You want to get my attention? Compare a book to Dexter. Just, you know, make sure it lives up to that comparison. Unfortunately it did not. The Girl f...moreYou want to get my attention? Compare a book to Dexter. Just, you know, make sure it lives up to that comparison. Unfortunately it did not. The Girl from the Well is not scary. There are moments of creepy descriptiveness but that does not make a creepy story. Especially when they occur briefly and inconsistently. Like this sort of creepy goodness:
'Something is rising out of the boy’s back–something with terrible, burning eyes, yet are not quite eyes at all, preserved behind a bloodless, decaying mask that hides its face from the world.'
But as I said, it was far too inconsistent and the rest of what the story contained didn’t make the wait worthwhile. Like the style of writing: First person and then 3rd person omniscient all in one paragraph? Talk about wordy whiplash. But seriously, pick one style of writing and stick with it. And if you were going to change it up, at least make it a different section so the reader doesn't have to backtrack in order to figure out what the hell is going on. It was unnecessarily confusing. Even if the intent was to make the narrator seem all crazed seeming since she’s a deranged ghost, it still didn't work for me.
Speaking of the deranged ghost. Not only is she deranged but she’s got an obsession with numbers and proceeds to spend the entire novel counting shit. Counting plates. And people. And seconds of silence. Girl needs to get herself a hobby.
'I spend the rest of the day counting. There are two janitors roaming the school grounds. There are sixteen rooms in the building. There are thirty students in the tattooed boy’s class [...]'
It wasn't thrilling to read about I’ll tell you that much. And then we find out about her obvious dislike for a particular number.
'Seven, eight. Nine. Nine. Nine bulbs, all bearing strange little fireflies. [...] No nines. Not-nine. Never nine.'
So creepy chick doesn't care for the number nine. Ten is totally cool and her absolute favorite but number nine makes her go all Limp Bizkit on shit. Honestly, since we have no idea the reasoning behind her dislike of the number nine those passages end up being funnier than I think was intended.
As far as other characters go, we've got Tark whose mother is in a mental institution after she tattooed him when he was a young child. Pretty nuts, and I’d be more likely to feel bad for the guy if he wasn't such a pretentious poser full o’ emo thoughts who goes around being snooty to everyone because he’s full of angsty goodness. He sees things too, but naturally worries about being thrown in with dear old mom.
"And then my mom had to… well, she went bonkers, excuse the political correctness."
This kid is 15. No 15 year old is going to mention politically correctness, or even give a shit about it. He would say mature stuff like that and then turn around and act like a complete moron the next.
"What is it about me that she hates so much, that she can’t even stand the sight of me?"
Well, gee, let’s think about this. Your mother doesn't get all crazy until she sees you, screaming to ‘get away from him’. So clearly she’s not talking to you. You know there’s this creepy girl in a mask that follows you, staring at you, that you can only see in a mirror. Golly, could she be seeing her too? By Jove! I think we’re on to something!
Bottom line: this could have been a creepy tale of ghosts that hunt down child murderers. It was unfortunately brought down by unnecessary side stories, a horribly jarring writing style and terribly dull one-dimensional characters.(less)
"...down in what was once Olive, you could still find the townspeople who never left. They looked up into their murky sky, waiting to catch sight of...more"...down in what was once Olive, you could still find the townspeople who never left. They looked up into their murky sky, waiting to catch sight of our boat bottoms and our fishing lines, counting our trespassing feet."
Ruby and Chloe are sisters that live in upstate New York together. Their mother is forever absent and the two have learned to only rely on one another. The town they live in is located near a massive reservoir that is reported to have submerged a town called Olive, and older sister Ruby tells the story of the town as if the people are still down their living their daily lives. One night at a party taking place at the reservoir, Ruby boasts that her sister could swim across the reservoir and if so inclined even go down and get a souvenir from Olive. The only thing she brings back from her swim is a lone rowboat in the middle of the reservoir where the body of a dead girl lies.
After the rowboat incident, Chloe moves to Pennsylvania to live with her dad and step-mother, leaving Ruby behind. A random text every now and then is the only communication Chloe has with her sister, but two years go by and her sister has appeared suddenly in town to coerce her to return, insisting that things are back to normal. Chloe does return and finds that things are in fact back to the way they were, but they aren’t truly. Something eerie and mysterious is at work and Chloe knows that Ruby’s the reason for it all. The strange stories her sister tells about the town of Olive, and of the reservoir, and of the dead girl named London are all connected somehow and Chloe’s curiosity is overpowering. She trusts her sister implicitly despite the strangeness that her hometown now exudes.
