Tag Archive: October


I thought I might combine these two months together for this wrap-up. I didn’t read many books or watch many movies in each month. However, I apparently read lots of four stars books these past two months. Finally, I’m caught up with these wrap-ups! Woo!

*All descriptions for books taken from Goodreads and all descriptions for movies taken from IMDb. All pictures link to their respective Goodreads or IMDb pages.

Anya’s Ghost – Vera Brosgol
Genre – Young Adult/Graphic Novel
My Rating – ★★★★

Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part.

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.

Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

Review: I went into Anya’s Ghost without fully reading the description, and I found that I enjoyed it a lot more than I probably would have had I read it. It was nice to go in kind of blind. The story is surprisingly dark and a lot different than I expected. I really liked the ending because I didn’t see it coming at all. Aside from the story, I thought the characters were very well-written and realistic. None of them were 100% likeable and to me that just seems more accurate. The graphic style is fun and simplistic. It’s not as detailed as a lot of graphic novels but it’s perfect for this story. If you’re into graphic novels I would definitely recommend this book.

 

The Surprise Party – R. L. Stine
Genre – Young Adult/Horror
My Rating – ★★★★

It’s been a year since Evan died in the Fear Street woods. A year since Ellen moved away, and “the gang” split up. Meg Dalton felt as if she’d lost her best friends. Everyone changed. Even her boyfriend Tony was acting moody, strange. But when she heard that Ellen was returning for a visit, Meg had the answer: she’d bring them all together again with a surprise party for Ellen!

That’s when the terror began…the phone calls…the threats…the bizarre acts of violence. “Cancel the party—or else,” the whispered voice on the phone told her. Meg was scared, and with good reason. Whoever wanted the party stopped woud try anything—even murder! But why? The dark Fear Street woods held the answer…if Meg dared to discover the truth!

Review: The Surprise Party is very similar to other books in this genre by R. L. Stine. It has all of his usual mystery aspects and predictability. The suspects are all typical and very obvious. Meg is too trusting of everyone and that was a bit frustrating for me, but the book was fun to read and fast paced. Of course, as usual, the ending was a bit crazy and out there. Up until the end of the story, everything made a lot of sense though. Stine’s books are always entertaining to read, and I would recommend them if you’re already a fan of his.

 

Scarlet – Marissa Meyer
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy
My Rating – ★★★★

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Review: Scarlet is a fun read. A bit predictable, but fun all the same. The plot is very interesting and keeps you entertained. I really liked the world but wish there was more world building. You just don’t get to see enough about how everything operates. On the other hand, the characters are what really drive the story. I enjoyed seeing Cinder’s point of view again and was glad to see other characters had returned as well. I didn’t like Scarlet as much as Cinder, but she isn’t a terrible character. She just has a few traits that irked me. Out of all the characters though, Thorne is by far my favorite. The Lunar Chronicles is a series that you should absolutely check out because all the books are fun, easy, and provide a nice change of pace.

*As an added bonus for Scarlet, I’ve been provided with an audio sample to share with you from Macmillan Audio. Click here to listen to the first chapter of the audiobook.

 

Spirits of the Noh – Thomas Randall
Genre – Young Adult/Horror
My Rating – ★★★★½

Kara Harper is finally starting to fit in at her boarding school in Japan-after all, nothing bonds you with your classmates like having an ancient demon put a curse on you. Hoping life can go back to normal now that the demon has been put to rest, Kara joins her friends Sakura and Miho in putting on a play for the Noh drama club. It’s the story of the Hannya, a snake demon who inhabits the body of a beautiful woman. When a few members of the Noh club go missing, Kara fears that the real Hannya has been awakened by the curse. Then Miho is abducted, and Kara must find her before the Hannya destroys her. But the demon is wily, and may be hidden in the last place any of them would think to look . . . .

Review: I’m loving this series. Spirits of Noh is a nice addition to the first book and doesn’t just provide a bridge to the third book. It’s as good as Dreams of the Dead and I am really looking forward to the third book now. The characters continue to develop and the plot remains intriguing. I still love the setting, and the descriptions constantly make me want to go to Japan. The only negative I have about this book is that Kara seems to have regressed a little. How she feels about her dad’s relationship has changed from the first book. Other than that the book is very fun and enjoyable. The book is classified as young adult horror and lives up to the genre while not being overly scary. I think everyone that enjoys young adult should give this trilogy a chance.

 

The Night She Disappeared – April Henry
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery
My Rating – ★★★★

Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.

Review: The Night She Disappeared is really short and fast paced. There aren’t that many details and you don’t really get to know the characters, but the story is pretty interesting. The story is told through four different perspectives, one of which belongs to the killer. This allows the reader to know more than the characters and makes everything more suspenseful. As the book begins wrapping up things get really exciting. It was a lot more intense than I expected. If you’re in the mood for a quick mystery, this is the book for you.

 


 

Blazing Saddles
Rating – R
My Rating – ★★★★

To ruin a western town, a corrupt political boss appoints a black sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.

