Saturday, October 5, 2013

Horror October: Random Discussions About Horror

If you haven't heard of Horror October before, basically, it's an event organised by the lovely Leanne (WHO IS A FLIPPING PASTRY CHEF!) at Literary Excursion to celebrate everything horror- books, movies, whatever. So, to kick off Horror Month, in this incredibly riveting *cough* discussion that Chantelle and I had, we contemplate what makes a book scary, the books we've read that actually fit the genre of horror and other such things.

Reads like a conversation as it's the transcript of a recording of an actual discussion between us.

Nara: So Chantelle, what's your opinion on horror?

Chantelle: Am I starting off this discussion?! I actually don't really have much of an opinion on horror yet...Um, I actually haven't read any horror books before. So I'm really intrigued about Horror Month! Hopefully it can introduce me to some good books.

N: Have you read ANY horror at all?

C: I don't think I have. I think the closest I've been to horror would be some very grim dystopians. But I don't think they count as horror. At all.

N: Some of them might!

C: I've read a lot of vampire books, but none that I would consider scary. I mean, I've heard about a lot of them, like the Experiment in Terror series. That's been in my to-read for a while.

N: That series is actually quite scary. Well, the third book, Dead Sky Morning is.

C: I read a lot by myself at night.

N: Yeah, me too.

C: So I don't really want to scare myself.

N: Fair enough.

C: How about you? What's your opinion.

N: I don't know. I don't particularly read a lot of horror. I just read broadly in general, and that includes some horror.

C: Yeah, you read everything!

N: Yeah, so I have read some horror, for example, the Experiment in Terror series, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, The Madman's Daughter...The Madman's Daughter was quite good! That's definitely horror.

C: How scary?

N: Um, I don't really tend to get scared in books, so I wouldn't call it scary per se.

C: But you could definitely feel that that was horror?

N: Yeah, you could tell it was horror. It's kind of based on The Island of Dr Moreau. So the MC is trapped on this island, and people are dying and stuff. I mean, they're killed by some beast. But yeah, it's definitely horror.

C: So what makes, do you reckon, a book scarier? For you?

N: I don't know. Suspense I guess? Kind of like in a movie.

C: How do you reckon it's different in a book?

N: Well, you can't see it. So it's not the same. Also, the main reason why movies are scary is mostly because of the sound. How it's just silent and then suddenly BAM!

C: Music plays a big part.

N: Whereas, obviously, in a book, there's no sound or music, so it's not that scary. Well, it's probably why it's not so scary for me.

C: Then again, we haven't read any Stephen King yet, so apparently we don't know the meaning of scary...

N: Yeah...

C: I remember I did read some of the Experiment in Terror, and I did actually get quite scared. I think it's mostly when things are in isolation. Like, as you said, if they're on an island or something. Or if you know characters are by themselves and it starts to play on your imagination. I think that's quite scary.

N: Like, the imagery and stuff?

C: Yeah, or just the possibilities of what can happen.

N: Have you read any ghost books at all?

C: The Bone Season?

N: That's not a ghost book!

C: It does have a ghost! Poltergeists.

N: Yeah, but I wouldn't call it a "ghost book"!

C: Uhhh, ghost books....well, no. Not since primary school. I'm not a fan of ghost books!

N: The Mediator series!

C: They were fantastic. But that's because those ghosts weren't ghosts.

N: Yeah they weren't really scary.

C: They weren't ghosts, they were hot boys haha.


C: There's a difference!

N: Have you read The Name of the Star? You still haven't read it have you... (Some background, Nara bought this book for Chantelle on her birthday... Last April)

C: What, that was a ghost book?! NO!!

N: It's really good though.

C: Okay...Well, so out of the books that you have read in horror, have any stood out for you? Like, would you now go looking for a horror book?

N: Not really.


N: hahahahaha

C: WE ARE TERRIBLE. Because it's like, if you read one dystopian, it's like yay, now I want to read more dystopians! But not so much for horror.

N: Well, it's not like I go "I want to read more horror", it's just like, "I want to finish that series that happens to be horror" or "I want to read more from that author who happens to write horror books"

C: Okay, we are terrible ambassadors for Horror Month.

N: haha oh man...


  1. Haha, I'm totally with you! I don't read any horror, really. I love the end of this conversation, haha! Great entertaining post :)

    1. haha I probs should branch out and read a bit more horror. But YA horror is pretty much not horror at all :P
      Thanks Celine :)

  2. So funny. Its hard to find a food horror book for sure. The Madman's Daughter was excellent and horror. It think it had some pretty intense moments myself. maybe not scary but for sure intense.

    1. Yeah I definitely agree, TMD wasn't particularly scary- but I feel like it could have been if the author had been able to pull it off. The suspense was just a bit lacking. Still, quite an enjoyable read overall!

  3. Ha i love this banter, i've been wanting to find a good horror book. My favourite read this year is Perception by Viviana Ware, it holds a hint of suspense and i would definitely class it as horror but i feel I liked it because it was in the range of YA :-)

    Georgie @ What She Reads

    1. I don't really think there are that many YA horror books. Or not really books that I'd call "scary". I mean, there are books with ghosts and zombies and vampires (of course the vampires), but I wouldn't really class them as "horror".
      But I'll have to check out Perception. Sounds quite interesting from the synopsis!

  4. Ha, the lack of picture and sound totally makes the difference for me. Reading horror is no big deal, but I cannot watch horror movies, because they PETRIFY me.

    1. I don't like the suspense in horror movies *shudders*. The whole silence, then a sudden claw coming through the door or whatever.
      Funnily enough though, I've seen The Ring and didn't really find it that scary at all.

