Review| Scream All Night – Derek Milman

October is the Halloween season and I have been trying to read some holiday related books. Scream All Night was on my list, because there is a group read going on in the Facebook group TBR & Beyond. It definitely fits this time of year, but it was a different book than I was expecting.

A darkly hilarious contemporary realistic young adult novel about growing up and finding your place in the world, perfect for fans of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Running With Scissors.

Dario Heyward knows one thing: He’s never going back to Moldavia Studios, the iconic castle that served as the set, studio, and home to the cast and crew of dozens of cult classic B-horror movies. It’s been three years since Dario’s even seen the place, after getting legally emancipated from his father, the infamous director of Moldavia’s creature features.

But then Dario’s brother invites him home to a mysterious ceremony involving his father and a tribute to his first film—The Curse of the Mummy’s Tongue. Dario swears his homecoming will be a one-time visit. A way for him to get closure on his past—and reunite with Hayley, his first love and costar of Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, a production fraught with real-life tragedy—and say good-bye for good. But the unthinkable happens—Dario gets sucked back into the twisted world of Moldavia and the horrors, both real and imagined, he’s left there.

With only months to rescue the sinking studio and everyone who has built their lives there, Dario must confront the demons of his past—and the uncertainties of his future. But can he escape the place that’s haunted him his whole life?

Review

I have to start off by saying that I’m not a big horror fan. Which means I probably missed a lot of jokes and references that would mean a lot for horror fans. Leaving that out of everything, Scream All Night still was a different book than I was expecting.

Dario didn’t have a normal childhood. His father ran Moldavia Studios and his mother is in a psychiatric hospital. A lot of things happened that made him emancipate himself at an early age. The readers don’t get a full idea of what happened, but enough to know he was right for wanting to leave.

A few years later, Dario receives a phonecall from his brother asking him to come back for a ceremony. This takes him back to a dark place and he really doesn’t want to go. He feels guilty, so he head back and that’s when the story begins.

Derek Milman definitely has a way with words and I really enjoyed his writing style. Scream All Night was a fast read and I was done before I realized it. Moldavia Studios is a very quirky place to live, but I could picture everything about it through his writing.

The sypnosis states that this is a book about growing up and finding your place in the world. I guess that is the case. Dario ends up back home and is trying to figure out his place and life and I think heal from his childhood, which was rather abusive. To be honest that was rather hard to read. It’s sad that with so many adults around him, Dario still had to go through everything.

While figuring everything out, Dario does find family and his own way in the world. He makes peace with his life and hopes to be entering happier times. I think if you love horror in general, this book will be a lot of fun. I loved the quirky characters and things that happened in the studios.

Even though I didn’t completely get everything, Scream All Night was an interesting read. What is your favorite Halloween related book?

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