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How far would you go to bring back someone you love?

When Chris's son dies in a tragic car crash, her world is devastated. The walls of grief close in on Chris's life until, one day, a small cut on her finger changes everything.

A drop of blood falls from Chris's hand onto her son's roadside memorial and, later that night, Chris thinks she sees his ghost outside her window. Only, is it really her son's ghost, or is it something else—something evil?

Soon Chris is playing a dangerous game with forces beyond her control in a bid to see her son, Trey, alive once again.

110 pages, Paperback

First published August 10, 2020

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Laurel Hightower

32 books456 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 760 reviews
Profile Image for Chrissy.
109 reviews111 followers
May 25, 2023
Tragic supernatural horror tale depicting the intense grief of a mother after the death of her son, and the desperate lengths she will go to, attempting to reconnect with him.
Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 21 books4,794 followers
February 10, 2021
This review originally appeared in SCREAM MAG issue (Gotta look it up/sometime in 2020)
If you were to poll fifty random people and ask them what their greatest fear is right now, I would bet pretty good money that more than half would answer, “Something bad happening to a loved one.” So if this is the case, shouldn’t the Horror genre reflect one of our greatest fears? It seems like the subject of grief and loss is either something authors struggle with writing or readers steer clear of it. Emotional Horror is a sub-genre that I enjoy but I do find that I have to be in the right frame of mind to engage with it; otherwise, it can be unenjoyable.

CROSSROADS is about the tragic, accidental death of a young man and the lasting impact this loss has on his mother. Hightower’s storytelling is immersive. Readers can’t help but become emotionally invested in Chris’s journey as she navigates through life without her only son. It has been a few years, so much has changed in her life since Trey’s passing but it becomes painfully obvious that the pain and suffering are still very fresh and raw.

One day, Chris pricks her finger standing over the memorial at the scene where her son died. Seeing her blood absorb into the dirt, reminds Chris of a paranormal reality show she watched about a Crossroads Demon. These thoughts set Chris on a harrowing course of action in a desperate attempt to close that gap between the living and the dead. This book is soul-crushing. I want to confess that maybe ninety percent of the time, I was trying to read words blurred by tears. Even though this book is hard on the emotions, the power of its message, and the authenticity of the narrative is magnetic. Often times while I was reading, I felt cold and shivery-a real sign of true horror translating through the page and into the reader’s heart. I highly recommend this book to any fan of Horror eager to have an interactive reading experience. This one moves you.
Profile Image for Andrew Robert.
Author 3 books465 followers
January 1, 2021
Chris is a woman haunted by the memory of her late son Trey. Her life quickly fell apart after finding him dead at the sight of a tragic car accident. Now, she spends her time isolated and alone except for her trips to the memorial site where she found her sons lifeless body and the visits her imagination conjures of Trey. But what if there was a way to see him for real? Blood has a way of calling to dark things that have the ability to grant your deepest desires only, blood isn't always enough. More sacrifices are needed. How far would you go to bring back someone you love?

CROSSROADS is the much anticipated novella by Laurel Hightower. I was really excited to see something new come from Hightower since reading WHISPERS IN THE DARK which was one of my absolute favorite reads last year. She has this amazing ability to emotionally charge her stories with characters that are relateable. I would follow Chris to hell and back in her journey to save her son from deaths harrowing grip. Also, Dan was such an enjoyable character. Ladies, get you a man like Dan.

CROSSROADS is an incredible story that emotionally gutted me. Laurel Hightower is a favorite author of mine in the #HorrorCommunity and in my opinion, anything she writes is a must read. This short novel about a grief stricken mother who will do anything, even appease a dark entity for one last chance to see her son might be one the best books I've read in 2020.

Crossroads by Laurel Hightower


Profile Image for Ron.
394 reviews96 followers
May 6, 2021
A Crossroads. It's always the point of decision. Which path to be taken? Maybe you already know, because you've been there before. Maybe you haven't, and the choice is an unknown. Further still, maybe you know the path you'll choose is the wrong one, but you choose it anyway...for love.

