Book Review: The Silence by Tim Lebbon (ARC)

Author: Tim Lebbon
Pages: 400
Published: April 14, 2015
Genre: Horror
Rating: 5/5

One of the creepiest novels I’ve ever read. And the only novel to make me tear up.

I was sent an ARC for review from Titan Books.

The Silence is the new horror novel from Tim Lebbon that is sure to give you the creeps.

Ally is a teenage girl that wants nothing more than to be a journalist and she’s found a new story to follow. After a cave discovery in Moldova is broadcast on the news, both Ally and her father Huw become intrigued. While Ally is home with her brother, mom, and grandmother, she turns on the Discovery Channel to watch the live feed of the explorers at the cave site. While away on a business trip, her father Huw has done the same thing. Unknowingly they are both about to see something horrifying that will change their lives forever.

Now as the monsters that have been unleashed from the cave are making their way across the world, Ally and her family must decide if they want to stay in their home and wait it out, or try to make it to Huw’s parents old vacation home in Scotland.

No one knows what the monsters are. The only facts that have been shared about them with the world are that they are killing people and they hunt by sound. For Ally’s family this presents a challenge unlike what most other families will experience since Ally is deaf and her family can communicate through sign language.

Follow Ally and her family as they fight to survive in Tim Lebbon’s new fantastically terrifying novel, The Silence.

This novel was absolutely fantastic. I enjoyed every second of it and am now completely hooked on Tim Lebbon’s writing. The Silence is the second sensory deprivation novel that I’ve ever read and that’s partly what made it so terrifying. This is also the very first novel I’ve ever read that made me tear up. Which says a lot about Tim Lebbon’s ability to create characters that the reader can relate to. I highly recommend all horror fans read The Silence and gave it a much deserved 5/5.

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First Book Review of 2015! Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich

Author: Sarah Negovetich
Pages: 320
Published: December 4, 2014
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Rating: 4/5

That was awesome.

Rebecca and Cheryl are your average 16 year old girls. Except that they live in a country where once you turn 16 you are forced to attend a ceremony where you are either Accepted as a member of society or Rejected to the PIT because you may or may not have a propensity for crime. At least, those are the reasons that the Cardinal has given for why people are sent to the PIT.

Rebecca believed she had nothing to worry about and would easily get Accepted, but all that changed when the lights on the Machine flashed red indicating that she was to be banished to the PIT. Now forced to live the life of a “criminal” in horrible poverty, Rebecca must figure out how to survive with nothing and no one to help her. That is, until she sees a familiar face also living in the PIT.

Eric was the first one to ask her for a dance at the ceremony and she knew right away that he was perfect for her. Now with Eric by her side and a few of his friends, it seems like maybe life in the PIT won’t be so bad. Or will it?

An awesome dystopian novel, I devoured Rite of Rejection in two sittings because I needed to know what would happen next. The only reason I didn’t give this book a 5 was because some of the main plot points were a little predictable which kind of took me out of the moment. However, this book was still fantastic and I could definitely see it being the start to a series.

Highly recommend!

Book Review: Inked

Author: Eric Smith
Pages: e-book
Published: (Expected January 20, 2015)
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magic
Rating: 4/5

Caenum is on the run. He will be turning 18 in a few days and as a result will receive his Ink. Most people are excited to receive their Ink, but not Caenum. He is afraid the Ink will be wrong and his life will be ruined.

After confronting one of the Scribes that has come to town to provide Ink for all those coming of age, everything turns upside down. His family, friends, and hometown will never be the same and it all ties back to Caenum.

Somehow Caenum is now in charge of escorting the Scribe who he punched to a safe land before the guards from the Citadel get ahold of them both. Join Caenum, his best friend Dreya, and Kenzi the Scribe as they uncover the magic within themselves and fight to save everything they live for.

This is the new YA fantasy novel from the awesome Eric Smith from Quirk Books. I received an e-ARC for review from NetGalley and devoured this book in less than two days.

I rated this novel a 4/5 for a few reasons. One being that the story was awesome. Also I really enjoyed the world building, was easily engaged in the story, and felt connected to the characters.

