First, a word of warning. If you’re not a die-hard Harry Potter fan, this book isn’t for you. You’ll probably dislike it. It’s, in short, a run down of the fantastical beasts you come across and hear about when reading the Harry Potter books, where they live, how dangerous they are, and some characteristics. There’s no adventure, no story – this is the book Harry had to study in one of his classes.
It doesn’t make for very exciting reading, but as a Harry Potter fan, it’s still fun to read about these monsters. The best part about the book is that it belonged to Harry Potter (or so it says) and there are notes added by Harry and Ron. It’s a cute touch and makes the book all that more fun to read.
If you don’t like Harry Potter, I doubt you’ll like this book, but if you are a Harry Potter fan (like every sane person on this planet) then I would recommend you give it a shot....more
Spirituality is often lacking in nowadays’ busy life, filled with plans and scheduling and what not. We often don’t find time for it anymore. Heck, we barely find time for religion and sometimes spirituality goes deeper than that.
Incarnational Wonder is an inspiring read about what it means to be human, our own spirituality, who we are, as persons, as a species. The book focuses heavily on experience, our interaction with other people.
Despite that, the book doesn’t come across as preachy and it’s written in a down-to-earth style, which I found uplifting and inspiring. The message is certainly a hopeful one, and might allow the reader to find deeper meaning in their lives....more
Beside Myself is my first DNF in… probably forever. Usually I struggle through a book, no matter what, and I keep on going. But here, I just couldn’t. Several things worked against this book, and I’ll list them all below. I did read the ending just to see where it would lead (I had half-expected that end) but I quit after fifty pages.
Let’s start with the good. The plot is unique, and original. Two twin sisters, one the leader, the other the follower, and they switch positions. Helen becomes Ellie and Ellie becomes Helen. Except when the joke is over, Ellie doesn’t want to switch back, and Helen is stuck taking on the role of Ellie, who everyone laughs at, who is slow, who Mom is always angry at. With Mom’s new boyfriend coming into play, things don’t get easier for Helen either, and no one seems to have a clue that they switched places. Even when she tells them, no one believes her.
The book alternates between present and past. In the past, we see Helen and Ellie as they grow up. In the present, Smudge, as Helen has started calling herself, lives the life of an addict. Everything she knows has fallen apart. Meanwhile, Ellie – posing as Helen – has become quite famous.
A lot of people loved this book, and I understand why. The plot is unique, and the author’s writing is descriptive and lyrical. It’s just not for me.
On to the bad. First of all, the writing style. I’ve seen descriptions that run several paragraphs long in this book and before I figured out what the author was trying to say, I was almost a page further. It’s page after page filled with these descriptions that are beautiful writing but significantly slow down the narrative. I had to skim pages just to find the plot, it was hidden under so many descriptions.
Next up, the story. It annoyed me to no end. I had to stop reading primarily because of this – my heart beat was going way too high, and I was ready to pull my hair out. I was so annoyed at EVERYONE in this book. At the mother figure in particular. How can you not tell your own children apart? And then, with that ending, I hated her even more. I was annoyed with the way everyone treated Ellie and later Helen. If a child, part of a twin set you can’t keep apart, keeps saying she’s not the twin you think they are, then someone, at least one adult, will grow concerned. It would be so easy to fix this! Blood testing. DNA. Handprints. Or if Ellie is really so slow as the book wants us to believe, have them both do a test and see how the scores work – in that scenario, Helen would’ve done a lot better than Ellie.
Poor Helen. I felt so sorry for her. She was so helpeless, and this annoyed me so much. I was going to freak out if I kept on reading, because the scenario made no sense. Not even Helen’s friends recognize her? Some friends they are. It’s very hard to believe no one will figure it out.
Also, a thriller? I don’t really see any thriller aspects in the book. It’s mostly about mental health, and Helen’s struggle.
Ultimately, a lot of people liked this book (just check the Goodreads reviews, lost of 4 and 5 stars) but I couldn’t finish it. It annoyed me too much, and I don’t want to waste my time reading a book that annoys me to no end....more
In Blood Gold Revenge, we meet with a bunch of gold diggers literally looking for gold in the vastness of the Australian outback. Maxine and Scrubber, a husband-and-wife hit team, along with Maxine’s brother Price, run interference for Mr. C, who has the biggest meth lab in the country. They often kill lone passers-by. But when a prospector gets murdered, and it turns out he wasn’t as alone as Maxine and her gang thought, you end up in a fast-paced thriller that races on until the end. With the state police called in, those who once hunted…have now become a prey.
