Thursday, February 22, 2024

Book Tour: Bumps In The Night by Amalie Howard


Welcome to my stop on the book tour for Bumps In The Night by Amalie Howard, organized by TBR and Beyond Book Tours (https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/).  Check out the book’s synopsis below!

*Thank you, TBR and Beyond Book Tours and Delacorte Press for the finished copy of this book for the tour.


Bumps In The Night
by Amalie Howard
Pub Date: February 20, 2024 (Delacorte Press)
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Horror

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound





The middle grade horror debut from USA Today bestselling author Amalie Howard in which a girl stays with her grandmother in Trinidad for the summer and discovers that she comes from a long line of witches.

Thirteen-year-old Darika Lovelace is in big trouble. The kind of trouble that means she’s being sent off to her grandmother in the Caribbean. She should be grateful, but instead she’s angry. Angry at her dad and step-mom for sending her away for an entire summer. Angry at her mom who went away and never came back.

But the island is definitely not what she remembers! The minute she steps off the plane, strange things start happening, including being stalked by a baby iguana. When she meets a ragtag group of children on her Granny’s estate, she knows they are not what they seem, but after they promise to take her to her long-lost mom, she leaps at the chance.

Thrust into an incredible adventure involving strange monsters, a supernatural silk cotton tree, and a mysterious maze, soon the truth about her unique magical roots comes to light. She’s the island’s only hope, but unless she learns to believe in magic, all will be lost.




AMALIE HOWARD is a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling novelist. Always Be My Duchess was one of Cosmopolitan’s 30 Best Romance Books of 2022 and The Beast of Beswick was one of Oprah Daily’s 24 Best Historical Romance Novels to Read. She is also the author of several award-winning young adult novels. A Caribbean-born AAPI writer, her books have been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, and Seventeen Magazine. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found reading, being the president of her one-woman Harley Davidson motorcycle club, or power-napping. She lives in Colorado with her family.




Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Book Reviews: The Bad Ones + My Throat an Open Grave

 


I recently read The Bad Ones and My Throat an Open Grave.  Check out my thoughts on these two young adult horror/fantasies below.  Spoiler alert: these were just average reads for me.

*eARCs provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.  I am an Amazon and Bookshop.org affiliate so I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you make a purchase through one of my links


The Bad Ones
Pub Date: February 20, 2024 (Flatiron Books)
Genre: YA Fantasy, Horror
Setting: Illinois, small town, present day
*Check out content warnings here

Book Links:

Also by this author:  The Hazel Wood; Our Crooked Hearts

Book Blurb (Goodreads):
In the course of a single winter’s night, four people vanish without a trace across a small town. Nora’s estranged best friend, Becca, is one of the lost. As Nora tries to untangle the truth of Becca’s disappearance, she discovers a darkness in her town’s past, as well as a string of coded messages Becca left for her to unravel. These clues lead Nora to a piece of local folklore: a legendary goddess of forgotten origins who played a role in Nora and Becca’s own childhood games...


Review:

I read Melissa Albert’s Hazel Wood series a while back and I liked those books so I was excited to read her latest young adult fantasy.  I was really intrigued by the premise of this book- four people vanish from the same small town in one night, the main character’s best friend is one of the people that goes missing, and there’s this strange town lore involving a creepy childhood game.  It sounded like a book I would really enjoy.  While I did like Albert’s writing, I thought the story was not that memorable.  To be honest, I read this a month ago and I don’t remember much about it.  I do remember I was left with many questions by the end and I was not a fan of the ending.  Also, the characters seemed really young.  I think younger teens would enjoy this book.  Unfortunately, this book was not for me.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

______________


My Throat an Open Grave
Pub Date: February 20, 2024 (Page Street)
Genre: YA Fantasy, Folk Horror 
Setting: Pennsylvania small town, present day
*Check out content warnings here

Book Links: 

Goodreads | StoryGraph | Amazon | Bookshop

Also by this author:  The Devil Makes Three; Not Good For Maidens


Book Blurb (Goodreads):

Labyrinth meets folk horror in this darkly romantic tale of a girl who wishes her baby brother away to the Lord of the Wood. Growing up in the small town of Winston, Pennsylvania feels like drowning. Leah goes to church every Sunday, works when she isn’t at school, and takes care of her baby brother, Owen. Like every girl in Winston, she tries to be right and good and holy. If she isn’t the Lord of the Wood will take her, and she’ll disappear like so many other girls before her.


