The Horror Honeys: Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub ~ "14"

Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub ~ "14"

A Hardcover Honey Book of the Week Review by Jocelyn

14  - Peter Clines

A recent read of mine was The Fold by Peter Clines – and this is not a review of that book, though I do hope to have one for you next week.  Instead, I want to talk to you about his earlier book, 14 which I circled back and read after finishing The Fold – and instead of doing it the way I did, I want YOU to do the opposite – go read 14 and THEN read The Fold – one truly builds on the other and displays a growth in talent as well.  That’s my two cents anyway.

Many have referred to 14 as Lost in an apartment building, and there’s some truth to that. Generic slacker with a boring office job Nate Tucker is given a lead on a super cheap place in LA and can’t pass it up, despite the building having terrible parking. The person who refers him to the building does note that it has “kind of an odd vibe” but at $565 a month (including utilities!), Nate is willing to chance it, and after applying online and touring the building with a comely rep named Toni from Locke Management (cough*Lost*cough) the apartment is his.

We are quickly introduced to lots of neighbors in the building (LOTS of neighbors, and to be honest, I had to flip back once or twice to keep everybody straight) – friendly farmer’s daughter type Mandy, weirdo religious nut Andrew, mysterious accented building handyman Oskar, exhibitionist artsy type Xela, self-appointed building IT expert Veek, retired publisher Tim, young marrieds Debbie and Clive, movie grip Roger and a few assorted supporting characters. Nate’s arrival seems to serve as some sort of catalyst and soon there are evening rooftop hangouts with beers and friendly chatter, which becomes more serious as people start to share their confusion about the building, including:

Why is it so cheap?
What are the weird letters and numbers on the cornerstones?
Why are there no electrical wires running to the building?
Why do we all sleep well here but never dream?
What’s the story with the door that is painted shut?
Why are the layouts for each apt so noticeably different?
Why is there a cockroach problem – and why are they bright green... and seem to feature an extra leg?

Author Peter Clines and friend.
As the group gels in ways predictable and not, there is a very Scooby-Doo mystery machine quality to the story that they characters themselves readily acknowledge – very meta.

Rest assured, you will not guess the answers to these questions easily – and the book twisted and turned in various directions that kept me turning pages rapidly and long past my bedtime.  It reminded me not just of Lost but of Zathura, The Twilight Zone, my recent experience at Breakout KC (amazing) and an older experience at Jejune Institute in San Francisco (Google it) and I was all in. This book is, presumably, everything that other people found in House of Leaves which try as I might, I cannot get into!!

Hardcover Honey verdict: 4.5. out of 5 weird apartments for this one. Read it.

What are you reading this week?
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