(Just to clarify, I'm not ill or anything. Just...2020. 'Nuff said.)
I am not a horror fan, and usually don't go in for seasonal reading in general. It's part of my mood reader/don't like to feel obligated thing. Yet this month I've read an unusual amount of "spooky season" reads, so I thought I'd resurrect (SWIDT?) the blog to share some with you. Actually, I'm sharing everything I read in October with you, to make up for skipping a few months of wrap-ups. As I look at the list, I realize even the non-horror novels had horrifying aspects, so I definitely had a thematic month!
I started the graphic novel series Locke and Key in September, when the first book showed up from my hold list at the library. I was all, "I put this on hold? Why?" and eventually figured out it must have had something to do with the Netflix show...which I've never seen. So who knows, really. But I LOVED the first book, horror though it definitely is, and immediately requested the rest of the series. I read volumes 2-6 and some stand-alone shorts in October. I think maybe the reason this format worked for me is that I could skim over the gore. I absolutely do not watch horror movies, because I loathe jump scares and don't like being grossed out either. And while I appreciate tension in a book, I don't want really loving descriptions of gore there either, so that rules out a lot of popular horror as well. But in the book, I didn't have to GAZE at the dismembered figures, and if I chose to, it was all in cartoon form anyway, so...I don't know. It just worked for me.
My favorite collections were volume 2, which has the wildly inventive Head Key, and volume 4, which includes a Calvin and Hobbes homage and a story told by going through a February calendar. It reminded me of the way shows like Buffy will have special episodes that are outside of the way the story is usually told, yet still completely faithful to the characters and world building.
The Girl in the White Van is a thriller by YA stalwart April Henry. Kidnapping girls and stashing them in a trailer home without any exits? Definitely horrifying. Using kung fu and your wits to escape? Very badass. Swipe Right for Murder is quite a bit racier (the MC starts the book by hooking up with two different people in one evening on a Grindr type app). It gets into terrorism, government corruption, online (lack of) privacy, regret, and more, all with nonstop action and ongoing humor.