Review:

This book started off strong.  The main character, Leah’s, baby brother is kidnapped and taken by the Lord of the Wood.  Leah has to get her brother back and no girl has ever returned once leaving the town.  This small town is led by these religious zealots and the whole vibe of the town is creepy af.  I was definitely getting The Village vibes in the beginning of this story.  I was hoping this would be a mysterious, horror-filled book, but it ended up being way too romance/crush/googly-eyes heavy and I just didn’t care what happened to any of the characters by the end.  There were some paranormal moments that I liked, but overall, this was a disappointing read for me.  I do think a fantasy loving teen or fans of Labyrinth will devour this book though.

⭐️⭐️⭐️


___________

Thanks For Reading!

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Book Reviews: Island Witch + A Haunting in the Arctic

 


I recently won a giveaway for egalleys of Island Witch and A Haunting in the Arctic!  Check out my mini reviews of these 2 Berkley titles below.

*eARCs provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.  I am an Amazon and Bookshop.org affiliate so I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you make a purchase through one of my links.


Island Witch 
Pub Date: February 20, 2024 (Berkley)
Genre: Gothic Horror, Historical Fiction
Setting: Sri Lanka, early 19th century 
*Check out content warnings here

Book Links:

Also by this author: My Sweet Girl; You’re Invited 

Book Blurb  (Goodreads):

Inspired by Sri Lankan folklore, award-winning author Amanda Jayatissa turns her feverish, Gothic-tinged talents to late 19th century Sri Lanka where the daughter of a traditional demon-priest—relentlessly bullied by peers and accused of witchcraft herself—tries to solve the mysterious attacks that have been terrorizing her coastal village.

 

Review:  

Island Witch sounded amazing and right up my alley, and also just look at that gorgeous cover.  I was so excited to read this book, but this ended up being an average read for me.  I’ll start with what I liked about this book: I loved the setting and the gothic vibes.  The atmosphere was very foreboding and ominous.  I thought the main character, Amara, was a pretty strong and interesting character.  She definitely had to deal with a lot throughout the book.  The mystery was intriguing and there were some paranormal moments that I liked.  

Here’s what I didn’t like about this book: the story was slow moving and I felt like not much happened until later in the book.  There were some horrible characters (mainly male characters) that I absolutely despised and there were parts in this story that made me so angry.  This was a very bleak read with some brutal moments, so make sure to check out the trigger warnings before reading this one. 

Overall, Island Witch was too slow paced and bleak for my liking, but I loved the gothic atmosphere.  I would recommend this book to lovers of slower paced historical gothic fiction.  

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Book Tour: Dead Things Are Closer Than They Appear by Robin Wasley

 


Welcome to my stop on the book tour for Dead Things Are Closer Than They Appear by Robin Wasley, organized by TBR and Beyond Tours (https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/).  Check out the book’s synopsis below!

*Thank you, TBR and Beyond Tours and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for the ARC copy of this book for the tour.


Dead Things Are Closer Than They Appear
By Robin Wasley
Pub Date: February 13, 2024 (Simon & Schuster)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy 

Book Links:
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound





A painfully average teen’s life is upended by a magical apocalypse in this darkly atmospheric and sweepingly romantic novel perfect for fans of The Raven Boys , Buffy the Vampire Slayer , and The Rest of Us Just Live Here .

High school is hard enough to survive without an apocalypse to navigate.

Sid Spencer has always been the most normal girl in her abnormal hometown, a tourist trap built over one of the fault lines that seal magic away from the world. Meanwhile, all Sid has to deal with is hair-ruining humidity, painful awkwardness, being one of four Asians in town, and her friends dumping her when they start dating each other—just days after one of the most humiliating romantic rejections faced by anyone, ever, in all of history.

Then someone kills one of the Guardians who protect the seal. The earth rips open and unleashes the magic trapped inside. Monsters crawl from the ground, no one can enter or leave, and the man behind it all is roaming the streets with a gang of violent vigilantes. Suddenly, Sid’s life becomes a lot less ordinary. When she finds out her missing brother is involved, she joins the remaining Guardians, desperate to find him and close the fault line for good.

