Where do I even begin with how much I adored this book? It was my first ever McCammon, so I decided to go in blind. I had absolutely no idea what it was about, or even what the genre was. All I knew was that many people seemed to hold Boy’s Life in high regard.
There are things much worse than monster movies. There are horrors that burst the bounds of screen and page, and come home all twisted up and grinning behind the face of somebody you love
This one truly had everything I typically look for in a read that will end up sticking with me forever; a rather large cast of characters for starters, which at no point for me became at all overwhelming. Within the emotional depths of childhood and adulthood alike, we also get a ton of humor. I even found myself laughing out loud on several occasions. But my favorite aspect of Boy’s Life was the way McCammon so perfectly captured what it was like to be a child. The way the lines were just ever so blurred between imagination and reality. A true coming of age story about losing that innocence we all begin with, and having to face the harsh realities of life and the inevitability of growing up.
Boy’s Life will without a doubt go on to become one of the best things I have ever read. If this book is on your TBR, I really suggest bumping it up. 5/5 ⭐
The Haunting of Henderson Close was more than just a quick read and review for me. It became somewhat of an experience. I went into the book knowing absolutely nothing about the history of Scotland, and I certainly had no idea what a Close was. So I took it upon myself to do some research so I’d be able to more properly picture and appreciate what the author was describing, and it most definitely paid off.
I will say that I was very much enjoying the book even before I went and looked a bit further into things, and you most certainly don’t HAVE to know any more than what the author described.
As with most of my reads, I chose to read THOHC late at night. On more than one occasion I found myself thoroughly creeped out, and was sure I was seeing shadows where there were none. The author made it very easy for me to picture being down in Henderson Close, not just in current times, but transported back to when it was bustling with life as well. The only negative for me was that things felt a bit repetitive at times, but really that’s not such a big deal given how much I enjoyed the story. I’d never read anything by Catherine Cavendish before this, but I most definitely look forward to what she comes out with next, and would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good ghost story. 4/5⭐’s
Well, Chad Lutzke did it again. I purchased this for my Kindle while I was reading his upcoming release, The Same Deep Water as You (coming January 11th. Definitely check it out) and although I have a ton of other books that currently need my attention, I decided to start on this one because it was calling my name. I’ve seen a few people refer to this as a book about necrophilia, but I’m going to have to disagree. This is a short story about loss and what it does to you. Sometimes losing someone you love can leave you temporarily insane, and that is definitely what I feel the case was for our main character Emmett.
There was a book I read at the end of last year that made me more physically uncomfortable than anything I’ve ever read; Stirring The Sheets comes in a close second. I felt absolutely repulsed and incredibly upset throughout a good portion of the story, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. What I was feeling is what any normal humans reaction would be. I love an author who can make me FEEL, and Chad covered both the physical and emotional aspects of that beautifully. Having lost many people that I’ve loved throughout my life, I feel the author did a tremendous job at portraying what it’s like to grieve. It’s not always pretty, it’s not always sane, and sometimes we do it all by ourselves. I think one of the most important lessons to be learned from Stirring The Sheets is that we’re never alone in our grief. Everyone has or will experience loss and grief eventually, and it’s important we let others in to help ourselves heal.
Overall I thought this was a beautiful short story that I couldn’t pull myself away from. Chad Lutzke is incredibly talented, and I would and will be reading anything he has already published or will be publishing in the future. Easy 5/5⭐’s
Thanks so much to Chad for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. You can pre-order the Kindle edition on Amazon starting Jan 7th, and both the paperback and Kindle editions officially drop at Amazon January 11th.
I had no idea what to expect from this, it being my first ever Chad Lutzke book, and also not having read the synopsis.. (because I usually don’t care to) what I wasn’t expecting was to be transported back to my youth and filled with overwhelming waves of nostalgia and a longing for the past; when things were somehow less and more complicated all at once.
