Posts Tagged ‘Paranormal’

Odd and True

Cat Winters
Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.
In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

What are your overall thoughts?

This is my first Cat Winters book so I had no idea what to expect when I requested Odd and True to review. The cover is what immediately drew my attention, it put to mind some well-mannered ladies who are just as comfortable taking tea as they are kicking arse, a kind of 1900’s Buffy.

What I got was a much subtler, but no less enjoyable, character driven story of two sisters reconnecting after a period of enforced separation, untangling the threads of truth from their fantastical childhood recollections of their shared past and the more recent experience of their separation.

I enjoyed the shared storytelling. Truncheon’s provides the first person present tense observations, while her elder sister Odette gradually reveals the sisters shared history, from childhood through to present day 1909. I found myself as equally invested in each narrative and would get to the end of each chapter, not wishing for that perspective to change only to be quickly absorbed in the story of the other sister.

What was your favorite aspect of the book?
I really enjoyed the inclusion of a diverse character in a historically set novel, I this incidence it was the inclusion of Trudchen’s disability. I loved that Trudchen was the heroine of her own story, not in spite of her physical limitations, or by overcoming them, but because of her strength of character, the culmination of her life experiences and empathetic personality.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tue- Despite being physically less able than her order, self appointed protector sister, she brings her own strengths to the partnership- strength of character, a strong moral center and bloody minded determination- all of which stand her in good stead when she travels across the country with her sister searching for strange beasts, finds herself fighting for the under dog and in a position to be a positive role model for a vulnerable young girl.

Would you recommend this book?
Yes, I would recommend it for people that like slow building character driven novels about female familial relationships and the many different strengths of young women.

Verdict: Sisters seeking the supernatural armed with a suitcase full of shared history find themselves and each other.

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Amulet
Publication Date: September 2017
Format: ebook
Pages: 368
Genre: Historical, Fantasy, Supernatural
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: None
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The Graces

Laure Eve
the gracesEveryone said the Graces were witches.
They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.
They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.
All I had to do was show them that person was me.
Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

The Graces follows (you guessed it) the Grace family, but more specifically River. The rich, beautiful and powerful Graces captivate River, as they do with every one in her town. Why? – Because everyone believes Summer, Thalia and Fenrin Grace can do magic. So when the family seem to take River under their wing, welcoming her to where everyone has tried but failed to be, she commits herself to being a Grace. However, as River grows closer to the family she learns that becoming a Grace has a price and carries consequences she could have never imagined.

I went into this hoping it would either be a twilight-esque frustrating romance but nevertheless an unput-a-downable read or a kickass witch book with mind-blowing magic. Unfortunately though, this book was neither and all in all I found it rather underwhelming.

Although beautifully began I found the latter stages of the novel painfully slow and lacking clear direction. I felt the main character was very depressing and just not an enjoyable narrator. Additionally, I felt her obsession with the Graces was disturbing and to be honest I didn’t really want to learn more about them.
My main problem with the book was the lack of plot; it read like it hadn’t been planned and lacked any real climax. I also felt it was quite forced in trying to be dark and mysterious and therefore didn’t really create the atmosphere I was looking for.

One thing I did quite enjoy was the dialogue, which at times was sharp and easily read. Furthermore, I did like Summer’s character as I thought Lauren Eve had constructed her well, with her dimension being well written.

To conclude, I did find the beginning of the book quite enjoyable but once we were past the opening stages the plot lost most of it’s intrigue and thus failed to captivate me.

Verdict: What disappointed me the most was how much potential it had, the synopsis sounded so intriguing and I therefore went in with high expectations only to be let down.

Reviewed by Evie (14)

Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: August 2016
Format: eBook
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Age: YA
Reviewer: Evie (14)
Source: Own copy
Challenge: British book
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TTT: Top Ten Books That Would Be On My Syllabus

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the wonderful, list making gurus, The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they publish a new Top Ten list and invite their fellow book bloggers, bloggers and bookworms to join in.

I’ve done one Top Ten Tuesdays and like to think I didn’t completely botch it so here’s my second attempt!
I tried to put on my mentor/teaching hat. When teaching my students (and I do genuinely have students) I aim to be honest, fun and enthusiastic. So with this post I’ve made a mixture of things that would be just for fun, thought provoking, educational and all 3 put together. Here’s hoping a disaster did not come of it!!

