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4 Oct 2012

Book Review: Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Martha knew there was something evil about the house she was moving into. It was so cold...and creepy. And it wasn't just the house that was giving her a weird feeling. Martha was sure someone was following her...watching her every move.

Then the practical jokes began--the scarecrow with the carving knife in its head, the fire. And the phone calls: 'Trick or Treat,'re dead.'

It was October, but these were no Halloween tricks. Someone would be coming home this year with more than just a bag of treats. And Martha was the prize.

Trick or Treat.

Seriously, we need more books like this on the YA Horror shelves.  Trick or Treat is a fantastic YA Horror that seriously freaked me out.  Everything seemed sinister from the old house with the gruesome past to Conor the creepy step-brother and it just sucked me in until I was also jumping at strange noises and shadows just like Martha. 

I gave it four stars instead of five because I did think the culprit was predictable and I wish we could have seen more of their true nature when they were revealed although what I saw as a reader was still enough to creep me out. You could pretty much fill in the gaps of what's been going through their head with how they felt and what their motives were.  But it felt like the author was so determined to make it a surprise that their personality changed immediately to fit the twist and shock you.  There are little hints throughout the book but for the finale I wanted to see more of this new and psychotic side. 

Martha as a MC can be quite dramatic and emotional at times. From the start she's very sensitive to the house's past and the bad feelings she gets from it, which does make you wonder if there is a touch of supernatural to the events that are going on.  The book is very psychological yet you can't help but wonder if there are more to these feelings Conor and Martha have had.  Is there a ghostly trigger to their feelings and reactions? I did end up sympathising with Martha as a character because it was clear that she couldn't deal and tends to let it get to her mentally and physically. I think that's understandable.  From the beginning of the novel her father has recently remarried and suddenly she has a new family and a new life somewhere else.  She moves into a house where she experiences spooky stuff and then a person starts calling her and threatens to kill her.  Parents then go off for a honeymoon, leaving the two teens behind.  She reminds people of the girl who previously died there, especially the stalker, so of course I wasn't surprised when it made her flip out and let everything collapse around her. There are so many changes and scares occurring in Martha's life all at once.   

It is absolutely chilling and tense and I want to see more of this horror on YA bookshelves.  It's perfect for Halloween, especially since the book leads up to the spooky night, but I should warn you... best keep those lamps on!


  1. I think I read this as a child. I loooooved Point Horror back in the day and if this is the one I think it is, it properly creeped me out.

  2. Point Horror was awesome. One of my local library had shelves of it! They were always great stories. So chilling! =D