The Same Deep Water as You is a coming of age short which focuses on the main character and his group of friends. If you take the movie KIDS, and mix it with Dazed and Confused, add a dash of Mid90’s, and a drop of SLC Punk.. you’ve more or less got the vibe of this book.
The characters were so real that I found myself wondering more than once if it was based on true events. The struggle as someone in that limbo between teen and adult to figure out who they are, what love is, what they’re going to do with the rest of their life and realizing the way they’re living now isn’t going to work forever was so fantastically done. Not to mention the way Chad subtly but very accurately captures what it’s like when you finally start that new chapter, and start to let go of your youth. You won’t always like the same things, habits fade and new ones replace them… You grow and continue changing into the person you’re meant to be. I could be overanalyzing all of this, but the entire story was just insanely beautiful and bittersweet to me, and I would and DO recommend it highly. 4/5⭐
This book surprisingly held a couple of firsts for me. It’s the first Christmas themed horror book I’ve ever read, and the first anthology written by a collection of different authors I’ve ever read.
I was initially drawn to the gorgeous cover, but as soon as I saw a few of the contributing authors names, I just knew I had to request it.
Hark! The Herald Angels Scream is the perfect book for those looking to fill the season with some holiday themed thrills and chills. It starts out with a bang, opening with a story called Absinthe and Angels by Kelley Armstrong. In it, we’re taught about mummers, something I could’ve happily gone the rest of my life without knowing about. From there on we have amazing tales such as, Fresh as the New-Fallen Snow by Seanan McGuire, Good Deeds by Jeff Strand, and The Hangman’s Bride by Sarah Pinborough; and that’s only a few of the incredible shorts we get from Hark!
There were only one or two stories that I couldn’t get into, otherwise I really enjoyed each and every one. Just want to give a special nod to Good Deeds by Jeff Strand. The story was so insanely hilarious that I had tears rolling down my face from laughing so hard. You’ll definitely find a little bit of everything within HTHAS, and I would most highly recommend it to any and all lovers of horror and then some. 4/5⭐
Given that Possession is my favorite sub genre of horror, I was instantly sold on the synopsis for The Window by Glenn Rolfe. Little did I know, I’d be reading it quicker than any book I’ve read this year, and quite possibly 2017 as well.
We’re introduced to James, a teenager who has been forced to move towns to live with his mother and her boyfriend after she and his father divorce. James is less than enthused about being forced to spend the rest of his summer with the pair, instead of with his much more lenient father Richie and the father’s girlfriend Alison. We then find out that Richie is feeling much of the same. Having been left by his wife, and then suffering the loss of his business, he decides that he’s not going to let his ex wife dictate the remaining time left during the summer that he could be spending with his son. We also get a bit more insight into Richie’s shortcomings with both lack of work and in the bedroom, which have led to depression and a slight drinking problem. His weaknesses are ultimately what make him the perfect target to be manipulated by demonic forces.
My favorite aspect of The Window was the adolescent friendship. James isn’t only coming home to spend time with his father, but to enjoy the remaining summer days with his two best friends and his crush. When things start to go awry, the five young teens take matters into their own hands, not at all aware of the true horrors which await them all.
I honestly had the hardest time putting this one down. I believe it took me all of two days to finish, which given my day to day life and how slow of a reader I am, speaks volumes about this book. I took an immediate liking to all of the characters (except Garrett. He can still eat shit.) and was definitely invested in the plot within the first few pages. At times I thought it to be oddly erotic, sad, hilarious, sweet; It gave me everything I’d want and more. I now find myself needing to know what’s going on with certain characters after the fact, and hoping that one day we may even get a follow up. I highly recommend The Window to anyone with eyes and the ability to read. Just be sure to avoid staring into any reflective surfaces after you’ve finished; you never know who.. or what.. may be looking back. Mega easy 5/5 ⭐
One thing I can say about The Devil’s Fingers by Hunter Shea, is that it made me more physically repulsed than anything else I’ve ever read.
