Halloween Reads Review: Heart Shaped Box By Joe Hill

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I used to read so much horror but I read a few I hated and then stopped, or rather gave up with trying to find one I liked. I seen this book in the library years ago and didn’t even try it because I didn’t want to read another book I wouldn’t enjoy. 😦 I did find other amazing books to read though from other genres: Classics, literary fiction and urban fantasy (which isn’t too far from horror with witches and vampires), which is good because I think most of the books I read growing up were horror and supernatural books. I am more well read now, I love reading something different. It’s silly really I’ve read books from other genres I haven’t enjoyed!

I shouldn’t have waited so long to read this book.


My Review


Description from GoodReads

“Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre — his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman’s noose, Aleister Crowley’s childhood chessboard, etc. — so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it. 

The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit. The ghost, it turns out, is the stepfather of a young groupie who committed suicide after the 54-year-old Coyne callously used her up and threw her away. Now, determined to kill Coyne and anyone who aids him, the merciless ghost of Craddock McDermott begins his assault on the rocker’s sanity.”

When Jules package with the suit arrives, things start to get strange, right from the beginning we have spooky moments that hint that the worst is yet to come. I knew right then that I was in for an amazing read. And when the first scare came I was elated. Reading this book was like coming home, I love horror and this book did not disappoint. I It made me have faith in the genre again,  the scary scenes are not like every other film or book. I love that Joe Hill has shown us something freaky in the beginning unlike horror films where they tease you with mild shocks and then there’s that grand finale which can disappoint. When the scares happen in this book you think can it get worse than that? And it does, there’s plenty of shockers throughout.

The other thing I loved about this book: when you watch a film the character always does something stupid, something we say we wouldn’t do. In this book the characters do what we would do when we’re afraid. They don’t just stand there screaming.

There’s more to a good horror novel than just the atmosphere and the shocks, the characters need to be real too that’s what makes an novel amazing. And the characters in Heart Shaped Box feel like real people. I liked Jules, didn’t necessarily agree with his life choices but I found his story interesting and I cared about him and Marybeth/Georgia. I didn’t want anything bad to happen to them.

This book is riveting, you’ll start reading it and look up and hours have passed. It’s a perfect horror story for me, it has everything I love: atmosphere, shocks, characters and some original ideas.

This is Joe Hill’s debut novel and it was published in 2007, if this was his first his newest must be incredible!  I loved this book, it’s great to be reading a horror novel which is as good as my favourite horror writer: James Herbert. I gave up on the horror genre after James Herbert died, I couldn’t find any other writer that did horror as good. I GAVE UP TOO EASILY! (I do like Stephen King! But I read a few of his I didn’t like, he is still the master of horror though, his book On Writing is amazing. I will read more. Sorry tangent over). I regret not reading this sooner. I have an entire back catalogue to read now, which I am looking forward to so much. It can only be scarier 😉

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read any Joe Hill books, which one should I read next?

Post coming up…. My Halloween 

12 thoughts on “Halloween Reads Review: Heart Shaped Box By Joe Hill”

  1. Sounds intriguing, I’m usually a wimp when it comes to horror, but maybe I should give this a try. And venting is allowed, plus, from what I hear not all of Stephen King books are good. Thanks for the book suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome!! I LOVE Joe Hill!! I usually say he’s my #1 favorite author (but we all know how that can fluctuate! haha)! 🙂

    I highly recommend The Fireman (it’s HUGE and daunting, but so so so good!). N0S4A2 is also an amazing read, but one that I would recommend for the holiday season 🙂

    If you’re looking for a graphic novel, the Locke and Key series is my all time favorite graphic novel series!

    Erica | Erica Robyn Reads

    Liked by 1 person

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