Fighting through hordes of living corpses and uncontrollable growths of forest, Sid and a ragtag crew of would-be heroes are the only thing standing between their town and the end of the world as they know it. Between magic, murderers, and burgeoning crushes, Sid must survive being a perfectly normal girl caught in a perfectly abnormal apocalypse.

Only—how can someone so ordinary make it in such an extraordinary world?



Robin Wasley is a YA fantasy writer with a soft spot for orphans, found families, and funny girls with no special skills who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. She grew up in a family of adoptees, never truly seeing herself reflected in the books she devoured. As an adult, when she saw an Asian American girl on the cover of a YA book for the first time, she cried.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

🤡Review: There’s No Way I’d Die First by Lisa Springer



There’s No Way I’d Die First by Lisa Springer
Genre: YA Horror
Source: eARC from the publisher via NetGalley + I received a finished copy from the publisher for a book tour. This review is based on the finished copy.
Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org
Pub Date: September 5, 2023 (Delacorte Press)

*This post contains affiliate links. I am an Amazon and Bookshop.org affiliate so I may make a small commission (at no cost to you) if you make a purchase through my links.



Do you like scary teen movies? Do you like books that feel like you’re watching a scary teen movie? Then There’s No Way I’d Die First is the book for you!

I had so much fun reading this teen horror book. This was such a well done debut novel by Lisa Springer. It had all the slasher horror goodness that I love in horror books. There are some pretty gruesome parts in this book and I think you’ll love this one if you love slashers.

This book features a psychotic murderous clown, so beware if you have a fear of clowns like me! There are some terrifying clown scenes that made my fear even worse. Darn creepy clowns!

There’s No Way I’d Die First is the perfect spooky season read. I loved the kick ass main character and the horror filled story. Definitely add this book to your tbr.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️



A spine-tingling contemporary horror-comedy novel that follows a scary-movie buff as she hosts an elaborate Halloween bash but soon finds the festivities upended when she and her guests are forced to test their survival skills in a deadly game, from debut author Lisa Springer.

Seventeen-year-old Noelle Layne knows horror. Every trope, every warning sign, every survival tactic. She even leads a successful movie club dedicated to the genre. Who better to throw the ultimate, most exclusive Halloween party on all of Long Island?

With some of the top influencers in her school on the guest list, including gorgeous singer-songwriter Archer Mitchell, her popularity is bound to spike. She could really use the social boost for an upcoming brand expansion. Nothing is going to ruin this party.

Except...maybe the low budget It clown she hired for a stirring round of tag. He axes one of her classmates. From the looks of his devilish grin and bag full of killer tricks, he's just getting started.

A murderous clown is out for blood, but Noelle has been waiting her entire life to prove that she's a Final Girl.

___________

Thanks For Reading!



Saturday, October 28, 2023

📞🩸Review: The Night House by Jo Nesbø


The Night House by Jo Nesbø
Pub Date: October 3, 2023 (Knopf)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Source: eARC via NetGalley and gifted copy from publisher for review
Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org


*This post contains affiliate links. I am an Amazon and Bookshop.org affiliate so I may make a small commission (at no cost to you) if you make a purchase through my links.


This was such a strange book. I was drawn to The Night House because of the awesomely creepy cover. It’s such a great cover! The synopsis also had me intrigued. This was my first time reading a Jo Nesbø book. I found the writing was pretty good, but the story was very odd and I was not a fan of the ending. The story took a turn that I was not expecting.

This story is split into three parts.  The first part takes place when the main character, Richard, is young.  I loved this first part.  It was strange and eerie.  It felt like a coming of age horror story.  I don’t want to give too much away but the 2nd and 3rd parts are really wild and the story really takes a turn by the end.

I would like to read more from this author since I enjoyed parts of this story.  You might like The Night House if you like strange books with horror and fantasy elements and unreliable narrators.