1 – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Yup I’m going old school!!! This amazing woman and her literary achievements need no introduction. The style of writing is one that is sadly being lost, especially now with increasing texting and shorthand with stuff such as OTT, TBH and (my personal favourite – not) OMG!!! Aside from the fact that the story itself is wonderful, full of characters that reflect a truthful representation of the time, and there are several themes aside from the most obvious romantic one; the choice of words and language is simply beautiful and something I would like more to appreciate. The woman uses no swear words and yet her tongue is sharper than any string of profanities, her wits are fast and cunning, ruled by a cool and pensive mind that thinks before acting something that too many of us have long forgotten by speaking before ensuring the brain and mouth are properly connected! I think a lot could be learned and it is a masterpiece that should not be forgotten.

2 – Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling

I believe this series equally needs no introductions. Who hasn’t heard of Harry Potter, and who wouldn’t happily write an essay on it dissecting any number of characters, themes or just let the imagination run wild!!!
I remember a school friend of mine, with whom I was not in class with sadly, who actually had Harry Potter on her syllabus and I was sooooo jealous!!!!
I would also like to point out that I could rather easily use each Harry Potter book to fill this Top Ten Tuesday post but I won’t. Just saying though :p

3 – Splintered series by A.G.Howard

Ok well it’s no secret that I love this series very much, all you need do is read my previous Top Ten (Tuesdays) Fairytale Retellings. And not just from an amazing plot line point of view. I think this series has a lot of potential from both a literary point of view as well as storyline. I cannot praise A.G.Howard’s genius, style of writing, narration technique enough and the effort that went into planning the words as well as the characters and their thoughts. This series would make a fantastic adventure for any class to dissect any which way they like from any point of view!

4 – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Yes my English teacher would be very proud of this choice of mine. This is a book that when I first bought it for my own syllabus at school I thought I was going to get bored stiff. And to be fair initially I did. This is a book that I never would have picked up of my own accord off of any shelf, in any bookstore. But my very own amazing English literature teacher made me appreciate it and the narrative depths and themes it reached in the creepy dystopian world not fair away from our own, created by Margaret Atwood. The Handmaid’s Tale holds a special place on my syllabus and bookshelf, not only for the endless theme possibilities and narrative stances any reader can take, but because of what it represents to me. Being able to turn a book that I would have never picked for myself, into one that I thoroughly enjoyed analyzing and appreciating on a literary level, is a rare gift for most literature teachers, and I would hope that someday I can achieve this.

P.S. I now hold this book in high esteem and care for it a great deal. I highly recommend it for those who want more than just another dystopian novel with a good story, it’s for those of view who wish to read into every colour, every expression, every gesture all the possibilities of what Margaret Atwood was actually meaning and hinting at.

5 – Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

I’m taking another leaf out of my teacher’s classes (in case you hadn’t noticed, I loved reading and dissecting themes, narration styles and passage analysis from the word go lol). I picked this book for the simple reason that I thought the difference between it and it’s screen counterpart would be a good example of the variations between the two, and how little changes can drastically alter the bigger picture and significance to the story. Zombies who can fall in love raises a variety of themes ranging from religious, to social etc but throw in a few varying twists and well you have a whole new set of delivered meanings! I felt Isaac Marion was trying to give us more than just another zombie story. I think perhaps an underlying gentle reminder to enjoy life, and that love is what fills us and separates us from the insensitive cold empty corpses. But that’s just my opinion. Watch and read, and you may come up with a whole new theory of your own. Discuss…

pride and prejudiceharry potter 1splinteredthe handmaids talewarm bodies

6 – Do No Harm: stories of life, death and brain surgery by Henry Marsh

Ok I’ll be honest I haven’t read this book yet but it’s almost at the top of my TBR pile and fast climbing. I figured that aside from adventure, drama, period drama and paranormal I should have some in depth emotional reading going on. And I thought this would do the trick. Written by a brain surgeon and with each chapter a particular case that hit him strongly, made him stop and think, I thought this would be perfect. I’m a total sucker for Grey’s Anatomy so I was totally sold! I thought this would be the perfect read for some emotional searching and philosophical inner turmoil.

