Welcome back to Horror Heights, your typical suburban neighbourhood where kids go to school, families share pizzas on a Friday night and dog mess lies on the streets waiting to be trodden in. But don’t be fooled by the presentation of everyday normality, Horror Heights is home to all things weird and some very sinister things happen behind closed doors.
Ryan is obsessed with live-streaming and harbours ambitions of being the next big social media star like his favourite influencer Grimmf. He cannot believe his luck when Grimmf offers to switch lives with him. It’s a no brainer and with one click Ryan is pulled into the laptop.
With Grimmf busy doing chores and leading Ryan’s life at home, Ryan is loving life in the studio and streaming to the masses. But going from nobody to having to please thousands of followers is no easy task and Ryan is soon worn out and sick of broadcasting 24/7. Being Grimmf isn’t a dream come true, it is the stuff of nightmares. A nightmare from which there is no escape unless Ryan can find an unsuspecting victim to take his place or terminate Grimmf, permanently…
This may only be the second book in the series but Bec Hill - award-winning stand-up comedian, television writer and all-round entertainer - is firmly establishing herself as the new, improved and updated R. L. Stine. Her creep-tastic series is great for fans of Goosebumps or other primary school horror, delivering fun and frights in equal measure all told through everyday (or almost everyday) situations and with relatable and realistic characters. I’m already a massive fan of Horror Heights and there will be many other readers who will be hastily adding the new series to their online shopping carts, just don’t get distracted by Grimmf’s live-stream as who knows where you’ll end up.
Hill’s second entry in the Horror Heights franchise is another frighteningly good read with plenty of strange and spooky goings-on. Brilliantly funny and slightly scary, Now LiveScreamingis a bang-up-to-date middle-grade horror with a dark, creepy and chilling twist in the world of online streaming. Online influencer Grimmf is definitely not all that they appear to be and one wrong click lands unsuspecting viewers in a world from which escape seems a very unlikely prospect. And even if they do, will they ever be the same person?
Very much a disturbing and cautionary tale of being careful what you wish for and not getting swept away in the world of social media, this is a must read for anyone who has ever fancied themselves as a live-streamer or influencer. Thirty-nine short and punchy chapters told across four terrifying days add to the sense of urgency and the inescapable impending doom that Ryan faces unless he can find a way out of Grimmf’s ominous online world.
Horror Heights is seriously cool and is a book that kids will want to be seen with; the creepy front cover draws you in, a foreboding author’s note sets the mood and computer code and bits infiltrate the pages throughout. Published in dyslexia friendly font and printed on tinted paper, every reader can can enjoy it. With book three, Dead Ringer, publishing in September 2022, readers will be desperate for the next in the series. In the meantime, they may think twice about watching too many live-streams, especially those with the username @GrimmfOfficial
With huge thanks to Hachette for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 8+.