There’s Someone Inside Your House

by

Stephanie Perkins

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There’s Someone Inside Your House: Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Everything changes after Rodrigo’s murder. Osborne High cancels class. A mass of official communications—texts, emails, and voicemails—give impersonal statements about the tragedy. The whole town watches the story unfold on the local news over breakfast the next morning. None of it makes any sense. Grandma Young makes pumpkin pancakes for breakfast that morning, which is a more elaborate breakfast than she usually makes. Makani knows it’s because it occupies her mind in a world that feels increasingly uncontrollable.
The third slaying ramps up the tension—in the book, and around Osborne. Grandma Young making pancakes for breakfast to try to assert control over an otherwise uncontrollable situation is just one way the book reinforces the necessity of working through trauma and grief. Traumatic events often happen with no notice and too quickly for the victim to take ownership of that event. By asserting control over her life in small ways, Grandma Young fights back against the helplessness.  
Themes
Trauma, Loss, and Grief Theme Icon
Quotes
Makani thinks about Rodrigo. There are rumors that he was the latest victim, but nobody knows anything for sure. Makani has tried to reach out to Alex, but she hasn’t received a response. Now she feels bad about ignoring her apology texts over the weekend. Just then, Creston Howard announces the victim’s identity: Rodrigo Ramón Morales Ontiveros. It’s his full name, so that makes it official. Creston talks about Rodrigo’s family discovering his lifeless body when they returned home from Las Vegas. Grandma Young is beside herself with grief; she’d taught Rodrigo’s sisters years ago.
Makani’s comment about Rodrigo’s murder feeling more real once the news announces his full name is a nod to the way the news had earlier called Haley and Matt by their full names. It’s a nod to the idea that there are certain rituals society adopts to acknowledge and cope with death—particularly death of a horrific, traumatic sort, like these gruesome murders.
Themes
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All around town, businesses close early. Parents stay home from work to look after their children. Everyone locks their doors. Everyone is scared. Rodrigo’s murder scares people because he was so average—not popular, like Matt and Haley had been. His murder means anyone could be a victim. Now that Osborne’s body count is up to three, the town is officially dealing with a serial killer. The story makes the national news. 
If Rodrigo is more average than Haley and Matt, then what is the killer’s motive for killing these three students? Is there a pattern at all, or are they simply selecting students at random? It seems that trying to find a pattern or reason or the killings is yet another way that Osborne tries to work through its trauma and explain the unexplainable violence the killer has forced upon the formerly safe, quiet community. 
Themes
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Ollie calls Makani around noon. Chris is making him help out at the police station until his afternoon shift at Greeley’s. Makani asks him if he knows of any leads. He says the killer left a partial boot print and a partial print of the seat of his jeans, along with some fibers. After the murder, the killer stuck around and played video games next to Rodrigo’s dead body—for five hours. Makani and Ollie both shudder at this sick detail. However, this detail also reveals that the killer knew Rodrigo enough to know that nobody in Rodrigo’s family would be home to interrupt the attack. Somebody on Ollie’s end of the line tells him to get back to work. Ollie and Makani admit to missing each other before hanging up.
That the killer was careless enough to leave behind a seat print and boot print reinforces the idea that they felt at home in Rodrigo’s house—that they were close with him and his family, perhaps. It’s becoming more likely that the killer was Rodrigo’s friend, perhaps even that Rodrigo’s guess was correct—that the killer is David Ware, though nobody besides Rodrigo has access to this information. This possibility is so shocking and upsetting because it reinforces the novel’s insistence that people have no way of knowing how well or accurately they know the people they’re close to.
Themes
Alienation  Theme Icon
Gossip vs. Communication Theme Icon
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Makani’s phone buzzes. It’s Darby. He tells Makani that he and Alex are going in to work at the Feed ‘N’ Seed. He’ll let Makani know how Alex is holding up. Darby and Makani have been acting like their fight last night didn’t happen; it’s more important to make sure that Alex is okay. Grandma Young comes down from her bedroom, where she’s been on the phone with a church friend. She asks Makani if she’s spoken with her parents yet. Makani hasn’t but promises that she will, though she doesn’t want to.
Darby’s call functions as something of a peace offering—it’s an invitation for Makani to set aside her differences with Darby and Alex and be there for Alex as she mourns the death of the boy she liked. In times of hardship, the novel suggests that people are more willing to set aside their differences to come together to weather the storm.
Themes
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Makani wonders if anyone back home has heard about the murders. Then she thinks about Jasmine. Makani knows from experience that even the strongest friendships can fall apart, and she resolves to make things right with Alex before it’s too late. Makani asks Grandma Young if she can borrow her car to go to the Feed ‘N’ Seed. Grandma Young is concerned about Makani’s safety and insists that they go together.
Makani’s casual remark about knowing how easily friendships can fall apart is another hint at what happened between her and Jasmine. Whatever “incident” Makani is too ashamed to talk about aloud, it's clear that it played a central role in the dissolution of Makani’s relationship with her best friend. 
Themes
Alienation  Theme Icon
The sky is overcast when Grandma Young and Makani reach the Feed ‘N’ Seed. People speak to each other in low voices, but it’s obvious what they’re talking about. Makani and Grandma Young approach Darby and Alex. Alex’s eyes are streaked black; she’s not doing well. Suddenly, Grandma Young asks Makani if Ollie is okay. Oblivious to Alex and Darby’s feelings about Ollie, Grandma Young goes on about what a nice boy Ollie is—even if he does have a lip ring. The atmosphere is tense, but Grandma Young fails to notice. Alex says they should cancel classes until the police arrest someone, giving Makani a dark look as she speaks. Before Makani can respond, the store manager approaches them to make sure Alex and Darby aren’t distracted from their work. Makani and her grandmother leave the store.
The murders bring the town together. Suddenly, everyone is united in their shared, secondhand exposure to trauma. Grandma Young’s gushing about Ollie makes the atmosphere tense because Alex and Darby still suspect that Ollie has had something to do with the murders. Rodrigo’s death likely heightens their suspicions, since Rodrigo made a joke at Makani’s expense when Ollie offered to drive Makani home from school—right before Rodrigo’s murder. The store manager interrupts before Makani can try to talk things through with her friends, though, and the situation remains unresolved.
Themes
Trauma, Loss, and Grief Theme Icon
Alienation  Theme Icon
Gossip vs. Communication Theme Icon
The day turns to evening, and it begins to snow. Because school is cancelled, nobody has left any mementos for Rodrigo at the memorial. Makani thinks this is awful. Later that evening, everyone receives another round of messages informing them that school will be cancelled tomorrow, too. The school will reopen on Wednesday. Grandma Young thinks the killer won’t strike tonight since they would leave their tracks behind in the snow. But she and Makani double-check all the locks just in case.  
Grandma Young’s logic that the killer won’t strike since he’d be too wary of leaving behind footprints in the snow is yet another of her attempts to create the illusion that she and Makani are in control of their situation. It’s an attempt to cope with trauma and hardship.
Themes
Trauma, Loss, and Grief Theme Icon