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Every fall, when the orchards ripen and the leaves begin to die, there are murders. We know it, and we accept it. It’s the price we pay for living in Apple, Massachusetts. Our town carves up and spits out a few seeds each year. We all approach autumn with dread because nobody wants to be a seed. Now, there's another body in the woods and we are the unfortunate ones to find Every fall, when the orchards ripen and the leaves begin to die, there are murders. We know it, and we accept it. It’s the price we pay for living in Apple, Massachusetts. Our town carves up and spits out a few seeds each year. We all approach autumn with dread because nobody wants to be a seed. Now, there's another body in the woods and we are the unfortunate ones to find it—me, Newie and Annie. The discovery of a murdered girl propped up against a tree on the path between the high school and the middle school, plunges Jackson Gill and his friends into the center of a decades old blight that has cursed the town of Apple for almost sixty years. As the next forty-eight hours unfold, the underbelly of their lives and their town are exposed. Family ties are tested and the truth of what is really happening begins to bubble to the surface. Death swirls tightly around Jackson and his friends as they traverse the narrow tightrope between adolescence and adulthood. Caught up in the maelstrom of murder, they can’t help but dance ever closer to the horror that has plagued their lives for so long. After all, they have no choice. They live in Bloody Bloody Apple.


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Every fall, when the orchards ripen and the leaves begin to die, there are murders. We know it, and we accept it. It’s the price we pay for living in Apple, Massachusetts. Our town carves up and spits out a few seeds each year. We all approach autumn with dread because nobody wants to be a seed. Now, there's another body in the woods and we are the unfortunate ones to find Every fall, when the orchards ripen and the leaves begin to die, there are murders. We know it, and we accept it. It’s the price we pay for living in Apple, Massachusetts. Our town carves up and spits out a few seeds each year. We all approach autumn with dread because nobody wants to be a seed. Now, there's another body in the woods and we are the unfortunate ones to find it—me, Newie and Annie. The discovery of a murdered girl propped up against a tree on the path between the high school and the middle school, plunges Jackson Gill and his friends into the center of a decades old blight that has cursed the town of Apple for almost sixty years. As the next forty-eight hours unfold, the underbelly of their lives and their town are exposed. Family ties are tested and the truth of what is really happening begins to bubble to the surface. Death swirls tightly around Jackson and his friends as they traverse the narrow tightrope between adolescence and adulthood. Caught up in the maelstrom of murder, they can’t help but dance ever closer to the horror that has plagued their lives for so long. After all, they have no choice. They live in Bloody Bloody Apple.

30 review for Bloody Bloody Apple

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    BLOODY BLOODY APPLE, by Howard Odentz, was a captivating, fast-paced read right from the beginning. When we are first introduced to the small town of Apple, there is no sugar-coating the rough and beaten way of life there. This is one of those stories where you want to reach in and yell at the characters to do something differently. However, the scene and emotional pull of the novel is so well set that--as a reader--you realize that had these been "real" people in the same situation, a change on BLOODY BLOODY APPLE, by Howard Odentz, was a captivating, fast-paced read right from the beginning. When we are first introduced to the small town of Apple, there is no sugar-coating the rough and beaten way of life there. This is one of those stories where you want to reach in and yell at the characters to do something differently. However, the scene and emotional pull of the novel is so well set that--as a reader--you realize that had these been "real" people in the same situation, a change on their parts wouldn't be enough to make a difference in a town like this. It is simply the way it was meant to be. ". . . Turning the other cheek is cake. Doing something about it sometimes seems too hard." In the Autumn, there are murders in Apple. Every year without fail--unsolved, often brutal, murders and mutilations. The residents have come to accept it as "just the way things are", and for the most part, simply block it out of their consciousness. ". . . Sometimes the stories we tell ourselves . . . seem so real, it's sad . . . " The characters Odentz portrays are so vivid, so full of personality, that even with the town's universal apathy regarding the yearly murders, each person comes out as a clearly defined individual. Jackson, whose family life is so "wrong" to the readers, has it bad--but then we realize that they ALL do, their problems and family lives are just manifested in different, toxic ways. Throughout the novel, the theme of death and decay pervades the entire atmosphere. Even in a rare tender moment, there is no escape from it. ". . . Some things are just too damaged to be fixed. No matter how normal they appear on the surface, they'll always be broken underneath . . . " Enjoy your visit to Apple--just don't let yourself get too attached to anyone there. *I would have gone with a 4.5 star rating, rounded up, if not for the very end of the story. A single sentence, that just didn't seem to fit in with the narrative at that point. This is only my personal opinion, and I honestly felt that everything preceding it was all-consuming and flowed perfectly.* Recommended!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    This book is doing nothing for me and it is probably just me as I have seen that it has received great reviews, but I just am not able to get into the storyline. Giving it two stars as I don't feel right giving it one star as it probably is a good book, but it is just not for me. This book is doing nothing for me and it is probably just me as I have seen that it has received great reviews, but I just am not able to get into the storyline. Giving it two stars as I don't feel right giving it one star as it probably is a good book, but it is just not for me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    David

