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Content/Trigger Warnings: Death, murder, talk of suicide, depictions of blood, grief, death of an animal, stalking, gun violence
“- we thought we’d play a fun prank on her, and now most of us are dead -.”
Oh this was such a perfect read for Summerween and to put me in the mood for fall. I’m definitely in the minority when it comes to this book especially since every time I come across a review, it’s always negative. I will say, this book won’t be for everyone and I think if you’re not a fan of the blend of first and second person perspective, you won’t enjoy this book. And I want to emphasize that if you’re expecting this to be like a zombie apocalypse, but with mannequins, this is not that book. However, there’s more than one way to be a mannequin and I think SGJ did a great job at showing that.
During one summer, four kids find an abandoned mannequin and decide that this is the perfect thing to bring excitement to their summer. They take the mannequin everywhere, do everything together, play pranks and treating the mannequin like one of their own. But all this come to an end and soon Manny is abandoned, a forgotten piece in the garage. That is until the kids decide to come together for one final prank with Manny. What could possibly go wrong, right? Right?
Like with The Only Good Indians, SGJ has a talent for writing characters that pull you into their perspective and can make you almost feel the experiences unfolding to these characters. And that’s why I really enjoyed our characters especially our main character, Sawyer. Sawyer is a very interesting character to follow because he’s not like most main characters we see in horror or thriller books. I think readers who are lovers of the Halloween movies and are really into psychology are going to have a field day with Sawyer’s character, and this book. And I think my favorite part about Sawyer is how his character arc unfolds. You have two parallel perspectives of the good and the bad, and the way they collide into on another. It’s a wild ride of a perspective to be in and I think if you’re familiar with the book, You by Caroline Kepnes, then you might really come to enjoy this little novella.
“- I knew you didn’t just walk away from your creations. Not without consequences.”
If I had to sit down and point out flaws of this novella, it would have to be two things. The first thing being how short this book was. Honestly, I wish it was a tad longer because I really wanted to see the characters come more unhinged than they were. However, I also wasn’t ready for the book to be over and that’s something I always say with novellas and short stories I read. I think the other issue many readers will have is the repetition of words and how it almost feels like a “try hard” teenager perspective. This wasn’t a big issue for me despite the repetition, but I think there will be many readers will find it hard to look past this one.
Overall, I wanted to keep this review short and as vague as I could manage. I think with this book it’s best to go in with no expectations and knowing as little as possible. If you went in knowing all the secrets then it’d spoil all the fun. Again, I had a blast reading this book. It just sucked me right in and before I knew it, it was over and I wanted more. I think this is the perfect thriller to pick up during the spooky season or even if you’re looking for a short read. And as always, I do recommend at least giving this book a chance especially if it’s been on your radar for a while.
2 thoughts on “Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones”
I’m SO happy you liked this! ♥ I never understand why this book is so widely disliked, because I loved it a ton. 😭 The curses of loving vastly underrated books, lol! SGJ is wonderful and I’m just so, so excited to see this amazing review 🥰
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I agree! I mean, I can understand the whole perspective isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I will argue that if a person likes You by Caroline Kepnes then why the French toast do you have an issue with this book. I’m just saying. I’m so glad I finally read it though. I really need to sit down and read more SGJ books. 👀