Lock the doors

Lock the doors by Vincent Ralph

Tom’s family have moved into their dream home. But pretty soon he starts to notice that something is very wrong – there are strange messages written on the wall and locks on the bedroom doors. On the OUTSIDE.

The previous owners have moved just across the road and they seem like the perfect family. Their daughter Amy is beautiful and enigmatic but Tom is sure she’s got something to hide. And he isn’t going to stop until he finds the truth behind those locked doors. . .

Will their dream home become a nightmare?


Zaraah Ballard

9th February 2022 at 10:57 am

Lock the doors is about a boy and his family who move into what they think is their dream home, but little do they know the secrets behind it. The book kept me wanting to just know what happened next, and kept me guessing. You really feel like you are there, and the characters feel so real! I couldn’t think of anything I dislike about the book. I’d recommend it to older readers who love murder mystery books. Id recommend it to older readers as some younger readers may find it a bit scary. In total, I’d rate it 10/10.

Toby, year 9

2nd February 2022 at 4:25 pm

Spoiler alert!

This is about two very different characters, one is quiet and the other one is trying to solve a mystery. My favourite part of the book is when we found out that Amy kidnapped Will to make him her brother. I liked this because I was so surprised that this happened, I did not know what to say. I also like that Tom is trying to find out a secret that really has not ended.

I really did not have any complaints about the book I thought that it was very griping and intriguing.

So overall I loved this book and its plot and I would recommend it to someone else.

Florence, year 8

2nd February 2022 at 4:22 pm

Overall ‘Lock the doors’ was my favourite. It had short fast moving chapters which made it more exciting and easier to digest. The only thing I would say about this book that I didn’t like AT ALL was when halfway through when we were about to reach the tipping point they swapped the point of view and we were back to the start again. This made it hard to keep going since all of the reading I had just done was for nothing. However I still think that despite the momentary blip in the middle it was a very intriguing book and I would definitely recommend to someone of my age.

Georgie, Year 8

21st January 2022 at 2:17 pm

I liked this book because it was very intriguing and interacting to be able to go along the journey with Tom, getting all the same clues as him at the same time. It got quite confusing when you had to figure out if the clue was actually a clue or if it was just Tom being paranoid as he had a mental disorder, but it also drew me into the book more and made me not want to stop reading as there were twists at every corner. Amy was a strange character that made me question myself a lot, she went from being the character that Tom was trying to save but then after the scene in the shopping centre she became more suspicious as well.

Kiran, year 8

21st January 2022 at 2:17 pm

I really liked this book. From the fast pace and the non-stop drama, it was all amazing. I liked seeing how Tom developed as a character during his investigation. The characters were well thought out, and the author clearly got how they were feeling in their respective situations across. I thought it was very clever when the book changed from Tom`s point of view to Amy`s. I think that my favourite aspect of the book had to be the character development and how Tom sort of matured as the book came along.

Toby Year 8

21st January 2022 at 2:16 pm

‘Lock the doors’ was one of the top ten best books I’ve read to date. I feel the way it dealt with domestic abuse and its consequences was incredible, and quite eye-opening. Although the idea of Logan being abducted was terrible, it gave me an insight into the grief of losing such a close family member, and how different people deal with it. It is also rare to see a family where neither of the parents are in their first marriage, and nice to see them living happily. Overall, this is the best book I’ve read so far.

Ben Yr 8

21st January 2022 at 2:16 pm

I think that Tom has faced so much domestic abuse after his father left him and all the boyfriends of his mother turned out to be monsters until she met Jay. His mother has found her dream house where they’ve moved with Jay and Nia, their new blended family. Everything seems to get better until Tom found holes in bedrooms door. This is a phenomenal book and I enjoyed it very much.

Chong Man, Year 9

21st January 2022 at 2:13 pm

I thought ‘Lock the doors’ was a gripping book. What I liked the most about it was the short chapters, which made me want to continue reading because the chapters would always end and leave a cliff hanger. The unexpected outcomes grasped me the most, like how he thought moving to a new house was going to be a fresh start with his new happy family, but things didn’t go as smoothly as he thought it would have gone. I thought Tom was a very interesting character, he had a unique personality that I would not expect from the protagonist. I would recommend ‘Lock the doors’ to anyone who likes mystery books.

Charles Y9

21st January 2022 at 2:11 pm

I enjoyed ‘Lock the doors’, however at times I believe the book was quite dark and sensitive for example mental illness and how Tom struggles with it. However, I did find this book really gripped me and was very tense with many shocks and surprises. Personally ‘Lock the doors’ hasn’t been my favourite book of them all, however I did enjoy it and I liked the mystery detective style to it, overall ‘Lock the doors’ has been a very captivating and entertaining crime thriller and I did thoroughly enjoy it.

Jessica Y9

21st January 2022 at 2:04 pm

‘Lock the doors’ was a really interesting read. I did enjoy the thriller parts of the book, but the part I really liked were the mental health aspects. I thought that they were represented very nicely in the book, where often mental health is only represented as the stereotypes that that disorder holds. I found that the characters were well written, and I related and sympathised with said characters. The book was gripping and a good read.

Isis, Year 8

20th January 2022 at 7:07 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. From the beginning I was instantly drawn in and not once did it lose my interest. Throughout the story, there are so many twists and turns that it was impossible to put it down. I loved the characters- there were only a few which really helped not to complicate things. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading so the ending left me completely shocked, it wasn’t what I had expected at all which made it so entertaining. This book was a thrilling, exciting mystery and I’d definitely recommend it.


12th January 2022 at 7:45 pm

I would say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Lock the Doors’, it was probably my favourite book so far. The characters were very well rounded and I loved the plot with its dark twist towards the end. It was also great that the first half was from Tom’s perspective and the second half was from Amy’s perspective and that in the end they both knew each other’s secrets. It was a very fast paced book and that is what made it gripping as well as the information that was withheld from the reader at the beginning, which made me even more intrigued to find out what happened.