    While the main premise of Bloody Bloody Apple is the gruesome killings that take place there every year, once the author dives into the lives of its inhabitants, including the first-person narrator, Jackson, Apple becomes a place in which a serial killer leaving body parts littered about may not be the grimmest thing in town. Howard Odentz is doing a bit of Stephen King here, writing small town local flavor in which deep, dark secrets aren't so deep, every family is dysfunctional, and being a tee While the main premise of Bloody Bloody Apple is the gruesome killings that take place there every year, once the author dives into the lives of its inhabitants, including the first-person narrator, Jackson, Apple becomes a place in which a serial killer leaving body parts littered about may not be the grimmest thing in town. Howard Odentz is doing a bit of Stephen King here, writing small town local flavor in which deep, dark secrets aren't so deep, every family is dysfunctional, and being a teenager is pretty horrific even without people randomly dying around you. Apple, Massachusetts is apparently cursed with a serial killer, except since the killings have been going on for sixty years, it's become something that the town just accepts. The police are completely incapable of doing anything other than picking up the pieces (literally), and since this is a horror novel, the FBI never shows up and somehow a small town that has multiple spectacularly bloody murders every year never makes the news. Jackson, your typical angry young high school student, has more reasons than most to be angry. His mother is almost catatonic with depression, his grandfather is wheelchair-bound and senile, his father has become a brooding religious fanatic, and his sister... is locked in a basement, having gone completely insane. (Or, according to their father, possessed.) His girlfriend Annie and his best friend Newie, whose father is the police chief, don't have much better home lives. But they get dragged into Apple's bloody tradition when they discover one of the bodies, and then Jackson's sister Becky starts whispering things that only the killer could know. There are a few red herrings laid out in this book, particularly with regard to whether or not there is actually anything supernatural going on. The ending, in which the killer is revealed in a climactic, bloody, and improbable finale worthy of any Scream installment, makes sense given the clues, though once you put everything together, there is a major suspension of disbelief required. But Bloody Bloody Apple is pure grade-B horror novel, working all the tropes and playing them straight, so don't expect strict realism. While there is a touch of King in the small town East Coast vibe and the evil in the hearts of ordinary people, much stronger influences were clearly Scream, Friday the 13th, Halloween, and every other teen slasher movie ever. Jackson is about as likable as any teenage boy - which is to say, not very - but his situation and his temperament is as believable as it can be given the premise. This is not a particular clever or subversive take on the genre, but if you like the kind of bloody thrillers where the big questions are both "Whodunit?" and "Who's gonna get it?" then this is an entertainingly bloody read. Really a 3 star book, but the writing was competent and it was a quick page-turner and I had an unhealthy fondness for slasher flicks when I was a teen, so I'm giving it 4 for popcorn appeal.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I can't help but think what this story could have been in the hands of a better writer. Apple, Massachusetts is a small, dead-end town full of misery and wasted lives. The young people want out, but the older people have given up hope of ever escaping. The atmosphere is depressing and miserable. To make matters worse, every autumn a serial killer preys on the people of Apple, indiscriminately killing about half a dozen in brutal fashion before vanishing, only to emerge the next autumn. The story I can't help but think what this story could have been in the hands of a better writer. Apple, Massachusetts is a small, dead-end town full of misery and wasted lives. The young people want out, but the older people have given up hope of ever escaping. The atmosphere is depressing and miserable. To make matters worse, every autumn a serial killer preys on the people of Apple, indiscriminately killing about half a dozen in brutal fashion before vanishing, only to emerge the next autumn. The story is told through the eyes of Jackson Gill, a good kid trapped in a bad situation. His mother is severely depressed and unable to do much more than sit and smoke cigarettes all day. His father spends his days making wooden crosses in the garage. His grandfather, who lives with him, is apparently senile and not of much help at all. And then there's his older sister Becky - who is kept in the basement. She suffers from what used to be known as multiple personality disorder. You never know when you'll be dealing with Becky or Not-Becky, her insane alter ego. Of course, the Gills' solution to this problem is to lock her up in the basement as if she's some sort of monster. Okay. Jackson's friends are also struggling with miserable lives. In fact, everyone appears to be miserable. This is repeatedly emphasized to the point that it becomes tedious. It's one of my sore points with this book. A few more issues: * Becky in the basement. Seriously? Do I need to point out how absurd this is? * The timeline of the murders is variously described as 80 years, 60 years, and later, by my reckoning, about 50 years. Despite the fact that Apple is a small town, no one has idea who has been committing these crimes. I find that very unlikely. The local law enforcement cannot be that incompetent. No one is going to get away with brutal murders, especially ones out in the open like these, without leaving some clues that even a small town police force find. Believe me, the killer behind all this is no genius. * Why was the FBI not involved? A serial killer who has been active for such a long period of time in a small town would certainly attract their attention. If the local police couldn't handle the crimes, why not the FBI? It's their specialty after all. * The only real character is Jackson. The others are cardboard, two-dimensional, and often stereotypes - jock, party girl, outsider, etc. * The "twist" at the end is totally unbelievable and feels tacked on. I can't say much without spoiling the end, but in light of the character's personality and development during the story, this is also very unlikely. I was ready to give the book three stars for at least being entertaining in a shallow sort of way. However, that final sentence just killed it for me and I notice I'm not the only one. I think two stars is more than generous. This is definitely one author I will not try again. He needs to work on his characters and stories and lay off the cheap exploitation.