Imaginary Girls is a mesmerizing tale that will leave you contemplating the magic that threads itself through this novel. It’s a strangely horrific tale with a subtle delivery causing the eeriness to come upon you slowly. The story of the town of Olive and the people that still live down there. Imagining their eyes following you as you swim in the reservoir. Ruby’s enthralling power and influence she holds over the town and its inhabitants is intriguing until she begins to take it too far.
Suma’s writing will captivate you with its skillful blend of magical realism but the focal point of the story, the unbreakable bond between two sisters, makes a powerful statement.(less)
Edith Warton's story 'Kerfol' is a ghostly tale of revenge and while it's not my favorite story of hers, was still a (short) pleasure to read. The end...moreEdith Warton's story 'Kerfol' is a ghostly tale of revenge and while it's not my favorite story of hers, was still a (short) pleasure to read. The ending will leave you wondering about the purpose of the story though as it's left very open-ended.(less)
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars A copy of School Spirits was provided to me by Disney-Hyperion/Netgalley for review purposes.
Izzy Brannick comes from a long...moreMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars A copy of School Spirits was provided to me by Disney-Hyperion/Netgalley for review purposes.
Izzy Brannick comes from a long line of monster hunters. Her family hunts them all for the Prodigium, the council that governs them all. The council that her cousin Sophie Mercer is in charge of. Izzy hasn't been the same since her sister went missing on a job both of them were supposed to be working on. She blames herself since she was supposed to be with her but ended up letting her go off by herself. Add to that, she just screwed up her last solo job and her mom has given her a lame assignment. It involves a ghost. And a high school. Which she has to personally attend.
I was a bit undecided when I heard about this spin-off series but when I got my hands on it my love of Hex Hall that had lay dormant sudden came alive again and I had to read this immediately. And in a single day. Hex Hall fans will love this spin-off, I have no doubt.
Izzy is such a charming yet completely clueless girl when it comes to the normal lives of teenagers. She considers black a satisfactory color for her entire wardrobe and she lacks any sort of social skills considering she's never been social and has never attended public school. So when she finds out she's going to have to actually attend a high school in order to get the necessary information to bring down the ghost that's currently haunting its halls, she's at a loss on how to acclimate. She buys all the teen magazines and the goofy teen TV shows in order to 'understand' more and... suffice it to say, it's hilarious.
Despite her lack of social skills, there still manages to be a completely adorable romance. Izzy and Dex are hilarious and awkward and it was completely endearing. It totally gave the warm fuzzies, I only wish it had gone on for more pages (this was an extremely quick read!) but fortunately this is the first in a new series so I look forward to seeing more Dex and Izzy time. Dex was definitely my favorite character with his peppy one-liners, but there were tons of characters to love in these pages. Torin, the 400-year old warlock currently trapped in Izzy's bedroom mirror, was a runner-up favorite.
Despite my gushing, I wasn't completely content with the ending. It wasn't so off-putting that I won't be continuing this series, but it'll be interesting to see where the story leads.
School Spirits is a delightful paranormal series with an unforgettable set of characters. Fun and full of witty banter, this is the perfect read for anyone looking for some quick mystical entertainment.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars I received this book free from the Author for a Book Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of...moreMy rating: 5 of 5 stars I received this book free from the Author for a Book Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Two months have passed since Dex and Perry’s trip to New Orleans and things have never been better. Rebecca has joined their Experiment in Terror team and the show is becoming more and more successful. Their next haunted adventure takes them back to Oregon, back to where it all began. The location is a haunted school that used to be a sanatorium for children dying of tuberculosis over a century ago. Some of the ghostly children are friendly and only want someone to play with. Others are much more dreadful and have spine-chilling things in mind.
"To the thing that hurts you most. To the paranormal and to never being normal." He winked at me. "To us."
On Demon Wings was holding the crown of ‘my favorite installment’ but Ashes to Ashes blew it out of the water. This was quite possibly the best installment to date. It was an intense page-turner that was thrilling and steamy and swoony and of course scary as freaking hell. Karina’s ability to describe these scenes of intensity in detail completely bring them to life and leave you feeling completely unsettled.
'I waited, frozen on the spot, until I heard a dull slap, the sound of bare feet hitting the ground. Someone coming out of the body cooler. Someone dead.'