Henry yr 9

12th January 2022 at 4:46 pm

I found ‘Lock the Doors’ an amazing book that was very engaging, a book that I always wanted to turn over to see what was going to happen on the next page. I feel sympathetic for Tom as he must go around the house checking every door twice because of his OCD.

Holly, Y8

11th January 2022 at 8:34 pm

I enjoyed the book, it was very thrilling which I like and pretty much the only genre that I read.

I really liked that it had small chapters because I could read to the end of the chapter, and then come back to it being at the end of the chapter.

It was thrilling at points, they all sent shivers down my back, and I really liked that it had that atmosphere.

I also liked the fact that it was told by both sides and that Amy revealed the secrets not Tom!

When I read the first 10 chapters I wasn’t really understanding or enjoying the concept but as the tale unravelled and the secrets started coming I was enticed into the book further.

It surprised me how it ended but I enjoyed it.

Catie, Year 8

9th January 2022 at 1:43 pm

‘Lock the Doors’ has been my favourite book so far. I love the mystery element to the book and I feel like every chapter ended with a cliff hanger. The cliff hangers in this book always made me want to read on. The characters were also very interesting to me because it shows that not everyone is what they seem, and I like the several character plot twists that get uncovered as the story progresses like when Tom sees Amy in the shopping mall taking the child.

My favourite scenes from the book would have to be every scene where Tom discovers a new clue as it gets even more exciting as the puzzle pieces start to come together. Another thing I liked was that the story was narrated by both Tom and Amy and we saw the story from both their perspectives. This allowed the readers to get all of the clues before Tom did and that meant that we had a satisfying ending.

I also thought that the line from Shape of You by Ed Sheeran “Everyday discovering something brand new” demonstrates the book perfectly as every day Tom seems to be uncovering a new clue.

Eva, year 8

9th January 2022 at 1:33 pm

‘Lock the doors’ was my favourite book I’ve read so far as it was very fast paced and there were cliff-hangers almost every chapter. Whilst reading it I kept thinking that I had figured out Amy’s secret and the meaning behind the locks, words on the wall, drawings in the wardrobe but then Tom would figure out something new, which led in completely the opposite direction. I found the book pretty scary at times, especially when I read it before going to sleep, as it is set in modern times and relatable, making everything in the book seem possible. I definitely wasn’t expecting it when the narrative suddenly changed to Amy’s perspective, but I think it really helped by adding the opposite view as, at the start of the book I was convinced she was evil but really she’d had just as bad a childhood as Tom. I also liked it as it didn’t have your typical ‘happy ending’ as you never find out what happens to Amy after they are arrested, which definitely leaves room for a sequel which I would love to read. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. At first, I found it a bit strange and I wasn’t really sure what was going on but when you keep reading it you can’t stop!

Seren, Year 8

9th January 2022 at 1:33 pm

I found this book was quite quick to read as the chapters were very short and I found that things were always happening, there was never really a bit where not much was going on. I found it got slower to read in part four as there was more going on and there was a lot more information packed into one page. I also found that the end of each part made me want to read on. I think the author described the events of the book quite well, particularly the sadness of Amy’s family after what happened to Amy’s brother. I think the author showed Tom’s curiosity quite well and the author added a big element of mystery in the book (the holes in the door, the tally marks on the walls and the writing behind the wallpaper). I also think the author captured the tension within Amy’s family really well after what happened to Amy’s brother and how Amy’s family was never really normal after that as well as how it changed their lives. I found the blurb quite intriguing and this made me want to read it almost as much as the curiosity of the book and how the characters changed over the course of the book. I found that this book had a lot less tension in it compared to ‘When we were lost’ but did have some in part four such as at the shrine. Overall, I think this is a good book because it is fast-flowing, shows how the characters change over time really well, and shows things from a different perspective (in part three), as well as extending the important events of the book in part three.

Neil, year 9

9th January 2022 at 1:32 pm

The main character is a boy called Tom, whose family have moved into their new home. However, he soon starts to notice that something is wrong. There are weird and freaky messages written on the wall, underneath the wallpaper and locks on the outside of the bedroom doors. The previous owners have moved further down the street, and they seem like a perfect family. The daughter is Amy, who Tom falls in love with, but he is sure she’s got something to hide by analysing her behaviour. And he won’t stop until he finds the truth.
I didn’t really like the book which I didn’t find surprising as crime and thrillers are not my favourite genres really at all. However, I can see how to thriller-readers this twisty book may appeal.

Florence, year 9

3rd January 2022 at 4:39 pm

This book was like an unsettling forest, the hairs on the back of your neck are always up, there are lots of twists and turns, as well as a couple of red herrings. I would recommend this book to anyone who (over the age of 12) loves reading a hooking thriller.

Harrison. Year 9

3rd January 2022 at 4:39 pm

‘Lock The Doors’ is a thriller about a boy called Tom whose family have moved into a new home. Tom suffers from many mental health problems, including PTSD, due to abuse that he and his mum received when he was younger. The family that used to live in Tom’s new home have moved in just across the street. They seem like the ideal family, and they have a beautiful but mysterious daughter, Amy, whom Tom is very attracted to. Yet, as soon as Tom steps into his new home, he notices some things are slightly… out of place. There are strange scrawls of writing on the bedroom walls and locks on all the bedroom doors, not on the INSIDE keeping people OUT, but on the OUTSIDE keeping people IN. Things are not all as they seem, and Tom is determined to uncover the truth of the past…

‘Lock The Door’s is undoubtedly one of the best books I have read. Such intricate twists and turns that any author would be proud of! Every time I got even a vague inkling of what was going on, the book would take such a sharp diversion, that I would be completely thrown off the scent. The author combines important themes such as Trauma, Mental Health, and Abuse to create a potent blend filled with darkness and mystery…

Amber-Lily Y8

3rd January 2022 at 4:38 pm

‘Lock the Doors’ is an intriguing book about a boy named Tom who doesn’t trust the new house his ‘blended’ family have just moved into. He finds strange holes in the doors, writing on the walls and carvings in the wardrobe. The previous owners have moved into the house just across the road from them, but they seem a bit off. Amy, who is their daughter, has just joined Tom’s school. Little does anyone know that they are hiding a dangerous secret. This is a very well written book as the chapters are short, which builds up suspense and produces a fast flowing story. I did not expect what the real truth would be, making it a really good mystery. The only problem I had was how at the start, it jumped into the mystery pretty fast, while it could have built up a bit more before. Some parts were a bit confusing, although that made this story a good thriller. I liked how the author changed from Tom’s perspective to Amy’s perspective halfway through the book, and how the chapter numbers turned to tally marks. I really enjoyed reading ‘Lock the Doors’, I was engaged the whole way through. I would recommend this book to older readers as some parts were quite dark, but exciting. I would definitely read this book again.

