States of Terror Vol 1: By Matt Lewis, 150 pgs. By Ashley

The concept of this collection is brilliant: “Eighteen tales of horror and the surreal featuring the monsters of the United States.” Each section is divided into a specific region, so you know exactly what to be afraid no matter where you are in the U.S. Each story is accompanied by a sufficiently creepy black and white illustration of the monster in question. It was fun to read short stories of monsters I’d never heard of. “The Mystery Box” was particularly creepy, telling the story of a demon dog that takes over your body and uses it to kill the people you love. However, hands down the scariest stories were the tales I was familiar with: el chupacabra and La Llorona. As a child of a Mexican family growing up in Southern California, I’d always feared these two stories more than the boogeyman or any other creepy crawlies that went bump in the night (the X-Files episode with el chupacabra still haunts me to this day, fungus or no fungus!). La Llorona, She Weeps with You literally gave me goosebumps. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this collection if you’re looking for a fun read, especially if you’re a horror fan going on a multi-state road trip and you don’t want to waste time with sleep. –Ashley Ravelo (3245 University Ave., Ste. 1430, San Diego, CA 92104)