Review: Blazing Saddles was surprisingly funny. I know Mel Brooks is well-known for his comedy, but I was just worried this one might not be as good as some of the others like Young Frankenstein and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Those are two of my favorite movies. The plot is a little silly but that’s to be expected from a satire like this.  It’s not a movie that will stick in my mind forever, but it’s definitely enjoyable. If you’re a fan of comedies, this is certainly one to check out.

 

The Brothers Grimm
Rating – PG-13
My Rating – ★★★★

Will and Jake Grimm are traveling con-artists who encounter a genuine fairy-tale curse which requires true courage instead of their usual bogus exorcisms.

Review: The Brothers Grimm is a fun movie, but it’s very silly. It’s entertaining, and the acting is perfect for this type of movie. The fact that Will and Jake are con-artists really makes the story go in a more interesting direction. It wasn’t as predictable as I thought it would be, and I really enjoyed it. There were a lot of scenes that caught me off guard, and I found myself laughing quite often. It’s hard to recommend this to a certain group of people, but if you read the description and think it sounds interesting, you’ll probably really enjoy it.

 

Saving Private Ryan
Rating – R
My Rating – ★★★★★

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Review: Saving Private Ryan is such a fantastic movie. I always avoided this movie because the opening scenes are so graphic, but I’m glad I finally watched it. The acting is great, but Tom Hanks stands out as my favorite. It’s easy to get attached to all of the characters and genuinely concerned any time they’re in danger. It’s very unpredictable and just a beautiful story overall. If you haven’t seen it then you really need to. This is a movie that can be enjoyed by everyone and not just fans of war movies.

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I was approached by the community manager at Man Crates to make a post about what I would want to have if I was stuck in a horror movie. It sounded like a really fun idea, so of course I agreed. Man Crates is a company that specializes in gifts for men. The concept is to ship your man a crate that he has to open with a crowbar. There are different types of crates to choose from, and there are even some for zombie survival. If this sounds interesting to you, definitely check out the website.

While I don’t watch a lot of horror movies, I do enjoy some with zombies. If I was stuck in a zombie apocalypse, these are the items I would want to have to help me survive.

 

1. Magnesium Fire Starter

Fire is very important for cooking and for keeping warm. I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe I would be able to start a fire with only sticks, especially when I’m fearing for my life. That’s why I would want one of these.

A lighter would be nice, but it would eventually run out of fuel and knowing my luck it would happen when I need it the most.

 

2. Gun With Lots of Ammo and a Silencer

Killing the zombies will be very important and for that, I will need a weapon. My first choice is to have a gun with lots of ammo. In an ideal zombie apocalypse, I will have plenty of ammo to spare and will never run out. I want to be able to kill them without having to get too close. The silencer will help keep it quiet and prevent more zombies from being drawn to the noise.

When I’m not killing zombies with the gun, I can hunt with it. Or you know, celebrate being alive as shown in this gif:

 

3. Axe

For those times when I have to get up close and personal with the undead, a gun might not be convenient. This is where an axe will be handy.

Plus, I can use it to break open doors to loot houses as needed. Yay vandalism!

4. Medical Kit

This will be essential for me because I can be a klutz and swinging an axe around to break into peoples’ houses will only make that worse. I’m going to need bandages, disinfectant, pain killers, and everything else I can squeeze in there.

If I’m going to die from the zombie apocalypse, I don’t want it to be because my boo boo got infected.

 

5. Flashlight and Plenty of Batteries

There will be plenty of dark nights, so having a flashlight will be very important. I won’t be one of these horror movie victims that can’t see in the dark because they don’t have any light. And there’s nothing worse than a flashlight without batteries, so I want to make sure I stockpile those as well.

I could get a mechanically powered flashlight, but they normally make noise and that’s not good when zombies are around, especially in the dark.

 

6. Athletic Shoes

There will be lots of running, so I want some decent running shoes that will last a while. The shoes I have now are not good for running, so if I was stuck with those, I would be doomed. I might want a couple pairs too. While we’re planning for the apocalypse, we might as well be extra prepared.

 

7. Canned Food and Can Opener

I have to eat and hunting won’t always be effective, so I need another source of food that will last me a while. Canned goods will stay fresh for a long period of time. To get into most cans, I will also need a can opener. I could use my axe but that might get messy.

 

8. Solar Charger

Life without electricity is going to suck. I want be able to use some of my electronics for a little while at least. I would want a solar charger, so I can read my e-books, listen to music, and watch movies when I’m not fending for my life. There’s no need to go without some luxuries. I just need to plan ahead and load up my tablet beforehand.

 

 

9. Pet

It’s going to be lonely out there so having a pet along for the ride might be nice. A dog would help defend me and cuddle up with me at night. If a dog isn’t available, I’ll take this attack bird:

 

10. Helicopter

When all else fails and humans are losing, I’m getting the heli out of Dodge. I’m going to find a deserted island and wait it out with Wilson.

Not that I know how to fly a helicopter, but it’ll come with an instruction manual, right? Right?

 

Bonus Choice:

Good luck – I’m going to need it because I’m no survivalist. I’ll probably end up eating some poisonous berries miles away from the nearest zombie threat, or I’ll end up tripping and falling with all of this stuff I’m carrying and a zombie will eat me.

