Book Review: Tell Me I’m Worthless

TELL ME I’M WORTHLESS | Alison Rumfitt
01.17.2023 | Tor Nightfire
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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Three years ago, Alice spent one night in an abandoned house with her friends, Ila and Hannah. Since then, Alice’s life has spiraled. She lives a haunted existence, selling videos of herself for money, going to parties she hates, drinking herself to sleep. Memories of that night torment Alice, but when Ila asks her to return to the House, to go past the KEEP OUT sign and over the sick earth where teenagers dare each other to venture, Alice knows she must go. Together, Alice and Ila must face the horrors that happened there, must pull themselves apart from the inside out, put their differences aside, and try to rescue Hannah, whom the House has chosen to make its own.

Tell Me I’m Worthless is probably one of the most unique haunted house stories I have ever read. There were times where I felt like I had stepped straight into a fever dream, which I mean in a very positive way! Rumfitt has a brilliant writing quality that just sucks readers in and it didn’t matter if I was confused or creeped out or uncomfortable because I couldn’t stop reading. 

The horror is very real and visceral in this story, but Rumfitt stretches beyond that and includes a lot of very important social commentary on serious subjects, as well as nods to the way people can be haunted by the ghosts of their past. Rumfitt largely unpacks these issues through the voices of Alice and Ila, but also reaches into alternate narrators to drive the plot forward. The timeline is also very important in this story, as Rumfitt takes us from present to past and then forward. If you’re looking for something unique in the horror genre, this book certainly hits that mark!

TW: This book contains a lot of triggering subjects, so please be sure to check Storygraph for a list.

A huge thank you to Tor Nightfire for my gifted copy!

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