Please enjoy this review.
The death house follows the story of Toby a teenager who is found to have a defective gene that requires him to be quarantined in the Death House.
The Death House is a boarding school of sorts where children are kept away from the general population because the defective gene in their DNA causes an unspecified mutation (many different symptoms). When the children start showing signs of illness they are taken in the middle of the night to the sanatorium, which is the fear element in the story keeping the inhabitants in line. (along with the Matron).
Toby is a youth in his prime, but being taken and living in the Death House change his beliefs and persona to more of an adult and a leader of the younger defectives. This all changes when a new arrival who likes to share his night time adventures around the house comes into his life.
Toby refuses to take his 'vitamins' before bed as he likes to roam the house at night as he prefers to be alone. Clara shares his want for freedom and though he is initially annoyed at her intrusion they grow to be very close and venture out of the grounds to explore the island that the Death House occupies.
The rest of the book is split between their night time love story and the day time struggles of the children. There are strong themes in this book, especially fear of death from a youths perspective.
This book is written as an adult book but would mainly interest young teens, there are several influences that both young people and adults would appreciate. (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Lord of The Flies etc.)
This is my first Sarah Pinborough book but I will definitely be back for more. The Death House is an easy read that will tug at the heart strings and tackles some difficult themes and perspectives but with a meaningful ending it works well.