Saturday, September 30, 2017

Author Spotlight: The Devils You Know by M.C. Atwood - 5/5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:29 AM

M. C. Atwood

Megan Atwood is a mysterious author that no one knows anything about. But, maybe, just maybe, if you click on her picture, it will take you a land that will tell you all about her! Click it. You know you want to.

Title: The Devils You Know
Genre: YA Thriller/Horror
Author: M. C. Atwood
Publisher: SoHo Teen
Publication: October 3rd 2017
Cover Rating: 4/5

The Devils You Know is a book that was instantly on my radar when I first heard about it. The concept and overall plot idea sounded so fun to me. After the end of the Freak Show season with American Horror Story, I was looking for something interactive that would keep me interested but also be slightly weird and creepy. I got all of that, and so much more, with this book. It's a horror story with meaning.

Gretchen - cranky goth chick
Paul - jock
Violet - quiet naughty one
Ashley - preppy popular bitch
Dylan - I don't even know
Maxwell Cartwright Jr. - Mr. Creepy McCreep Pants

The kids are on a field-trip to this funky house that has been deemed Boulder House. It is a house someone built a long time ago in a mountain. Not ON a mountain, but in the actual rocks of the mountain. The owner then started adding on to it, warehouse by warehouse and today it is now this elaborate freakshow of a house with creepy stuff collected from all around the world on display for the public to tour. But even after it's owner has been long dead, things keep getting added to the collection. I feel like this book is like making the ultimate deal with the Devil.

So, back to those kids. They are on this trip and the five of them randomly end up going into the creepy house ahead of the rest of their group. That starts this really creepy and scary journey through this hell house. But along with this creepy journey where the kids have to fight for their lives against things that shouldn't be alive, there is a moral journey. Each one of the characters has this horrible secret that would destroy them, or so they think, if it got out. All of these things together make for a very fricken awesome book!

World Building:
The world building in the book was FANTASTIC. I felt like I was actually in the book with the characters experiencing all of these creepy things. Sadly, I would have probably died in one scene because I cannot swim. But other than my imminent death, I loved being able to feel involved in the story. The author brought every aspect of this book to life for her readers and because of that, I got a lot more than just a story out of this book. I got a movie in my head, as well. When a book makes you feel included, instead of just watching from the sidelines, that is when you know you have found an amazing author.

I wanted to gush a little bit more about the world building. The scenes that this book had were so vivid and insane, in a good way. M. C. Atwood just has this way of turning something completely outrageous into something plausible. These kids go through all of these different freak show rooms and are met with all of this crazy obstacles but nothing felt over-used or over-done. I have read some amazing books but this one has just stuck with me. I find myself thinking 'Oh, what was that show I was watching? I need to go watch more episodes.' and I get so sad because I remember it wasn't a show, it was a book, a book I need more of!

In the end, I loved everything about this book. From the extremely diverse cast of characters to the creep-factor and even the historical aspects of the story. The author wove all of these things together and created a beautiful story about evil and the magical effect teamwork can have against that evil. These kids were put through hell but they came out on top and also learned a lot about theirselves and each other. If you are looking for a good YA read for Halloween then I highly suggest picking up The Devils You Know!

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

1.     Where did the inspiration for the book come from?

First of all, thank you for the kind words! The biggest setting inspiration was totally The House on the Rock. It’s an AWESOME tourist attraction in Spring Green, Wisconsin. My friend Natalie took me there years ago because she knew I’d love it and she was sooooo right. This place is like the storehouse for America’s subconscious. In fact, many other books have used this attraction in its stories, including AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman. I love the House on the Rock so much—in fact, this book is kind of a love song to it. If you ever go there, you’ll understand why it makes a writer so happy. As a lover of horror, I took one look at all the old dolls in there and thought: there is a story here.

But before I really knew where the story would take place, I was exploring the idea of shame and the feeling of not being good enough. I feel like teens get the brunt of those feelings during high school years—it’s hard and it’s intense for them. So in thinking about those things, the characters started to materialize for me.


2.     If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Oh, geez, can I say a few places?? OK, in my fantasies, I’d love to live in Paris because I’m sort of obsessed with all things French right now. Except I can’t speak the language, so that would be no good. Then I think Spain would be great because I lived there before and it is beautiful. But again, my language skills aren’t great. So then I land on: I want to live where my people are. I have just made a huge move for a job I love, but I gotta tell you—I miss my people. So now I think I want to live in Minneapolis, MN, like I used to, so I can hang out with all my darlings. And eat vegan donuts from Glam Doll Donuts.
3.     Please tell us 5 random facts about yourself:

Fun!! OK,

1)    I was born on Halloween, which, let’s be honest, is patently the best birthday ever. Am I biased? Well . . . fine. But come on!

2)    I know how to read the tarot. Mostly.

3)    I totally lived in a haunted house once.

4)    I like team sports. If you met me, you’d think that was kind of weird. But I have played soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and dodgeball at different times in my life. I love it.

5)    I had an imaginary friend when I was little named Barbara.
4.     What are some of your favorite books?

OH WOW I HAVE SO MANY. I’ll name just a few:

            All of the Harry Potters
            Almost anything by Madeleine L’Engle
            His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
            MAMA DAY by Gloria Naylor
            HOUSE OF LEAVES by Mark Danielewski
            THE BLUEST EYE by Toni Morrison
            THE SECRET PLACE by Tana French
            BONE GAP by Laura Ruby
            Anything by Meg Medina
            Anything by Anne Ursu
            FEED by M.T. Anderson
            Anything by Octavia Butler
            Anything by Margaret Atwood (and not just because of her name)
            All books ever? I just love to read.
5.     If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?

Paul, for sure. I would love to see the kind of man he grew into. I think I would totally have a crush on adult Paul if he were in my life. Just a hunch. J

Otherwise, I’d have to pick Gretchen because I want to wear her clothes!


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