HELL FOLLOWED WITH US BY ANDREW JOSEPH WHITE: A HAUNTING DEBUT THAT BLURS THE LINE BETWEEN CULT AND RELIGION – BOOK REVIEW

hello, everyone! how is your May so far?

i promised myself to post my thoughts on Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White this month, and so here it is! i hope you will like it and give the book a chance! also, i am trying a review format, wherein i just highlight the parts of the book that piqued my attention and elaborate my thoughts on them, which i am pretty sure i did in the past. however, this is a brief version, as i do not want to force myself to write long reviews. furthermore, thank you NetGalley and publisher for the ARC!

now, let us have some bookish fun!

it happened, the Armageddon. and Benji, a sixteen-year-old trans boy, is on the run, away from the cult who raised him. the cult who infected him with a bioweapon. the weapon of either salvation or ultimate destruction.

we follow Benji as he finds himself under the roof of ALC or Acheson LGBTQ+ Center. there, he finds his home, his family, his people, his anger. his anger that fuels the story until the very last page. of course, Benji is not the sole owner of the spotlight, as we get to meet the unique and strong members of the ALC, each representing the various spectrum of the queer community. the book encompasses plentiful topics, both timely and relevant. one of them regarding the importance of using a trans person’s chosen name. names might be trivial to some of us, but to them it is empowering and life-changing. i am not trans, so i cannot conclude how it exactly feels, but i am sure it feels good, like superb. there is also this one called “forcing minors to marry because they had sex or the girl got pregnant”, which is greatly practiced by a certain religion i know. it is not even for the wellbeing of the minors, it is just to save face. the face of the each minors’ family, to be specific, without even thinking of the consequences and its impact on their [mental] health and future. and even in the queer community, discrimination is lingering, which the author shows us on this one scene where Benji almost hears “one of the other trans guys mocking cis gays”. it conveys that even in a strong community, there are faults and chasms crawling on floors and climbing on walls.

a haunting debut that blurs the line between cult and religion, with a touch of science, and accentuates the significance of fury in a human.

title: hell followed with us
author: andrew joseph white
publisher: peachtree teen
release date: 7 june 2022
age category: young adult
genre/s: horror
purchase link/s:[ indiebound | bookshop | libro.fm ]

content/trigger warning/s: [ click here ]

about:
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. [ goodreads ]


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. [ author website | twitter | instagram ]

WHAT IS THE TITLE OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BY A TRANS AUTHOR? WHY IS IT YOUR FAVORITE?

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