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The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

“But the journey always ends at the same destination: no one is left except the monster and the final girl.”

Genre: Thriller, Horror

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

If you enjoy:

⁃ thrillers & suspense

⁃ Slashers

I haven’t had the best luck with a couple of his previous novels, but finally!! A Grady Hendrix book I, no. Correction. LOVED.

Grady’s love for horror, particularly the classic slasher films, shone throughout this book. As someone who’s a thriller junkie and loves slashers, this was the perfect story.

I’ve seen mixed thoughts on this one, and you’ll either love it (like me) or hate it! But if you’re expecting a horror story, it’s not scary!! The best is to go into this one tuning out everyone’s thoughts until you’ve read it for yourself, and not knowing anything but the title!

For me, this was a nice fast-paced, bingeable read that took me by surprise. My inner detective was in overdrive, and I had my suspicions of who it could be at the 40% mark, but it was a lot of fun guessing who the actual killer was and being wrong on a few occasions.

No spoilers here, but let’s talk about the ending. It lost just a bit of momentum in my opinion, and some readers may find it disappointing. But it didn’t change my overall feelings towards the story.

I loved how each chapter was numbered and titled, and ended with either an article or document.

If you’re looking to dip your toes into the genre and don’t want something that’ll give you nightmares, this is a good one to start with.

Have you read it? What’s your fave Hendrix book?

Buddy Read: The Carrow Haunt by Darcy Coates

Genre: Horror

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Remy is a tour guide for Carrow House, a notoriously haunted building. When she’s asked to host seven guests for a week-long stay to research Carrow’s phenomena, she hopes to finally experience some of the sightings that made the house famous.

At first, it’s everything they hoped for. Then a storm moves in, cutting off their contact with the outside world, and things quickly become twisted. Doors open on their own. Seances go disastrously wrong. Red liquid seeps from behind the wallpaper. Their spirit medium wanders through the house during the night, seemingly in a trance.

Then one of the guests dies under strange circumstances, and Remy is forced to consider the possibility that the ghost of the house’s original owner, a twisted serial killer, still walks the halls.

But by then it’s too late to escape.

This was my first Darcy Coates book that I read with my buddy Jonny @jaunts & haunts. For my full review, feel free to check me out on Instagram or Goodreads.

Here’s what we thought:

Jonny: Did you feel that, Gigi? It just got really cold in here. I hope there are some ghosts around! Hi, I’m Jonny, lover of all things ghoulish and garish.

Gigi: Hey Jonny!! I think I heard something! How do you feel about going inside Carrow House?

Jonny: Hmmm … you mean that dark and spooky house we’ll possibly meet our end in? Sure, sounds like fun! 😀

Gigi: 😂 So what what were your thoughts on The Carrow Haunt? Ever been on a ghost tour before?

Jonny: Overall I enjoyed it. There were some things that didn’t wow me or I thought could’ve been better, but I had a good time. What about you?

Yeah, actually! I’ve been on a number of ghost tours and even stayed overnight at one in Atchison, KS before (The McInteer Villa!). Around Halloween time I go crazy for chills and thrills in the real world.

Gigi:I agree! I thought it was a good story, but nothing mind blowing. It was actually really slow going for me. It started off really well.I’ve never been on a ghost tour, so I felt like I was part of the tour with Remy.  But then it took a while before anything major happened. Are we keeping this spoiler free? Cause I was disappointed with the ending.. I think it’s so cool that you’ve been on a ghost tour! I really wanna check one out, but at the same time I’m kinda afraid to go in one. I believe in ghosts. 😬

Jonny: I couldn’t agree with you more! Was it a good story? Yes. A great one? Hmm, not quite. The pacing of the story wasn’t evenly paced to keep my attention. At the beginning like you said we follow along the tour group and that was insanely fun to me, but after that things peter off for a bit too long before anything of note occurs. Yes, the house is eerie, but there’s only so much your audience can take before they expect something to actually happen.

I feel that as long as we don’t give away direct details, then we’re being spoiler free, so go ahead! I also didn’t like the ending. It was a bit too positive for a horror story if you ask me. I’m not the biggest fan of happy endings, especially to the extent that Coates did. It kind of left a sour taste in my mouth. That or maybe I’ve been breathing too much ghosty air from the Carrow House!

Yeah, I love that stuff! I’ve been a huge believer since childhood. I like to think that in a group tour setting things are relatively safer, especially when you don’t wander off hehe. When I stayed the night at the McInteer I had 5+ friends with me, so we were a large-ish group, enough to make me not feel so uncomfortable. One of them slept in the basement! I thought they were mad. I slept in my own room, but I kept the dimmed lights on all night because there was definitely a presence in that house.

