Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

This book was sent to me by Quirk publishing for review. Thank you Quirk, and Mr. Winters, for giving me the opportunity! :)

This story is about Alex and Susan Wendt, and their young daughter, Emma. The book begins with their search for a bigger home. It is hard to find a larger home that is affordable for an up and coming gem photographer and a stay at home, aspiring artist. So, when they find an apartment, with not only a second bedroom, but a bonus room perfect for an art studio, at a low price, it seems too good to be true. The landlady, Andrea, is an elderly woman who seems to take a special liking to the young family and is willing to do anything to make the apartment more comfortable for the Wendts.

Shortly after moving in, the house's imperfections become apparent. Strange smells, warped floorboards, a strange pinging sound...they all seem harmless, don't they? Then one night, Susan woke up to discover a small spot of blood on her pillow. Or could it be paint? After seeing reports of widespread bedbug infestations, Susan becomes obsessed with the idea that they may have them. Another night she wakes up to a bite on her shoulder, and that is all it takes to convince her. Even when an expert exterminator declares them bedbug free.

The bites seem to become worse, and Susan seems to start seeing bugs everywhere in the apartment. However, she is the only one that can. A doctor convinces Alex that she has a psychiatric condition, but Susan KNOWS that there are bedbugs are lurking, and for some reason they are coming ONLY for her.

*shudder* Horror is not a genre I normally read. And I am reminded why. This book was very disturbing. The first 175 pages or so seemed relatively benign, but after that....let's just say I had to skim over some of it, because I was literally starting to feel nauseous.

If you are a fan of horror, you will probably love this book. I could totally see this being made into a successful scary movie. The first half of the book kind of drags a bit, but it definitely makes up for it. I, personally, did not care for the story, because I've never been a horror fan. If I was not reading this for review, I would have given it a 2 out of 5 on goodreads. However, keeping my personal feelings out of it, I think it deserves a 3. I think the characters were a little unrealistic at times, the writing was ok, but not superb, and the story was slow in the beginning. There was also a detail that really stuck out in my mind and bothered me. In a scene where the handyman is cleaning the smell out of the bonus room, the book says "Now the room smelled thickly of cleaning fluids, of bleach and ammonia" which implies that bleach AND ammonia were used in the cleaning. Well, most people know that if you combine bleach and ammonia, a deadly fume is formed. If he did in fact use both substances, it is likely that they would not have remained conscious in that small room.

Overall, a good choice for fans of creepy stories.


Post a Comment