• Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

I never read this one because I had the twist spoiled for me, but decided to read it anyway and liked it a lot! Even with knowing the wife set up the husband herself, there was still plenty of surprising moments and overall I enjoyed how it was written and how it ended. I will always like Flynn’s more fucked up books (like Sharp Objects) but this one definitely deserved to be read.

  • Near the Bone - Christina Henry

Re-read this one on my Jan trip to Disneyland. Great story and super fun to read again. I hope she comes out with a new book soon.

  • Little Star - John Ajvide Lindqvist

This one started so strong and then ended pretty strongly as well, but had a huge section in the middle that I really had to slog through. I wish that there was more detail on Theres and what exactly she was then all the focus on Theresa and her teenage angst. The end was juicy though and I liked how he wrote from different audience members perspective as the chaos broke out. Overall I wouldn’t recommend this one though because so much of it felt unnecessary and then we are left with so many unanswered questions.

  • The Vessel - Adam Nevill

A tasty little bite of a story. Almost too short to be classified as a book on its own, but at about 150 pages, I will let it be classified as such. I found the descriptions to be a bit too fruity and long-winded, and the “scary stuff” felt a little like I was reading a movie script instead of a story…but even still, I enjoyed it. I knew immediately that the neighbors were members of the coven, so that didn’t surprise me. But I was surprised that Jess’s coworker/boss was involved and also that the story would end so happily. I genuinely prefer some kind of happy ending, especially if it involves killing a fucked up abusive man to get there.

  • The Bone Mother - David Demchuk

When I finished this one the first thing I thought was “yuck”. Honestly I regret pushing through to finish this one. It was described as the final mythical creatures of Eastern Europe telling their stories as a war threatened to eradicate them. But the stories were so quick and many without any sort of bite at all. They didn’t explain what kind of monster they were, nothing was explained about the war trying to erase them…it just felt like a weak collection of short stories. They were so bland that I can only really remember like three of them now that the book is finished. An absolute waste of time.

  • Our Wives Under the Sea - Julia Armfield

So freaking pretty and sad. I was worried at first that the writing felt too much like poetry but I got used to it and it was very much worth it. I cried at the ending of taking her wife to dissolve into the ocean and didn’t mind that the horror stuff that happened was spaced out and left a lot of questions unanswered.

  • Tell Me I’m Worthless - Alison Rumfitt

Wow, that was an intense one. Very gross but also filled with passion and important perspectives. Some of the parts were stream of consciousness style and that got a little tedious to read, but overall this was interesting and intense and I’m glad I read it.

  • This Delicious Death - Kayla Cottingham

I somehow missed that this was a YA book until I was a couple chapters in. I maybe could have stopped reading it once I realized, because it didn’t have any bite at all and got eye-rolly a lot. I liked the queer romance, always, but the plot wasn’t interesting enough and the whole thing was mega tame - even for YA.

  • Clown in a Cornfield - Adam Cesare

I don’t normally read books that are categorized as “slashers”, but this one was on multiple “best” book lists so I gave it a shot. I’m super glad that I did! It was fast faced and I really was on the edge of my seat, worried about my favorite characters. The wound descriptions were just gory enough and I actually gasped aloud at the gay reveal at the end.

  • Bunny - Mona Awad

It’s funny because a large part of this book is the protagonist complaining about fellow writers being pretentious and long winded and then the prose itself kind of reads…pretentious and long winded. There were definitely parts that I enjoyed and liked the twist of Ava being a creation but like…definitely missing some crucial element needed to make the narrative great. There should have been more nastiness and brutality especially for the “bunnies”. Meh vibes overall.

  • Bird Box - Josh Malerman

I reread this one because I finally got the sequel, Malorie, from the library. This read was just as good as the first. What an amazing story. The best Malerman book out of all of his that I have read so far.

  • Malorie - John Malerman

It was rough going from “bird box” to this one because I knew re-reading the first one that everything would end with them making it to safety. “Malorie” starts two years later literally as all hell is breaking loose in the school. No period of happiness and safety, just dropped right back in the middle of chaos. I enjoyed it but not as much as the first. I didn’t want there to be such tension between Malorie and her kids. Also, while part of me loved the Gary twist, the other part felt like it wasn’t believable that he could be sneaking around them for years and years and no one ever heard or saw him. Worth reading and I did love the ending, but wasn’t quite perfect.

  • Maeve Fly - CJ Leede

I was genuinely so into this book until the very last few pages. I do not like romantic tragedy. I really think the author fucked up by having Maeve kill Gideon. It actually makes me mad. It’s lazy writing to just end on a surprise tragedy and nothing else. No explanation of what happens to Maeve later just BOOM kill the love of your life over a misunderstanding. Boo.

  • Camp Damascus - Chuck Tingle

Absolutely adored this one. Fantastic creepy premise, wonderful description of the demons and tortures they dole out, super cute queer romance. Just tens across the board. The end was predictable and I do wish that there had been one more interaction with Rose's parents that was more satisfying, but the good elements way out weighed anything disappointing.

