Small Town Haunt (The Haunted – A Book Review)

The Haunted
Author: Danielle Vega
Published: 2019

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

Rated S for a classic small-town haunting and teens harboring dark secrets.

 

“I wouldn’t want to spend the night alone at Steele House.”

“Steele House?”

“Didn’t you know your house had a name?”

Hendricks is new in town and is starting out with a clean slate. That was the whole purpose of the move. To leave her dark past behind her and it turns out to be easier than she expected. Then she learns from her new friends that she’s living in the most haunted house in town, the Steele House.

She quickly discovers the stories about the house aren’t just stories. Strange things start happening. She hears a cat around the house, but they don’t have a cat. Her little brother is seeing things and is even getting hurt. Hendricks, with the help of the mysterious boy next door, Eddie, is determined to put a stop to it before anything worse happens. Before they possibly become the next ones haunting the house.

 

Possibly spoiler-y but I’ll let you decide. This is just a warning.

 

Since reading Survive the Night, I’ve put Vega on my must-read list. She gets right down to the enticing chills and thrills of horror. Of course, my smart-self decided to read this at 2:30am. Moving to a new place and being the new kid isn’t easy, yet I was glad to see the pain of it swept aside so the book could just jump right into the ghost story. Hendricks went through a lot before the Steele House. I really liked her backstory and how it fueled the story. The boy next store, Eddie, was pretty cute and mysterious. Definitely that character where there’s more than meets the eye. There was really good chemistry between them. A broody dynamic between the two. However, I wish there’d been more interaction between them because the chemistry was so subtly sweet.

The small-town setting was so relatable. Very quaint with history and tradition and its own special quirks. The way the town and house fit together really pulled all of the cold and haunting feels that a true scary story has. Vega is just masterful! Her attention to the world gives it a breath of life. It truly blew me away.

Strong and chilling, there were parts that just didn’t fully compute to me and I think that’s because there were bits that just left me hanging. Grayson, for example. Hendricks’s ex. He came up so often and I’m not doubting the trauma he set into her head, but even knowing that he’d tried to get a hold of her and how dangerous he was, I kept expecting him to show up. Personally, watching him get whipped around by the ghosts in the Steele House would’ve been pretty cool because the Stir of Echoes (Check out this movie if you haven’t. Totally chilling.) vibes with this were strong.

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Gfycat

The ending was crazy! I can’t officially say whether that’s good or bad though. On one hand, I love full circles and adore those who realize that happy endings don’t always happen. On the other hand, I feel like it fell short. The big moment, the massive important reveal, the most important part of the book and it just didn’t outdo the build-up. BUT! My heart was broken for everyone in the end.

 

Overall

While I got a little nit-picky in places, because horror, whether it’s a book or a movie, has those all the time, I really loved this! I got some chills and I got freaked out! Great emotional ties. Completely attention-grabbing. I couldn’t put it down.

 

Quotables:

“What kind of person see cats disappear into walls? Or imagines that someone chopped off her hair? What kind of person hallucinates voices? A crazy person, that’s who?” (p. 83)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Only If For a Night by Florence + The Machine.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below! Also feel free to follow me on Twitter though I don’t post much about books. I do however get some major tweeting in on my favorite TV shows. Now, Goodreads is a different story. Let’s be friends! I love geeking about books.

Demigod Family Histories (The Son of Neptune – A Book Review)

The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated F for powerful friendships and bonds that make even the gods jealous.

 

Percy is confused.

Hazel is supposed to be dead.

Frank is a klutz.

Percy Jackson has lost his memories, but somehow, he’s made it to Camp Jupiter, the camp of roman demigods where Juno sets him on a quest to save the gods and the world. Thanatos, the god of death has been captured. As a result, nobody is dying. He and his two knew demigod friends, Hazel and Frank, with detailed histories, set out on a quest to set Thanatos free and meet up with those of Camp Half-Blood.

While Percy works to recover his memories of his friends and family, Hazel is struggling with her past that could be responsible for the end of the world and Frank is trying to bring honor to his family because of past transgressions that destroyed the camp. But, the two harbor family secrets and they worry it may derail everything.

