We have finally reached the long-awaited Midterm Reading Period, a time to relax, rejuvenate and study if you are feeling studious. With all the extra time on our hands, a few of you might find that you are able to rekindle your passion for hobbies that get pushed aside during the school year normally, like picking up a good book. I know I personally have a hard time reading my personal books in between all the assigned texts I get in my classes, though in my case being an English major might be a big contributor to the problem. But I have heard that other students experience a similar issue, and if that happens to be you, I hope that Midterm Reading Period allows you to actually read for fun! And though October and all its spooks are starting to dwindle, I still have a horror novel or two up my sleeve. So, without further ado, let’s get to this week’s recommendations!
After combing through my work’s horror section, I stumbled across a few books that caught my eye. I had not heard any of my bookworm coworkers mention any of the titles during our numerous chats, nor had I seen any of the titles appear on the HorrorTok side of BookTok, so I was a little hesitant to pick a few of them up. But after doing some research, I decided to pick up Twelve Nights at Rotter House by J. W. Ocker. The novel follows Felix, a paranormal tour guide, who does not believe in the paranormal. He reminds me of Steven from the hit show The Haunting of Hill House, which is a spectacular watch if you happen to be looking for a quick binge. Felix decides that for his next book, he wants to do something extreme, like locking himself in a haunted house for 13 days without contact with the outside world. However, he decides to invite his friend, Thomas, along for the ride in the hopes that they will be able to repair their friendship during their stay. Plus, you always need a believer to offset the skeptic, right? It is the classic Mulder and Scully trope.
The book explores a lot of the classic horror tropes and even calls them out on it, especially since our main characters are huge horror-film enthusiasts. The death reports in the house include murders, suicides and combinations of the two, and the paranormal activity features all of the classics: women in white, women in black, lights, orbs, screams, the whole works. As Felix and Thomas spend more nights in the house together, more activity occurs, and they dance closer and closer to discussing the issue that threatened to destroy their friendship.
Upon reading this, I thought I knew where the plot was going, but I was pleasantly surprised and shocked at the twists and turns that occurred as I got closer and closer to the final pages. The book has a good balance of supernatural horrors and the horrors within the human mind. I would recommend this for anyone who loves the classic horror tropes and bad horror films, since this encompasses a lot of those, or at least discusses them. However, the twist? Absolutely worth it. Though, I will say it’s very ambiguous and the reader has to try and decipher what happened. If you like clear, concrete endings, maybe stray away from this one. But if it sounds like your taste, let me know what you think if you decide to read it.
That’s it for this week’s recommendations! I’m hoping to recommend one or two more horror/thriller novels for our last edition during Spooky season, so keep on the lookout. But, until next time, I hope all of you lovely readers have a spectacular and well-deserved reading period. Happy reading!