Hello, my lovelies in the GoH community, it is me again for another edition of Recent Reads. I know it’s been a while since the last update but your boy’s been going through a rough patch but whatever! I’ve kept track of all the things I’ve been reading in my notes and it’d be a darn waste if I were not to share with you all. For this one, I have a couple of reads that I really got into a lot so without further ado, here’s…

The Possession of Natalie Glasgow by Hailey Piper

I enjoyed Hailey Piper’s Benny Rose, the Cannibal King and I decided I wanted to read more of her work. So I was browsing through Book Depository for books that won’t cost me a lot and that’s when I caught a glimpse of The Possession of Natalie Glasgow. Then I saw the author’s name. It’s Hailey Piper. Girl, that was an instant buy for me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an instant read for me. I’m sure a lot of bookworms can relate to the experience of buying a bunch of books, thus expanding your TBR to oblivion. But babe, this is Hailey Piper. But also I had a very bad experience reading one author in a row. I get numb to their writing, you know what I mean? Like, I’m not able to appreciate it to the full extent. So I passed on Natalie Glasgow, read a few books, and expanded my collection until we come to now where I’m not sure what I want to read next. And you know what? F**k it. I’m reading The Possession of Natalie Glasgow. I’m glad I finally did, though! This book goes straight to the point and in classic Hailey Piper fashion, the characters are so likable and you want to root for them but this has the caveat of being only roughly 100 pages and it still manages to squeeze in enough character development as the story progressed.

The Possession of Natalie Glasgow is a 2018 possession horror novella by one Hailey Piper in her debut novella. It tells the story of a young girl possessed by an unknown entity, and now it’s up to her mother and a, shall we say, supernatural expert to drive this entity out of the girl and save her body and soul.

Now, I know you might be thinking that we already have, like, a bunch of possession stories out there. What does this do to stand out? Well, I’m glad you asked, hypothetical question-asker. Aside from the aforementioned likable characters, the book also does a great job of setting up tension. Ms. Piper’s prose really puts you in the main character, Margaret’s shoes despite being written in the third person. We get to experience the nature of Natalie’s possession as Margaret experiences it for the first time. It’s not Exorcist s**t like turning heads or back-bending tactics but it’s a more primal, animalistic possession. And that is what makes this such a unique possession book. The thing that has a hold of Natalie is an entity I’ve never seen used in a possession story before and I was so hooked to find out what happened next. Granted, you’d probably have a clue as to what’s going on after we find out a secret about a certain character but the story is still engaging throughout. And let me tell you, when we find out what happened that set off the events that led to Natalie’s possession, it brought a tear to my eye.

I don’t really have any complaints here, and I’m already telling you this was a 5 out of 5 read but I did wish we got a fuller ending if that makes sense. Like a “what happened after?” type of deal.

So anyway, yup. The Possession of Natalie Glasgow by Hailey Piper. This gets a score of…

Dirty Heads by Aron Dries

Before I get into it, I think y’all deserve this disclaimer that I’m writing this while I’m sick as f**k. Like, cold, cough, and a few teasings of fever coming in so it could impact the thoughts I’m conveying for my review of Dirty Heads. Just know right off the bat that it’s a great f**king book. It’s not gonna make you shit your pants scared but it’s going to instill a heavy sense of dread and despair in you, and if you’re anything like me, it’s going to take you back to your younger days when you doubted yourself. Like, you had a bunch of insecurities then yourself is telling you in sly and emerging ways that you’re gay, and that society doesn’t think that’s right, and you’re brought up to be a good member of society so you think that something is not right with you. That’s what the book brought me back to.

So yeah, Dirty Heads is a 2021 cosmic, coming-of-age horror novella about a young man who is on the run from a monster of his past. As he makes his way through his journey, he harkens back to that fateful summer (or I think it was summer?) when everything changed.

This book stays true to the cosmic, coming-of-age promise as this was such a heartfelt book. Aaron Dries certainly knows what he’s talking about. This is about a young boy who discovers that he’s gay in a time when that was the “wrong thing to be”. I felt for a lot of the things that our main character went through like his feeling of being other, and this feeling of failure for being other. The confusing attempts at trying to fit in. It’s all so written beautifully, and it’s easy to get immersed in the story.

This wasn’t the kind of book that’s all-out terror but there’s a looming sense of dread and despair to the whole affair that lends to the book’s somber mood right from the get-go. If I’m being honest, it’s hard to pinpoint this book to just one thing. I cannot deny that this is a horror book but it’s also largely a growing-up story that’s mainly about our character finding his way. At the same time, his journey ties so deeply into the horror, the two elements so heavily intertwined so seamlessly.

The book is not easy to spell out but I wholeheartedly appreciated the experience of reading it. In one way, it’s like a metaphor for the horrors of adulthood, of accepting one’s self. In another, it’s a very tangible horror that threatens to make things horrible for our protagonist lest he gets his s**t together.

The ’90s setting is also more than just a gimmick. A lot of media these days love celebrating nostalgia, which isn’t bad but this book I feel chose the right era. The adult sections of the book are set on the cusp of Y2K and the younger sections, in the early ’90s. Right now, I’m still just taking everything in but Aaron Dries’ Dirty Heads is a book I won’t soon forget, and it’s an experience best had for yourself.


That concludes this round of Recent Reads! You can check out both of these books on Amazon. I got Natalie Glasgow on Book Depository, which I hear is sadly closing its doors. I got Dirty Heads on Amazon. Take care and have a good one, friend!

*Affiliate Link

The Possession of Natalie Glasgow by Hailey Piper is Available to Purchase Here.*

Dirty Heads by Aron Dries is Available to Purchase Here.*

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