Lexie, year 8

18th December 2021 at 12:22 pm

I enjoyed ‘Lock The Doors’ because of how fast paced it was. ‘Lock The Doors’ is a fun, mysterious story which is filled with twists and turns. In general I love mystery novels but this one really stood out to me. Every chapter ends on a cliff hanger which I liked because it wasn’t predictable where the story would go next. My least favourite part was the flashbacks, but they were still important to the plot. Overall I rate this book a 5/5. This is one of my favourite books. I would recommend this to 10+ children. Some of the topics mentioned in it are quite sensitive and may not be as suitable for a younger audience.

Imogen, year 8

18th December 2021 at 12:22 pm

This is a great read for everybody! I really enjoyed this book as it is very thrilling.

Tom’s family move into their dream house. But soon he starts noticing that something is very wrong -there are messages written on the walls and locks on the doors. On the outside… The previous owners have moved just across the road and they seem like the perfect family…

‘Lock the doors’ is a teen mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. it was impossible to figure out what was going to happen next because of its twists and turns. I feel as though this book is a rare find for me because I can often guess what is going to happen in a book but this one drew me in quickly because I couldn’t! I think that Vincent Ralph is a skilled author and I will be looking forward to reading more of his books in the near future.

Seb, year 8

14th December 2021 at 9:46 am

I loved the book and it was very suspensive but I felt the book didn’t “move” until near the end so that would be a criticism but overall I very much liked the book

Rory, year 9

14th December 2021 at 9:45 am

When I first saw ‘Lock the doors’ I was very excited because the cover gives the book a very scary and interesting look, which draws you into the scandal of the book and sort of foreshadows the rest of the book and how exciting it makes it because you think one thing is going to happen, but then you are completely wrong. This book I found a challenging read but such a diamond in the ruff of a book and is unique to most of the other books at the award. The OCD and anxiety of the main character makes it even more scary. Tom has very strong observational skills that help him in some ways, but also doesn’t help him because he always sees the worst in everything. I would give this book a 9/10 because it made you always want to keep reading and not want to put it down.

Josh, year 9

14th December 2021 at 9:45 am

‘Lock the doors’ is by far one of the best books I have ever read as it was constantly exciting and never had a slow moment.

It’s interesting as at about halfway, what you thought was happening completely changed as you get to see Amy’s family and how messed up they are, and it gives you an insight and makes you feel sorry for Amy and almost angry at Tom for keeping asking questions about her life but at the end it is all wrapped up and Amy is freed from her trauma. But I think that the ending could have been better as the reader wants to see Tom and Amy be together and we don’t really know about what happens to Amy.

Dan, Year 9

14th December 2021 at 9:44 am

Overall, I found the book was a great read. I love how the innocent happiness after the trauma Tom and his mum have endured intensely spiralled into something much bigger and leading into a real problem today that is domestic abuse. It is also notable how well delivered and sensitively told the book was. We are given this idea of the locks left on the door representing the scars that remain. And shown the feelings of Amy Pearce and how domestic abuse can cause barriers between a family and we are given a clear idea of how to spot this. We see her change in attitude from a girl lost in thought to a friendly chatty friend of Tom’s, but it is this diverse change in attitude that concerns Tom and increases his suspicions of her family. I noticed how the actions and experiences of Tom powerfully underline the emotions of Amy. The sense of realisation sent shivers down your spine and the cliff-hangers had you engaged for the next page. As well as this we begin to imagine the sheer sense of isolation of being locked FROM THE OUTSIDE! The feeling of insignificance that bullies and abusers inflict on you as well as the knowledge that you are incapable of changing a thing. Tom was an interesting protagonist, with an arresting voice that was also so deeply troubled and fractured by the events of his past. He is just trying to fit in, both at school and within his family. The residual effect of his trauma means that he questions himself and the safety of his family constantly, creating an intriguing dynamic where you question the limits of his reliability. Without spoiling anything, I also want to quickly say that I really liked how nothing was easily resolved or tied up in a nice, neat bow. Real life and humans are messy and impossible to easily categorise (nothing seems as it is), which I felt like Ralph Vincent really captured. Amy was much the same but evidently her voice had been completely eradicated within her family. The two different victims show that people react differently to domestic abuse and how a friend and a reassuring hand could go a long way.

Stella, year 9

14th December 2021 at 9:44 am

I really enjoyed ‘Lock the doors’ and I think it has been my favourite overall! ‘Lock the Doors’ was a very intriguing and gripping read. Tons of suspense almost made me feel like reading a horror book and watching a horror movie at the same time. This story really creeped me out when we discovered the secrets of the previous house owners. Throughout the book there was a bunch of twists and very unexpected moments in the book. The book was executed very well and it was written at a fast pace throughout. This book had a lot of things packed in it but I think it was well balanced so it didn’t seem too far-fetched. This book didn’t take me long to read at all and I couldn’t put it down!

Kitty-Year 8

8th December 2021 at 4:26 pm

Spoiler Alert!