What would you want during a zombie apocalypse? Or what would you want if you were trapped in a horror movie? Let me know in the comments or leave a link if you’ve already done something similar to this.

*I was not compensated for this post in any way. It was just for fun.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

I received Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater in the mail yesterday! I have been looking forward to this book since I found out it was being published. The Raven Cycle has been great so far, and I can’t wait to finish it.

Chad bought it for our anniversary, and I was so excited when I opened the mail and found it. The cover is beautiful. I mean look at it. The picture from Goodreads doesn’t do it enough justice.

Another great thing about pre-ordering this book is that Maggie signed a bookplate and drew a picture in it. You can click the picture on the right to get a better view. I actually wasn’t expecting the little doodle in there, but I think it’s really cool. She is an amazing artist.

I haven’t finished The Dream Thieves yet. I took a small break from it so I could work on my October reads, but I’m going to start reading it again in November. I’m about 140 pages in, and I’m loving it so far. It’s so creative and the writing is amazing. Everything just flows so nicely. I would highly recommend  this series.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is new series that I want to start reading. This top ten will focus on recently published (around 1 to 2 years) series that I want to read. Of course there are tons of new series that I want to start, but I picked the ones I’m most excited to read. These are all published in 2013 or 2014, and they are in no particular order.

Written in Red by Anne Bishop (The Others) – I’ve heard some really great things about this series, and honestly, I’m not sure why I haven’t started it yet because I’ve been wanting to read it for a while.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (The Winner’s Trilogy) – I just bought this book, and I can’t wait to start reading it. I’ve heard good things about it, and it sounds like something I would enjoy.

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (Firebird) – The description sounds amazing, and the cover definitely caught my attention. It’s gorgeous, and I want to find out what happens with this story.

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink) –  I really enjoy dystopian stories most of the time, and this one sounds pretty unique. I’m really interested to see where this books goes.

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (The School for Good and Evil) – I’m a big fan of anime, and for some reason this book reminds me of some of the shows I’ve watched, so I’m all for it. Obviously it won’t be like anime, but it sounds really intriguing.

The Program by Suzanne Young (The Program) – I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while now. I just need to either buy it or borrow it from the library. I’m sure I’ll end up buying it though.

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (Shattered Sea) – This is another one that I have heard great things about. I want to be engrossed in another high fantasy story, and see how the main character is able to overcome his physical disabilities.

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason (Stoker & Holmes) – Fictional relatives of a famous author and a detective come together to solve a mystery. This sounds amazing, and I want to know how the story plays out.

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett (The Arkwell Academy) – I’m interested to see where this goes. I’ve never read a book where the main character is a nightmare, so this should be fun.

Cursed by Lizzy Ford (Voodoo Nights) – I really love this cover. I know you shouldn’t judge a book that way, but it just looks so pretty, and the story sounds really good.

October 2014 Book Haul

Bookoutlet strikes again! I did make it a whole month and a half without buying any books, but I’m sure this haul made up for it. I got everything from Bookoutlet except for the last three books which I got at the book fair. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought or if you want to read any of them.

*All descriptions taken from Goodreads, and all pictures link to their respective Goodreads pages.

The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

 

Split Second – Kasie West
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

 

Cruel Beauty – Rosamund Hodge
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

 

The Hiding Place – David J. Bell
Genre – Mystery

Sometimes it’s easier to believe a lie.

Twenty-five-years ago, the disappearance of four-year-old Justin Manning rocked the small town of Dove Point, Ohio. After his body was found in a shallow grave in the woods two months later, the repercussions were felt for years.

Janet Manning has been haunted by the murder since the day she lost sight of her brother in the park. Now, with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Justin’s death looming, a detective and a newspaper reporter have started to ask questions, opening old wounds and raising new suspicions. Could the man convicted of the murder — who spent more than two decades in prison — really be innocent? Janet’s childhood friend and high school crush, who was in the park with her that day, has returned to Dove Point, where he is wrestling with his own conflicted memories of the events. And a strange man appears at Janet’s door in the middle of the night, claiming to know the truth.

Soon, years of deceit will be swept away, and the truth about what happened to Janet’s brother will be revealed. And the answers that Janet has sought may be found much closer to home than she ever could have imagined.

 

The Killing Hour – Paul Cleave
Genre – Thriller

“They come for me as I sleep. Their pale faces stare at me, their soft voices tell me to wake, to wake. They come to remind me of the night, to remind me of what I have done.”

Only Charlie doesn’t know what he has done. His shorts are covered in blood, there’s a bump on his forehead and on the news it says the two young women he was with the night before were brutally murdered. Charlie knows Cyris is the murderer – except the police don’t believe Cyris exists. Nor does Jo, Charlie’s ex-wife, to whom he goes for help. He desperately wants her to believe in him, and when she doesn’t, he knows he must force her. As Charlie goes on the run with Jo bound and gagged in the car boot, he tries to figure out whether Cyris is real or imagined, while the killing hour approaches yet again…

As gripping as his first powerful novel, THE CLEANER, this fantastic story keeps you guessing until the last page.

