Why this book?
When I was in middle school, middle-grade fiction didn’t really exist in the way it does now. There weren’t a ton of options for a young person who loved horror. So once I outgrew Goosebumps and Fear Street, I started reading adult horror. Stephen King. Dean Koontz. Anne Rice. I’ll never forget reading Interview with a Vampire for the first time. I had never been to New Orleans, but I was instantly transported. It was magical – electric. I could feel each word in my bones. Thus, you can only imagine my excitement discovering The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh. To that point, I hadn’t read anything that reminded me more of Anne Rice’s writing style. Just like the title, this book was beautiful. And haunting. With a New Orleans setting, a forbidden love trope, and lots of animated characters that I immediately fell in love with. If you already miss Anne Rice (rest in peace), then give Ahdieh a try. Bonus: The Beautiful is the first in a series, so if you enjoy it, there is more to come.