Lock the doors is one of the most gripping and page turning book I have ever read. In the first part of the book, we see Amy introduced from Tom, a shy person who ends up falling for Amy. I think it is great how the author has put the second half of the story as Amy’s perspective. It gives us a deep view into the life of her and her family, and what she has been through, which I was not expecting. To find out Amy accidently drowned her brother shocked me, then, to find out that her mother took a child, shocked me again. It’s one those books were you say ‘Its been an hour, I should stop reading..’ then to find another hour later you are still reading it because its so gripping!

Anna, Year 7

8th December 2021 at 8:37 am

This book is s gripping I can’t bring myself to put it down. I didn’t think I’d like it at the beginning, but this book is so good and fast paced that I can’t help but want to read more. There’s so many twists and turns, I just can’t put it down.

Jacob, Year 9

7th December 2021 at 5:37 pm

I loved the book ‘Lock the Doors’. I found it engaging and hard to put down when you started reading. I often find books not that engaging, but this book surpassed my expectations and had me absorbed in every last bit of it. It also made it almost impossible to guess what will happen next, forcing you to read more and more.

At the start, everything seems almost too perfect. But Tom’s ability to look very close into things shows how there might have been something happening in their ‘Dream House’ before they moved in. I also found it quite puzzling how the Pearce just moved down the road. This leads Tom to believe that the perfect family might not be so perfect after all.

Emilia year 9

7th December 2021 at 5:37 pm

I loved the fact that in this book the chapters were so short, which encouraged me to carry on reading, as it was more gripping and exciting. I’m not a story reader and I really enjoyed this book. I would definitely recommend it.

Oscar, Year 9

7th December 2021 at 5:36 pm

I really enjoyed ‘Lock the doors’ for many reasons. The book has lots of layers and just when you believe you are understanding the plot of the story there is a twist and you just want to keep reading and find out all the answers. I liked the change of perspective that Vincent Ralph used as I was beginning to get interested in what Tom was starting to discover and then you switch to Amy’s view from when she was 11 and slowly come to release the true horror that she is trying to keep Tom from finding out.

I really liked the way in which Tom was portrayed as you felt as though you could relate to him. He was not the hero that everyone expects as there is nothing special about him and giving him OCD makes you feel less alienated by his character. It is also interesting to watch Tom battle his feelings for Amy so he can prepare himself if he does uncover something shocking about her.

The short chapters were also a good addition to the story as each one ended on a mysterious note and built up suspense within the plot.

In conclusion I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes a book full of suspense.


7th December 2021 at 12:28 pm

This book was a great fast paced exciting book which was really fun to read. I found it very helpful for the chapters to be short to help you give a break in between. This book was a great read and I would totally recommend it.

Charlie, Yr9

2nd December 2021 at 2:52 pm

‘Lock the doors’ was fast paced and exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This was certainly a very gripping read in which the author manages to keep up the suspense well and keeps us readers glued to the edge of our seats. Honestly, I could not put down this book. The chapters are short, which made me want to know what happened in the next chapter and after that the next chapter and so on. Personally, I do not read very much because I find books boring but this book changed my mind about that.

Kip, Y8

2nd December 2021 at 2:47 pm

I thought that this book was very gripping and I would definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoy tense thrillers. This book is about a boy that moves to a new house with his mum and her husband and who finds that the house has a dark mystery to be uncovered. A boy called Tom, the protagonist, notices that there are mysterious holes in the wall. At this time the family that used to live in his house have just moved across the and they have a daughter called Amy. Tom suddenly realizes that there were lock marks on the outside of the door, which shows that someone was locked in, then Tom makes it his mission to find out what happened in that room and finds out Amy’s dark secret and how her parents treated her.

I think that this is a great thriller and I think that this book is aimed at teenagers because it is quite a grown up read and there is some explicit language in this book. However I think that this book is a very easy read and is a gripping read. I would definitely recommend it.

Mia, year 8

1st December 2021 at 1:54 pm

‘Lock the doors’ was a fast paced mystery that I enjoyed a lot. The book took lots of twists and turns and although I tried to guess the outcome I never got it right. My favourite part of the book was when Amy got the chance to tell her story. I felt that the author portrayed the characters very well and I could put myself in their shoes. I would definitely recommend this book!

Jamie, year 8

1st December 2021 at 1:54 pm

I find it quite interesting because at the beginning it starts before they moved into their new house and nothing that exciting is going on and when they then move house they find their house is a bit weird and creepy and there’s weird lock holes in it, which builds up the tension and makes you want to read it more which is why the book makes it interesting. I also found it quite bad because of how little the chapters were and that there were only two or three pages in between a chapter which means the writer moves on to so something that is different quite quickly.

Overall I found this book quite good because of the build ups but the downside is the short pages and chapters.

Johnny, Year 8

1st December 2021 at 1:53 pm

In this book we find many characters but there are two main characters. One is called Tom. Tom is a boy who has anxiety and OCD, but he is also a very curious and adventurous boy who loves to investigate things that have nothing to do with him so when he moves to this new house and there are holes on his bedroom door he cannot resist investigating. The second main character is Amy and she used to live in his house and near the start of the book Amy comes to look around his school and comes across as a very shy unconfident teenager however later in the book we find out it isn’t true and she tries to become friends with Tom. The book has a great plot and a lot of twists and turns, it’s a real thriller.

Matthew, Year 9

1st December 2021 at 1:53 pm

Tom was a very good protagonist because you can feel sympathy for him. I felt sympathy for him because he received domestic abuse after his dad left him and his mum as all of the boyfriends of his mum turned out to be monsters in the words of the book. All of the boyfriends, until she met Jay. Tom’s mum had found a new perfect house for Tom, his mum, Jay and his stepsister Nia to live in but Tom doubts how good the house really is when he finds holes on the bedroom door. Amy joins Tom’s school and she used to live in Tom’s house, Tom finds Amy very suspicious and thinks she is hiding something. Does Amy know why the holes are there or is Tom just being paranoid? I really enjoyed reading about the friendship between Zach and Tom and also the family dynamic between Tom and his step sister. I really enjoyed the book especially the twist and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA mystery and thrillers.

