I love summer reading. It’s just a good time to lose yourself in stories of murder and slashers and the occasional romance. I firmly believe that the mystery/thriller genre is read the most during Halloween, but after that? It’s definitely the beach. I never read thrillers as fast as I do on the beach. All that being said…today we’re reviewing a summer thriller!
🧛 Dracula vibes
TL;DR: Seven teens attempt to film a movie in an abandoned castle in Romania, but things go wrong when they start being killed off. Fun, campy, slasher with a disappointing ending.
Go Hunt Me was so, so close to being the vampire-infused campy slasher of my dreams. I mean, we have seven teens who have the opportunity to film a movie in an abandoned castle in Romania! And then things start going horribly wrong as they realize they’re being stalked and killed off! A basic premise, yes, but a fun one. And while it was fun for a while…it ended up being a tad bit disappointing. Oops.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
The story starts off with our main character, Alex Rush, telling the tale of what happened to her and her six friends during their fateful stay in a Romanian castle. There’s a LOT of setup to create this locked-room thriller with a Dracula twist, but I didn’t mind the wait. I liked seeing the dynamic between the characters without any of the pressure that would inevitably come when they were uh…being stalked and murdered. It added a lot more weight to the scenes where they were trying to figure out what to do!
Anyways, eventually Alex and her friends make it to an abandoned Romanian castle to film a movie (this sounds contrived but it makes total sense I promise). Obviously, once they get there, they realize that something’s up. It isn’t until much later that they realize they’re being stalked by a cloaked figure, and their chances of survival are dropping by the minute. I wish that the Dracula comparison had played a bigger role though.
Not going to lie, I was doubtful when I heard this book being compared to Diana Urban’s All Your Twisted Secrets but I get it now. Let me explain:
- This book actually felt suspenseful. I cared about several of the characters, smart decisions were actually trying to be made (why do teenagers always make the DUMBEST decisions in the horror genre like dang y’all are somehow below average in intelligence), and the stakes felt like they were constantly being raised. I’d say that the actual plot aspect was done better in Go Hunt Me than All Your Twisted Secrets.
- On the other hand, I can name more characters in Urban’s debut that i read two years ago than in Devos’s which I read just a couple of months ago. I liked maybe three or four of the characters, but they all lacked depth. Obviously, I know better than to read a YA thriller expecting character depth but still! While the setup for the book did a good job at creating molds for each of our characters, I never got to know them as individual people.
- And my final comparison: the ending. All Your Twisted Secrets had a decent ending, in my opinion. It cleared up events, and made for a good twist. Go Hunt Me? Not so much. Due to a lack of both explanation and depth, the ending felt more like a cheap cop-out that was just thrown in for shock value at the end. It really sucks that it ends up feeling like that, because it could have been a good twist if it were done right.
So overall, while this was a fun ride, the ending made the whole book feel like a cheap cop-out and a waste of time. Some might find it an interesting twist though! Don’t mind me, I just tend to have high standards for endings! So tell me: what’s a campy horror thriller that you enjoy reading in summer? This book comes out on June 14th, and you can add it to Goodreads, Storygraph, or preorder!