We’re officially in spooky season and we couldn’t be happier. Not only does it mean shorter days and perfect conditions for reading horror novels during dark and stormy nights, it also means our love for Mary Shelley and Frankenstein isn’t super out of place. (We love her year-round. You’ve read Monster, She Wrote, right?) So today, we're celebrating the strange experiment that Dr. Frankenstein got up to with books that we’d love to “Frankenstein” together. But proceed with caution! Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment was also his downfall.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
If we stitched together Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng with The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy, we’d have Little Rules Everywhere, a deeply moving novel about secrets kept in the community of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and the unimaginable heartbreak that the residents experienced.
When Ariel arrives in Shaker Heights after surviving a devastating loss, she does not expect to get caught up in the local drama so quickly. Everyone’s asking her take on the other artist who moved to town; does Shaker Heights think all artists know each other? And then there’s an adoption scandal, which Ariel is keeping far away from as she processes her own relationship with motherhood. It’s a tangled web, one that will have Ariel thinking: Why did I choose Shaker Heights?!
How it all goes wrong: Ariel, who is firmly living in 2017, realizes that no one in Shaker Heights has cell phones or computers – that she’s an outlier here. She discovers that she’s stepped into the 1980s and has caused a rift in the space-time continuum, destroying life as she knows it in the process.
Circe by Madeline Miller and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
When Circe’s husband Roy is arrested and sentenced for a crime she knows he didn’t commit, she banishes herself to a remote location and begins to create. But waiting and longing can only take you so far. And because Circe is an immortal witch not subject to the confines of law and humanity, the two never got married. So what’s to stop her from thinking about her childhood friend Andre and the love that’s chastely growing between them? What’s to stop her from consummating that relationship?
How it all goes wrong: Celestial, the woman who’s actually legally married to Roy, returns to find her husband pining for an immortal witch. “I get it,” Celestial tells Circe. “He’s kind of magnetic in a weird controlling way. But this is messier than that time you hooked up with Odysseus.” The women part ways amicably, leaving Celestial to contemplate why she wants Roy back.
Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
If we stitch together Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, you get Paper Gone, a thrilling, multiple timeline action adventure about one woman’s quest to outrun her husband and the teenage girls she meets along the way.
When “cool girl” Amy Dunne created an elaborate and sadistic scavenger hunt for her husband to follow, she never imagined that she would encounter an interdimensional band of teenage girls in the process. And while Amy is no longer in the market for a physical newspaper, she knows a cry for help when she sees it. Soon, she’s bicycling through Missouri with Erin, Mackenzie, KJ, and Tiffany, hoping that these aliens they keep talking about aren’t actually real. And all the while she’s thinking: Nick should have solved all the clues by now.
How it all goes wrong: The teens find out that they’re in Missouri, not Ohio, and panic about the long time-traveling bike ride home. Because at the end of the day, they all have curfews and parents and no clue how this is all going to look now that they’ve willingly crossed state lines.