7 – Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Eeeeeeer I have a confession to make about this one. I kept thinking about what I would want to be on my syllabus and this book kept popping back into my head no matter how many times I pushed it aside. I studied it myself right at the beginning of secondary school and I’m not entirely sure why but it struck a chord with me. Something about the particular dysfunctionality and polar opposite characters who somehow though manage to survive together and make it work got me hooked. I’ve done several passage analysis on this novel and there’s always something to be found hidden among the language styles, scenes, actions and choice of words. It’s hard to explain but I felt this book deserved a spot on my list. For those of you who have read it hopefully this will make more sense to you :p

8 – Stardust by Neil Gaiman

I thought we were overdue for a not-so-serious choice lol!
I discovered stardust initially as a film and absolutely loved it!!! And when I then found out it was based on a book…. well the love just deepened.
Stardust is an amazing and thrilling story that has something in it for everyone. Some magic, some scary parts, adventure, pirates, fighting and romance. And if that none of that appeals to you, well then the chance to imagine and see Robert DeNiro in a pink tutu should be reason enough!!!
I loved this story in both forms and picked it because I thought every student reader could find something in it to fall in love with and relate to.

9 – The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

Well I figured we were due a little more darkness and horror. I’m trying to be sensible and keep romance, adventure and horror equally balanced here :p
The Picture of Dorian Grey is a very interesting tale and each reader will find his own interpretation of the curse, it’s purpose or lack of and indeed the mystery behind it all. This is a novel that has left authors and readers alike puzzled for a longtime and to be honest there is no right or wrong answer. One of the few lessons I truly learnt in literature is that no opinion or interpretation is incorrect or wrong so long as you can back it up.
So bring it on. What’s your interpretation of Dorian Grey and his creepy (I think we can all agree it is creepy) picture? Thoughts anyone? You there at the back speak up!

10 – Finding Sky by Joss Stirling

I thought I should finish on a high note and on something that I personally identify with, something that represents me. I have fallen for a lot of books and their tales (all of the above included in varying different ways) but this is one of my all time favourites that I simply cannot get away from. This story is basically me in a book essentially. It’s simple, sarcastic, short and sweet and with some magic.
I picked it as my final choice because I think it’s important that whilst you’re learning that you don’t forget who you are and what opinions are your own, ensuring that others do not rub off on you simply because you’ve heard it enough times. I would encourage all readers, students and learners to stick to their guns, thoughts and opinions.
Learning is serious, but it’s also about having fun and staying true to yourself.

do no harmof mice and menstardustpicture of dorian greyfinding sky

And on that note I wanted to add a little bonus. Being the amazingly cool teacher that everyone wants *cough cough modestly cough cough* I would let every pupil pick a book of their own choosing that they feel resonates the most with them, that they relate to or that they just simply enjoy time and time again. They can make this choice provided they can justify their reasoning and attempt to put into words what it is that keeps drawing them back for another read.
And with that….. Classed dismissed!!! :p

Posted by Prudence

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Neverland

Anna Katmore
neverland“Any last words?”
“Go to hell, you freaking…filthy…godforsaken…”
Our noses almost touch as he dips his head and brushes a strand of my hair behind my ear. “Angel, the word you’re looking for is pirate.”
Why is there a boy who doesn’t want to grow up?
How can an apple start the sweetest romance in fairytale history?
And what does a ruthless pirate have to do with it all?
Although Angelina McFarland loves reading fairytales, she never dreamed of falling right into one herself. But that’s exactly what happens when she slips on her balcony and a flying Peter Pan catches her mid-fall.
Ending up in Neverland where no one seems to age and laws of nature are out of control, Angel has no idea how to get home. Worse, the ruthless Captain Hook captures her and keeps her trapped on his ship, the Jolly Roger, where she gets caught between the lines of a timeless battle. But the more time Angel spends with the captain, the more she sees beneath his ruthless façade. The feelings she’s growing for him are as intense as shocking, and soon she can’t stop thinking about how soft his lips felt on hers when he kissed her under the stars. But Angel and a pirate? That’ll never work. Or can it?
As Angel desperately tries to find a way to return to her real life, she discovers a train ticket to London in her pocket. It won’t be any help in getting off the island, but as her memory fades away the longer she stays, this is all she has left to remind her of her former life and why she can’t give up trying.
Or is staying in Neverland forever the better choice after all?
Grab a happy thought and follow Angel on an adventure that will keep you breathless and smiling long after you read the last page…

We were all once children, and as such I do believe there isn’t a single child who doesn’t know the story of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, as told by J.M. Barrie. And then we grew up. We learnt all about those annoying things called responsibilities, about being mature and sensible, and above all that fairy tales are just for children.

