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Book Review: Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

Book Review: Clown in a Cornfield by Adam CesareClown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 25th August 2020
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-half-stars

Quinn Maybrook just wants to make it until graduation. She might not make it to morning.

Quinn and her father moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.

I requested Clown in a Cornfield partly because I’m getting more and more into horror lately and I thought this sounded like something I’d enjoy, and partly because it sounds like the title of an Animal Ark book (does anyone remember those?). I’m sad to say that I didn’t like Clown in a Cornfield as much as I was hoping to, as I felt it lacked a lot of substance.

I think Clown in a Cornfield would have been better as a graphic novel, a comic, or even a movie. I felt like the author cut a lot of corners while writing this one, in that the descriptions and character connections were lacking and the book mostly just focused on the action. Don’t get me wrong, I love action filled plots, but I also have to care about the characters who are being murdered by a killer clown, ya know?

I have to say that some parts of the book were delightfully gory and tense, but that didn’t make up for the fact that I just didn’t connect with most of the book. I’m a bit disappointed!

Book Review: Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

Book Review: Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory PowerBurn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 7th July 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.

But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.

Burn Our Bodies Down is the second book I’ve read by Rory Power, and I’m really wondering if she is maybe just not the author for me. Wilder Girls was enticing but the ending just left me a bit dissatisfied because I was expecting more, and Burn Our Bodies down had such potential to discuss a tense mother-daughter relationship but instead it was a slow burn story that, again, ended kind of strangely?

Also, this author has a real thing for plants.

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Book Review: Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

Book Review: Harrow Lake by Kat EllisHarrow Lake by Kat Ellis
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 9th July 2020
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker - she thinks nothing can scare her.

But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she's swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she's never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father's most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map - and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there's someone - or something - stalking her every move.

The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola's got secrets of her own. And if she can't find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.

First of all, look at that cover. Is that not the creepiest thing to look at late at night?? I’m glad I read this on my Kindle to be honest. I’ve been trying to read more horror books lately, and so when I saw that Harrow Lake was up on NetGalley I swept it up.

I have to say, the atmosphere of this book is on point. It’s suuuuuper creepy for the first two thirds when you have no idea what’s going on. Lola, the main character, goes to stay in a small town with a grandmother that she barely knows, and is surrounded by rumours of her vanished mother. It’s CREEPY. There are creepy puppets and shadows and noises. I had to stop reading it late into the night because some parts were giving me chills. Kat Ellis pulled the atmosphere off perfectly.

As for the plot, I would say it’s pretty standard for a YA horror. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, because I definitely did, but it’s not something that I will rave about and I wouldn’t say that the twist(s) were anything spectacular. I was’t necessarily reading this horror book for the twists though, because what I really wanted was to be creeped out and on the edge of my seat because of FEAR.

I did feel a bit disconnected from Lola, especially because she seemed to hate everyone that she came into contact with. While this made sense for her character (and be patient if you don’t necessarily get it in the beginning) it made it quite hard for me to fall in love with the story and her journey.

I think if you’re into classic horror movies then you’ll really enjoy Harrow Lake for the chilling atmosphere and the sleepless nights!