Review: The Babysitter Lives by Stephen Graham Jones

The Babysitter LivesThe Babysitter Lives by Stephen Graham Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On her first night babysitting the Wilbanks twins, Charlotte has one thing in mind, extra study time for the SATs. She’s taking the test the following morning on Halloween Day.

Since the twins, Ron and Desi, are only 6-years old, she figures they’ll be tucked safely in bed fairly early. The rest of the night she can dedicate to cramming for her test.

Once at the beautiful home, Charlotte receives a full tour from Mrs. Wilbanks and a word of warning, the kids may try to play tricks on her. They’re in a bit of a phase.

Mr. Wilbanks chimes in to list the off-limits areas of the house, his office mainly, and as the couple depart for the night, Mrs. Wilbanks secretly gives Charlotte one more tip regarding Mr. Wilbanks. She knew he was a creep.

Alone in the house, Charlotte’s interactions with the children definitely start out with a bang. These kids are weird.

Additionally, the house is unsettling. As it should be, considering its history. Charlotte quickly begins to feel out of sorts. Are the kids playing games with her?

The Babysitter Lives is a trippy, claustrophic read. This takes haunted house to a whole new level. I had no idea what was happening half the time, but I was eating it up.

The imagery and depth kept me totally engaged, but I will admit to rereading entire chapters just trying to parse out what in the heck was going on.

It was horrifying. It made me nervous. Charlotte is a fantastic main character. She’s haunted a bit by a previous babysitting job and you get little glimpses of that throughout, but now she’s haunted by all new evils.

I also loved the tiny details that kept coming back. Nothing was wasted. Everything has a point. I feel like you could read this three or four times and continue to discover new things each time. I love that type of narrative.

SGJ’s writing never disappoints for me. I always enjoy his distinctive style. It feels classic and somehow cutting edge at the same time. It’s extremely well-presented.

This story is smart, graphic and really freaking strange. Seriously, some of the imagery presented here, I was cringing. Oh my goodness, eyes and bugs and a whole host of other creepy things. It just kept coming.

Currently, this is available on audio only. That worked well for me. The narration is great by Isabella Star LeBlanc. I definitely recommend getting your hands on this if you love unique, mind-bending, toe-curling Horror stories.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Simon and Schuster Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I had a lot of fun with this. My brain hurts.

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