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Hell Followed With Us

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Prepare to die. His kingdom is near.

Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.

But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.

Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.

A furious, queer debut novel about embracing the monster within and unleashing its power against your oppressors. Perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and Annihilation.

416 pages, Hardcover

First published June 7, 2022

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About the author

Andrew Joseph White

9 books1,516 followers
Andrew Joseph White is a queer, trans author from Virginia, where he grew up falling in love with monsters and wishing he could be one too. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University in 2022. Andrew writes about trans folks with claws and fangs, and what happens when they bite back. He can be found at andrewjosephwhite.com or on Twitter and Instagram at @AJWhiteAuthor.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,195 reviews
Profile Image for Andrew White.
Author 9 books1,516 followers
February 5, 2022
EDIT 2/5/2022: read the first four chapters here!!!!

Hey y'all - this contains content warnings for HELL FOLLOWED WITH US.

HELL FOLLOWED WITH US is a book about queer kids trying to live long enough to grow up; the world presented here is often cruel, and so are the people within it. While I love setting things on fire, if any of these topics will burn you, please stay safe.

Content Warnings
* Violence (explicit gore, arson, murder and mass murder including children, warfare, terrorism)
* Body horror
* Transphobia (misgendering, dead-naming with name written out repeatedly, threats of transphobic violence, forced detransition)
* Religious abuse/Christian terrorism, combined with elements of eco-fascism
* Abusive parents and domestic partner violence (including returning to an abusive partner and victim self-blame)
* Self-injury (including attempted suicide of a side character)
* Emetophobia (vomiting) warning throughout

These content warnings can also be found on my website, with a more general version included in the author's note at the beginning of the book.

If you've read the book and believe anything else should be included here, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Profile Image for Ally.
160 reviews95 followers
May 19, 2021
Received an early copy from the fact that the author is...literally my boyfriend, but I’m gonna treat this like any other arc and review it properly.

I’ll be the first to say I don’t read a lot of post-apocalyptic stories, it’s not a genre Im usually drawn to, but what I really liked about this is that it’s an end of the world story not necessarily about the end, it’s about the people. Yes there are...vivid descriptions of guts and rot and disease that brought the world down, but at its heart it’s a story driven by humanity and the resilience of people. All the characters were forced to grow up to fast, to make soldiers out of children, and the fact that there are times in the story where despite everything going on they still manage to laugh and be KIDS? That contrast with all the brutality of the worldbuilding, and the fact that those aspects blend and contrast so well together? I love that so much.

This is a book you want to give your whole attention to, no matter how badly you don’t want to put it down, want to steal glances at every free moment you get, it’s a story you should savor, one with so many layers and details that deserve to be caught. It’s horrifying and hilarious and heartfelt and trust me, you want it when it comes out, I promise
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
2,084 reviews5,048 followers
September 13, 2023
This book. It challenged me. It made me squirm. It made me uncomfortable. But it left me feeling some sense of hope. This story is going to change lives and I'm so happy that White was able to put this story out into the world. There are a lot of CW for this book that I've copied directly from the author so I would highly highly recommend checking in with yourself before picking this one up. It isn't for the faint of heart, but it's definitely worth the journey. CW: * Violence (explicit gore, arson, murder and mass murder including children, warfare, terrorism), body horror, transphobia (misgendering, dead-naming with name written out repeatedly, threats of transphobic violence, forced detransition), religious abuse/Christian terrorism, combined with elements of eco-fascism, abusive parents and domestic partner violence (including returning to an abusive partner and victim self-blame), self-injury (including attempted suicide of a side character), emetophobia (vomiting) warning throughout

Honestly, I'm not sure why I gravitated towards Hell Followed With Us. I didn't know much about the book, but for some reason the cover looked so intriguing. I didn't read the description. I literally pressed play on the audiobook and decided to take a journey. This book is dark. It's extremely dark and to be honest it's the darkest YA book that I think I've read in a while. There is no shortage of violence, gore, religious persecution, and more. While some people may consider these things to be added for shock value, they play a huge role in the overall narrative of the book. The story follow a trans main character by the name of Benji who has recently escaped a fundamentalist cult that has raised him to become a bioweapon called Seraph after they made the decision to release Armageddon on the entire world. While on the run, Benji comes into contact with the Acheson LGBTQ+ Center where there are other queer teens like Benji attempting to survive. While there Benji gets to know another character Nick who knows his secret. The two agree to keep his genetic infection a secret as long as Benji agrees to use his abilities to protect the ALC.

To say I enjoyed this book is an understatement. The parallels that White creates between the horrific fantasy world and what happens in our world is undeniable. I highly recommend checking out Adri's review of this title to really gain a great perspective on the connections between Benji's transformation into the Seraph and medical transitioning. This is not my lived experience and Adri does a beautiful job putting into words this connection as well as the connection between the transformation and body dysphoria. I personally built a connection with how White was able to highlight the human desire to "play God." This entire system of destruction, the fallout of the world is the result of a religious cult determining that they will be the ones to avenge God's fury against those that are not living according to what they perceive to be God's values. This scared me shitless. Yes, the book itself is horrific; however, there are religious extremist who truly believe ideals like this; that they are doing God's will work. It is one of the main reasons why I have stepped away from institutionalized religion. It was such an accurate portrayal of what I've personally experienced and seen in society that the creation of this fantastical world isn't that far fetched.

White also did an amazing job crafting imperfect characters especially in Benji. He makes mistakes throughout the entire book and it makes sense. He's constantly fighting to survive from the first page up until the end of the book. It made everything about him feel so damn real. And my goodness, the transformation that he makes when he flips the tables on the religious cult was truly beautiful. He was supposed to be their weapon, their way to finally rid the world of humanity, but then he found ALC and he found Nick. And that sense of belonging changes everything. He turns and works against the same forces he was supposed to assist. It is a reckoning that they never saw coming and they deserved everything that came with it. Perseverance is everything in this book and damn it means a lot.

