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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
You Owe Me One by Kathryn Hollingworth is a horror novel covering the lives of two men who became indebted to the devil. Set in the 2000s, Joe was very young when his sister saved him from imminent death. He was never the same after that. From there on, Joe wasn’t able to pray and had an unholy fixation of fire. Setting fire to things was fun, but nothing satisfied him more than setting fire to Bibles and other church items. In parallel, we have Charles, a young man with big dreams and aspirations to find love. Living in the 1880s, Charles had to make do with a father who was racist ad cruel on his best days. However, the real trouble began for Charles when he fell in love with a black woman. Unbeknownst to them, the devil was pursuing them and waiting to strike when they were at their lowest. Can these two men protect their souls and their lives from Satan? Or were they doomed to suffer for eternity?
While on the surface You Owe Me One was a simple battle between good and evil, it was a lot more than that inside. First of all, the narrative style was brilliant and suited the format of the story. The diary entries made the story interesting and a lot more personal. They made the events even more real and gave a first-person perspective to readers. Kathryn Hollingworth did justice to both characters and their respective stories. The descriptions of Florida were exceptionally good. Out of the two protagonists, Charles was my favorite. He was living a dilemma; Charles didn’t want to anger his father, but he just could not stay away from the lovely Charlotte. Joe, on the other hand, knew he wasn’t normal, and he embraced that. The narrative drew parallels between the two characters and kept the suspense alive until the end. The constant jump between different timelines was smooth, the transitions were brilliant, and I could feel the fear our characters felt. It was brilliant!