The House is the latest young adult novel from Christina Lauren. A rebellious girl, an outcast boy and a house that is more than it seems combine to make a deliciously creepy tale.
Christina Lauren decided to add some visuals to the story and commissioned a Texas based painter and illustrator named Caroline. She lives in Houston with her two dogs she is highly allergic to. She enjoys coffee and outer space and spends her free time drawing boy-bands and superheroes.
The House tells the story of Delilah Blue, a girl who returns to her small Kansas hometown after spending years at boarding school. Delilah becomes instantly smitten with the town’s outcast, Gavin Timothy. He lives in a strange house on the outskirts of town. Delilah is drawn to the house but Gavin warns her to be careful.
Excerpt from ‘The House’
Gavin stared at the girl in front of him, processing what she’d just said. A date, with food and maybe milk shakes, hands coming together, palms pressed tightly later. Maybe even lips and teeth touch¬ing later, too, and her quiet girl sounds muted by his mouth.
He’d never been very good at the romantic negotiations. The heavy, insinuating looks from girls when they moved to stand close to him. The cloying awkwardness of a girl trying to speak to him and becoming more and more self-conscious as he politely waited for her to finish saying whatever it was she wanted to say. Thankfully, most girls would eventually decide it was easier to pretend he wasn’t even there. But Delilah was a battering ram.
It was partly what drew him to her, but only partly. Her complete fearlessness felt calming and trustworthy, but her lips, and skin, and the hint of her breasts beneath her sweater didn’t hurt either.
“What are you thinking?”
“Nothing,” he lied.
“Liar. I just told you I wanted you to ask me out. Whether you’re intrigued or horrified, you have to be thinking about something.”
He didn’t bother denying it; he just smiled and looked at her face some more. She was so beautiful. Her skin was unreal, tiny freckles but otherwise smooth and clean with just the right amount of color blooming across her cheeks as she watched him. He could draw those eyes, he thought. Charcoal, maybe smudged with the edge of his little finger. Delilah’s eyes were wide-set, almost strangely almond shaped, and a turbulent gray-green like the crashing surf of Hallway Painting, waves pummeling stone and sand.
He would draw her later. He’d take the sketch downstairs, sit with Piano, listen to a song that he imagined would make drawn Delilah come to life, and he would pull her close to him, dance her across the floor. She would feel him, so real with her hands tugging his hair and her teeth pulling at the collar of his shirt like an impatient kitten, purring into his neck.
The real Delilah was waiting for an answer. How could they date when they didn’t even inhabit the same world? She, a mystery in her crisp shirt and pleated skirt, so unable to give up the prim uniform of Catholic school. He, with his tangle of hair, black shirt, jeans in the final throes of coherence.
“I’m not sure I’m really your type.”
Her smile curved her mouth into something edible. “I think you are.”
The House releases on October 6.