Ya'll this book. This book will stay with me for an extremely long time and I can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy. Once again, I must say that this isn't for the faint of heart, but if you can please please please stick with it. I promise you getting to the end of it is worth every single page.
Profile Image for Marieke (mariekes_mesmerizing_books).
508 reviews335 followers
March 29, 2022
2022 is the year of darker yet hopeful and powerful queer YA stories like All That’s Left in the World and The Honeys, and without a doubt, Hell Followed with Us belongs to this category. It’s equally gorgeous, breathtaking, eerie, and at its heart so very queer.

Like I gushed over the books mentioned above, I could gush over Hell Followed with Us for hours, days, even for years. Over the content and trigger warnings in the letter from the author, d*mn Andrew Joseph White, you gave me shivers when I hadn’t even started reading the story. Over the book itself, the beautiful writing, the amazing character development, the terrifying horror, the fabulous rep. And over the acknowledgments, d*mn you again, Andrew, my chest tightened, and tears ran down my cheeks.

When I started reading this book, a huge storm was blowing outside. Roof tiles flew around, trucks just fell on their sides, and trees snapped like straws. But when the wind died down, the sun began to send its rays down to earth, and people started cleaning the mess. At the same time, a storm was blowing inside me as well. I sat down on a chair and read and made notes and clenched my fists and had a knot in my chest and stared in the distance and cried and kept drinking in so many beautiful words.

To control the monster inside you takes guts. To go through hell and back takes guts. To make life better for yourself and your friends takes guts. And that’s why, despite this being a hell of a story, hope and queer power, instead of blood and organs, eventually soak the pages of this extraordinary story. D*mn you once again, Andrew, this book will haunt me, probably like forever, and I’ll pick up anything you write from now on even without reading a blurb!

I received an ARC from Peachtree Teen and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Mel  Thomas.
78 reviews767 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
September 13, 2023
DNFing at 25%. Oof. The concept is fuckin' amazing, I'll say that. A trans boy whose evangelical cult of origin has fashioned him into a biological weapon escapes and joins forces with a rag-tag group of queer teens? Sign me up. Unfortunately, under that amazing veneer is a mediocre teen dystopia with incredibly awkward literary aspirations. And the moody, misunderstood love interest isn't helping. Hopefully an actual teen will be able to enjoy this more than me. (The cover is outstanding, though; give this designer a raise!)
Profile Image for Ashley.
828 reviews480 followers
February 3, 2023
Star Rating: —> 4.5 Stars
🌟⭐️🌟⭐️ plus .5 stars!

[ ARC Buddy read with my bby Darceyyyyy ]

This BRILLIANT novel was ABSOLUTELY HORRIFYING, diversely QUEER AS F*CK, & oh hell, did I freaking LOVE it!!!

[ Honestly, I had quite the struggle to just… write this review, because I just feel that no words can express just how amazing it was, & I mean that with all of my pan & neurodiverse/ neurodivergent (though I prefer the term neurodiverse because it has more positive connotations ! ) heart. ]

“In what world was their God ever a benevolent one?”

This novel boasts such incredible own-voices autism spectrum rep, trans rep, gender non-conforming rep, all sorts of LGBTQIA+ rep, and yet is also everything a horror novel should be at the same time. It was so very terrifying, but I COULD NOT turn away!

The MC, Benji, a trans, gay boy, is just my precious son! I would do anything for him. His character arc was FANTASTIC.

Considering he has a presence put inside his body, by a neo-fascist, extremist & warped Christian CULT, called Seraph—a six winged, clawed, flesh-deteriorating beast thought to be holy, that is supposed to bring about the end of times—but never stops fighting to LIVE, is so very inspiring… which despite all of the beyond awful, hellish things (when I say hellish, I mean HELLISH; the erm, terrifying AF images portrayed through the author’s vivid prose are something that probably will haunt me forever, in the best way possible, if that makes sense?) that this kid has to go through bring me to a theme that stands out in this novel— perseverance .

When Benji escapes the confines of the cult, he thinks it is only a matter of time… he thinks that he is doomed. I mean can you blame him? He was Made by this disgusting cult to potentially finish off the rest of the survivors after the the “Flood” wiped the earth of the “sinners” (aka, frankly, mass genocide), The Flood is a body mutating illness, that either immediately, painfully kills you, or turns people into walking horrific versions of themselves that are called “Graces,” by, and used by, the cult. Along with the human, sadistic, cult member death squads, who go by the name “Angels” (PLS, Angels my freakin’ ass! Ugh. They APPALLED me & made me SICK, to put it lightly, which I know was the point, but hell—it was like a punch to the GUT to bear witness to their atrocities, fiction or not, because these sorts of things HAVE and DO happen in our world. Maybe not on this scale, but does that REALLY matter? NO. They had me, no joke, experiencing tremors from my anxiety over this!) these Graces are forced to hunt survivors of the Flood & kill anyone in their path.

Given that he is Seraph, a great ending doesn’t seem possible for Benji, but for me to root for him, to LOVE him, & never doubt his beautiful character arc, SO much… this is, plain & simple, the mark of an EXTRAORDINARY debut author.

Everything changes when Benji finds the local LBGTQ+ center for teens, known as the ALC.

“We’re not going to hurt you. The ALC was built to help queer teenagers, and that’s what it’s always done. It’s just that the specifics have changed in the past few years.”

Everything, everything, changes. Benji for the first time in his life feels like he BELONGS. Which is such a pivotal point in the novel, because it increases his self-perseverance and he finds true friendship, & a found family, plus a bit of non-conforming romance—for the first time in his life, he has people that love him & he loves back, immensely, to protect, and he will, at ANY cost.

