Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Horror Novels I Want To Read

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's theme is a Halloween related freebie, and I will be doing my post on Horror Novels I Want To Read.

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty - I've seen the movie, but I've never read the book.  In fact, I didn't realize it was based on a book until recently.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson - Again, I've seen both movie versions, but I've never read the original source material.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks - I've heard a lot of great things about this, so I would like to try Brooks take on zombies.

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin - I've seen both the movie and the miniseries and I definitely want to see what Levin's novel is like.

I am Legend by Richard Matheson - I've seen all of the very different movie adaptations (except for the most recent one with Will Smith), so I want to see where it started.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux - I've seen this on Broadway, seen the classic movie adaptation, and watched the musical movie version - it's about time I read the original book.

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe - I have read her other classic Gothic novel called The Italian and I'm really looking to trying this novel as well.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill - I seriously have no idea why I haven't already read this one already.

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich - I was so thrilled by Dawn Kurtagich's first novel, The Dead House, that I need to read this!

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco - This sounds like it could be type of horror novel - and, of course, the cover reminds me of one of my favorite horror movies, Ringu, and also the American remake, The Ring.

What do you think of my list this week?  Have you read any of these books?  What horror novels would you like to read?  What Halloween related freebie topic did you discuss this week?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon - Review

❋ ❋ 

Madeline has SCID and that means she's pretty much allergic to everything and hasn't left her own home in forever. Aside from her mom, her primary doctor, the only person she can interact with in person is Carla, her nurse. Otherwise, she goes to school and lives her life online (she's a book blogger!) - until a new family moves in next door. Their teenage son, Olly, is super cute, and the more she gets to know him the more she realizes that she would be willing to do anything for him.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is an intriguing debut novel yet predictable story of young (and stupid, in a well-meaning way) love. Madeline has SCID, aka "bubble boy syndrome", and can't leave her own home for her own safety. When Olly, the cute boy next door, moves in, she also begins to suffer pretty heavily from instalove. That said I really enjoyed getting into Madeline and Olly's heads as they get to know one another online and seeing just how much they push each other to do more with the lives they've been given.

Maybe I'm just getting old, but (at least at first) I kind of agreed more with her mother more. She's just trying to keep her daughter safe, and still happy, but Madeline wants to do things and go places with Olly that will obviously endanger her life. His influence really has an effect on her mental faculties. That's not to say that Olly isn't a good guy, he isn't really pushing her into anything and he always tries to keep her well-being in mind. Like I said, the story is quite predictable until the plot twist at the end which made me do a complete 180 on my opinions of Madeline's mother. (view spoiler) That plot twist alone made me bump this up from a two star read to a three star read. Also, I listened to this novel on audiobook and the two person narration is excellently done.

Overall, Nicola Yoon's debut, Everything, Everything, is a well-written yet predictable contemporary right up until the roller coaster of an ending. If you like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, you may also like this novel. I'm definitely interested in trying Nicola Yoon's newest release, The Sun Is Also A Star.

I listened to this audiobook from September 24 - 28, 2016 and my review is also on Goodreads.

The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #1) by Evelyn Skye - Review

❋ ❋ 

Vika Andreyev and Nikolai Karimov are the only two enchanters currently in Russia and with threats approaching the country from all sides, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter to serve him. That's where the Crown's Game comes in - it's an ancient duel that tests the skill of an enchanter where the winner becomes the official Imperial Enchanter of Russia and the loser dies. In 1825, the Crown's Game hasn't happened in ages because there's usually only one enchanter of any consequence in the country at a time.

I wanted to like The Crown's Game - I mean, it's YA historical fantasy set in 1825 Russia featuring two competing powerful magicians. Just that was enough to make me want to try Evelyn's Skye's debut. I was expecting a fast-paced, brutal spectacle, where a lot happens, but unfortunately that isn't the case. It takes quite a while to get off the ground and takes it's time, the competition is more of a challenge to see who can impress the Tsar most and not exactly brutal (at least, in a way I was expecting). Plus, considering how long the novel is, not a whole lot happens outside of the competition. Otherwise, though, what we do get is still good, but not nearly as enthralling as I hoped it would be. However, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha really make the novel. All three are well developed and we get a good sense of them as characters over the course of the story - and the love triangle is actually pretty well done. Also, the magic is quite visually described, but I would have preferred a better explanation of a few elements of the why and how behind it. Otherwise, though, the world-building is good and pretty atmospheric.

Overall, if you enjoyed The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and don't mind novels with a slower pacing, you may also enjoy Evelyn Skye's debut novel, The Crown's Game. While I didn't quite love this novel, I am still interested to see how the sequel, The Crown's Fate, turns out.

I read this novel from September 18 - 24, 2016 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Music Monday: Hercules

Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.


Every Monday share one or two of songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

This week I'm spotlighting two of my favorite songs from Disney's Hercules (1997) which is, in my opinion, the most criminally underrated Disney movies.  Hades is also one of my all time favorite Disney villains!

