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A Head Full of Ghosts
A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel | Paul Tremblay
A chilling domestic drama that blends psychological suspense with a touch of modern horror from a new, brilliantly imaginative masterThe lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie's bizarre outbursts and subsequent descent into madness. As their home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts' plight for a reality television show. With John, Marjorie's father, out of work for more than a year and medical bills looming, the family reluctantly agrees to be filmednever imagining that The Possession would become an instant hit. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long-ago events from her childhoodshe was just eight years oldpainful memories and long-buried secrets that clash with the television broadcast and the Internet blogs begin to surface. A mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising disturbing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.A Head Full of Ghosts is a terrifying tale told with inventive literary flair and unrelenting suspense that craftily, cannily, and inexorably builds to a truly shocking ending.
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review
BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

There is a lot of room for interpretation in this book and I really don‘t know what to think. The narrator is an unstable 8 year old telling about her 14 year old sister who might be demonized, her suddenly bizarre religious father, her depressed mother, an exorcism and a tv crew who makes a reality show about it.

Also there are many references and similarities with classic horror stories. I kind of enjoyed it, I think.
#roll100

BarbaraBB Thanks for sending me this ages ago @Cinfhen ❤️ (when mail still worked 🤣) 2d
See All 18 Comments
BookishTrish This is one of my favourite favourites 2d
vivastory I'm happy that you didn't pan this one. Tremblay is one of my favorite living horror authors. I have tickets to see the adaptation of Cabin At the End of the World on Saturday. 2d
BarbaraBB @vivastory I didn‘t enjoy Cabin much, I think this one‘s much better - fortunately! 2d
Ruthiella Cool! 😱 I just got a used copy of this title for $1. Hoping to get to it this year. 🤞 2d
Cinfhen The good old days☺️ 2d
squirrelbrain Hmm, doesn‘t sound like my kind of book. Great review though! 2d
vivastory I did like this one a bit more than Cabin etc but I still loved Cabin. I think you might like his shirt story collection. It's the most cerebral of his works I think 2d
BarbaraBB @vivastory Thanks, that sounds good! I‘ll stack it! 2d
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain People like @vivastory @Reggie and @TrishB have made me appreciate horror at times! 2d
vivastory @BarbaraBB That's a big compliment 😀 2d
TrishB I‘m glad you give it a go 😁 I‘ve tried so many things because of Litsy! @vivastory let me know what the film is like- I may even venture to the cinema 😱 2d
Reggie 🖤🖤🖤She was possessed, right? Lol 2d
BarbaraBB @TrishB That‘s a whole other league 😉 2d
BarbaraBB @Reggie I‘m still not sure. Such a mindf*ck! 2d
Librarybelle Great review! 2d
72 likes2 stack adds18 comments
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BarbaraBB
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#WeeklyForecast 05/23

Ambitious plans… I am still reading Babel for the #ToB23, switching between audio and print. It‘s an enjoyable read. My next one for the tournament will be The Passenger 🤞🏽 but first I am starting Last Night at the Lobster. I enjoyed Ocean State and wanted to read another book by O‘Nan and then @DreesReads called it one her best reads of ‘22 on Instagram (still missing her on Litsy!). The tagged book is my #Roll100.

RebelReader I loved Ocean State so I‘m anxiously awaiting your review on Lobster! I‘ve been eyeing it as my next read by this author. 7d
squirrelbrain I‘m doing the same as you with Babel, although actually it‘s mor reading than listening as I haven‘t driven far this week. I‘m getting quite bear the end…. 7d
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I have another 100 pages left. It‘s still an interesting read. Will you finish today, while ironing? 7d
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BarbaraBB @RebelReader I‘ll let you know! 7d
squirrelbrain I hope so Barbara. 🤞 How about you? (And I just noticed the appalling typos in my last message - work is *really* getting to me! 🤣) 7d
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I hope to finish it later this week. I have to drive quite a bit (working on a project in the south of the country) and it‘s been a good companion while driving! 7d
BkClubCare I‘ve had Last Night at the Lobster on my tbr for…. years. Looking fwd to your review 7d
66 likes7 comments
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Megabooks
Head Full of Ghosts | Paul Tremblay
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Pickpick

That ending! 😱 Thanks to @Emilymdxn for sharing this great #ALSpine horror rec! I loved the framing with Merry‘s retrospective thoughts and the exploitative nature of reality TV.

