Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween & My Reading Habits

I'm probably the wrong person to post on Halloween.

I hate horror novels. Well, maybe that's not a fair statement considering the fact I've never really read one. When all the other girls were reading Flowers in the Attic, I reveled, repeatedly, in A Wrinkle in Time. Scary just wasn't my thing.

In fact, Halloween was one of my least favorite holidays. I didn't enjoy dressing up and I really hated trick-or-treating. I like to blame my brother and his friend Paul for scaring me so bad one Halloween that I never wanted to go out in the dark again. Haunted houses weren't my thing and I've never even gone to a haunted house as an adult.

Call me a weenie. It's cool. ;)

What's funny is that two of my favorite novels have been classified as horror (by friends, at least, I'm not sure what the industry refers to them as). Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child terrified me in college. It probably didn't help that I was working in a natural history museum at the time and had access to the deep, dark recesses of collections, just like the monster in the book. I never thought of Relic as horror, though most people I recommend it to chide me for not warning them in advance.

Then there's my favorite novel of the last twenty years - The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. It might be considered horror, I suppose. To me, the emotional journey of the main character overshadowed any scary zombie action. (Truth be told, I'm a zombie girl - always have been. I don't get the appeal of vampires...probably because they scare the crap out of me.)

I really don't like being scared just to be, well, scared. I don't like the adrenaline rush. What I do like is when I get a story in my hands and there's a human element far outweighing the fear factor. That's when a story sucks me in. That's when I get an inkling of what the thrill seekers love about horror.


  1. I totally agree. I'm not a fan of horror for the sake of horror, but really enjoy it when it's done well, with something psychological and emotional going on.

  2. I agree too. I tend to never read horror until I pick up a book others call horror and I wouldn't, and find it fantastic because of the MC. Ahhhh zombies! lol. Though I must admit, I am reading zombies vs unicorns and it is the PERFECT Halloween book. Great short stories from authors I love and some I haven't heard of yet with TONS of humor in between. <3