It was a thrilling ride of a book, and had a lot of twists I ddin’t expect. The characters were well-rounded and some of the action was down-right spectacular. Would recommend to everyone who enjoys thrillers....more
In Dora’s Jinx, Dora figures she might’ve been invisible, considering no one else but her family even notices she exists. But on her sixteenth birthday, as if being ignored by just about everyohne isn’t bad enough, she meets a talking cat who tells her she’s a witch. Goodbye normal life, forever. As if she’s not on a rollercoaster of bad luck already, the other witches’ familiars go missing, and Dora’s magic is the only thing that can save down from destruction. But if Dora wants to save the day, she’ll have to accept herself for who she is.
A lovely, fun tale of a girl looking for her true self, and coming to terms who she really is. I loved the magical elements, and how it combined the more traditional view on witches from fairytales and folklore with modern elements. A quick read, too, and fast-paced. Would recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA Fantasy....more
The Girl from the Well has been on my wishlist for over a year. Figuring out I’d never get my hands on it if I didn’t help destiny a little, I finally purchased it from Amazon a few weeks ago. From the mmoent it arrived in my mailbox, I finished it in a few days. The story is just so good, the characters so intriguing, and the use of Japanese folklore and legends gives it an unique, creepy vibe.
I’m a huge horror buff, but Japanese horror is usually so creepy I can’t always stomach it. But reading about it? Sure thing.
Okiku is a centuries’ old spirit. After getting murdered, she’s determined to find child murderers and punish them, and setting the children’s spirits free. But then she sees Tarquin, Tark as his family calls him, a fifteen-year-old boy covered in strange tattoos. Okiku senses another presence lingering near Tarquin, and it’s not a benevolent one. The tattoos are strange and eerie, and everyone seems to avoid the boy. Okiku’s interest is triggered, and she starts following him.
The best parts of the book were the ones focusing on Japanese culture, and the ones actually happening in Japan. I loved reading about the country, the ancient legends, the mikos and how they perform exorcisms, and so on. The book is creepy (what did you expect), but it’s also original, has great writing, and is overall, a very enjoyable book, and certainly different from most other YA horror books.
If you’re in the mood for some genuinely creepy horror, I recommend this book. I already ordered the sequel....more
A fast-paced, gripping horror story set in 1870 that combines a great story with excellent characters. The time period, around the Civil War, was interesting too, and despite some historical inaccuracies, I did enjoy this. Horror the way it should be....more
I requested this one because the two kids kidnapped and only one returns plot reminded me of one of my favorite Criminal Minds episodes. Boy, I wasn’t dissapointed in the least! The writing was excellent, the plot was brilliant and put me on the edge of my seat, and raised my heart beat to at least 150 for most of the book. The characters are amazing, the plot is fast-paced, the twists are surprising and all in all, this is an AMAZING book. If you love thrillers, I suggest you go read this one RIGHT now....more
I love serial killer stories with a paranormal twist, and “Time to Die” certainly didn’t dissapoint. Jennifer Knight is one of the most intriguing detectives I’ve read about lately, and despite being strong and intelligent, I enjoyed how she also had some flaws. The serial killer in question was intriguing too, and I enjoyed how the author included tarot cards into the story. As a tarot reader, I loved seeing my two hobbies mix! The story was suspenseful from start to end, and I’m already looking forward to the next book. ...more
It seems the opinions on this book are divided, but I’m fairly in the “I love this” camp. The back and forth between past and present works surprisingly well, and I could really connect to the main character, and understand most of her motivations. The author kept me guessing until the end, and overall, this was an amazing reading experience....more
The first half of this book had all the ingredients for being a fast-paced, chilling psychological thriller, but unfortunately this unraveled during the second half. The climax was underwhelming, and it didn’t tie up all loose ends. The dual narrative worked well, and the characters were intriguing though. Enjoyable, but did not fulfill the high hopes I had for it after reading the first half....more
I enjoyed the book’s unique format the most, with the newspaper clippings, screenshots…this gave the book a realistic feel. The main character is compelling, and the way the author describes her dissociative identity disorder added an interesting angle to the book. However, the reason why is a little flat, and the book lacked creepiness....more