Gigi:Basement?!! That’s hardcore in a haunted house! I can’t do that..even in a non-haunted house! 😂 I’m a big fraidy cat, yet I like to be spooked. I know..makes no sense! Hahaha.

I’m with you on that ending! I like a happily ever after, but not when it comes to horror. I did however, enjoy the ghost hunting and seance though!

Let’s talk fave, or not-so likeable characters. Who did you like the most? The least?

I hated Marjorie! She annoyed me the most. Taj was cool! I actually kinda liked Bernard. Lol.

Jonny: Yeah, totally! I think my friend was trying to overcompensate and show they were brave. Honestly, I didn’t care, but just knew I wouldn’t sleep there or in the attic. The attic felt incredibly haunted to me. I like to think of myself as someone sensitive to spirits. I don’t really see much but my feels are usually on par. Haha, I understand where you’re coming from. I don’t like to be spooked, but I do at the same time.

Right. I didn’t see why Coates felt the need to keep things that way. It would’ve been easier in my opinion to keep it darker, though I get what she was going for.

Yes, those seances were great! They felt authentic to me, and kinda made me nervous as to what was going to happen each time. Well done.

Okay, but you’re not gonna like me, haha! I actually liked Marjorie the most. I withheld that in our little checkups on each other during the read, but I thought she was the most enigmatic. She had mystery surrounding her character and her abilities, and that was what drew me to her. Yes, she had a terrible attitude and was crotchety at times, but I can relate. Half the time I don’t want to deal with people in general.

I think Taj and Bernard were my next favorites after that. They were stable and I liked their personalities. April and her friend were kinda just okay in my opinion.

Gigi:😂 hahaha. That’s ok that you loved Majorie! I love having varying views. It’s keeps the conversation interesting! Yeah..April and Lucille were just meh to me. It didn’t matter which route Coates went with them for me.

I’m like you, where I feel certain things. I know when it’s an unwelcoming place. I’ve seen things in my lifetime, but we’ll save that conversation for another time 😉

I’m so glad we read this one together! If it weren’t for you, I don’t know if I would have made it to the end of the book to be honest.  But I’m glad I did! I still wanna give her other books a try and have The Whispering Dead on my eshelf.

As always, you’re an awesome buddy to read with! Are we feelin another spooky book next? Or do we wanna try fantasy? Middle grade? Let me know!!

Jonny:Oh, for sure! Varying views are the best. I’m sure in real life Marjorie would’ve gotten on my nerves but with the story she took the spotlight for a decent portion of the book. Agreed on April and Lucille. They didn’t shine very much compared to the other characters.

Wow, kindred spirits! Well, I’m glad I’m not alone in the feels. I’ve seen some strange things myself, so we’ve definitely got plenty of interesting conversations ahead of us!

Awww, well I’m glad I could inspire you to keep going with this one. It’s certainly not perfect but Coates’s stories are always fun and entertaining. Oh yes, do tell me how that goes if you read it soon!

As are you, Gigi! *digital hugs*

Hmm, well we do have some spooky MG books from the list I made for suggestions last time, but we could also switch it up. I guess the world will just have to wait with baited breath, muahaha!


As always, I’m looking forward to our next adventure! So let me know when you wanna buddy read again! 💖

Jonny: Me too! Thanks for continuing to take these little journeys with me! I’ll be in touch very soon! 🙂

That’s all folks! Thanks for joining us! until next time..

Later by Stephen King

Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, Supernatural

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (4.5 stars)

“So yeah, I see dead people. As far as I can remember, I always have.”

“You get used to marvelous things. You take them for granted. You can try not to, but you do.”

After his last two releases being a complete disappointment for me, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this. I had been wanting to read it for months, but at the same time was hesitant. I even broke buying ban just to get my hands on it. Which by the way..totally worth it!!

For some, the ending will having you thinking WTF?!! And may possibly even ruin it for you. But for me, I can’t say I was surprised if we’re being honest. It had actually crossed my mind early on in the story.

The narrating was really what brought this book to life. It was kinda like A Christmas Story & The Wonder Years. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much, had it been written in third person.

The story is told by Jamie Conklin who can see ghosts (think the movie Sixth Sense), from the time he was a child until now.

I absolutely loved Jamie. There were times he made me laugh out loud. Liz, on the other hand..*shaking my head* I had a bad feeling about her from the start.

I have to say, this was one of the first stories I’ve read where I thought a character got what they deserved!

The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine—as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Genre: Horror

My Rating: DNF @ 9%

I’ve attempted to read this book twice now! It came highly recommended and many raved about it. But unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me.