We follow a group who’ve come together to support their friend while he spreads the ashes of his father in one of their favorite places to fish, camp, hike etc. They come across a plant which typically is nothing out of the ordinary, but these were seemingly everywhere, and quite larger than normal.
I refuse to go into detail, because I can already feel my skin begin to itch as I remember all the gruesome details, just think of The Ruins.. but amp up the grotesque factor by, like, a million.
I really enjoyed this one despite how every time I read, I needed to bathe right after. I think Hunter is an amazing storyteller, and there weren’t many things about this one that I disliked. I didn’t care for the use of first and last names used in the beginning. It’s such a minor thing, but it just felt a bit juvenile to me if that makes any sense. There was also an incredibly overly detailed and unnecessary sex scene.. which, again, not really that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.
Overall I’d definitely recommend this book to lovers of horror. If you can make it through without itching or wanting to vomit, all the more power to you. 4/5⭐
Thanks so much to Flame Tree Press for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
An infamous local house which has been long abandoned, is chosen by a (money hungry) man to be turned into a haunted house attraction for Halloween.
The first half of this book was almost painful for me to read. We follow a handyman who is hired on to make some serious repairs to the home before Halloween, and we’re basically along for every moment of it. I think I may have even learned a trick or two about remodeling houses just by reading this book!
We meet two female characters whose plotlines are incredibly predictable, but I enjoyed them loads more than Bob the builder’s (and one of them didn’t even talk!)
The second half of the book is when things finally took off and all the blood, gore, and spooks really begin. To me, THBTC almost felt like it was written by two separate authors due to just how different each part was.
I feel had the first part been cut in half, this book could’ve been rated higher by me for sure. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I’d say if you can make it through the first half that it’s definitely worth a read. 3/5⭐
”Pain is just pain, but you build up an immunity to it, like an alcoholic. It doesn’t really hurt less; your heart just gets a bit more numb with each passing day.”
In The Toy Thief we follow Jack, our main character who is a woman now in her twenties, writing down the terrifying events which occurred when she was just nine and her brother Andy only thirteen.
It takes a lot to scare me with the amount of horror related content I take in on a day to day basis, but The Toy Thief managed to do just that. At certain points during my read, I found myself holding my breath without even realizing it. The author transported me back to childhood, where you never knew what may be lurking in your closet, or under your bed.
I really enjoyed this one a ton. Along with the horror, there were definitely parts that tugged at my heartstrings. Jack’s unwavering love for her big Brother for one, and their Father.. who may not have been what a traditional parent should be, but did his absolute best and loved his children with everything he had in him.
I definitely recommend giving this one a read. I certainly won’t be able to get the unnerving description of the Toy Thief out of my mind anytime soon, or my dreams for that matter.. and I doubt you’ll be able to either. 4.5/5⭐
You can get your copy here or on Amazon.
A Head Full of Ghosts is a terrifying and thought provoking read that leaves you thinking (and guessing) until the end and beyond.
”It was so dark it was like nothing was there in the room but us. Only the nothing was actually something, because it filled my eyes and lungs and it sat on my shoulders.“
Never in my entire life have I had such a physical reaction by simply laying down and reading than I have with this novel. The only one that even comes close is The Exorcist. Yes, that’s right, Paul Tremblay managed to scare me more than what most would agree to be the most terrifying novel of all time.
I was immediately pulled into the story which follows a now grown up Meredith Barrett and her recounts of what happened to her family when she was just eight years old. Jumping between past, present, and blog posts, there was rarely a dull moment as Tremblay keeps you pulled in with both mounting horror and lingering questions. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, he pulls the rug up from under you and makes you completely reevaluate what in the hell is actually going on even to the very last page.
Possibly one of the easiest 5⭐’s for me. This is one that will stick with you even days after you’ve finished, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who’s up for a good scare.