Reviews, Vlogs

Reading Spooky Books

I was either super smart or super silly as I decided to spend a week reading a seasonal read every day. Seven spooky or at least, Halloween-esque books! Anything scary, spooky, creepy, or vaguely Halloween themed was eligible for this self imposed challenge.

I also went on a wee book haul that I couldn’t resist! In my defence, the majority of the books were holiday purchases but I can easily find an excuse for breaking my book buying ban. I was doing so well!

My vlog

Books included in this blog are:

Carmilla by Sheridan le Fanu

Cutthroat Cupcakes byCate Lawley

Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice

A Pale Box on the Distant Shore by P.J. Nwosu *

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix

How to Kill Men and Get Away With It by Katy Brent

*gifted

Reviews

The Final Girl Support Group

In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?

Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For more than a decade she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized–someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.

But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.

I was so intrigued by this book. I’m a huge fan of films like Scream, Halloween, and Friday the 13th. I suppose they’re slasher films but as a total wuss, I do Google all the spoilers first. I refuse to get caught out by a jump scare. This book definitely appealed to my love of slasher films!

I really enjoyed all of the main characters. They each had their own coping mechanisms, they did what they needed to in order to go on after surviving their individual massacres. They felt well rounded and felt like real characters. I loved that while they drove each other up the wall, they loved and cared for each other. I didn’t expect found family joy but I got it. A pleasant surprise! I absolutely loved the way that the character names nodded towards the characters/actors of the Final Girls of so many enjoyable scary film series. This was such a nice touch.

This book was super fast paced and so easy to consume! When the book reached just after halfway, the pace picked up even more and it was just pure excitement and danger.

I absolutely loved the first and last 45%…but the middle 10% I hated. I hated the middle so much that I genuinely considered giving up on the book entirely. I was encouraged to continue and I’m really glad that I did. Although I’d recommend skipping all of the chapters in the police station to anyone going in. I just think the book would be fantastic without those chapters.

Due to the nature of this genre, there were a lot of moments of violence. I didn’t find the violence to be too gratuitous or gory. I’m really not one for blood and gore and I feel like this book gave just the right amount of gore while remaining in the spirit of the source material.

This just felt like reading a scary movie. It was full of twists and turns and I just did not see the reveals coming. I was so sure that I knew who the baddie was, I was certain! I was also wrong, wrong, wrong. When the reveal came I audibly gasped!

I have seen a few reviews where people were unhappy with the ending of this book but I loved it. It felt like the perfect ending to this book.

This was my third book by this author so I’m feeling pretty confident about reading more books by Grady Hendrix as I’ve enjoyed each of their books that I’ve read so far.

Reviews

Horrorstör

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör is designed to retain its luster and natural appearance for a lifetime of use. Pleasingly proportioned with generous French flaps and a softcover binding, Horrorstör delivers the psychological terror you need in the elegant package you deserve.

This was supposed to be my bookclub book back in October but as it was sold out everywhere at the time, we went with another book. When I saw this on audible I swooped at the chance to read it. I really enjoyed this book and gave it 4 stars.

The physical book is written in the format of an IKEA catalogue so I was initially a little worried that the book would work well as an audiobook. I was totally wrong about that as the audiobook was brilliant! I really enjoyed the inserts of furniture descriptions which were placed between scenes. The furniture names were, I suspect, purposely hilarious!

Right away, I disliked Basil because he reminded me of ‘Team Leaders’ back when I worked in retail. The whole vibe of the shop was so creepy but in a way that felt familiar to my time in retail. I absolutely hated working in retail. This book did a great job of embodying the horror that was retail. Have you even worked in retail if you haven’t had to deal with mysterious poops on the shop floor/fitting room? I found myself really liking Basil as the book progressed.

This book felt like it was split into two halves; the set up which was all about the reality of working in retail and the story then turned into an actual ghost story/haunted house. I honestly didn’t actually expect the book to have horror in it. I sort of expected it to be something silly or an overreaction but there was horror.

Parts of this were pretty scary, I am a huge wuss though. This book included ghosty possession due to the history of the area and I did enjoy that. The spooky bits made me jump! The story took a bit of a turn and included some gory bits which made me feel a bit queasy.

I found a lot of moments in this book to be relatable with regards to financial troubles and trying to find your place in the adult world.

I’ve read a book by this author before but didn’t realise that until after I’d finished. I will definitely read more books by this author as I enjoy their style of horror. I would be interested to read this book in physical format to see if I get something more from it.