Another protagonist, Nick, a gay teen on the autism spectrum also has stolen my heart, & his autism rep was INCREDIBLE. He always carries beaded lizards that he makes when he is alone to help relieve his, for lack of a better term, discomfort in social situations, and again for lack of a better term, symptoms, like needing repetitive behavior (his amazing, precious beaded lizards being one of many) to soothe & help him just get through LIFE, damn it! My heart goes out to him, fully & wholly. By no means does this make him weak, or “other,” he handles himself with (TRUE) grace, but also keeps his guard up so he can be the rock the ALC needs—their no shit taken, hardened, but just, & so very kind at his core, leader. Nick’s character arc was also extraordinary… getting the rare treasure of his POV had me in TEARS. I may not be on the autism spectrum, but I AM neurodiverse, with ADHD, multiple anxiety disorders, OCD, and Bipolar II (depressive bipolar), so I felt for Nick in my very SOUL. Because this is an own-voices novel, the author absolutely amazed me with his strength to write based upon his struggles (don’t get me wrong, the autism spectrum is vast & wide, and I have no idea what HIS personal struggles are, but still… just… I am in awe of Andrew Joseph White, either way). Nick & Benji form quite a connection, and it is wonderful to see. 🥰

“In exchange, he gives me the trans bead lizard he finished last night. I cradle it in my hands, admiring the pale pink, baby blue, and gentle white. All I can manage is “thank you,” even though I want to say, This is the first time I’ve gotten to hold something with my colors.”

ALL of the members of the ALC were so absolutely ALIVE, with all sorts of LGBTQIA+ rep, and such a wide range of beautiful pronouns but this NEVER, EVER, felt like preaching, or forced, it felt REAL—which is EXTRAORDINARY; an author who can represent so many amazing LGBTQIA+ characters, plus autism spectrum representation that felt so, so full of life, like it just jumped off of the page of this apocalyptic novel, & into the world we live in is just so, so RARE.

When I started this… I didn’t know that it was a TRUE HORROR novel, but BOY, DID I FIND OUT. I look forward to reading more from this author! No author has ever scared me like this, AND I LOVED IT, HOLY HELL (pun intended 😂), did I adore it— I love horror because it scares the living hell (I need to stop with the puns, BUT I CAN’T, hahah) out of me, which I LOVE because it makes my TRUE anxiety fade away, & gives me a respite from it.

**WARNING**: This book is NOT for the weak of heart ! Body horror, cult horror, apocalyptic horror, gore horror… first book to ever truly, wholly SCARE ME, TERRIFY THE HELL OUT OF ME (again, pun intended 😉), from beginning to end , & you have no idea how hard that is—I do not scare easily ! Especially when it comes to books, the author has to be a MASTER of horror so AGAIN a shit out to White is TOTALLY INCREDIBLE 🫣! Mad respect to them, truly. This is a MASSIVE feat—MASSIVE!!!.

**Also: Look out for triggers that include abusive relationships, deadnaming, & misgendering. And… probably, definitely, NOT a book for serious Christians.**

AN ENORMOUS Thank You to NetGalley, Peachtree Teen, & the to the author, Andrew Joseph White, for the e-ARC!
Profile Image for Jess Owens.
325 reviews4,556 followers
July 9, 2022

CW: evangelical cult so like anything phobic, especially transphobia. Graphic depictions of body horror.

I think this story is very unique and love the ideas. The full story didn’t come together perfectly for me. I struggled with the writing at times, the pacing, and I personally didn’t connect to the characters.

A trans teen, Benji, is on the run from an evangelical cult. He finds other queer youth who are hiding out together because basically the world has ended because of the cult and this disease they created. Now Benji’s hiding with them too and wants to help fight against the cult.

The author uses lots of scripture from the Bible and teachings from these cult leaders and they’re either at the beginning of each chapter and/or interspersed in the chapter. When it was mid sentence, it could throw me off, or sometimes it felt very repetitive. Also with the pacing, I felt it would be a lot going on and then it would slow down to day to day life and it could be jarring.

There is obviously trans rep and written by a trans author. There is also autistic rep. I think a lot of queer youth will really connect with this. I wanted to love it and didn’t but still think it was a good story.
Profile Image for Brandon Baker.
Author 14 books4,565 followers
June 21, 2022
This was seriously unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s YA, and definitely reads like it at times, but this had a lot pretty intense body horror and some really messed up imagery. A new favorite of the year for sure!!
Profile Image for Jonathan.
794 reviews4,158 followers
January 31, 2023
welcome to 202-Queer 🌈✨, the year where i only read queer books 🌈✨

you know, when i started this reading challenge i was worried that it would go too well. that i would give every book at least four stars because they would all just be too good or because i would start being too nice because i love good representation too much. (take a shot every time i say the word "too" in this sentence).

but i'm glad to report i'm still a little hater!!

it's always the books i buy a physical copy of without reading them in another medium first. why is that. why does the book god hate me that much.
to defend my disastrous financial decisions: this book cover slaps and it will still look good on my shelf where i can wistfully look at it and wish i had enjoyed reading it as much as i enjoy staring at it.

and it started off so well? i don't really remember what it was but there were some scenes of trans rep in the beginning that made me cry and i was sure i would give this five stars and probably never move on with my life.

and then i stopped reading.

for a day. two. a week. several weeks. then i took it off my currently reading shelf and decided to give it another go in the new year.

sadly it just never picked up for me after that. reading it was a drag. and i'm really bad at forcing myself to do things. i'll say that i'll do the thing i don't want to do but then i find seventeen reasons for why i shouldn't - sixteen of those being "i don't want to, you can't make me".

my main thing, if i had to put it into words, which i guess i do cause i have committed myself to this whole "review business", is that i cared neither about plot nor characters.

the plot comes in two forms: it either doesn't move or it moves so fast i barely know what's going on.