However, I did have some minor (albeit nit-picky) problems with the story. For one, one of the main plot points was somewhat cliche. I predicted it would happen from the get-go and unfortunately it did. Also, some of the dialogue seemed more like a Disney movie than anything else.

BUT! I loved it regardless. Even though it was predictable and the dialogue seemed cheesy at times, I needed to know what would happen next and could easily see this becoming a kickass YA fantasy series.

Eric Smith’s world building was incredibly enjoyable and he developed one of my favorite characters that I’ve read about so far in 2014, Tabor. I highly recommend that anyone that is a fan of fantasy novels or magic should pick this up. This book will be released in January of 2015 and I’m absolutely putting in on my To-Buy list 🙂

Book Review: Destroyed (Soul Keeper Series #2)

Author: L.A. Starkey
Pages: 437
Published: November 15, 2014
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 5/5

Book 2 in the Soul Keeper Series was freakin’ fantastic. I can’t say much about the plot because I don’t want to spoil anyone. But book 2 continues the story of Sam as she navigates her relationship with Nick and Marcus.

More mythological elements are added to this novel and the author tied in more detailed storylines beautifully. I enjoyed book 2 more than book 1 and can’t wait for book 3 to come out!

These covers keep getting more and more gorgeous and LA Starkey is just a fantastic person. If you are looking for a fun, quirky, but pretty intense series to pick up then I would highly recommend the Soul Keeper Series.

I cannot say enough good things about these books!

Book Review: Becoming Beauty

Author: Sarah E. Boucher
Pages: 256
Published: November 11, 2014
Genre: YA, Retelling, Fairy Tale, Clean Romance
Rating: 5/5

Becoming Beauty is a debut novel from Sarah E Boucher and kept me captivated from page one. I read the entire book in one sitting because I had to know where the author was going with this modern retelling of Beauty & The Beast.

Bella is anything but grateful. Stubborn, entitled, and a pain to be around she constantly feels overshadowed by her sister. After coercing her father into risking his life for a rare ruby necklace, Bella’s siblings decide that she needs to take responsibility for her actions.

Forced into the service of the “Beast,” Bella is confronted with her worst nightmare; manual labor. But there turns out to be more to the “Beast” than she ever thought possible.

This story kept me guessing from page one. I absolutely loved this novel and especially loved the angle that the author took when describing the origins of the Beast. Incredibly lighthearted while talking about some pretty dark stuff, Becoming Beauty was an awesome debut novel from this author and I will absolutely be following her writing for years to come! 5/5

Book Review: Shutter

Author: Courtney Alameda
Pages: 384
Published: (Expected February 3, 2015)
Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal, Thriller
Rating: 5/5

GAH! This novel was absolutely amazing. Since I first saw the cover months ago I knew that I need to get my hands on a copy. The amazing author was kind enough to send me an ARC for review which I devoured.

Micheline Helsing is a descendant of Van Helsing and as such is also a freakin’ ghost hunter. But what is awesome about Micheline, is that she is a tetrachromat. Which means that sees the auras of ghosts on a spectrum. The differing colors of the ghosts tells her how dangerous it will be to fight.

After a hospital is inhabited by ghosts, Micheline and her long time friend and fellow ghost hunter, Ryder, make the decision to go into the hospital before back-up arrives to eradicate themselves. After being infected by the soulchain curse, Micheline and Ryder must do whatever they can to survive long enough to finish what they started.

This book. Gah. This freakin’ book. I loved it so much. I absolutely need more of Micheline & Ryder. Courtney Alameda is a brilliant writer and I am looking forward to reading everything from her in the future!

Book Review: Mary: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1)

Author: Hillary Monahan
Pages: 256
Published: September 2, 2014
Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal
Rating: 5/5

A brilliantly executed Bloody Mary story, Mary: The Summoning will keep you on your toes from the first page to the last. Jess and her group of friends decide to summon Bloody Mary in typical teenage fashion. But what her friends don’t know is that Jess has been doing research on her own to determine the most successful way to summon Blood Mary.

Now her friend Shauna is being tortured by Mary, and everyone is at a loss for how to stop this. Shauna must uncover the history of Mary to determine why she has come through so strongly and why she latches on to whoever summons her.

