Small Town Haunt (The Haunted – A Book Review)

The Haunted
Author: Danielle Vega
Published: 2019

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Penguin Random House

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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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.

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

Paper Heart
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Paper Valentine

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.

Scarlet Readers - Endings

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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Midnight Tease

Midnight Tease - Giphy

Hello, my precious little book deviants!

I’m going to say. I’m going to, and you know it’s true when I do. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! This is Halloween!

Scarlet Reader - Halloween

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I can’t help myself. Have I told you how much I love it? More than Christmas and my birthday put together. It’s time for those in the shadows to shine. For ghosties to party. For werewolves and vampires to get wild. And for witches to get witchy under the full moon. Not that they don’t all year round, but this is their month! They’re also my people. I love them. They’re my normal. Judge me as you wish. LOL.

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Rebloggy

It’s the witching hour, my favorite hour, and if you’re still up then you’re a night owl like me. Since you’re up and about here’s something quick to read. This is what’s coming up on the Scarlet Reader for October!

 

 

Coming Soon…

Ghost_atniquity - LiveJournal

 

Haunted
Author: Danielle Vega
Scarlet Reader

Penguin Random House

I am getting som spooky reads in this month and Danielle Vega is a horror queen in YA.

 

The Mark of Athena (The Heros of Olympus #3)
Author: Rick Riordan
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

Knocking out another New Year’s Resolution series! Plus, that Greek and Roman mythology. ❤️

 

The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

This is one I’vee said I was going to get to. Now, I’m determined to open its pages and hop inside. Take that how you want. LOL. I will be getting to it even if I only just get started by the end of the month.

 

Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower #6)
Author: Stephen King
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

The Dark Tower series has had a push and pull effect on me. I’ve both loved it and loathed it. The journey has been story after story more than it’s been about actual journeying which is fine. I do look forward to hopefully completing it before the year is out.

 

Currently…

Currently

 

Wicked Saints
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

 

Paper Valentine
Author: Brenna Yovanoff

Scarlet Reader - Paper Valentine

 

Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Scarlet Reader

Amazon

 

Up for Review…

Up for Review

 

The Taming of the Shrew
Author: William Shakespeare
Scarlet Reader

OverDrive

 

The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

 

Beyond Magic
 Author: Susan Kearney, Elaine Cunningham, Kassandra Sims
Scarlet Reader

Barnes & Noble

 

Wolves of Calla (The Dark Tower #5)
Author: Stephen King

Wolves of Calla - Barnes and Noble

 

There’s quite a bit coming up this month, but I’m super stoked. What are you reading during this spooky time of the year? Oh, I got a better question! What’s your favorite Halloween movie!? Mine is Practical Magic (though it’s my all-time favorite movie hehe), but for a scary one,  I really love the Scream movies. But then again…there’s The Craft too…Dang it.

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

The Zombicide Squad (Zom-B: Angels – A Book Review)

Zom-B: Angels (Zom-B #4)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

My Rating:Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated G for game-changing 

 

After spending the last few months wandering around London…

B Smith had given up hope that she’d find salvation until she discovered graffiti that leads her to the Angels led by Dr. Oystein, a revived that’s been around for a century. He sheds light on her new life that changed everything. The arrival of old acquaintances and discovering the Angels’ purpose throw her off and make her question if this place is really for her.

 

Zom-B Reviews

Zom-BHere

Zom-B: UndergroundHere

Zom-B: CityHere

 

The game changes up for B as she finds herself in the company of more reviveds. A special group put together across the world after it became overrun with the dead. This Dr. Oystein is a very strange scientist that believes God put him on a mission to defeat the evil Mr. Dowling AKA Clown from Hell.

This was a loaded chapter in the zombie life of B. More science and a twisted bomb drop that left seriously disturbed. Disturbed enough that I am once again looking forward to continuing the story. The gore isn’t as much in this chapter, but the progression of B’s story is quite intriguing. She’s finding more and more in this new undead life of hers.

Reilly and Rage (Underground) return and B gets mixed feelings about it. I really liked that they came back into the story, especially because they were a part of something so horrific. Not only is B getting an opportunity to work on being forgiving, but like her, these guys get a second chance like her. The dynamic is almost like a circle. A wonky one. It’s one of my favorite things about this book.