Heng Man, Year 9

1st December 2021 at 1:52 pm

I loved reading ‘Lock the doors’, I thought ‘Lock the Doors’ was unpredictable while reading and everything that happened really made me want to read more. After Tom’s mother remarried, he moved into a new house with his mother, stepdad Jay and stepsister Nia. He hopes his mother finds happiness in the house. This seemed like a perfect chance for a fresh start, after what happened to Tom and his mother. Tom finds faults in the house, and he discovers small holes in the bedroom doors, indicating the locks lock from the outside. In school, Tom meets Amy, whose family lived in that house before him. Amy’s family moved just across the road from Tom. The more Tom thinks about the holes in the walls, the more Tom becomes suspicious of the Amy and her family. Later, he discovers writings on the wall in his room, this increases his suspicions and he decided to talk to Amy’s family.

Throughout the whole book, I made doubts to why something happened, and the plot pulled me in the book. Amy was the character I liked the most because she was mysterious, and she made the book more interesting. Overall, the book was really interesting to read, and it is one of my favourite thriller books.


1st December 2021 at 1:24 pm

This book had me drawn in right from the first chapter! The way it’s written creates such an easy and enjoyable read. The short chapters gave the story a sense of tension and I couldn’t put it down. I read this book in 2 days and was sad when I got to the final page. Would definitely recommend for someone looking for an easy but incredibly captivating read.

Wilf, year 8

1st December 2021 at 1:22 pm

What is so amazing about this book is the detective theme and I also liked how the title was shown. My favourite part about this book was when Zac climbed the wall of Amy’s family and I liked how it showed the perspective of Amy halfway through the book.

My only complaint about this book is it was a bit slow going.

Overall I would recommend this book to people my age because it’s a mystery and also a bit of an adventure.

Toby, year 9

1st December 2021 at 1:21 pm

I REALLY loved the pace of this book. I love a book with fairly short chapters and ‘Lock the doors’ really gave this to me. It was fast paced, and it had a sense of energy that ‘When we were lost’ didn’t give to me.

Overall I liked this book and I would recommend.

Darcey, Y9

1st December 2021 at 1:21 pm

‘Look the doors’ is a thrilling mystery book about the main character called Tom who has a friend with a complicated past. When Tom finds holes in his door and writing on his walls he decides to questions the old owner: his friend Amy. When she gives away nothing, he decides to dig further and is disturbed by what he finds. I really loved the character of Amy as I found her past and how she dealt with it really interesting and engaging. I really loved ‘Locked the doors’ and I found the pace of the book really gripping and the twists and turns in the story made me never want to put it down. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who loves mystery and a bit of crime and for ages 12+.

Imogen, year 8

24th November 2021 at 8:41 pm

I thought it would take me a long time to read this book but I read it in 2 days. I really wanted to know the answers to the main mystery. And the answers haunted me for a while. But although this is undoubtedly a thriller, the central character, a teenager with anxiety, is so beautifully depicted that I was praying for his happiness the further I got into the book and crying when something went wrong for him. When the novel took a twist I was gripping onto it even more. Overall this book is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller mystery.

Jenna Y8

24th November 2021 at 8:40 pm

Tom’s mother has remarried and now their new family are moving into a new home together. It seems like the perfect fresh start for everyone, especially after the horrors Tom and his mother have had to endure. He doesn’t want to spoil her hard-won peace but something about their current surroundings is off-putting, for Tom. It begins with the discovery of small holes drilled into the bedroom doors, that signal locks previously placed on the outside of them. It ends with far more shocking discoveries, that lead to the lives of more than just his own family put at stake. Tom will do anything to protect the ones he cares about, and he is about to be put to the ultimate test.

This was such an intense read, with chilling discoveries consistently made. These ensured the reader remained both engaged in the proceedings and unable to figure out the next alteration in the twisted path to the just as twisted conclusion. Even when, about half-way through the novel, the major mystery seemed to have been solved, more followed that further proved the nature of what evolved here.

This was also an emotional novel focusing on mental illnesses and long lasting grief and a lot more topics like these, they were delivered very well.

Oscar Y8

24th November 2021 at 8:39 pm

I really liked ‘Lock the doors’, this book I could not put down, it hooked me from the first page and I wanted to read all day. Tom, the protagonist has anxiety and OCD I think they described and handled him well considering how scary and weird things got. When things started to get weird and interesting it made me read faster and faster.

Overall, I loved ‘Lock the doors’ I would recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it .

India, year 8

24th November 2021 at 8:35 pm

When 16 year old Tom and his family finally move into their dream home all is not what it seems. Tom, the main character, has OCD and is very curious about his new home especially when he finds holes on the doors where locks used to be on the outside keeping people in and he notices strange messages on the walls. Then he notices that the previous owners of this mysterious house have just moved across the road and that also the daughter of the previous owners goes to his school. Can Tom solve this house’s past with the evidence he has got or will this house take more than a few holes to solve? I think this heart wrenching adventure book was an incredible read that didn’t take me long to read because it was so gripping. I would recommend this book to people aged around 13 and also to anyone into mystery stories. I rate this book 9 out of 10.

Finley, year 9

24th November 2021 at 8:28 pm

In this book, I really liked the way the two characters contrasted in personalities: Tom is quite adventurous and Amy is shy and keeps to herself. As you read on you start to question why they moved to the house just down the street to one that looks exactly the same. Tom’s personality makes him question this and he starts to become suspicious. It is a great book with good suspense and an amazing build-up of the plot.

Poppy, year 9

24th November 2021 at 8:26 pm

I very much enjoyed the book, it was gripping and made me want to go back to it. As Tom’s mother remarried and they are moving in to a new house and Tom and his mother are finally happy as his mother had had her fair share of bad relationships. And it all starts with the finding of random holes in the door to his bedroom and what he discovers is terrifying. I would recommend this to people, it was a very easy read. The chapters were short so it kept you gripped for longer as it created the effect that you are reading more so overall I enjoyed the book and would read it again.

