Something ISBN: 9780988131231, Special Revised Edition of Book One of the Wisteria Series. A “new adult: horror: dark fantasy: mystery in e-book by Shelby Lamb.
Plot: “Audrey draped her arms around a bloke’s shoulders, inhaling his cigarette stained breath. He had zits like hers, but the facial structure was good and she was hot. “She knew it was gross, but if she was going to stop thinking about Nathan for one second, she’d have to take extreme measures.” Neither had a condom but they were at it with full enthusiasm until they heard steps approaching. He zipped up just in time and “Yanking her dress down, Audrey ran, forgetting her panties tossed aside on the ground.” She returned to the more than century-old three story building that had seen far better days to go “shuffling past the lounge where some brain-dead catatonics sat, gazing at the television. Some were drooling all over the couch again. “Ms. Harris will be upset!” yelled a Down syndrome girl before clapping her hands over her mouth to giggle. Aubrey yawned, marching up the staircase that led to the second floor.” Here she transferred some clothes to the dryer, and her work finished, slipped into her bedroom where she had stashed her jar of stolen pills. Not enough yet and how was she going to go on? Where were her best friend Adelaide Pierri of even Billi Porter? She desperately missed Nathan Silva. She then began to read the unusual book she had discovered in a used book store. Sleepy after a while, she slept only to suffer a horrible, weird dream/awake experience. Next, the reader is introduced to Bella Broadhurst getting ready to party HARD for her birthday She has begun by starting to drink heavily and waltzing around completely nude with her friends. From this point on the story follows a convoluted path involving a group of students at the Pentecostal Boarding School, a private school and additional assorted other students and individuals of both sexes who are determined to ‘live life to its fullest’ with and by any means possible. Most are nihilists. All participate in drunken escapades, indiscriminate sexual activity and many indulge in self-mutilation. A reason is provided for Aubrey’s activity in that she came from a home where mother and father constantly fought. Her very young mother constantly poked her sister with needles which she mentioned to a girlfriend. From there an abuse investigation deposited the parents in jail, her older sister in a home for troubled teenagers and 12-year-old Aubrey was taken in by a “sweet old lady”, Ms. Harris, the owner/manager of the above described ‘home’. Here the child was put to work helping her when she was not required to be at the local school. From here the story continues its meandering pathway seemingly involving in a deadly manner anyone in anyway associated with the book that caused Aubrey’s horrid dream/awake episode, although some of the disastrous occurrences simply could result from the individuals’ manner of existence. Eventually and ultimately the story arrives at the beginning of the next volume in the series.
Discussion: The author states at the very beginning of the book: “Aubrey finds a book that propels her and her peers into horror and madness. Nihilism, self-harm, explicit scenes. You now enter at your own discretion.” Apropos this statement, the book does provide an abundant description of activity on the ‘seamier’ side of life, which does seem to exist in even more abundance among the youth of today for whatever reason one wishes to accept. Thus, in truth, there is little this reviewer can offer. If the reader’s inclination is to enjoy or be attracted to this activity in this environment this book definitely is for you. If one enjoys stories further removed from these somewhat decadent activities often performed in less than pleasant, even ultra-dark settings, they must be searched for elsewhere.
Conclusion: A dark tale of horror/fantasy with nihilistic self-indulgent behavior often performed in repugnant settings
3* Dichotomous; 4* for certain, perhaps unusual mind-set; 2* or less for others.