Anna Katmore however had a different opinion. What if Peter Pan wasn’t quite the hero and all round good guy he appears? What if the gift of never growing up was actually a curse in disguise, holding back more than just a gang of orphans? And what if Captain James Hook wasn’t quite the black-hearted pirate our younger selves thought he was?
Having thrown several spanners into my childhood fairy tale I was quick to get my mitts on the book and dive into Mermaid Lagoon and unravel the mystery.

Angelina was a strong and interesting female character, but for once she wasn’t the one stealing all the limelight and I found myself very intrigued by both Peter Pan and Captain Hook too.

The narration was alternated between Angelina and James (Captain Hook) giving the reader even more food for thought as both sides of the tale are depicted. But do not be fooled, if you read Neverland in search for Barrie’s version from a different angle that is not what you will get. Anna Katmore took Peter Pan and his comrades gave the whole story more depth and background than you could imagine. Gone are the gentle themes for children of good and bad within harmless games. Neverland was enriched with the strong emotions of betrayal, hate, love, anger and loss. Feelings that would not mean much to a child too young to comprehend, but that in an adult cause a lot of damage. These emotions transcend time and space wreaking all sorts of havoc across decades.

But that is not all, because just as you think things may be finally over Anna Katmore turns things around one more time. Surely you didn’t think Captain Hook and Peter Pan were left on Neverland and suddenly learned to play nice? Did you?

Verdict: I very much enjoyed the easy read and yet thought provoking tale of Neverland and anxiously await for some fairy dust so that I may follow the second star on the right and fly straight on ‘till morning to land in the sequel Pan’s Revenge.

Reviewed by Prudence

Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: April 2014
Format: eBook
Pages: 301
Genre: retelling, romance br />
Age: YA
Reviewer: Prudence
Source: Own copy
Challenge: None
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Teeth: Excerpt and Giveaway

We are delighted to share this excerpt from Chele Cooke‘s up coming paranormal horror novel. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for a chance to enter to win a copy of Teeth and Chele’s other novels.
TeethMedical intern Thomas awakes in a blood-drenched basement and the realisation that his life must change forever. After all, how can he practise medicine when the smell of blood turns him into a vicious killer?
Spencer thinks being a vampire is better than any teen movie made it out to be. Now he must train Thomas and make his mentor proud.
One mistake risks more than either are willing to lose, and a single broken law could turn them from predators to prey.

Excerpt
The door had opened as silently as breath. Thomas jumped away from the woman, tripping backwards into the wall. He slid down it and looked up into the cold blue gaze of an older man. His eyes seemed paler than they should be, like someone had extracted half the colour, leaving them almost grey. He regarded Thomas for a moment before stepping further into the room, rounding the woman and taking no care to avoid the blood. His boots sucked from the floor with a squelch. Thomas wanted to be sick.
The man wasn’t particularly tall, nor built, and Thomas’s gaze flickered to the woman, wondering how in the world he’d gotten her up there on his own. He opened his mouth, but no sound found his throat. What if there were more of them? The man trailed his fingers across the back of the woman’s bare shoulders and smiled with pale lips.

“Have you drank?”

Thomas shuffled away from him and peered up with wide, blank eyes.

“What?”

The man rolled his eyes and stepped up onto the mattress, red footprints across the material. He crouched down and took Thomas’s chin in a vice grip. The man’s pale eyes were inches from his, taking in every detail of his face.

“Have – you – drank?” he asked again. Each word dripped in disdain, and Thomas shook his head as much as the man’s grasp would allow.

“Drank what? There’s nothing in here,” he breathed.

Glancing over his shoulder at the woman, the man’s gaze returned pointedly to Thomas. Thomas froze, his gaze flickering between the man and…and her.

“You can’t…You’re…No!”

The man rolled his eyes and shoved Thomas back against the wall away from him. He was on his feet in a single motion, quicker than he could think to follow his movements and get the better of him. Thomas sat against the wall, rubbing the pain from the back of his head where he’d hit the brick. The door was barely open, but maybe he could get to it. He drew his knees up to his chest, keeping a cautious gaze on the man as he pushed himself, inch by inch, up the wall, ready to run.