 

Friends with Boys – Faith Erin Hicks
Genre – Graphic Novel/Young Adult

After years of homeschooling, Maggie is starting high school. It’s pretty terrifying.

Maggie’s big brothers are there to watch her back, but ever since Mom left it just hasn’t been the same.

Besides her brothers, Maggie’s never had any real friends before. Lucy and Alistair don’t have lots of friends either. But they eat lunch with her at school and bring her along on their small-town adventures.

Missing mothers…distant brothers…high school…new friends… It’s a lot to deal with. But there’s just one more thing.

MAGGIE IS HAUNTED.

 

Don’t Turn Around – Michelle Gagnon
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery

In Michelle Gagnon’s debut YA thriller, Don’t Turn Around, computer hacker Noa Torson is as smart, tough, and complex as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Lisbeth Salander.

The first in a trilogy, Don’t Turn Around’s intricate plot and heart-pounding action will leave readers desperate for book two.

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her hacking skills to stay anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in a warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa’s talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation threatens his life in no uncertain terms. But what Noa and Peter don’t realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who’d stop at nothing to silence her for good.

 

Not a Drop to Drink – Mindy McGinnis
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

 

The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

In this first book, readers are introduced to the unfortunate Baudelaire children — 14-year-old Violet, 12-year-old Klaus, and their infant sister, Sunny — when they learn they’ve just been orphaned by a terrible house fire.

The executor of the Baudelaire estate — a phlegm-plagued banker named Mr. Poe – sends the children to live with a distant relative: a conniving and dastardly villain named Count Olaf, who has designs on the Baudelaire fortune. Count Olaf uses the children as slave labor, provides horrid accommodations for them, and makes them cook huge meals for him and his acting troupe, a bunch of odd-looking, renegade good-for-nothings. When the children are commandeered to appear in Count Olaf’s new play, they grow suspicious and soon learn that the play is not the innocent performance it seems but rather a scheme cooked up by Olaf to help him gain control of the children’s millions.

All this bad luck does provide for both great fun and great learning opportunities, however. Violet is a budding McGyver whose inventions help the children in their quest, Klaus possesses a great deal of book smarts, and Sunny — whose only real ability is an incredibly strong bite — provides moral support and frequent comedy relief. Then there are the many amusing word definitions, colloquialisms, clichés, hackneyed phrases, and other snippets of language provided by the narrator (a character in his own right) that can’t help but expand readers’ vocabularies. Though the Baudelaire children suffer myriad hardships and setbacks, in the end they do manage to outsmart and expose Olaf’s devious ways. But of course, with luck like theirs, it’s a given that Olaf will escape and return to torment them again some day. If only misery was always this much fun.

 

Saving Francesca – Melina Marchetta
Genre – Young Adult/Contemporary

A compelling story of romance, family, and friendship with humor and heart, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Lauren Myracle.

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys’ school that pretends it’s coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.

 

Wildwood Dancing – Juliet Marillier
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It’s an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle’s hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he’s there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena’s sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom—an impossible union it’s up to Jena to stop.

When Cezar’s grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can’t imagine—tests of trust, strength, and true love.

 

The Accidental Mother – Rowan Coleman
Genre – Fiction/Chick Lit.

Sophie and Carrie were childhood best friends, but in the last few years they’ve lost touch. While Carrie chose motherhood in a small town, Sophie is powering up the London career track. She’s a corporate manager poised for her next promotion. Sure, she doesn’t have much time for men, but she has a great shoe collection and a cat who’s never going to let her down.

And then Sophie is told that Carrie has died, with nobody left to care for her two daughters, Bella and Izzy, aged six and three. Their father, who left before Carrie’s death, is nowhere to be found; their grandmother is moving into assisted living. Sophie once promised Carrie she would take care of her children if the worst ever happened…and now that day has come.

Witty, wise, and filled with genuinely powerful emotion, The Accidental Mother is the heartwarming, heartbreaking story of a woman who is woefully under-equipped to be suddenly thrown into motherhood, but who through the eyes of two little girls learns more about loss, commitment, and true love than she had ever realized existed.

 

Danse Macabre – Stephen King
Genre – Horror/Non-Fiction

Stephen King explores the phenomenon of horror in a century of film, television, radio, and literature. Who better than King to investigate what terrifies his fans?

“One of the best books on American popular culture in the late 20th century.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

 

 

 

Pretties – Scott Westerfeld
Genre – Young Adult/Science Fiction

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

 

Vampires: Back in Time to the First Darkness – The Original Stories – Watkins Publishing
Genre – Paranormal/Short Stories

Here come the creatures of the night, in eight timeless tales of horror that have terrified generations and inspired the recent flowering of vampire literature. Discover classics of the genre, such as John Polidori’s The Vampyre (written by Lord Byron’s physician) and Carmilla, the novella that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula and provoked a scandal with its lesbian undercurrent. This fascinating collection also features Johann Ludwig Tieck, Sheridan LeFanu, Guy de Maupssant, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (and his beloved detective, Sherlock Holmes), E.F. Benson, and Stoker himself, with “Dracula’s Guest”–believed to be the original first chapter of his novel, excised by the publisher.