This was my second Bloody Mary retelling that I read so far this year and honestly it was my favorite of the two. Hillary Monahan wrote a terrifyingly awesome novel about Bloody Mary that will pull you in from the first chapter and leave you wanting more at the end. The sheer brutality of this story was what I loved the most about it. Right from the start Mary is out of the mirror and ready to make your life hell. An awesome YA horror novel and I absolutely cannot wait until the second one! 5/5

Book Review: Creed

Author: Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie
Pages: 264
Published: November 8, 2014
Genre: YA, Horror, Thriller
Rating: 5/5

After their car breaks down on a back road in the snow, Dee, Luke and his brother Mike are forced to leave the car to look for shelter and gas. Dee planned this weekend for her anniversary with Luke and had to bring Mike with since he agreed to help her. Now the three must navigate their way through a neighboring town that appears to be abandoned to find safety.

After a young boy approaches the group and says that he can help them, they follow him outside. Things seem to be turning around for the three until they realize this young boy is the son of the cult-like ruler of this small town. Dee, Luke, Mike, and Joseph now must fight for their lives against Joseph’s father Elijah while trying to save Joseph’s younger sister from the wrath of Elijah.

This book was absolutely fantastic. It dealt with so many tough issues in such a delicate but fascinating way that I devoured the story. Absolutely deserves a 5/5.

Most Anticipated Book Releases!

I’ve been seeing a lot of booktube videos lately from some awesome booktuber’s showing their most anticipated releases and figured I would do the same! But, since I’m sick I’m going to do a blog post instead.

October 28, 2014

Author: Sarah Bromley
Genre: YA, Horror, Supernatural, Gothic, Thriller

This book sounds freakin’ amazing and like something that I would really enjoy. It takes place in winter in Wisconsin and tells the story of a 16 year old girl with some kind of powers named Vayda Silver as she hides with her father and twin brother. Her mother was murdered and now Vayda must stay away from the town that she was murdered in while also trying to contain her powers. There is also a potential love interest named Ward Ravenscroft. How sick are those names?!

Author: Martina Boone
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Gothic, Paranormal

One of my most anticipated releases of 2014, Compulsion by Martina Boone intertwines life on a South Carolina plantation with ghosts in a story that has been getting some incredibly high ratings on Goodreads.

November 8, 2014

Author: Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie
Genre: YA, Horror, Thriller

A book that I haven’t heard much about on booktube, but that sounds super interesting. Creed is another winter horror story that takes place in a small town. Three teenagers end up in this town after their car breaks down and they think the town is abandoned but soon find out otherwise. The description on Goodreads sound much creepier than what I just described, but it is definitely one I’ll be picking up.

December 9, 2014

Author: Alexandra Monir
Genre: YA, Gothic, Paranormal, Mystery

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir is a new gothic paranormal story that involves a maze, New York City, and a place called Rockford Manor. Seventeen year old Imogen’s parents were killed in a house fire seven years ago and now she realizes their deaths may not have been an accident. The Goodreads page says that this story is a new twist on the classic story Rebecca, so I’m assuming it’s a re-telling? Which is pretty cool.

January 20, 2015

Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: YA, Horror, Zombies, Post Apocalyptic

The sequel to another YA horror, This is Not a Test, Please Remain Calm sounds just as creepy as the first book which I own but haven’t read yet. I have a feeling that I’m really going to enjoy both of these books. It’s kind of difficult to really grasp what this story is about other than some teenagers trying to survive in a world full of zombies since I haven’t read the first one yet. But I’m excited nonetheless!

February 3 & 10, 2015

Release date: February 3, 2015
Author: Courtney Alameda
Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal

So this is a book that I have been incredibly excited about for a while now. From the terrifying cover to the eerie plot summary, Shutter by Courtney Alameda is set to be one of my favorite reads for 2015. Shutter is the story about a girl named Micheline Helsing who is a tetrachromat which means she sees the auras of the undead and is a descendant of Van Helsing. Can we just? GAH! She’s a ghost hunter too. This will be a book that I buy ASAP!