The man no longer paid any attention to him. He was looking at the woman. He leaned down and grasped her by the hair, tugging her up as if she were as light as a rag doll.

“You break their rules. You make me do this to you,” he crooned in a voice that verged on loving disappointment. “And you leave me with a fucking vegetarian?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPart time author and full time fantacist, Chele Cooke is a sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal author living in London, UK.
While some know they want to write stories since childhood, Chele first started writing as a teenager writing fanfiction and roleplaying. Before long playing in other people’s worlds wasn’t enough and she started creating her own. Living in San Francisco at the time, she found a lot of inspiration in her favourite city, some of which can be found in her books.
With a degree in Creative Writing, Chele’s first novel was published in 2013. She currently has three books published: two books in a sci-fi series, Out of Orbit, and the first book of a vampire serial, Teeth. Learn more about Chele and her work by conversing with her here on twitter or by visiting her Facebook page(here), Goodreads page(here), or Website (here).

Teeth will be published on the 8th of January 2015 and will be available to buy from Amazon (here), Amazon US (here), Kobo (here), Nook (here) and Smashwords (here).

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway during the tour.
The prizes include;
Three sets of all Chele Cooke’s books as e-books
Seven e-books of Teeth

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Buddy Review: The Girl Who Never Was

Skylar Dorset

the girl who never was coverTHE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS is the story of Selkie Stewart, who thinks she’s a totally normal teenager growing up in Boston. Sure, her father is in an insane asylum, her mother left her on his doorstep—literally—when she was a baby, and she’s being raised by two ancient aunts who spend their time hunting gnomes in their Beacon Hill townhouse. But other than that her life is totally normal! She’s got an adventurous best friend who’s always got her back and an unrequited crush on an older boy named Ben. Just like any other teenager, right?
When Selkie goes in search of the mother she’s never known, she gets more than she bargained for. It turns out that her mother is faerie royalty, which would make Selkie a faerie princess—except for the part where her father is an ogre, which makes her only half of anything. Even more confusing, there’s a prophecy that Selkie is going to destroy the tyrannical Seelie Court, which is why her mother actually wants to kill her. Selkie has been kept hidden all her life by her adoring aunts, with the help of a Salem wizard named Will. And Ben. Because the boy she thinks she’s in love with turns out to be a faerie whose enchantment has kept her alive, but also kept her in the dark about her own life.
Now, with enchantments dissolved and prophecies swinging into action, Selkie finds herself on a series of mad quests to save the people she’s always loved and a life she’s learning to love. But in a supernatural world of increasingly complex alliances and distressingly complicated deceptions, it’s so hard to know who to trust. Does her mother really wish to kill her? Would Will sacrifice her for the sake of the prophecy? And does Ben really love her or is it all an elaborate ruse? In order to survive, Selkie realizes that the key is learning—and accepting—who she really is

Posted by Caroline and Faye

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: June 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Age: YA
Reviewer: Faye & Caroline
Source: BEA14
Challenge: Debut author
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Buddy Review: Memoirs Of A Neurotic Zombie

Jeff Norton
RGB ZombiecoverFRONT‘My name is Adam Meltzer and the last thing I remember was being stung by a bee while swinging at a robot-shaped pinata on my twelfth birthday. I was dead before the candy hit the ground.’
Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie is narrated by the hilarious Adam Meltzer – pre-teen, worrywart, and now zombie. Adam’s family gets the fright of their lives when he turns up at their door . . . three months after his funeral.
Soon Adam’s back at school trying to fit in and not draw extra attention to himself, but when he sees his neighbour Ernesto transform into a chupacubra, and the beautiful Corina (Adam’s number one mega-crush) turns out to be a (vegan) vampire, undead life is never going to be the same again.
A hilarious adventure caper – if Ferris Bueller met Shaun of the Dead – all about friendship and being yourself . . . even if you’re undead.