James, Yr 8

24th November 2021 at 8:19 pm


In my opinion, ‘Lock the Doors’ was a great book but quite a sad one.

I liked that our main character, Tom, was so desperate to care for people and the back story of him and his mother made for some very interesting character development. I liked how everything in the book was very mysterious and how Tom’s friend, Amy, didn’t want him to know what had happened to her in the past so Tom has to find out for himself. It was very sad how Amy’s brother died and then they kidnapped another child to replace him because they were that grief stricken. Although it was sad it made for lots of suspense which enticed the reader.

My only problem with the book was that it was a bit confusing why Tom went around the house saying clap and I would have liked his OCD to be explained in more detail. They also repeated the clapping scene too many times in my opinion and they could have used the time to make the book even more exciting.

Overall, the book was very good, and it elicited a mix of emotions from the reader and I would definitely recommend this book.


23rd November 2021 at 9:04 am

I enjoyed this book a lot and found the mystery was gripping and made me want to keep on reading. Although I think that some of the things happened in the book to quickly and felt quite chock-a-block and hard to keep track of. I also think this helped the story keep moving and kept you intrigued too know what would happen next.

Overall, I really enjoyed the puzzling mystery as it was exciting and surprising.


23rd November 2021 at 8:55 am

I did quite like ‘Lock the Doors.’ I thought it was quite an engaging read and quite interesting how it shows Tom’s OCD. I think it really helps us look into his mind and place ourselves in his position, but I thought it was quite a slow read and that it could have been a bit more fast paced. It included great details and a good plot though. Overall, it was really good and I would recommend this book (just try not to rush through it, as you might miss some important details.)

Megan, Y9

19th November 2021 at 11:32 am

I really enjoyed reading this book and the plot was interesting throughout – I could have never guessed the thrilling plot twists. The pace of the book was just right: not too fast so I can’t understand what’s going on with the intricate plot, or too slow so I’m bored. Also, the conclusion of the book felt whole and it made the story feel completed – often I’m left wondering what actually happened but this book had the perfect balance of closing the story but leaving me pondering.

Charlotte, year 8

18th November 2021 at 4:40 pm

‘Lock the Doors’ was a great book because it has lots of intriguing characters and events. It was filled with mystery and cliff hangers at every chapter, which made me want to read on. It is quite a dark book because there is death and kidnapping but that makes it so much better because the mystery must be solved but you don’t exactly know when it will.


It’s also a quick-paced book, because of the pretty big font. And even the big events seem like they come and go super quickly, which makes it easy to read and makes it a lot less boring. The only thing is that it is quite confusing at the end because when I was reading it I got confused and thought his step-sister’s brother had died but instead they may have been kidnapped or something. Even though I understand now, it was a bit confusing overall as well. Other than that, the book was great and the confusing side of it didn’t make much of a difference to my opinion either. But overall, I think that it should be recommended for teenagers because children younger than that will get a bit freaked out and teenagers would probably understand it better. I don’t normally like horror/thriller books, but I got really stuck into this book, which is why I recommend it.

Andrew, Year 8

18th November 2021 at 4:38 pm

Tom’s mother has had multiple abusive boyfriends and remarried to Jay. Their new family are moving into a new home together and it is Tom’s mother’s dream house and seems like a nice new start for everyone in the family. He doesn’t want to spoil her admiration for the house but something about the house is off-putting for Tom. It starts when he finds small holes drilled into the bedroom doors that are on the outside and not on the insides. He also finds HELP ME scratched on the walls and NO HELP in the wardrobe. This shows that someone was trapped in the room and was trying to escape and gave up. I think the book showed mental illness like OCD, PTSD and domestic abuse.

Tom, Year 8

18th November 2021 at 4:37 pm

I thought that it was a compelling story and that it had good mysteries, which I thought was covered up greatly but the action felt like it was more further on in the book so I had to read until around chapter 15. I would recommend this book for someone who likes a mystery and to a reluctant reader because the book is not that wordy. In total I liked the book even though the beginning bit wasn’t as exciting as I hoped, it was still fun to read and I’d recommend it to anyone.

Poppy, year 9

18th November 2021 at 4:34 pm

I really liked the book ‘Lock the doors’, because I thought it was a gripping and engaging read that kept me on the edge of my seat. The book tells the story of protagonist Tom who originally is a shy, scared boy with OCD, to a more confident boy willing to interact with people at school. Tom lives with his mum, stepsister, and stepdad in what appears to be the dream house, little does he know what secrets lie beneath … As the book continues Tom discovers more and realises maybe his new home isn’t as perfect as he first thought.

I thoroughly recommend this book for young adult readers. I really liked having the perspective particularly from his side because it showed how he was feeling and as a reader we developed an understanding for the character, I really enjoyed how many twists and turns this book had, and the theme of murder mystery really made me question each and every plot … 8/10.

Scarlett, year 9

18th November 2021 at 4:34 pm

I think that the book ‘Lock the doors’ is a great read! It has so many plot twists and moments of suspense and was so captivating to read. This book is a thriller and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a horror story. My favourite part of the book was how well the author portrayed the characters and the trauma they felt throughout the book. I also thought that the feelings that grew between Amy and Tom was a good addition, having that along with the main storyline as it gave a more normal feel to the book, what might happen in real life, having a love story on the side of everything that’s happening. I would definitely recommend this book to readers as I really enjoyed it.

Eleanor Year 9

16th November 2021 at 5:18 pm

I thought that this was a well written book, which had many different leads throughout the book, helping you to engage with what was going on. I thought there was a very surprising twist and it pulled everything together.

Natalie, year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:58 pm

This book is a thriller book which is set in a house in which Tom’s family move into.

The book is gripping and hard to put down, it catches you in a reading trap which makes you branch out into new realms of reading.