the characters come in main character who is fine and other characters i don't remember the names of because they felt as distinct as grains of rice.

at the end of it i realized that there was a love triangle going on. and with at the end i mean when i finished it and saw other reviewers say that they didn't care about the love triangle - lol, my bad, i guess i didn't either.

i was debating whether or not i should finish it because i just ... really didn't want to. but i hate dnf'ing books that i actually own as that feels like a massive waste of everything. i still had to get the audiobook to even entertain the thought of finishing it because getting the audiobook meant i could at least also do other things while reading (my gym session went great, thanks for asking).

i do wish i hadn't though, so there's that. i don't think anyone gained anything from me doing this.

what the book does well in my opinion, is the amount of representation is gives. none of it is casual and the rep is very much an integral part of the story and is therefore also very much in your face (as in you get reminded that character x is identity y over and over again) - this isn't necessarily a BAD thing and i would argue can also be a GOOD thing. i didn't mind the constant repetition that much but i understand why one could argue that many characters sole personality trait was being a token representation of a certain identity.

i also didn't mind the gore and violence. the main thing that triggered any kind of reaction in me was when Benji was dead-named and forced into a dress. that scene made me nearly throw up for very personal reasons :)

bottom line: i think a younger audience might get more out of the book than i did. while it does have a lot of gore and violence it is very much YA - from plot structure to character motivations, it's definitely something targeted towards a more teenager-esque audience.
i am still very excited for all the other releases the author has planned as i think he has some fantastic ideas and a unique writing "voice" and i'm sure there is something there that i will like more than HFWU.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,743 reviews5,283 followers
November 7, 2022
“Hell has followed us onto Earth, and I am the monster that has brought it forth.”

"Trans kids fighting off religious zealots in a post-apocalyptic scenario" is a storyline I didn't know I needed so badly, but here we are.

Hell Followed With Us is a fantastic, fresh breath of air in the YA horror scene, mixing dystopian narratives with intense body horror, zombie-like monsters (and a protagonist who is becoming one), and the unpacking of religious trauma that so many queer kids and adults will find hitting all too close to home. I was amazed at the lengths the author was willing to go to, not only in the horror elements but also in calling out the mass amounts of bigotry so many people face from organized religion, and I couldn't help applauding Andrew Joseph White for his brutal honesty.

“I mean, yeah, of course. I’m super trans. Like, an honestly heretical amount of trans. Why?”

Of course, aside from the fantastic horror and religious themes, the representation in this book is just goddamn delightful. The trans main character, the endless queer side characters, the neurodiversity, and more—I was absolutely in love with this cast of lil' gay heretics. (My only complaint about the characters was that many of them felt a bit one-dimensional, but we're here for a gore-filled spooky time, not a long time.)

“God is an absent parent who demands loyalty despite never being around.”

On a related note, my only major complaint about the book as a whole was the lack of development. It features this absolutely incredible dystopian civilization with this twisted, disgusting bioweapon-creating disease that literally rots people from the inside out, and it's over 400 pages long, yet I still never felt like I was getting enough backstory to satisfy me. (I would absolutely adore a prequel novella about the fall of society and how all of this mess came into being.) That said, there was so much to love in this story and so many memorable scenes that I can't bring myself to give it a lower rating than 4.5 stars—I highly recommend Hell Followed With Us to any and all queer horror fans, but especially those (like me) who sometimes just need to see a fictional religious zealot or two taken down a peg.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy! All thoughts are honest and my own.

Representation: Benji is a queer trans boy, Nick is an autistic gay boy, multiple side characters are BIPOC, queer, disabled, and/or neurodiverse

Content warnings for:

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1 review
July 14, 2022
Like others i was so excited for this book and wanted to like it so bad, but I was left fairly disappointed. The premise of the book was so catching, the idea of a boy turned monster getting revenge on those who created him is what drew me to the book. However the poor pacing, religious overload, and one dimensional characters drew me out of it.

As a queer trans man myself, I hated the trans representation in this book. It felt like Benji wasn’t a character with complex motives and skills, he was just trans. And the book reminds you every single chapter that he’s trans. Everything he does relates back to him being trans. Every time I would get invested in what was happening I would immediately be pulled out of the immersive story to be told again that Benji is in fact trans just incase I forgot. The constant reminding of characters genders/sexualities was unnecessary. I loved the diverse representation, but it felt like the characters existed solely to be some sort of token queer person, they were often reduced to their identities. I enjoy characters that are well developed people that just happen to be queer, not characters that are queer and nothing else.

Now to the pacing and religious overload. The pacing is all over the place. Some parts drone on and on while other seem to skip to something entirely new leaving the reader confused as to how we got there. The repetition of phrases (typically in 3s) got old real fast. I understand the purpose, repetition can build suspense and engage the reader, but it’s wildly over used in this book. The interjections of religious script - sometimes mid sentence - doesn’t help the matter. I understood going into this book that religion was a massive part of it but the constant bible verses was overwhelming and off putting.

Overall I don’t think it’s a bad book. It definitely did some things well but it also missed the mark on a lot of other points. It’s not one I’ll be rereading anytime soon and it doesn’t make the top of my list of books I’d recommend to others but I don’t think anyone should be discouraged from reading it.
Profile Image for caroline e..
41 reviews5 followers
April 1, 2022
2.5 stars

This one wasn't really *for me* I feel like, less because of the intended audience age and more because of intended audience's level of experience. I'm glad to see others getting so much out of it but unfortunately for me there were a few too many half-baked plot elements & inconsistencies to get past and really delve into and appreciate the good parts within.

