Want your book club to venture into some seriously spooky or terrifying territory? Are they reluctant to do so because they don’t see what you could possibly talk about when it comes to horror? (Other than how much it scared you, of course!) Well, here’s a list of horror novels that you might want to present to your book club, and a few of the questions you could ask about each one. Plus, it might just open up a few minds to the realization there’s more horror writers out there than Stephen King.
Screamtastic: Horror Novels for Book Clubs
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Trigger Warnings: None
- Do you think Bird Box would have lost some of its impact if the monster was revealed?
- Do you agree that the mother did the right thing in trying to flee to safety? Why/Why not?
- What did you think of the non-linear timespan? How often is this an effective tool in novels?
Seed Me by Konn Lavery
Trigger Warnings: None
- Did the appearance of the book (words unusually close to margins, font) enhance or detract from your reading experience?
- The main characters are very ‘normal’ young adults, and aren’t exactly upstanding citizens at times. Did you have trouble connecting with them?
- What did you think of the ‘monsters’? It’s not exactly your typical hack-n-slash or possession horror. Did the author ‘sell’ you on these unusual creatures?
Mirror Image by Michael Scott & Melanie Ruth Rose
- From Narcissus falling in love with his reflection and dying because of it, to Medusa turning to stone once she saw her own reflection clear to modern movies like Mirrors and Occulus, there’s been negative connotations to reflections/reflective surfaces for thousands of years. Why? What is it about them that is so scary?
- Why are sex and horror so often associated with each other? Do you think the association hinders people from reading more horror because they don’t necessarily want to read about bits and bobs banging around?
- Do you agree with the author’s decision to explain exactly why the mirror is so horrible? Or should they have left well enough alone? In effect: What’s scarier? A horrible known, or a complete unknown?
Mother by Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross
Triggers: Suicide, Parental Abuse
- How did you feel about Priscilla before things ramped up in the book? Did you have any idea she’d turn out to be as sick as she was?
- Do you think Priscilla was mentally ill or just evil?
- What did you think of the setting? Did it add anything to it? Or would this book have been just as horrifying in any other location?
Alice by Christina Henry
Triggers: (Mentioned) Rape
- What were the similarities between Alice and the story it was derived from?
- What did you think of the relationship between Alice and Hatcher?
- Alice was an interesting character. Do you think the author portrayed her correctly? Was her mental state accurate?
It’s challenging to come up with questions for horror books!
Do you have any horror novels for book clubs recommendations? Can you think of better questions for these five novels than the ones I’ve asked?