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Monday, September 5, 2011

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY!!! Bedbugs: A Novel by Ben H. Winters


About book:

SLEEP TIGHT.

Susan and Alex Wendt are the perfect couple in search of the perfect brownstone - and they find their dream house in the heart of Brooklyn Heights.  Sure, the landlady is eccentric, and the handyman drops cryptic remarks about the previous tenants.  But the rent is so low, it's too good to pass up.

Big mistake: Susan soon discovers the brownstone is crawling with bedbugs - or is it?  She awakens every morning with fresh bites, but neither Alex nor their daughter Emma has a single welt.  An exterminator searches the property and turns up nothing.  The landlady insists the building is clean.  Susan fears she's going mad - until a more sinister explanation presents itself:  She may literally be confronting the bedbug problem from hell.

By the way here's a link to Quirk Books' awesome book trailer for Bedbugs:  
http://www.quirkbooks.com/bedbugs

My Thoughts:

Reading this book gave me the creeps. I felt like bedbugs were crawling all over me - YUCK!! So, it really was the perfect way to kick off Carl's, R.I.P. VI Challenge.  There was a bit of the supernatural mixed in with some crazy people and tons of creepy crawly blood suckers swarming about to make you itch and gasp in surprise. 

Bedbugs tells the story of the Wendts - Susan (wife), Alex (husband), and Emma (daughter) - a small family looking for a dream home in a better neighborhood.  Susan wants space to set up an art studio where she can paint and Alex wants a kitchen big enough so that he can cook up gourmet meals for his family.  All they want is a good school for their daughter and parks nearby where she can run and play.  Oh, and a monthly rental payment that will still leave them with money to spare.  Talk about pipe dreams, right? Especially considering that they live in NYC, where rent is anything but cheap. 

Well, consider Alex, Susan, and Emma extremely lucky, because thanks to the internet, it looks like they have struck gold - a brownstone apartment in Brooklyn Heights for under $4000 a month ( aka DREAM HOME).  After checking out the place and talking with the landlady, Alex and Susan decide to go for it and are soon faxing over a signed copy of the lease.  The topic of bedbugs does come up, but only as an afterthought.  Soon boxes are being moved and excitement fills the air. 

Life for the Wendts appears to be good.  They are adjusting to their new digs and the surrounding area nicely.  Alex is working crazy hours, Susan has set up an art studio and Emma has made friends in the park - everything is moving along smoothly.  Until a tiny speck of blood appears on Susan's pillowcase one morning.  Bedbugs! The thought crosses her mind rather fleetingly, but she pushes it away and chalks up the stain to paint.  However, strange things begin to happen that start to make Susan think that maybe her house isn't as bug-free as she had thought.  As the story progresses, bites are discovered, exterminators are called, accusations are thrown and a family is torn apart.  Oh, and some pretty creepy stuff begins to happen that makes you wonder if the house is haunted or if Susan is possessed and doesn't even know it.  You even start to wonder about the old handyman who takes care of the property and the dotty old landlady, whose moods shift at the drop of a hat.  Now, I'm not going to provide any more details, except to say that the ending will definitely leave you SURPRISED - and feeling itchy all over. 

Bedbugs was a good, fun, and creepy read.  The writing was solid, the storyline current and the characters were caricatures of people you probably know in real life (so they were interesting to read about) - overall a good book to have on a rainy fall day.   You will not be disappointed! 

GIVEAWAY INFO:  
Thanks to Quirk Books for providing me with a copy of this bug-ilicous book to read and to give away!! Yes, I'll be giving one lucky reader a copy of Bedbugs courtesy of Quirk Books.  Open to US residents! All you have to do is leave a comment and include your email address and you'll be entered in the giveaway.  I'll use the random number generator to select a winner. Contest will end September 15, 2011! Good luck!!

Oh, and this book will definitely count towards my R.I.P. VI Challenge goal of reading four books - YAY!   I always try to read at least two for this challenge, but this year I'm going for four.  And now I'm off to pick up my next spooky read!

