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Small Things

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  61 reviews
It’s a hot June morning in a small Midwestern town when fifteen-year-old Shawn Spencer arrives at the church for his best friend Tanner’s funeral. Though his drowning was officially ruled an accident, Tanner’s sister Jenny swears she saw something rise up from the Carthage Lake to pull the struggling teenager beneath the surface.

Shawn doesn’t believe in monsters… but he wi
Paperback, 324 pages
Published December 5th 2012 by Small Things Press (first published December 4th 2012)
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4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  127 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Jason Reeser
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Joe DeRouen is a fun new author adding to the ranks of horror/thriller writers like Dean Koontz, Ted Dekker, and Douglas Preston. "Small Things", however, reminded me most of Dan Simmons' "Summer of Night", with this one exception: where "Summer of Night" took the small town story of boys terrorized by an evil menace to a wide, epic, free-for-all, "Small Things" took that same story and brought it down to a small, intimate story of a boy and a girl facing down evil all alone. This brought the te ...more
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book three times in order to proof it for the author, my husband. Each time I find something new that I love and remember the things I already loved about it. It's somewhere between Stephen King and Charles de Lint. A nostalgic look back at a time that falls in my childhood combined with scary things that go bump in the night and have fur and peer from the closets of imagination. It is a compelling race downhill as you reach the conclusion. Now I'm bugging him to get the second in ...more
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Small Things by Joe DeRouen starts with the tragic death of a teenaged boy named Tanner. The first chapter, which begins with the sorrow of the funeral, ends with the poignant words “…back into the world of the living.” From that line on, I was completely captivated and mesmerized by DeRouen’s heartfelt novel. It’s hard to place Small Things into one category. There are definitely horror and thriller elements. However, by the end, it was also equal parts a dark fantasy adventure.

The story is fas
Rucy Ban
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Small Things is an action packed dark thriller. Think Dean Koontz, Stephen King and a bit of Rowling thrown in. I loved the writing and the detailed setting of the novel. The MCs were believable and extremely relatable. The novel begins with the death of the MC’s best friend and what a perfect beginning it was for setting the dark mood, for describing the community the characters live in and for introducing us to the mystery shrouding the death. See? It draws you right in!

Then come the fantasy
Jolene Kempker
Dec 28, 2012 marked it as to-read
This was a great read! I could not put this book down and finished it in 2 days! I was drawn in to the the story and really cared what happened to the characters. With the author great discriptions, I felt like I was along for the ride. If you like authors like Stephen King, You have to read Small Things!
Daniel Adams
Jan 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Don't know the guy but guess the good reviews are his friends. He needs an editor and he would be a great writer. Lacks what I thought it would be. Went on the reviews was very disappointed. Great idea just get someone to edit for you and you might have something.
Marc Secchia
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Small Things is a cross between thriller and a horror story, with a touch of fantasy and magic, set in small-town America. The story is a quality read and well paced. The suspense is skilfully manipulated by the author, rising like tentacles of velvet steel to capture the reader and draw them in. As the title implies, small or ordinary things are used drive the plot forward, and the plot is well constructed and realised. Joe DeRouen is adept at raising and sustaining tension. This book will not ...more
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shawn Spencer is attending the funeral of his best friend, whose sister Jenny swears he was killed by a monster. Feeling guilty for the loss of his friend, Shawn tries to help Jenny with her grief, but comes to see that maybe she is not imagining the monster in the lake. Strange voices in his head lead him to realise that there is something very strange happening in Carthage, and he believes he may have triggered the whole messy business after breaking into an old derelict house with Tanner shor ...more
Celia Kennedy
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Due to my overly active imagination, my mother wouldn't let me watch scary things when I was little... or a teen for that matter. From the moment I picked up Small Things my dreams started taking on darker imagery - so if you like spine tingling, on the edge of your seat books, this is the one for you.

We meet the cast of characters at the funeral for a teenaged boy, Tanner. As we experience the grieving process for this young man by friends and family, we learn from his sister that his death was
Nicolas Wilson
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very well written, though there's a few bumpy or slow spots in the pacing, particularly towards the beginning. Some of the exposition felt out of order, and there were a few areas I had to reread multiple times, to put them in logical context.

