Bunnies, Honeys and other Deadly Creatures


“Summer Sons” by Lee Mandelo

Riley Babel, Staff Writer

Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

Horror–5 stars

An eerie ghost story taking place in a hot, Southern summer, “Summer Sons” by Lee Mandelo follows Andrew as he is reeling from the death of his best friend, Eddie. Andrew travels to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, the last place Eddie was seen alive, to uncover the true cause of his friend’s death. Followed by ghosts, curses and dark secrets, Andrew must discover what happened to Eddie before it is too late. 

Despite the slow beginning, this book still managed to blow me away. Once the story gets going, it is impossible to stop reading. The mystery is tied up in the ghosts and the self-discovery that the main character has as he has to come to terms with parts of himself he has never been able to address before. Because of the character depth and the plot, this book is not just a great horror book; it is a great book. 


Bath Haus by P.J. Vernon

Thriller–4 stars

Oliver is a recovering addict with bad habits that are only getting worse, Nathan is his trauma surgeon husband. Their life seems perfect, until Oliver is almost murdered in a bathhouse, unbeknownst to Nathan. Now, Oliver is running from his lies as well as his almost-killer, but things are never quite what they seem. 

This is one of those stories where you keep rooting for the main character no matter how much they do not deserve it. It seemed that every choice Oliver made was the wrong one, yet I still wanted him to pull through in the end. The story itself is mind-blowing and shocking, but the characters are what pull it all together. I would like to see anyone try to guess the plot twist before it happened—I certainly did not. If you enjoy unlikeable characters and never ending suspense, you will love this book.

Bunny by Mona Awad

Horror–5 stars

At the elite Warren University, Samantha Heather Mackey, a creative writing student in her final year, seems to detest everything around her, most of all the Bunnies, a clique of girls who are much too close for comfort. As Samantha is inducted into their tight little group, the lines between reality and fiction begin to blur, only to come together in one horrific crash. Samantha finds she will be lucky if she can make it out of the circle alive. 

This book will leave you with hundreds of questions running through your brain, not the least of which is: what the heck? From exploding bunnies to talking mud, there is no good way to describe this book other than mind-blowing and unbelievable. At once a psychological thriller and a grotesque horror, Bunny is impossible to put down and will follow you long after you finish reading it. 


The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

Horror–4 stars

In the spirit of Heathers, Bunny and Midsommar, “The Honeys” by Ryan La Sala, follows Mars, a gender fluid teen following the tragic events of his twin sister’s mysterious death. He returns to Aspen Conservatory, a summer camp he hasn’t been to since childhood; a summer camp that Mars believed killed his sister. There, he meets the Honeys, a cabin of girls set apart from the rest of the camp. But of course, things are not what they seem. Did the Honeys have something to do with his sister’s death? Was it the entirety of Aspen? Or was it simply a brain tumor, like the doctors say? 

Though it is easy to compare this book to other pieces of media that came before it, it absolutely stands on its own. While the opening chapter gripped me right away, it lost me somewhere in the middle of the first half as it slowed down. However, the second act was entirely worth it. At once grotesque and beautiful, the story was shocking as well as intriguing. The book finds a way to take honeybees and use them to critique an entire society, which creates the best kind of fear: fear of yourself. 


Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

Horror–2.5 stars

Inspired by ancient Japanese legends and folklore, “Nothing But Blackened Teeth” follows a group of friends who decide to stay the night in an ancient mansion that is famously haunted by a scorned bride. Soon enough, they find themselves wrapped up in the horrors of the mansion and must make impossible decisions in order to save themselves. 

In a shocking turn of events, the haunted mansion was actually haunted. Who saw that one coming? While this book was not exactly bad, it was not good either. It was very short, which is what tempted me in the first place (I love short books) but it ended up being what lost me. For all the buildup, nothing really happens in the book, and the ending is underwhelming. The characters also suffer from Typical Horror Movie Character Syndrom (they were kinda stupid). Overall, this one was a flop for me.