If they survive this quest, Percy then must figure out how he’s going to help unite Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter without war erupting. Otherwise, everyone and everything is doomed.

 

The Heroes of Olympus series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 2 of 5.

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The Lost Hero review

 

The return of old characters, as well as the introduction to new ones, were blended together so beautifully and totally welcome. Riordan did something magnificent here. I truly love the way he keeps Percy Jackson and others involved with his new storyline. He doesn’t let them be forgotten. He piled on the detail and emotion. Oh man, was their emotion! Each character had so much to handle on top of this quest. Percy struggled with his memory loss. Knowing everything he’d lost was heartbreaking too! Annabeth, Grover, Tyson and so much more. Hazel having lost so much and determined to protect what she has now and Frank’s life hanging on the edge of a piece of tinder while he’s on the precipice of great power had me attaching to them so quickly. And now, seeing where Jason Grace, who was introduced in The Lost Hero, came from, my heart ached for him too!

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Vogue

While the book takes place after book one and not during, the story follows almost the same direction as it with Percy trying to regain his memories. Seeing the other side of the gods and even the other side of other creatures, such as satyrs/fauns and cyclops and harpies was really intriguing. It’s an opportunity to realize that monsters aren’t always monsters and not everybody is the same even though they’re grouped together. Even his world has expanded and evolved. All of this has kept him fresh

This book really took things to a higher level than ever before. While we know that characters die, they usually find a way back. However, there was a much closer look at death and the heroes and others its effected. It was such an important theme that provided growth for these characters. They’re not little kids anymore.

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Overall

In the exciting and invigorating way that Riordan does it, I was hooked and on the edge of my seat with this installment. He doesn’t ever go too far, but he does keep his characters realistic. I really admire that. The dialogue is fun and kept me on my toes. Riordan is a fantastic writer of the fantasy/mythos genre and I have so much appreciation for his work.

 

Quotables:

“I don’t even know where I come from…but I’ve got a feeling this isn’t the first time I’ve been an underdog.” (Percy, p. 101)

“Pluto’s cool. It’s not his fault he runs the Underworld. He just got bad luck when the gods were dividing up the world, you know? Jupiter got the sky, Neptune got the sea, and Pluto got the shaft.” (Frank, p. 111)

“Life is only precious because it ends, kid. Take it from a god. You mortals don’t know how lucky you are.” (Mars to Frank, p. 363)

“I am frequently mistaken for the god of love. Death has more in common with Love than you might imagine. But I am Death. I assure you.” (Thanatos, p. 445)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Bright by Echosmith

 

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The Shape of Her Dead Heart (Paper Valentine – A Book Review)

Paper Heart
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated C for chills creeping down your back thanks to your dead best friend haunting you.

 

I am not the kind of person who gets haunted by anything.

The city of Ludlow, the kind of city that isn’t very big but the population is, is suffering its hottest summer on record, but Hannah Wagnor is getting the chills. Chills because her best friend, Lillian, who died six months ago, is haunting her.

The summer takes a turn as girls turn up gruesomely murdered with little Valentine hearts by their bodies and somehow, she’s in the middle of it while she’s still grappling with how Lillian self-destructed up until she died. A curfew is put across the city. The police are watching everyone closely. Hannah is drawn further into the world of ghosts and this killer, but she’s not alone. She attracts the attention of quiet, delinquent Finny Boone and while she can’t really put her finger on it, she can feel her life changing and for the better, but she’ll have to figure out who the killer is to keep it.

 

While the writing style threw me off here and there because it felt choppy and unnatural, I got some chills of disturbed with this story. Some emotions were had too.

Ghosts + Slasher = L❤️ve!

