Book Review: How to Sell a Haunted House
Hello chill and thrill seekers,
How’s your October going? Do you have anything special planned for Friday the 13th this week? The bf and I are doing a little movie watchathon with some friends, and the week after that we are having our Halloween party. Add more book signings this weekend and mounting school projects and you can probably imagine how busy I am, but it’s all worth it!
Anywho, back to the post at hand. I finished reading another book!
This time I read How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t been the biggest fan of this author in the past. After reading My Best Friend’s Exorcism and Horrorstör and loving neither of them, I wasn’t sure I should give this one a chance, but decided to roll the dice. How did this end up? Keep on reading to find out!
Grady Hendrix takes on the haunted house in a thrilling new novel that explores the way your past—and your family—can haunt you like nothing else.
When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.
Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.
But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…
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Given my past disappointments with this author I was hesitant to give this a try, but I really enjoyed this spooky read and thought it was solid.
In this novel we follow a mother named Louise. Her parents have just died and she flies to attend the funeral. She soon learns of a complication in the will of the ownership of her parents assets with her brother Mark, which leads to some chaotic fights. But underneath it all, there is something fundamentally wrong with the house her parents owned. Are the spirits of her parents the cause of this, or could there be something darker to blame?
I think what really made this work for me was that this was an adult book. My previous reads of Hendrix’s were for teens and something about them felt off to me, but this one felt just right. It doesn’t try to be cutesy or drop a ton of references I’m supposed to get. It’s gritty and gnarly and isn’t afraid to be awful, and I really enjoyed that.
Louise and Mark are the MCs of this novel, and they were fun to follow along. We got to explore their tumultuous pasts, which had a lot of interesting tidbits that were fun to experience. It gave them depth, and I liked the constant tension between them. Louise is overly rational and controlling, while Mark is more immature and confrontational, and it really reminded me of bickering I’ve had with my siblings growing up.
Supporting character shout outs go to Aunt Honey and Mercy. They were colorful characters that were a joy to experience.
This novel had a really great flow and balance. The majority of chapters moved fairly fast, but we got some slower moments to wind down here and there. The scary puppet theme was really great and unnerving and gave new life to the concept. I won’t be watching any Muppets movies anytime soon, that’s for sure!
Overall, this was a really pleasing experience. If you’re looking for a solid scary book to read for Halloween, definitely give this one a try.
That’s A Wrap!
Well that’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it!
Have you read this book? Are there other similar books you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!
Have a great day!