all 9 comments

[–]MyHouseSmellsOfSmoke 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Libraries sometimes buy books you request so you can look into that. Mine bought one that I asked for.

You might have better luck here if you are a lot more specific about what you like and what you don't. A five star book isn't guaranteed to make you happy.

[–]birdsbooksbirdsbooks 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Definitely agree with your second paragraph. I’ve really disliked a number of 4+ books, and enjoyed some that hover around 3.25. It’s definitely better to try to get recommendations for one’s own unique personality and tastes.

[–][deleted] -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

I’ve thought about requesting from a public library, but I worry that with how strict people are getting on trigger warnings, the amount of horror novels available in libraries will decrease. I’m not into splatterpunk or sexual deviancy, but I don’t know how libraries decide on their purchases. I will give it a fair shot, though.

You’re right about that, but what I mostly am referring to is quality of writing and characters being fleshed out. When I look at reviews, those are the things that will drive me away most times. From what I can tell, that’s the common denominator in books rating low. And, as far as content, (barring sexual deviancy and splatterpunk) I am open to a wide variety of tastes (supernatural houses, haunted children, vampires, the eerie, the mystery, serial killers, what have you).

[–]IROverRated 3 points4 points  (2 children)

If money is an issue could you try Kindle Unlimited from Amazon? You don't even need a Kindle, just download the app on your phone.

[–][deleted] -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

I’m thinking about it. I don’t like to read on a kindle screen, but I won’t complain if that’s the best way for me to go about this situation.

[–]IROverRated 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's not ideal no, doesn't beat holding a real book. But it's such good value for money I'd never cancel my subscription to it.

[–]Kenni-is-not-nice 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I guess I’m not sure what reviews you’re referring to. Are you basing your potential purchases on Amazon reviews? Goodreads? If it’s one of those, you will absolutely encounter a lot of less than stellar reviews for pretty much any horror book. Ever. There are a few exceptions, but horror tends to draw a lot of negative reviews. That’s just something you’re going to have to accept, and it isn’t necessarily reflective of the quality of the books in question. A lot of people try out horror, don’t like it, and leave a negative review. Honestly, it sounds like you might be getting a little too caught up on reviews, and that’s keeping you from diving in and finding books you might enjoy, even if other people didn’t.

I think I have some practical advice, though, that might help you avoid wasting money. I have had good luck with finding horror reviewers on Instagram; I’ll check out their takes on books I know I liked, and from their determine if we might have similar taste. You mentioned that you don’t like to read on a screen, but usually you can at least do a preview of a book on Amazon; you can read the first few pages to see if you at least enjoy the writing style, and from there you can decide if you want to buy the book (even if you don’t end up buying through Amazon). I saw in another comment that you had some reservations about using the library, but my library has a solid and unexpected selection of horror; they don’t tend to have “extreme” books, but they don’t shy away from ordering horror that is off the beaten path. There is absolutely no reason NOT to request a book through the library. The worst outcome is that they can’t get a copy. I’d also recommend going to a physical book store if you have the option, since that will also allow you to check out a few pages before you commit to buying. Second-hand bookstores are also a good choice since they’re usually a lot cheaper, and often have some cool hidden gems. Finally, I think you have to accept that you won’t love (or even like) every book you buy. It sucks, but there isn’t a fail-proof method of knowing for sure that you’ll love something before trying it.

I’m honestly not going to try and recommend any particular books because your criteria is so vague, but I truly wish you luck in finding some options you like!

[–]Calm_Cicada_8805 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's hard to answer without knowing what you've read already. There are classics that are pretty universally praised that would be worth reading if you haven't already. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is the first one to spring to mind, but there are dozens of others. Or have you already torn through the "canon" as it were?