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Bedbugs

Bedbugs - Ben H. Winters Read this review at Smash Attack Reads! http://www.smashattackreads.com/2011/10/bedbugs-book-that-will-surely-get-under.htmlMy Synopsis: Meet Susan and Alex Wendt, and their adorable daughter, Emma, a typical family living in Brooklyn, NY. Susan has quit her job to pursue her love of art, and has become obsessed with moving her perfect family out of their small apartment. Lucky for them, the perfect opportunity presents itself, and the family finds themselves living in their dream apartment.Too bad that dream is squished like the big, juicy bedbug Susan finds on her pillow. And so the fun begins. Susan begins to freak out about a bug infestation that her husband and daughter have yet to encounter. She calls in an exterminator, who gives the apartment a clean bill of health, yet Susan falls deeper into bed bug Hell.My interest in the book: Hello! Psychological thrillers are so fun to read. They make some of the best horror reads because of what they suggest. They plant a seed in our mind that has us questioning our own sanity. I like that look-over-your-shoulder-and-under-your-bed type of story. I like books that get in your head, and in the case of Bedbugs, get under skin.Characters: Susan is a pretty normal woman who morphs into someone unrecognizable by her family. Alex is a hardworking man who really cares for his family, but finds it hard to handle Susan’s “issues” along with the stress of being the lone bread winner. Sweet Emma is a great addition to the story and I’m glad the author decided to include a child in the mix. An eccentric landlady, a shady handyman, a nanny, and a rough and tumble exterminator round out the cast of characters.Worldbuilding: The world building for this book is pretty straightforward, as it is not set in a fantasy world, but in good ole NYC. Many of us may agree that NYC has its own set of fantasy elements, but the Wendts live in typical family-oriented neighborhood surrounded by shops, eateries and parks. The real world building takes places inside the apartment, where Susan slowly loses her grip on reality and the apartment warps into something straight out of a horror movie.Lasting Impressions: Honestly, this book was great. I did find the ending a little hokey, but it did not detract from the terror and insanity that seeped from the pages. I thoroughly enjoyed the slow descent into madness and personally, would never, ever want to go through what this woman experienced…real, imagined or otherwise! In my opinion, when an author leaves you thinking about the book days after you’ve finished it (or in the case of Bedbugs, feeling the book days after), I think it’s safe to say that they did their job, and well.