his This book was amazing! Everything I wanted it to be and more. I loved I Am Princess X and I was really excited to hear that she had a new book coming out in a similar format. I saw copies available at ALA and I picked it up without even reading the synopsis. Then I read the synopsis and was even more excited.It was incredibly apropos that I received a copy of this book at ALA in New Orleans because this is a book set in New Orleans, which is just one great thing about it. And the mystery and history of New Orleans definitely comes alive in The Agony House. It’s a city full of stories of ghosts and haunted houses. That seems to be the basis for this story and I really loved that. I love books that are set in mysterious old houses because I always wonder what happened in a place years ago. And seriously, this House was so creepy and fascinating. It definitely had this great horror movie vibe. It was compelling and cinematic made all the more interesting with the comics that were dispersed throughout.But the house was only the start when it came to establishing the setting of this book. It takes place in the present day so the book has to deal with Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. I really liked why Cherie Priest did with this aspect of the story. She didn’t shy away from talking about some of the terrible things that happened to the city of New Orleans and the people who lived there. She also really addressed the idea of gentrification and people coming into a blighted neighborhood and wanting to make it better at the expense of the people who had been there for generations. It’s such an interesting concept and I loved that she talked about it here. It gave the book a lot of depth and also grounded it in reality.And that reality was shown in sharp contrast to the amazing supernatural elements in this book. I’m not a big fan of horror but I like a creepy book that makes me look over my shoulder and question things about old houses which is exactly what this book did. The ghost elements were really well done and had me really thinking that this house could certainly be a stop on a New Orleans ghost tour if it existed. And the ghost tour I went on was one of the highlights of my trip so that made me incredibly happy.The other thing about this book that made me very happy was the mystery. I really loved the way it all unfolded. Like I Am Princess X this one had a comic that was dispersed throughout the story which gave clues that lead to the big reveal at the end (and in this case also showed what run ins with the resident ghost would be like). But unlike Princess X, I felt like this mystery was a little less obvious. It still was solvable and there were hints but it felt like a more mysterious and complex narrative which I appreciated. It was also an incredibly addicting read. It’s a short book and therefore it’a not too surprising that I finished it in two days but I also could not put it down. I keep telling myself “just one more chapter” and before I knew it I had read another forty pages. It had that much of my attention.All in all, this was an amazing read. It is the perfect combination of supernatural thriller and historical mystery plus there is the comic thrown in for even more amazingness. I really loved and definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fast and compelling Halloween read.
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  • Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    See full review on my link text my blog of reviews on books that haven't come out yet!I picked this one up because not only was it a ghost story, but it's also part graphic novel, which I thought was the coolest thing! I liked it and the ending was cute.I really liked how the characters weren't in denial about ghosts the whole time because that just takes away from the story so I'm happy that didn't happen. The cast of characters was interesting and I really liked the friendships the main, Denis See full review on my link text my blog of reviews on books that haven't come out yet!I picked this one up because not only was it a ghost story, but it's also part graphic novel, which I thought was the coolest thing! I liked it and the ending was cute.I really liked how the characters weren't in denial about ghosts the whole time because that just takes away from the story so I'm happy that didn't happen. The cast of characters was interesting and I really liked the friendships the main, Denise, made with the neighborhood kids -especially with Dominique, who looked like they would be enemies in the beginning. Terry was funny and Norman was cool. No ships in this book (which is better for the story).The plot was mysterious. It doesn't quite snatch up your attention like I've experienced with some other AMAZING books, but it was fun to try and figure out what was happening. Likes/Dislikes: I said this before but again: I really liked how the characters weren't fully in denial of ghosts the whole time. I feel like the book was WAY better that way. Also liked how there was an actual comic book IN the story!! And how the color of the text would change to blue when the kids were texting or reading articles etc. I didn't like how it was told through third person narration; I feel like it could've been better off with going first person.Conclusion: I would rate this a high 3 out of 5 stars. I'd recommend it to anyone in the mood for a good quick & fast ghost story. Took me 3 days to read
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  • Jennifer Hill
    January 1, 1970
    A hybrid of text and graphic novel. Denise has just moved back to New Orleans with her mom and step-dad. They are planning on fixing up an old, dilapidated house into a bed and breakfast, but the neighborhood is not exactly welcoming. Weird things start to happen in the house, unexplained things and Denise begins to research what happened in the house and learns a famous author died there. She begins to realize there are TWO spirits, one that is EVIL and one who is trying to help her. If you lik A hybrid of text and graphic novel. Denise has just moved back to New Orleans with her mom and step-dad. They are planning on fixing up an old, dilapidated house into a bed and breakfast, but the neighborhood is not exactly welcoming. Weird things start to happen in the house, unexplained things and Denise begins to research what happened in the house and learns a famous author died there. She begins to realize there are TWO spirits, one that is EVIL and one who is trying to help her. If you like ghost stories, this is the book for you! I could not put it down.
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  • Engel Dreizehn
    January 1, 1970
    Whoa! I blown away again just like "Princess X" which I considering this book to be a "spiritual successor" of. It had very fast paced action and intrigue abound all tightly woven...I did not see that ending coming! The supernatural elements was so light and subtle that it makes the reader wonder was that real or not? Plus the amazing comic-text hybrid makes the narrative every immersive and an enjoyable ride!
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    I was a little disappointed that this mystery/horror story is not as well written as Priest's earlier work, I Am Princess X. I do appreciate her combination of graphic novel and prose.
  • Carrie Shaurette
    January 1, 1970
    Read for School Library Journal review.
  • Alissa
    January 1, 1970
    SO excited!! I've been waiting a long time for this book and I'm happy it's finally being published :)
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