Early into this story, The Monkey's Paw came to my mind, and the lengths one might travel to see their child. But Robert Johnson's song Crossroads is more true to this plot, and was actually mentioned by Chris, the main character. Her story goes from grief to a deep, disturbing, very personal level, maybe even deeper than the legend behind Johnson's blues song. It is full of grief and what ifs. Once she has gone so far, executing upon the thoughts she has held inside, there is no turning back.
”I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees. I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees...” Robert Johnson - Cross Road Blues
Profile Image for Michelle .
286 reviews93 followers
October 22, 2022
Crossroads was short but honestly still felt too long to me. The first half was great - a crossroads demon story (which we get so few) and some decent body horror. But the second half dragged by. It was so repetitive that I finished not out of enjoyment, but just to get it over with.
Crossroads did end strong though.
Profile Image for Char.
1,680 reviews1,554 followers
August 16, 2020
Bursting with grief that is almost palpable, this book is about our journey with Chris through the recent loss of her son.

Losing a child is something unfathomable to my mind. If I even try to think about it, my mind sort of skitters away. I don't want to face something that bad, even if it is only in my imagination. But Chris, the main character in Crossroads, lives with it for every minute of every day. Then, the seed of a possibility, the merest breath of a thought that maybe, just maybe, she could do something about it. Does she? (Would you?) You'll have to read this to find out!

Keeping this short and sweet, this novella was phenomenal. In such a small amount of pages, Ms. Hightower wraps us up in Chris' grief and her hopes and we are rooting for before we even realized what happened. It's the power and clarity of the writing that does it. It settles around us in a dark cloak and before we know it, we're surround by it, immersed in it. Those are always the best stories, don't you think?

My highest recommendation!

Get your copy here: https://amzn.to/2Ed2k4k

*I bought this novella with my hard earned cash. So should you.*
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,738 reviews5,279 followers
July 24, 2020
The first time Chris buried a part of herself by her son's roadside cross, it was an accident.

Sometimes, horror is about jump scares, blood and viscera, torture, agony. Sometimes, it's about unsettling legends, looming creatures in the night, vicious entities out for revenge. And sometimes, as in Crossroads, it's about making you come face to face with the most nightmarish, suffocating outcome you could possibly imagine — and the realization that, if forced to trade places with that protagonist, you'd consider those same desperate, unspeakable measures, too.

Crossroads plays equally well the parts of an eerie horror story and a tragic ghost tale, but what it does best of all is depict the imminent and unstoppable descent that befalls so many parents who lose their children. It was absolutely brilliant, terrifying, and heartbreaking. Watching Chris make the worst possible decisions, yet knowing that, if I were in her shoes as a mother, I'd do anything, too — there's something very real and horrific about that, yet I couldn't look away, because alongside all of this hurt and fear comes a gorgeous, powerful writing style and a sense of looming dread that had me tense, on the edge of my seat until the very last page.

Whether you're a parent or not, Crossroads is an absolutely stunning ghost story full of grief and rage and fear and dread, and it shook me to my core. It's been days since I finished this little book and I haven't been able to stop dwelling on it since closing the final page because it was just so damn good. This story was beyond worth every ounce of heartache it put me through, and I can't wait to read everything from Laurel Hightower I can get my hands on, because her writing is truly stunning and I can't wait to see what else she has up her sleeves.

Content warnings for:

Thank you so much to the Off Limits Press for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Brandon Baker.
Author 14 books4,528 followers
August 13, 2022
Oh my god, Laurel Hightower is one of my new favorite authors!! This book just WRECKED me.
Crossroads is about a woman mourning the tragic death of her son, and one day she accidentally discovers that she might be able to see him again, but it comes at a cost.
This was dark, very heavy, and made me constantly think about what I would do if I was in the main characters situation. An amazing grief-heavy horror!!
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
671 reviews4,286 followers
January 26, 2023
4.5 stars. As someone who loves grief horror, I burned through this in less than a day. Very emotive yet creepy with well-drawn and likeable characters.
Profile Image for Chad.
Author 85 books663 followers
February 21, 2021
Couldn't put it down once I finally allowed myself time to invest. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved every character. The grief is well expressed, the dialogue genuine, and I particularly appreciate how the dead boy (Trey) is not without flaws--a fairly ungrateful, selfish teen. This helped shine a light on the core of the story: A parents unconditional love.