Teenage Marjorie is having mental problems. Mired in medical bills and an increasing religious zealotry from her dad leads them to contact a priest and have a reality show about her possible “possession” taped. But after the cameras are gone things get even worse.

LeahBergen This was a fun one! 😬 1mo
Johanna414 I read this one years ago, and didn't think i really liked it at the time. But i still think about the ending to this day, so apparently it was effective! 1mo
Megabooks @Johanna414 that ending was crazy, but yet it fit with the characters and situations he had established. 1mo
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Megabooks @LeahBergen agreed! 😱 1mo
Cinfhen Had you never read this one??? I remember when a bunch of us read this…I LOVED it!!! We had lots of good discussions!!! 1mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen I don‘t remember that at all, and it‘s a good one for discussion! 1mo
Emilymdxn I‘m so glad you loved it as much as me! I literally can‘t stop thinking about the ending 1mo
Megabooks @Emilymdxn the ending was 🍌👖 but it still totally fit with the world and characters he created. Really brilliant! 1mo
BarbaraBB I still need to read it. @Cinfhen sent it to me a long time ago. I will read it soon, this might be the encouragement I needed! 1mo
91 likes6 stack adds9 comments
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plemmdog
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Mehso-so

My book club picked this for Halloween. I liked some of it, but ultimately I found the child-narrator voice annoying.

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BC_Dittemore
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Pickpick

Whoa… This book wrecked me. In a good way. I‘m a bit at a loss for words. Um…

Legitimately scary. Well structured and written. I blew through the last 100 or so pages in record time (for me) because it does such a darn good job of getting your heart palpitating. Those easily frustrated by ambiguity may be turned off by this one though. Tremblay leaves a lot open for interpretation, which, personally, I think is one of its strongest aspects.

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StellaDz
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Pickpick

A perfect spooky read! Ambiguous enough so the reader is unsure if the issue is psychological, paranormal, or completely fake. Did it scare the hell out of me? No. But I did close the book multiple times and look at the dark corners of my room for shadows. It‘s unnerving.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Nessavamusic
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Pickpick

I‘m giving this a borderline pick. It is an interesting possession story being told by the younger sister of the supposedly posed girl. It tries to make interesting points about religion, extremists and the media. However, none of them feel very substantial. Still a quick easy spooky listen. 3⭐️
#Scarathlon2022 #TeamMonsterMash #bookspinbingo #31in31 #bodycountbingo #spookathon #Scarathlonwordsearch 43 words

40 likes2 comments
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MommyOfTwo
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I find it strange that my current book mentions the book I am planning to read next😱

Gissy Spooky👻🧡🖤 4mo
20 likes2 comments
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Nessavamusic
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Getting caught up on #ScarathlonDailyPrompts Oct 5 #Ghost
This one is on my #TBR
#Scarathlon2022 #TeamMonsterMash

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StellaDz
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Alright, I slept on it, and I‘m going to stick with Hyperion, but I need a break. I think I‘m just in full spooky mode that it wasn‘t jiving. October is for 👻👻! So here are my two choices to get me in the mood for 🎃🎃.

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Shawna
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A Head Full of Ghosts
Joe Hill
Hush
Hozier
Helmethead (Great Big Sea)

#manicmonday
#LetterH

CBee Hi! Thanks for playing 😊 4mo
8 likes1 comment
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Emilymdxn
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Pickpick

Im still struggling to read much that isn‘t for work or the masters course but I did really love this very creepy horror novel on audio. It mixes family dynamics and genuine ‘what is it that‘s real here‘ horror. I listened to it in less than a day and I really couldn‘t stop listening. Very dark but beautifully written - do not recommend if you have mental illness or religion related trauma

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Legendofcool
Mehso-so

This book had a slow build that kept you guessing throughout. The ending is what made it all worth the listen. When you think you know you dont. I give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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Legendofcool

So far pretty good book!

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ShyBookOwl
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Me reading A Head Full of Ghosts 😅 Some parts are really disturbing!! Definitely getting in my horror fix this week. #catsoflitsy

Leftcoastzen So cute!😻 10mo
RaeLovesToRead Awww, hidey kitty 🥰🥰🥰 10mo
70 likes2 comments
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ShyBookOwl
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“THIS MUST BE so difficult for you, Meredith.”