I enjoy horror and tis the season for some of that! the main character, Hannah took on some struggles with life that I was really surprised with. Not only was she dealing with the loss of one of the most important and influential people in her life, her BFF Lillian, but there was an in-depth look at how she lost her because of an eating disorder. Now, I’m about to get a little personal, but don’t get too serious on me, okay? This look into how this eating disorder effected not only Lillian but Hannah as well struck me right in my past. If you’re sitting there thinking, “Oh dude, did this weird, spastic blogger have an eating disorder?” then yes, you’re right. And, the thing about it, is that age for something like this doesn’t matter. I was a little girl when I had Anorexia. It was what it was, I’m doing pretty good in the food area now. In fact, I LOVE food! Mexican in particular because spice is the life and any kind of breakfast food is the way to my heart. Anyway! This very real subject brought into a narrative about a serial killer and ghosts was incredibly creative. It was a way to go beyond a disorder killing the one it effects, but also the way it effects everyone afterward, and in the midst of something deadly no less. It brings an understanding of sorts as well as heartache. It’s the how and why; the questions that several seek answers to. It just really struck home with me, and I really like how it was incorporated with the storyline.

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Gravity Klubas

Horror can be tricky because getting the scary and jumpy parts on a page isn’t like putting on a big screen; while The Space Between was okay though a little flat, I like the interweaving bits. It was a strong tie between reality and the world of the supernatural. Granted, there were moments that broke this wall for me, but it wasn’t enough for me to find any serious dislike in the book. Where an ending already happened, a beginning came into being. It was like a reversal.

I loved the main characters, but the secondaries like Angelie and Ariel were real grating. Mostly it was because I was reminded that people can act real selfish and mean like they did. Hannah and Lillian had real depth. While I admire the way Hannah is reserved, I also admire how outgoing Lillian is. The duo is true opposites but best friends because they found this special bond. Finny was just strange. The mysterious quiet drew me in, but envisioning what he looked like was so goofy! I couldn’t get a complete picture. LOL. The development wasn’t very strong with either, but discovering all of his little nooks and crannies made up for that.

 

Overall

A pretty decent read! Not major heebie-jeebies but I got some chills. I really loved the friendship and creativity that Yovanoff created here. This felt like the hometown you didn’t expect bad things to happen even though there were skeletons. I’m not saying this is an absolute favorite, but it surprised me and was worth the read.

 

Quotables:

“I’m not those things you think I am. Yeah, I looked bright and shiny on the outside, maybe. But inside, I was always just the same as you. Underneath, I wanted all the chaos and the scary, messy stuff. I think I was always just this—this strange, secret girl who always wanted to kiss Finny Boone.” (Hannah, p. 255)

“I’m not a victim or a fragile little thing. And maybe there’s all kinds of dangerous stuff out there, but not you. Okay? I don’t need to be kept safe from you.” (Hannah to Finny, p. 272)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Haunted by Kelly Clarkson.

 

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Thrice Upon a Time (Beyond Magic – A Book Review)

Beyond Magic
Author: Susan Kearney, Elaine Cunningham, Kassandra Sims
Published: 2008

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated M for mysterious, magical romanced smut of three women who desperately needed a break from their day job.

 

From three astounding authors, each divine in their own right come three novellas in one book: The Shimmering, Beyond Dreams, and Hill and Sky. From astral projecting to a whole other planet to a medium and psychic teaming up to solve a kidnapping and murder case to trying to save magic. This book is packed corner to corner with magic and of course, a splash of delicious romance.

 

The Shimmering:

I dip my toes into sci-fi from time to time. I’ve never dipped my toes into sci-fi + romance though, until now. It was intriguing and I found myself surprised to much! The way the story came full circle was beautiful and the detail to imagery was mesmerizing. The characters were rough and edgy and aggressive. It was refreshing. That being said, this story was to short!

 

Beyond Dreams:

A medium and a psychic, what can go wrong? LOL. This one gave me those tragic nostalgia vibes. While it’s mysterious and left the tingles of anticipation, I wish there’d been more.

 

Hill and Sky:

Sassy and magic! Two very good things! I love when a relationship is filled with back and forth banter that makes flirting fun. The prophetic tales interweaved with the story were beautiful and curious. This has to be my favorite. The chemistry is red hot and just all-around fun. The spellbinding heat was strong with this one.

