This Is Not A Test (This Is Not A Test #1)

This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test #1)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

 

Synopsis:

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?  

Thoughts:

I had some misconceptions before I started this book. I thought it was going to be a zombie book but really it’s a book that has zombies within the story. It’s much more than a zombie book. It’s a story about survival.

This Is Not A Test centres around six characters who are hiding in a school. It’s the end of the world and there are zombies outside who are determined to kill. The zombies will only need one bite to kill a person. Sloane has been suffering for six months and begins to wonder if it’s time to give up. Sloane has to experience the apocalypse through eyes of others that want to survive. Days pass by and life becomes even more unpredictable for the teens inside the school.

I thought this book was so intense and quite tough to read. As I expect from Courtney Summers, this book really was quite dark. I could feel Sloane’s pain through the pages. I’m not usually a fan of books containing zombies, but it really worked with this book. It wasn’t gory, but the reader certainly felt the threat throughout. It was creepy to think of them lurking outside hammering on the door. *shudders*

I absolutely loved the character of Sloane. She is incredibly complex and her pain was so tough to read about. I really feel a character like Sloane adds depth to the story. There’s so much to be found in this story, there’s grief, loss, a lot of pain and a struggle for survival. It really is a wonderful read and I’m intrigued to see how the story continues in Please Remain Calm.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

This was a really different read than what I had expected from Courtney Summers. I love it when an author keeps their books fresh and exciting!

As Dead It Gets- Spoiler for Book 2! (Bad Girls Don’t Die #3)

As Dead As It Gets (Bad Girls Don't Die, #3)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously read by the same author:
Bad Girls Don’t Die
From Bad To Cursed

Synopsis:

It’s been three months since Alexis helplessly witnessed Lydia Small’s violent death, and all she wants is for her life to return to normal.

But normal people don’t see decaying bodies haunting photographs. Normal people don’t have to deal with regular intrusions from Lydia’s angry ghost, sometimes escalating to terrifying attacks.

At first, it seems that Lydia wants revenge on Alexis alone. But a girl from school disappears one night, and Alexis spots one of Lydia’s signature yellow roses lying on the girl’s dresser the next day. Soon, it becomes clear that several of Alexis’s friends are in danger, and that she’s the only person who can save them. But as she tries to intervene, Alexis realizes that her enemy is a much more powerful ghost than she’s ever faced before… and that its fate is tied to hers in ways she couldn’t possibly imagine.

Not even in her worst nightmares.  

Thoughts:

I think most regular readers of my blog will know that I’m not a massive fan of horror/paranormal. I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to horror. I have a way too active imagination. However, I have devoured the Bad Girls Don’t Die series by Katie Alender. It’s a fantastic YA ghost series which I really don’t see enough of around the blogosphere. I expected more drama in this finale if I’m completely honest, but it was still utterly readable and chilling at the same time.

As Dead as It Gets takes place not long after the events of From Bad To Cursed. Our main protagonist, Alexis can now see ghosts, especially in photographs that she takes. Alexis is keen to give up this hobby because she’s fed up of being spooked by ghosts. Alexis is haunted by Lydia Small who died in the second book. Carter, who was with Alexis has started dating another girl and Alexis decides to move on with Jared. Jared is quite a lovable character in the second book, so I could get on board with this relationship. Girls have been disappearing and two of them have been found dead, each time a girl disappears yellow roses are found by her. Alexis is convinced that Lydia has something to do with it as Lydia had yellow roses at her funeral.

I felt like Alexis was pretty alone in this book. She was so isolated. We didn’t see much of her relationship with Kasey, her relationship with Carter and her best friend Megan. We see her relationship with Jared, but we soon learn that he is incredibly controlling. I really wanted someone to be there for her and that was lacking at first in this book. I did like Elliot though, who we are introduced to- she begins to develop a friendship with Alexis.

I really enjoyed the character of Lydia in As Dead As It Gets! I love how her character develops over the course of the series, she grows so much in this book and there are some particularly chilling scenes that involve her. On the other hand, there are some incredibly touching scenes too. She was one of my favourite things about this book.

I think there was far too much going on in this book and it lost some of the charm of the first two books. However, I’d still highly recommend this series. I’ve been so impressed with Katie Alender’s writing, I’m eager to explore more.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Not an explosive ending, but decent all the same!