  5. 5 out of 5

    WendyB

    Well written story that was a bit different than what I was expecting. Not sure what to make of the book's last sentence (view spoiler)[Were there two killers in the town or did Jackson decide to take over where his grandfather left off? (hide spoiler)] Well written story that was a bit different than what I was expecting. Not sure what to make of the book's last sentence (view spoiler)[Were there two killers in the town or did Jackson decide to take over where his grandfather left off? (hide spoiler)]

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tinky Weisblat

    “Apple, Massachusetts is rotten to the core,” announces the cover of “Bloody Bloody Apple.” This novel from Howard Odentz of Wilbraham is seriously good and seriously creepy. How good is it? I had so much trouble putting it down that I was almost late for a professional appointment the other morning. How creepy is it? Odentz’s previous novel, about a zombie apocalypse, seems cheerful in comparison. People became zombies fairly quickly in “Dead (a Lot).” And that book’s youthful hero was resourcefu “Apple, Massachusetts is rotten to the core,” announces the cover of “Bloody Bloody Apple.” This novel from Howard Odentz of Wilbraham is seriously good and seriously creepy. How good is it? I had so much trouble putting it down that I was almost late for a professional appointment the other morning. How creepy is it? Odentz’s previous novel, about a zombie apocalypse, seems cheerful in comparison. People became zombies fairly quickly in “Dead (a Lot).” And that book’s youthful hero was resourceful and hopeful. In contrast, the protagonist of “Bloody Bloody Apple” is trapped by his town, his family, and menacing evil. The people who are murdered in the town—and people are murdered there every fall, in apple season—die gruesome deaths. Jackson Gill is a high-school senior who lives in a three-generational household in Apple, a medium-sized town in western Massachusetts. Both the town and the family are dysfunctional. No one ever seems to leave Apple, and everyone lives in fear. Jackson’s family exemplifies the town’s uneasy pathology. His father barely speaks to the rest of the household. He holes himself up in the garage and carves crucifixes to ward off whatever it is that haunts Apple. Jackson’s mother suffers from severe depression that renders her almost catatonic. His grandfather is wheelchair bound and is losing his memory. Most unsettling of all, mentally ill sister Becky fills the house with screams and menace. Teenage Jackson has to be the adult of the house, making sure that everyone in the family eats and takes medication, that laundry is done, that life is as normal as it can be in this home and this town. Walking home from school one crisp autumn day, Jackson and his best friends discover the town’s latest corpse. One of their classmates has been, in Jackson’s words, “decorated by death.” When Jackson gets home, he discovers that Becky—who is locked in the basement and never leaves the house—seems to have special knowledge about the crime. The sorrow and the murders keep coming as Jackson tries unsuccessfully to keep his family safe and to plan his eventual escape from the town of Apple. Odentz has previously written two eerie musical comedies as well as “Dead (a Lot).” He is a deft plotter, and he knows how to keep his audiences and readers on the edge of their seats. “Bloody Bloody Apple” is full of action, but it also raises important questions about family dynamics, cycles of poverty, and the resiliency of evil. Its twisting (and slightly twisted) ending left this reader thoughtful … and a little scared.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This is one of the better books that I've read all year. It was a very quick read, as the characters and storyline was so good that I didn't want to stop reading. I'm not going to get into the storyline, as every other reviewer has done. I'll just say the 3 main characters come from damaged, broken families, yet they will find their way into your heart. The end was a complete and utter surprise. Yep, I'd recommend this book and author. I won this book on Goodreads/First reads. What a heck of a de This is one of the better books that I've read all year. It was a very quick read, as the characters and storyline was so good that I didn't want to stop reading. I'm not going to get into the storyline, as every other reviewer has done. I'll just say the 3 main characters come from damaged, broken families, yet they will find their way into your heart. The end was a complete and utter surprise. Yep, I'd recommend this book and author. I won this book on Goodreads/First reads. What a heck of a deal!