  • Looking Glass Sound - Catriona Ward

Besides one book of hers that was so gothic i couldn’t get into it…this is probably my least favorite Ward book so far. She is always amazing with twists but this one is too much of a thinker. I feel like I could go back and read it again and probably grasp more of what is going on, but the plot isn’t quite interesting enough for me to want to do that.

  • Out There Screaming - (edited by) Jordan Peele

I was super excited to read this one because I am a fan of Peele’s movies but I wasn’t obsessed with a lot of the stories. Really only Hide & Seek by P. Djeli Clark really stuck in my brain. Lots of good writing, but the stories didn’t have as much nasty bite and creepiness as I would have preferred.

  • Nestlings - Nat Cassidy

Yes yes YES. This book was fantastic. Loved the storytelling and characters and descriptions. Loved how it ended and how it got there. Wonderfully unique take on vampires and the motherhood parts actually felt really healing. Fantastic author, can’t wait to see what he does next.

  • Black Sheep - Rachel Harrison

This one was enjoyable to read but I clearly saw every single twist miles before they happened. It was so obvious that they were Satanists and the dad was gonna sacrifice her. Too much time spent with her bitching about how everything made her feel as well. It could have been snappier and also darker. But the author is talented and did make me want to read the book quickly.

  • Boys in the Valley - Philip Fracassi

Absolutely superb. Scary and fast paced and heart wrenching and beautiful. It gripped me from the first page and I have tears in my eyes as I write this. Amazing character building and story telling.

  • Spin a Black Yarn - Josh Malerman

For the first time in a very long time, I wasn’t able to completely finish this one. The final novella in the collection of stale, boring stories was just too much for me to take. I am still counting it as a finished book because I only skipped the last 20 ish pages and I honestly tried so hard to finish. I haven’t liked anything Malerman has written as much as Bird Box, but this collection didn’t feel like it was written by him at all. It was stuffy and monotonous and none of the stories had any bite at all.

  • Hell House - Richard Matheson

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. I expected it to be more stuffy and cliche since it was written in the 70s. But instead it had a genuine nastiness about it that was captivating. All the sex talk was unexpected and really added to the horror vibe when stuff was at its worst. I feel like Stephen King’s screenplay for Rose Red definitely took inspiration from this story.

  • Black River Orchard - Chuck Wendig

Another winner from Wendig. I really liked “The Book of Accidents” and I really liked this one too. Both of those books are long (over 600 pages) and at first I wasn’t sure if I could get into the story enough to want to commit to such large tomes, but it captured me pretty quickly. I’m definitely going to try out more of his books.

  • Brother - Ania Ahlborn

Woof. This one was like a punch in the gut and even though I knew it would end horribly, I had to read it as fast as I could to learn what happened. Gruesome and tragic. Wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless they want something very gory and doomed.

  • Lakewood - Megan Giddings

I really loved this one until maybe the final third of the book when I realized that it was gonna fizzle out without any questions answered. The writing was done super well and I liked Lena, but I wish that there had been more specific events that happened and a little less almost stream of consciousness while being high stuff happening.

  • Good Girls Don’t Die - Christina Henry

This one disappointed me. I have generally liked Henry’s books and some have truly haunted me (Lost Boys), but this one felt juvenile and cliche. I mean…she was playing on cliches purposely but even so there wasn’t enough of a twist to make anything feel refreshing or new. And the way that she chose to tell all of the different women’s stories got so repetitive. And the way the villain mastermind talked to them at the end, ugh, just cringy.

  • Stardust - Neil Gaiman

I sped through this one and liked it a lot. I really like how Gaiman world builds and settles in between YA fiction and really dark themes. Satisfying and pretty.

  • Horns - Joe Hill

I loved this one! Really great mix of the supernatural with the regular horrors of humanity. I really liked learning about how Lee got fucked up from his concussion and later when his mom was like “my son is still out walking on the fence” was creepy and great. Loved Ig’s use of the powers of the horns and how it all ended. This is my second Joe Hill book (the first was The Fireman) and definitely my favorite of the two.

  • Come Closer - Sara Gran

This was a nice little read. It was a super small and straightforward story about slowly getting possessed by a demon. I liked how the demon interacted with the main character and also was so pleasantly surprised that they didn’t kill the dog character like horror settings love to do. Nothing too complex about this one and I wouldn’t necessarily suggest it to another horror lover, but totally well done overall.

  • The House that Horror Built - Christina Henry

Woof, what a stinker. Maybe it’s time to give Henry a long break to sort herself out. She’s replying so heavily on cliches and spending pages and pages narrating her Protagonists same thoughts over and over. Nothing redeeming about this one.

  • Mister Magic - Kiersten White

I loved this authors other book “Hide and Seek” so was excited to read this one. It was mostly great, but kinda fizzled out at the end. I just wish that there was a bit more explanation. But overall she’s a talented writer and her stories suck you in.

feb 2 2024 ∞
jul 21 2024 +