  5. LOL love this. I love horror movies, but I kinda agree that it doesn't translate as well to books. I don't really get scared reading books (although I also haven't read Stephen King so...) On the other hand, I would totally read more horror. I haven't read most of the books you mentioned either, so there's a starting point. And, I'm looking forward to learning about more horror books this month!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

    1. Definitely need to read some Stephen King...I've heard so many good things about his books. And he's written so many as well!

  6. " I don't really tend to get scared in books" I'm the same. Horror movies can scare me something fierce though. YES! It must be the music. And the sight of blood...

    Haha, SK is quite scary. But I <3 his books :)

    "OH GOD WE ARE TERRIBLE HOSTS FOR HORROR MONTH!" LOL. But honestly, I haven't read that much real horror either. I've read a lot of Stephen King and a few others but
    most of the scary/bloody books I've read were more sci-fi/psychological thriller than horror.

    1. haha I'm actually ok with the sight of blood. I guess I'd have to be, being a med student :P

      I love psychological thrillers. They're so fun to read/watch!

  7. I'm a bit weird in that I love horror books but I hate being scared and not being able to sleep/having nightmares! So I tend to read one every once in a while and then go back to the dystopians lol.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  8. Hahaha! Great conversation you two! xD
    I think a lot of what influences the fear in horror (movies) is the music and the SCARY sights. I mean if there's no creepy music playing in the background, then I'd probably not be too scared ><
    I don't read much horror too, like the two of you. But I've recently read Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn... boy that was terrifying!!
    Are you planning to read any horror books this month? :) I know I'm not, don't want to scare myself! (Unlike you, I get scared quite easily lol)
    Great post Nara and Chantelle! :D

    1. We'll see if any horror books pop up on the TBR. I'm kind of an impulsive reader- I don't really tend to plan out when I read books :P
      I've heard of Another Little Piece! The cover does look pretty creepy. And the blurb sounded pretty awesome as well.
      Thanks Em :D

  9. Lol, like Chantelle, I don't read much horror but I have read two this month so far and it's Halloween (though that doesn't really effect us Aussies) so it's rather fitting!

    Great discussion, ladies! <33

    1. We once got a person who was all "Trick or Treat" and we didn't know what to do and floundered for five mins. We didn't even have anything to give the kid haha so I think we ended up giving him a box of sultanas or sth lol (it was one of those rare days when we'd eaten all the snacks)

  10. So fun -- horror for me is more gory and violent and also more psychological -- preying on our worst fears. I don't read a ton of horror, but it's fun to try sometimes…
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Psychological horror is definitely the creepiest type! Playing on the reader's imagination...

  11. I'm not really a horror fan either. But, I did read The Madman's Daughter, so that counts, right? I guess the latest horror-y book I read was Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, but it wasn't very scary necessarily.

    I love the Mediator series, though I agree the ghosts are really just hot boys. Best ghost books ever!

    1. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was such a weird book. I'd say it is in the genre of horror, but it definitely wasn't scary at all haha

      hahaha YES the Mediator series. Such a great series! Jesse <3

  12. *le gasp* You have not read any horror, Chantelle?! I MUST FIX THAT IMMEDIATELY.

    Lol - but in all seriousness, you should really give that genre a go sometime, even if you don't want to scare yourself! A lot of people count the MARA DYER series by Michelle Hodkin as horror, though I fully disagree with them, because there isn't really anything scary in there. Unless you count the asylum scene. Even then, nothing much happened other than Mara's boyfriend trying to get into her pants.

    Yes. In an asylum. Asshole.

    But yeah, you could start with that!

    And Nara: whoa, was IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS scary? I'm a huge fan of horror, though not much in books can really give me a scare, so I've been on a hunt for some good old horror that will frighten the living daylights out of me. ;) Also, you've never read anything by SK? That gives me a VERY good idea... We could do a read-a-long for one of SK's horror books! :D Like, THE SHINING, or if you want something more impactful: IT. That book ruined a lot of people's opinions on clowns, but I'm not sure how much damage it'll do to me...

    I also agree that suspense is probably what makes a book scary to me. Movies, on the other hand... just visual effects or weird happenings is enough to scare me. I'm weird! Great discussion, you two. You guys aren't horrible ambassadors at ALL. Looking forward to more Horror October posts from you!

    1. Dude how the heck is Mara Dyer horror hahaha. That's silly. I'd probably call it a paranormal? Lol totally don't remember the asylum scene but that's seriously dodgy...I think Chantelle has actually read that book (but probs didn't mention it because that's so not a horror haha)

      In the Shadow of Blackbirds isn't really that scary to be honest. But it might kind of fit the genre of horror since there are ghosts in it :P

      Movies are definitely a lot scarier than books. I guess it's because you're actually seeing the things on the screen rather than just reading words!

  13. This is one book blogging event that I will not participate. Seriously? The months of October and November are already scary enough without having to read horror books. Okay, there are two things that would really make me avoid a book. One is if it's an extremely tear jerker story and second, if it's a horror story. Hahaha.

    Our house is like one of those haunted houses in the movies so whenever there's a power outage (which usually happens because our city sucks) or whenever everything is silent or whenever I'm the only person inside the house, I always get scared. I always though that something is moving in my peripheral vision. How would I feel if I'm reading a ghost story and then there's a power outage? I think I'm gonna pee on my pants. Hahahaa.

    So no Stephen King or Kendare Blake for me, ladies. Maybe someday, if my heart is strong enough. Whew!

    1. haha I actually like reading tear jerkers, because I don't really cry often in books. I'm always trying to hunt down ones that will make me cry.

      Oh that does sound scary! And yeah, power outage while reading a ghost story would be the worst!! Especially if you then lit a candle and then it was blown out or something.

      Kendare Blake isn't too scary! It's creepy and a bit gruesome but not necessarily 'scary' :)