 

Overall

A fun Halloween read? Sure! Beyond that? I’m not feeling very much. This wasn’t something that left any lingering emotions. Not even any lingering toe-curls. It happens. Give it a read then pass it along in my opinion.

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song Today? Glad You Came by The Wanted.

 

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Love Turns Men Into Idiots (The Taming of the Shrew – A Book Review)

The Taming of the Shrew
Author: William Shakespeare
Published: 1593

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for high angsty tension driven romance in poetic form.

 

I burn

I pine

I perish

One of the most famous and controversial comedies written by Shakespeare that primarily follows Kate and Petruchio. He tries to ‘tame’ her with his charm, but of course she isn’t falling for it. However, if he succeeds, then Bianca, Kate’s younger sister, can have a suitor, too, and with quite a few at her feet she is desperate. Bringing forth the emotional ride that can be true love is this incredible play about these sisters who will meet their matches. You know the story probably better by the popular 90’s movie 10 Things I Hate About You. Trying to win the affection of the most rebellious and smart women has never been more complicated, funny, or relatable than this.

 

Boy meets girl. Girl hates boy. Boy accepts the challenge. LOL. This really is a fun play to read and is probably one of the most accurate representations of how it can be to find true love. You don’t always fall in love right away and you don’t always get along. You don’t always get together in the most conventional way. It’s rocky! And not only does this comedy show how it can be comical and realistic, but it does the same in relation to parents and children and just how overbearing parents can be.

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Have I mentioned I’m a fan of Shakespeare’s work? Yes? Well, here I am saying it again. He’s pretty great. I’m a fan of his plays more than anything else and specifically A Midsummer Night’s Dream. However, I will say this, nothing be more beautiful than the poem Kat read at the end of 10 Things I Hate About You. If you’ve never watched this movie then you need to ASAP.

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Overall

Classic style and fun prose. I really enjoyed reading this one. Shakespeare has a way with insults and sarcasm that I think can never be beaten. He has withstood the test of time for a reason! Definitely a keeper.

 

Quotables:

“Asses are made to bear, and so are you.” (Kate, p. 53)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Don’t Call Me Angel  by Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus.

 

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It’s Not Nice to Mess With Mother Nature (The Lost Hero – A Book Review)

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: 2010

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated G for parental confusion, missing memories, and sudden demigodliness that stomps angst

 

Jason has a problem.

Piper has a secret.

Leo has a way with tools.

Jason wakes up on a bus with no memories of who and where he is. His friends, Piper and Leo, as well as some other well-known heroes,  help him work to gain his memories back as they go on a quest to find Hera, the Goddess of Marriage & Birth and a missing Demigod. They must hurry

The group struggles to get to the Goddess, though each of them has been presented with many temptations and clues to betray one another. This quest sets a prophecy in motion. Two worlds will collide and they’ll either save the world together or be its destruction.

 

The Heroes of Olympus series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 1 of 5.

 

So, I’m coming into this series when I’ve already read the Percy Jackson novels and The Apollo Trials. I’m getting to the middle. LOL. It’s unorthodox, I know. But I am the kind of reader that can jump around like that and this universe allows you to do that too. You get the lowdown on what’s happened, but not so in-depth that the story is given away if you–like me-hadn’t read it yet. Now, I have an idea of what’s coming but I don’t know everything.

The Gods of Olympus have closed themselves off. Some have gone off the deep end (which isn’t new actually). Camp Half-Blood is still a little lost after the battle of the Titans in Manhattan, having lost some good friends. Percy Jackson is missing. Monsters are rising faster and faster after defeat as if they can’t stay in Tartarus. A new prophecy comes to light and brings up bad blood for everyone. It’s crazy, guys!

This is a new group of Demigods with much of what I know already. That means a new prophecy! Woooo! The world of mythos expands with this series. The Greek and Romans finally collide, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll be a good thing since the last time they did they had a civil war.

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Gfycat

The fresh characters bring a whole new game to this world. I’m really loving that I get to read about a few of the kids from other gods that don’t get much attention. Out of Jason, Piper, and Leo, I like Leo the best. I can’t help it! I love a great sense of humor! Plus, he built a dragon.