Posted by Faye and Caroline

Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: August 2014
Format: ARC
Pages: 256
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Caroline & Faye
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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Bookish Brits Book Club: Witch Finder

In January the Bookish Brits Selected Ruth Warburton‘s Witch Finder as their Book Club read.
witch finder coverLondon. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.
Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

Publisher: Hodder Children’s
Publication Date: January 2014
Format: eARC
Pages: 374
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Age: YA
Reviewer: Bookish Brits
Source: Via Netgalley
Challenge: British book
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Unrest

Michelle Harrison
unrestSeventeen-year-old Elliott hasn’t slept properly for six months. Not since the accident that nearly killed him. Now he is afraid to go to sleep. Sometimes he wakes to find himself paralysed, unable to move a muscle, while shadowy figures move around him. Other times he is the one moving around, while his body lies asleep on the bed. According to his doctor, sleep paralysis and out of body experiences are harmless – but to Elliot they’re terrifying. Convinced that his brush with death has opened up connections with the spirit world, Elliott secures a live-in job at one of England’s most haunted locations, determined to find out the truth. There he finds Sebastian, the ghost of a long-dead servant boy hanged for stealing bread. He also meets the living, breathing Ophelia, a girl with secrets of her own. She and Elliott grow closer, but things take a terrifying turn when Elliott discovers Sebastian is occupying his body when he leaves it. And the more time Sebastian spends inhabiting a living body, the more resistant he becomes to giving it back. Worse, he seems to have an unhealthy interest in Ophelia. Unless Elliott can lay Sebastian’s spirit to rest, he risks being possessed by him for ever, and losing the girl of his dreams

I acquired Unrest at last year’s Summer Scream Foyles event after having heard Michelle Harrison read a section of it and getting some serious goosebumps in the full blazing summer. Unfortunately my forever growing TBR pile meant that it had to be postponed again and again until…. Halloween rolled on. I put everything aside and immersed myself fully in the scary world on the night of witches, and boy what a scare!!!

I stupidly read it mostly at night after I finished work and couldn’t seem to manage more than a few chapters at a time as got too creeped out every time. Now I should inform you that I’m not much of a horror person. Scratch that, I’m just plain and simple not a horror person. I don’t watch horror and I don’t read horror. Michelle Harrison may have changed all that as I now hunt for another similar thrilling read!!

The style of writing and the narration were laced with suspense, eeriness and mystery at every turn of the page. The suspense slowly built to a rising crescendo as small bizarre events occurred growing into bigger, more threatening and frightening events.

But no book’s complete without a bit of romance, which Michelle naturally provided as mystery and ghosts wrapped themselves around the budding spark between Elliott and Ophelia.
I very much enjoyed this book not only for the spook factor, which was delivered in abundance, but also because the characters themselves had depth and were seen to grow with every nightmarish situation. Amongst the ghost hunting, some own personal soul searching was done and it was lovely reading and watching these two characters grow whilst also facing some of our own worst haunting nightmares.

I never thought I would stumble across a horror that I would actually enjoy, let alone love but I am lucky enough to say that I most certainly have. Unrest possessed romance, eeriness, mystery and depth in equal and abundant amount. And I loved every goose-bump endured moment of it. I would even go as far as saying that although reading it at night petrified me and made me jump at every creak of my new flat, I would definitely read it again in the exact same conditions.

Verdict: Couldn’t have creeped me out or made me enjoy it more!!!

Reviewed by Pruedence

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: April 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 375
Genre: Paranormal, Horror
Age: YA
Reviewer: Pruedence
Source: Own copy
Challenge: British book
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Netgalley November: Week Three Round Up

netgalleynovember3Personal Target: To read and review eight netgalley titles and improve my approved/feedback rating

Number of books read this week: 2

Running total of books read: 7

Netgalley Approved-Feedback: 58.5 %

Currently Reading: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Feedback: Despite illness (my children’s and my own), last minute vlog filming (once my voice returned) and distraction in the form of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars and Lisa Desrochers’ A Little Too Much, I am actually on track to fulfil my target of eight books! I have even managed to avoid the lure of Netgalley and have not requested any new titles *raises hand in anticipation of high fives*.

Crossing by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

crossing
He stole her lipstick…and her heart. Twenty-year-old Dani Walker can’t believe her luck when she’s paired up with the gorgeous Liam Garrett as her Acting I scene partner – or when he ends up in her bed. Being a Plain Jane with a mouth on her hasn’t exactly served Dani well in the guy department. In fact, she’s had nothing but one night stands. Still, she lets go of her insecurities and falls for Liam, despite feeling like he’s holding something back. When Dani finally discovers Liam’s secret, she must learn the true meaning of accepting the ones we love for who they are, or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

I don’t think that I am spoiling the book in anyway by talking about Liam’s big secret. One look at the title and the first line of the synopsis and most people are going to realise what forms the tension at the heart of the book. Then they are going to make a decision about wether or not the book is for them. If you find yourself uncomfortable with the subject matter, I really hope that you look beyond your initial nervousness and give Crossing a try.