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I did not enjoy reading this book. The premise is interesting but I found it a chore to get through and had to force myself to continue. I found it to be extremely depressing and I did not want to be transported into this world very often. I’ve read much more “horrific” books but this one was very depressing. It took me seemingly forever to complete it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Apple is a small town that is located in Western Massachusetts. For the last sixty years, in the autumn, strang and brutal murders have taken place. The police force of Apple, don't have a clue to who the murder is. The town people learn to accept it. Jackson, who is an angry teenager, who has to take care of his mother, who suffers from depression, a grandfather, who is wheelchair bound and has a fading memory, a father, who is a religious fanatic, who spends in night in his workshop, making cr Apple is a small town that is located in Western Massachusetts. For the last sixty years, in the autumn, strang and brutal murders have taken place. The police force of Apple, don't have a clue to who the murder is. The town people learn to accept it. Jackson, who is an angry teenager, who has to take care of his mother, who suffers from depression, a grandfather, who is wheelchair bound and has a fading memory, a father, who is a religious fanatic, who spends in night in his workshop, making crosses and a sister Becky, who is locked and chained in the cellar, so she can't escape. Jackson thinks that his sister might be possessed by the devil. Annie, who is Jackson girlfriend, is abused by her father and Newie, who father is the town sheriff. The three of them, have their plates full with the strange family that they are surround by. The three are the best of friends and walk to school together just about every day. One day, when they were walking through the woods, that discover a body of a classmate. The eyes have been removed from this body. Later the girl is identified as Claudia Fish. Her murder was the third one this year. When Jackson returns home, his sister Becky, seems to know some of the details of the murder. Can Jackson and his friends discover who the killer is and end the bloodshed that surrounds the town of Apple? Bloody, Bloody Apple, is a fast paced book, that you don't want to put down. Odentz development of the three main characters, is done very well. This makes the story even stronger. This is the first book that I have read by Howard Odentz and it won't be the last. I highly recommend this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Meagan

    There was so much that I loved about this book. I actually don't know where to start. I guess I can start with my rating 5 stars!!! I rarely give fives so that says it all right there. I randomly chose this book as my second read of the new year and went into it with very little expectation. This is partly because I don't often choose to read horror books, and also because I think that no one can write teen murders the way that R.L. Stine did back in the days of Fear Street. This is why when I f There was so much that I loved about this book. I actually don't know where to start. I guess I can start with my rating 5 stars!!! I rarely give fives so that says it all right there. I randomly chose this book as my second read of the new year and went into it with very little expectation. This is partly because I don't often choose to read horror books, and also because I think that no one can write teen murders the way that R.L. Stine did back in the days of Fear Street. This is why when I found myself devouring the pages of Bloody Bloody Apple, I knew I had found something special. This is not a book for children, but also not for adults. It floats the line between Stine and King, and pushes the boundaries of teen fiction by not holding anything back. The murders are grisly, with enough detail for you to see and have nightmares about the crime scenes, and the crazy characters in the book are so crazy. Jackson's voice is very strong and we learn just how messed up the town of Apple really is. This book was absolutely delicious and deserves each and every one of those five stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    I loved Howard Odentz's first book, Dead (A Lot), which was a quirky zombie tale with a teenage view point, but I loved Bloody Bloody Apple even more! Apple is like The Exorcist with a teenage view point, just a great scary story! It's been a long time since I've read a book that made me slightly afraid to take my dog out in the backyard for his nightly constitutional.... this book is scary good!! I loved Howard Odentz's first book, Dead (A Lot), which was a quirky zombie tale with a teenage view point, but I loved Bloody Bloody Apple even more! Apple is like The Exorcist with a teenage view point, just a great scary story! It's been a long time since I've read a book that made me slightly afraid to take my dog out in the backyard for his nightly constitutional.... this book is scary good!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tiz. T.