 

Dragon’s Keep – Janet Lee Carey
Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy

Far away on Wilde Island, Princess Rosalind is born with a dragon claw where her ring finger should be. To hide this secret, the queen forces her to wear gloves at all times until a cure can be found, and Rosalind can fulfill the prophecy that will restore her family to its rightful throne. But Rosalind’s flaw cannot be separated from her fate. When she is carried off by the dragon, everything she thought she knew falls apart. . . .

 

 

Montmorency’s Revenge – Eleanor Updale
Genre – Young Adult/Historical Fiction

A dark tale of vengeance and madness takes Montmorency on his next crusade….

As Queen Victoria lies dying, Montmorency and his friends are already in mourning, and determined to track down the killers who have wrecked their lives. It’s personal obsession, but Montmorency has public duties too, and when the two collide, he must decide which comes first.
Can he stop Doctor Farcett’s slide into insanity? And how can he teach a new generation to forgive when the lust for revenge is eating away at his own soul?

The fourth Montmorency adventure takes him on a race across the globe with a mission of revenge for the death of his dearest friend Lord George Fox Selwyn.

 

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses – Ron Koertge
Genre – Young Adult/Poetry

Yes it’s blue and Yes it tickles and Yes
he’s had a lot of wives
and nobody knows what happened to them

but he’s fun at the party and omigod
that castle!

Once upon a time, a strung-out match girl sold CDs to stoners. Twelve impetuous sisters escaped Daddy’s clutches to jiggle and cavort and wear out their shoes. Bluebeard’s latest wife discovered she’d married a serial killer. And Little Red Riding Hood confessed that she kind of wanted to know what it’s like to be swallowed whole.

You see, Ron Koertge knows what really happened to all those wolves and maidens, ogres and orphans, kings and piglets of fairy tales, and he knows about the Ever After. So come closer–he wants to whisper in your ear.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is places books have made me want to visit. This can include places that are real or fictional. They’re listed in no particular order.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Battle School) – The biggest reason I would want to go to the Battle School is to experience the Battle Room. It’s laser tag without gravity. What could be cooler than that?

Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling (Hogwarts) – I want to see what the castle would be like. It seems like there is always something exciting going on and an adventure around every corner. However, I’ll be avoiding the Forbidden Forest. I can’t handle any giant spiders.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab (Merit) – I would mostly want to go to Merit because of the superpowers. There’s isn’t much memorable about the place, but it’s a world that has superpowers. I know I’m just visiting, but I’m taking my powers with me when I leave. Plus, I really need to meet Victor … for science, of course.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Oasis) – I need this in my life. Being the video game nerd that I am, I would love this virtual world. I’m sure I would never get anything done though, so maybe it’s a good thing it doesn’t exist.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gatsby’s Mansion) – I want to go to a Gatsby party. I’m not normally an overly social person, but there ain’t no party like a Gatsby party.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Wonderland) – It’s seems like a crazy, fun place full of interesting characters. I want to meet the Cheshire Cat as well. If cats could talk, I feel like that is exactly how they would act.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab (The Archive) – The archive is described as “a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.” It would be interesting to see how everything is set up because it’s such a unique concept.

Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall (Japan) – While this is a horror story, I would still want to go to Japan based on how it’s described in this book. I’ve always wanted to go because I think Japanese culture is fascinating.

Pivot Point by Kasie West (Compound) – This is another place I want to go because of the powers they have. While I wont get any powers, it would be cool to see how everything operates. They probably won’t let me in though since I’m just a “Norm.” 😦

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Paris) – Another place I have always wanted to go. This book just made me want to go even more. It seems like a beautiful place.

*I have a post that explains what some of the rules/guidelines will be for my lists of favorite movies. I have two other favorite movie lists also (Hayao Miyazaki and Pixar).

This post will discuss my top 10 favorite zombie movies, and I thought it was fitting for the month of October. I’m not a fan of horror or gory movies because I’m easily startled and can get quite queasy at the sight of blood. However, I’ve seen a few zombie movies. I’ve been slowly exposing myself to movies and shows that contain some scary elements or gore because I’m tired of skipping out on good movies because I’m afraid of blood. Although, I still have limits, so the Saw series is a big no no for me.

I found my admiration for zombie films in college when I took a zombie class. Yes, a zombie class. It was titled Sociology of the Living Dead. I took it to mainly challenge myself with what I could handle in movies. The class went very well, and I was able to watch all of the movies for the most part. A lot of the movies in this list are ones that we watched in class, and I really enjoyed them.

TL/DR: Not a fan of horror or gore, but I still have some favorite zombie movies.

 

*All descriptions taken from IMDb.

Night of the Living Dead
Rating: Unrated

A group of people hide from bloodthirsty zombies in a farmhouse.

Thoughts: What list of favorite zombie movies would be complete without George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead? Maybe a lot, but not this list. This is the first movie we watched in my zombie class, and I really enjoyed it. It was a good movie to start with. It’s in black and white, so viewers can’t really see any blood, but there are plenty of intense moments and scary elements for a 1968 movie. With today’s standers for horror and gore, the movie can be kind of unintentionally funny at times but that doesn’t take away from its enjoyment. It’s definitely worth watching, especially if you want to start watching zombie movies because this is a great movie to begin with.

