Comics & Graphic Novels I’ve Been Reading

As I mentioned in my post reflecting on my 2015 goals and resolutions that, while it wasn’t one of my actual goals or resolutions, I was really proud of myself for branching out and giving graphic novels and comics a try! I’m always about trying new things and on a whim I picked up this first one at the library this Fall and got pretty hooked! I can’t wait to read more comics and graphic novels in 2016 but I wanted to share the 3 I read in the past couple of months!

 

Wytches

Wytches Volume 1 by Scott Snyder: This was my first comic I’ve ever read (saw it at the library and picked it up on a whim) and I enjoyed it! It was dark, disturbing and a cool take on witches! I can’t wait to dive deeper into the lore of the witches in this comic. The ending was of the “OMG” variety and I loved the relationship between the father and daughter.  If you like horror, check this one out!

Will I continue on? YES! Especially after that cliffhanger of an ending I’m dying to find out what will happen next!

Rating: RATING-LIKED

[Keep Reading]

Book Talk: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich // My Halloween Read

Book Talk: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich // My Halloween ReadThe Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Published by Little Brown Books For Young Readers on September 2015
Genres: YA Horror, YA Mystery, YA Thriller
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
Amazon
Goodreads

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1

I don’t want to say too much but it is about: a reopened case about a suspicious fire at a school 20 years prior, a discovered diary that talks about the tragic night , a girl who claims she really is two people (Carly who lives in the day, Kaitlyn who lives at night), the people who believe her and the people who don’t,  a disappearance and a sinister dark house — all told by a mishmash of diary entries, police interview transcripts, video transcripts, notes and more!

a2WAIT WHAT?

a4Wow, I could NOT put it down. Reminded me of how I loved horror and stuff like this as a teen. Everything was so interesting to me and the mystery thrilled me, I loved the format and, while not scary, the creepy & sinister vibe was totally rocking my world. And then things at the ending happened (the ending itself + some parts really started dragging) and I don’t know how I feel it. I’ll get to that in a spoiler section further below but first we will get to the good.

Here’s what kept me reading on the edge of my seat:

1. The format: I love interesting and unique storytelling and especially when it integrates visual stuff. The book was told in diary entries, police reports, transcripts of video footage, interviews with various characters with the police. The diary entries definitely added to how I felt reading the story because we are in Kaitlyn’s head and I felt just as paranoid and trapped as her.  Having all these things helped put me in the story as if I were trying to figure out the mystery myself. I was pouring over all the evidence.

 

2. The way the mystery kept me flip-flopping what I thought was going on the whole time: So the main character Carly? For as long as she can remember she has had another soul in her, named Kaitlyn, and Carly exists in the day and then at night they switch and Kaitlyn lives. So, as a reader, it’s like okay — does she have this dissociative disorder in which she her mind has created this alter ego like her therapist thinks plus maybe some other underlying mental disorders? Or is there something evil going on inside her? Is everything she says real? Is it not? The unreliability of Kaitlyn/Carly adds to the flip-flopping I did plus some of the other characters seemed a bit unreliable as well. Is it all in her head or is something happening? Because if everything was really true than WOWSER some truly sinister stuff. Did she have the disorder or not? What happened to make her create Kaitlyn and why has she said she was always there? THERE WAS JUST SO MUCH TO COMB THROUGH WITH THIS MYSTERY. I kept doubting my instincts. I’d start to believe something but then doubt it all.

 

So now it’s time to talk about where some things fell apart for me but it’s all spoilers soooo:

View Spoiler »

 

a6RATING-reallyliked

factors+ the plot, the storytelling, how it kept me engaged & on the edge of my seat
–  the ending, romance

Re-readability: No, though I’d be tempted to reread the beginning to see if anything makes more sense to fill in some holes
Would I buy a copy for my collection? No

a5people who like interesting storytelling, fans of horror/psychological thriller type books, people who like a good mindf*ck

a8The Dead House was just what I needed for my Halloween reading — creepy, dark and sinister (wish it had been a little scarier) and unique storytelling that really hooked me and made me eager to put together the pieces from the diary entries, video transcripts, interviews and police reports. A compelling book but I’m still really unsure about how I feel about the ending which definitely was a minor buzzkill to my overall feelings toward the book.

review-on-post-itThe Dead House

 

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
PLEASE TELL ME YOUR THEORIES IF YOU READ THIS. Please mark spoilers!