The plot itself is a bit of a jumble. On the one hand, I think the setting had a good sense of itself, and the passages in the novel I found myself enjoying the most were the descriptions of the world the characters occupy. While a bit unrealistic and not as fleshed out in its creation as I might've personally preferred, the depictions of 'living' buildings bound to and by the flesh of the people who previously inhabited this world prior to the apocalyptic plague that ended it were unsettling and vivid to great affect. Likewise the monstrous 'graces' were one of the most interesting aspects of the world, being both literal hellish creations but still sympathetic representations of the remnants of humanity, suffering yet unable to save themselves. However the more of this world we are shown, the more questions arise about its original downfall, and the mechanics of its new order. Unfortunately Andrew Joseph White seemed all too ready to breeze past much of the detail work that would make a setting such as this one not only memorable, but rational within its own rules, too.

Beyond the post-apocalyptic setting itself is a plot that feels entirely driven by convenience and the emotions of the MC, Benji, with very little concern for realism beyond the most passing glance. I found many of the climactic scenes to be very difficult to follow, with too much inner-narration and very little sense of scale/physicality to them. Character motivations also end up suffering from this overall lack of consistency, making scenes either feel trite and predictable, or baffling due to a lack of coherent character writing.

More than a lack of cohesion in other departments, though, the biggest misstep in this novel for me was the mishandling of the religious trauma Benji is supposedly grappling with throughout. I admit this is a bit of a subjective read, but I couldn't help feeling as though much of the actual grit of what it would(/is) like to grow up queer in a fundamentalist Christian household (or more aptly in this case, cult) in favor of a more generalized message that anger at one's abusers is always righteous anger. I think that is absolutely a valid stance to take and portray, particularly in the case of Benji, whose abusers literally ended the world in their religious fervor to 'save' it, but this message does come across as not quite thoroughly thought-through or entirely earned, especially with regards to where the story does end up going.

That all being said, there is definitely some notable good under the surface here: rarely have I seen this level of diversity in a fairly limited cast; the flip side for me was that the representation felt a bit shallow (with the exception of the trans representation, which did feel purposeful and obviously pivotal to the story itself) as if the author were checking off a list of a boxes. I'd still rather see representation of this ilk than none at all certainly, but I can't help but feel the smallest bit cheated that none of these side characters are particularly fleshed out, excepting Nick, our main character's pseudo love interest (kind of).

On paper this book sounds amazing and even groundbreaking, and despite my heavy reservations, I'm glad to see a book like this one being published and promoted already fairly heavily prior to its release! More representation will always beat less, but at the end of the day I was more than a bit let down by the actual content within. I suppose some of it could be chalked up to being a bit out of the target demographic for this story, but I still feel as if something really great could have been accomplished here if only a bit more care and attention to detail had been paid in service of this novel's goals. Ah well.

*Thank you to netgalley for a copy of the ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!*
Profile Image for Katie T.
1,042 reviews117 followers
July 28, 2022
The representation in this book is 10 out of 10.

Somehow though, I was so bored. It didn't deliver on gore and violence like the reviews claimed (either my tolerance is high or theirs is weak, both?). I'm not sure how I could be bored by an end of the world trans angel but I was 😩😩😩. I had to really force myself to finish.
Profile Image for Darcey.
991 reviews209 followers
April 6, 2022
ARC copy provided in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes my rating or review. Buddy read with the extraordinary Ashley!


Three Minute Thoughts:
This book was STUNNING. It was horrific. It was brutal and twisted and made me want to throw up and claw my hair and cry... and I loved it so much. It was horror, but not jump-scare, there's-someone-in-the-house horror - oh no, this was pure gore and body horror, combined with some of the best LGBTQ+ rep I've read in a while. Everyone was so incredibly queer and messy and traumatised... I'm obsessed!

The Extended, Long, and Very-Probably-Messy Review:
Hell Followed With Us was an extraordinary book. It's a lot - definitely not for the faint of heart, and CHECK THOSE TRIGGERS (the author included them in his review of the book) because it brings a lot of tough topics into play, but I absolutely loved it. The characters were precious, queer sweethearts, and Benji and Nick are
most certainly my children forevermore.

One of the things that really stood out in Hell Followed With Us is the body horror and grotesque descriptions, because that's what hits you first. The author has managed to construct a number of horrifically gut-wrenching images into my mind, and I'll never be able to think of angels the same, because holy shit, these angels. The twisted, cult-like version of Christianity that this book creates is disturbing beyond measure, and the apocalyptic virus thrown into it all is even more so... Andrew Joseph White is incredible. But another of the most impactful sections of this story is not even the dramatic, chaotic, trauma-inducing plot-line, it's the stunning rep. From the autism rep to the LGBTQ+ rep that filled these pages, it all created a stunning book for all the angry, questioning people out there. The author pulled no punches, and I love him for that. Hell Followed With Us had the most wonderous amount of rep, from characters with a whole range of different pronouns, to an absolute disregard of gender norms, and the acknowledgement that not all trans people are the same.

"Being transgender is who you are, and the pain is what the outside does to you. The pain is what happens when you and the world go for each other's throats. In the ALC, I almost forget that being trans can hurt."
(This quote may not be in the published version of this novel, it was copied from the advanced reader’s copy.)

Our two mains, Benji and Nick, are both such absolute sweethearts, despite the total shit that both have been through. If I was them I would've given up a long time ago... but these two precious boys both have so much perseverance and fight for their right to live, and I love them for it. Their relationship may not have been the usual romance - how can it be, when Benji is transforming into a six winged Seraph and both are fighting for their lives every day - but I loved the little snippets of them that we got, and I loved the few little chapters from Nick's POV that we were rewarded with every now and again. Both characters were so realistic and strong, yet loveable while still making mistakes, and that truly shows the talent of this debut author.

"If they want me to be a monster one step closer to God, that's fine. In what world was their God ever a benevolent one?"
(This quote may not be in the published version of this novel, it was copied from the advanced reader’s copy.)

