Updated: Jul 10
We Need To Do Something is the perfect holiday horror book, because between Nov. 26th and Dec. 26th, most of us are going to find ourselves trapped with family members in close quarters. Hopefully, your holiday gatherings don’t spiral into the feverish nightmare from this novella.
I read the book in three nights—as a busy woman, three nights is fast for me, lol—and it’s because the suspense was well paced. There were only a few places where the book dragged, but I kept turning the Kindle page because I wanted to solve the mystery: What did Mel and Amy do just before the tornado hit?
The book opens with Mel rushing home from Amy's during a tornado warning. Her mom, brother and dad—who is drunk—are waiting for her, and they all hide in the master bathroom to wait out the storm. The reader can tell something is wrong with Mel beyond the fear of the storm. She's picking at a fresh wound on her arm and internally freaking about her girlfriend and ‘something’ they just did. Something that could ruin everything...
As the storm rips through Texas, a large tree caves in the house’s roof and lands in front of the bathroom door, barring their escape. Thank God, it's the master bathroom and they have a little space to spread out! As the hours tick by, the drama and problems of the family play out. We learn secrets the mom is hiding, the abusive past of the father, as well as what type of mischief Mel and Amy have been dabbling in.
My favorite thing about this story is that Max Booth takes a single location and makes it suspenseful. Think of the movie Buried or Devil. Most everything is limited to one location in those films. Booth does something similar, using a compelling story to take you on a journey even though you’re stuck in a bathroom with a family of four.
I went into this read knowing very little about the book, and it took a drastically different direction than I anticipated. I am happily surprised. I thought this might be a survival horror/drama, where it's family vs. cruel nature. However, there is a supernatural angle to the events that I enjoyed. I won’t speak more on that here otherwise it might ruin the twist.
Be warned, the younger brother Bobby is a bit on the annoying side. I don’t want to compare him to the boy in The Babadook…but maybe. Also, he is obsessed with butts and pee. I missed how old the kid was, maybe around six. However, many elementary-age kids have fascinations with bodily functions. In that regard, it’s very accurate to life.
Speaking of bathroom humor, I read Carnivorous Luna Activities, and like that story, We Need to Do Something is dialogue driven. Some of the back and forth dialogue seemed superfluous, but overall, I liked the way characters speak to each other. It was a good representation of how a family would probably bicker and swing between emotions of love and anger in an extreme situation such as this. A lot like the young brother and the butt jokes, it may not appeal to everyone, but it mirrors real life and that’s important to capture in a story.
That ending though! It was the type of ending that makes me pause and question if I liked it. I think a part of me wanted something else, but I did like how it finished, and it was the ending the story needed.
How about you, did you like the ending?
If you haven’t read this one, you need to do something about that!
I recommend you Check out a copy here