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

Halloween Reading Round-Up (Mini-Reviews)

I only read 3 of the 6 Halloween-ish books I set out to read in October. That makes me 50 % successful (see — glass half full thing). Part of it is being a mood reader and also this weird thing I’m going through. I really enjoyed the books I picked so I decided to round them up in one post and, at the end, talk about if I think they were good Halloween reads.

 

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs:

What It’s About In A Sentence: Jacob’s grandfather has always told these tales about his life growing up that were filled with strange and unusual things but, when his grandfather dies, he realizes maybe they were not tall tales and embarks on a journey to find the orphanage where his grandfather grew up.

What I Thought: This book was delightfully strange & wonderful. The cover made me think it was going to be kind of scary but in fact, honestly, the bottom of my purse right now is probably scarier — this is more of a fantasy/supernatural-y kind of story. I really enjoyed this one and really marveled at the brilliant writing and storytelling and it’s a book I would hand to people who think that YA isn’t well written. Despite the fact this book wasn’t scary like I thought it would be, it still had a perfect Halloween vibe. The photographs that are scattered about the book really added to the story,  the depth of the characters and the general feel of this extraordinary adventure. There’s magic, strange happenings and this mystery that is just woven so carefully and so smoothly that you can’t help but find yourself mesmerized. I didn’t know what to expect at first and was curious about these tall tales that Jacob’s grandfather seemed to tell and then when Jacob starts questioning if they are made up stories I was just absolutely enchanted by this life he lived. I cannot wait to see what the sequel holds in this incredibly unique series.

 

RATING:

RATING-loved-it

 

 

The Fall by Bethany Griffin

The Fall by Bethany Griffin

What It’s About In A Sentence: Madeline’s family, The Ushers, are cursed — they are plagued with strange illnesses, are not able to leave the house that seems to haunt them and watch their every move and nobody knows how to free them from it.

What I Thought: This one was creepy but not scary! It’s inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of The House of Usher and I was a little familiar with it but not enough to really know what was going to happen. The writing was fantastic and I was drawn in immediately to this sinister house and its history though there were points that were kind of slow for me..like really slow. If I’m honest I’m still a little confused as to what happened at the end for sure and also I THINK I get what was behind everything but also maybe not? As far as atmosphere goes, this book had it. PERFECT book to curl up with on a cool Fall day and just get lost in the life of a girl who lives in this house where strange things happen and whose family has this mysterious illness that eventually kills them. The house became its own character really. I will say that sometimes, while interesting, the storytelling — the chapters alternate from Madeline at different ages — was hard to keep track of and I’d have to flip back to double check what age we were at. This book would definitely be a great movie and when I kept reading I was visualizing so many scenes and the setting of everyone room and of the exterior of the house and outside of the house. Very creepy and I’m glad I read it around this time!

 

RATING

RATING-LIKED

 

 

Rooms by  Lauren Oliver

Rooms by Lauren Oliver:

What It’s About In A Sentence: A family comes together to clean out the house of estranged patriarch and secrets and the past hurts come unearthed as the ghosts of the house, wrought with their own secrets, watch on.

I really liked this one! Lauren Oliver is such a great writer and I think her adult debut was very solid. It’s definitely different than her YA and I think those looking for exactly THAT could be disappointed as this is definitely more character driven and more of a slow paced story but it really worked for me. It was NOT scary at all if that matters to you. There are ghosts but it didn’t feel like a typical ghost story and definitely explored some emotional things. The family dynamics were fascinating — a family comes together to clean out the house of house of their ex-husband/estranged father. All 3 of them are carrying their own burden and secrets and then the other two perspectives we get are the two ghosts that inhabit the house who have their own secrets they can’t let go of.  The multi-POV’s can seem daunting at first but I really enjoyed the perspectives from the family members and also the ghosts because ALL of their threads in the story were SO fascinating to me and I got swept up in them and the ever so slightly unraveling mystery. Lauren’s writing is just so haunting and beautiful and so full of depth.

RATING

RATING-reallyliked

Overall Scare Factor Of My Halloween TBR reading:

So none of the books I read were super scary. The Fall definitely was creepy and atmospheric but not scary — definitely takes the cake for “scariest” out of these . Rooms wasn’t at all creepy or scary and the ghost element wasn’t of the scare variety. Miss Peregrine’s was delightfully strange and all the magic and supernatural elements made it a great Halloween read. They all, though The Fall & Miss Peregrine’s more strongly than Rooms, had that FEEL of a good Halloween read.

