Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente!

Hey y’all! In case you missed it yesterday, Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente is published today! If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the review here, or grab your own copy from Book Depository!

Recommended: yes, to Ava
For a quick read that ends way creepier than it begins, for a short puzzle that’s brilliant once you know what to look for, for a story I’d describe as “eerie”

Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect.

It’s just that he’s away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect.

But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband’s face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can’t quite meet her gaze…

But everything is perfect. Isn’t it?

Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente (11/9)

Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente
Expected release date: November 9, 2021

Recommended: yes, to Ava
For a quick read that ends way creepier than it begins, for a short puzzle that’s brilliant once you know what to look for, for a story I’d describe as “eerie”

Summary

Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect.

It’s just that he’s away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect.

But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband’s face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can’t quite meet her gaze…

But everything is perfect. Isn’t it?

Thoughts

Hey Ava!

I think you’ll like this one (and it comes out tomorrow!). It’s one of those stories that starts out normal, then gets kind of strange, then subtly creepy, and then smashes headlong into WTF territory when you’re too far in to stop. Since it’s so short, the effect is doubled! And of course the mystery-ish aspect of trying to get a better sense of what exactly is going on in Acadia Gardens will definitely keep you going.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente (11/9)”
Posted in Book Talk

Post #666: the hits

Hey y’all! This post just so happens to be the 666th one I’ve posted to this blog! Since it’s such an infamously auspicious (does it count as auspicious??) number, I thought I’d put together a short collection of some posts and books about horror that I’ve included here before. 😈

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix, 7/13

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix.
Expected Release: July 13, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Even though I’m not a fan of horror, even I am intrigued by the premise for this one! A group of women who have survived horrific scenes of murder meet regularly to help each other cope with what they’ve lived through. Unfortunately, now someone is targeting their group, seeming determined to bring an end to each of these women who survived the first time.
  • Although I haven’t read anything by Hendrix yet, I had an eye out of The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires when it came out. Whether that one or this one, I’m certainly going to be reading something by Hendrix this year!
  • Judging by some of the author’s personal blog posts and shared items, I think he’ll have a dark sense of humor that, if brought to the story, will be a wicked delight (and potentially make me cackle).

Summary

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.

Posted in Reviews

Review: A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
Verdict: hella good horror, even for folks who don’t usually love horror!

Recommended: yes!
For folks who don’t usually love horror, for an insiders view of a faked (maybe?) possession, for psychological horror where you don’t really know what to believe or who to trust

Summary

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

Thoughts

This book is absolutely fascinating. I am not a fan of horror, whether in movies, games, books, or anything else, really. But this book recommended to me was a captivating winner! So I recommend it for folks who don’t usually like horror, but DO like a story that makes you question everything over and over again, and analyze all aspects from a million angles. It’s a bit of a who-dunnit in that you just don’t know what to trust.

Continue reading “Review: A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Vines, 3/23/21

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Vines by Shelley Nolden.
Expected Release: March 23, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • I tend to stay away from horror, but this one sounds so compelling and yes, ok, the cover does sway me as well. With a name like that and a story about a young girl studied by doctors for years, I’m drooling to find out how they connect and what’s so unique about this girl Cora.
  • Where there’s a unique and interesting person, there’s a foolish obsessed one soon to follow behind. In this case, it’s Finn who stumbled upon the island’s most hidden secret — Cora — and pursues the woman and the mystery to whatever end may come. Even if it’s his own…?
  • While I’m bored by New York City as a setting, I do like the contrast of a wild and natural island in the backdrop of it. The harsh city against the wilderness in its midst can create a subtle and alluring atmosphere for a creepy horror story.

Summary

In the shadows of New York City lies forbidden North Brother Island, where the remains of a shuttered hospital hide the haunting memories of century-old quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses an enigmatic beauty through the foliage, intrigue turns to obsession as he seeks to uncover her past—and his own family’s dark secrets. By unraveling these mysteries, will he be able to save Cora? Will Cora meet the same tragic ending as the thousands who’ve already perished on the island?

Posted in Book Talk

8 Disturbing Books That Show How Things Could Be Worse

Hello there! For those of us who find comfort in the mindset of “Well, things could be worse!” — this list is for you. Here we have books that are shades of scary, disturbing, unsettling, and graphic. I typically prefer books that make me laugh, but sometimes you’ve gotta fight fire with fire. So take a look at the list, read one of these books, and come out of it thinking that in comparison, maybe you’re doing okay.

True graphic horror

Seriously. I cannot give a big enough warning for this one. This scarred me. So of course, I have to share it here. It is incredibly brutal and graphic and disgusting and horrifying. But it is also so good because of that.

2 sentence summary:
A bioengineered parasite is infecting people across America and turning them into raving murderous lunatics. Bitter ex-football star Perry is becoming one of them, and the war he must wage on his own body may impact all of humanity.

The perils of tech

So maybe we’re heading towards this reality in our own way. But at the moment, we’re not there yet, so thank goodness for that. If you don’t recognize Michael Crichton’s name already, prepare to be mesmerized.

2 sentence summary:
Microbots programmed as predators have gained intelligence and are on the hunt. And they’re evolving more by the hour.

Continue reading “8 Disturbing Books That Show How Things Could Be Worse”
Posted in Reviews

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Easy five stars. I loved this the whole way through, and better yet is that it made me want to pick up a classic tale I’ve never read and learn it anew! Darkness, cleverness, twists and growth and I LOVED IT. If you didn’t see already, check out some of the best bookstagrams I found for this book and get hyped.

Recommended: YES YES YES!!!
For fans of shamelessly dark plots and characters, for those who can appreciate difficult moments (think Game of Thrones), for a fascinating new perspective on the story of Frankenstein and his monster

Pretty/Creepy. Suits the story.

Summary:
Elizabeth Lavenza is on the verge of being thrown into the streets from her abusive caretakers, until she is sold to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend. Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable. But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Thoughts:
Well clearly I loved it. This was a fantastic spontaneous October find, as it fit the “spooky” theme for the month perfectly. I’ve been really enjoying tales with darker tones lately (like Foul Is Fair), and this really hit the spot perfectly. The mysteries within the book twist and churn like a living things, reflecting the shadows that plague Elizabeth and Victor along the way.

Continue reading “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White”

She loved it because I told it just for her. It was not entirely the truth. But so little of what I told anyone ever was. I had ceased feeling guilty long ago. Words and stories were tools to elicit the desired reactions in others, and I was an expert craftswoman.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

The early moment where I knew I’d love this character