All in all, I really loved this book, despite the fact that I am NOT a horror girl (most of the time), and this was definitely a full fledged horror book. This might the book that makes me read more horror, actually! So glad I read this (and had my love, Ashley, reading it with me!). Thank you so much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC copy :)).
Profile Image for Maisha  Farzana .
555 reviews239 followers
June 10, 2022
A unique, dark, gripping and deeply moving YA horror-fantasy book. It not only creeped me out but also made me sob. A Must Read for The Pride Month.

"Hell Followed With Us" is a genre bending novel and one of the best in that category if you're wondering. It's got the perfect blend of horror, sci-fi, fantasy and emotions. It is a story about embracing the monster within and unleashing its power against your oppressors. Andrew Joseph White is a talented author. It really did not feel like a debut novel. From the very first page, I was hooked and couldn't put the book down. Loved the writing style specially...

"Hell Followed With Us" has the most wondrous variety of representation. It features a cast of characters with a wide range of pronouns, coming from different cultures and states and following different religion and belief. This book defies gender norms and acknowledges that all transgender poeple are infact not the same. One of our protagonists has autism. One of our main characters and some of the side characters go through loss and trauma. In a sentence, it is really really informative and eye opening. The author himself mentioned that this book is a product of anger. And I can totally see that. Hell Followed With Us is written in such a unfiltered way, followed by an ocean of raw emotions - it's stunning.

This book might be YA but definitely didn't feel like one. It is way too dark. Blood and gore is everywhere. Please don't forget to check the list of trigger warnings before starting to read it. I personally love horror. So I thought I would be 'okay'. Guess what, I wasn't. I really don't like body horror. And this book have those elements in a overwhelming amount. It was a lot to take for me. Again, Hell Followed With Us is a relatively short book. But the author puts too many stuffs inside it. Lots of important parts aren't emphasized enough as a result. The world he takes us to isn't well developed. I'm still very very confused. These are the reasons I'm restraining myself from smashing the 5 stars button. However there's no way to deny that this novel is a absolute masterpiece. I have read (or heard) anything like it before. "Hell Followed With Us" is chaotic, but in a wonderful way. It's got everything I look for in a Queer book.

This book was a marvellous journey. A unique, unusual and vigorous tale. "Hell Followed With Us" is obviously going to be added to the list of my favourite horror books. It will be realesed on the 7th of June. Make sure to pick it up. I promise, you won't be disappointed. Enjoy!


☆ Thanks to Netgalley and publishers for providing me the arc in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for bri (beforeviolets).
261 reviews771 followers
February 17, 2023
Hello, can I interest you in some pain and queer rage? (ft. autistic and trans rep as well as religious cults and commentary on systemic oppression)

...Mom said I would be venerated as a true instrument of God’s will, just as holy as the cherubim, thrones, dominions, and virtues. Dad begged me to tamp it down, to be quiet, to be better than what the Angels had done to me. Theo told me my power would be as terrifying as the Devil and twice as righteous.
I will be good. I will make them suffer. And I will take the Angel’s created weapon and turn it against them.
But I’m still terrified.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

A mind-blowing debut filled with enriching prose, incredible commentary, and unhinged fury.

Set in a world not unlike our own, most of humanity has been wiped out by a virus called the Flood. And with the rise of this pandemic came an eco-fascist Evangelical terrorist cult known as the Angels. These Angels believe that this virus is the wrath of God, meant to cleanse the Earth of humanity so that the believers may be saved and the world can be restored from sin. And they have made Benji, our MC, their weapon in bringing about this divine retribution. So Benji - a queer, trans, teenage boy - runs from this cult to find himself among a LGBTQ+ youth shelter that is fighting back, for their future.

White draws incredibly profound parallels to our present reality, especially in relation to the effects of our own pandemic on our everyday lives, both on a large and small scale. The systemic struggles of this apocalyptic world are eerily familiar to that of our own, and are able to cut to the core of some of our major societal issues. This book points a finger at the upper classes who hoard resources while asking marginalized individuals to risk their lives on the front lines. And how these exact privileged individuals refuse to take the smallest of actions (like pulling their masks over their nose) to protect them in return, despite refusing to share the accessibility to health and safety resources. But even more than that, it unleashes fire and fury on the elite, those that put the systems of oppression in place and those that uphold them.

This book discusses the difference between religion as an imperialistic, oppressive tool and an individual source of faith. It shows the way that religious institutions weaponize their ideology to frighten people into obedience. Throughout the book, we see the main character struggle with his own belief systems and the way he’s been force fed an oppressive perspective his whole life. My favorite way this is done is through Benji’s constant attempts to define the word “good.” All he knows is that he wants to be good, and he spends the book trying to put together what that word means to him, by examining the way that the people and systems around him define it. It’s such a wonderful touchstone for us as an audience as Benji’s belief systems and perspective changes throughout his journey.

This book exists so that queer kids know that they are worthy of love from themselves and from others without condition. That absolutely NOTHING is required of them in order to deserve love and support. And that those who tell them otherwise will bring their suffering upon themselves, crumpling under the weight of their own hatred and negativity. And if they don’t, give ‘em Hell.

CW: religious bigotry/cults, transphobia (deadnaming, misgendering, forced detransition), body horror/gore/blood (graphic), decapitation, tooth horror (p. 33, 166-168, 255), eyeball horror (p. 377), dead bodies (graphic), violence/gun violence (graphic), death, child death, misogyny, abusive relationship, fire, death of father (offscreen), grief, emesis (graphic), pandemic, dysphoria, hallucinations, medical content, racism (minor), homophobia (minor), ableism (minor), claustrophobia (brief), sexual content between minors (brief, offscreen), underage drinking
5 reviews2 followers
July 13, 2022
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book & trying to type them all out would be a struggle.

As a black trans queer, I really, really didn't like this book. I loved the summary & the reviews gave me have high expectations, but this book didn't reach them. At all.