The new setting is intriguing. Rather than B being locked up, she’s brought into a circle of togetherness and teamwork. It brought forth diversity and the chance to talk about it and bring up subjects like religion and race and color. Even in such a dark time and place, I’m intrigued that it’s still present and that it can be talked about. B is learning and making that change that she really wants.

 

Overall

I’m officially curious and look forward to the next book. Still not on my favorites shelf but I’m all for a good vs evil story. With B on the fence and struggling with herself in a very realistic light, I’m curious to see how it ends.

 

Quotables:

“I am a scientist and teacher. A sinner and gentleman. A killer would-be savior. And, if you will do me the great honor, I would like to be your friend.” (Dr. Oystein to B, p. 5)

“Just step outside and look around if you do not believe that. As a people, we offended our creator and turned on our like jackals.  We soiled this world. Was the plague of zombies a harsh judgment? Perhaps. But unfair? I think not.” (Dr. Oystein, p. 167)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Headstrong by Trapt.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

 

 

Zombies in the Big City (Zom-B: City – A Book Review)

Zom-B: City (Zom-B #3)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated D for an undead teenager that will do whatever it takes to survive, but won’t be anybody butt-monkey.

 

The lack of Activity, the silence, the zombies sheltering in the deserted cars—I assume the worst.

B has finally made it out of the underground facility that was gearing up to use her as a weapon. Now in the city, B has heard that the military is sweeping the city for survivors. While she weaves through the city, making her way through zombies, she meets different people as she makes her way to the next pick-up point. Trouble quickly finds her and she must make some dangerous choices.

 

Zom-B series so far…

Zom-Breview

Zom-B: Undergroundreview

 

In this next chapter of B’s zombie adventures, she is in London and she comes face to face with the mutants that are responsible for the zombie breakout. It’s wild and I’m was left wondering what B will do now. They’re still pretty creepy. The story still keeps up with the action and gore of the undead, though pretty basic which didn’t leave me shocked sadly. The danger this time are ones that were seen before shit broke loose all the way at the beginning. B describes them as mutants and they’re pretty gnarly looking. Instead of attacking her, they and Mr. Dowling (A creepy fucking clown. Like seriously, why does it always have to be clowns?) want B to join them as they terrorize people. Of course, this conflicts with her new lease on life to be a better person.

New characters came into the story and as usual, I wonder if they’ll be seen again. A group of military delinquents and a not-all-there artist, Tim, who is pretty sure he’s a prophet of the zombie apocalypse. They’re pretty wild and not all there. I actually got some The Walking Dead vibes with these other people. I do hope that B finds somebody that doesn’t come off psychotic. Her journey is a lonely one and while I still don’t like her, I do feel some pity for her, but she’s tough and literally heartless. Whatever comes next, I’m sure she can hack it.

 

Overall

The books move pretty fast so I get them done within a couple hours. Each act as a chapter with something new and grisly. While sometimes silly, I still find myself intrigued. This may be the 3rd book, but the story is pretty slow going with curiosities in every book that leave me with questions. I want to know what is in store for B next. Of course, I already know it’ll be worse than this.

 

Quotables:

“The dead are the best listeners in the world. The corpse takes it all in, never interrupts, doesn’t criticize me, lets me waffle on for as long as I like.” (B, 15)

“In the end, stripped bare of everything else, as everyone is eventually, all we’re left with is the truth.” (Tim, p. 91)

“Silly old B! Still keen to help the living. Will I never learn?” (B, p. 162)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson.

 

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Zombies on a School Day (Zom-B – A Book Review)

Zom-B (Zom-B #1)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

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Barnes & Noble

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated R for a revolting, racist kid who decided to find redemption in the zombie apocalypse.

 

The news outbreaks of zombie attacks across the world have to be a joke, right? That’s what B thinks. Then suddenly school turns into a zone of blood, guts and the walking dead. B is forced to allegiances with the nearest person, not undead. There are no friends or enemies. Just whoever and whatever it takes to stay alive. But, one regrettable move will make B rethink life completely.

