What We’re Into (on Halloween): It, by Stephen King

Recommended by Miranda Alvord 23′

A horror classic for a reason, Stephen King’s It follows a group of seven children who live in the small town of Derry, Maine, as they’re tormented by “It”, a malignant entity that changes forms according to each victim’s fears. The novel thrives in the genre partly because of the masterful world-building, crafted by King in a way that truly makes the reader believe in (and feel connected to) the town of Derry and its habitants. It might seem sort of unthinkable that a book about a creature that is perpetually changing forms would be viscerally scary, but It achieves this by making us feel so connected to the main characters and their stories we can’t help but grasp them as real. Throughout the novel and as we get to know the protagonists, each of their fears, personalities, and backstories–and the horrors of their real lives–become so tangible that they brilliantly begin to shape the shapeless thing that ultimately is “It.”

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