Reviews

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke — Eric LaRocca

June 30, 2021

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRoccaTITLE: Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke
AUTHOR: Eric LaRocca
GENRE: Horror
AGE RANGE: Adult
PAGES: 120pg

Sadomasochism. Obsession. Death.

A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s—a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.

What have you done today to deserve your eyes?

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I read this in one sitting last night and can’t stop thinking about it, almost 24 hours later. This is one of those stories that, despite its brevity, is going to stick with me for a long time to come. This was one of the most unsettling, disturbing things I have ever read, and I could not put it down.

Things Have Gotten Worse is a story told through instant messages and emails, and I’d like to start by saying this storytelling mechanism works brilliantly for this story. We only get to see the bits of each character that they allow each other to see, and because of this, I found myself curious about each woman’s motives, or wondering how they would react to a scenario. As we get further into the story, many of the emails are being told after certain events have already happened, and the entire dynamic builds so wonderfully on the impending sense of dread that begins on the very first page.

There’s so little I can say about this story without spoiling anything, and this is absolutely the type of book that I recommend going into without having been spoiled if you can. If you need to check the content warnings, I’ve added them below, hidden in spoiler tags and split between the non-spoilery and the spoilery ones. THGW is a very graphic and disturbing read, which is certainly not a bad thing in my eyes, only something that I believe readers should be aware of beforehand: this is a story you’ll want to steel yourself for.

Things Have Gotten Worse is my second read from Eric, and while I immensely enjoyed Starving Ghosts in Every Thread last year, this was even better. I love the way Eric’s mind works and the characters and scenarios they create, and I will be eagerly awaiting all of their future releases, because I have no doubt they’re going to continue blowing my mind at every turn.

 

content warnings →
NON-SPOILERY WARNINGS:

homophobia, disowning by a parent, poverty/fear of homelessness, memories of childhood trauma and abuse, descriptions of child abuse/torture/murder (not involving characters in the book, told as an aside story that can be skimmed past without missing plot details if needed)

SPOILERY WARNINGS:

animal abuse/murder, body horror, insects/parasites, implied extreme self-harm, toxic/abusive dom/sub relationship

representation →

Agnes and Zoe are both lesbians

destiny

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7 Comments

  • Reply tasya @ the literary huntress July 1, 2021 at 1:21 am

    This one sounds fantastic but I can’t stomach graphic horror so I think I will skip this one. Great review and thanks for the trigger warnings!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 1, 2021 at 3:01 pm

      Thank you, Tasya! ♥ I don’t blame you – it was a brutal read at points! I hope you’re doing well, friend!

  • Reply Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical July 1, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    I really want to read more horror as I love the genre, but prior to last year when I read multiple incredible horror novels I fully believed that books just can’t be as effective and impactful as films when it comes to horror. Anyhow, that’s just a long winded way of saying that I love your review and I’m adding this to my review. I love the kind of books that you can barely talk about if you don’t want to spoil them, so this sounds perfect for me. Great review! (Also, I saw on the sidebar that you’re reading Revenge – hope you’ll love it! I read it in June and really enjoyed it.)

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 4, 2021 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you, Veronika! I really hope you like it! And I am enjoying Revenge very much so far, but I need to get back on track and finish it! I think I’ll prioritize that this week since you enjoyed it so much! ♥

  • Reply Enjoyable Shows and Excellent Reads in Our June Wrap Up – Wordy and Whimsical July 2, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    […] Destiny @ Howling Libraries reviewed Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca […]

  • Reply Jennifer @ Donnie Darko Girl July 27, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    I’m so glad you reviewed this book. I’m dying to read it, and that cover just blows me away!

  • Leave a Reply to Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical Cancel reply

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