Bookish Witch

Young Blood: Ten Terrifying College Tales by Chandrima Das 

Blurb (as on Amazon):

Bored roommates use a planchette to contact a legendary ghost that haunts Pune University. Will she answer?

Is the abandoned Khairatabad Science College in Hyderabad really haunted? A gang of students break inside to investigate.

Nirav and Pavi love each other . . . most of the time. Will exploring a forbidden place inside IIT Kharagpur bring them closer?

From strange sightings to urban legends, from haunted buildings to not-so-friendly ghosts, colleges in India have their fair share of spine-tingling tales, be it Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, St. Bede’s College in Shimla, or Delhi University. Young Blood is a collection of ten tales that reimagine college urban legends and true first-person accounts, that promise to terrify even die-hard fans of horror.

Genre: Fiction/Horror/Short Stories

Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback

Pages: 304


  • Kindle eBook: 72 INR/ $7.99
  • Paperback: 237 INR/$17.50

My rating: 4.8/5

College life and years are generally full of fond memories for most of us. But this anthology makes us recall those tales we were wary of; right from suicide stories to legends about why some spots in our campuses are abandoned or avoided.

What I liked about this book:

-> The first-person narrative of each story makes the incidents more believable, and thus, more terrifying.
-> Though the writing is fear-inducing, there’s an element of humor and sarcasm that works to provide relief from the eeriness (especially for people like me who scare easily)
-> Each story is well-paced, taking time to establish the place, character, and the final act which is the horror event itself. The writing is etched out in an organic, no-nonsense manner, thus making it a treat to read.
-> We can’t help but recall the tales shared over sleepovers and in hushed conversation about similar legends about our own college campuses.
-> All the 10 tales had a different tone and narrative style that was gripping and terrifying simultaneously.
-> There’s a common train of thought that connects all the very different stories. There seems to be an underlying moral thread exemplifying the thought that ‘human beings tend to manifest their own thoughts and life experiences…’
-> Almost every story forces you to also evaluate the parameters with which you look at the world. Yes, the genre is horror and the book does manage to scare us to our wit’s end on most pages. But the scarier part is that the things talked about are the scary stuff that lies in everyday things, things that make us rethink our own surroundings.

-> There’s an Indianess to the conversations and thoughts of the lead characters with the use of colloquial Hindi phrases and words, that makes the reading quite enjoyable, especially for Indian readers.

What I did not like about this book:

-> The college campuses are all mostly popular and well-known. I wish more smaller, remote-location campuses were also included because in my experience the legends around such are scarier and kind of unbelievable.

Quotable quotes:

-> How do India’s college students deal with all the fear and anxiety floating around campus like an endless cloud of existential doom?
-> When faced with muliple problems, first tackle the easiest one. A win gives you the confidence and motivation to work on the harder ones.
-> We can manage the situation if we stick together and keep our heads cool.
-> When you don’t want to be a part of something, just say no. Even if it’s for and with someone you’re close to.
-> If you’re emphatetic and open-minded, people will try to influence you. They’ll drag you into their own messes. Then you’ll be saddled with all the guilt.
-> What do you say to a girl who wants to be invisible?

You say nothing. Just pretend that you haven’t seen her.
-> I wanted to stay quiet. But words are tricky things. Once you’ve thought them in your head, they find a way into the world.
-> I was weird. But was it such a bad thing? If they were normal, then I was proud to be weird.
-> Music keeps our ears free from the strange words and convulated thoughts of other people.
-> Most people will like you once they get to know you. But you need to put in more effort. Friendships don’t just happen. You need to make them happen.
-> Most people think about me, “She enjoys reading books, so she must enjoy writing too. But writing is hard. Reading is easy. And making random assumptions about people you don’t understand is easier.”
-> Some people are genuinely nice. But that also means they don’t understand people who are not nice. Most people are like that. And you know what’s worse? They get away with it.

> ‘Not nice’ people don’t like it when you’ve found them out. They growl like a pack of stray dogs. They bark at you every chance they get.
-> I held my tongue. If I had learned anything from my experiences, it was that anger came with a high price.
-> Sometimes our hearts can foretell evil before our minds catch up with reality.
-> It’s hard to trust someone especially when their life experiences have differed so much from yours. Empathy is hard enough in normal situations. It becomes so much more difficult when someone’s pain exists so far beyond the limits of our imagination.
-> The line between funny and offensive lay in different places for different people.

Check out the book here:

Author’s social media links:

Note: This review is powered by the Blogchatter review program

 I’m participating in Blogchatter’s #TBRChallenge


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