Their travels and the Gods and monsters they met took me to colder places. I’m not a fan of the cold, but I really liked that there were new people to meet and places to see. There’s so much homage paid and I really love it. And the way that Riordan blends the world of Gods with the way he ties them into today’s world is phenomenal!

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Overall

The Percy Jackson world is easy to get engulfed in. I love mythology. Greek and Roman are among my top favorites. Granted, I’m not perfect and don’t know them all by heart. It’s fun to hear them over and in such a fun light.

I’m pretty darn excited about this series. I really enjoyed Percy Jackson and I’m so hooked on The Apollo Trials. I’m glad to finally get to the series in between now! It’s so much fun and is definitely going with the rest of my Greek Heroes collection.

 

Quotables:

“I try very hard to be annoying. Don’t insult my ability to annoy. And how am I supposed to resent you if you go apologizing? I’m a lowly mechanic. You’re like the prince of the sky, son of the Lord of the Universe. I’m supposed to resent you.” (Leo to Jason, p. 344)

“Great victory requires great risk.” (Juno, p. 546)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Time Stands Still by All American Rejects.

 

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The Tower For True Love (Wizard and Glass – A Book Review)

Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower IV)
Author: Stephen King
Published: 1997

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for finding true love only to lose it because of destiny

 

Fools are the only folk on earth who can absolutely count on getting exactly what they deserve.

After winning the game of riddles with Blaine, the monorail, Roland, the Gunslinger, and his group: Susannah and Eddie Dean, Jake, and the billy-bumbler, Oy, get lost and Roland finally tells them the origin of Roland’s journey to the Tower that’s tied to the story of losing his first love.

 

The Dark Tower series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 4 of 7 (technically 8, but I’m not including The Wind Through the Keyhole, though I will be reading it.)

 

So far in the Dark Tower series:

 

The Gunslingerreview here

The Drawing of Threereview here

The Waste Landsreview here

This must be my favorite installment so far! I got caught up in the intense life or death situations of The Waste Lands, but Wizard and Glass brought haunting magic, tragic love, and the start of the epic journey to the Tower. There were many revelations and breathtaking moments. So much detail and emotion.

mindblown

I’m a lush for a good relationship and build-up to romance. I don’t care what anybody says. What I admire about King’s storytelling is that he can create an act of sex in an animalistic nature, but also bring to life the act of expressing love. He differentiates the two so clearly though they are the same and that really stuck out for me. Roland and Susan were so sweet and I was sighing away about them. The friendship between Roland, Cuthbert, and Alain as well was powerful in its own way. This journey they took really tested their bonds and I was swept away. Stories that accentuate themes like these always grab my attention, even if you can tell they will end tragically.

The book taking place in a flashback of Roland and his two best friends, Cuthbert and Alain, who have just entered the life of Gunslingers and were sent to a dusty town undercover. I got really strong vibes of the wild west, but a disturbing and sci-fi version of it. Traces of the world we know were in it like a Citgo. It made the place recognizable with these little pieces in such a massive span of a world. It also connected every world together this way too. It came together like a perfectly baked cake. Totally digging it.

 

Overall

Beautiful and haunting. This installment is also personal for Roland. He doesn’t share much so I was drinking it up! This is such an intense and amazingly interwoven story. I’m officially sucked in. With more discoveries and secrets coming to light and the tower growing closer, I’m excited to get to the end!

 

Quotables:

“What’s been spoken for may be unspoken, and what’s done may be undone. Nothing’s sure, but…I want her.” (Roland, p. 172)

“True love, like any other strong and addicting drug, is boring once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome…except, of course to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true love is really only interesting to those who have become is dangerous.” (p.355)

“You’re in the west. The soul of a man such as you can never leave the west. You’ll live in exile and die as you lived.” (p. 500)

“I left the world I knew to watch a kid try to put booties on a fucked-up weasel. Shoot me, Roland, before I breed.” (Eddie, p. 661)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Into the Ocean by Blue October

 

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