I will say next year I’m hoping to add an actual SCARY book into my reading experience (hit me with recs in the comments!!) but I’m really pleased with the books I chose for my Halloween reads! So if you want solid, non-scary books but still have that FEEL for your Halloween reading I’d check all of these out!

 

What books have you read so far in your Halloween/October reading? Any REALLY scary books to recommend to me for next year (or just good recs in general)?

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn | Book Review

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn | Book ReviewAnother Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
Published by HarperTeen on June 11, 2013
Genres: Paranormal YA, YA Horror
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!

three-half-stars

 

 

 

Annaliese wakes up and finds herself covered in blood with no idea where she is or even WHO she is. As she finds help, she comes to find out who she is and is reunited with her parents. She finds out that the last time she was seen was in the woods at a party and she came screaming and soaked with blood and then was never seen again. While her memory still evades her, she has the sense that she is not the real Annaliese and she’s having strange dreams and visions that support her theory. These dreams show her other girls and some grisly things and slowly she starts to put together the pieces as these memories come more frequently. What she finds out is more frightening than she could have ever imagined.

 

My brain is one big pile of mush after this book and I’m really so confused about my thoughts. Is it possible to not know what I thought about this book? Because that’s what my brain is telling me. It’s all, “Jamie. Just give up. I can’t give you definite thoughts about this matter and it hurts to try” Seriously, a whole lot of mind WTFery going on here with this book. I can’t tell if I loved it intensely or if I was just confused in a bad way so I’ll just share my reading experience instead.

So basically, if you’ve read the synopsis, you know that the main character has no idea who she is. She’s been missing and then suddenly is found wandering in a town far away from her own with blood on her. They tell her who she is and she just suspects that she’s not that person. She can’t remember anything but something tells her she’s not. So immediately I’m like is this a Pretty Girl-13 situation? WHAT IS HAPPENING? What did she block out because it was so terrible? Is this in her head?  Is there something dark and paranormal going on? And then, as these dreams/memories start happening while she’s trying to settle into this weird life that seems to not be hers, it gets creepy and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough because it was so fascinating. I was just clamoring for some clarity as to what was going on!

I’ll be honest — you need to be a very patient kind of reader for this one because it is more madness and confusion for most of the book and it takes a while for things to come together and form a semi-clear picture as to what is happening and even then I spent a lot of time being confused and throwing out “WTF’s” like it was my job. If you like books that mess with your mind a bit and can be patient, this might be your thing. I know a LOT of people who had to put it down because the confusion wasn’t worth it which was the opposite for me. I personally was more intrigued than anything and the strangeness of it kept me reading — it wasn’t like anything I had ever read before — very macabre, disturbing and dark and not altogether what I expected. There are a lot of flashback sort of things interspersed with the present story and those flashbacks jump around a bit so that adds to the confusion in ways. It’s one of those really disjointed styles that just leaves you unsettled, disoriented and not quite with a grasp on what is happening — you feel like you are losing your mind a bit.

I don’t want to say a lot to give anything away plot-wise or to make it easier for you to guess what is going on. I’ll say the one area of certain disappointment came for me more towards the end. I had been wided eyed, furiously turning the pages and feeling upside down and inside out while reading and then when things came together more it wasn’t AS compelling (still compelling though). BUT I was still curious to know the origins of what was happening and I felt like at the end I still didn’t understand what fully happened (physician, brujas). I think if I wouldn’t have felt that way at the very end this book would have been a damn near perfect book for me.

Undoubtedly one of the strangest books I’ve ever read in my entire life. I don’t know what way is up or down with this book. Written in this terrifyingly beautiful and haunting way, it completely sucked me into Annaliese’s story of not knowing who she is and then slowly putting the pieces together to learn who she is. I spent most of the time confused — a good confused for the most part — and it was very motivating for me as a reader because I was dying to know what happened and my brain couldn’t even comprehend what was going on in this very macabre and creepy story. I’m a patient reader and I think you need to be one, as well as love wildly strange things, to enjoy this book. I can’t make a sweeping recommending for it for that reason. The only thing I’m certain that made this perfect NOT a perfect book for me was that I just still wasn’t sure at the end if I really GOT what happened. I think I did but I don’t know.

another-little-piece-review

 