I have to question the author's decision to set it in 1975. I found it a bit jarring, as comparatively few aspects of the worldbuilding actually utilized the setting. Every so often, I'd forget about it, and stumble over some detail that makes better sense
Bruce Diamond
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There's a monster in Carthage Lake, and it's stalking 15-year-old Shawn Spencer and and his friend, Jenny McGee. Jenny swears she saw the monster kill her brother, Tanner, who was Shawn's best friend. Shawn doesn't believe her, until one fateful night...

Would you like to know more?

SMALL THINGS, Joe DeRouen's debut novel, is several things at once: a coming-of-age novel, a small-town horror story, a B-monster movie that scares the s*** out of you, and a dark fantasy nerd-tale full of in-jokes for
Joood Hooligan
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it

I had read this book a couple years ago, but I was excited when I was given a chance to review the audio version for both this and the sequel.

Although it had been a while since I read it, once the story began I realized how much of it that I actually remembered. Much like the first time, I was quickly drawn in - even though I already knew what to expect. I would have to credit that to Jessica Duncan's narration. I think she did a pretty good
Wanda Hartzenberg
Dec 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
This book is quite a novel read. It can and would do well with some more editing. Working on content and flow in specific but the characters are very likeable and the reader soon gets engrossed in their plight rooting for them. I can hear somebody say...well now who would not root for children in mortal danger? Well, ME. I find a lot of characters less than nice and soon wish them ill, not so here. These two really does grab your imagination.

The plot line although quite unique has a few points w
Shane O'Neill
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent tale from Joe DeRouen, with his usual blend of horror and humour. These are not two ingredients you would expect to see side by side in a novel, but they work well in DeRouen's capable hands. As always, he builds interesting characters that you cannot help but care for, and pits them into situations we would all rather avoid, and only experience in this format. I never give spoilers in my reviews, but the plot is a good one and will keep you occupied until you reach the last pa ...more
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This. Man. Is. A. Genius!!

Set in Smalltown, USA 1970's, Small Things takes the horror genre to new heights. Two young teenagers brought together by a terrible and painful loss must face an evil beyond comprehension. Every horrible thing man has faced in the last 3000 years can be traced back to this evil. my one probkem with the book? That I finished it! Book 2 can NOT come fast enough!!

Disclaimer: this book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. (the hook came free.)
Casey Harris
May 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Good writing, but awfully dark. The main characters are very well-written and likable, but the Stephen King-ish plot doesn't work as well as I'd hoped. It turns into a very twisted version of The Indian and the Cupboard by the end, and it was just hard to accept. Props to the author, though, for his well-thought out structure and for keeping me interested, though disillusioned, through till the end. I hope his future additions to this series go well.
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Reminiscent of Stephen King's "It". Set in the 70's, 2 teenagers are hunted by a monster. This is great if you like suspense/horror! The story is told from 2 points of view, a young boy whose best friend was killed by the monster and the local sheriff whose own troubled past plays a part in this story. I liked the small connections between things (ha! Small things, that just happened) that move the plot and connect the characters.
Rebecca Mcfarland
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I just finished Small Things and loved it! It was really hard to put down at night. The attention to detail really made the characters come to life. I also liked the way specific places were mentioned in the book. This really helped me to visualize where the characters were and what they were doing. If you want an attention-grabbing, can't put it down kind of book, Small Things is definitely the book for you!
Zoe Saadia
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Impossible to put down, Small Things gripped me from the very first chapter with its intriguing plot, the ominous atmosphere and the most unexpected twists and turns. Action, mystery and magic, and a touching teenagers' romance, it's all there, to make this book attractive to everyone and not only lovers of horror or thrillers. The combination of humor and horror made it into a delightful read for me. Will most certainly read the book 2.
Burgundy Tiana
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one creative book! Joe DeRouen takes the reader down paths they've never experienced before! This is a must read!Joe DeRouen
Marianne Sandling
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Joe hit a home run with this book! He manages to create a depth and understanding of his characters that allows us to run rampant within the book and BE in it. The storyline is complete and keeps you on your toes. I can't wait for #2!!
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next books in the trilogy.
Lindsay Schiltz
Im not so sure

