Book Review for She Wants to Play by Anthony Taylor
She Wants to Play by Anthony Taylor
Four kids break into a house known to be abandoned in their hometown. As they feed their curiosity, one knocks over a canister of gasoline, and the fumes cause them to evacuate ending their night; what they didn’t know was how dark the night would turn as the home suddenly goes up in flames. Hiding with the trees, they watched the firemen come rushing out with a child in their arms. Believing they murdered a child, they carried this deadly secret for over a decade and tried putting the past behind them. But as they attempt to enjoy a vacation in the mountains with close family and friends, someone hasn’t forgotten. And that someone is seeking revenge.
She Wants to Play by Anthony Taylor is horror, who-done-it with a twist you won’t see coming. With a touch of “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, Anthony Taylor takes the reader on a fast-paced journey of suspense and mystery. The characters are so realistic, you’ll forget you are reading fiction, and become completely absorbed in the events each one experiences – it will be like you are really there.
The plot focuses on four central characters, Selina, Cassidy, Rebecca and Theo, the main protagonist. Other characters included are their friends and family. They are all meeting up for a weekend away to enjoy each other’s company and discover what the town of Tennessee has to offer. However, someone has other ideas. Ten years earlier, the four friends accidently set fire to an old house and unbeknown to them, a child died in the fire. They decide not to tell anyone and promise to keep the secret to themselves. They were only children, after all, and who can blame them, right? Well, someone does and wants justice. They also want to put an end to their relaxing weekend and their lives.
They no sooner arrive when strange and creepy things begin to happen. It starts with a doll and a threatening message pinned to it. Then there are phone messages that play suspicious nursery rhymes then menacing messages are sent to everyone. Relationships are torn apart as the mystery deepens, but will loyalty and love win in the end?
I found the dialogue to be very impressive. I felt I was reading real conversations, and the arguments were especially realistic. There were sixteen characters altogether, which some readers may find difficult to follow. However, Taylor stays focused on the main four in the first few chapters, so it isn’t difficult to remember who’s who.
There is some swearing, so parents might want to decide if their under 18’s should read it. Again, this shouldn’t put anyone off because, as we know, it is weak characters who use curse words and author Anthony Taylor employs this technique to build the characters’ profiles and show the reader what they are really like underneath.
This book is categorized as a LGBTQ and horror which may put some readers off. It shouldn’t. These elements only add to the intricacies of the storyline because both are handled with good taste and certainly don’t influence what is a really thrilling read.
If you love a good horror romp, you’ll find She Wants to Play by Anthony Taylor to be a great page-turner. It’s the kind of book you won’t want to put down. I don’t think there are many readers who will work out what’s going to happen there are so many plot twists, which adds to the excitement and, dare I say, joy of reading this book. Artisan Book Reviews highly recommends She Wants to Play by Anthony Taylor. Book reviewed by Susan Day for Artisan Book Reviews