Stephanie Reads: Who Killed These Girls? & Heart-Shaped Box


Thanks to my new commute, I am reading about a book a week! Anyway, here are some thoughts about these two books:

Who Killed These Girls by Beverly Lowry: This book details the horrendous murder committed by (still) unknown assailants of four girls at an ICBY yogurt shop in Austin in the early 90s. It made me uncomfortable, it made me angry, and it made me incredulous. It’s hard to believe that after 20+ years, these murders are still unsolved. Although much time is spent on interrogations and court proceedings, I did not get bored at all. Maybe that’s thanks to enjoying the People vs. OJ and The Night Of.

I do wish we had spent a bit more time getting to know the victims and their families than with the potentially mistakenly identified perpetrators (we still don’t know if they really did it or not, but my opinion is probably not based on the interrogations detailed in here), but that’s how these things go. We spend so much more time getting to know those who may or may not have committed the crime (weeks, years, decades in this case). Murder takes just a second, but these crimes last a lifetime for the court proceedings and especially for the families of the victims.

Verdict: If you’re as fascinated by true crime as I am and want to know the nitty-gritty details of the Yogurt Shop cold case, I’d definitely recommend checking this book out.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill: I’m a fan of Joe Hill. I loved N0S4A2, and I look forward to reading other books by him. But Heart-Shaped Box made me roll my eyes quite a few times. I thought the story was actually pretty fun and creepy once you got to the – pardon the pun – heart of it. It wasn’t really that scary, although maybe a movie version would be a little more chilling and definitely unsettling and disturbing.

That being said, this story seemed to serve some sort of masturbatory fantasy the author may have about being this successful metal rocker dude who is just SO irresistible to young, hot goth chicks but takes an idle pleasure in treating them like shit because they all have daddy issues. It drove me a teensy bit insane how much was focused on stereotypical “goth” details in the characters. I get it! She’s pale, wears a spiky choker, has black fingernail polish, etc. This book also suffers from being pretty dated. There are references to My Chemical Romance being the popular band at the time for goodness sake. These aspects really weighed it down for me. But I’m trying to give him some slack since it was the guy’s first book. Apparently there is a movie in development, which would hopefully suffer less from our “protagonist’s” thoughts about all the hot, young goth ladies in his life. This aspect did improve as he took the time to get to know the starring lady, but it just was too little, too late. I found her far more compelling than him, anyway.

Verdict: Skip this one, read N0S4A2 for a good, fun horror story.

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