This was a solid 4 star book right up to the last few pages.
The story was unique (at least to me). It kept me on the edge of my seat. I NEEDED to know what was happening next. I read this in one sitting, with a few occasional 10 minute breaks. I was irritated about those breaks because I wanted nothing but to sit and see what plan Cassie might think of next. The teenagers actually acted like real teenagers. They were over confident and insecure at the same time. They simplified major issues and exaggerated small ones. They had crushes on their friend's boyfriends. They mistreated each other, but got pissed when an outsider did it. These are things I remember seeing or experiencing when I was in high school. You don't see this a lot in traditional published books. To see it in an SPA book is astounding.
Then the ending came. Two things about the ending really bothered me. First, it was one of the worst cliff hangers I've come across. I hate cliff hangers. This one left me saying "NOOO! WTF?!?! You can't end it like that!". So I go right to Amazon to buy the second book. And that brings me to the second part that bothered me. Now, this might not belong in a review about Dollhouse, but it did affect (or is it effect?) my rating. The price for the Second book is $4.99. I won't pay that for a kindle book from my favorite traditionally published authors, and you want me to pay that for a SPA? No way. Like I said before, this ended on a I need to know what happens next cliffhanger. I would have been happy to pay my $2.99 SPA limit for the next book. But charging $4.99 is highway robbery IMHO. Stephen King's The Shinning only cost $3.99. It felt like a big FU from the author. To me, it seems the Dollhouse ended the way it did just so readers would pay a ridiculous price to find out what happens next. Allyn lost a reader willing to pay a fair price for her work because of this.