What makes a book scary to you?
I had re-blogged an interesting post yesterday (click here to see it) and figured this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about “What scares you?” I get frustrated sometimes when I’m reading a book that bills itself as a horror, but it doesn’t even make the hairs on the back of my neck prickle. I am a complete and utter wuss, so if I can read a “horror” book, and still go down in my basement that same day to change clothes over in the wash or whatever… not scary. Not scary at all.
In fact, ofttimes, even though I might have enjoyed the story, I’ll walk away with a feeling of disenchantment because it didn’t scare me, and that’s what I wanted.
Oh, my god, did this book freak me out. DeVor throws you in the deep end, and even the ending is enough to keep you off balance. I cannot wait for the 2nd book! Click here to read my full review (it’ll open in a new window.)
Now, in terms of sheer “creeped me out”, there have been a couple. Most notably, these two made me give my basement the stink-eye. The first is just fantastically written. The second scary/gory on a level that only works well by a talent author (though the ending still fizzled!):
Sixteen-year-old Claire Young is tormented by a recurring, prophetic nightmare and visitations from gruesome, mutilated ghosts. She’s convinced the apparitions intend to harm her widowed father, but there’s little she can do locked away in Saint Thomas Psychiatric Hospital. Her situation is hopeless until a mysterious priest delivers the name of a man who may be the only one willing to help. Claire launches a daring scheme that leads her and her best friend to a former paranormal investigator. …(review here)
House has witnessed scenes of almost unimaginable horror and depravity. Two previous expeditions to investigate its secrets met with disaster, the participants destroyed by murder, suicide or insanity. Now a new investigation has been mounted – four strangers, each with his or her own reason for daring the unknown torments and temptations of the mansion…(review not out yet, sorry.)
Now, there are also books that I happily put in the ‘horror’ section, because that’s where they fit best, but I didn’t go into them expecting to be scared and therefore I guess wasn’t disappointed when they didn’t scare me.
The above are all examples of very well-written books that fit in the horror genre without being ‘scary’.
I guess my buttons for scary would probably be:
2. Haunted House
3. …….*scratches head* Actually, for books, I think those are pretty much the only two where I feel assured of being scared.
What about you?
Talk to me!