I read a lot of young adult books and I write a few. Back at the turn of the century I pretty well knew every young adult book that was published and labelled as such as well as many that were clearly young adult but that didn't have the label. The new works then were fresh and experimental. The older, unlabelled ones, appealed to the young adult reader and those who like reading young adult books. Now, it has all become somewhat formulaic even though "high concepts" are continuously brought in. There are also now so many that it's impossible to know them all.
I've studied quite a few of Kate Cann's books. They border on what I call chicklet-lit but have a darker side and are fundamentally about relationships. I was expecting he same of this one. I found it refreshingly novel.
Yes there is still quite a lot about relationships and as you might expect the main characters are a bunch of students sharing a flat. Protagonist Amber is on a gap year. In true Bildungsroman fashion she grows over the course of the story. She has two main challenges: disturbed younger sister Poppy and something creepy about the house. I'll say no more about the story and in fact I'm giving no more away here than in the book's own blurb.
I will say that this book is well written, the chapters are delightfully short, the characters are believable and that we are kept guessing right until the very end. It has an upbeat but open ending. The voice is pleasing.