    This book had. SO.MUCH.PROMISE. It was a good plot. A good writing. Good characters. I was honestly happy reading it. Until the last phrase. This book pulls a Matrix on the reader, as in a good, even great work of fiction totally destroyed in the last ten second. The ending is idiotic, senseless, and thrown in just because. A pity. I was so enjoying this.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Landry

    From the start of this book I was pulled in. I enjoyed the history of the unexplained murders which occur each fall in Apple, Massachusetts. The story unfolded unexpectedly and kept you moving and guessing along with it. Give this one a try...I am thankful it was shared with me by a friend.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Wow. I did not want to put this book down because I needed to know what was going to happen next!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I received this book for free. I am voluntarily leaving this review and all opinions expressed herein are my own. Here, Jackson lives in Apple, where every fall several murders occur. Everyone who lives in Apple accepts it as a natural part of their existence. Jackson takes care of his mentally ill mother and sister and his elderly grandfather. His father has somewhat checked out of the family and relies on Jackson to keep the family together. This fall, Jackson and his friends find the first bod I received this book for free. I am voluntarily leaving this review and all opinions expressed herein are my own. Here, Jackson lives in Apple, where every fall several murders occur. Everyone who lives in Apple accepts it as a natural part of their existence. Jackson takes care of his mentally ill mother and sister and his elderly grandfather. His father has somewhat checked out of the family and relies on Jackson to keep the family together. This fall, Jackson and his friends find the first body and Jackson begins to suspect that maybe his family is involved in the deaths... This books reminds me of Stephen King for the underlying creep factor in the story. It is a story you cannot put down and an ending you cannot forget. The characters are each so well developed, each with their interesting back story. It is very well written with great pacing and suspense. Highly recommend. I listened to this book - the narrator was fantastic. He developed a great intensity as the story evolved that brought the story to life. And his Not Becky character sends chills down your spine!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    Jackson Gill is a young man with a problem. Actually, Jackson has a number of problems. For starters, he, his girlfriend Annie, and his friend Newie have just found the body of a murdered girl in the woods. But it gets weirder. Although discovering the dead girl was unexpected, it’s nothing new in Apple, Massachusetts. In fact, similar murders have been happening in Apple for years, and this body is the third this season. Believe it or not, discovering the girl’s body isn’t Jackson’s biggest probl Jackson Gill is a young man with a problem. Actually, Jackson has a number of problems. For starters, he, his girlfriend Annie, and his friend Newie have just found the body of a murdered girl in the woods. But it gets weirder. Although discovering the dead girl was unexpected, it’s nothing new in Apple, Massachusetts. In fact, similar murders have been happening in Apple for years, and this body is the third this season. Believe it or not, discovering the girl’s body isn’t Jackson’s biggest problem. Wait for it… “In Apple,” Jackson tells us, “we never ask why a murder has happened. We ask how.” This pronouncement sets the stage for what is to come in Howard Odentz’s Bloody Bloody Apple, a tale of small-town secrets and a horror that lies just beneath the surface and out of sight, a thing so terrible the residents of Apple have tacitly agreed to not talk about it. With his protagonist and narrator Jackson, Odentz places us right in the middle of this claustrophobic town, a place that technically belongs in the state of Massachusetts but seems millions of miles from anywhere. Everyone seems to know each other, and they know each other’s business, good and bad—but mostly bad. Bloody Bloody Apple is full of characters who are just offbeat enough to feel authentic without being caricatures. There’s Newie’s father, the police chief who is “dating” a stripper, and a creepy priest named Father Tim. There’s Jackson’s father, a man who spends most of his time in a workshop building crucifixes, his catatonic-yet-still-walking-around mother who does little more than smoke cigarettes and lie in bed, his ailing, nearly crippled grandfather, and his mentally ill sister, Becky. Oh, yes. Becky, another of Jackson’s many problems. Becky lives in the basement of the Gill household, chained, drugged, and locked away, a dirty family secret (Remember those?). No one seems to be quite sure whether Becky is truly insane or possessed by some supernatural entity, but one thing is definitely true: Jackson is terrified by her, or at least by her alter ego, Not-Becky. As bad as all that sounds, though, that’s still not Jackson’s biggest problem. His biggest problem is that Not-Becky appears to have specific knowledge about the local murders. Eerily specific knowledge, as in the exact contents of bizarre messages left for the police by the murderer, odd details about the murder scenes, and cryptic predictions about killings yet to come. How is that even possible? Well, that’s what Jackson wants to know. And off we go. Without revealing any crucial plot points here, let’s just say things in Jackson’s life get bad, worse, and then take a decisive turn for downhill. Bloody Bloody Apple is a horror story and a thriller, but like the best and most enticing stories, it is, at its heart, a mystery. Odentz abides by all the time-honored rules of the whodunit, playing fairly with the reader and planting clues as well as red herrings, but he’s never restricted by them. Odentz has tilled up a darker, more mature patch of ground than he did with his last release, the creepy, quirky zombie novel Dead (A Lot), but he seems to be just as comfortable here. Bloody Bloody Apple knows exactly what it is, and it delivers. There are occasional sprinkles of humor, yes, but most of all, it’s a dead serious, tough slice of teen life, with all its requisite ups, downs, insecurities, and a healthy dose of creepy murder. With its sense of creeping dread, Bloody Bloody Apple is reminiscent of classic stories like Jackson’s “The Lottery,” but with a distinctly modern twist, moving at a steady clip even as it drives you nuts wanting to know what’s going to happen next. It’s a relentless, thrilling ride, and–to coin a phrase that’s woefully overused but that’s absolutely true here–it will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shay VanZwoll