The best part of Ashes in Ashes is returning to Perry’s POV. Perry is such a fabulously intricate character and I really missed out on her thoughts and feelings in the previous installment, Come Alive. We’re also able to experience first-hand her dreamy visits to the Veil, her interactions with Pippa and the sense of foreboding that she exudes. Pippa feels as if something bad is about to happen and she hopes to be able to prepare Perry, but the threat is shrouded in fog and she isn’t able to determine who Perry should be fearing. Prepared or not, this is one threat that Perry will never see coming. This dramatic conclusion sets the stage for the undoubtedly exhilarating final installment of the Experiment in Terror series.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars Source: Purchased via Amazon
You have no idea how much it pains me to give this book only a 3 star rating. The Experiment in Ter...moreMy rating: 3 of 5 stars Source: Purchased via Amazon
You have no idea how much it pains me to give this book only a 3 star rating. The Experiment in Terror series is one of my favorites, ever, and I was anticipating this so very badly ever since I got hooked on this series earlier this year. I can't say for sure whether it was my extremely (and possibly unrealistic) expectations that made this not as good or not but I definitely had some issues that nagged at me.
I started reading this series because I love ghost novels especially because they aren't so paranormal as to be completely out of this world; that there are instances where you could really feel this being fact. I absolutely loved Perry and Dex as a team and I loved watching their relationship grow over installments. But what I loved the absolute most was the well-blended way that Karina Halle mixed the two together. It wasn't a paranormal novel and it wasn't a romance novel, it was a perfect amalgamation of the two. And therein lies the main issue I had with this novel: the lack of blending.
While Into the Hollow left Dex and Perry's relationship at an imbalance, I understood and expected drama to have to be sorted out in Come Alive. What I didn't expect was for it to take up practically the entire first half with no plot in sight. Now don't go get me wrong, I love me some Dex and Perry but it just felt way too focused on their crazy (and oftentimes unnecessary) drama and their equally crazy sex life. For those of you adverse to this, Come Alive toed the line of erotica and while I'm not against this, this is not what I've come to expect from these novels. If I wanted to read erotica, I would read erotica.
The other big issue I had: the point of view. I did read 'The Dex-Files' and while I enjoyed these short glimpses into Dex's point of view, they weren't my absolute favorite. I was a bit leery when I found out that Come Alive would be told solely from Dex's point of view but of course I reserved judgment. WELL. Dex is one crazy fucker, I think we all know that, but being inside his head and knowing each and every one of his (mostly sexual) thoughts was a bit much. He's just too much sometimes and can be quite intense. I wouldn't be completely adverse to a story from his point of view again, however, I think I'd like it more if it was shared with Perry's POV because, well, Perry is the absolute best.
Regardless, I'm still a die-hard fan and will gladly read anything Ms. Halle writes because she really is an amazing writer of truly entertaining stories. While this is not my favorite installment, the ending did hold much promise for future installments so this is far from my last Perry and Dex story.
3.5 This is Pippa... Crazy Clown Lady... I don't know. I was expecting her to be a bit more interesting. Still enjoyable and a good insight into Dex's...more3.5 This is Pippa... Crazy Clown Lady... I don't know. I was expecting her to be a bit more interesting. Still enjoyable and a good insight into Dex's childhood and the connection between him and Perry.(less)
Hannah Wagnor is struggling to cope with the recent death of her best friend, Lillian, and the details surrounding it. There...moreMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Hannah Wagnor is struggling to cope with the recent death of her best friend, Lillian, and the details surrounding it. There is also the fact that Lillian’s ghost now follows her everywhere. While trying to overcome her guilt at not being able to help Lillian when she was alive, Hannah is also trying to understand how to go on with life without her. In addition to Lillian’s ghost which haunts her are several other ghosts that start appearing and they are all victims of a recent serial killer in her small town.
This is actually the first story I’ve read of Brenna Yovanoff’s and I definitely enjoyed the story and her writing skills but Paper Valentine didn’t wow me as much as I’d anticipated. The storyline itself was a tale full of emotional resonance but the combination of the ‘coming-of-age’ tale of Hannah finding herself after the death of her best friend AND the serial killer taking out locals was a strange yet engaging mix that managed to work for the most part.
The narrative is told in the first person from the POV of Hannah from which we are able to see just how deeply rooted her depression is. Hannah is a compelling character yet I found many of her actions to be extremely unreasonable especially when it came to the expeditious love for the local bad boy, Finny Boone. Like the time Finny suggested they take a shortcut through the dark park? When there’s a serial killer on the loose? Or when Hannah leaves her younger sister home alone and her and Finny go off to swim in the lake? The overwrought lines regarding him were also treading on ridiculous:
"And then we’re looking at each other, and it’s a look that goes on and on, stretching across space and time. Across galaxies."
The insta-love was there but was subdued enough to not be too bothersome. Seeing Hannah’s progression throughout the novel in finding her individual identity separate from who she was when Lillian was still alive was the most satisfying and convincing aspect of Paper Valentine. While this book had its flaws, it was a somewhat satisfying of a read and succeeded in capturing my interest for the authors previous novels.(less)