From Bad To Cursed (Bad Girls Don’t Die #2)

From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die, #2)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Bad Girls Don’t Die

Synopsis:

Alexis is the last girl you’d expect to sell her soul. She already has everything she needs–an adorable boyfriend, the perfect best friend, and a little sister who’s finally recovering after being possessed by an evil spirit, then institutionalized.

Alexis is thrilled when her sister joins a club; new friends are just what Kasey needs. It’s strange, though, to see how fast the girls in The Sunshine Club go from dorky and antisocial to gorgeous and popular. Soon Alexis learns that the girls have pledged an oath to a seemingly benevolent spirit named Aralt. Worried that Kasey’s in over her head again, Alexis and her best friend Megan decide to investigate by joining the club themselves. At first, their connection with Aralt seems harmless. Alexis trades in her pink hair and punky clothes for a mainstream look, and quickly finds herself reveling in her newfound elegance and success.

Instead of fighting off the supernatural, Alexis can hardly remember why she joined in the first place. Surely it wasn’t to destroy Aralt…why would she hurt someone who has given her so much, and asked for so little in return?

Thoughts:

I think I’ve made it known here on my blog that horror isn’t usually my sort of thing. Then I read Bad Girls Don’t Die and absolutely loved it. I finally got around to reading From Bad To Cursed and I absolutely loved it. It’s a very different book to the first. It still has some of the same characters but I felt this one had a different vibe. I found it to be incredibly unsettling but utterly gripping at the same time.

From Bad To Cursed follows Alexis and her sister Kasey. Kasey has finally come home and is attempting to go to high school following the awful things that happened to her. Alexis is thrilled when Kasey joins The Sunshine Club. Kasey is in need of some friends. However, there is something different about The Sunshine Club. Alexis finds out that the girls have pledged an oath to a spirit called Aralt. The Sunshine Club are getting more beautiful and popular by the minute. Alexis is worried that Kasey will get in all sorts of trouble. Alexis and Megan join The Sunshine Club and find themselves intrigued by the increasing confidence, elegance and success. Alexis becomes completely enveloped in The Sunshine Club and begins to forget her reasons why she joined the club in the first place.

As I mentioned, I’m not one for scary. I’d definitely describe this book as creepy and unsettling but nothing that’ll keep you wide awake at night or cause you to have nightmares. Yes, this sometimes happens to me, I have an overactive imagination.

I thought Katie Alender’s writing was superb in this sequel. I find it simple, but engaging to read. It captured my attention throughout the story. The plot is fast paced and the changes on Alexis creep up on you and before you know it, you realise Alexis is deep trouble. I am so intrigued to see what happens in the next book as it ends in such a gripping manner. I’m just pleased that it’s already out so I can read it as soon as I can slip it in!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fantastic, creepy sequel! I loved it!

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)

Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)

How did I get it?
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Anna Dressed In Blood

Synopsis:

It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

Thoughts:

The first book in this duology really surprised me. I liked it much more than I had anticipated, so I was looking forward to getting to the sequel. I think I’m in the minority with this book, as I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. However, it’s not all bad. I feel that Girl Of Nightmares really ties up loose ends and that’s great in a series. I’m glad I read it even if it did annoy me at times.

I think my main problem with this book is that it’s very slow to start. I feel like the first book was much more eerie and gripping. Some parts of the story really stuck with me. I definitely felt more creeped out by Anna. I felt like Cas had gone all Bella Swan in New Moon with this book. It certainly felt like all Cas cared about was getting Anna back, no matter who told him that it wasn’t a good idea. I have never really found Cas to be a likeable character, so him being moody really didn’t make him any more endearing.

What I did like about this book, was that it did pick up unexplored plot lines from Anna and really delve into them. I really appreciate that and think the author stays true to the characters throughout. I can’t speak about the ending without spoiling it, but I believe a lot of readers will appreciate it!

Would I recommend it?:
It’s not for me! 2.5 stars- I wasn’t impressed with this sequel, but appreciate that a lot of readers will really enjoy it!

For me, Girl of Nightmares just didn’t match its predecessor!

Beth and Chrissi’s Points Of View on Point Horror

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Welcome back to Beth and I’s Point Horror feature, the feature where we get nostalgic about our favourite Point Horror books! This time, my blog will host our reviews of Freeze Tag by Caroline B.Cooney. Over on Beth’s blog, you can check out our review of The Snowman by R.L Stine. Click HERE to read it!

Freeze Tag

Synopsis:

Meghan and West, girl and boy next door, play an innocent game of freeze tag with their neighbor Lannie. But freeze tag is no ordinary game…when Lannie is playing. For when she tags someone, they really do freeze – like an ice blue statue – like death.

