Okay, so I dunno what happened, but after reading Dead Silence, I kinda wanted…another horror book? (Listen, I also was dealing with a weird cold, so I dunno who I am either.) But, I happened to have bought Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey on a whim at my local bookstore last year, even though this book is not one I would normally read. Because it’s a) horror, b) it’s contemporary, which I usually don’t like and c) I was scared I’d be too scared. But, it’s Sarah fucking Gailey and who doesn’t want to support them??
So, I survived it, but Just Like Home has proven my theory about horror. (In that, while I found Dead Silence to be more terrifying objectively, because it happened in space, I don’t fear it. Just Like Home, however? Gailey has me scared of my fucking bed. So that’s lovely.)
Publisher: Tor Books | Release Date: July 2022 | Pages: 344
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Horror | Format: Paperback | Source: Bought
“Come home.” Vera’s mother called and Vera obeyed. In spite of their long estrangement, in spite of the memories — she’s come back to the home of a serial killer. Back to face the love she had for her father and the bodies he buried there.
Coming home is hard enough for Vera, and to make things worse, she and her mother aren’t alone. A parasitic artist has moved into the guest house out back, and is slowly stripping Vera’s childhood for spare parts. He insists that he isn’t the one leaving notes around the house in her father’s handwriting… but who else could it possibly be?
There are secrets yet undiscovered in the foundations of the notorious Crowder House. Vera must face them, and find out for herself just how deep the rot goes.
- The dual-timeline. I just realized that both horror books I read this week did dual-timeline. And it works so well. Seeing child Vera and adult Vera was so necessary for this story.
- Slow building, multifaceted terror. Obviously, the horror elements within the house and the serial killing were terrifying. Yet the smaller horror elements, of familial relationships, undeserved hate and monstrous feelings were just as terrifying, in different ways. Masterful.
- Protag Vera and how Gailey went there. When I tell you I the first half of the book led me to expect one thing, only for the ending to leave me shook.
- FEARING MY BED. Y’all, I love my bed. I love sleep. But I absolutely hate how I’ve had to ask my partner to come to sleep at the same time as me AND considered sleeping with the light on due to this book. WHY DID IT HAVE TO IN HER BEDROOM AND ONLY WHEN SHE SLEPT? 😭😭
For me, Just Like Home was as fantastic as it was terrifying. Vera absolutely fascinated me. Learning more about her and seeing her develop (almost like harkening back to her roots, so to speak) in ways I never would have guessed at the beginning, but were well set up within the book, floored me. Absolutely recommend. Unless you value sleep, apparently. Stay away. (I’m so tired.)