The book is very exciting and quick paced. It is a mystery to the reader for a long time and keeping you hooked onto the book. The two points of view make you want Tom to find out the mystery too. It is different as the ending is not the expected ending.

It is a very good book that is good for young teenagers. I would recommend the book.

Tom, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:52 pm

A thrilling book with a lot of amazing plot twists. Loved when we got the opinion/view of the girl. Amazing book I originally thought I wouldn’t have enjoyed.

Izzy, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:51 pm

‘Lock the doors’ was a good book because it included mystery and as the reader I found it an intriguing book to read because of all the secrets involved. Tom is an adventurous character who finds it interesting as to why the bedroom doors could be locked from the outside in his new house… this makes us want to keep reading and find out more. I really enjoyed the ending because it was quite unexpected. Some parts can be quite confusing though. Overall, I really liked this book and I would recommend it.

Ralph, year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:50 pm


I enjoyed this book as I liked how it fed the reader constant hints towards the unexpected endings. I also really enjoyed how we experienced the character development of both Tom and Amy throughout the book. When I understood it, I really found like I wanted to keep reading as it was very fast paced and entertaining. I liked how the book would change perspectives between Tom and Amy as it allowed the reader to understand the emotions of the characters.

However, I did feel the fast pace made it quite difficult to understand, but overall, I really enjoyed it. Especially when we found out that Will was not the actual brother of Amy!

Felicity, Year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:48 pm


‘Lock the Doors’ is about two different people with completely different personalities. They both have lots of secrets, the boy Tom is quite adventurous and Amy is very shy. When Amy moves to her new school, Tom gets very suspicious about the house he has just moved into. My favourite part of the book is when I found out that Amy’s brother, Will, wasn’t actually her brother and that he was kidnapped to act as him.

Elizabeth year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:46 pm

I liked this book! The plot is a 9/10, it was really good and the title really sparked my interest. I’d recommend it to our age group maybe 12-14 or 15 years old. The two characters of Amy and Tom are both very different people, showing how they are and their backgrounds are different. I enjoyed the action and interactions. The book had a great ending.

Isla, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:09 pm

I thought that ‘Lock the doors’ was a good book as it had mystery and was engaging to read, with lots of different events to add to the story. My favourite part of the book was the beginning as it was interesting from the start which made me, someone who doesn’t enjoy reading, able to stay engaged and not just put the book down. I thought the idea of neighbours and a new house was a creative idea and added to the story as everything seemed normal until it wasn’t.

Leila, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:08 pm

The book ‘Lock the Doors’ is a very fast paced book which really goes well with the genre as I feel that mystery books should be filled with action with a mix of description, which this book did well. I liked how when I thought one thing was going to happen something completely different occurred. It was a fun book that I would recommended to all.

Lara, year 9

10th November 2021 at 7:08 pm

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a good mix of mystery and a little bit of romance. I really liked the main character and how we got an insight to his life and his innermost feelings. I also really liked his interactions with Amy and how at first, they were awkward but then gradually changed and grew together throughout the book. I felt as if this book was really aimed at my age group, and I would recommend it to people who are in the same age group as me.

Overall, I thought this book was really well written, I thoroughly enjoyed it and there were no bad points for me.

Patrick – year 8

10th November 2021 at 7:06 pm

I really enjoyed Lock the Doors; it is a really good crime thriller, set for teens. It gripped me throughout – what was going to happen in the next chapter, or on the next page? I really liked how he never gave up on his search. I also felt sorry for Amy, how she was made to do something so inhumane for something that she didn’t really have anything to do with.

Emily, Year 9

10th November 2021 at 4:41 pm

‘Lock The Doors’ is one of those books where you think you know what’s going to happen but then you find out Vincent Ralph just twists the story in a way you did not think possible. This book is an addictive piece of brilliant writing that is faced-paced and mysterious. It’s full of dark-twists and you will definitely struggle to put it down even for a second.

Nicole, Year 9

8th November 2021 at 4:09 pm

‘Lock the Doors’ was was phenomenal to read. The plot was very well thought through and every decision and plot twist went somewhere I would never have guessed. I loved how the author switches POVs as that gives the readers the full story. The title of the book ‘Lock the Doors’ made me think it would be a horror story, but it’s nothing I expected.
I found the friendship in the book of Zack and Tom very funny to read and it made me smile. I couldn’t put down the book when it came to Amy’s POV as all the missing pieces from Tom’s POV were all suddenly filled. The mystery of the book kept me on edge the whole time. After I read the whole book, I re-read it again and that helped clear any confusion I had! This book is something that people would’ve never guessed or expected and I definitely would recommend this book to everyone.

Leila , year 8

4th November 2021 at 5:56 pm

‘Lock the Doors’ is about a boy and a girl who have lots of secrets. The boy called Tom is a very anxious person with a bad past (with his Mum’s former boyfriends). Amy is a mysterious girl who has a dark past revolving around her brother and family. When Amy moves to Tom’s school Tom gets suspicious about the house he has just moved into which was Amy’s and he is very suspicious about their family. Tom tries to find out more about Amy’s family and he unravels a dark past about their family.

Toby, Year 8

4th November 2021 at 5:55 pm

Spoiler Alert if you read this review!

‘Lock the Doors’ is about two very different personalities: Amy who is very shy and Tom who is very adventurous and wants to find out Amy’s secret. My favourite part about this book is when we find out that Will is not actually Amy’s brother and that he was kidnapped to pass as him.

My only complaint about this book is that there was a lot of information that we had to put together and I would rather I already knew it but overall I would happily recommend this book to someone else!

