Chelsea Humphrey's Reviews > Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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it was amazing
bookshelves: from-publisher, netgalley, recommended
Recommended to Chelsea by: Random House Reader's Circle (RHRC)

"I pray I'll see you again. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me."

WHEW. You think you know where this book is going, and then it goes there. Mexican Gothic begins in such an unassuming way, where you think you're walking into a traditional haunted house story, and then everything shifts to pull you under like a riptide that doesn't loosen until you turn the final page. Before I dive into my review, I think it's fair to note that the majority of this book is atmospheric, character driven, and the slowest burn imaginable; for me, this worked spectacularly well, as I love to feel completely absorbed into the narrative in horror novels. And yes friends, this is most definitely a horror novel. I'll include content warnings in a spoiler tag below for those who are interested.

"Noemí's father said she cared too much about her looks and parties to take school seriously, as if a woman could not do two things at once."

Maybe the reason why this slow burn worked so well for me is because I instantly connected with Noemí; she is confident, intelligent, and the life of the party. When her father receives a suspicious letter from Noemí's cousin, Catalina, he sends Noemí to investigate and report back. As expected, everyone involved gets more than they bargained for, and what begins as a handful of unusual occurrences slowly morphs into a whirlwind of horrifying circumstances.

"This house, she was sure, was haunted. She wasn't one for believing in things that go bump in the night either, but right that second she firmly felt every spook and demon and evil thing might be crawling about the earth, like in Catalina's stories."

One of the things I loved the most about this story is how vastly different the haunted house felt. The author has successfully blended the traditional aspects of the old, decrepit, ghost filled residence and a new, more modern aspect, one I won't go into detail of for fear of spoiling the big twist. I think she nailed it on the head when she stated in her Goodreads interview that this book is for the reader who is both classy and trashy, because it has the high entertainment value that fast fiction lovers rejoice in, but it is also filled with beautifully devastating prose. If you, too, have a love affair with all things that go bump in the night, Mexican Gothic should be your top priority this summer. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to those who have a desire to spend long hours in a derelict house and an iron stomach.

"The truth was she was afraid of going to bed, of what nightmares might uncoil in the dark. What did people do after witnessing the horrors they had seen? Was it possible to slip back into normality, to play pretend and go on? She wanted to think this was exactly the case, but she was afraid sleep would prove her wrong."

*Content Warning: (view spoiler)

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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Reading Progress

February 12, 2020 – Shelved
June 4, 2020 – Started Reading
June 5, 2020 –
19.0%
June 6, 2020 –
43.0% "This book is everything I was hoping it would be. 💚"
June 8, 2020 –
64.0%
June 9, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-36 of 36 (36 new)

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message 1: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Lockhart I'm very interested to hear what you think. I enjoyed her last book, which was quite imaginative and taught me a lot about Mayan culture.


Mai-Anh I also enjoyed her last book. Interested to hear your thoughts, Chelsea.


message 3: by TMR (new) - added it

TMR I neeeeeeeeed


Chelsea Humphrey TMR wrote: "I neeeeeeeeed"

Yeeesssss

MA wrote: "I also enjoyed her last book. Interested to hear your thoughts, Chelsea."

Thank you!

Kim wrote: "I'm very interested to hear what you think. I enjoyed her last book, which was quite imaginative and taught me a lot about Mayan culture."

Agreed! I feel like she can write just about any genre, so this may be my most anticipated book on my TBR for summer.


Cynthia I hope this is as amazing as it sounds like it’s going to be! I’m not jealous or anything. 😉


Dominique || Ragdollsandbooks I have this book on my list to read. It sounds fantastic! I've never read a Mexican Gothic novel, and Gothic horror is one of my favourite genres! :-)


Chelsea Humphrey Dominique wrote: "I have this book on my list to read. It sounds fantastic! I've never read a Mexican Gothic novel, and Gothic horror is one of my favourite genres! :-)"

So far the writing is truly spectacular, and I'm very intrigued how it will play out. I love gothic novels!

Cynthia wrote: "I hope this is as amazing as it sounds like it’s going to be! I’m not jealous or anything. 😉"

Thanks girl! 1 chapter in, but I'm already hooked. <3


Elle I’m a little over half done and also can’t wait to hear what you think!


Chelsea Humphrey Elle wrote: "I’m a little over half done and also can’t wait to hear what you think!"

Yay! Can't wait to chat with you!


message 10: by amira (new)

amira Haha😂


##Prisha!! - Puppy lover##** haha ! even I am wanting to read tis book


Chelsea Humphrey Prisha wrote: "haha ! even I am wanting to read tis book"

If the dark and disturbing are things you're ok with, you'll love this one!


message 13: by Elle (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elle Great review Chelsea!! I totally agree with everything you said


Chelsea Humphrey Elle wrote: "Great review Chelsea!! I totally agree with everything you said"

I'm psyched to see your 5 STARS as well!


message 15: by Elle (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elle Chelsea wrote: "I'm psyched to see your 5 STARS as well!"

