• If It Bleeds - Stephen King

I enjoyed this short story collection but it did make me roll my eyes a bit. He is so obsessed with his stupid "Mr Mercedes" series that the longest story in the collection is from that world. Felt a bit like I was tricked. But the other three stories did entertain me. Although none had the bite that I'm used to from King. My favorite was "The Life of Chuck".

  • Sleep Over -H.G. Bells

I've read many apocalypse books that jumps around from character to character all over the world (World War Z/Robopocalypse) but this is the first I have read where the characters aren't named and you only hear their story once and never come back to them. It was certainly interesting and creepy, but each character was written in the same voice. It would have been cool to have a greater variation in how they told their stories.

  • Near the Bone - Christina Henry

I am officially listing Henry as one of my favorite authors. I’ve had her book, Lost Boy, stuck in my head since I read it and this one will stay with me too. Even with huge monsters stalking them in the woods, I found William to be the scariest part. It was fast paced and gruesome and full of mystery.

  • All My Colors - David Quantick

I was actually in the middle of another book when I got All My Colors from the library. I started reading it because I was in a long line and it’s what I had and then I was pretty much hooked. It was creepier than I expected (especially the bits with Billy and the bookstore guy) and then ended kinda poorly. But endings are hard. It was a decent story and I’m glad I read it but I wouldn’t put it on a “re-read” list.

  • The Hidden People - Alison Littlewood

At first I wasn’t sure if I could appreciate/understand this book because of how it’s written. But the story was interesting and it didn’t lean too hard into ye olde english style. There were several thoughtful twists that I found surprising and interesting.

  • The House in the Cerulean Sea - TJ Klune

This book was utterly delightful. Just a fantastic story full of humor and healing and magic queerness. I love love loved it. The “plot twist” I could see coming miles away but it didn’t matter. It was just a pleasure to see the story unfold.

  • Dreadful Young Ladies - Kelly Barnhill

Whimsical short stories, I particularly liked “Mrs Sorensen and the Sasquatch” and “The Unlicensed Magician”. Those two were magical and mysterious and had really cool world building. Some of the others were a little too poetic without enough substance.

  • The Boy Who Drew Monsters - Keith Donohue

I really liked how this author writes and the book started with a lot of promise but then the plot basically went downhill until the end. There was way too much shit with the parents being victimized because their son was autistic. I felt like the author was like equating Jack’s autism with evil. Plus the stereotypical “foreign person who knows about monsters” character was eye roll inducing.

  • Nothing but Blackened Teeth - Cassandra Khaw

I was very disappointed by this book. So short, I read it in about an hour. But I wouldn’t have minded the length if it was a good story. It needed way more detail. Way more something. Too much time spent on the history between the characters…all buildup and no payoff.

  • My Heart is a Chainsaw - Stephen Graham Jones

I had high hopes because I’ve heard good things about the author. For awhile I thought that I wouldn’t be able to immerse myself into the story because the voice of the narrator is a bit jumbled. It took me longer than normal to finish because I had to give it all my attention. But after finishing it I am already thinking about re reading parts of it. Actually ended up being fairly successful I think. I knew that there would be a supernatural element from the first part cuz I translated the Dutch.

  • A House at the Bottom of a Lake - Josh Malerman

I keep wanting Malerman’s other books to be as captivating as Bird Box, but so far nothing has compared. This story had so much potential and it just fizzled out completely. Pretty disappointing.

  • The Devouring Gray - Christine Lynn Herman

It definitely had intriguing elements but overall was a disappointment. By the end you realize that it is setting itself up to be a series and I definitely wouldn’t read more of them. Too much talking about everyone having a crush on each other.

  • Sorrowland - Rivers Solomon

Amazing! Heartbreaking! Sexy! Beautiful and scary and icky and sad and good good good.

  • The Book of Accidents - Chuck Wendig

I really liked this one! Each character was unique and interesting and I liked the twist of the multiverse. I also appreciated the ending that was both happy and slightly ambiguous which is hard to accomplish.

  • A Head Full of Ghosts - Paul Tremblay

Absolutely great. A really creepy yet realistic look at mental illness and I definitely didn't guess all of the plot twists. I liked it much better than the other book of his I have read (Cabin at the End of the World)

  • The Last House on Needless Street - Catriona Ward

This book is AMAZING. I want to own it and read it over and over. I thought that I knew the twist but nope no it completely surprised me at the end. It was the perfect mix of horror that made me squeal and flinch but wasn’t too much. I almost stopped reading it at the beginning because of the bird violence, but I’m so glad that I pushed through.