I also really liked the boyfriend (Dan) and how he was portrayed--a man Hightower built who isn't there to "fix things" but to listen. A complaint many women have about men. Here's a good example of what they're getting at, guys.

Great job, Laurel!
Profile Image for Jeremy Hepler.
Author 15 books147 followers
May 31, 2021
Crossroads is a beautifully written, honest, emotional, heartbreaking tale of sacrifice and loss with the perfect touch of supernatural elements. My heart ached for Chris as I followed her journey through the relentless pain and despair she suffered due to the death of her son, Trey. As a parent, I totally identified with her unhealthy desire to do anything and everything to be with him once again.

In general, Hightower's writing is crisp, easy to slip into, and impossible to pull away from. And more specifically, her ability to give characters depth and connect readers to them emotionally is top notch. Can't wait to see what she churns out next!
Profile Image for Latasha.
1,295 reviews379 followers
December 1, 2020

This book gives you all the feelz! This short novella has so much emotion packed in to it. I knew it was going to be intense because I had seen a few reviews for it but man! It's really emotional and I don't even have kids! The writing is beautiful. The story is so heart breaking. The characters are realistic and I liked all of them. This is the first thing I've read by Ms. Hightower. I hope to read a lot more from her and to see what she does next.
This book was read by Linda Jones. She does such an outstanding job. I enjoyed listening to her tell me this sad tale.
I received a copy of the audio book in exchange for a honest review.
Profile Image for Nicole.
495 reviews160 followers
September 14, 2022
I really enjoyed this audiobook. Being a novella it was short and sweet. The narrator was great. I definitely understand the Pet Semetary comparisons. It gets a little gross here and there but I loved this story!

Cris’s life is changed forever when her son dies in a car accident. Things changed again for Cris when she cuts her finger and a drop of blood falls on her sons memorial. Later that evening Cris is convinced she saw the ghost of her son outside her window. Cris is desperate to see her son again and as the story progresses she goes to great lengths to do so. However, is she really seeing the ghost of her son? Or is she a pawn in a dangerous game with something more sinister?

Cross Roads is available now.
Profile Image for Rachelle.
367 reviews81 followers
May 25, 2023
"There had to be something, some extenuating circumstance that could explain it. Something to separate her loss from their lives, so they wouldn't have to face the same thing she'd avoided facing all those years she'd had with him. That it can be you, that one day, one night.. you might get that call."

A mothers love truly knows no bounds in this heart wrenching look at raw, unfettered grief. It forces us to see we must let go or risk our own utter destruction.
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,751 reviews695 followers
February 25, 2021
What’s there to say about this book that hasn’t already been said hundreds of times over by people far more eloquent than myself? I guess I can say that the thought of reading it scared me because when so many people promise a heart-crushing read my expectations sometimes ruin the experience for me. I was more worried about being let down than I was about any of the content I might find inside the book. And there’s some heavy stuff in this book. If you’re feeling low you might want to save this book for a day when you’re better equipped to get through it. Or keep a lighter book handy to read in-between chapters which is what I did because I don’t allow myself to sit with grief and suicide ideation for very long. It’s too easy to fall into a hole.

Anyhow, now that I’ve finished I can safely say that I was not let down by my high expectations. This story is a study in suffocating, all-consuming grief. It’s filled with desperation and crushing pain and you will have to sit in that pain from beginning to end. It’s about the lengths one woman will go to spend just another moment with her deceased son even if that moment is less than ideal, fleeting, and comes with a great cost attached. It’s emotionally grueling. I’m not even going to sugarcoat it, as if I ever do, haha. So get yourself ready to SUFFER as we have suffered before you!

