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BOOK TOUR: Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White

Today’s book tour post is all about Andrew Joseph White’s debut novel Hell Followed with Us. In this post I’ll tell you five reasons to read the book, I’ll give you a full review without spoilers, and I’ll share the playlist I made for Hell Followed with Us. There’s plenty of stuff to go through, so let’s jump in.

Also, don’t forget to check the full tour schedule HERE for more amazing posts about this book!

About the book

I received this book from NetGalley as an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre: Horror, fantasy, young adult

Representation: Many POC and queer characters, autistic secondary character

Content warning: Misgendering, body horror, gore

Summary: Prepare to die. His kingdom is near.

Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.

But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.

Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.

Add it on Goodreads. Add it on Storygraph.

Get the book at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Indigo

Top 5 Reasons to Read It

Here’s why you should read it in a few words, I’ll talk about all these aspects more extensively down below!

  1. The uncommon setting: an LGBT+ youth centre in a post-apocalyptic world
  2. The body horror is perfectly written
  3. The diverse representation is top notch and not superficial
  4. The protagonist, Benji, an unapologetic gay and trans boy, is great to follow
  5. The depiction of organised religion is brilliant

Review

Hell Followed with Us is a book with a brilliant concept at its core. It’s a dystopian horror novel that places religion and its structured form as the villain. We follow Benji, a trans boy who has fled home and his fanatic mother after being injected with some sort of serum that’s eventually going to turn him into a monster.

Like I mentioned above, there are many reasons to read this book, and I believe that Benji himself is one that should be talked about. I adored following his journey from the escape to finding the LGBT+ center, the ALC, and seeing him deal with everything that’s happening to him. I especially loved how unapologetic he becomes about being himself and how we get to see part of what he’s had to go through to get to this point.

Thanks to the setting being the ALC, we also get to see a huge cast of characters, Nick being one of the most relevant ones. He’s one of the leaders and his position is also a great place to explore this character and how his autism and past experiences affect his role in the ALC. The rest of characters, although we don’t explore them as much, is still really interesting to read about, and I loved learning more about them.

I also cannot write a review of this book without talking about the body horror. This is an aspect of the book I can’t say I’ve had much prior contact with, but I thought it was magnificent. I truly did become fascinated by the increasingly disturbing descriptions of organs and bodily fluids doing things they shouldn’t. It’s definitely something to be on the lookout for if you’re squeamish, but it’s handled so well that it might be worth giving it a shot.

Additionally, I thought that the concept of placing organised religion as the enemy was really interesting, and it worked perfectly. It was especially effective when placing the ALC as the main stage for the book, as it reflected the fight between these two very different ways of thinking.

All in all, Hell Followed with Us accomplished what it set out to do. It managed to make the interesting premise work while embracing a full cast of really lovable characters. All combined with a masterful depiction of body horror that made this a very compelling horror dystopian novel.

Playlist

This was possibly my favourite part to do because, as you know by now, I love linking books and songs. So making an entire playlist for this book was a fun challenge. The songs I chose are a mix of the theme of the book and angry youth vibes, which I think work perfectly for Benji.

About the author

Andrew Joseph White is a queer, trans author from Virginia, where he grew up falling in love with monsters and wishing he could be one too. He is a graduate student in George Mason University’s Creative Writing program and has a habit of cuddling random street cats. Andrew writes about trans kids with claws and fangs, and what happens when they bite back.  

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram 

Have you read Hell Followed with Us? What was your favourite aspect of it? If not, do you plan on reading it?

6 thoughts on “BOOK TOUR: Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White

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