In short, the book is about a family that is going through some serious marital trouble right at the same time that a tornado warning is issued and they have to hole up in a tiny bathroom together. Just the setup alone is tense! Throw in some odd weirdness, and this book doesn’t just crawl under your skin, it rips it off and wears it like a formal tuxedo.
While not similar in story, this novella gave me the same feeling and emotion as Penpal by Dathan Auerbach, Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay, and The Merciless by Danielle Vega. We Need to Do Something evokes a sense of dread much like those other books. Plus, while not spoiling it in the least, the ending was somewhat ambiguous, leaving it up to you, the reader, to figure what you think really happened. I love those endings.
The novella is short, so Booth wastes no time jumping right in. I was also very impressed that he was able to get us connected and invested with the characters so quickly.
Do yourself a favor, read this book! Do it now. And remember, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.
I want to talk about the ending of this book. On the outside, we have a family trapped in their bathroom because a tree fell through the house and is blocking the door due to a tornado. No implausible in the slightest. Even the fact that they are trapped in there for days is not outside the realm of possibilities if the tornado was big enough.
However, there is a sub-plot dealing with the POV character and her friend/love-interest, Amy. The two conducted a ritual that could have caused the craziness. One could dismiss it as nonsense and coincidence, or you could choose to believe that the two girls did, in fact, cause the apocalyptic destruction. These are the kind of endings that I love. The kind that make you think and wonder, and ultimately leaves it up to you, the reader, to decide what's going on.
Near the end, the POV character is seeing all sorts of horrifying images. However, she's drugged and can't be trusted. So did she really see her friend appear with all the black tentacles controlling her body? Or was it part of her drug-fueled stupor? Her mother escaped the bathroom and came back frightened and rattled, but who knows what she saw, not to mention the mother is under A LOT of stress and isn't in her right mind either.
Hands down, the most brutal aspect of this book is when the little brother dies from the rattlesnake bite. When the book started, I had an inkling that he was going to die. When the snake shows up, it only cements what is to come. However, it didn't make it any easier to read or experience. My hat's off to Max Booth III, he executed that scene perfectly.
Anyway, read this book. Seriously.