I needed a good 5 star book to pull me away from all the stuff going on rn 🙌🏼


message 16: by chain brain (new)

chain brain request


Chelsea Humphrey Elle wrote: "Chelsea wrote: "I'm psyched to see your 5 STARS as well!"

I needed a good 5 star book to pull me away from all the stuff going on rn 🙌🏼"


No lie, girl!


message 18: by Elle (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elle beatle juice wrote: "request"

It would be amazing if this worked


Chelsea Humphrey Elle wrote: "beatle juice wrote: "request"

It would be amazing if this worked"


For sure HAHAHA


Laura Peden I am all about the slow burns lately! I cannot wait to get my hands on this one


Storiesandcoffee Pre-ordered ✔️


Chelsea Humphrey Storiesandcoffee wrote: "Pre-ordered ✔️"

Yesss!!!!

Laura wrote: "I am all about the slow burns lately! I cannot wait to get my hands on this one"

I hope you love it, Laura!


message 23: by C. (new)

C. Thank you for the content warning. I like a standard mystery level of spirit story; not horror and not necessarily evil. Just the experience and suspense of meeting a spirit and solving their mystery. It can be classified as horror but if there is assault, I'll skip it.

Unless is is merely mentioned as a past horror? If it was described or portrayed, I can't read it. You are a big help in the decision to buy or skip a novel. Thank you for being someone I can ask! As I explained in your other review of Silvia, I have been amazed yesterday to be deleted just for asking; with no idea how a question about a book "a friend" has read could possibly insult anyone, But onward with people who are approachable! Helping friends and peers know if a book is for them is what reviews are for and you make it easy, Chelsea. Gratefully, Carolyn.


Chelsea Humphrey C. wrote: "Thank you for the content warning. I like a standard mystery level of spirit story; not horror and not necessarily evil. Just the experience and suspense of meeting a spirit and solving their myste..."

You are so kind, Carolyn! I might be wrong, but it seems like the portions involving assault are either described as past events, or ones that are more "fade to black"/implied. There are some gory moments, but those to my memory are not related to assault. However, it might be best to air on the side of caution, as I don't want to convince you to buy this and be severely disappointed if it's too much. Hope this helps!


message 25: by C. (last edited Jul 07, 2020 11:14AM) (new)

C. Obliquely in the past is the best readers can ask. It would be second-hand, probably for $1.00 CDN when thrift stores are open again. But I have heard this is gory in terms of cannibalism and other things, even if implied rather than portrayed.

I guess the telltale question is: is there more gore than sprit appearances? Is the spirit prevalent, or would one wade through the undesirable stuff for a small ethereal reward?


Chelsea Humphrey C. wrote: "Obliquely in the past is the best readers can ask. It would be second-hand, probably for $1.00 CDN when thrift stores are open again. But I have heard this is gory in terms of cannibalism and other..."

I would say it is equal parts gore and spirit malevolence; there is a clear spiritual entity and interactions in the final 30% of the book.


message 27: by Joi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joi Weaver This book utterly blew my mind. It's the best gothic book I've read in a long time.


message 28: by Sudeeran (new)

Sudeeran Shanmughadoss Good review..


Chelsea Humphrey Sudeeran wrote: "Good review.."

Thank you!

Joi wrote: "This book utterly blew my mind. It's the best gothic book I've read in a long time."

So glad to hear that!


Mahika Bommineni what rating is this book? Is it for 13 yrs and up?


Chelsea Humphrey Mahika wrote: "what rating is this book? Is it for 13 yrs and up?"

This is definitely a book for mature adults. The ending is very gory and there are some disturbing discussions surrounding sexual assault.


((Tea + Fiction & Rain)) I feel like your content warning was thorough...


Mahika Bommineni Chelsea wrote: "Mahika wrote: "what rating is this book? Is it for 13 yrs and up?"

This is definitely a book for mature adults. The ending is very gory and there are some disturbing discussions surrounding sexual..."


Oh ok. Thanks for replying.


message 34: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Thanks for the CW, I was on the fence, but I'm going to pass. Need more happy in my media right now.


Ginger Awesome review Chelsea! I want to get to this one even more!


Chelsea Humphrey Ginger wrote: "Awesome review Chelsea! I want to get to this one even more!"

Thanks, Ginger!

Caitlin wrote: "Thanks for the CW, I was on the fence, but I'm going to pass. Need more happy in my media right now."

Totally understandable! I hope you find what you're looking for. <3


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