Release date: February 10, 2015
Author: MarcyKate Connolly
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic

While not a horror story, Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly has been on the top of my OMG I NEED TO READ THIS list for a while. I’m so excited for a new fantasy middle grade novel to be released. The lead characters name is Kymera, which is amazing, and she has wings, a spiky tail, and bolts in her neck. So the only time she can enter the city of Bryre which is being ruled by an evil wizard is at night, when girls go missing from that city. Does this not sound amazing?

Release date: February 10, 2015
Author: Andrew Pyper
Genre: Adult, Thriller, Supernatural

So after finishing The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper, I realized that I needed more of his writing in my life. The Damned is his newest novel set to be released this February and is a supernatural thriller about a near death experience. Danny Orchard survived the near death experience that claimed the life of his twin sister Ashleigh and he has since written a memoir about it. The only problem is that now Ashleigh is haunting him. If you haven’t picked up anything by Andrew Pyper yet, I highly suggest you read The Demonologist. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be hooked on this guy for the rest of my life.

March 24 & 30, 2015

Release date: March 24, 2015
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal, Mystery

I received a copy of The Walls Around Us for review from Netgalley and loved every second of it. A new YA horror/ghost novel that takes place partially on a ballet stage and partially in an abandoned juvenile detention facility, The Walls Around Us, is told from the perspective of a few young girls. Two of which were best friends until one was sent to jail for murder and the third young girl was her cellmate. Incredibly eerie and fast paced, I really enjoyed this novel.

Release date: March 30, 2015
Author: Heather Brewer
Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal

I’ve never read anything by Heather Brewer, but that is soon to change. The Cemetery Boys takes place in a small town called Spencer, Michigan. Stephen was forced to move to this town where his father grew up and is trying to make friends so he can stand living there. After befriending a set of twins, Cara and Devon, Stephen begins to hang out at a local cemetery called The Playground. But he soon learns that the town of Spencer has a very dark past. Another exciting YA horror set to be released in 2015!

April 14 & 21, 2015

Release date: April 14, 2015
Author: Liesl Shurtliff
Genre: Middle Grade, Re-telling

Alright everyone, this is the one that I’ve been waiting for the longest. After reading Rump by this author earlier this year I knew I had to read everything by her. Now with a new take on Jack and the Beanstalk, Liesl Shurtliff is pretty much set to be my all time favorite middle grade story teller. If you haven’t read Rump yet, then you seriously need to stop whatever you’re doing and pick it up now.

Release date: April 21, 2015
Author: Sheila Grau (Illustrated by Joe Sutphin)
Genre: Middle Grade

This is the newest addition to my Most Anticipated Reads list. Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions  instantly hooked me after I saw the cover posted on twitter by the author. The Goodreads page says that the book has a werewolf named Runt that attends a boarding school that has the “world’s finest training program for aspiring minions to Evil Overlords.” Does that not sound like it’s going to be amazing? Definitely another one that I can’t wait to buy!

Book Review: Of Monsters and Madness

Author: Jessica Verday
Pages: 288
Published: September 9, 2014
Genre: YA, Horror, Retelling, Gothic
Rating: 4/5

A new horror re-telling of Poe’s classic Annabel Lee, Jessica Verday was able to create an incredibly creepy atmosphere in an area close to home.

Of Monsters and Madness takes place in the 1820’s in Philadelphia. Drawing from historical accounts of Poe’s whereabouts, Verday told the story of a young girl named Annabel Lee after she moved to Philadelphia to live with her father and encountered a young Allan Poe.

Shortly after Annabel’s mother passed away, Annabel was shipped from Siam to Philadelphia to live with her grandfather and father whom she had never met before. Arriving in Philadelphia, Annabel was eager and excited to meet her family, but was quickly met with an irritable and hostile man for a father. Determined to make him proud of her, Annabel begins lessons with Mrs. Tusk to learn proper etiquette for females at the time.

While being told all of the rules she must follow, Annabel is informed that a serial killer is on the loose and she must not venture out at night by herself since the city is not safe. In an attempt to uncover the mysteries surrounding her fathers work and the off-limits basement room under the kitchen, Annabel realizes that the murderer may be closer to her than she ever thought possible.

A super fun and quick read, Of Monsters and Madness was an enjoyable take on the life of Edgar Allan Poe. Definitely enjoyed reading this one and look forward to more from this author.