Warnings: Animal Cruelty
Well, this was certainly a surprising little manhua that I stumbled on. The premise is simple, a teen girl is in love with a boy but is too shy to confess. It starts off sweet and the art style is dazzlingly cute! Things quickly take a dark turn once she stumbles on a book called Love Practice and begins to prepare herself for the real confession.
I can’t go into too much more without heading into spoiler territory, but this manhua was pretty clever and goes in unexpected directions that I couldn’t have predicted. Even when I thought I knew how things were going to end, my expectations were exceeded. It’s a little silly, the main character gives off yandere vibes and you really have to suspend your belief that the main dude wouldn’t be more terrified of the entire scenario.
It’s short so there is not a whole lot of room for character development or a deeper plot but as a standalone it was just fine. An interesting mix of horror and high school romance that somehow goes horribly right? Either way, it’s worth a read for the wonderful art and for those that enjoy cute stories with spooky themes.
“If you still don’t have enough courage to love, just practice some more.”
The Dead House is a chilling ghost story about a young woman’s descent into madness as she’s swallowed up by the wild Irish countryside. The prose in this novel is absolutely beautiful and paints a stunning picture of a countryside that feels stuck in time, still deeply connected to Celtic tradition. The land is haunted by the tragedy of the Great Famine, where over a million people died of disease and starvation.
When I had read that there was a ouija board in the synopsis I’ll admit that I rolled my eyes. I quickly found that I was mistaken in my pre-judgment of the novel. This book had some genuinely tense moments that made me feel uncomfortable. The writing style is suffocatingly atmospheric, like the land itself is evil, not just the house.
“Something about this landscape, beautiful as it was, inspiring as it must have been with its rare light and aura of ancient magic, troubled me at an almost primal level.”
My only major gripe about the novel was that Mike’s character felt inconsistent. The first half of the book makes such a big deal about how important Maggie is to him and how much he cares. Yet when it’s clear that she’s not well he’d sooner deny and run. Maybe this was intentional, but it just felt like it went against everything his character was built up to be.
Overall though this is a pretty decent read for horror lovers, especially those interested in a little bit of Irish mythology. I picked this book up on a whim and I’m glad that I did, I was enthralled by the story and flew through the pages wanting more.