Thu, March 28, 2013

Darkhouse by Karina Halle Review

Darkhouse book cover

Darkhouse book cover

Darkhouse
By Karina Halle
Publication date: March 10, 2012
Metal Blonde Books, 346 pages
Source: Purchased for my Kindle

With all the vampire, werewolf and faerie books out there, it’s easy to become numb to all things supernatural. The antidote? Darkhouse introduces two real and unforgettable characters, Perry Palomino & Dex Foray, amateur ghost hunters who are “attractive, relatable and oddly heroic,” “flawed but loveable,” “slightly crazy” and just the most endearing pair to ever tackle the paranormal…just don’t call them normal.

Darkhouse is a thrilling and sexy new take on concepts like Supernatural and The X-Files, bringing a breath of fresh air to a genre that has been inundated with the dead.

***Darkhouse and the Experiment in Terror series is a horror/romance for mature audiences only. Readers who are easily offended by harsh language should think twice about reading it.***

— Goodreads.com description

Guys, I’m torn. And befuddled. So here’s what’s up:

I liked the horror/ghost story aspects of Darkhouse by Karina Halle. It is legit scary.

And I truly enjoyed the main character. She has the slight edge where we aren’t quite sure if she’s mentally ill, if she cares or doesn’t care, if we like her or dislike her.

But I read a lot of rave reviews of this one that made it seem, like, HOTT. Yeah, “hot” with two Ts, so you know it’s SERIOUS. Only…I did not get that AT ALL.

I think if I hadn’t been waiting for the sexytimes/romance to kick in, I might have enjoyed the suspense and scariness of the story a bit more.

Here’s my question: Is it just me? Or does more of this come later in the series? Do I need to keep reading it? All thoughts welcome! Has anyone ever had this happen: Where maybe reading too many of reviews skewed your reading experience? I mean…err…not that reading reviews is bad. KEEP READING MY BLOG PRETTY PLEASE. But you know what I mean, right?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: ghosts, horror, karina halle, paranormal, Uncategorized
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Fri, May 18, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake Book Review

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake book cover

Anna Dressed in Blood
By Kendare Blake

Publication date: Aug. 30, 2011
Tor Teen, 316 pages
Source: Borrowed from Melanie

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story…

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

— Goodreads.com description

Can I get a what what for Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake for being one of the first horror stories I’ve ever remotely enjoyed?

Horror is really not my thing — in books or in movies — but this was a pretty solid read. It wasn’t my favorite (just because I prefer looooove to murder), but I was really proud of myself for getting into Anna Dressed in Blood as much as I did.

I think a lot of what appealed to me is the originality — I mean, I love forbidden love stories, but a boy falling in love with a dead, murderous ghost certainly takes it to another level, doesn’t it?

At the end of the book, I just sat there like “huh.” Not like, “HUH!? WHAT HAPPENED?” But more like “huh” that left me thinking. Which leads to my most urgent question: Is there going to be a sequel from Kendare Blake? There sort of has to be, right?!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: death, ghosts, kendare blake
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Wed, November 2, 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire Review

Hourglass
By Myra McEntire

June 14, 2011
EgmontUSA, 400 pages
Source: Library

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

— Amazon.com description

If you were to ask my mom, “What type of book do you like?” she’d probably say “anything with romance and time travel.” The woman loves her some time travel books. So when I saw what Hourglass was about, I was like, “Hey! Maybe it’s genetic, and this book is the book for me.”

Was it? Hmm. Hard to say. I think I’d prefer a classic time travel book about someone who travels back to a historic time period or into the future. Traveling back in time to six months ago just wasn’t as thrilling for me.

Still, Hourglass was an intriguing book that I had no problem getting through. Those more interested in the theories and morals behind travel (as opposed to the historic aspect) might find it more appealing.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: ghosts, myra mcentire, time travel
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Mon, October 17, 2011

Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson Review

”NameName of the Star
By Maureen Johnson

Sept. 20, 2011
Putnam Juvenile, 384 pages
Source: Heidi gave me an extra review copy because she rocks

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper in the autumn of 1888.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police now believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

— Amazon.com description

Need a good book for Halloween? Well, good thing you stopped by, because I HAVE THE BOOK FOR YOU.

To start, let me say that Name of the Star is my favorite Maureen Johnson book yet. Didn’t “get” the MJ craze after reading Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes and its sequel? Try this. For serious.

It’s got four elements I know a lot of you love:

1) Boarding school
2) British boys
3) Ghosty things
4) Based on historical events

And it had JUST enough romance to satisfy those who cannot go without it (like me).
The thriller was done so, so well. The constant threat of murder and tension made me feel all like “BOO! THE GHOSTIES ARE GONNA GET YOU!” at all times. Which is the sort of fright you need at least once this time of year, right? This book is definitely worth checking out.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: ghosts, maureen johnson, paranormal, thriller
5

Fri, September 23, 2011

Dark Souls by Paula Morris Review

Dark Souls
By Paula Morris

Aug. 1, 2011
Point, 304 pages
Source: Review copy

Welcome to York, England. Mist lingers in the streets. Narrow buildings cast long shadows. This is the most haunted city in the world. . . .

Miranda Tennant arrives in York with a terrible, tragic secret. She is eager to lose herself amid the quaint cobblestones, hoping she won’t run into the countless ghosts who supposedly roam the city. . . .

Then she meets Nick, an intense, dark-eyed boy who knows all of York’s hidden places and histories. Miranda wonders if Nick is falling for her, but she is distracted by another boy — one even more handsome and mysterious than Nick. He lives in the house across from Miranda and seems desperate to send her some sort of message. Could this boy be one of York’s haunted souls?

Soon, Miranda realizes that something dangerous — and deadly — is being planned. And she may have to face the darkest part of herself in order to unravel the mystery — and find redemption.

— Amazon.com description

This is a definite case of me judging a book by its cover and being happily proven wrong.

Now, was this a WOW? No, but it kept me entertained and has definite appeal to anyone who likes ghost stories.

It’s haunting, and the setting of York was all sorts of lovely. The setting seemed cold yet quaint, like I needed to snuggle up next to a fire and hide from all the ghosties lurking in Miranda’s world.

I didn’t really have an emotional connection to the story, but the ghostiness and mysteriousness of it all kept me engaged. Fans of a good “BOO!” every now and then – or even those who devour books set in England – should give it a whirl.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: ghosts, mystery, paula morris
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