The concept of this story was fucking awesome, the execution on the other hand was fucking awful. I will definitely be reading more of this author's work, but I don't think I could recommend this book to anyone.

The beginning of this book had me hooked & then it got worse & worse & *worse*. The only thing I can say I liked was the concept & the gore (though it made me cringe at times). The world building wasn't there, the characters didn't have any development, I hated the romance (though in the book's defense, I don't usually like romance), it wasn't great. I was confused at a lot of the points in the book & it doesn't really explain anything about what's happening.

All in all, 2/5. Didn't live up to my expectations.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
September 24, 2023
I’m on BookTube now! You can find my channel here! =)

I LOVED this book with every fibre of my being.
It was so damn good! And Benji and Nick! I swear Benji was the most relatable character ever and some things he thought I felt in my bones! The LGBTQIA+ reps and autism rep were awesome!
Just everything about this book was amazing! <333
I need to write a proper review and I want, no scratch that, I NEED this book on my personal bookshelves! So damn good!

Full RTC soon!

Is it Halloween yet?! No?
Okay, but I’m still going to read this because I’ve been dying to get my hands on a copy of “Hell Followed With Us”! The entire plot just sounds super intriguing and I’m in love with the idea of this story. I mean the apocalypse, demons, a trans and an autistic MC and an LGBTQIA+ center right smack in the middle of everything?! I need this in my life!

This would be a perfect read for the readathon I’m hosting in October (#Rainboween) but I can’t wait any longer. Well, at least I’ll hopefully be able to recommend it to other readers.
Please be as good as I think you’ll be.

Find me on:
My Blog
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,461 reviews352 followers
July 29, 2022
Dark and brutal with emotions as raw as an open wound, with both Queer and neurodivergent teens accurately represented, I really should have enjoyed this book more than I did. It was a good story, but there was something lacking in the world building for me.

The story throws you into the action, right as Benji is escaping something, and you're really left to piece together what exactly is going on, what the state of the world is and what the Angels and the Graces even are. After finishing the story I'm still not quite sure of the full picture.

The plot heavily centers on body horror, which is my jam, and I really enjoyed that and the relationship between Benji and Nick, the leader of the Acheson LGBTQ+ Youth Center, or ALC. Nick is Autistic, and has one of the best representions of that I've ever read, I really enjoyed his chapters and related strongly to him.

I really enjoyed the Queer and Neurodivergent rep, and the fraught, toxic relationship between Benji and Theo. I just couldn't help but wish that I got a better explanation as to how the world came to be as it was, and that I could picture the world better too.
Profile Image for Trans-cending-literature.
144 reviews375 followers
February 16, 2022
If you want a book that reads like playing Resident Evil or The Last of Us, this ones for you!

I was very excited for this book, but sadly it wasn’t quite what I expected. My main thing was the amount of body horror and gore. I knew it was in here, it was one of the things that drew me to this, but I didn’t expect the huge amount of it. Barely a page passed without some disgusting body descriptions. It was really overwhelming for me, and by the end I honestly got tired of it. And then there was all the angst and tragedy, I came for trans anger and This book left me just really sad. Every terrible thing possible happens and by the end theres no hope. And then there was just alot of things in this book that just didn’t make sense to me, mainly with the climax. How did theo transform in minutes when it took benji weeks? whats with the dream scape? why did so many people act nonchalant to his transformation when he is supposedly looking like a huge monster?

I do think theres an audience for this, one I hoped I would be a part of but sadly am not. If your interested in reading please be aware of how dark and gorey it is, because I’m a horror fan but this was to much for me. I will say as someone with severe religious trauma, it was healing to see a trans boy wipe out hundreds of evangelicals
Rep: Trans boy, autism, mental health, mlm, characters who use neopronouns, side POC, nonbinary, sapphic, aromantic, trans fem
CW: violence, gore, arson, mass murder, genocide, death, body horror, transphobia, forced detransition, religious abuse, cults, child abuse, self injury, suicide, lots of vomiting
Profile Image for roma.
365 reviews88 followers
April 2, 2022
short review: the imagery was mouth watering, I'm starving

actual review:
I pretty much flew threw the pages, it was immediately gripping and I loved how trans anger was entangled with body horror and blood. I loved the embrace of monstrousness, the way Benji is allowed to be angry, as are the teenagers around him. I was immediately gripped and I finished it pretty fast because the arcs and the descriptions were so delicious. Also Andrew should write more body horror, pretty please because the way it was tied to agency and internal conflict, learning to come to terms with having a body at all, is absolutely well done

Oh god the descriptions, I reread some of it and now that I've read his short story I appreciate them even more. The arcs are so compelling the way the body, queerness, religion and horror are entwined for Benji and the book reflects that. The angels, the monstrousness of the angels, the way it deals with destruction and ruin of the self... the author has so many ideas that he's clearly thought about for a while and I loved the reading experience.

why not 5 stars then? There's a lack of coherence in the plot according to me, the the ideas are really cool and masterful but the plot hinges entirely on chance to happen, like it's just too convenient for help to arrive at the exact right time and sometimes it was hard to keep up with the changes the story.

I loved the fallout and the way abusive relationships are explored but I didn't buy the actual romantic plot line. I really wish Nick was more fleshed out like an actual autistic person stimming in a book literally cannot contain myself can you imagine his power if we saw him more?

I'll definitely pick up other books by Andrew though I think I'll understand more on a reread. I think there's crossover appeal, if you liked the prose of dowry of blood or wyatt from the witch king you should pick this up!

rep: trans gay mc, autistic achillean li, side queer and characters of color

content warnings:

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way.
Profile Image for Iman.
636 reviews88 followers
March 11, 2023

That was disappointing. I am plain frustrated.

