Title: Hell Followed With Us
Author: Andrew Joseph White
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Dystopia,
Age: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
Publisher: Peachtree Teen
Themes: Friendship, Religious Trauma, Body Horror, Gore, Trans MC, Autism rep, LGBTQ+ rep,
Prepare to die. His kingdom is near.
Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.
But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.
Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.
Thank you to Netgalley and Peachtree Teen for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t even know where to start with this review. I have put off writing this review for so long because I just loved it so much I don’t even know how to talk about it. Hell Followed With Us absolutely exceeded my expectations. I expected to really enjoy it. YA horror is a genre I have loved everything I’ve read so far, but this book totally blew everything out of the water. I really enjoyed the discussions of religious trauma, being queer and trans, and being a teen trying to survive in the world. I am not a religious person, but this hit so many feels and fears regardless of being not religious. It made me feel so many things in so many ways.
This book is not for the faint of heart. It is gory and filled with a ton of body horror. It is definitely the kind of horror book that doesn’t explain everything, and for me that was totally okay. I loved being thrown into the story with no explanation and just having to figure it out as I went along. I honestly didn’t need the explanations for things because I was just so intrenched in the story and was devouring it.
This book was cathartic in a way that I didn’t know I needed. It hit the shy, scared, little queer kid in my chest that I didn’t know wanted to feel anger and revenge for the missed opportunities and for the fear of judgement. This book is all about queer, disabled teen rage and I wanted it all. This is the horror I want. I want gory, raw, and queer as hell violent horror stories that are about revenge and vengeance and rage. This book is going to sit with me for a long time and is definitely something I will need to reread and annotate going forward.
If you can handle the gore and body horror, I think you absolutely need to pick this up.
Rating: 5/5 stars