Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay – Review


I was in the mood for something spooky (surprise!), so I thought I’d give Paul Tremblay’s incredibly highly reviewed, and winner of the 2015 Bram Stoker awardHead Full of Ghosts a try.

It’s about about a young girl telling her story to a writer, who is looking to publish a book about her family. Said girl was on a reality TV show when she was 8. She wasn’t doing survivor at that age though, the show was actually focused on her older sister, who was displaying some crazy behavior that their father was convinced was a possession. Now that’s some good reality TV, eh? As we delve into the family’s story, things get decidedly weird, and we are pulled back and forth between the possibilities: is this a mental health issue, or an actual possession?

So, for the less desirable parts, I found the main character to be a little annoying. She was 8, so needed to do things an 8 year old would do, but sometimes when she talked about whining for something or just spontaneously lying, I felt like her motivation for doing this was a bit suspect. Also, I have a hard time thinking anyone who is whining would normally consider it as such and would likely generally think they were being somehow mistreated and acting appropriately for the injustice of it all, not just whining for the sake of whining. Or maybe people do this and I just missed the this-is-something-people-consciously-do-boat. Toot-toot! (That’s my boat sound…clearly I know lots about trains boats, so maybe it’s not surprising that I missed one.)

There was also another scene that was just…ew…and although I guess that is the point of some kinds of horror, I prefer my horror without that particular element (so just for clarity – spraying blood and decapitations=just fine, pants off = um…could you put that back on and get to the story again please?). Ew, dude.

What I did like about the book was how it kept you guessing. On one hand you know what’s happening in a rational point of view but on the other more emotional and instinctive side, (which is where most 8 year old’s may be coming from, making the younger character a great choice for narrator), you just aren’t always steady on your feet (are we back on that boat again? Toot!) as far as where the boundaries of reality are. Up to almost the end it went exactly how I figured it would, and then it kind of went down a dark and overgrown path in the woods of horrific delights that just might have been slashing through new territory. In fact, I think I’d have to give it back all of the brownie points that I kept eating dropping off along the way for ho-hum and ew-iness and can now see why so many people gave this book props. I may have to jump on that bandwagon. Toot! (Cuz, that’s the sound a bandwagon makes…)

But enough from me. Have you read this? And if so, what did you think?

Oh, and also hoppy Easter! Toot! (Cuz that’s what the bunny… um, wait…).



This weeks challenge er challenge update:

  • Blog post 21/52 – 31 to go!
  • Writing in the screenplay – Check!
  • Drawing – Check!
  • Feet writing & drawing – Check!

Until next time. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay – Review

    • Lol. Yes, we did! Hope you had a good one too! I would really recommend adding this one to a list of books to read because it’s a bit more of a modern take on an old horror topic favorite and the story was pretty different, and neat, from that standpoint. Although I was a bit picky in this review, I have to say it’s quite worth it to pick up! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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