This week has been FULL of reading books! And I love it! Nothing says fall (or winter!) like curling up on the couch with a mug of tea and a good book! A little trickier now that I have a little guy to chase after, so I take advantage of naptime. Especially this week when I want to gobble up as many horror stories as I can!
First off, I downloaded an audiobook from Hoopla, a pretty awesome service from my local library. I was trying to find something good and spooky and Hell House by Richard Matheson seemed like just the ticket. I mean, ghosts? A haunted house? Just what I like!
In the end, this one was just okay for me. It was good, but I do tend to multitask a lot while listening to an audiobook, so listening to horror means that I don’t get creeped out that much. Though, when it comes to haunted houses, this one wasn’t bad! It definitely had its spooky moments.
The only thing I really didn’t get with this is why it had to do a LOT with sex. Is that an adult book thing? I say “adult” but mean just a grown up book, not that kind of an adult book. I find that when you get into the adult fiction in this kind of genre, it always has some kind of sexual aspect to it. I mean, I guess you could say it worked in this story, but I didn’t much care for it. I wanted different kinds of scares, personally.
I also really had to laugh towards the end — and you might want to not read this part if you don’t want to be spoiled — since it was set up so horribly, in my opinion, for something bad to happen. Matheson goes on and on about how things are good and life is good and all is well not and blah blah blah … I mean, if you’ve read any horror story, you just know that’s a set up for something bad to happen.
So yeah, Stephen King might have had a few quotes about this being good, but it was just okay to me. Nothing over the top scary or anything. Maybe something was lost in translation with the audiobook? Maybe it’s better read on paper? Who knows. If you like haunted houses and demons and sex, well, this one’s for you. It definitely had its creepy moments and the characters weren’t too bad. It takes place in 1970 and I didn’t find that it was too old school or anything. I just think when it comes to haunted houses, there might be a better book for me out there.
Next up, I read ANOTHER Bloody Mary book. Remember, I just finished one earlier in the week? Well, I read some reviews saying Say Her Name by James Dawson was way better, so I picked it up at the library and decided to give it a go.
Like most horror novels I’m really looking forward to, I decided to start this one as I went to bed. The husband was watching a TV show, so it was just me in our room, with the little lamp on. As I mentioned in my review of Mary: The Summoning, I remember doing the whole Bloody Mary thing as a kid and I think the worst part of that is the anticipation. Within the first 50 pages, this book does a really good job of building up that anticipation. So much so that I got up to use the bathroom and had to turn on the light when I went in because I was just a little creeped out.
Not to mention the fact that I avoided looking in the mirrors when I was reading. Oh, and I should mention that I went back to bed afterwards and cuddled under the covers, was reading a particularly spooky bit, AND THE FREAKING POWER GOES OUT. Yup. This one was definitely much scarier than the last one.
Part of my wonders if it’s because this is a foreign book. It’s like watching foreign horror movies, they’re always so much scarier than American made movies. Maybe because the American ones are all about gore and shock, where as the foreign ones try to dig a little deeper psychologically? I felt like that’s what this book was doing. It didn’t have a chuckling Mary or anything super over the top, but it was one of those books that made you think there was something standing behind you just waiting to pounce. It made you think there was something in the mirror — just in the corner of your eye — that you know is there but you’re trying not to see.
I think my only complaint is that the story is outlined very much like the movie The Ring. You see Mary and then she sends you message to say that she’s going to get you in 5 days. There’s even the nosebleed part. BUT, even though it had major similarities to the movie, it was still pretty creepy. Maybe it’s because I find that movie super scary and can only watch it during the day (I know, I’m a wuss) but I felt like it only lent even more creepiness to the story, being so similar.
So if you’re looking for a good Bloody Mary book, definitely pick this one up! And be sure to not only start it, but to finish it in bed, at night, terrified in the dark. My body wanted to sleep facing towards the bathroom when I finished, but I’ll admit that I cuddled just a little bit closer to my husband the night I finished. It really freaked me out!
Have you read either of these books? What did you think?