Title: His Hideous Heart: 13 of Edgar Allen Poe’s Most Unsettling Tales, Reimagined
Editor: Dahlia Adler, et. al
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Horror/Short Story Collection/Anthology
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
I’ve been a fan of Edgar Allen Poe’s work for a long time, since I was a preteen. So when I saw His Hideous Heart sitting on a shelf at my local library, I snatched it up! As soon as I was finished with Nightingale, I returned to this book, which I was in the middle of before I even began the book club book. Dahlia Adler gathers some of YA fiction’s best and brightest to remix Poe’s most frightening and unsettling tales, and what’s really nice about this anthology is that it has the original stories printed in the back of it for easy referencing. Since there are 13 tales, both remixed and original, I will highlight the standouts and give the whole book an overall review.
She Rode a Horse of Fire by Kendare Blake, inspired by ‘Metzengerstein’: 5 out of 5 Stars. This story tells of a devoted servant, loyal to her master even to the end, despite a dark, bloody and murderous secret. Chilling, unsettling, and shocking, especially the ending! One of my favorite stories in the entire collection.
It’s Carnival! By Tiffany D. Jackson, inspired by ‘The Cask of Amontillado’: 5 out of 5 Stars. A wronged woman learns that revenge is a dish best served cold, and buries a classmate deep within the walls of an old, abandoned building. I also adored the way that the story took place in Jamaica. Darkly funny, terrifying, and full of wit, I loved this story!
Night-Tide by Tessa Gratton, inspired by ‘Annabel Lee’: 5 out of 5 Stars. I loved this gorgeous, lesbian take on Annabel Lee; it was sad, bittersweet, and lovely; this story in particular struck a chord with me. The narrator lost her beloved Annabel, her best and only friend, after an awful tragedy, and she can’t help but wonder if it was her love that killed Annabel… One of my favorite stories in the whole book!
Happy Days, Sweetheart by Stephanie Kuehn, inspired by ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’: 4 out of 5 Stars. The Tell-Tale Heart is one of my very favorite Poe stories, so I was really looking forward to this one! The main character in this story has ambition seeping out of her very pores, so when a classmate beats her out in everything she tries, she forms a plan to get the upper hand—even after she and the boy get romantically involved. This story was particularly chilling, especially the ending!
And, last but definitely not least:
The Oval Filter by Lamar Giles, inspired by ‘The Oval Portrait’: 5 out of 5 Stars. After the disappearance of his girlfriend, a prominent Instagram influencer, a former football star becomes obsessed with solving the mystery associated with her. When he discovers just how and why his lover disappeared, he exacts revenge all his own. Dark, creepy, and shocking, this story might be my favorite of the entire book! I also loved the way that the back of the book held all of the original stories for comparison. This book is one of my favorites of the year 2019, and I can promise you that I will never forget this gorgeous, dark and beautifully written collection of tales! The bottom line: Retelling some of Edgar Allen Poe’s most imaginative and frightening work, I loved His Hideous Heart! One of the best books of 2019! Next on deck: Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau!