Welcome back to the bookclub! In September, we read The Smashed Man Of Dread End by J.W. Ocker for The You’ll Read Too Bookclub! If you wish to access all of the latest updates/information, click here. Spoilers ahead!
Quick Reminder: This month we are reading ‘The Summoning’ by J.P. Smith.
Today I’m going to discuss the book in the same way I normally do the IGTV videos. You can find the IGTV video for this talk and others on my bookclub Instagram page. I’ll give a quick plot summary plus my overall star/scare-factor ratings. Then I will share the discussion topics and trivia questions. Please include all of your answers and opinions down below. I want to know exactly what you thought. I’ll also leave the answers to the trivia questions at the very bottom of the post, so if you wish to guess without being spoiled, do not scroll to the end until you’re ready. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
THE SMASHED MAN OF DREAD END by J.W. OCKER – SEPTEMBER 2021
Noe Wiley couldn’t be more excited to move. After the slumber party sleepwalking incident of last year, she’s ready to make some new friends.
But Noe didn’t expect the sullen, strange girls who live on her new street. And she certainly didn’t expect the strange warning they give her—to stay out of the basement, no matter what. Noe’s not going to let these girls boss her around. She’ll go in her own basement whenever she wants.
So she does.
And there he is.
And now there’s no going back.
OVERALL STAR RATING
I thoroughly enjoyed this horror novel! For a middle-grade novel, it was quite scary. I loved how original and quirky the concept was. It was just a whole lot of fun. I gave it 5/5 stars. It definitely had a few plot holes, but my overall experience reading it more than made up for that. Also, it was nice to read about a child that wasn’t upset about moving houses for once. I highly recommend it. It’s unlike anything I’ve picked up before.
OVERALL SCARE-FACTOR RATING
I gave this a scare-factor rating of 4/5 stars. It was downright creepy. A flattened man oozing out of a hole in the basement at night? Terrifying! I was significantly frightened when Noe’s parents eyes started glowing purple after her first encounter with The Smashed Man. There was something unsettling about how it would reset itself once a child left the basement. The visuals my mind created whilst reading this book were spooky beyond compare.
*At the request of my bookclub members, there will only be 3 discussion topics moving forward instead of 5.
1.) Why do you think The Smashed Man only targeted children?
I believe it was because children in general are more innocent and impressionable by nature. They are much easier to influence and sway. Nobody listens to children. Also, as this is a middle-grade novel, it makes sense that kids are the perfect targets.
2.) Why do you think Erica and Noe were drawn to the same house?
We learn that both Erica and Noe are able to see Fern’s house but we don’t really get a clear understanding of why and what made them so drawn to the same home. I feel like they both had similar personality traits of courage, wisdom and determination. They were willing to do whatever it took to eradicate The Smashed Man. It still doesn’t answer things but it’s a link.
3.) At the end, we learn that The Smashed Man used to be a Neighbour. Do you think there will be a sequel because of this reveal? Why/why not?
I definitely think there will be a sequel. The ending implies that this could occur again with another Neighbour. There is also the question of Erica waking up. I definitely want more from this world! I really liked the unique sigils and symbols. I feel there are more of them yet to be revealed.
Easy: What type of toys does Len collect?
Medium: What is the name of the sigil the girls paint on all the houses?
Hard: What drink does Noe like sipping at Fern’s place?
I hope you enjoyed the book club discussion in this post and on Instagram. As mentioned above, share all of your thoughts in the comments below! If you have any feedback/suggestions to improve the bookclub, please let me know. I look forward to talking to you all next month! Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
TRIVIA ANSWERS: Easy: Unusual stuffed animals. Medium: Amberonk. Hard: Chai Tea.