Confession: I wrote this post last month, but better late than never. Isn't that what they say?
February is the month of love. It’s a time for last-minute trips to the jewelry store, scrambling to obtain dinner reservations, and spending a small fortune on flowers that wilt in a couple of days. Not very romantic when I put it that way, I know. So, if you’re hoping for a classic love story recommendation for Valentine's Day… look elsewhere. What I have for you today is Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, because what screams romance better than resurrecting your loved ones from the grave?
Or maybe your answer was ‘hell no’. That’s okay too. Outside of fiction, messing with the dead is never encouraged or advised. In fact, it’s downright disturbing. As said in Pet Sematary, “Sometimes dead is better.”
In all seriousness, if you have not read this book yet—move it to the top of your TBR now! Pet Sematary easily makes it into my top three King reads of ALL TIME list. Don’t let the silly, misspelled title fool you. This novel dives into the very real, very complicated topics of death and grief. The subject matter will make you uncomfortable. It will make you question your own beliefs of the afterlife and, more importantly, it will scare you sh*tless.
What's the plot?
Dr. Louis Creed moves his family to a small Maine town to start a new job at the local University. Things are peaceful at first, normal even. Up until Louis discovers a strange pet cemetery in the woods outback. He is warned through stories and nightmares to never wander beyond the cemetery’s borders because there is something hidden there. Something unnatural.
Scary or Nay?
Stephen King says this was the scariest book for him to write. I say it was one of the scariest for me to read. Fun fact: King, while vacationing, actually stumbled upon a real-life pet cemetery complete with a makeshift wooden sign depicting the misspelled title of this book. As you can imagine, this was a creepy little discovery that sparked the first idea for this story.
I’ve chosen to pair this book with a spiked hot chocolate. It may be simple, but it will keep you warm when venturing into a book filled with cold corpses, creepy cemeteries, and long, unforgiving Maine winters.
Spiked Hot Chocolate
Yield: 2 servings
What You Need:
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ ounces Kahlúa coffee liqueur
- 1 ounce vodka
- mini marshmallows, for serving
What You Do:
1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and vanilla over medium heat until heated through.
2. Remove from heat and stir in Kahlúa and vodka.
3. Pour into mugs. Top with mini marshmallows and a sprinkle of cocoa powder if desired.
*Faster: Use instant hot chocolate packets, mix in cinnamon and vanilla, then add booze.
**Opt for Organic: cocoa beans have some of the highest pesticide levels of any crop (other than coffee). If available, use organic cocoa powder. There is also such a thing as organic instant hot chocolate packets although they are difficult to find.