At its heart Crossing is a well written and moving contemporary romance between a snarky, self deprecating, intelligent, and creative girl and the gorgeous boy who can keep up with her. A boy who just happens to enjoy wearing women’s clothing.

When I walk down the street with my short hair and my “uniform” of jeans and converse, I doubt very much that anyone is speculating on my gender identity, my sexuality or my femininity, In fact I doubt I warrant an initial thought, let alone a second one. A man walking down the street in feminine attire ?… A second glance is probably the best treatment he can expect.The other end of the wedge; discrimination? Ridicule? Suspicion? Fear? Violence?

I have witnessed conversations among intelligent and otherwise open minded individuals, who just cannot understand why someone would choose to dress outside of their perceived gender. Or at least why a man would choose to dress like a woman.I suspect that this has as much to do with the value society places on the feminine as it is to do with nervousness of the unknown.

In Crossing, the author took great pains to divorce Liam’s cross dressing from his sexuality and gender. Liam does not have a transgender identity, he isn’t described as “trying to pass as female” in fact he is in every other incidence portrayed as being very masculine. It is not about sex, or sexual fetishism . Both Liam and Dani are hetrosexual and while the physical side of Dani and Liam’s relationship appears to be stimulated by Liam’s cross dressing, my feeling is that for Liam it was less about the clothes he was wearing and more about Dani accepting him in his entirety. By Liam’s own admission, cross dressing for him is about syle and preference and a desire to wear and enjoy pretty things.

On the one hand you could see these choices as the author simplifying the issue or making it more palatable to a wider audience, either of which I find acceptable. The story is ultimately about love and acceptance and not an exploration of the complicated subject of cross dressing. On my part, I choose to believe that the author was creating a character which conflicts with as many preconceived notions as possible. I applaud Stacey Wallace Benefiel for writing Liam and Dani’s story and bring the subject of cross dressing in to mainstream YA literature.

Verdict: I think that it is safe to say that Crossing is a Marmite read. For my part I love Marmite and I loved this unique contemporary romance.

Publisher:Write Free
Publication Date:May 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 154
Genre: Contemporary romance, Cross dressing
Age: New Adult/Mature YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: Netgalley November

Legacy Of A Dreamer by Allie Jean
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]Chantal Breelan’s past is a mystery, and her future is even more uncertain. She can’t recall why she had been taken from her parents, leaving an empty hole where her childhood should have been. When she
awakens from her nightmares, she’s left with terrible, violent images and believes something may have happened to her that her mind tries to forget. One night at a subway station, Chantal meets a young boy who flees to a dark subway tunnel, and she’s compelled to follow him. But this Rabbit Hole reveals a world
where reality is everything her nightmares have been forewarning.
Mathias is a descendant of an ancient being and beholden to wage an unfathomable war against an primordial evil, spawned by greed and spite. A powerful fighter, he and his brethren of Warriors vow guard the most precious, piercing light against the darkness –the females of their kind. The Warriors’ pledge is to find and protect their sisters and kin. Long have they fought, shedding sweat and blood, hoping that their struggles are not in vain. Yet in his sacrifice and service he may find life’s ultimate reward – a love to surpass all time.

Legacy Of A Dreamer is a difficult book for me to review. I feel as if I have just read two books, or at least the same book by two different authors.

On the one hand I loved the premise of this book. The plot was interesting and engaging and at times the narrative was vivid, atmospheric and deliciously creepy.

On the other hand, the execution of the plot just didn’t work for me. The dialogue felt forced and clunky and as much as I wanted to root for the relationship between the protagonist, Chantal, and her warrior protector, I just didn’t feel it.

Verdict: I’m in two minds about continuing this series. I really want to know what happens next, but I don’t think that the authors writing style is for me.

Publisher: The Writers Coffee Shop
Publication Date: June 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 179
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: Netgalley November

Reviewed by Caroline

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