Listen. I have been dying to get my hands on diverse horror. I absolutely love the gothic horror genre – Dracula, Frankenstein, Carmilla, The Haunting of Hill House, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – I’ve read them all, and adored every last one.
However, most of the horror books I’ve seen out there, from the classics to the more modern offerings, haven’t been as diverse as I’d like them to be. Enter Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest book. I was intrigued both by the cover and the premise of a 1950s gothic horror set in Mexico, and was overjoyed when my request for an ARC was granted.
I buddy read this book with Krisha, Lili, and Whitney and was absolutely not disappointed. Read on to find out what I loved about this book!
A couple of weeks ago, people on Twitter started acting up again (but what else is new) demanding that authors write complex female characters rather than female characters who simply fell into the archetype of “badass”. This, naturally, was not very well-received, and was also a dumb AF take. If you want to read about complex female characters, I highly suggest you check out the works of POC, queer, and/or disabled writers – you know, someone other than the usual cishet white women books you usually read?
Anyway, there have been some really great responses to this (one of my favorites is Fadwa’s video where she talks about 20 books with complex female characters – and most of them were written by POC!) so I wanted to chime in as well with a quick mini-review of three books I read recently, all of which also have complex female characters!
Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Age Range: Middle Grade
Genre: Horror, Contemporary
Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.
When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.
Content Warnings: Violence, depiction of children being harmed
I admit – I used to look down on teen books. I’ve always loved YA sci-fi and fantasy, but I used to think that contemporary teen books were beneath me. Of course, I’ve realized since then just how wrong I was (check out my review of From Twinkle, With Love and When Dimple Met Rishi, both contemporary teen romances), and I’m happy to say, I have a quite a few teen books on my TBR now! In fact, last month, I read three contemporary teen books, and I absolutely adored them!
Here’s what I thought of Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson, One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo!