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Top Ten Tuesday: (Five) Books That Could’ve Been Horrors

Created by and with thanks to That Artsy Reader! This week’s theme is a Halloween freebie, and my take on it was inspired by those Editing is Everything videos. If you’ve not seen them (they’re on YouTube, and very funny!) the general concept is that they edit the clips and music of film trailers to change their genres: turning Disneys into horrors, romances into thrillers, etc, with just their interpretation. Here are five books I think could easily have been horrors, with a little editing and a different perspective…

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1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
If you’ve engaged in any fan discourse around Twilight, you’ll know the horror is all there: the hideousness at never being able to forget or sleep; being frozen in time at the exact point you died, which is usually tied to trauma; scaring animals just by existing in their presence; and oh, yeah, constant burning bloodlust. Edward and Bella are lucky their author was such a romantic, because in other hands, that could’ve got real ugly, real fast!

2. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
I might’ve seen too many episodes of Criminal Minds, but hear me out: how easily could this plot have been Ethan poisoning the wedding buffet so he could lure Olive to a remote location and bury her body in a sea cave?

3. The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary
Tiffy’s friends are super against the idea of her moving into a flat share with a man she’s never met–not just because danger, but because she’s agreeing to share his bed, on nothing more than the promise that he won’t actually be there, as he works nights. I know it’s Romancelandia, where nothing bad will happen, but I’m just saying, in another genre, it would have.

4. You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry
Consider this angle: estranged ‘friend’ plots to take the object of her obsession, who seems to have escaped her, on ‘one last good times’ vacation… That he’ll never return from. Dum dum duuuuum! (Though let’s face it, the real horror is that the international publishers changed the book’s name for no good reason.)

5. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
In real life (though who’s interested in that? Not me), the real horror of this book’s plot would be the absolute nightmare of HR meetings that could’ve been emails, because of the toxic work environment these two caused. (And I say that with absolute love for them, I promise.)

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Do you ever spot horror elements in non-horror stories?

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28 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: (Five) Books That Could’ve Been Horrors

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  1. Oh I think you win for best twist on the topic this week! I had so much fun reading this. It probably helps that I love all of these books. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a really fun twist! I love seeing how many Romance (with a capital R) plots can easily twist into thrillers or horrors with what seems like so little effort… something about that genre allows for otherwise unthinkable situations to become cozy and romantic! (Though I wouldn’t trust it in Real Life…)

    Happy TTT on a Wednesday! My post: https://bookwyrmknits.com/2022/10/25/top-ten-tuesday-cozy-mysteries/

    Liked by 1 person

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