Saturday, October 15, 2016

Scary Books 2016

It's halfway through Spooky Month - how are you doing on haunts? If you need to catch up on your scares, here are a few books that can do the job.

The Haunting of Hill HouseThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A group of four lives in and investigates Hill House, looking for signs of the paranormal.

First thoughts: Creepy. A slow burn creep; each page feels ominous, like something is waiting and watching over the inhabitants of Hill House.

Favorite quote: "We never know where our courage is coming from." -Theodora, p50

Recommended for: horror fans, those who can handle suspense.

Final thoughts: Shirley Jackson is one of the most efficient writers I've read.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rosemary is pregnant and her neighbors are all too eager to help her out, until it becomes clear they have ulterior motives.

First thoughts: Another slow burn, but a fast read. This book starts out a little creepy, then lulls you into a false sense of normal. I'm curious to see how the movie interprets certain scenes.

Recommended for: not mothers-to-be.

Final thoughts: Casual racist stereotypes aside, Rosemary's Baby features a strong cast of characters - some to cheer for, others to be leery of right off the bat.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A teenager possessed by a demon, a mother turning to the church for help, a priest trying to keep the past behind him, and a police investigator trying to make sense of a senseless death.

First thoughts: I love that the book fleshes out the main characters so well - we get to see the inner thoughts of the major players, especially Father Karras. A lot of the book was about his internal struggle and the mind games Regan plays with him. His backstory (along with details about Fr. Merrin, Dennings, Kinderman, Karl, and Willie) makes the whole book richer. It's less scare your pants off, more philosophical. Some parts read like a mystery novel.

Recommended for: anyone who has seen the classic movie and enjoyed it, but wants to fill in a few gaps, horror fans, churchgoers and atheists, those with a love for the macabre.

Final thoughts: I wonder what has been said/written about all the emphasis on names and personalities. Knowing someone's name gives characters power. There's Regan and her demon, the demon's different personalities, and other characters have their moments of clarifying their names, changing their names, or discussing their names. Important themes seem to be centered around what we call ourselves and what we let others call us.

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