I'm not sold one way or the other. I didn't have to read it in one sitting. I could walk away. Not enough to keep me hooked all day but enough to return to the book. Then, To find out it is a trilogy. Hmmm.... I seem to keep doing this. It was an interesting read. Though I'm not sure where the next 2 books will go. Seems like it was a good stand alone book.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was offered as a Free Kindle edition on Amazon.
Small Things is a thriller filled w/action, magic, and great characters. I was sucked in at the very beginning. Shawn and Jenny`s story will have sitting on the edge of your seat and hanging on to every word. If you enjoy paranormal then give Small Things a read.
H. Rose
Sep 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This dark fantasy book opens with a teen protagonist who is attending the funeral of his best friend. The story interweaves childhood in the 70s in a small town and multiple generations in one family with dark supernatural themes. The story is largely well written (though the prose is somewhat uneven).

In the opening chapter, there was the occasional entirely riveting prose.

"And there it was again. The hairs on the back of his neck prickled, and the flash of something dark, something that shouldn
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it
* I received a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. *

I feel like this book should be more of a 3.5 star book, but I rounded down as there were several factors that I personally didn't enjoy about the book, such as, errors in editing, a slow start to the book (the first 1/2 was hard to get into for me), the author going off in tangents that don't really apply to some aspects of the book and just the overall flow of the story. I think that the book had the potential to be a really
Lex Allen
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
A long-time fan of horror anything, it’s also been ages since I’ve read a horror story that met better than 50% of my expectations. Mr. DeRouen has exceeded the fifty percentile with the opening novel of his planned trilogy. Having mentioned trilogy, I will state up front that “Small Things” has a satisfactory ending that lends the book a stand-alone feeling. No worries about taking a dive off a sharp cliff on the final page. He also offers a sample of the second book that starts nowhere near th ...more
Cianna Sunshine & Mountains Book Reviews
Grade: A
This wan’t a short novel ,but any means, but I didn’t want it to be either. I found myself flipping pages, over and over, getting deeper into the story, and losing hours. This isn’t just your typical monster story, though the author gets you to believe that at first. You fear the monster, you worry for the characters, then you dive deeper into the story, and see what the real monster is, and there’s no turning back. You are hooked into this story, and you want to see it play out.

All the
Candace Selph
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was not sure what to expect when I picked up this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book was well written, yes there were a few places here and there that could have been edited a little better, but nothing that I felt was worth noting.

What I liked about the book: The story was interesting, well thought out, with characters that were not only developed well, but likable. I enjoyed getting to know them, and hope read more about them in book 2.

I enjoyed how the author ties in actual histor
C.J. Rutherford
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Spiderwick Chronicles, if Stephen King had written them!
I approached this read tentatively. It's been meany years since I've read a horror novel, although I used to read them all the time. I loved the early Stephen Kings, such as Christine, and Cujo. I needn't have worried. Once I'd read a couple of pages, it was like I'd put on a pair of old comfortable slippers.
Joe has a charming style of writing, which drew me in immediately...sorry, did I say drew? No, it grabbed me by the neck, changed
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Joe was born in Carthage, Illinois, and currently lives in Rogers, Arkansas with his artist wife Andee, their son Fletcher, and their cats Lucky, Milo, and Archer. Joe is a freelance writer and a substitute teacher. In addition to writing, he enjoys purchasing (and occasionally watching) copious amounts of Blu-Ray discs, listening to music, playing video games, and collecting Mego action figures f ...more
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“Wow," he said after their lips parted. Her taste still haunted his mouth, and the smell of her perfume lingered in his nostrils. "I guess I'll have to get in fights more often.” 1 likes
“Why didn't you escape?"
"Because," she panted, releasing the boy's arm, "no one tells me what to do, not even you. And besides, if you didn't catch it before, I 'm awfully fond of you.”
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