Sylas felt like a real person, so alive and realistic that I could just picture him being an actual person. He was flawed too, and those flaws made him more realistic. The writing was haunting and imaginative, and the story unique and original, with excellent world-building. The only downside I’d say would be the author’s tendency to use long descriptions sometimes, derailing the narrative....more
Having never heard of this theater or the ghosts that haunt it, I was intrigued to learn more. However, the story involved a lot more around the author and her thoughts, feelings and perceptions than it did around the ghost stories. The actual history and research of the ghost sightings was also not extensive enough, as if the author just briefly glanced over it. The writing wasn’t stellar either....more
An interesting account of Sarah Soderlund, Paranormal Sarah as she’s nicknamed, her gift to see spirits and her experience with the supernatural. She talks about the things she went through growing up in a haunted home, and then her experiences afterward – and she sure has a lot of experience. The book was an easy, quik read, but entertaining nevertheless....more
A young boy falls prey to a mysterious illness, and is put into a home for people with disabilities. He’s trapped inside his own body, and it takes years before a friendly nurse figures out he can communicate, and is a lot more intelligent than they gave him credit for. The book is harsh too, and not just a hopeful story. There’s rape and horrible abuse, all in one boy – and then man’s – fight against darkness. A heart-wrenching story that I’ll never forget....more
A cute book about a kid with two mommies. We don’t always think about the consequences for kids, and how tough it can be for them to explain to other kids that they have two mommies, or even two daddies, and this book explains in a fun, cute way. The illustrations look lovely too....more
Claustrophic, small town setting, a brooding detective haunted by the past, a brutal ritualistic murder, and excellent writing. All that mixes into a chilling, tense novel with a haunting climax. One of my favorites I read this year....more
Asylum is a chilling, creeptastic novel about Dan, a high school student attending a summer program for gifted students at a college in New Hampshire. The college used to be an asylum, and parts of the basement still hosts the old chambers. Dan is geeky and a bit of a loner, so he’s thrilled to meet gorgeous, outgoing Abby, and her friend, Jordan. The three of them form a close bond, and they even take some classes together. But one night they go exploring in the basement of the asylum, and that’s when things start to go wrong.
Dan is tormented by nightmares, people get hurt, and the three of them receive strange messages that could be from the beyond. On top of that, we see a glimpse of Dan’s past, his visits to a therapist, and some reasons are alluded to, but unfortunately never fully explained.
The creepiness is high in this one, and the author does a great job describing the creepier scenes. However, the characters were problematic. Dan has so many secrets shrouding his past it’s difficult to connect to him. For a large part of the book, I thought he would be an unrealiable narrator, and this also kept me distant from him, but at the same time, heightened the mystery. Jordan and Abby felt a little underdeveloped, and their behavior was all over the place – some thanks to the asylum, some of it seemingly random.
I felt like a lot of things weren’t explained yet and some issues could’ve been explored further, but overall, I had a fantastic time reading this. Plus, the photographs gave the book a nice touch....more
Caderyn Fortis used to be a soldier, but now he’s a gambling addict and an alcoholic, a man haunted by his wife’s murder and his own failings in life. Then an opportunity arrives that might give his self-worth back, that might help him make up for the mistakes he has made. He has to rescue a young woman who got kidnapped, but things aren’t as simply as they seem.
With deep roots in the Greek-Roman societies of old, the book presents an interesting fantasy world that the reader can easily settle in. There aren’t many details about this world, but it feels familiar enough that the details aren’t really needed either – you can submerse into this fantasy world without it, and feel instantly at home in this community. Plus, the book relies mostly on action, so long descriptions would slow down the pacing anyway.
On to Caderyn. He has a complex personality, a shaded past, and that makes him intriguing. As a reader, you really get a feel for him, his personality and everything that makes him who he is. He’s troubled and flawed, and all of this makes him interesting.
The pacing is good, there’s action when it’s needed, some slow moments to mix up and get in-depth characterization, and overall it’s an entertaining fantasy book that all fans of the genre will enjoy....more
It seems, based on the Goodreads reviews, that people either love or hate Daughters Unto Devils. I LOVE it. So yes, I’m firmly on the side of love. I didn’t expect some of the chlling, disturbing scenes that would show up during this book.
