Katzenjammer by Francesca Zappia is a gripping horror novel that lingered with me long after I finished reading. With its eerie premise and gorgeous prose, I was initially impressed by how quickly the author drew me in. However, I had some issues with the book’s disturbing ending, making this a difficult review to write. I have mixed feelings about this one, but I would recommend it to those looking for a thought-provoking and suspenseful read.Title: Katzenjammer
Author: Francesca Zappia
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
Cat lives in her high school. She never leaves, and for a long time her school has provided her with everything she needs. But now things are changing. The hallways contract and expand along with the school’s breathing, and the showers in the bathroom run a bloody red. Cat’s best friend is slowly turning into cardboard, and instead of a face, Cat has a cat mask made of her own hardened flesh.
Cat doesn’t remember why she is trapped in her school or why half of them—Cat included—are slowly transforming. Escaping has always been the one impossibility in her school’s upside-down world. But to save herself from the eventual self-destruction all the students face, Cat must find the way out. And to do that, she’ll have to remember what put her there in the first place.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: Katzenjammer by Francesca Zappia
Trapped in their school with no recollection of how they got there, Cat and her classmates are slowly transforming in gruesome ways. When a killer roams the school in search of their next target, Cat works to uncover their identity to hopefully find a way out. As the story alternates between the past and the present and Cat slowly pieces together what happened, shocking truths rise to the surface.
❀ Gorgeous Writing Style
I absolutely adored the writing style of this book and the way it sucked me in. While this is a horror novel, there are some really beautiful descriptions throughout the story that provide an interesting contrast to the gore in the content, and I was in awe of how easily Francesca Zappia immersed me in Cat’s terrifying world. The story is also told through short, fragmented chapters, which makes it incredibly difficult to put down, and I devoured every page, on the edge of my seat.
❀ Intense Ending
While I was gripped by the premise and the prose, I had some major issues with the ending of this book that left me with mixed feelings. Without spoiling the final twist, I will say that it took me by surprise, but not in the most positive way. The ending is incredibly intense and contains topics that I am not comfortable reading about, and if I had been aware of this, I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up. I understand where the author was going with this twist, and the ending does explain a lot of plot, but I wished that I had been more prepared going into it.
❀ A Suspenseful Read
Katzenjammer by Francesca Zappia is a suspenseful read with a shocking ending. I was hooked by the strange premise, and the writing style left me in awe. While I was initially loving this one, I was uncomfortable with the ending, and I urge readers to check the content warnings before diving in.