I swear, I do read other things besides middle-grade fiction. But right now I’m binge-reading my way through this series.

One aspect I’m unexpectedly enjoying is the way these are marketed. I know marketing is often viewed negatively as an attempt to manipulate people, and that’s undeniably true, but I already KNOW I’m going to buy books. I budget “books” in as a monthly expense (one that would get cut if we needed to “retrench,” but mostly that doesn’t happen). So from my point of view book marketing is an attempt to attract my attention to particular books; it isn’t making me spend money I don’t want to.

And whoever put together this line did a really good job. I love the cover art, the cute house pseudonym, the creep-o-meter on the back cover, even the webpage. Someone, or maybe a group of someones, has put together a neat little package here.

Which is great, because that “I must buy all of these!” appeal has led me to discover a few truly creepy stories, and so far,  Read It and Weep has been one of the best. This is partly because the premise (finding a cursed tarot card–sort of a chain letter; it has to be passed on) in an old book is exactly the sort of adventure I always half-hoped I’d stumble into on my own trips to the library. The execution is perfect,  moving the story along briskly and framing it with a brief glimpse into the book itself, which eerily depicts the lives of its victims.

It’s not challenging fiction, but children don’t need every book they pick up to be somehow improving or educational; voracious readers deserve some pure pleasure-reading too.

read it and weep