I love the way these characters are written. They’re real and they’re flawed and can I also say how refreshing it is to read about men who aren’t dicks?! Men who are kind and loving and caring and sensitive and thoughtful and supportive. We need more of that in our books. Less dickery and more likeability, please. I’m so sick of men being villainous creatures so much of the time. I know some of them are born that way but not ALL of them!

Crossroads is a fantastic piece of bleak fiction with some intense moments of body horror, totally worthy of all five stars. When you’re finished you’ll be left feeling the pain of having salt thrown in all of your bits that have just been brutally sliced open by the story. I don’t want to say too much more and there really isn’t a point because it’ll spoil the book for you. Just read it, you know, if you want to.

Content Warning
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,803 reviews794 followers
January 9, 2022
This little book sure does pack one hell of a punch! It’s heartbreakingly beautiful while also being just the right amount of creepy and morbid. Everything about it just tugged at my emotions in the most perfect way. I went through the full spectrum, from near tears to horror to pity and everything in between. Chris is a character you can’t help but feel for and become emotionally involved with, her pain just grabs at your heart and you feel it with her. I’m always floored when an author can pack so much emotion into so few pages, it takes true skill in my eyes and Hightower definitely has that skill in spades. I really couldn’t have loved this little novella more, hands down one of my favourite horror reads so far this year!
Profile Image for ReadingWryly.
229 reviews659 followers
September 3, 2023
There is a tender devastation in this punchy, exploration of grief.

It is the slow-burn equivalent of waiting in line at a theme park, combined with the whiplash of the ride itself once you finally get there. The horror starts off innocently enough, and builds like a sinister crescendo.

I would compare the tone of this to Gemma Amor's, Dear Laura. If you enjoyed that one, try this one. And vice versa.

The amount of character development within so few pages is remarkable. It's worth the read. I'm glad I finally got around to reading this one.

Read if you like poised, character-focused, nuanced horror with cozy, heartbreaking sentimentality.
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,206 reviews3,189 followers
August 15, 2020
4.0 Stars
This was such an immersive novella that explored how grief fuels obsession. While I have (thankfully) never experienced the horror of parent grief, I still found myself identifying and sympathizing deeply with the main character. The portrayal of her emotions just felt very realistic as she spiraled downward. The premise novella reminded me of Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie, because both stories involve parents bleeding for their children. However, Crossroads was so much better. 

I would strongly recommend this novella to any horror reading looking for a dark story of obsession driven by the pain of grief.

Content warnings for cutting and general self harm.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. 
Profile Image for Cassie Daley.
Author 8 books207 followers
August 11, 2020
One of my absolute favorite things about the horror genre is how wide the range is in potential subject matter, both in terms of overall theme as well as the emotional impact that the creator is trying to have on their audience. From blood-coated slashers with little real emotional connection (but a lot of gore-soaked fun!) to achingly sad ghost stories that make you hurt inside, there’s something for everyone in horror and that’s a very beautiful thing.

I love everything the genre has to offer, but if we’re being honest, I have to say that I’m partial to the stories that hit me hard right in the stomach. Stories about suffering, about pain, about grief: these are the ones that suck me in, and stick with me long after I’ve finished reading them. This is my second book by Laurel Hightower, and I can definitely say that she’s already solidified in my brain as an author who will hurt me terribly – and I love her for it.

In CROSSROADS, we meet Chris two years after the unexpected and accidental death of her son, a tragedy from which she’s still reeling. As a grieving mother, Chris copes with Trey’s loss by creating a routine of visiting the spot where he died, spending time feeling as close to him as she can with him gone, talking to him and telling him about each day’s events. Through an accidental injury, Chris stumbles upon something she can’t share with anyone else: a few drops of her blood on the ground, and suddenly she can actually talk to Trey again, for real, and even sometimes see him. But how long will just a few drops of her blood keep him there? And what would Chris have to give up to bring him back completely?

