You know how it feels when you discover the urban legend that terrified you as a child is actually real? Mick, Marnie, Chuck, Heidi and Vent do. Everyone who lives in Milbury, Connecticut know better than to step foot on Dracula Drive.
Dare to walk,
Down Dracula Drive,
In day or night,
You won’t survive.
They wait in trees,
And hide below,
Hungry for people,
Too blind to know.
After one of them is brutally raped, they all want payback. It’s time to find out if Melon Heads are simply the stuff of legends or if there really are cannibals living in the forest. It’s going to get bloody!
“What do we have to lose … besides everything?”
This book was a lot darker than I was expecting. With sexual assault as the precursor for all of the bloody, bone crunching, insides are now your outsides action, I was initially torn. If I didn’t already have some trust in its author I probably wouldn’t have even attempted this book.
I’m always wary of how sexual assault is going to be portrayed within horror. It’s certainly not sugar coated in Misfits so this could easily trigger some readers. However, while the physical and psychological impacts of this trauma are undeniable, the character whose assault becomes the catalyst for everything that comes later is portrayed as resilient.
Usually I cheer on the squishy demise of horror characters. Sure, there were a few lambs to the slaughter whose bloodshed felt like poetic justice, but I really liked the five stoners and was invested in their survival. They quickly became real to me and the fact that they were all underdogs endeared them to me as much as their friendship and individual personalities.
“Aw, you called me a freak. That’s the nicest thing you ever said to me.”
I had planned on cheering on any Melon Head eviscerations or limb extractions I witnessed. Unexpectedly, my curiosity overrode my bloodlust. I wanted to spend time with them to learn more about their history and way of life.
Prior to this book I’d never heard the Melon Head urban legend and spent an embarrassing amount of time thinking that was the name of a band from my childhood. Over halfway through the book I finally enlisted Google’s help. They were Blind Melon, not Melon Head, dufus!
This was definitely not the B grade horror I had hoped for. It was actually better. It’s probably going to take me a while to forgive the author for the way the story unfolded for one of my favourite characters but kudos to them for making me care that much about someone I only met this week.
“There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Content warnings include alcoholism, child abuse, death by suicide, domestic violence and sexual assault. Readers with emetophobia may have trouble with some scenes.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
During the height of the 90s grunge era, five high school friends living on the fringe are driven to the breaking point. When one of their friends is brutally raped by a drunk townie, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Deep in the woods of Milbury, Connecticut, there lives the legend of the Melon Heads, a race of creatures that shun human interaction and prey on those who dare to wander down Dracula Drive. Maybe this night, one band of misfits can help the other. Or maybe some legends are meant to be feared for a reason.