    As the leaves change color and die, so do the locals of Apple. Jackson Gill is a high school senior with a broken life. Living in Apple, MA, he lies in wait every autumn hoping that he won't be a victim. For the past sixty years, every September & October bodies are found. It might be a student or a coach, a mother or a biker. No one is exempt from the poison of Apple. Trapped in a town that no one seems to escape except through death, Jackson can't even find relief at home. His mother has sunken As the leaves change color and die, so do the locals of Apple. Jackson Gill is a high school senior with a broken life. Living in Apple, MA, he lies in wait every autumn hoping that he won't be a victim. For the past sixty years, every September & October bodies are found. It might be a student or a coach, a mother or a biker. No one is exempt from the poison of Apple. Trapped in a town that no one seems to escape except through death, Jackson can't even find relief at home. His mother has sunken into a deep depression that her pills can't fix, his sister Becky spends more time being Not-Becky, his father hides in the garage making crucifixes, and his grandfather is slowly losing his mind. As Jackson fights to keep his family life as normal as possible, his friend also have to deal with their own monsters. When Jackson, Newie, and Annie find the third death of the year, they are drawn into the growing nightmare around them. This book is awesomely creepy. The author has a gift for making you really empathize with the main characters while giving you just enough detail so that there are always secrets hiding behind the next chapter. The ending was a surprise to me as well... often with murder mystery-type books you can guess the killer. This book is twisted and unique enough that I was surprised by the ending, yet it all makes sense when you think back at the road you took to get there. NOTE: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    The relationships depicted in this tale are beyond dysfunctional. Jackson takes care of his entire family in his own ways. His grandfather isn’t particularly mobile, his mother is in such a deep funk she barely speaks, his father spends all his time carving crucifixes, and his sister Becky lives chained in the basement, seeing as she seems to be possessed by something unspeakable. People are ensconced too deeply in dealing with their problems to simply run away. The place has a sort of gravity t The relationships depicted in this tale are beyond dysfunctional. Jackson takes care of his entire family in his own ways. His grandfather isn’t particularly mobile, his mother is in such a deep funk she barely speaks, his father spends all his time carving crucifixes, and his sister Becky lives chained in the basement, seeing as she seems to be possessed by something unspeakable. People are ensconced too deeply in dealing with their problems to simply run away. The place has a sort of gravity to it that keeps people there. Speaking of relationships and people, I love that in the relationship between Jackson and his semi-girlfriend Annie, she’s the one who’s from the “wrong side of the tracks.” In almost every other story it’s the guy who has the bad-boy rep and zip code. Things have been going on like this for I think 60 years, so it’s actually believable that people lock their doors and semi-accept what’s going to happen. Especially since this is a small, isolated town that doesn’t exactly have a state-of-the-art police department. Original review at my site: http://www.errantdreams.com/2016/08/r...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anna Haney

