Horror Corner: January 2024

Horror Corner

Terror, Turmoil, and Teenage Girls

By Nikita Imafidon

Youth can have an imperceptible sludge, an ooze that seeps through the walls of pubescent classrooms. Those who see it often find it particularly upsetting when it comes to young girls. They fear a betrayal of the imposed gender roles that will lead to violence, or even worse, a transgression of sexual norms.

Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda captures all these fears through the lens of two inextricable high school friends, Annelise and Fernanda. They condense their world to creepypastas and dangerous rituals. Ms. Clara, their literature teacher who has become the likeness of her dead mother, has her own rituals. Fernanda wakes up to her own abduction. Their traumas intertwine. Ojeda’s work, a finalist for the 2022 National Book Award for Translated Fiction, is a captivating mix of tragedy and desire.

When Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects became an HBO miniseries in 2018, it intoxicated me. A young woman myself, I saw this series as an exploration of girlhood trauma with grave consequences. Camille Preaker investigates the murder of young girls in the small Missouri town of her youth. She is forced to similarly probe her own wounds with her mother while her teenage half-sister skates suspiciously close to her friends. The danger lies in each park, each main street storefront, the bar on the edge of town, her childhood antebellum mansion. Camille thinks she might just become young again.

We must clink our glasses to youth as we fear it, for it is fleeting and potentially deadly. Find a flute glass and some sparkling apple cider. Not from Welch’s, but the one that looks so close to champagne bottles you can feel the buzz and look out the foggy windows of your childhood home.

Nikita Imafidon (she/her) is the sidelines buyer and a co-owner of the Raven Book Store. She has been a bookseller for three and a half years, and she is an avid reader of graphic novels, social science books, and strange fiction. She is a Black queer embroidery artist with a passion for ephemeral communication, community building, and social justice. Find her work on Instagram at @nikita.the.star

Staff Pick Badge
Jawbone By Mónica Ojeda, Sarah Booker (Translator) Cover Image
By Mónica Ojeda, Sarah Booker (Translator)
ISBN: 9781566896214
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Coffee House Press - February 8th, 2022

Finalist for the 2022 National Book Award in Translated Literature

"Was desire something like being possessed by a nightmare?"

Fernanda and Annelise are so close they are practically sisters: a double image, inseparable. So how does Fernanda end up bound on the floor of a deserted cabin, held hostage by one of her teachers and estranged from Annelise?

Sharp Objects: A Novel By Gillian Flynn Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307341556
Availability: In stock at our distributor’s warehouse; will be at the Raven in 3-10 bus. days! More at ravenbookstore.com/ordering-faqs
Published: Crown - July 31st, 2007