I'm so conflicted. On the one hand, it was really effective with how it handled the horror/suspense. On the other hand, it wasn't really that effectivI'm so conflicted. On the one hand, it was really effective with how it handled the horror/suspense. On the other hand, it wasn't really that effective after all.
I don't know? When I wasn't reading, I was thinking about it, and it was hard to get out of that 'I'm reading a horror book' mindset. It felt like I was the one with Leena's issues. I felt like my house was trying to absorb me.
But when I WAS reading, those sensations vanished totally. I critiqued it as I read, made bored comments to myself, counted how many pages were left. There weren't that many truly 'scary' moments, really, and I didn't care about anyone that didn't turn into an antagonist later on, so it was really hard to care, a lot of the time. Leena was pretty interesting, I suppose, and David and Celeste were definitely not completely cookie-cutter characters. But they weren't really... LIKABLE. It was hard to actually care about them, except as vehicles for a horror aspect that was really missing. Baer's writing was clear and serviceable but nothing spectacular.
But whenever I put the book down, I could feel it! I could feel the horror and the depression that they were going through. The atmosphere was there, definitely. It was just hard to focus on that atmosphere when I was actually reading the book, because so much of it was just teenage drama and tantalizing promises of horror that got old fast because they were never kept.
I don't know. Three stars, maybe three and a half for that fantastic atmosphere that only came when I wasn't distracted by the book. (Also I'm not sure how well the subjects of mental illness and addiction were handled. Sometimes it seemed okay, but then some things just seemed really condescending and clichéd. But I'm not an expert on the subject.)...more
Maybe it's not technically horror. Horrified me, anyway - at least a few scenes.
Horrifying and depressing and heartbreaking? Yes. Awesome and beautifuMaybe it's not technically horror. Horrified me, anyway - at least a few scenes.
Horrifying and depressing and heartbreaking? Yes. Awesome and beautifully written? Yes.
Maybe it's cliché, but my favorite scene was very much the scene with Simon and the Lord of the Flies. Creeped me out so much. I'm glad I read that at 11 AM with my brother howling in the background. Otherwise, I may have been disturbed.
Simon was amazing - I love Simon so much. And Piggy. Piggy, you turned out so awesome. Ralph was ridiculously fun, too. Jack and Roger - scary. But not nearly as scary as the Lord of the Flies himself. Or itself? Either way. I read the afterword beforehand and knowing the origin of the Lord of the Flies made it even more terrifying, somehow, even if the skull wasn't meant to be Beelzebub himself.
All in all, officially one of my favorite classics....more