  • This Thing Between Us - Gus Moreno

I thought that I was gonna be obsessed with this book until I got to the last third of it. Maybe I read it too fast but it really felt like it fizzled out and didn’t explain itself enough. I never understood what the evil was or was trying to do. The author has a fantastic voice and I ripped through the novel really quickly, but I just wish that it had been more clear at the end.

  • Reprieve - James Han Mattson

I found this book more of an interesting character study then a “horror” novel. I loved the idea of it being set in a “full contact” haunted house, but found the different rooms to be too similar with just the threat of actors in gore makeup shocking you with electric sticks. It made me think a lot about what I would put in a haunted house like that to be terrifying. I was surprised and creeped out when it was revealed that the owner set the whole murder up from the second he met Bryan and Kendra. I genuinely didn’t expect that.

  • When the Reckoning Comes - LaTanya McQueen

I felt like a lot of this book was repetition of the same thought. Like it told you the moral over and over in different ways. And most of the horror content was vision of what happened to the slaves in the past and not enough ghost revenge on the ancestors of the plantation owners. Overall, I just wanted it to be more than it ended up being.

  • Wonderland - Zoje Stage

There were a lot of fantastic elements in this one but ultimately I found it to be repetitive and a bit annoying. The mom narrator did way too much repetitive thinking “what’s happening, how can I stop it, what is this?” Over and over and over. And in the end everything could have been fine if she had just listened to her daughter. There should have been less inner monologue and more action.

  • We Hear Voices - Evie Green

This book was interesting but didn’t really pack enough punch. I think that they could have made the affected children much creepier and the reveal that it was aliens felt lack luster.

  • A Dowry of Blood - S.T. Gibson

This was an interesting take on the relationship between Dracula and his “Brides”. I felt that it was a bit repetitive and juvenile but there were a few elements that I enjoyed. I liked that it was so gay and sexy and the revenge killing at the end was very satisfying.

  • A Touch of Jen - Beth Morgan

I was super interested in the premise of this book and it ended up not letting me down. The obsession with Jen went way differently than I was expecting and at first that threw me off, but the author really pulled out a completely unexpected ending that is gonna stick in my head for a long time. I finished the book and wanted to start over again because the author wove so many clues and callback throughout that didn’t make sense until the very end. Creepy and disturbing and surprising.

  • Manhunt - Gretchen Felker-Martin

I wanted to like this one more than I actually did. It’s awesome to have Trans characters front and center but I didn’t think that the world building was complete enough. It’s supposed to be 5 years into societal collapse and parts sounded like it had been 20 years. The sex scenes were also kinda gratuitous but again I was glad to read scenes that weren’t so boring/heteronormative. I really respect the author for creating this piece but I wish that it was more captivating.

  • Just Like Mother - Anne Heltzel

This story was super predictable but also told well. I read it in two days and it just flew by. The ending was like a cliche horror movie but I didn’t mind it too much. I wish that there had been more details about how the cult ran in the beginning (like what exactly they did with the men they captured)

  • Revelator - Daryl Gregory

This was a really good read! As usual I wish that there were more details but I liked all the little twists and I also liked the ending. It was very pretty writing while also having a touch as fuck narrator.

  • Echo - Thomas Olde Heuvelt

There were a lot of good, creepy elements in this one but ultimately I wouldn’t suggest it to another else to read. The written dialect of the New Yorker boyfriend was cringy and everything was written with a tad too much flowery descriptions. I loved that our two narrators were boyfriends and getting the different sides of the story was nice. Just not scary enough and a bit too long.

  • Sundial - Catriona Ward

I think that Ward may have just become one of my favorite authors. Her books are so special; creepy and funny and terrifying. She creates amazing twists that I don’t see coming and her stories twist my stomach up in knots but I just have to keep reading to find out what happens.

  • Mary - Nat Cassidy

This story was fantastic. It was totally predictable but that didn’t take away any of my enjoyment. I really liked that Mary went through a metamorphosis but not all the way into being “good”. You can change for the better but still hold darkness inside.

  • The Pallbearers Club - Paul Tremblay

There were definitely interesting parts, especially Mercy’s final chapter but overall I didn’t like how it was written. Too much music talk and he just goes on and on about everything he’s describing.

  • An English Ghost Story - Kim Newman

This was definitely an interesting take on a haunted house story. Parts of it were totally captivating but once the real “haunting” began it got a little long winded. I appreciated the happy ending.

  • We Sold our Souls - Grady Hendrix

I was surprised by how much I liked this book as I was reading it. I had stayed away cuz I thought it was a cliche story about a band selling their souls for fame and it actually had a lot more interesting elements to it. But the ending felt weak, which was a disappointment.