Theo, Year 9

2nd November 2021 at 2:19 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its tempo. It always kept me on my toes, which created a great foundation to continue reading off. It interested, intrigued and entertained me reading this superb novel. I think the characterisation was very well done from the points of view of Tom and Amy. What this did was the story and characters within the story were having more information and more details built around them to immerse you with the read. You felt you were included in the lies and tales of each character because you would be learning all these details at the same instance as another character. I also admired the courage and bravery people in the book showed, which links in to serious problems many like them face today. For example, Tom’s mother and her experience with abuse linking in with the serious problem we face as a country with disgusting acts of domestic abuse. However, the mum continued to stay positive, sending a great moral message that your dreams will come true no matter what. Tom on the other hand, a young boy with OCD, rejected apart from his best mate Zac yet he stays true to himself throughout the book and goes with his gut against all fawning and doubts. Overall I loved the book and the message it was attached to of social strength, the importance of family and the actions we need to take as a country to prevent certain issues in today’s society. Highly recommend. 10/10

Henry – year 9

2nd November 2021 at 2:17 pm

This book had me gripped, I read it in 2 days and couldn’t put it down. The way the author made us concerned then not concerned about the holes was amazing and the complexity in all the characters was a sight to behold. The way he wrote the character of Tom is interesting. On one hand he has the relationship with Amy which is written perfectly to be awkward and for him to not quite know what is going on. However, the way he seems addicted to finding out what is going on is fascinating and the fact that he will do anything to find out why the doors could be locked is great as it keeps us hooked. I particularly liked how there was a part from Amy’s point of view as it helped us understand what was going on, make us feel for her and her family and introduce us to her Mum, my personal favourite character of the book, who truly gave us an insight into losing a child and not being able to cope. I also enjoyed how he gave each member of each family a personality and even switched the male dominance around to show how ill the mum was and how submissive the dad was. The way he wrote the Mum was amazing. She really captivated me as she showed how insane a mother can get after losing her only source of happiness. It also showed us how she can take her anger out on those around her because she feels like it was their fault and how people can ruin other people’s lives for their own happiness and not think about it and even brainwash those into believing that they are right and everyone else is wrong. In conclusion this was an amazing book that went into the themes of loss and mystery but mostly focused on how we deal with loss and what happens when you do have loss.

Sam – Year 8

2nd November 2021 at 2:16 pm

Spoiler Alert – don’t read this if you don’t want to know a key revelation!

I actually enjoyed this book. I feel that if you want to make a book of that style there needs to be clues that can “tell” you the ending, which was shown perfectly. I also loved how at some points it would feel like it’s about to be the end of the book, but then I looked and I was not even half way done! My only dislike was probably how at some points it would just drone on about unnecessary details. But other than that I think it was great. I like how Logan was the new Will.

Felix G, Year 8

14th October 2021 at 5:38 pm

The book was quite interesting, the ending had a great build up and an unexpected ending. We also got to see Tom’s character develop from a shy, mentally scarred boy with extreme OCD, to a more confident boy whose scars have healed (mostly) and OCD is mostly gone. On the downside, some of the book was quite repetitive, and the plot didn’t seem to be progressing. My favourite part in the book is when Tom discovers that Logan has been brainwashed to be a replacement for Amy’s little brother, Will.

Archie, Year 9

14th October 2021 at 5:38 pm

I really loved this book. From the fast pace and the non-stop drama it was all amazing. I loved seeing how Tom developed as a character during his investigation. The characters were well thought of and the author clearly got how they were feeling in their respective situations across. I thought it was very clever when the book changed from Tom`s point of view to Amy`s. If I have to criticize one aspect of the book then I would say that the plot is very unclear but that could be intentional to keep us interested.

Skye Year 9

12th October 2021 at 5:27 pm

This book was gripping from the first sentence. It unfolded rather slowly but there was a good plot twist and it was engaging. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

Erin, Year 9

7th October 2021 at 5:46 pm

I really, really enjoyed ‘Lock the Doors’, I couldn’t put it down! The ending really surprised me but it was brilliant, way better than any of the endings I expected. The best part was how the ‘bad’ people used to be a normal, happy family but turned so quickly, I thought that was really scary and effective and showed how bad things happen, you can’t control them and you can’t really control people’s reactions. Zak being LGBTQIA+ was definitely something that I think was really important because representation is important. I would recommend this to my friends/family, so long as they don’t get scared easily!

Grace, Year 9

7th October 2021 at 5:45 pm

‘Lock The Doors’ for me was incredible to read. The pace was very quick and there were plot twists and turns at every chapter. I loved the growing feelings in between Amy and Tom, and also found Tom’s friend Zack quite amusing to read about. The curiosity of Tom and the holes in his door was very interesting to read about. I admired that even though no-one believed him, Tom kept trying and never gave up until he could prove his theory to his friends and family. My favourite part was when the book switched to Amy’s past and what actually happened with the locks on the doors. I could not put the book down until I had finished that section. The book completely changed direction when you found out the truth about Amy’s family. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes slightly dark and mysterious plot twists. Overall, I adored reading this book and will suggest it everywhere I go.

Tarquin, Year 8

7th October 2021 at 5:41 pm

In my opinion I think this book is quite a good mystery/thriller book because at the start it does not give the whole thing straight away and it makes you think a lot about why there are these strange markings and messages on the walls and in the wardrobe and why Amy’s family are so shifty and suspicious. I also like how half of the book is sort of Tom trying to figure out the mystery behind the house and the other half is Amy and the mystery is sort of being revealed slowly. My favourite part of the book is when it switches back to Tom’s perspective at the end of the book because you see things back from his perspective. I would certainly recommend this book to a friend because of the twists and turns in the book.

Emily, Year 9

7th October 2021 at 5:38 pm

‘Lock the Doors’ was an addictive and fast-paced read and had so many twists you never knew what was coming next. It had only a few characters, so was perfect for a paced thriller like this. Tom lives with his mum, stepdad and stepsister in their dream house. The previous owners have moved just across the road. But why? What follows is a twisty road of untold secrets, kidnappings, and one very strange little boy…

Emma, Year 9

30th September 2021 at 3:05 pm

This book is one of the best books I have ever read, I really love how one half off the book is about Tom’s perspective and the other half is about Amy’s perspective and how in the end they tell each other what has happened to each of them. When I was reading the book I didn’t want to put it down. I love the dark twists and turns.

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