 

I got a handful of these books because I was curious. Also, they were relatively inexpensive. Who doesn’t love a good zombie book?

Right out of the gate I was surprised. I don’t like the main character. In fact, B is outright horrible and knows it too! However, she comes out of a household of domestic abuse and in some cases, it trickles down to the children. It’s sad but true. I do like that it was given such a personal POV. I do admire that B soon realizes she doesn’t want to be the racist bully at all. Soon enough, it becomes about redemption and that is a long road.

While the book is pretty short, it has a lot in it. It moves fast so it was a quick read, but I didn’t feel like I missed a thing that Shan didn’t want me to. I do like that there was so much gore and action too! It was brutal and the bomb drops were major! I also like how succinct the book is. When it ends, you know it’s not the end of the book, just the end of a chapter and what’s coming will be bigger.

 

Overall

Not a series I’m addicted to or anything I’m going to gush over like you’ve seen me do, but it is intriguing. There’s a lot that’s coming and I look forward to the next ones. I’m a sucker for a good redemption story, and of course, zombies!

 

Quotables:

“At the end of the day you have to work out for yourself what’s right or wrong.” (p. 46)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Ride Wit Me by Nelly ft. Ludacris.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

No Tears Left to Cry (Little Monsters – A Book Review)

Little Monsters
Author: Kara Thomas
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Scarlet  Reader - little monsters

Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated C for teenagers who disappear leaving only a creepy handprint behind as a calling card.

 

What kind of girl doesn’t cry when her friend goes missing?

Kacey Thomas is the new girl of Broken Falls. After moving in with her dad and his wife and step-siblings, she’s been trying to find her footing. It hasn’t been easy though this new life she’s stepped into is much better than that it was with her mom.

She’s also been accepted into the circle of new friends’: Bailey and Jade. They do everything together, even things that Kacey doesn’t even want to do. When Bailey and Jade go to the biggest party of the year without her, though they said they’d go together, Kacey is hurt. Kacey isn’t able to ask about though since Bailey goes mysteriously missing that night.

The whole town goes on the hunt for the missing girl. Kacey takes on her own mission to find her friend, but the shocking discoveries she makes along the way make her regret it. She learns quickly that even in a small town like Broken Falls, rumors spread like wild and sometimes appearances can be deceiving.

 

This book wasn’t my jam. It was surprising in places but it didn’t capture my attention in any special way sadly. Kacey comes from a broken home, though it wasn’t only her mom that made her life hard, it was her as well. With her father and new family, it’s not always easy either because he’s working all the time and doesn’t make time for her. This book is definitely in the mystery genre. While I’m lucky and didn’t fall asleep, I just didn’t get into this. It took all my effort not to flip to the end and figure out

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The characters were crazily layered in this small snowy town. There was always finding out something new and questioning who did what. Discovering who was responsible for everything was actually surprising and unexpected! And I really loved how an urban legend was tied in with all of this. I will say this, it sucks to find out that your friends were never really your friends. That’s happened to me in real life and reading about a situation like it in a book makes me hurt. It just creates a rotting feeling.

This is definitely one of those stories where you pay attention to the little details. There is so much in them and each one is important, leading up to the big reveal. The reveal of what, you ask? Snag a copy of this and find out! I can’t spoil it for you. LOL. Definitely a Girl on A Train, teen version vibe.

 

Overall

This book isn’t a keeper for me. It didn’t stir up more than my curiosity. I wish there’d been so much more, but I don’t know. I did little more than shrug about this. Wasn’t kidding when I said mysteries weren’t my thing, but I wanted to give this a try. I legit thought there’d be some horror, supernatural theme to it. Not the case and that’s okay. I’m actually going to give this my mom and then a friend. They love creepy mysteries.

 

Quotables:

“Thing is, I love my mom. But I’m starting to think it’s possible to love someone and hate them at the same time.” (Kacey, p. 23)

“Have you ever wanted something so badly you thought it might just kill you?” (Bailey, p. 167)

“There’s no such thing as best friends. Everyone is only out to protect themselves.” (Kacey to Ellie, p. 305)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Apologize by OneRepublic feat. Timbaland.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!