#firstlinefridays

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ItsAnotherJen
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Pickpick

This would be a great book to read around Halloween! Plenty of creepy and rather scary elements in this one. A 14 year old girl may be possessed by a demon (or perhaps is schizophrenic who knows) and the family decides to have a TV show taped in their home showing her behaviors and filming the exorcism. We see much of this through her 8 yr sister's point of view.
I like the elements of using a podcast to go over events, and the unexpected twists.

BookDragonNotWorm But that ending though! 🤯🤯🤯 I'm still not entirely sure what I think happened! 10mo
ItsAnotherJen @BookDragonNotWorm I know, right!? I mean..I *think* I know what happened, but it's not for sure. You kind of have to take a guess. 10mo
Legendofcool Still wondering about that ending myself, just finished the audio this morning. 7mo
85 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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BookwormM
Head Full of Ghosts | Paul Tremblay
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Pickpick

Paul Tremblay does it again another book that reads like a movie I can really see this on the big screen.

Loved the whole story and the way it examines our entertainment culture, the pop culture references to horror films and like Cabin it leaves the reader room to interpret events in 2 ways the psychological or the supernatural.

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KristenDuck
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Pickpick

A Head Full of Ghosts is told by alternating timelines of past, when the younger sister, Merry witnessed firsthand the terror her older sister Marjorie had to endure, and also present, as Merry verifies the story with an author willing to write a book about the family.

Readers are consistently questioning if the story we are being told is real or embellished. Was Marjorie really possessed or schizophrenic?

Couldn‘t put this one down! That end😳

jb72 I‘ve been wanting to read this one. 14mo
BookDragonNotWorm That ending did my head in! 🤯 14mo
KristenDuck @jb72 Worth the read in my opinion! 14mo
KristenDuck @BookDragonNotWorm Eek I was so conflicted with what actually happened!! I think I have it all figured out though. 14mo
76 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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DrLReads
Head Full of Ghosts | Paul Tremblay
Pickpick

While I feel uncomfortable with the author drawing a parallel between mental illness and possession (the ambiguity is a crucial question in the novel) this was a compulsive read—and the twist…. 😮I could have done without the blog posts embedded throughout, but otherwise, a strong pick.

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Redfern85
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Pickpick

Intense read told from the point of view of a second grader whose 14 year sister may or may not be possessed by a demon.The family signs on to have their lives taped for a paranormal TV show in which an exorcism will be performed.

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DarkMina
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Eggs Tremblay!!! Great choice 😱🖤👍🏼 1y
DarkMina @Eggs Thanks! 1y
17 likes2 comments
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OutAndAbout
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Pickpick

I love when a book lives up to the hype. Excellent writing - “glasses with thin silver frames that boxed in his nervous eyes”. Compelling plot - the exorcist as told by a little sister. And the little sister is a character development trilogy - shows 3 sides of her, a nod toward the holy trinity and a hint that perhaps she‘s a bit of an unreliable narrator. (Picture of Jesus of the Ozark for attention, taken as we left Eureka Springs today.)

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AFrostCauseReads
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Pickpick

Wow, I loved this book! It walked the line of real possession vs mental illness, and I loved the balance of different times (being in the past as it happened, and current time of the interview of what happened). I also adored the nerdy blog posts analyzing everything. I def have to read more by this author!

#wickedathon #scarathlon2021 @StayCurious
#screamathon @4thhouseontheleft
#RoaringWolf (Family Affair) @Roary47 @Littlewolf1

Roary47 Awesome! 1y
26 likes1 comment
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OutAndAbout
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Gorgeous fall day in the woods, reading the tagged book. It‘s a lot of scare for a chilly October day. Excellent afternoon. #13 #halloween

35 likes1 stack add
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OutAndAbout
Head Full of Ghosts | Paul Tremblay
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Staying in a cabin in Eureka Springs this weekend for a wedding. (Picture - every girl obviously wants a dead deer watching her in the hot tub.) Gorgeous area and beautiful cabin. But so many dead animals! Fortunately I didn‘t bring a scary book to read or anything. 😏 (see tagged book for irony). Bring on Halloween!