 

Dawn of the Dead
Rating: Unrated

Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia SWAT team members, a traffic reporter, and his television-executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Thoughts: Dawn of the Dead is far more graphic than The Night of the Living Dead but still delivers a powerful message and a great story. I loved George Romero’s take on consumerism and how he represents it in this movie. It’s a clever way to show society’s need for material possessions by having zombies gather in and around a mall. I really enjoyed the ending of this one. While the ending of Night of the Living Dead is epic, I felt this ending fit well with Dawn of the Dead.

 

Dawn of the Dead
Rating: R

A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.

Thoughts: The 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead is a remake of the original by George Romero. It’s directed by Zack Snyder, and he takes a different approach to zombies. While Romero’s zombies are slow and dangerous in large groups, Snyder’s zombies are fast and aggressive. I’m not sure which would be scarier to come in contact with, but I’d probably lean toward the fast zombies being more terrifying. At least you could have some strategy to get away from the slow ones and might have more time to think about a plan, but with the fast ones, you only have so much time to get away from them which leads to impulsive decisions and more fatalities. Zombies, in general, are pretty scary without any additional abilities. Adding breakneck speed to the list just seems unfair to humans. Even though I find Snyder’s zombies scarier, I like Romero’s zombies better.

 

Resident Evil
Rating: R

A special military unit fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident.

Thoughts: Resident Evil is not a fantastic movie and completely ventures away from the source material, but there’s something about it that’s entertaining. This is the first zombie movie I watched by myself when I was younger. Of course, it’s not as scary or gory as other movies, but it was a big accomplishment for me. I’m quite disappointed with the series though. I did like Resident Evil: Apocalypse, but I watched Resident Evil: Extinction and gave up on the following movies. It focuses more on how amazing Alice is instead of the threat of zombies. This is why I really enjoy Resident Evil. There’s a larger focus on zombies and the fear of not being able to escape them. This movie is a guilty pleasure of mine, and I love re-watching it.

 

Shaun of the Dead
Rating: R

A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.

Thoughts: Shaun of the Dead is a unique movie. It’s a zombie comedy that pays tribute to movies, video games, and television series. While it has some graphic scenes, it’s not as gory as other zombie movies. The movie is funny and clever with the way it presents the story and characters. It’s good to watch Dawn of the Dead before watching this movie because it’s fun to spot all of the references. After watching Romero’s zombie movies, I was able to fully enjoy the references that appear in Shaun of the Dead. Of course, you can watch Shaun of the Dead without seeing any of the others because it’s a great movie on it’s own.

 

Warm Bodies
Rating: PG-13

After a highly unusual zombie saves a still-living girl from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion events that might transform the entire lifeless world.

Thoughts: This is definitely a different type of zombie movie than the previous ones mentioned. Warm Bodies is an interesting twist on zombies, and it’s entertaining to watch how these zombies differ from others. I love the commentary at the beginning when it pokes fun at humans being zombie-like because of technology. It’s interesting to see how this zombie romance story plays out. I never thought I would ever say that. While it’s not the best zombie movie, it’s a lot of fun to watch and see what happens to the characters.

 

28 Days Later
Rating: R

Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

Thoughts: I know they’re considered infected and not zombies, but I feel like they have certain zombie aspects, so I’m including the movie on this list. 28 Days Later has an interesting filming style. It’s very dark and everything is quiet until zombies appear, which makes everything eerie. It makes the viewer feel like he/she is there with the characters while they try to survive. The opening scene is memorable, and it’s one of the few I still remember without watching it again. The characters are engaging, and it’s easy to root for them.

 

World War Z
Rating: PG-13

United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

Thoughts: While this is not the best zombie movie and it goes far from the source material, it’s action-packed and just a fun summer blockbuster. The situations Gerry gets into are sort of ridiculous, and the fact that he somehow survives throughout the movie while others around him die is sort of humorous. However, if you can look past the silliness, it’s a lot of fun to watch. The ending is especially impressive and makes you want to be as awesome as Gerry seems to be. Plus, there’s no gore whatsoever in World War Z, so it’s a great way to introduce yourself to zombie movies.

 

I Am Legend
Rating: PG-13

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.

Thoughts: I know in the book, the infected are considered vampires, but I feel like in the movie they have elements of both vampires and zombies, so it’s in my list. I really enjoy Will Smith’s performance in this movie. He carries the entire movie, and I feel that takes some great acting skills and charisma. His character, Robert Neville, is portrayed well for a man surviving the zombie apocalypse by himself. Well he does have his dog, Sam, with him but still. The viewer can develop an emotional connection to the character and his dog. One scene in the movie might even make you tear up. I know I was extremely close to crying in the theater. I won’t say specifics because I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t seen it. Another movie without gore, but it’s still an intense movie experience. It’s definitely worth watching.

