A group of disparate teens win a contest to meet their favorite horror-movie director and find themselves in a real horror experience.
Of the teens, only 18-year-old Ivy has no interest in horror films or in the famous director, Justin Blake. She survived a real horror experience six years earlier, when her parents were murdered while she listened from her room across the hall. Now she wants to conquer her fear and thinks that learning why people enjoy horror movies might help. She and the others enter an Internet contest to describe their worst nightmares, winning a trip to rural Minnesota to meet Blake and arriving via chauffeured hearse to a replica of the Dark House. The next night, the hearse transports them to an amusement park custom built to make them face their own personal nightmares. Rather than offering innocent thrills, however, the individually tailored nightmare rides seem to be quite real….Although Stolarz shines the spotlight mostly on Ivy, she gives multiple chapters to the other five participants, each with a distinctive personality, including Garth, a pierced and tattooed rebel who sees horror as cool, and Natalie, a disturbed girl who might have some insight into the reality of what the group faces. The suspense starts pounding when the teens enter the park and doesn’t stop until readers are ready for the sequel.
Stephen King would love it. (Horror. 12-18)