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego 😆 very relaxing. 🦌 1y
kplovesbooks I mean the deer display is gorgeous...but WHY THERE?! 🤦😂😂 1y
OutAndAbout @kplovesbooks I know right? Probably should be rereading The Only Good Indians! 1y
36 likes3 comments
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DebinHawaii
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#haunted

I read them years apart but I feel there is a similarity in these books with whether the #ghost or spirits haunting the houses are real or not, so I‘m picking them both for today‘s prompt.

Eggs Really like Tremblay 🖤👻👏🏻 1y
55 likes1 comment
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Booknerd222
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20 likes1 stack add
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Booknerd222
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Booknerd222
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DGRachel
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Bailedbailed

This started off super creepy (possessed kids scare the 💩 out of me), but now I‘m bored. The narrator is becoming less reliable and I really hate Marjorie. I think there‘s a twist coming but I‘m no longer interested in seeing what that is. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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BookDragonNotWorm
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Pickpick

A family falling apart. A teenage girl who descends into madness – or not. Because she might be possessed – or not. Luckily, it was all documented by a reality TV show. Now, fifteen years later, the girl‘s younger sister struggles to reconcile what she thought she knew with what happened – or not! Suspenseful & chilling in that ‘is it or isn‘t it?‘ way that crawls under your skin & gives you chills!

Johanna414 This book really stuck with me - I read it a few years ago and still think about it frequently. 1y
47 likes1 comment
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TheBigRedBookBox
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Pickpick

I didn't find this Scary but it was definitely Creepy. I felt Full Moon Tea and Skull Cookies was Perfect to Pair with the Book 🤣

reluctantangeleno Those cookies 😍 2y
ajmayorquin I love tame wild tea! The cookies are so cute! 2y
TheBigRedBookBox @ajmayorquin ikr it's my favorite blend of all their teas ❤️ 2y
93 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Skyrimir
Head Full of Ghosts | Paul Tremblay
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A lot of the used books I‘ve been ordering have started coming in with these HUGE stickers on the barcode, which means I can‘t just scan them into my library app. Super annoying! 😡

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ElleSkel
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This week was awesome for reading! The #AnyWayYouReadathon really helped! Ok so here we have 5 towards #LitsyAtoZ , Lab Girl and The Breakdown for #Booked2021 , The Harpy for #BookSpin , The Breakdown for #DoubleSpin. No #BookSpinBingo yet, but I am on my way. Thanks to @TheAromaofBooks , @BookishMarginalia @Cinfhen @4thhouseontheleft and @BarbaraTheBibliophage , @kimmypete1 @Eggbeater and @MidnightBookGirl for hosting all the fun!!

kimmypete1 You‘re a rockstar! 2y
BookishMarginalia 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 2y
alisiakae 🙌🏽🙌🏽 2y
See All 6 Comments
Eggbeater Great job!🎉👏👏👏 2y
Cinfhen Oh wow!!!! Crushed it ❤️🙌🏻🎉🎉🎉 2y
TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 2y
36 likes6 comments
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AlisBookNookCorner
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Pickpick

⭐⭐⭐⭐ https://suspensebookreviews.home.blog/2020/12/10/a-head-full-of-ghosts-by-paul-t...

Wow!!! What a read! This psychological thriller had me hooked from beginning to end! I loved every minute reading this fast - paced mind blower. The characters were amazing, I loved the descriptions, I loved how real the family dynamics were! The ending left me shocked!

#bookworm #thriller #mustread

Vanillacourt If someone was forcing me to pick one favorite book, I just might have to pick this one. 2y
AlisBookNookCorner A friend of mine was reading this the same time I was, so we were able to discuss. This book left me speechless! Definitely earned its place on my shelf. 2y
7 likes2 comments
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AlisBookNookCorner

A hundred pages in so far and it is so eery!!! Very creepy in the best way. It is a fast-paced easy read, with twists in every chapter! Can't wait to see how this one ends.

#currentread #paultremblay #horror #creepy #currentlyreading #checkitout #bookblurb

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AlisBookNookCorner
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After bailing on my last read, I decided to go with my 25 cent library sales rack find. I'm not familiar with #PaulTremblay but it sounds like a rather interesting read. Reviews are all over, yet it is summarized to be a bit of horror, suspense and drama. This one has been on my TBR for some time now, egar to start.