On that same day, ice-hearted Lannie extracts a horrible promise from handsome West: “You must always like me best…”

Now they’re older and Meghan and West are in love. That one terrifying game has been forgotten…until Lannie reminds West of the promise he was forced to make all those years ago.

And if he refuses, she will freeze Meghan…to death.

Our thoughts?:

Beth:

  • This has one of the most memorable Point Horror covers of all time. Just saying the words Freeze Tag automatically conjures up the picture of bloody hands pushing through broken glass for me – crazy!
  • Caroline B. Cooney creates such a fascinating character in Lannie where  her eerie obsession with West and hatred of Meghan will give you goosebumps.
  • I did want to shake West at more than one point in this story. I really wished he wouldn’t give into Lannie as easily as he does!
  •  Apart from being incredibly creepy the author captures the intensity of first love and the first serious relationship in your life. perfectly. (Obviously the majority of people don’t have to deal with what Meghan and West do but it’s definitely an emotional experience like no other).

Chrissi:

  • I thought the atmosphere was very eerie. It built beautifully throughout the book.
  • I love the character of Lannie. She’s so well written. I could picture her so vividly.
  • It made me feel really nostalgic. This was one of my favourites.
  • Freeze Tag has an interesting ending. It’s not a happily ever after.

Our Spring Point Horror reads will be April Fools by Richie Tankersley Cusick and Spring Break by Barbara Steiner.

The Haunting

The Haunting

How did I get it?:
I received it from Stripes publishing in exchange for a honest review. This hasn’t affected my opinion of the book!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Frozen Charlotte

Synopsis:

Some curses grow stronger with time…
People say that all Cornish inns are haunted, but the Waterwitch’s history is particularly chilling. Built from the salvaged timber of a cursed ship, the guest house’s dark secrets go further back than anyone can remember.
Emma is permanently confined to a wheelchair after an accident at the Waterwitch which took place when she was ten. Seven years later, she decides to return to the place where the awful event occurred. But the ancient inn still has its ghosts, and one particular spirit is more vengeful than ever…

Thoughts:

I was so excited to read about The Haunting, after Alex Bell’s Frozen Charlotte ended up being my favourite Red Eye release last year. I was particularly intrigued to read The Haunting, after reading that it was set in Looe, a place that I visited several years back.

The Haunting is narrated by three different, distinctive characters. The reader reads from Emma, Jem and Shell’s perspective. It centres around an old, haunted inn called the Waterwitch. Years ago, Emma had an accident which left her confined to a wheelchair. Years later, Emma revisits the Waterwitch after a family member becomes seriously unwell. She is reunited with her old friend Jem and his sister Shell. Both are acting incredibly strangely…the inn itself is as creepy as ever with one spirit looking for revenge.

The Haunting is a book that builds slowly. This doesn’t work for me with some books, as I tend to get bored, but with The Haunting, I was grateful of the background information. I wanted to soak it all in. There are some incredibly vivid, chilling scenes throughout. I was definitely creeped out towards the end of the story. I couldn’t put it down.

I would recommend that you try to read The Haunting without comparing it to Frozen Charlotte. They are completely different reads, but well worth reading. I really hope Alex Bell writes more YA books, however I will surely pick up anything she writes in the future!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A creepy, intriguing read which builds as the story progresses!

Through The Woods

Through the Woods

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there…

Thoughts:

I’m really getting into graphic novels! I never thought they were for me, but I’m always happy to be proved wrong. I’ve found that they quite often get me out of reading slumps or that they’re good books inbetween longer reads.

I enjoyed these stories from Emily Carroll, however they weren’t all as good as each other. Several days after finishing the book there’s one that has really stuck in my mind which is A Lady’s Hands Are Cold. I can’t stop thinking of it. It really did unsettle me! I have such a vivid imagination and I thought Emily Carroll’s stories were wonderfully creepy! It probably wasn’t the best idea to read it so late at night, but I really couldn’t put it down!

The illustrations in Through The Woods are so stunning. I loved the colours used and they fit the story so wonderfully. Every story is different from another and the story is often open to the reader’s interpretation. Some might get frustrated by them though. There’s no resolution in any of the stories.

I think you’d enjoy this graphic novel if you’re into fairy tale stories like Brothers Grimm, if you’re into horror and creepy stories. The stories feel old fashioned yet contemporary at the same time.

Would I recommend it?: 
Yes!

A creepy graphic novel which would be perfect for a Halloween read!