24 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

When I started to read the review and I had just read the "About book" part and hadn't scrolled down yet, I thought, wow, this would be great for RIP! LOL It sounds very creepy and good!

Nadia said...

rhapsodyinbooks, it was creepy and good. Definitely a fun page turner, which made it perfect for RIP :)

bermudaonion said...

I should be getting this book soon so I'm glad to see it's so creepy! Hopefully I can read it in October!

Nadia said...

bermudaonion, can't wait to see what you think of it! And, yes its the perfect read for October - Enjoy!!

reviewsbylola said...

I really want to read this one! It sounds very creepy and perfect for RIP! My e-mail is swdarguschATyahooDOTcom.

Kimberly said...

The idea of this is just creepy . . . which means it's a must-read. Heh. kimberly {a} fancyterrible.com

Wallace said...

Oh my gosh - this kind of creepy makes me DREAM creepy! I've thought of joining the challenge but am not sure I'm brave enough, haha!

Bellezza said...

Whoa~! What a horrific book, and perfect choice for the RIP. I find the books which don't stray too far from the normal (not that we have bugs in our houses) to be the scariest. Just a hair off normal? That's so creepy!

Nadia said...

reviewsbylola, you will love it! It is definitely creepy and perfect for RIP!

Kimberly, it is creepy and definitely a must-read! Fun stuff!

Wallace, you are brave enough! Go for it! It'll be fun picking out books and I think you'll enjoy it! And let me just say this one gave me nightmares - Ahhh! But it was still a great read :)

Bellezza, so true! I agree! It is those books that touch on something everyday and play with that idea in a supernatural way that tend to creep me out the most. And having bugs in the house like that is my worst nightmare - Yikes! I'm glad I read it for RIP - definitely a great way to kick it off :)

Brenda said...

I dont think I could read this book and ever sleep peacefully again.

Thanks for the review.

Nadia said...

Brenda, I know what you mean. I actually had nightmares the night I read it. Definitely makes you twice about checking your bed before falling asleep ;)

30e70e80-d95c-11e0-ad47-000bcdcb8a73 said...

Sounds good! I just finished "Before I Go to Sleep" which was super suspenseful - makes me crave another suspense story like Bedbugs! I'd looove to receive to read! :) c.orth12@aggienetwork.com Thanks!

Ti said...

Don't count me in for the giveaway... I just wanted to stop by and comment. I'd freak myself out if I read this one, but I saw it at the bookstore over the weekend and was wondering about it.

Nadia said...

30e..., I read Before I Go to Sleep recently, too! I loved that book - it was so good. The suspense of finding out what happened to her was driving me crazy! You will definitely love the suspense of Bedbugs!

Ti, it is good! I think you would actually enjoy it. Defintely gives you the creeps though.

LBY said...

I'm a first time reader who stumbled onto your Bookish Way of Life. This sounds like a great read. I'll be back!
lbarnesyoung@mac.com

Nadia said...

LBY, glad you stumbled upon my blog :) Definitely check out this creepy book - it is such a good read!

Amber Elise said...

Terrified and yet anxious! :) Thanks!

amber.hrkns at gmail dot com

Nadia said...

Amber, that's how I felt reading it :)

christa @ mental foodie said...

Sounds creepy! Thanks for the giveaway :)

cytljjb @ gmail com

Nadia said...

Christa, it is creepy, but you will enjoy it!

thejoyofbooking.com said...

I'm so interested to read this! I've seen ads, but was waiting for a review before adding to my TBR. I'm at thejoyofbooking at gmail dot com.

Nadia said...

thejoyofbooking - you will not be disappointed! Such a good book!

Tom Cunliffe said...

I quite like the occasional horror or fantasy novel. This one sounds like a good read and would no doubt make me feel rather itchy

Portugal said...

I bought this book based on the reviews that told me I'd be squirming in my bed all night. This book had no such impact on me. It was boring and obvious. The downspiral into madness Susan supposedly took, happened way too fast for it to be believable at all. The end was so obvious it made it painful to finish the book. I was happy with the ending. I mean, the end. When the book was over, and I didn't have to read it any more.