#currentlyreading #AHeadFullOfGhosts #Horror #currentread #PaulTremblay

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BookishTrish
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1 /2. I‘m not sure if it‘s the scariest but I can read it over and over and get something out of it each time. 3. Jason in Space rules and I would kill (pun intended) for one of the sweaters they wear! 4. Mr Jason Voorhees and his mama 5. Funkos, bookmarks, books, records, Fast & Furious anything

FantasyChick I'm with you with Jason X! I'm not usually into sci fi but, come on. That was fun! 2y
28 likes2 comments
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litenthusiast
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Pickpick

This was such a good book. I have never read Paul Tremblay before and thanks to a friend recommending him I finally read this one. The book is about two sisters, Merry and Marjorie, and a possession. It takes a lot to frighten me and the description of the possession terrified me. 😱 Also, I found the ending surprising.

BookishTrish I have read this one three or four times and love it every time. In fact, it might be time for a reread... 2y
litenthusiast @BookishTrish This is definitely a book I will read again. I initially borrowed it from the library and halfway through I decided I needed to own a copy. 2y
40 likes1 stack add2 comments
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DarkMina
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Pickpick

I am not sure what to make of the ending of this book. There are several ways to interpret it. 🤔
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#paultremblay #horror

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DarkMina
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magicalshelves
Head Full of Ghosts | Paul Tremblay
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Pickpick

Wow. I‘m still not quite sure what I think about this book. It was definitely entertaining and the ending was shocking. I found the blog posts annoying but that may have been due to the audiobook narration. What I liked the most and what also aggravates me is that the author really leaves you to make your own judgements about what is true/ fake about Marjorie‘s story and her “possession”/mental illness.

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WeirdAtHeart
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I am always at my happiest when I have my nose stuck in a book. This book isn't very scary but it is well written.

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WeirdAtHeart

Finally able to log in again... sooo many books to add!

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CJRwriting
Head Full of Ghosts | Paul Tremblay
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Panpan

This book has been pitched to me as 'one of the scariest modern works' on more than one occasion, but it certainly didn't live up to the hype.

I liked Tremblay's characters, and the idea itself is solid, but everywhere else it just fails for me. The constant references to pop-culture, and literature far better and scarier was obnoxious at best.

However, despite this decidedly scathing review, I will give Tremblay another chance.

2 likes3 stack adds
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JoeMo
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Pickpick

I have to admit I was completely engrossed by this book! I wouldn‘t really categorize it as horror... it‘s more about a family‘s struggle with mental illness. It is certainly haunting, sad, and tragic in many ways. Oh and then there‘s that ending! I understand why it frustrates some and leads others to hating the book. To me, the ending works and makes sense even if I didn‘t love it.

246 points thanks to the readathons!

25 likes1 stack add3 comments
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JoeMo
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In addition to #Screamathon and #Scarathlon2020, why not do more readathons? Because tracking things and doing math is fun, right? Actually this weekend‘s audio-athon (#littenlisten) sounds fun since it‘s all audiobooks and then I just found out about the 9-day #OutstandingOctober and thought “oh hell, why not?” My goals for that are to simply read as much as possible as I‘ve already wandered really far off my TBR list for the month. #teamharkness

Andrew65 Great to have you with us, good luck. 😊👍 Great multitasking. 2y
22 likes1 comment
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Linda_Bloodworth_Author
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Bailedbailed

I couldn't get into the story. Maybe I'll come back to this, but slow burns aren't my thing.

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JoeMo
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Here‘s my TBR list to join Screamathon 2020 and tweak my list slightly for Scarathlon. There‘s still no way I‘ll make it through the whole thing, but options are great for indecisive readers! 😂🎃 #screamathon

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Looks good! 🎃😱 2y
Michael_Gee I love that Goosebumps and Bunnicula are represented! I will be rereading some goosebumps in October. 2y
JoeMo @GhostStories I hope they hold up compared to how I remember them! In addition to the nostalgia factor, I wanted some variety on my list. 2y
alisiakae That is quite a collection of scary covers! 2y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I pulled out a huge stack, have a few ebooks, and signed up for a library card just in case. I only read a few books each month. 🤣 2y
26 likes5 comments