The execution was soooo lacking and poorly done I give up. It had a strong start, but lost it’s spark at 25%. The thing about this book is that the concept of the atmosphere and world building were amazing, but it was written in a very flatten voice. The hurt, pain and grieve were just words. Too little of the delivery on the emotions when this book was supoosed to hurt.

Seeing that this story covered such extreme topics and huge diversity of characters, it was surprisingly all too bland. It felt like all and none of those things were there at the same time. From one scene to the next, it was just a turn of another page. No excitement. No entertainment. Not even the (supposed to be) angst(s).

It’s not always I wanted to see all the positives, negatives and journey of a trans rep in one book. Especially the negatives one, but I looked forward to this and I wanted those pain. I longed for it. I expected this to hurt and made me all teary or wail in tears. I wanted this book to just gets me , but it never did. I didn’t cry, I couldn’t feel anything. It was as if this book was for me, but I was too dumb to realize it. Which fucking suck btw. And this will not be the author I’ll go to for my representations. (Some said the reps in this one was awesome so maybe this issue would be a me-thing)

This story was about the community fighting war against the Angels, New Nazareth and the bullshit cult and Angels, dystopia etc. The issue is, if I didn’t get a whole depth on the Nazareth World / the Angels, how was I supposed to get a grip on the revenge plot? The whole concept was there, but like I said, the execution was terrible.

It was marketed as gruesome and horror, and welp, how do I say it? It wasn’t. I was simply bored. This is coming from a guy who won’t read a horror book unless it’s a buddy read or had someone to rant to, because he’s a fucking scaredy cat. You can ask my buddy read bestie on here.

The whole mess with Nick and the side characters straight up annoyed me. Maybe because this was YA so I wouldn’t hold a grudge against that.

I did like some things about this book. 1) My joy before starting it and 2) The fact that I was so quick to finish it.

Wanted to give this a 2 but clearly nothing worked for me here. Didn’t wanna DNF because I had high expectations and was so hopeful. Sad, but I just wanna forget, wallow and move on.
Profile Image for Lauren Lanz.
721 reviews255 followers
February 1, 2023
I’m almost certain YA horror has never been this good. Striking in both narrative and premise, its no wonder I’ve heard nothing but praise for this book.

~★~ Plot~★~

Hell Followed With Us presents a powerful message in a really meaningful way. We follow Benji, a trans boy on the run from the religious cult that unleashed Armageddon upon the world. Benji is their first successful Seraph—the only person who wasn’t immediately devoured by rot they’ve injected into his veins. His narrow escape takes him to the door of the ALC, an LGBTQ+ youth centre inhabited by teen resistance soldiers. Their reserved leader, Nick, tells Benji he is welcome to stay so long as he can keep the monster in him at bay or use it as a weapon against the cult bringing massacre to every corner of the world. Benji expects to be feared by the ragtag bunch of kids fighting off death, not to find family with them, or to start falling for Nick and his close-guarded secrets…

────── {⋆★⋆} ──────

The clever parallelism was one of my favourite things about this book. I’m honestly impressed with how well Andrew Joseph White wove together the everyday struggles of a trans boy like Benji alongside a post-apocalyptic central storyline, showcasing both literal and metaphorical meanings of fighting your inner monster. I’m not usually a fan of body horror, but I was fully enraptured by the slow transformation of Benji into Seraph throughout his journey with the ALC kids, especially as Nick continued to comfort Benji in his wordless way.

All the rep was amaaaazing. Aside from Benji finding solace with a cast of entirely queer and/or poc kids, one of the most prominent side characters (Nick) is autistic. He’s arguably my favourite character; it was so nice to see Nick in a position of leadership, with the struggles of his disability still being addressed. I loved the subtle romance between him and Benji, there’s something special about the sort of silent bond between them. Considering both Nick and Benji are reserved people, it was nice to see how they could comfort each other with silent presence alone.

For the most part, this is a really great story. The showcasing of queer rage and perseverance through the lens of a horror story is something I’ve never seen done before, and I loved it. The only thing preventing me from giving this a five stars is based on personal enjoyment. I wasn’t very interested in a lot of the side characters, finding myself mostly focused on Benji, Nick, and Faith. There wasn’t a ton of substance to the others, though I was too absorbed by the main story to care much for the other anyways.
Profile Image for Bertie (LuminosityLibrary).
477 reviews112 followers
May 15, 2022
Evangelical eco-fascists destroy the world in this book about a trans monster boy joining up with an LGBT-center-turned -kickass-militia to survive and wreak vengeance. Just as fantastic as it sounds.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,203 reviews3,678 followers
November 18, 2022
I knew going in that this was going to be intense, and wow was it. Hell Followed With Us is a gut punch of a dystopian horror novel about evangelical Christian extremists, trans identity, and abusive relationships. It does indeed have teeth.

Benji is a sixteen-year-old trans boy on the run from the cult that wants to turn him into both a weapon and a married woman. The world is a dystopian hellscape due to climate change and an evangelical eco-fascist group that unleashed a virus that turns people into monsters. In hopes of controlling those monsters (because God has ordained it...) the group has turned to medical experimentation with Benji as the successful subject.

I won't get into more of the plot, but this book is brutal, raw, and smart. There is a LOT of body horror and gore, but it's using Benji's transformation as a way of literalizing the perceived monstrousness of trans people and simultaneously exploring the experience of body dysmorphia. While I'm not trans myself, I am a former evangelical and the religious piece of this hit hard for me. The unfair and gendered expectations placed on women, the gaslighting, the acceptance of abuse, the blindness to how you are dehumanizing or harming people you claim to love. It's a statement of a debut and I look forward to seeing more from this author. I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher, all opinions are my own.

Also, please check out Adri's review for perspective on this from a trans person: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Content warnings include blood, gore, self-harm, death, violence, grief, transphobia, deadnaming, dysmorphia, body horror including stuff with teeth, religious, physical, and psychological abuse.
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