"Go the Distance" (Plus the Reprise), performed by Young Hercules

"Zero to Hero", performed by the Muses

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Chicken Challenge: Get Creative - Interactive Horror Movie Logic

Welcome back to week four of Lys @ The Mad Reader's Chicken Challenge!  My topic for this Get Creative post features Horror Movie Logic.  If you watch plenty of horror, both new and classic like me, you know that characters in horror movies seem to have their own special brand of logic.  Anyway, my post is going to be interactive - I'm going to share some scenes that feel like they could be right out of a horror movie and then it's you guys turn.  For each scene, you guys, my readers, to come up with what you think should happen next for each one using your best horror movie logic.  You don't have to do all of them (you can only do one if you want to), but be as creative as you can and have fun!

1. You and a group of friends are going on vacation. Your car runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere and it’s getting dark. You realize you can't get a signal on your cell phone. The only things you’ve seen on the road are an abandoned old house with a little girl selling lemonade in the overgrown front yard, a poorly lit gas station without any customers, and an amusement park that’s closing down for the night. What do you do?

2. You’re interested in buying a house and are speaking with the realtor about it. What are the two most important questions you should ask the realtor about the property before you buy it?

3. You hear a noise in your house. You decide to investigate what caused it – maybe it was only the cat. What do you do?

4. To escape a crazy man in a nondescript pale mask, you enter an old farmhouse through the cellar storm doors. You manage to lock the storm doors from the inside, but when you look up the stairs leading to the main level, you realize that there is no door. What do you do?

5. While walking along the beach, your friend found an antique necklace and has been wearing it proudly each day during vacation. Recently, you noticed that she’s sleeping more, looking pale, wincing at bright lights, and then at dinner she surprises you by speaking another language you didn't know she spoke. What do you do?

6. You are watching tv when the image flickers and loses its cable connection. You notice an image is slowly emerging from the static on the screen. Your friend happily exclaims "Oh good! The picture is coming back.” But, you’ve seen that the movie The Ring, and you’re pretty sure that that isn't your show. What do you do?

7. You find a desiccated corpse in a coffin. Buried with it is a rosary, a dead cat, a dagger and a wilted rose. You have to take one of the items buried with the body. What do you take and why?

8. You are being chased in the dark through a cornfield by a monster. You’ve just reached the edge of the field. To your left is your car, to your right is your house, and straight ahead is your neighbor’s home. Where don’t you go?

9. You are babysitting. A psycho keeps calling you on the house's landline phone and menacingly asks you to check on the children. What should you do?

10. You’re with a group of strangers and you’re all being stalked by a vicious monster. You have to pair off with one of them - which one do you pick as your partner: the science geek, the jock, the cheerleader, the criminal, or the pale and quiet girl?

As always, thanks for visiting my blog - and hopefully participating.  Until next time!

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp + 50/50 Friday

Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.

This week I'm spotlighting a novel that I've just started in on, The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp.  I'm really excited to read this - it sounds exactly like something I'll love, plus Tammy @ Books Bones & Buffy gave it a glowing review!


Forward by Alistair Sparks

At the centre of the house in which my late brother Jacob and I grew up, there was a black hole.


I endure videos that - gasp - actually do feature moving pictures.  Most of these betray their lineage from Oren Peli's successful "found footage" movie franchise Paranormal Activity.  The clue tends to be the "Paranormal" in their titles.  Shot in people's houses, generally in America, they show someone clowning around or presenting a video about some random topic, before a door slams shut in the background.  Whereas Paranormal Activity did a good job of convincing the viewer that its stars might be real people, the protagonists here are less gifted in the fields of acting and improv.

"Thanks for watching.  Please comment and subscribe. ☺️"

This week I'm also taking part in a brand new linkup called 50/50 Friday, which is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they'll have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - this week the topic is Best/ Worst villain an author has created.

Best Villain:

Dolores Umbridge from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series - First one that came to mind for me.  I hated her even more than Voldemort!

Worst Villain:

Warner from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - I only read the first book in this series and I have no interest in continuing it, but Warner struck me as very flat, like he was trying to fulfill every villain trope out there.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater - Review

❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 

Gansey has been searching for years to find the lost king, Glendower. Over the years, he's gathered others to assist him in his quest - Ronan - the boy who can dream things into existence, Adam - the hands and eyes of Cabeswater, Noah - the ghost who no longer lives a lie, and Blue - the girl in love with Gansey who is destined to kill him. Everything is now converging and they're closer to Glendower than ever before.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater is a perfect conclusion to one of my favorite series! I'm sad it's over, but it was brilliant while it lasted. I was truly worried about for the fates of these amazing characters - I actually cared that much for them. That doesn't happen all that often for me, that I feel that much for them. Stiefvater's writing is really that amazing. I was so hyped up for it and miraculously it lived up to all of my expectations! I don't want to give anything away in case you somehow haven't read it yet, but, I'll say it again, it's perfect. There are so many plot twists, my favorite characters are back in top form, and I felt a full range of emotions.

Overall, you absolutely need to read this magnificent series, you have to read this right now. Stop what you're doing and start reading right now. Maggie Stiefvater is one of the best writers out there right now - and I can't wait to see what she does next. By the way, I am floored that we will be getting a Ronan-centered companion trilogy!

I read this novel from August 18 - September 10, 2016 and my review is also on Goodreads.