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 



In the wake of his parents’ tragic deaths in a house fire, fourteen-year-old Richard Elauved has been sent to live with his aunt and uncle in the remote, insular town of Ballantyne. Richard quickly earns a reputation as an outcast, and when a classmate named Tom goes missing, everyone suspects the new, angry boy is responsible for his disappearance. No one believes him when he says the telephone booth out by the edge of the woods sucked Tom into the receiver like something out of a horror movie. No one, that is, except Karen, a beguiling fellow outsider who encourages Richard to pursue clues the police refuse to investigate. He traces the number that Tom prank called from the phone booth to an abandoned house in the Black Mirror Wood. There he catches a glimpse of a terrifying face in the window. And then the voices begin to whisper in his ear . . .

You know who I am. She’s going to burn. The one you love is going to burn. There’s not a thing you can do about it.

When another classmate disappears, Richard must find a way to prove his innocence–and preserve his sanity–as he grapples with the dark magic that is possessing Ballantyne and pursuing his destruction.

Then again, Richard may not be the most reliable narrator of his own story . . .


_____________

                                

Thanks For Reading!

😱Review: Nestlings by Nat Cassidy

*This post contains affiliate links. I am an Amazon and Bookshop.org affiliate so I may make a small commission (at no cost to you) if you make a purchase through my links.

Nestlings by Nat Cassidy
Genre: Horror
Source: eARC from the publisher via NetGalley 
Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org
Pub Date: October 31, 2023 (Tor Nightfire)


Nat Cassidy has done it again!  He’s written another creepy, chilling, mysterious horror story that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

I loved Nat Cassidy’s book Mary, so I was so happy to get the chance to read Nestlings on NetGalley. This was such a chilling read and I definitely need to own a physical copy. This story felt like watching an episode of American Horror Story or Creepshow.  There’s icky bug moments, an old, posh hotel with strange residents, Rosemary’s Baby vibes, and very creepy babies. I love Cassidy’s writing and his books are just so interesting and enjoyable.  I also loved the author’s note at the end of the book.  

There’s always a deeper meaning to Cassidy’s books, and Nestlings tackles serious issues (that are mentioned in a note at the beginning of the book) and mixes in horror (and lots of disgusting bugs!).

I highly recommend Nestlings, especially if you are looking for a new horror book to read this year.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Ana and Reid needed a lucky break.

The horrifically complicated birth of their first child has left Ana paralyzed, bitter, and struggling: with mobility, with her relationship with Reid, with resentment for her baby. That’s about to change with the words any New Yorker would love to hear―affordable housing lottery.

They’ve won an apartment in the Deptford, one of Manhattan’s most revered buildings with beautiful vistas of Central Park and stunning architecture.

Reid dismisses disturbing events and Ana’s deep unease and paranoia as the price of living in New York―people are odd―but he can’t explain the needle-like bite marks on the baby.

___________

Thanks For Reading!

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Blog Tour: The Haunting by Natasha Preston



Welcome to my stop on the book tour for The Haunting by Natasha Preston, organized by TBR and Beyond Book Tours.  I’m so excited to read this YA horror book this month!  The Haunting is available now.  Check out the synopsis below and follow the tour at www.tbrandbeyondtours.com!

*Thank you TBR and Beyond Tours and Delacorte Press for the gifted copy of The Haunting and for having me on this tour.


The Haunting 
by Natasha Preston
Pub Date: September 26, 2023 (Delacorte Press)
Genre: YA Horror 

Book Links:






#1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Natasha Preston is back with another pulse-pounding, twisty read!

Haunted by the past . . .

Penny’s trying to forget about her ex, Nash. His father was arrested for the brutal murder of four teenagers on Devil’s Night last year. Penny’s parents have forbidden her to have anything to do with Nash or his family. It’s hard not to think of what happened as spooky season gets underway–but she’s trying.

That stops when she goes to the Halloween store with her friends to find a costume. What she finds instead is ripped from a horror movie: a girl from school bleeding out on the floor of a dressing room. Stabbed.

Is a copycat killer on the loose? The adults are saying no. But Penny knows better.


Natasha Preston is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Cellar, The Cabin, Awake, You Will Be Mine, The Lost, The Twin, The Lake, The Fear, and her latest, The Island. A UK native, she discovered her love of writing when she shared a story online—and hasn’t looked back. She enjoys writing romance, thrillers, gritty YA, and the occasional serial killer.