Review: Head Full of Ghosts | Paul Tremblay

Being asked to read another writer’s rough draft is the literary equivalent of being asked to help a friend move a couch to a new place.

Book Info

Genre: Horror/Psychological Thriller
Number of Pages: 286
Perspective: First Person with Alternating Timelines
Location: Boston Suburbs, MA

When their eldest teenage daughter seemingly starts to lose her mind, the family in A Head Full of Ghosts turns to their church and a reality show for exorcism help. Is she really possessed by a demon or is it schizophrenia? For a complete summary, you can go here.

Book Review

TL;DR: A fascinating look at the intersection of religion, mass media, and mental health.

Rating: 3/5

Full Review: I read this book as a part of our Judging More Than Just The Cover Book Club podcast [check out the spoiler-filled discussion episode here]. This was our seventh episode, following Sweet Little LiesSo this review will be spoiler-free and the podcast will have more details and thorough analysis. We chose this book because it had a strong female main character and thought it would be a good fit for Halloween time.

I thought this book was entertaining. It kept me hooked, so I read it quickly. However, it did not meet what I was expecting. I don't like to know anything about a book before reading it. So all I knew before starting this book was the title. I wrongfully assumed that it would be a spooky ghost story, not an exorcism. I was so excited to read this book for October because I love ghost stories, but this was definitely not the book I was searching for. It was more sad than scary.

Because my expectations weren’t met, I am torn between a three and four-star rating. Since it kept my interest, I could go towards four stars, but because ultimately I feel like the story didn’t resonate with me, I ended up at three stars. I much preferred Bird Box and Hex.

I would still be willing to read Tremblay's other book The Cabin at the End of the World since that is newer and seems to have a lot more buzz about it. So maybe it has a different feel to it. I definitely wouldn’t pick it up right away. Possibly next year around Halloween time. I am still on the search for a story that keeps me up all night and makes me scared to be alone. Send me any recommendations for the scariest book you have ever read.

I would still recommend this book to people who like psychological thrillers and exorcism stories. He writes well, so if the plot sounds interesting to you, you will probably enjoy it. I know a horror writer who absolutely loved this story. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 

Podcast Episode (With Spoilers)

My Rating

3 star

Ideas. I'm possessed by ideas. Ideas that are as old as humanity, maybe older, right? Maybe those ideas were out there just floating around before us, just waiting to be thought up. Maybe we don't think them, we pluck them out from another dimension or another mind.

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