 

ParaNorman
Rating: PG

A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Thoughts: Of course this movie doesn’t have any gore, but that’s not surprising for a children’s movie. Even though it’s directed at children, it’s a great movie the whole family will enjoy. Lots of jokes for adults as well as kids. I was surprised by the social commentary, and I love how the town initially reacted to the zombie threat. It was amusing and made complete sense for the town who knew what zombies were and how to deal with them. This movie was a nice story on zombies and witches, and it was entertaining and refreshing to watch.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is books that are character driven. These are books that rely heavily on the characters to tell the story. Everyone’s interpretation of that may be different. These books are ones I felt best fit that description. They’re listed in no particular order. If you’ve done this Top Ten Tuesday, feel free to link your post in the comments, so I can check it out. 🙂

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – This book really stands out because of the characters. Each of them are essential, and I mean what’s not to love about anti-heroes and superpowers. Vicious is a new favorite of mine, and I’ve been trying to get everyone I know to read it.

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks – While the story is high fantasy, it’s driven by the characters. There are so many of them, but they each stand out. The characters and how they interact are some of the most memorable parts. The plot is great but watching the characters grow and develop is what really makes the story compelling.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – This is one book where the characters make it or break it for some readers. They’re realistic in the sense that they’re all flawed in their own way. The choices they make and how they handle themselves are the main focus of the novel.

The Murder Farm by Andrea Maria Schenkel – Told mostly through testimonies of the villagers, The Murder Farm relies entirely on it’s characters to tell the story. All the voices are unique and new characters are constantly introduced to propel the plot. Full Review

We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt – The story is told through first-person, but Nell (the protagonist) speaks directly to the reader as if she is talking to her sister Layla. The relationship between the sisters is what drives the story and draws the reader in. Full Review

Overnight by Adele Griffin – A group of friends have a sleepover and one of them disappears. Everything that follows gets told through the alternating perspectives of several of the girls. Each of them are unique even if a bit cliche at times, but it’s how they each deal with the situation and how they react that tells the story.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – The main character in this story deals with very serious issues, and it does get emotional. The focus of the story is on Conor and how he deals with everything happening in his life. He’s relatable in the sense that you can understand what he is going through and the emotions he’s feeling. Full Review

Black Box by Julie Schumacher – This story deals with a family struggling to help a member who is suffering from severe depression. The family has to learn how to understand what Dora is thinking and feeling, and at times, they find it very difficult. What makes this story stand out is that instead of the main character being the one who is suffering, it’s her sister. This allows the reader to see a side of the situation that isn’t usually shown. Full Review

Easy by Tammara Webber – A cute story about a girl and boy who fall in love while in college. They each have their own past to deal with before they can officially move on. The characters are believable, and they deal with some major issues over the course of the novel.

Shayla’s Double Brown Baby Blues by Lori Aurelia Williams – While there are a lot of sub-plots, all of them are character driven and focus on a certain aspect of each of the characters’ lives. Some of them are relatable, though others are not. They are all well-developed and make the story more believable. Full Review

NSFW Book Tag

The Not Safe For Work Tag was created by ChapterStackss and LukeLaneReads. I thought this tag would be really fun to do, so here we go!

The Questions:

1. What is the LAST book you would want your parents to walk in on you reading?

Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children by Jonathan Kellerman
Genre – Non-Fiction/Psychology

I haven’t actually read this book yet, but the title and description are enough to raise a bunch of questions from my parents. I picture my mom walking in on me reading it and then slowly backing out of the room. I’m not in college anymore, and I don’t have any children, so it’s all the more concerning that I would be reading this book.

 

 

 

2. It’s storming outside, and you’re home alone for the night. What book would only make matters worse?

Tailypo
Genre – Folklore

Chad and I spent over an hour on the internet trying to find the exact version of this story that I heard as a child, but we were unsuccessful. There are many different versions of this folklore, and the majority of them are terrifying. A man takes a tail which belongs to a “creature” and eats the tail. The creature then haunts him over the next few nights, trying to get its tail back. One night it comes inside his cabin and climbs up over the foot of his bed saying, “tailypo . . . tailypo . . . give me back my tailypo.” In the version that I remember, the creature was roughly the size of an adult man, with a wolf face, bobcat ears, and really wanted its tail back . . .

I won’t be re-reading this anytime soon, especially if it’s storming outside.

 

3. Have you ever read a book simply because of the controversy surrounding it?

Not that I can recall. I don’t really seek out books because they’re controversial. I don’t avoid them. I just haven’t run into any that I would be interested in reading.

 

4. What is the most cringe-inducing romance or sex scene you have ever read?

A Fair Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates
Genre – Contemporary

** POSSIBLE SPOILER **

This entire book was cringeworthy. There were a few different scenes, but only one went into a lot of detail. Basically, the main character gets raped by someone who is supposed to be helping her seek revenge on someone else who raped her. It’s extremely sad. You feel really bad for her and it’s just awful. Just know what you’re getting into if you decide to read this book.

