Wednesday 6 January 2016

A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS by Paul Tremblay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, I was in the mood for a super creepy story and that's exactly what I got!

Merry is now in her twenties, but is still constantly retelling/rewatching the awful and very horrific events that happened when she was eight. Shortly after their father lost his job, her fourteen-year-old sister, Marjorie, started to act different. She was erratic, murmured to herself, complained about the voices inside her head and just acted downright creepy. So creepy that Merry feared her, and their parents assumed Marjorie was mentally ill.

Except, the treatment didn't seem to help and it cost money the Barretts didn't have. So they decide to let a TV show crew enter their lives, and even call in the help of a priest. But no matter what they try, Marjorie seems to get worse and everything leads to a horrific exorcism.


This book was awesome in so many ways.

I love how it was told through the eyes of Merry as an adult and the memories she carried with her. At times she comes across as an unreliable narrator. A young girl who never got over the trauma she was exposed to, yet continues to dwell on it years later. After all, she's constantly reliving what she can remember for one media format or another.

There were many things I liked about this story: how you're constantly wondering whether Marjorie is in fact possessed, how quickly someone turns to faith when things are crumbling, that memories are very tricky things... but I mostly liked the challenge in the narrative. If opinionated, girls and women are often labelled 'crazy' and 'must be put in their place'. This is something that religion always does, and seems to come from a deep-rooted fear of the power of females. As soon as a young girl knows too much, speaks up too loudly or is interested in exploring her sexuality there must be something wrong. Yet, if boys do the exact same thing it's just part of growing up. Why is it that so many possession stories seem to feature girls during puberty? Well, this story makes you question that as much as whether Marjorie was in fact possessed by a demonic entity.

Asides from everything this story makes you think about--and there are a lot of things--it's creepy as hell. Which is another awesome thing about it!

I really enjoyed this and have my own theory about what really happened to this family. In particularly, my theory revolves around the sisters.

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