I’m going to warn you before you go into this one that it’s a heavy-hitter emotionally, and it may wreck you. The way the author portrays Chris, with all her strengths and flaws and grief and relatability, is incredible; she seems to almost leap off of the pages with everything that makes her such a compelling character. Her pain and desperation are palpable, and even if you’re not a mother (I’m not!), you’ll feel the heartbreaking impact of the story like a sledgehammer to the gut.

This is a story primarily about loss and sacrifice, yes. However, while Hightower’s storytelling abilities aren’t here to spare your feelings, that doesn’t mean that sad vibes are all you’ll find with this one. Along with Chris are a few other smaller characters – a love interest, an ex-husband, and the wife of said ex-husband – that are also fully realized to the point of effectively showcasing how many different kinds of relationships can coexist and be balanced beautifully in a well-rounded life, as well as what a healthy support network looks like.

Still, as many of us know, sometimes the people around you just aren’t always fully capable of helping a person deal with certain traumas or situations, and I think the truth at the heart of CROSSROADS is a large part of what makes it such a phenomenal book: it’s completely honest, even if that honesty is brutal, ugly, and painful.

CROSSROADS is in my Top 10 of 2020 for sure, and I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re looking to bawl your eyes out while reading your next favorite novella, definitely check this one out and thank me later (but I’m not responsible for the amount of tissues you’ll need to get through it!). Huge thanks to Off Limits Press for sending me an early release copy of this one to read & review!
Profile Image for Richard Martin.
219 reviews46 followers
February 12, 2021
Crossroads was my first experience reading Laurel Hightower’s work and, in 126 pages of gut-wrenching prose, she has marked herself firmly as a must-read author for me going forward.

Chris is a mother in grieving. Her son, Trey, died violently in a tragic car accident almost two years ago and, since then, her loss has all but defined her life. Living alone after splitting with her husband, she has taken to revisiting the site of the accident on a daily basis, it being the place she feels most connected with the son she has lost.

As the two-year anniversary of Trey’s death approaches, Chris begins to receive nightly visitations from him, from a distance at first but as Chris becomes emboldened by his unexpected return, and is able to see him more clearly, even hold him and speak with him for all too brief moments. He is not quite the son she remembers. He seems more sullen and withdrawn, as if anxious about something he can’t tell her about. So begins Chris’s journey to do what any mother would, and bring her son back to her for good.

This novella covers an incredible amount of ground in such a sparse amount of time. Its psychological horror of losing a loved one in such an abrupt and violent way is tough to read, and it is infused with suggestions of the supernatural which become more overt as things progress, making us question at first whether the supernatural is real, or a manifestation of the extremes of Chris’s increasing loneliness and self-imposed isolation. It is a challenging book, both in terms of content, and the masterful way in which the main character's decisions are at once heart-breaking to watch and simultaneously completely understandable.

Crossroads seems like a straight-forward story at first glance, but Hightower constantly subverts our expectations. Plot points and characters are introduced, seemingly for one reason, only for things to go in a completely unexpected direction. For a book that carries such a foreboding sense of inevitability, it manages to be incredibly surprising. I was absolutely hooked from page one and although I often dreaded turning the next page, it’s impossible to put this book down once you’ve started. Chris is such a tragic yet compelling protagonist that you are desperate for her to get what she wants, even if we know it isn’t possible. Her grief has so permeated every facet of her life that, when the glimmer of hope does come for her, the reader wants it almost as badly as she does. The real horror of this book is that we know it won’t end well for Chris and it becomes about how far she is willing to stay her current course before she realises what we, the reader, have suspected all along.

Crossroads is one of those rare books that you will always remember reading. Its powerful message of a mother’s immeasurable love for her child, and the horrifying lengths she will go to in order to keep her son safe is one that will resonate with a lot of readers and the execution is note-perfect in its brutal honesty and unflinching approach. This is an absolute must-read.

