Alex Mosher knows he’s never been like other kids. When he sees a dog on the street, instead of playing with it, he dreams up tales of it as a harbinger of death. And while other kids try to forget their nightmares, he writes them down in journals he calls his nightbooks, crafting horror stories just like the ones he loves to watch and read. The kids at school tease him for his obsession with creepy things. At last, Alex decides he’s done with being different, and descends to the basement of his apartment building to burn his nightbooks.
But on the way down, he gets captured by a witch named Natacha, and becomes caught up in a story much more terrifying than the ones he’s always written. Natacha only keeps him alive for his stories, one each night—creepy stories from the nightbooks Alex intended to destroy.
But Alex knows he isn’t the first kid to get lured into Natacha’s apartment. And now he’s only one of two left. Natacha will keep him alive for his stories, but for how long? And more importantly—can he escape first?
I’m not usually a fan of creepy stories, but after reading J. A. White’s Thickety quartet, I decided to give Nightbooks a try. I’m glad I did. Nightbooks is an interesting and multilayered novel, somewhere between Hansel and Gretel and The Arabian Nights, full of quirks and interesting characters. There were a few twists which took me completely by surprise, in a good way! I like Alex and the supporting cast, from the witch Natacha to her ornery cat, Lenore. Although there were certainly creepier elements in Nightbooks, I think this is definitely a book which can be enjoyed by readers who don’t always like horror as well as those who do. I recommend Nightbooks to readers ages ten and up who like books about stories and unique twists on fairy tales.