Unknown Sender by Ryan Lanz

Jessica is focused on her schoolwork. She doesn’t have time for boys or partying like her roommate, Aubrey, does. On the one night she does agree to go out, she starts receiving mysterious text messages. They’re benign at first, but become increasingly familiar and creepy. It’s starting to look like Jessica might have a stalker…
Unknown Sender

I don’t generally like horror books, but the creepy stalker kind are something that I can stomach a little easier. Just because there tends to be less gore and because I feel more separated from the story maybe? It’s not like I’M getting creepy stalker texts or anything like that. This book was just the right amount of creepy. I was a little unsettled with what the texts were saying, but I wasn’t “keep the light on all night” scared. I will admit, I didn’t start reading this until my husband started watching a baseball game (I wanted to make sure he was with me in case I got too scared). But that ended up not being an issue.

This book is a fast read! Much faster than I’d originally anticipated. The author described it to me as a novelette, but it’s probably more short story length (I don’t know if there’s really a difference, I just picture novelette’s being around 100 pages whereas this is only 25). It’s good if you only want to feel a little spooked or unsettled because you can get that feeling, but then be done and move to something more lighthearted afterwards if you need that (I needed that).

Okay, now that we’ve established what a scaredy cat I am, let’s move on to actually discussing the book! The characters were interesting. I was surprised with how much I liked Aubrey, the roommate. I expected her to be shallow and slightly demeaning towards Jessica, but she was actually really nice and a good friend. Ricky, Aubrey’s boyfriend, was appropriately creepy. I did not like him (we’re not supposed to anyway).

Plot-wise: Like I said earlier, those texts? Creepy. Then we get to the very end…did not see that coming. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but it was almost like the story switched horror genres just for the very end. I’ll admit, at first I was a little confused. But then the author got me the revised copy and I thought about it a little more and then everything clicked. I just had to think about the story (and the narrator) a little differently.

Overall, creepy but the length of the story makes it something even non-horror readers could enjoy.

Overall Rating: 4
Violence: Moderate
Language: Mild
Sexual Content: Moderate
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate

Note: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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