Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

When I sat down to write this post, I started by saying I didn’t remember the last time a book scared me. Like, actually scared me. But then, I realized that wasn’t true. I do remember the last time a book scared me. It was Station Eleven, and that was 2 years ago. I don’t read a lot of scary books.

Which is why I was super hesitant to pick up Bird Box, even though it has a great rating and gets a lot of love. I even mentioned in my Haunting October post how nervous I was about reading it. I pretty much expected to avoid it all month, and just “happen” to run out of time to finish my spooky book list. But then one of my lovely readers said she was reading it, and I knew it would make me a fraud if I didn’t at least give it a try.BirdBox


And preferably with the lights on, music blaring, and a puppy next to you for comfort.

Holy hell Bird Box is terrifying. It is utterly, unspeakably, terrifying. And it’s so brilliant, too. Because what’s terrifying isn’t the story, but the writing. Malerman writes so well that it’s like watching a movie. In one chapter I squirmed because “DO NOT PUT YOUR HAND IN THAT BUCKET NO NO NO RUN AWAY.” In another chapter, I cried because “NO PUPPY NO DON’T LOOK!!!” In yet another, I cursed because “YOU STUPID IDIOT WHY DID YOU LET HIM IN?” In short, I felt every.single.emotion every character felt in the book.

I read it in about 3 hours.

Bird Box is creepier than zombies, because you don’t know what’s happening. That’s the source of the terror – the unknown. All you know is that people see something – some sort of creature – and then go mad and kill themselves. Malorie lives in a world that she can’t see. Bird Box flashes back and forth from the present, where she’s alone with two small children, and the past, where she’s living in a house with 5 other people. Gradually, you learn what’s happened to bring the story to this point, 5 years later. Throughout all this, you learn what it’s like to not be able to see what’s threatening you, to not know what’s out there or isn’t out there.

God it’s spooky. And wonderful. And absolutely perfect.

Hardcover: 262 pages    Published: March 2014 by Ecco    Source: Purchased

Buy it on Amazon

Bird Box on Goodreads

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

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