 

 

5. What book has made you question the author’s sanity?

It by Stephen King
Genre – Horror

An “eponymous being” disguises itself as a clown to eat children. As if we needed another reason to fear clowns. If that’s not enough to make you question his sanity, just read any of his other horror books . . . However, I still love Stephen King.  🙂

 

 

 

6. Have you ever put down a book and not finished it because the content was too much for you?

No, I haven’t. There are plenty of other reasons that will make me stop reading a story, but usually the content isn’t the deciding factor. Books that I normally put down are boring, have irritating characters, or a really poor plot. I try my best to read through everything, but sometimes it’s just too much, and I’d rather spend my time reading something I enjoy.

 

7. What fictional character do you have the most NSFW thoughts about?

Victor from Vicious by V. E. Schwab
Genre – Fantasy

Victor is very witty. I know he’s a sociopath, but there’s just something about him that makes him appealing. He knows how to get stuff done, and his power is extremely interesting to me. As someone who really likes psychology, Victor fascinates me.

 

 

8. Show us your most NSFW book cover (or drawing/photo inside a book).

Pleasure Prolonged by Cathryn Fox
Genre – Erotica

This is about as risque as it gets with my physical books. However, my tablet is another story because those books don’t count.  🙂

 

 

 

 

9. Have you ever read something from the erotica/romance genre, and what did you think?

Yes, it’s not bad. I even own a few. I haven’t found anything I really like though. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.

 

10. You stumble across a portkey. What fictional world would you NOT want to be transported into?

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Genre – Classic/Science Fiction

The world in Farenheit 451 is described as “post-literate” which means they’ve advanced to a point where reading and writing is thought of as unneeded and has been deemed illegal. Firemen literally burn books. What kind of world would be worse than that?!

You tell me, by doing this tag!

 

 

I tag anyone who would like to do this. If you do this tag or if you’ve already done it, leave a link in the comments, and I’ll be sure to check it out.

October TBR

I normally don’t pick books for a full month because I know I change my mind so frequently, but for October I want to have a theme for the entire month. Of course that theme will be horror, and I’m going to have some thrillers and mysteries as well. I’m hoping this will get me out of the reading slump I’ve been in for almost the entire month of September. It’s been awful.

I started off the month strong, but sadly, I wasn’t able to finish Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I wanted to like the book, but I decided to DNF it at 32%. It actually ended up putting me in the reading slump, and I haven’t been able to finish Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, even though I’m really enjoying it. I’ll have it read before the end of September though. I did end up reading Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol and The Surprise Party by R. L. Stine, and I really liked them. They would be a good additions to an October TBR, especially if you want something scary but not too scary.

I’m hoping this theme will help me get out of my reading slump. My TBR could change, depending on how I feel about the books. I mean I might get so scared, I have to sit in a corner and read a happy unicorn book. I’m a pretty big chicken when it comes to horror movies, so let’s see how I do with some horror books. I’ve been wanting to read these books for a while though, so I figure this is a perfect time to do it. Let me know what you’re going to read for October. Anything scary?

*Descriptions taken from Goodreads.

The Shining – Stephen King
Genre – Horror/Thriller

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine…

 

It – Stephen King
Genre – Horror/Thriller

The story follows the exploits of seven children as they are terrorized by an eponymous being, which exploits the fears and phobias of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. “It” primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children. The novel is told through narratives alternating between two time periods, and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. It deals with themes which would eventually become King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma, and the ugliness lurking behind a façade of traditional small-town values.

 

 

Intensity – Dean Koontz
Genre – Suspense/Thriller

Past midnight, Chyna Shepard, twenty-six, gazes out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend’s family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Foreman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed “homicidal adventurer,” Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse or limits, to live with “intensity.” Chyna is trapped in his deadly orbit.

Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive–until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess’s next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl…as moment by moment, the terrifying threat of Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.

 

The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris
Genre – Horror

There’s a killer on the loose who knows that beauty is only skin deep, and a trainee investigator who’s trying to save her own hide. The only man that can help is locked in an asylum. But he’s willing to put a brave face on – if it will help him escape.

 

 

 

 

Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone – Stefan Kiesbye
Genre – Horror/Short Stories

The village of Hemmersmoor is a place untouched by time and shrouded in superstition: There is the grand manor house whose occupants despise the villagers, the small pub whose regulars talk of revenants, the old mill no one dares to mention. This is where four young friends come of age—in an atmosphere thick with fear and suspicion. Their innocent games soon bring them face-to-face with the village’s darkest secrets in this eerily dispassionate, astonishingly assured novel, evocative of Stephen King’s classic short story “Children of the Corn” and infused with the spirit of the Brothers Grimm.

 

Spirits of the Noh – Thomas Randall
Genre – Young Adult/Horror

Kara Foster is finally starting to fit in at her boarding school in Japan-after all, nothing bonds you with your classmates like having an ancient demon put a curse on you. Hoping life can go back to normal now that the monster has been laid to rest, Kara joins her friends Sakura and Miho in putting on a play for the Noh drama club. It’s the story of the Hannya, a snake demon who inhabits the body of a beautiful woman. When a few members of the Noh club go missing, Kara fears that the real Hannya has been awakened by the curse. Then Miho is abducted, and Kara must find her before the Hannya exacts her terrible revenge. But the demon is wily and may be hidden in the last place anyone would think to look.

 

The Night She Disappeared – April Henry
Genre – Young Adult/Mystery

Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.