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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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27 09, 2016

Review: The Dead Boyfriend by R.L. Stine

By | September 27th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Horror, Young Adult|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

the dead boyfriend book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

In 2014, the YA thriller author R.L. Stine relaunched his popular Fear Street series with Party Games. Yesterday, the fifth book in the relaunch series, The Dead Boyfriend, was released, ready to terrorize a new generation of readers. Although I’m not the target audience anymore for R.L. Stine publications, I can’t help but read them every now and then just for the nostalgia.

The Dead Boyfriend is a first-person narrative told in diary format. Caitlyn is over the moon about her new boyfriend Blade, until he stands her up one night. A little overly emotional, Cynthia haunts places she suspects he might hang out and discovers him with another girl. When she confronts him about his betrayal, Caitlyn finds herself with a new title: murderer.

26 01, 2016

Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

By | January 26th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Drugs & Alcohol Abuse, Horror, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

shade book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Like all others born after the Shift, 16-year-old Aura, her boyfriend Logan, and most of their friends can see ghosts. No one exactly knows how or why this is, but Aura is determined to find out and put an end to it. Aura’s world shatters on the night of Logan’s birthday, the night that was supposed to be “the best night ever.” Everything starts out perfectly: Logan’s band is offered contracts from two different recording companies and Aura and Logan are finally going to lose their virginity. In one moment of utter stupidity, Logan makes a rash decision that ends his life.

If Logan hadn’t stuck around as a ghost with a violet hue, Aura would have an easier time moving on with her own life. The presence of Logan’s spirit makes it seem as if

7 07, 2015

Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

By | July 7th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Horror, Paranormal, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments

Rating:

haunting of sunshine girl book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

Sixteen-year old Sunshine Griffith is less than thrilled about moving to “creeptastic” Ridgemont, Washington from Austin, Texas, but having no say in the matter, she decides to give it a chance. Along with her mother Kat, their dog and cat, the little family settles into their large, older home while Kat prepares for her new position as head nurse at Ridgemont Hospital. The house and the area immediately give Sunshine an uneasy feeling and soon she will learn the root causes of those feelings in a strange and haunting fashion. Kat and Sunshine are close; Sunshine is adopted and the two interact with love, humor and fun conversations/traditions, acting more like friends than mother/daughter at times. When the darkness that Sunshine immediately senses begins to manifest, that dynamic will dramatically shift.

With her mother at

5 06, 2015

Review: Don’t Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine

By | June 5th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

don't stay up late book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

In the nineties, young adult author R.L. Stine dominated the bookshelves in bookshops everywhere. During that time, I built up quite the collection of books from the Fear Street series. I was so excited to see that R.L. Stine is making a comeback to terrify a new generation of young adults with the revival of the Fear Street series. Party Games debuted in 2014, and was followed by Don’t Stay Up Late in April of 2015.

New to Shadyside, Lisa Brooks is unaware of the reputation of the Fear family and the horror stories that are whispered about the infamous Fear Street. After a tragic car accident that claimed the life of her father, Lisa begins to experience nightmares and hallucinations. They seep over into reality once Lisa begins babysitting a charming little boy named

10 09, 2014

Review: Amity by Micol Ostow

By | September 10th, 2014|Categories: Children's Books, Horror, Young Adult|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Rating:

19141361Reviewed by Sarah Lelonek

In general, I really love horror stories. I love the movies, the books, the TV shows–all of it. I prefer the more psychologically scary stories, and Amity by Micol Ostow was definitely a mind bender. I did not put together that it was about the Amityville house, ever, but apparently there are a lot of similarities. I haven’t seen those movies in a very long time, and I was able to appreciate Amity as a stand-alone novel. Unfortunately, between the incoherent plot, muddled writing, and the fact that I could care less about the characters, I was completely let down by Amity.

Basically, Amity is a strange, old house located in New England. The story is told between Connor ten years earlier and Gwen in the present. Both Connor and Gwen have known mental disorders. Connor is more of a sociopath

23 07, 2014

Review: White Space by Ilsa J. Bick

By | July 23rd, 2014|Categories: Children's Books, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

13449631Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

White Space was not really what I was expecting. This sometimes can be very good and sometimes very bad. In this case, it was neither. The writing was very good, the descriptions and onomatopoeic words used were very vivid. At times almost too much. The storytelling was definitely not my cup of tea.

