Try-A-Chapter Challenge #1: Haunted Houses

I’m always excited for new things, and new blog post themes / challenges are no exception! I’d seen variations of this challenge floating around but didn’t have an idea of how to incorporate it into a regular blog feature until seeing Destiny’s over on her blog. I was immediately inspired, and held a poll on Twitter asking people to help me decide which theme to go with for my first round of the challenge.

There was a pretty clear winner! So I went through the books I’ve been meaning to read that fell within the category, and am excited to start them! (I had more than 5 in this theme, but had to narrow it down to ones I’ve been really wanting to read and just haven’t due to ARC copies & life!).


Challenge Rules:

  • Choose 5 books within a specific theme
  • Read the first chapter (or short story, etc) of each book
  • Choose a “winner” – the book you’ll continue reading to completion first
  • Share your thoughts/choices

Challenge #1 Theme: Haunted Houses


  1. Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
  2. The Shining by Stephen King
  3. The Switch House by Tim Meyer
  4. No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill
  5. The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

Initial Thoughts on:

1) Kill Creek

“No house is born bad.”

Wow, hello, this was such a good kick off to my ‘haunted house’ theme! I love the backstory given on the Kill Creek house so far. Learning about the history of a place makes it way scarier to me, and I’m hoping I’ll get to read a lot more about that creepy bricked off room & the spooky stuff happening there! I’ve owned this book since the end of last year, but due to how many ARCs I’ve been working on, haven’t had a chance to read it – which is a shame, because it’s been one I’ve been most looking forward to it since I first saw it on bookstagram! I’m excited to finally get to this one!

2) The Shining

“During our first winter I hired a family instead of a single man. There was a tragedy. A horrible tragedy.”

Okay, I know this is technically about a hotel, but whatever. Lots of people have read & loved this, and I even own 3 copies of the damned thing, but I’ve never gotten around to it. I really like the movie adaptation (which I know people & King himself all have mixed feelings on, but I love), and I’m intrigued to see how the book differs. This was such a strong opening chapter! I feel like I’m getting to know Jack already.

3) The Switch House

“But it’s not just the walls that are alive; the house itself is alive and she hears the drum of its heartbeat along with her own.”

What a first chapter! This is the shortest of the five books, so this first chapter understandably feels pretty fast-paced. I love that I have no clue what’s going on (yet), and the descriptions of the house — that mildew and those maggots, yuck! This was sent to me in a giveaway of Tim Meyer’s books that he ran himself a few months back, so once I finish this, I have more of his writing to get to – yay!!

4) No One Gets Out Alive

“The sound of genuine anguish introduced a picture into Stephanie’s mind of a woman kneeling on the floor beside an open fireplace, clutching her face.”

Ugh, I just love Adam Nevill’s writing so much. This isn’t my first by him, and I can already tell I’m going to love it as much as I loved THE RITUAL last year. This chapter ends on a cliffhanger, which completely killed me. I had to move the book across the room to physically restrain myself from continuing to find out what happens to who I’m assuming is the protagonist of the story. I AM COMPLETELY HOOKED!

5) The Invited

“The trees talked to her. Rocks and rivers and little shiny green beetles spoke to her. They told her what was to come. You have a gift, the voices told her.”

Ooh, I loved this! I got this one as an ARC from Doubleday, and absolutely love Jennifer McMahon’s writing. I own 5 or 6 of her other books, and this was the first one I was sent to review – imagine my excitement as a longtime fan of her, ahh! This one reminds me a little of THE WINTER PEOPLE so far with the writing, and I love that more eerie and folksy horror vibe that she’s taken on since her earlier books, which were beautiful but more thriller-esque.



Wow, this was hard!! I literally want to continue reading all of them ASAP, which made this whole exercise nearly pointless – but at least I’m hooked on 5 books to read next?! Hahah. To make things easier on myself, I decided to read THE SWITCH HOUSE next, since it’s got the fewest pages (so I’ll be able to hungrily devour it quickly before moving on to the next, and so on, until I finish this incredible little stack). I think I may read them in this order after the first:

  • Kill Creek (SO READY FOR THIS!)
  • No One Gets Out Alive (What’s going to happen in the next chapter?!)
  • The Invited (I’ve also got THE NIGHT SISTER by McMahon to read after these!)
  • The Shining (this one last so that I can watch the movie again right after without missing a beat!)

Seriously, if you’re in the mood for something involving haunted houses/hotels/apartments, check one of these out! I just pushed all 5 of them up on my immediate TBR and will likely having them finished over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned on full reviews either here or over at the Night Worms blog.

If you’ve already read any of these, let me know which you enjoyed the most!

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5 thoughts on “Try-A-Chapter Challenge #1: Haunted Houses

  1. I’m sorry and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to reply to this post, but I AM SO EXCITED that you’re doing the try a chapter challenge too now~! It made me so happy haha. I’ve been dying to read The Switch House and haven’t gotten to it yet, so now seeing that you were so instantly hooked has me wanting to read it ASAP! Tim is such a nice guy and I LOVED Kill Hill Carnage by him, so I know I’ll love this, too!

    1. I LOVE YOU AND FORGIVE YOU FOR ANYTHING, yay!! It’s so fun but didn’t make my decision easier in this case, hahaha. I finished The Switch House since this post and loved it, I’m actually writing a review for Night Worms of it now and it’ll be up hopefully within the next couple of weeks! Tim’s great for sure!! And thank you for the inspiration for this post, the challenge is awesome!

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