  • The Grip of It - Jac Jemc

Maybe I’m just really picky, but I haven’t come across a “haunted house” story that I’ve ever been obsessed with. This one was no different. It started stronger, but then melted into symbolism and hard to follow breakdowns. Not a fan.

  • Tender is the Flesh - Agustina Bazterrica

Dang this book is fucked up. The story was told well and I read it super quickly. I had to skip over a few animal violence parts, but overall it didn’t try to be too “gross”. I was surprised by the end, you really think that the main character is a good guy until the reveal. I feel like his last sentence could have been much more powerful.

  • The Girl Next Door - Jack Ketchum

Completely fucked up. I didn’t realize that it was based on a true story from the 60s. The torture and abuse was completely horrifying. I had nightmares after finishing the book and then reading about the real crime. Too scary.

  • The Grownup - Gillian Flynn

This is really just a short story but since it was printed on its own, I’m gonna call it a “book”. Great story, I wish that it kept on going. Gillian Flynn is just great. This story didn’t have the sting of her other work but it was still super enjoyable. As I was reading it I realized that I’ve read it before, but I didn’t remember the ending.

  • Rolling in the Deep - Mira Grant

This was a really quick read, and pretty enjoyable. I could have done without a lot of the science talk, but I liked how fast everything went once the mermaid was seen. I also liked how they communicated with sign language and mimicked human voices.

  • Survivor Song - Paul Tremblay

I want to like Tremblay’s books more than I actually do. There are great and creepy ideas but some element is missing for me. The c-section was obviously horrendous and he wrote about it very well. But the teenage boy’s dialogue was kinda eye rolling.

  • Final Girls - Mira Grant

Grant’s books feel like they should be lumped together in a short story collection. I liked the premise of this one but wish that it had gone further. I did really like how the zombies were described and how they talked…super creepy.

  • Universal Harvester - John Darnielle

This book was super frustrating. There were bits that were well written and I kept hoping for more but in the end I read the last page and just thought “ugh”.

  • The Beauty - ALiya Whiteley

This was a super great little read. It was actually two unrelated short stories together but I liked both of them. The Beauty was better than Peace, Pipe though. I liked that it was written in a pretty way but maintained some grittiness.

  • Little Heaven - Nick Cutter

I loved every bit of this book. It was gruesome and disgusting at many points but never beyond what I could handle (like The Troop…ick) While it was set in the 60’s-80’s, it felt like it could have been in the Wild West. I also loved the illustrations throughout. 10/10

  • Night of the Mannequins - Stephen Graham Jones

I was super into this one until the very ending. I loved not knowing if the main character was just crazy or if Manny was real. But it was super cheesy and not well thought out when Shanna ended up not being dead and I wanted something cooler to end everything than the boy just rowing out to the middle of the lake.

  • Exquisite Corpse - Poppy Z. Brite

I would suggest this book to anyone who loves “American Psycho”. It’s fucking gross but at the same time, written extremely well. Lots of it gave me a tummy ache (because I especially don’t like torture)

  • Travelers Rest - Keith Lee Morris

I almost stopped reading this one maybe three different times. It was so bizarre and many parts hard for me to follow. But something about the way it was written (mostly the stuff from Dewey’s perspective) made me keep going and after I finished it I thought that it was a good story. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone necessarily unless they said that they loved trippy stories, but it was still pretty interesting.

  • Ring Shout - P. Djèlí Clark

This was a super tasty little story. I liked the monster descriptions and fighting. It was super hard to me to understand what Nana was saying, cuz it was written phonetically, but it didn't take away from my experience too much.

  • Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist

This was my second read through of this one and it completely holds up. The story is written so well, you can just zoom through it. I love the characters and the icky parts and just everything. I re-read it right now because I just learned that he wrote a sequel. I am so excited to see what becomes of Oskar and Eli.

  • Hide - Kiersten White

YES YES YES. This is just a good, well told story. Nothing revolutionary but I loved it nonetheless. I also loved that it was a happy (but twisted) ending.

  • Let the Old Dreams Die - John Ajvide Lindqvist

I thought that this was going to be a sequel to Let the Right One In, but it was actually a collection of short stories and one of them had mention of what happened to Oskar and Eli. That was pretty disappointing but I did enjoy a lot of the stories. I really liked “The Border” and “A Village in the Sky”.

  • Little Eve - Catriona Ward

Absolutely stunning. Scary and pretty and sad and beautiful. There were twists I wasn’t expecting and I loved the ending. She is such a good author.

jan 10 2022 ∞
jan 11 2023 +