Liz’s September 2023 Reads

Scary DVDs! Woo!

★★★★ out of ★★★★★

Dust-jacket Description:

In THE SEPTEMBER HOUSE, every September, the walls drip blood. The ghosts of former inhabitants appear, and something lurks in the basement. Most people would flee. Margaret is not most people. 

Margaret is staying. It’s her house. But after four years her husband Hal can’t take it anymore, and he leaves abruptly. Now, he’s not returning calls, and their daughter Katherine arrives, intent on looking for her missing father.

Margaret struggles to keep her blissfully unaware of the horrors of September. But the more they uncover about Hal’s disappearance, the more harrowing the hauntings grow, because there are some secrets the house needs to keep.

The September House is an original new take on a haunted house novel and is so much fun to read. I would bet that this property has already been optioned because this would make a wonderful film or series.

The September House was released by Berkley Books on September 5 and is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you get your books.

★★1/2 out of ★★★★★

Dust-jacket Description:

Vesper Wright is in hell. The night she gets fired from her unglamorous restaurant job, she comes home to find an invitation waiting on her doorstep from her estranged family to the wedding of Vesper’s cousin and childhood best friend, Rosemary, the one person she regrets losing touch with. Something inside her is telling her she has to attend the wedding, even if it means suffering through a weekend in the Satanist community she defected from. When Vesper’s homecoming exhumes a horrifying family secret, she’s forced to reckon with her family’s fanatical beliefs and her own unexpected identity.

Black Sheep had so much potential but didn’t live up to it. It went cheesy when I hoped it would go gory. It also didn’t help that the protagonist was so unlikable that it was hard to care at all what happened to her, and that the rest of the characters weren’t fleshed out enough to form a connection with.

Black Sheep was released by Penguin Random House on September, 19 and is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you get your books.

★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★

Dust-jacket Description:

“Come home.” Vera’s mother called and Vera obeyed. In spite of their long estrangement, in spite of the memories — she’s come back to the home of a serial killer. Back to face the love she had for her father and the bodies he buried there, beneath the house he’d built for his family.

Coming home is hard enough for Vera, and to make things worse, she and her mother aren’t alone. A parasitic artist has moved into the guest house out back and is slowly stripping Vera’s childhood for spare parts. He insists that he isn’t the one leaving notes around the house in her father’s handwriting… but who else could it possibly be?

There are secrets yet undiscovered in the foundations of the notorious Crowder House. Vera must face them and find out for herself just how deep the rot goes.

I adore Sarah Gailey’s writing style so will read anything they write, but Just Like Home took a turn I was hoping it wouldn’t that impacted the outcome of the story. That said, the prose is lyrical and I was making any excuse to listen and find out where the story was going so I definitely recommend this book. I listened to the audiobook performance by the award winning performer, Xe Sands.

If you pick it up and want to read more by Gailey, I will point you to the American Hippo books- they are a hoot!

Just Like Home was released this summer by Tor books. It is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you get your books.

★★1/2 out of ★★★★★

Dust-jacket Description:

Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder stumbles upon their campsite—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. A horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival with no escape from the elements, the infected…or one another.

The Troop is one of those horror novels you just hear about. It is cannon material and for a good reason- it is gross…really gross. I didn’t identify with this book though, and felt it was too long and disjointed in places. I am surprised that this has not yet become a film as I think the story would translate well to the screen. I listened to the audiobook performance by Corey Brill.

The Troop (2014) is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you get your books.

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