Amanda is sixteen years old, and just survived cabin fever, seeing the devil, and getting stuck in a cabin for several months while a snowstorm raged outside. She doesn’t like herself very much, especially since she often wants her kid sister, Hannah, a baby who cries all the time and was born blinde, to die. So Amanda is complicated, and flawed. Her parents decide, with another harsh winter in front of them, to move to the pairie, especially since there are apparently abandoned cabins there they can just move into.
Except, when they move into the cabin, it’s covered in blood, and they hear tales of an ancient evil haunting the prairie, an evil that might be similar to one Amanda already faced once.
This book gave me the creeps, but in such a good way. The characters were haunting, the writing was spot-on without dissapearing into endless descriptions, and the author just manages to magically throw a reader into the creepiest scenes imaginable and just make it work. The pacing was fast yet I got the sense I knew every single character, from Ma and Pa to Emily to Amanda. The conclusion put me on the edge of my seat, and it ended in a way I hadn’t imagined at all yet makes perfect sense. With the slow build up, the creepiness rising on every page, and then that climax of an ending, I can only describe this book as amazing.
If you love horror books, please, please, please, for the love of God, go read this one....more
I didn’t know the book was a sequel, until I started reading. I didn’t really need the first book to grasp what was going on though. I enjoyed the story, but there was a lack of consistency, and the author used telling instead of showing. The pacing went from slow to fast in milliseconds too. So while it’s enjoyable, the writing could use some work, and the story wasn’t alwways consistent either. ...more
I enjoyed the first book in the series, so I picked up the second one too. It was an okay read, and it had a few surprises, but the case unfortunately wasn’t all that interesting or original. Some of the drama seemed useless and done half a million times already. It did get better toward the end, and I did still enjoy myself reading it....more
I love ghost stories, and this one is no exception, although at times, it didn’t catch my attention quite as much as I thought it would. It’s basically a retelling of the Bell Witch Haunting, but now when David Binder and his family move to the Baele homestead, where he hopes to find inspiration for a new book. The bouncing from era to era is a little difficult to follow at first, and makes it harder to connect to the characters. However, in the end it all ties up nicely....more
An okay read with 11 spooky campfire tales, based on legends and true events around the Great Lakes region. I did like the details the author included in the book. The stories aren’t all that believable though, but they are good fun....more
This book hooked me from start to finish. The creepiness is palpable, and grows worse with every page you turn. The stories within the story added to the overall atmosphere, and the question what Eren is and if Eren is friendly or not, is the red line throughout the book. Creepy, out of the box, original, and highly enjoyable....more
What would happen if we had a broken link in our food chain, in the form of genetically modified food? The outcome is quite bleak, if we’re to believe “Broken Chain”. The story is great, and it’s definitely a topic that’s up for debate. The book takes some scientific liberties, but I didn’t find those too annoying. What I did find annoying was how hard it was to connect to the characters. I’ve had that a few times when reading this author’s work, so while in general, I enjoy the story and plot, not connecting to the characters makes it a less enjoyable experience for me....more
Although I figured out early where this book was heading, I still loved it. The moment Eila moves into a million-dollar Cape Cod home, she starts having visions of sorts, and whenever she’s around local bad boy Raef, she feels fear, although she can’t explain why. Eila is an amazing character with a great personality. She acted like a real person, and her friendship with Ana and MJ seemed genuine too. I can’t wait for the sequel....more
Despite the overused plot of a governess stuck in a haunted house, I did enjoy this book. I love gothic ficton, and “Greythorne” is an excellent addition to the genre. I saw most of the twists coming, but that didn’t take away from the plot, or how much I enjoyed the book....more
An enjoyable book that mixes a lot of different genres into a surprising, unique tale. The main downside is how slow the story is at the start. The writing just didn’t really impress me, and sometimes I even glanced past some of the plot developments because they happened so casually. While the book had a great concept (I love time travel in just about any shape or form), the writing needed some work and the plot wasn’t entirely believable. I don’t need the time travel to be believable, I just need the character’s reactions to be believable, and that was lacking here....more