What didn’t work:

-the pacing was way too slow, which resulted in me skimming and is never a good sign.

-the storytelling was very monotone. This part was explained by a friend, which is why I gave it a second chance. But in the end, I just didn’t have the patience for it.

All the ideas were there and there are some really well-written reviews on Goodreads that summarize the story really nicely (which I enjoyed), but it wasn’t enough keep me invested. Sorry..I tried!

Just cause it wasn’t my cup of tea, doesn’t mean it won’t be for you.

Have you read this yet? Have you read anything else by this author?

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Genre: Horror, Gothic Horror, Classic Horror

My Rating: 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

Denn die Todten reiten Schnell.” (“For the dead travel fast.”)

“Omnia Romae venalia sunt-Hell has its price.” – Dr. Seward’s Diary

Have you ever loved a book, eventhough it wasn’t perfect?

** minor spoilers up ahead **

Oh my goodness..I loved this story so much, despite some flaws and trouble with the dialogue. I’m a total amateur when it comes to classics, so I needed the help of Google to help navigate through some of the language.

One of my goals this year is to start reading some classic literature, and this was a good introduction for me.

Since I like to end on a positive note, lets start with:

The Flaws..

The ending. After such a strong buildup, the ending was very anticlimactic in my opinion. I literally went back and forth between the ebook and the physical copy, to see if I had missed something or if the two copies were different. Nope. They both ended the same way, which was a disappointment.

I was like “Wait. What? That’s it?!!”

Renefield. I quite enjoyed reading about him, so I was bummed to see his character go nowhere. I kept thinking his parts would lead somewhere, but it never really did. Unless I missed something?

Count Dracula. I didn’t know what to expect, but I did kinda think his character took a bit of back seat. We spend a lot of time between Dr. Seward, Van Helsing and Mina, but we don’t get to see much of the man himself..mostly just the things he’s is capable of.

Jonathan Harker

– While I enjoyed his account of his stay at the castle with the Count, I wanted to know how he managed to escape. All we know is that he is found at a hospital/chapel, but we don’t know how he got there or why Dracula lets him go.

What I Loved..

The Characters!

I can’t say there was one character I didn’t like!


– I loved her! She’s like that adventurous friend you live vicariously through.


– I was surprised by what I learned about him. 1) He has a moustache. I didn’t know that. Did you?

Ok, so truth be told. The mention of his bushy eyebrows, totally made me think of Count Chocula. You know..the chocolatey cereal?! 🤭🤭

2) He’s a shapeshifter! I knew he could turn into a bat, but who knew he could turn into wolf too? Let alone, control them. If I read it correctly, he was also able to turn into mist? Or fog?

So if you read it or know the story, you can see why I was disappointed with the ending.

Van Helsing

– The only Van Helsing I knew of before reading this book, was the one Hugh Jackman played on screen. (I know..I need to get out more.) 😜😄

He surprised me the most. Firstly, I didn’t know this is where he originated from. And secondly, he is so not Hugh Jackman. 🤣

Dr. John Seward

– He seemed like such a good, sweet guy. Picture Ross Gellar, but an actual doctor. 😜


I loved her sisterhood with Lucy. She was a good friend and in my opinion, a strong woman, given the time period.

Overall, I highly recommend reading this if you enjoy classic fiction or wanna dip your toes into Gothic horror (or both).

Have you read it? Do you like reading classics? Which ones are your fave?

NOS4A2 By Joe Hill @WmMorrowBooks

Genre: Horror

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


– This is the place where death delights to help the living.

I had DNF’d this first time I tried to read it. And it wasn’t because it wasn’t good. At the time, IT was still fresh in my mind, and Maggie’s stuttering reminded me too much of Bill.

I’m so glad I gave this another go, cause it was a fucking wild ride!

I totally geeked out and loved all the nerdy references:

-the Superman earrings
-Wonder Woman shirt
-Horcrux tattoo
-The name of the nurse: Bilbo! Hello LOTR!!
-Tabitha (love that he named an FBI agent after his mom). In fact, this book was dedicated to her! How sweet is that?!!

I also loved the subtle nods to Dad’s work in this one.

My only tiff was that some parts dragged . I felt like 100 pages could easily have been shaved off. And the ending..while it was satisfying, I think it should have been played out differently for an even more dramatic effect.

Overall, a great read if you’re in the mood for horror and a different take on vampires.

I know most hated Charlie Manx & Bing, but I loved them cause they were so vile!

Have you read it? Seen the show?

I haven’t seen the show yet, but I’m going to this week and can’t wait!!