    Bloody Bloody Apple, what a title, what a town. If you live in New England, you know this place, you may even live there today. Like a shoe, Apple seems alright on the outside, but inside it is dirty and stinks. You are introduced to the people of Apple, and after a bit, you realize that you know them, you knew them when you were a teen, and perhaps know them still, but perhaps you didn't know about the load they yoked themselves into when they entered their own homes.You can't help but think ba Bloody Bloody Apple, what a title, what a town. If you live in New England, you know this place, you may even live there today. Like a shoe, Apple seems alright on the outside, but inside it is dirty and stinks. You are introduced to the people of Apple, and after a bit, you realize that you know them, you knew them when you were a teen, and perhaps know them still, but perhaps you didn't know about the load they yoked themselves into when they entered their own homes.You can't help but think back into your own teen memory banks, and find a few shadows that only now seem out in the open. I finished the book and felt sad, because I just knew that there are many kids, right now enduring any one of the quiet horrors that happen in Apple. Howard invites you to visit then forces you to stay, and when he finally lets you leave, you are left to examine all you have ever known about your teen years and the people in it, including yourself and that is not always comfortable at least in my mind.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    not bad by any means, for what it was, but also not without its issues. it felt a bit rushed and underdeveloped, and at around 200 pages, i don't think anyone could argue that parts could be fleshed out a lot more. the pacing was solid and there was some interesting stuff towards the end of the book, but the very end was kind of a lame, predictable "twist" that i was hoping wouldn't happen (or would at least be set up better) all in all, not a bad read for a stormy afternoon. odentz's style is ac not bad by any means, for what it was, but also not without its issues. it felt a bit rushed and underdeveloped, and at around 200 pages, i don't think anyone could argue that parts could be fleshed out a lot more. the pacing was solid and there was some interesting stuff towards the end of the book, but the very end was kind of a lame, predictable "twist" that i was hoping wouldn't happen (or would at least be set up better) all in all, not a bad read for a stormy afternoon. odentz's style is actually pretty similar to gillian flynn's, dark and gritty and full of decay, though not quite as sharp. he's clearly aiming for a different audience, but if i come across another book by him that's aimed more at grown-ups (and looks a bit more fleshed out), i'll definitely give it a shot. also i hated the title, and i feel like it could definitely put people off. it almost put me off, until i read some of the reviews. personally, i would've gone with something like "rotten," but that's just me

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Apple Massachusetts has a problem. Every fall terrible murders begin happening to people of the town. The story is narrated by a teen-aged boy by the name of Jackson Gil and revolves around the lives of him, his girl friend Annie and his best friend Newie. None of these 3 has an easy life at home. Jack lives with his father (who spends all his time reading the bible and carving crosses in the garage), his mother (who stays in her room with very little communication) his grandfather (who lives in Apple Massachusetts has a problem. Every fall terrible murders begin happening to people of the town. The story is narrated by a teen-aged boy by the name of Jackson Gil and revolves around the lives of him, his girl friend Annie and his best friend Newie. None of these 3 has an easy life at home. Jack lives with his father (who spends all his time reading the bible and carving crosses in the garage), his mother (who stays in her room with very little communication) his grandfather (who lives in the attic and is confined to his wheelchair) and his sister (who is chained up in the basement due to a mental condition). Newie's father is the chief of police and they don't get along. Annie's father is an alcoholic and prone to violence. The three spend their time trying to solve the identity of the murder. The culprit is finally revealed. The last sentence of the book will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarenna

    I didn't go into this expecting a lot, but was pleasantly surprised at how well this book flowed. I was pleasantly surprised that the author didn't "cop out" with a supernatural explanation (nice touch because that would have been such an easy way out). There were some nice twists in this book, but none were pick-my-jaw-up-off-the-floor shocking. The main character was well defined. But the book fell short a full five stars from me due to the fact that the other characters lacked the same depth I didn't go into this expecting a lot, but was pleasantly surprised at how well this book flowed. I was pleasantly surprised that the author didn't "cop out" with a supernatural explanation (nice touch because that would have been such an easy way out). There were some nice twists in this book, but none were pick-my-jaw-up-off-the-floor shocking. The main character was well defined. But the book fell short a full five stars from me due to the fact that the other characters lacked the same depth and that the surprise ending wasn't all that surprising. All in all, an enjoyable, creepy read worthy of a solid 4 stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wheeping Angel

