Read This Book

Like A Haunted House in Your Brain

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Emily Martin

Contributing Editor

Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals ( She can be reached at

Welcome to Read This Book, your go-to newsletter if you’re looking to expand your TBR pile. Each week, I’ll recommend a book I think is an absolute must-read. Some will be new releases, some will be old favorites, and the books will vary in genre and subject matter every time. I hope you’re ready to get reading!

Do you love haunted house stories? You know I do. But Marcus Kliewer’s novel We Used to Live Here is like a haunted house inside your brain. If you don’t know what that could possibly mean, I’d rather not spoil it for you. I will try to do my best to explain this book without ruining any surprises!

cover of We Used to Live Here by Marcus Kliewer

We Used to Live Here by Marcus Kliewer

Eve and her girlfriend Charlie flip houses together, so they’re used to messing around with weird fixer-uppers. Still, the most recent house they’ve acquired leaves Eve feeling uneasy. Then, one night, when Eve is at the house by herself, she hears a knock on the door. When she opens the doors, she’s greeted by a man, his wife, and three kids. The man claims he used to live in the house and asks if he can show his family around. He promises they’ll only stay for 15 minutes.

Well guess what? It was not 15 minutes. As soon as the family enters the house, strange things start happening. Things that Eve thought she saw in the house before start changing. The children disappear and reappear. She hears weird noises outside. Things only get weirder from there. Even after Charlie finally comes home, the two women seem completely unable to shake this family. Especially when they all get snowed in overnight.

Then Charlie disappears, and when Eve tries to get in touch with her, reality slowly starts to slip away from her. Is she somehow getting confused, or is some sinister outside force messing with her? The more you read into this story, the more you’ll start to wonder about what is real and isn’t real. This eerie story is one that will mess with your mind and make you think that your own reality is starting to get twisted.

We Used to Live Here was initially posted on Reddit, and the story was so popular that it has now been expanded into this novel. What’s more, Netflix will be adapting this novel into an original movie starring Blake Lively. It’s pretty easy to see why this one has become so popular, even before it was traditionally published. I’m excited to see how this is translated into a film adaptation, because it really did mess with my mind.

I’ve seen this book compared to Parasite and Get Out, but ultimately, I think this novel is doing something entirely different. In a good way! I would compare this one more to Iain Reid’s mind-bending, dark novels (think Foe, We Spread, and I’m Thinking of Ending Things). Like Reid’s novels, this story is tense, thrilling, nerve-wracking, and intensely creepy. Get ready for your brain to be scrambled, and get ready to be on the edge of your seat the whole time.

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Happy weekend reading, bibliophiles! Feel free to follow me on Instagram @emandhercat, and check out my other newsletters, The Fright Stuff and Book Radar!