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard about it? If you’ve read this one, what did you think? I know some people either HATED it or couldn’t even finish it but then there was those that LOVED it. It was definitely daring and different. PLEASE TALK TO ME ABOUT IT! Mark your comments as spoilers please if discussing with me 🙂

three-half-stars

Review: Beyond by Graham McNamee

Book Title/Author: Beyond: A Ghost Story by Graham McNamee
Publisher/Year: Wendy Lamb Books (imprint of Random House) 2012
Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal
Series: No.
Other Books From Author: Acceleration, Bonechiller, Hate You

Amazon| Goodreads | About Graham McNamee

 

On the outside it may appear to people that Jane is clumsy, reckless or maybe suicidal. After all, she’s had some near fatal accidents. But only Jane and her best friend, Lexi, know the truth about all Jane’s “accidents” and how it’s her own shadow that take hold of her body and guides her to do these things. As Jane and Lexi work to figure out what’s happening to Jane they find a connection to Jane’s shadow mystery they would have never believed.

I thought this book was really creepy — not scary — but just plain ol’ creepy. I mean, I just think about the premise of your shadow warring against you and making you do things that you don’t want to do and it gives me the heebie jeebies. So many of the things that go bump in the night are outside forces and this one is something that is inside you and you can’t even control! Seriously, it could be a cool movie, I think. I mean, let’s recap here: HER SHADOW IS TRYING TO KILL HER. The premise alone simultaneously creeped me out yet thrilled me.

Beyond by Graham McNamee was very slim in size but it was one of those books that you really felt like you got this very whole and complete story — which was nice considering I’ve been reading SO many series. It was just darn nice to have a paranormal-like story and have it be a standalone. I read this SO quickly because it’s pacing is so great! I just kept wondering — is she possessed or is it a ghost or is her shadow an actual entity. And then when other things were revealed I was  even more intrigued! I did think that they ending was a little predictable, at least to me, but it still was enjoyable nonetheless.

And let me tell you, I love Jane and Lexi! They were awesome characters and I love seeing a pair of besties who are THIS close. They had a really awesome bond and I have to say that I loved that a romance didn’t get inserted as the main plot in this book. I don’t want to give anything away regarding the plot but I’ll say there is somebody Jane has her eye on but it’s not a driving force of this novel!

This was a perfect addition to my Halloween reading! It was a quick and creepy read that gave me something more unusual to read about! I mean, your own shadow tries to kill you on multiple occasions? I loved the path to figuring out the how’s and why’s of Jane’s shadow and was thoroughly engaged the whole time. If you are looking for a quick ghost-y/paranormal book that’s creepy, but not scary, and is NOT a series, I’d say pick this one up! Also, if you are wanting a break from a romance or a love triangle plot, this might be your thang.

 

For Fans Of: YA Horror, ghost stories, paranormal type stories without the romance focus (there IS a love interest but it’s not the focus), love triangles or sequels

 

Let’s Talky Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? What did you think if you have read it? What other good, truly creepy reads have you encountered? The bigger the creep factor the better!

three-half-stars

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Think Make Great Halloween-Time Reads!

 

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at my other blog — The Broke and the Bookish!

I’m always looking for good reads the weeks leading up to Halloween. My reads are always so varied — sometimes I look truly scary, bonechilling books, sometimes something more paranormal and strange, sometimes I want a really perfect Fall-ish setting and sometimes I just want a slasher film in book form! So my list is a very diverse list — not all are scary and some just get me in the mood for Halloween.

1. Ten by Gretchen McNeil: 10 teens on an isolated island getting picked off one by one! My review should go up this week!
2. The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting: Love a good mystery! The Body Finder was real good, Desires of the Dead was MEH to me and The Last Echo CREEPED ME OUT THE MOST OF ALL.
3. Anything Christopher Pike & RL Stine: Can’t go wrong if you are looking for a fast paced, creepy read! Albeit sometimes cheesy but SO FUN…except when you are Teen Jamie and are home alone reading them. NOT FUN.

4. Beyond by Graham McNamee: I’m currently reading this one now but I had to throw it in because I’ve been dying for a good ghost story!
5. Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill: Horror at its finest! Even if you only read YA, I think if you like SCARY you’ll love this adult book!
6. Rebecca by Daphne du Murier: Like Gothic lit? Pick this one! One of the few books I read for required reading in high school that I LOVED!

7. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: This one wasn’t as 5 Star OMG as it was for everyone else but I flew through it & thought it was kind of a great pick for Halloween with its chilling supernatural plot.
8. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: I’m planning on rereading this because I was too stressed with wedding planning to really get swept away by this one as I should have. I LIKED it but didn’t really immerse myself in it. But seriously…I want to read this outside on a Fall day. AND KILLER HORSES? Need I say more??
9. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: I think most people’s idea of Frankenstein is the creepy looking monster-y guy and that the book is probably a spooky monster book! I mean, there is a monster but not in the scary sense. What is more scary are some of the moral issues Shelley brings up. I don’t know..for some reason I just always associate this with Halloween!
10. Fury & Envy by Elizabeth Miles: These were surprisingly chilling! The Furies creep me out and there IS a body count. They are ruthless!

Please please PLEASE share with me some good Halloween reads as I still have a week left of my Halloween reading binge!! The scarier the better…that’s what I’m in the mood for now! But I’ll take any recs!

 

 

Review: Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Release Date: August 30, 2011

Read the summary on Goodreads here.

I was incredibly antsy to read Fury after hearing Elizabeth read from it at the Simon & Schuster blogger event at BEA and I was ecstatic when I found out it was in our goodie bags! The premise just really intrigued me. I love paranormal books that incorporate interesting elements from mythology or some completely unique creature that strays from the typical “creatures” in paranormal lit. The idea of placing the Roman goddesses of vengence, the Furies, into the modern world to extract revenge on humans seemed like an interesting concept that could really be built upon. I was so game for it because I really have been getting into Roman and Greek mythology.

The readability of this book was fan-freaking-tastic. I was reading quickly because I was intrigued by the Furies and wanted to find out what their deal was, I wanted to know what Chase did to make the Furies choose him and really it was just one of those stories that just perfectly held my attention and had my eyes furiously moving along the pages. I enjoyed the writing and thought Miles did a good job of pacing the plot…although there were sometimes when I slightly bored with reading about Chase & Em’s dirty little secrets. My overall reading experience was a good one — I flew through it and I finished yearning for the next installment. However, there were some things that did detract from my overall enjoyability of the story that I’d like to mention.

Firstly, don’t go into this book thinking that you are going to want to be bff’s with these characters. They won’t be characters that you will look back fondly on or have warm fuzzy feelings about. I honestly despised most of these characters in this book and it really annoyed me. I’m all for books that have despicable characters…I’ve liked plenty of books where I hated the characters..but I think that is because in some way I found them redeemable at the end or I felt like I learned enough about them to understand why they are that way or that the author was just SO crafty that they had me feeling unexplainable pangs of sympathy for even the most despicable characters.

This did not happen for me really..maybe a tiny bit for Chase but nothing significant. I was already ready to give Emily the stink eye because pretty early on because she breaks one of my Rules of Thumb For Not Being A Biznatch And Bad Friend (KIND OF A SPOILER BUT IT WAS ON OFFICIAL SUMMARY) and that is: “Thou shalt not ever ever EVER even think about your friend’s boyfriend and sexytimes in the same thought. If you do, please go play in traffic” After that I just couldn’t shake my bad feelings towards her. I also thought her bff was annoying, the bff’s boyfriend (Zach) was a major McDouche, the parents mostly sucked. I think maybe I liked Emily’s friend JD but he even kind of bored me & seemed to be that cliched “overlooked best friend who is really in love with you” type.

Elizabeth Miles laid a good foundation for the Furies story but I have to hope that we will see more of the Furies in the next book and learn more about them. They were intriguing and I feel like they still remained a bit of an enigma to me. I wanted to read more about them because at some points I was just over Emily and Chase’s stories. I honestly didn’t care what happened to them too much. I was ready for the Furies to unleash some karma real fast..because the karma that the Furies handed out was not messing around. They were pretty creepy too but I wished we could have learned a bit more aside from how beautiful and ethereal they were. Once the Furies really started to appear and mess with the humans, I found myself way more engaged in the story and plowing through like my life depended on it.

My Final Thought: Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was a fresh take on a truly interesting piece of Roman mythology that I had never heard of. I found myself totally captivated by the Furies and watching their plan unfold. It’s unfortunate that I never found any reason to care about the characters and that the Furies didn’t have more of a presence as I think I would be head over heels for this book. Luckily, Elizabeth Miles had me hooked by the premise of the Furies and that storyline to get me past some of the things I didn’t enjoy. An intriguing, well written story that would make for a pretty freaky movie. Can’t wait to read the next installment…I just have this feeling that the Furies are going to be a bigger part and it will be pretty exciting to see where Miles goes with everything after the action packed ending! So many possibilities!

Review On A Post-It
three-stars
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