Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Tell Me I'm Worthless by Alison Rumfitt | Book Review

Today Laurie recommends TELL ME I'M WORTHLESS by Alison Rumfitt. We hope you'll check it out!

Tell Me I'm Worthless by Alison Rumfitt

"Three years ago, Alice spent one night in an abandoned house with her friends, Ila and Hannah. Since then, Alice’s life has spiraled. She lives a haunted existence, selling videos of herself for money, going to parties she hates, drinking herself to sleep.

Memories of that night torment Alice, but when Ila asks her to return to the House, to go past the KEEP OUT sign and over the sick earth where teenagers dare each other to venture, Alice knows she must go.

Together, Alice and Ila must face the horrors that happened there, must pull themselves apart from the inside out, put their differences aside, and try to rescue Hannah, whom the House has chosen to make its own."

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Laurie's Review

This book is extremely timely. It’s a scathing look at fascism, TERFism, and the complete lack of empathy that has become commonplace everywhere you turn. But it also managed to bring me back to the days when I fell in love with the prose of Barker, Koja, Dunn, and Billy Martin writing under the name Poppy Z. Brite. It’s vicious, angry, and unafraid to show you the hateful and the ugly. The ugliness of the world and also the ugliness residing in people. It won’t be a book for everyone.

The story is told mainly from three POV’s and one of them tends to be a bit stream of consciousness in her telling. Sometimes this bugs me and makes me tune out but it worked here. I was never bored or tempted to put it down. The author places content warnings before the book begins. Please read them if you need them. Seriously. This book is A Lot.

Alice, Ila, and Hannah once visited a House. This House was angry and was built on the back of hate. There are no cute ghosts here and I don’t recommend visiting a place like this but the three did it anyway and only two left the House. Whatever happened inside the House destroyed the friendship and love between Alice (a transwoman) and Ila (her cis lover/best friend). It’s also destroyed them. They’re existing but are filled with self-loathing and very different memories of what happened during their time in the House. They’re destroying themselves a bit more each day. Ila fills her brain with intolerance and hatred via her connection to TERF’s and Alice does it with drugs and sex to rid herself of the ghost that haunts her room. They can’t continue to carry on this way without permanent soul-destroying consequences. One day the house beckons and they can no longer ignore the need to return and discover the truth.

“Sometimes, at the end of everything, the only option you have is to make it worse.”

Oof, like I said this book is a lot. It’s filled with despair and body horror and trauma and hellish, horrific images. You might need to be in a particular mood to read it if this isn’t your thing. I like a bleak book that upsets me every now and again and this was a good one.

Thank you for joining us today! Please share your thoughts about TELL ME I'M WORTHLESS as well as any recent reads in the comments below.

We are currently accepting horror fiction and horror adjacent fiction written by diverse authors in print and epub format ONLY. If this is you, please visit our review submission page here.

Laurie is one of our Horror Spotlight Admins. Laurie creates our review posts and coordinates review requests.

You can find Laurie on her blog Bark’s Book Nonsense, on Twitter as @barksbooks, on Instagram as @barksbooks, and on Goodreads.

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