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Ok, when I saw the cover of this book and read the description, I knew I wanted to read it. It sounded like something hilariously creepy….. is that a thing???? Here is the description from Goodreads:
Amy Foster considers herself lucky. After she left the city and went full minivan, she found her place quickly with neighbors Liz, Jess, and Melissa, together snarking the “Mom Mafia” from the outskirts of the PTA mom crowd. So, one night during their monthly wine get-together, the newfound crew concoct a plan for a clubhouse She Shed in Liz’s backyard – the perfect space for just them, no spouses or kids allowed.
But the night after they christen the space with a ceremonial drink, things start to feel…off. What they didn’t expect was for Liz’s little home improvement project to release a demonic force that turns their quiet suburban enclave into something out of a nightmare. And that’s before the Homeowners’ Association gets wind of it.
Just as Liz is turned into a creepy doll face overnight, cases of haunting activity around the neighborhood intensify, and even the calmest moms can’t justify the strange burn marks, self-moving dolls, and horrible smells surrounding their possessed friend, Liz. Together, Amy, Jess, and Melissa must fight back the evil spirit to save Liz and the neighborhood…before the suburbs go completely to hell. But at least they don’t have to deal with the PTA, right?
I went into this book expecting a Grady Hendrix type of novel. In a way, it was, but much less horrific and gory.
I had so much fun reading this book! It was a mixture of humor and suspense, and I loved it. I enjoyed the main characters Amy, Melissa and Jess. Amy is the narrator, and I thought it was fun to read how her and her friends like to mock the PTA moms, how she scrambles to organize the school carnival, and the determination she has to save her friend Liz from a demon force. It was kind of like Desperate Housewives meets The Exorcist.
The writing wasn’t anything great, but it was an easy read with an original plot. There was humor, but there was also a bit of suspense and horror… a few parts that creeped me out while also making me chuckle (including a bit with a possessed Roomba that I just had to tell my husband about). Amy had some depth to her character, but there wasn’t too much to the other characters. But I don’t think they necessarily needed it. The plot was interesting enough to make me want to keep reading. It was a bit slow-going at first with not much happening, but at about 10% in things really started to pick up and get interesting. I thought Suburban Hell made for a good debut novel and was both fun and suspenseful.
Special thanks to Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Suburban Hell on Amazon