    Man I loved this book...being from massachusetts personally I had to read it...ok no I did not have to, but the story got me...so I bought the book for the story itself...I have to say no reget what so ever... The plot was written fantastic to me but u would really not call it horror in general but to me was written like a psychological thriller with suspense...but I won't get into details because I have a echo in my head from my favorite TV show doctor who saying ''SPOILERS'.. So I'll say this wa Man I loved this book...being from massachusetts personally I had to read it...ok no I did not have to, but the story got me...so I bought the book for the story itself...I have to say no reget what so ever... The plot was written fantastic to me but u would really not call it horror in general but to me was written like a psychological thriller with suspense...but I won't get into details because I have a echo in my head from my favorite TV show doctor who saying ''SPOILERS'.. So I'll say this was my top twenty of the year books and I would recommend this to someone who loves thrillers...so I rate thus 5 corpses out of 5...enjoy your summer...peace out

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    Love this book from beginning to end. This book start with murders from the town of Apple and they just got to be worst and worst in the way they were murdered. I love how you wanted to read more about who was killing and why they were only being killed in the fall. Why only young people? Why is it that if you discovered a body you didn't get murdered or did you? All this makes for such a great story and a book that is making us want to read more. Love it very much. * This book was given to me f Love this book from beginning to end. This book start with murders from the town of Apple and they just got to be worst and worst in the way they were murdered. I love how you wanted to read more about who was killing and why they were only being killed in the fall. Why only young people? Why is it that if you discovered a body you didn't get murdered or did you? All this makes for such a great story and a book that is making us want to read more. Love it very much. * This book was given to me for Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tamara Fricke

    I really enjoyed this book. It's a quick easy read with a great story and interesting plot twists. I'm not generally a horror fan but Odentz pulled me in. The language is bleak and harsh to reflect the hard life the main character's face in the Middle-of-Nowhere, MA and just how beaten down they are by life and the annual murders that take place I their town. If you're looking for a good weekend read, you can't do better than Bloody, Bloody Apple. I really enjoyed this book. It's a quick easy read with a great story and interesting plot twists. I'm not generally a horror fan but Odentz pulled me in. The language is bleak and harsh to reflect the hard life the main character's face in the Middle-of-Nowhere, MA and just how beaten down they are by life and the annual murders that take place I their town. If you're looking for a good weekend read, you can't do better than Bloody, Bloody Apple.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michaël Wertenberg

    Present tense narration, but I got over that personal obstacle quickly. I liked the direct, short-sentences, short-chapters style of the storytelling. Good editing. It moved along at a pleasant pace, but then did drag a bit in the latter half. I was prepared to give it 4, perhaps even 5 stars, but the ending did not satisfy me. It made for a good read in my daily train commutes, I only wish the ending had been more to my liking.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kylie

    Not too bad, far less gory and graphic than I'd have hoped for, but a pretty good story nonetheless. I thought I was going to hate this book because there wasn't an active line in finding who was doing all of this killing, but it turned out ok. You do find out in the end, and it's quite satisfying in the world of books! It appears there's an additional book that follows this one, and I will definitely be picking it up. Not too bad, far less gory and graphic than I'd have hoped for, but a pretty good story nonetheless. I thought I was going to hate this book because there wasn't an active line in finding who was doing all of this killing, but it turned out ok. You do find out in the end, and it's quite satisfying in the world of books! It appears there's an additional book that follows this one, and I will definitely be picking it up.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lisa West

    Brilliant...again Mr Odentz has a keen mind for the the way young adults think. The characters are true to their friends before themselves. I will tell you now that this book is creepy, frightening and will leave you horrified at what we know humanity can do to humanity. This is not random, gratuitous horror, oh no, there is a plot, a story to tell and a mystery to solve. You will be compelled to read. Thank you Author!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Artie Cook

    This was a pretty good read. I thought the author did a good job creating the fictional town of Apple, and the main characters were believable and likable. The story moved at a quick pace, and, even though this is a short book, it never felt like the story was short changed. My only real complaint was that the ending was a bit unsurprising and predictable.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Candice Mckinney

    Jackson and his friends find a body on the shortcut through the woods on their way home from school. It is fall in Apple, Mass and there are always murders during these two months. Bloody Bloody Apple is so good it is hard to put down. Once the killer is revealed I knew how it would end but was hoping I was wrong!

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