Tag Archives: horror

Customer Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House

Theres Someone Inside Your HouseThere’s Someone Inside Your House

Stephanie Perkins

Dutton Books for Young Readers

$16.99

Available September 26, 2017

I really enjoyed this book and it was (as said described) truly impossible to put down. The only thing that did not make sense to me is the title. I think the title is fitting to the horror theme, but it somehow does not fit with the story.

One minor aspect that I questioned is that Makani’s reaction to the deaths of her fellow students was unrealistic, deaths usually have to sink in a bit and when that has happened it is really devastating. However, what I loved about this book is that you never get even a clue about Makani’s secret until she tells everyone, which builds up LOTS of suspense. All in all I really loved this book and hope it will be successful.

~ Yolanda, age 12

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Staff Review: Marina

9780316044714Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Marina

$19.00

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Available today

Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s final young adult novel is beautifully written and darkly captivating. Its onlydisappointing feature is the unfairly long time it took to be released in the US—it was originally published in Spanish in 1999. Oscar Drai, the lonely 15-year-old protagonist, wanders through parts of 1980 Barcelona that remain locked away ina frozen, post-war Spain. It’s in these anachronistic wanderings that he meets Marina, an equally lonely girl with whom he follows a mysterious woman from a graveyard to an abandoned greenhouse suffused with the stench of death. This act drags them into a web of all-too-real stories from the same era as their wanderings, and from which they are soon unable to disentangle themselves, as their investigations grow steadily more disturbing and dangerous. However, all the intrigue, suspense, and horror of their encounters with reanimated prosthetic limbs, faces ravaged by acid, and the ubiquitous black butterfly become simply a distractionfrom the devastatingly poignant ending. This novel defies categorization, seamlessly blending mystery, adventure, and suspense with a touch of the supernatural and a dash of romance. All of this is woven together in an incredible gothic story with achingly beautiful language and plot twists that keep the reader breathless and glued to the text until the final page.

Warning: I gasped and shouted audibly in public while reading this book. It’s that good.

~ Cara

 

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Staff Review: Pleased to Meet You, Mr. NOS4A2

9780062200570Once in awhile, you read something that triggers memories that you hadn’t even realized you had forgotten.  When I read the prologue in Joe Hill’s new novel, NOS4A2 (and if you don’t get this, then you obviously don’t have a husband whose idea of a great first date was going to see Max Schrenk in the 1922 silent movie), it was the summer of 1985. I had graduated college and moved in with my boyfriend-now-husband in Pittsburgh. He was living in a seedy area in East Liberty, on the third floor of the kind of house where cooking and other smells immediately assaulted you when you opened the front door. We all had hibachis on the fire escape, and thought we were living at the height of culture. I spent that summer immersed in horror novels, something I never would have done if I’d been living by myself. To this day, Pet Sematary scares the bejesus out of me. But one of the most terrifying scenes I read came from Dracula, when Jonathan Harker and Dr. Seward open the Count’s casket and Dracula is lying there in his bed of dirt glaring up at them with vindictive eyes, which for some reason my imagination colored red. Why is something like opening up a casket so scary and so compelling at the same time?

NOS4A2 opens in the long-term care ward of a Supermax prison infirmary where the coma patients (“gorks”, according to the staff) are kept. A nurse is making her rounds, holding a bag of blood for one Charlie Manx, who “looks older than Keith Richards”, only with sharp little brown teeth. She is startled when she notices that his eyes are now open, but it’s when he grabs her wrist and starts talking about her son that the fun really begins: she drops the bag of blood which then explodes in a “crimson gush, the hot spray drenching her feet”.

Oh goody, I thought at this point: cue the shrieking violins (or Christmas carols), cause this is gonna ROCK.

In addition to being a child molester and a murderer, Charlie Manx is a vampire. He transports children in a 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith that feeds on their souls using them as fuel for the journey to a place called Christmasland. Or at least he did until he was put in the hospital by one Vic McQueen, who has some interesting skills of her own. She finds things that are lost, by riding her Raleigh Tuff Burner over the Shorter Way Bridge, a derelict old bridge crossing the Merrimack River in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Only this bridge doesn’t go to the other side. The first time she crosses it she winds up in an alley in a New Hampshire burger joint.

Maggie Leigh is a stammering punk-rocker librarian in Iowa who uses Scrabble tiles to find things out and it is through Maggie that Vic becomes aware of Charlie Manx’s interest in her. Manx has a henchman named Bing Partridge who speaks in twisted little singsong rhymes that get inside your head. Bing likes to play with the mommies of the children that Manx takes to Christmasland, kind of like a cat playing with a mouse.

When Manx comes out his coma years later (well, actually, he escapes from the morgue), he’s itching for revenge, and sets his sights on Vic’s son Wayne. A mother’s love for her son is unstoppable and Vic stops at nothing to get her son back.

Joe Hill obviously attended the Dolores Umbridge School of Horror and graduated with distinction. A twisted version of Santa Claus is way more scary than straight-up Freddy Krueger, and the older I get, the less I like Christmas anyway. Loaded with rock ‘n roll, pop-culture, and literary references, NOS4A2 is often horrifyingly funny. I found it impossible to put down, and when I did, it was only to read Joe Hill’s other books, Horns and Heart-Shaped Box. It was another one of those weeks that my kids shook their heads and resigned themselves to making family dinners until I finally came up for air.

Eat your heart — uh, soul — out, Charlie Manx.


~Lysbeth

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