You can read more reviews of new and upcoming horror releases at https://www.myindiemuse.com/category/...
I also promote indie horror via Twitter - @RickReadsHorror
Profile Image for Hunter Shea.
Author 43 books961 followers
October 5, 2020
One of the most devastating, heartbreaking stories I've ever read. Laurel Hightower just moved to the head of the horror genre line with Crossroads. An expertly crafted foray into a mother's undying love, grief and loss. Just superb.
Profile Image for Beth.
290 reviews977 followers
August 27, 2022
Semi heartbreaking. Semi disturbing.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
1,738 reviews2 followers
February 26, 2021
Giving CROSSROADS, by Laurel Hightower anything less than 5 full stars would be unfathomable to me right now. Chris, a mother who lost her only son to a car accident, one day thinks she "sees" him standing outside in the night.

Her grief all throughout is so raw and emotional, that--as a mother--I couldn't help but feel immediately sucked into the story itself, wondering just what I would do in her place.

No spoilers here, for this is a novella you HAVE to read for yourselves. The words are so powerful at conveying all the feelings, that you won't want to leave Chris until the end of the book. The series of events that take her through this is something so "different", and yet, I can picture everything in my mind too easily.

I can't recommend this novella any more highly!
Profile Image for Aimee.
78 reviews18 followers
April 18, 2023
broke my heart in 110 pages.

Crossroads is a perfect example of what I want in a short book. It’s packed with real characters entangled in emotion and grief with no fillers found. I could see things going wrong a mile away, but who could blame her? It’s a chance to see and hold her deceased son. I think most of us wouldn’t be able to use rational thought in that scenario either. So the horror slowly builds until I started feeling a little queasy, grief quite literally destroyed her.
It speaks on narcissistic mothers and infertility toward the end in such a raw and validating way. And a lot of self-injury in this book. So If that’s triggering for you, I would just put it down.
Overall a masterpiece. I'm glad I finally sat down with it.

cant wait to pick up another one of her books!
Profile Image for Steve Stred.
Author 71 books517 followers
August 10, 2020
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **

Oh, what might have been.

With Laurel’s debut novel ‘Whispers in the Dark‘ arriving in December 2018, many have expressed that if it had been released earlier in the year, it would’ve been a contender for a Stoker Award for Best Debut. ‘Whispers…‘ is a stunning read, and I’m in that category of folks who believe the statement about release timing, but this isn’t to open my review on a negative. No, it’s to highlight how talented Hightower is.

With that in mind, when it was announced that the upstart Off Limits Press would be releasing Hightower’s second release, a novella titled ‘Crossroads‘ the excitement was palpable.

What I liked: I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Laurel over the last few years, so when I was able to snag a review copy for Kendall Reviews, I was elated.

‘Crossroads‘ is a story purely focused on grief and the way it manifests its ugly head. We are introduced to Chris. Divorced, alone and struggling to come to terms with the loss of her son, who died in a car crash. Not everything adds up with the events, but the fact remains – her son is dead.

She visits the site of the crash daily, spending time at the memorial placed there. But as time goes on, things seem ‘different.’

Laurel wrote this piece from a deep, dark place and the story benefitted greatly from her being willing to go there.

The secondary characters in this are great. Dan was a very compassionate addition to Chris’ story, purely a figure to be a rock, even when Dan didn’t exactly know what was needed.

For such a quick read, Hightower never let up on Chris’ spiral further into depression and the lengths she was willing to go to bring her son back.

The ending of this was pitch-perfect. Even the final chapter/epilogue was a fantastic touch.

What I didn’t like: It’s a minor thing, but at the beginning, I found our main character here to be very familiar when compared to the main character from ‘Whispers in the Dark.’ For those who start reading ‘Crossroads‘ and find that familiarity off-putting, I can assure you it doesn’t last long and they do walk very different paths.

Why you should buy it: If you like your horror dark, and filled with despair and emotion, look no further. Laurel is such a talent and watching the layers get stripped back level by level here shows just how deft she is at storytelling.

This one will be on a number of year-end “best of” lists and it’ll be absolutely warranted.
Profile Image for Cody | CodysBookshelf.
739 reviews229 followers
August 17, 2020
I thought there was no way this novella could live up to the hype. Laurel Hightower is a name I’ve heard a lot in the last year or so, but somehow I still haven’t read her debut novel (say sorry!) I will remedy that soon, though.

