The House on the Gulf

The House on the Gulf - Margaret Peterson Haddix Margaret Peterson Haddix's "The House on the Gulf" presents an interesting premise from the perspective of a girl who thinks her brother has something to hide. Britt is an average almost-thirteen girl living with her older brother and her mother, who attends college. Britt's brother, Bran, lands a job house sitting for a family that's out of town. It sounds like a good deal, and almost too good to be true for the family who isn't used to having such accommodations. But as Bran's behavior becomes more erratic, Britt's convinced that not everything is as it seems. As she starts coming across curious pieces of evidence and discussions within the neighborhood, her doubts about her brother take full shape, and ultimately culminate into a scheme that she couldn't see coming.I usually love a good young adult mystery involving the protagonist bargaining with suspicion, especially involving family members. But I have to say for the build-up, this book didn't tie its ends very well, even aiming for those between the ages of 8-12. Don't get me wrong, Haddix's prose and pacing in each chapter is very well done. I found myself going through each chapter, observing and learning as Britt puts pieces together about their situation up until the big reveal. However, despite an interesting twist, it doesn't match the too-neatly-tied ending. It's a lot of setup for what turns out to be a not so thrilling scenario. For its respective age group, I think there are likely some who'll love it, and others who might find it uneventful. I would say that it's a book that's worth reading once, but doesn't have the kind of thrilling payoff that it sells itself on in its premise. However, I can say that Haddix knows how to weave a story well, and alternatively, if there are readers who want to see some of her stronger works for this age group, the Shadow Children series is well worth looking into. This is a decent read, but not the best I've read from her.Overall score: 2/5