Alright y’all, I just gotta be honest. While I really enjoyed this book for the most part (because who doesn’t love a spooky anthology by a bunch of amazing authors?), some things have to be said. I am not trying to bash the book, or the authors, and I’m just going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they weren’t trying to be malicious or offensive with their writing.
I originally gave this a 5/5 stars I think (don’t quote me on that), but now I am leaning towards 3.5/5 stars. All of the stories are well-written, and I have multiple favorites.
I feel like this book SERIOUSLY needed some sensitivity readers (like for fat rep, mental health, etc) and DEFINITELY trigger warnings for things including, but not limited to: suicidal ideation, self-harm, sexual assault, abuse, drugs, etc.
These things are prevalent in the stories, and honestly I feel like its shut a crap shot if your basis of horror is any of these things. Like why. I know we’re better than this.
Also, one line in particular has been bothering me for days since I finished this book. I don’t remember it exactly, and to be honest, I’m not going to torture myself to get it right, but it was talking about the kind of people one of the characters meets in a mental hospital, such as, “those who cut themselves for the thrill of it.” This line was just insensitive and awful to anyone who’s ever self-harmed and/or been hospitalized for it. It should have never been in the book in the first place.
It’s lines like this that invalidate people’s struggles and perpetuates the stigma that people who are suicidal/depressed/anxious/self-harming are attention-seeking, and I just can’t let that go.
I know that these authors would never try to do anything like that deliberately (or at least I hope), but we have to do better and not let things like this slide. Because what might not seem like a big deal to you can be everything to someone else.
All this aside (but we cannot ignore this), this was a very good anthology that would be perfect for the spooky season. I wish I wasn’t so disappointed in it.