Crossroads is an in-depth exploration of a mother’s grief after losing her son in a car wreck. Hightower looks at grief honestly, head-on, and because of that this story never lets up—instead, it only gets heavier and heavier. And the reader is helpless to look away (or stop reading). Thanks to the author bio I know the author has a son, and perhaps because of that this story feels so authentic. I’m not a parent, but even I felt Chris’s grief and incessant longing to see her child once more.

I appreciated the story’s honesty, and the author’s willingness to “go there”. This story doesn’t have a happy ending—though I suppose it is left up for interpretation, as the best endings always are—and there is little light to be found in the dark.

I suspected I would like this story, but I didn’t think I’d love it so much. Crossroads is a daring, special book, one I’ll recommend to all my horror-loving friends.
Profile Image for Alex | | findingmontauk1.
1,260 reviews94 followers
April 25, 2021
I will say that I went into CROSSROADS with a lot of expectations. But what does that mean? I barely read the summary and I tried my best to avoid reviews/skim reviews. Why? Because all I knew is that everyone was devastated by this book. Group chats and DMs were full of "My hearttttt" and "omg. devastated." type messages. I did not inquire too much as I really wanted to go in as fresh as I could.

Without giving anything away, I will say that everyone was right. I needed Kleenex. I needed bourbon. I needed my childhood teddy bear (which is actually a dog but that's neither here nor there). I just needed a big ole hug! Laurel Hightower explores grief horror and body horror in a way that is even more heartbreaking and traumatic than I could have anticipated. I was definitely not ready for this book but it has left a mark on me nonetheless. This book is a whole JOURNEY and one that I think every reader should take. I did not expect to be in love with a story that gutted me, but here we are basking in the brilliance of Hightower's writing!
Profile Image for SteveTalksBooks.
38 reviews
August 10, 2021
I haven't had a book get to me the way Crossroads did. There are no wasted words or sentences, smoothly flows from beginning to end. Lots to unpack here with grief, parenthood, sacrifice and loss. It's not easy to convey loss and grief in text, but Laurel Hightower does it perfectly. I'm not pretending to know how it's done, I just know when it's done right. It was like crawling into darkness while reading but in a good way. One of my favorites of the year.
Profile Image for inciminci.
395 reviews70 followers
March 20, 2021
I really enjoyed this short but gripping, grabbing story of Chris, a mother who lost her son in an accident, potentially discovering a way to bring him back. In the end there were a few questions I thought were left unanswered, or left to the reader to solve but overall it was a super suspenseful and heartbreaking read, I enjoyed Hightower's writing a lot.
Profile Image for FanFiAddict.
548 reviews143 followers
November 23, 2020
Rating: 9.0/10

Thanks to the Fireside Horror, the narrator, and the author for an advance listening copy of Crossroads. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

Crossroads is a heartstring puller of a novella; one that will have you mopping up your emotions long after the last page is turned.

I’d been hearing amazing things about Crossroads from the horror community, but just hadn’t had the time or, honestly, the emotional occupancy to get through this 110 page novella. I read the synopsis, had a Q&A with the author, and even flipped through several reviews, but 2020 has just exhausted me to the point where this novella could truly break me. Luckily, it didn’t, but by George did it come super close.

Hightower immerses you completely into her story of loss, grief, and a very bleak sense of hope while also telling a story that feels so real. I cannot close to imagining what it is like to lose a child and I believe that played a huge part in how I quickly became emotionally tied to Chris. I can’t say I would go to the same lengths as she did, but grief does some crazy things to the psyche.

It is hard to put into words exactly how great this novella is without:
A. Spoiling it
B. Finding said words
but I’m going to leave it at this: Hightower’s novella feels like required reading in the horror genre. It has all of the elements that a 400 page novel could produce in such a short form, and will leave you an emotional wreck (still waiting to see how long it lasts as I just finished the story).

Also, if you have the opportunity to give it a listen, Linda Jones knocks the narration out of the park. Looking forward to seeing more titles from Fireside Horror.
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