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My Throat an Open Grave by Tori Bovalino Review: A Haunting Tale of Faith, Fear, and Finding Yourself

Read Time: 4 minutes
Published On: April 29, 2024
My Throat an Open Grave by Tori Bovalino

My Throat an Open Grave is a thrilling atmospheric book by Tori Bovalino that will give you chills.

About "My Throat An Open Grave"

Author: Tori Bovalino

Genre: Horror, Fantasy

Page Number: 301 pages

Goodreads Rating: 4.02/5

My Rating: 3/5

My Throat an Open Grave weaves a compelling narrative that dips its toes in various genres, leaving the reader with a lingering sense of both satisfaction and a desire for more. The story centers around Leah, a young woman trapped in a stiflingly religious small town. Her life revolves around school, church, and caring for her younger brother, Owen. Fear and guilt hang heavy in the air, fueled by the omnipresent threat of the Lord of the Woods, a mysterious entity said to snatch away those who stray from righteousness.

One fateful night, Leah's world crumbles when a desperate wish spoken in a moment of frustration leads to Owen's disappearance. To win him back, Leah must venture into the very woods she's been conditioned to fear. This sets the stage for a captivating journey of self-discovery that blends elements of YA fantasy, gothic horror, and a dash of romance.

The author excels at crafting a chilling atmosphere. The oppressive nature of Leah's hometown and the unsettling aura surrounding the Lord of the Woods' domain create a sense of unease that keeps the reader turning pages. The exploration of religious manipulation and the stifling expectations placed upon women in this community adds a layer of depth and social commentary to the narrative.

Leah emerges as a well-developed protagonist. We witness her grapple with guilt, self-loathing, and the societal pressures that have warped her sense of self. As she ventures deeper into the unknown, she experiences a transformation, slowly shedding the crippling weight of her past and learning to embrace her own strength and resilience.

However, the line between horror and fantasy can feel blurry at times. While the initial premise and setting promise a chilling experience, the story takes a more fantastical turn, with elements of romance coming to the forefront. This might leave readers seeking a purely terrifying horror experience wanting a bit more bite. Additionally, some secondary characters could have benefited from further development, adding more complexity to the overall tapestry.

Despite these minor shortcomings, My Throat an Open Grave is a thoroughly enjoyable read. The captivating plot, well-developed protagonist, and thought-provoking themes make it a worthwhile adventure. Whether you're looking for a story about defying societal norms, confronting your fears, or simply a captivating escape into a world tinged with mystery, this novel has something to offer. Just be prepared for a genre-bending experience that leans more towards the fantastical than the purely horrifying.

Amazon Blurb

Labyrinth meets folk horror in this darkly romantic tale of a girl who wishes her baby brother away to the Lord of the Wood

Growing up in the small town of Winston, Pennsylvania feels like drowning. Leah goes to church every Sunday, works when she isn’t at school, and takes care of her baby brother, Owen. Like every girl in Winston, she tries to be right and good and holy. If she isn’t the Lord of the Wood will take her, and she’ll disappear like so many other girls before her.

But living up to the rigorous standards of the town takes its toll. One night, when Owen won’t stop screaming, Leah wishes him away, and the Lord listens. The screaming stops, and all that’s left in the crib is a small bundle of sticks tied with a ribbon.

Filled with shame and the weight of the town’s judgment, Leah is forced to cross the river into the Lord of the Wood’s domain to bring Owen back. But the devilish figure who has haunted Winston for generations isn’t what she expects. He tells her she can have her brother back―for the price of a song. A song that Leah will have one month to write.

It’s a bargain that will uncover secrets her hometown has tried to keep buried for decades. And what she unearths will have her questioning everything she’s been taught to fear.

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