We meet Emma and her friend as they are driving north into a blizzard in Wisconsin. To all those outside Emma’s head she appears to be an intelligent normal college girl; we however get to see inside her mind. And while Emma wants nothing more than to be normal, she isn’t. Ever since her experience ‘down cellar’ (which she tries to keep locked up and never think about) she has had ‘blinks’ or episodes where she loses time. She does eventually come back to herself but feels like

17 06, 2014

Review: Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

By | June 17th, 2014|Categories: Children's Books, Horror, Love & Romance, Mysteries, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |1 Comment

Rating:

18077961Reviewed by Carrie Ardoin

I don’t read too many ghost stories, mostly because my husband sometimes works nights. When I’m alone at home, no doubt my overactive imagination will start creating noises and shadows that aren’t really there. But the thing that made me want to read Liv, Forever, is that it is told from the point of view of the ghost. This makes the story inherently less scary.

As a matter of fact, Liv, Forever is more a love story than a ghost story. Our main character is Liv Bloom, who’s been sent to the prestigious Wickham Hall boarding school as one of its’ few scholarship students. Liv has been bounced from foster home to foster home during her sixteen years, and although the school and the students are rather intimidating, she’s happy to find a place she can call home.

Until

30 04, 2014

Review: The Savages by Matt Whyman

By | April 30th, 2014|Categories: Children's Books, Horror, Love & Romance, Young Adult|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

the-savagesReviewed by Amanda Farmer

The Savages was the first book I have read by Mr. Whyman and it will not be the last. I have to say I devoured this book. I absolutely loved it.

We are introduced to the Savages and on the outside they appear to be your typical close knit family who love their food. The Savages include Titus (father), Angelica (mother), Sasha (teenage daughter), Ivan (not quite teenage son), Katya (not quite two), and Oleg (grandfather). Everything seems to be going well for them until Ivan has a prank go bad and kills an actress in their home, causing the family to cover up the death. Now, a private investigator is following Titus because of his ruthless corporate takeovers but what he uncovers is far more dangerous than he ever thought to find. Angelica has to rent out their house to

19 01, 2014

Review: Dead Set by Richard Kadrey

By | January 19th, 2014|Categories: Children's Books, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Rating:

17349326Reviewed by Marcus Hammond

Dead Set by Richard Kadrey is a young adult novel that threads the themes of growing up, identity, grief, and coping with hardship that impacts all adolescents within a horror motif. The end product is an entertaining, suspenseful, and mature addition to the young adult horror/fantasy genre.

Zoe is a sixteen year old whose life is turned completely upside-down by the death of her punk-rock loving father. After his death, an insurance fraud claim forces Zoe and her mother to move out of their home in poverty and Zoe to change schools. As Zoe struggles to find an identity within the chaos of her overturned world, she finds a way to reconnect with her father’s lost soul. As her journey to rescue her father’s soul progresses, Zoe gets drawn deeper and deeper into a horrific world of personal sacrifice

16 01, 2014

Review: Neverwas by Kelly Moore, Larkin Reed & Tucker Reed

By | January 16th, 2014|Categories: Children's Books, Horror, Love & Romance, Young Adult|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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9780545434188_p0_v2_s260x420Reviewed by Amanda Farmer

I was very excited to read Neverwas, the second installment in the Amber House Trilogy when it was offered to me. If you haven’t read Amber House, don’t be alarmed–you will not be lost at all. The authors do a great job of recanting the first book in the series.

Neverwas is the continuing story about Sarah and her family moving into Amber House, which has been her family’s home for several generations. Amber House has its own memories of every occupant that has ever stayed or lived there, the good and the bad. In Amber House Sarah chooses to save her brother Sam and Aunt Maggie. In Neverwas Sarah must choose to do it again but this time hope it doesn’t alter the time line more than it already has.

Sarah remembers a time line that no one