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

[#BookReview] If It Bleeds by Stephen King

** Minor spoilers up ahead **

Genre: Horror, Occult Fiction, Thriller, Suspense

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐ 1/2

If it bleeds, it leads. That’s because the stories people are most interested in are bad news stories.

Mr.Harrigan’s Phone

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I’m so glad I buddy read this one! Otherwise, I would’ve been more disappointed with this story than I was. I kept waiting for ‘the moment’, but there never really was one. Sorry..but the rest of the book doesn’t get any better either!

I did enjoy the relationship between Craig & Mr. Harrigan, along with the creepy texts, which is why I gave this one a 3.

Life With Chuck

Rating: ⭐⭐

The ending of this one was my only favourite part, and wish the story were lead with this idea instead of an apocalyptic one.

It was just weird and didn’t quite mesh well for me.

If It Bleeds

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I LOVED The Outsider and this was my most anticipated story! Unfortunately, it was mostly underwhelming and slow at first. Very much like the show..slow and boring.

About halfway through it picked up and I was enjoying revisiting the idea of an Outsider.

I liked Holly Gibney more in this story, even though I have a love/hate relationship with her. So if you already don’t like her, you’ll hate this story cause it’s all about Holly here.


Rating: ⭐⭐1/2

This story had a lot of potential with missed opportunities in my opinion.

I kept thinking it was going to be a pandemic story and trying to see where he was going with the whole flu thing. But it never really went anywhere.

I’m not a fan of rats, so the scritch scratching of a rat at the door in the middle of a stormy night, in a cabin, in the woods was creepy and cringeworthy for me.

There was a small unexpected twist, but that was about as good as the story got.

What I wanted to see was Drew go a little Jack Torrance while he was out in the cabin alone. Instead, not much happened and I just wanted to be done already.

Overall, this was probably my most disappointing King book I’ve read and own so far.

Have you read it? What did you think?

First Line Fridays | #currentlyreading

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books where we share the first line or lines of a book we are currently reading or going to start soon.

NURSE THORNTON DROPPED INTO THE LONG-TERM-CARE WARD A little before eight with a hot bag of blood for Charlie Manx.

Are you into horror?

I’m currently buddy reading NOS4A2, which is actually a second go for me. I DNF’d it the first time and wanted to try it again.

Do you ever give books you weren’t feelin the first time around a second chance by reading it again?

What are you reading right now?

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Genre: Horror

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

** Unpopular Opinion & Spoiler Alert **

Have you ever watched a movie trailer thinking it was gonna be epic, but then you watch the movie and think the trailer pretty much showed all the good parts? And the movie kinda sucked?? (Hello, The Last Jedi! I’m talking about you!)

Yeah..that was this book for me. There were sooo many times I wanted to chuck this book at the wall, but couldn’t cause I was reading it on my phone! Not to mention..I nearly DNF’d it twice!

I don’t know who’s head I wanted to drown in Miss Mary’s barrel of rabbit spit more! Carter or Patricia! I think maybe Carter! There wasn’t one character who didn’t annoy the crap outta me. Okay, maybe Mrs. Greene. But that wasn’t why I didn’t enjoy this book.

I expected more vampire than book club banter. Instead, this read more like women’s fiction than it did horror in my opinion.

For me, it was a slow and rocky start. But it picked up at chapter 4, where I found myself saying: “Now this is the shit I’m here for!” Unfortunately, that high didn’t last long, and fizzled out again soon afterward.

There were some really great moments in this story like: Ann Savage going all Mike Tyson on Patricia, the story of Hoyt Pickens, the rats and last 30% of the book (surprisingly).

But overall, it didn’t live up to hype for me.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they’re more likely to discuss the FBI’s recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.

But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she–and her book club–are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.

The Outsider by Stephen King @GalleryBooks

Genre: Thriller, Horror

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I think it was someone else. I think it was an outsider.” – Holly

If you like:

✔ Thrillers and gory details

✔ Myths, legends and the supernatural

✔ Police procedurals

“Because the man who raped Frankie Peterson with a tree branch and tore open his throat coached my son for four years..”

🔥🔥HOT DAYMN!! 🔥🔥 I love it when Stephen King packs a good punch at the beginning of his stories. It doesn’t always happen that way, but this is definitely going to be a new fave of mine!

It was much faster paced, compared to a lot of his other books and one that I highly recommend, whether you’re new to The King of horror or not. 👏👏👏

I can’t wait to dive into the show!

Yay! I’ve completed my transfiguration portion of my O.W.Ls exam. 5 more to go! 😬

“Murder might be its life’s work, but sorrow was its food. Sorrow and anger.”

Have you read this one? Or watched the show?

Which one is your favourite King novel?

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

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