Music and Malice in Hurricane Town

Music and Malice in Hurricane Town

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

Jude Lomax scrapes a living playing the trumpet on the neon streets of Baton Noir. Then she is invited to play at the funeral of the infamous cajou queen, Ivory Monette. Passing through the cemetery gates, Jude finds herself possessed by the murdered queen’s spirit. And Ivory won’t rest until she’s found the person responsible for her death.

If Jude wants to be rid of the vengeful spirit, she must take a journey deep into the dangerous underbelly of the city, from the swampy depths of the Black Bayou to the velvet opulence of the vampires’ secret jazz clubs. But as Jude untangles Ivory’s web of secrets, she is confronted with a few dark truths from her own past… 

Thoughts:

I have really enjoyed Alex Bell’s step into YA horror/fantasy in the past so I was super excited to read her newest book Music and Malice In Hurricane Town. After the first few chapters, I was gripped.

The story centres around Jude who is a young woman that works hard to pay the rent. Jude looks after her father who has become very dependent on her after a tragic accident. Jude plays in the Done and Dusted band and has accepted a job in Moonfleet Manor. The Phantom owns Moonfleet Manor and he’s just as creepy as the estate itself. Jude is desperate to save her dad from the past. Whilst playing at the cajou queen’s funeral, she is possessed by the spirit of the murdered queen. Ivory is determined to find out who murdered her and she doesn’t mind using Jude’s body until she finds out exactly who killed her. Everywhere and every single thing that Jude does, something dangerous occurs. Just how far will Jude go to help her father?

Jude is such a strong character. I really enjoyed reading about such a powerful female character. She goes through so much throughout the story, but she still keeps going. Many female characters could learn a lot more from her. I admired her inner strength. The Phantom was such an intriguing character. I don’t want to say too much about him and ruin the story, but my… he was interesting.

The plot itself is exciting. There’s so much going on but it never feels like an info dump at any point. It definitely has that eerie vibe and I adored that!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fantastic YA horror/fantasy read. Well worth checking out!

Little Darlings

Little Darlings

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to HQ

Synopsis:

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

Thoughts:

I have to admit that I hadn’t heard much about Little Darlings. I do think it’s one that’s going to be everywhere soon though and deservedly so! Even though it took me longer to read than I wanted it to (super busy teacher here!) if I had the time, I could’ve devoured it easily in one sitting. It’s gripping, creepy and so, so easy to read.

It centres around Lauren Tranter who has recently had twins. She’s understandably exhausted but she’s not going mad. Everyone around her thinks that she is, because they believe she imagined a woman trying to exchange her twins for…creatures. Lauren is certain that the woman was there and won’t let it go. After a month or so, Lauren’s babies (Morgan and Riley) disappear from Lauren’s side as she falls asleep. After a while, the babies are returned to Lauren, but although they may look like Morgan and Riley… Lauren is insistent that they certainly aren’t. She is determined to get her real children back, no matter what it takes.

This book is so incredibly well written. It’s astounding to me that this is a debut. It’s so creepy. I was seriously freaked out every single time changelings were mentioned. Honestly, there are some moments in the story that sent a shiver down my spine. I would’ve loved to have filmed my reaction to reading this book as I’m pretty sure I made some very expressive faces. I imagine I looked like this at many points:

The characters in this story are phenomenal. Lauren was a wonderful unreliable narrator. Did she really see what she did? Was she mentally ill? Her husband seemed super shady. I just didn’t trust anyone. It was really interesting to read the police procedural element to this story. Harper was a fantastic addition to the story and I felt like she really pushed the story on.

Being a fan of the fairy tale, I adored the dark nature of this story. Changelings are terrifying. I was so impressed with this debut.

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

A cracking debut novel! I’m so impressed and look forward to more from Melanie Golding!

Top Ten Creepy Covers! (#wimp)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is a Halloween freebie. I’m not the biggest lover of Halloween or scary books in fact. I thought I’d put up some creepy book covers this week. Why not freak myself out on Halloween, hey?

Krampus: The Yule Lord

Tales of the Undead: Hell Whore

Annabelle

Berserk

Demons: True stories of demonic possessions & demonic attacks

Cat's Cradle (Cat, #1)

What even is this?!

This actually makes me feel sick!

That’s it for me this week! Feeling totally creeped out by these covers! What did you do for your Halloween freebie? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Coraline (Graphic Novel Review)

Coraline (Illustrated/Graphic Novel Edition)

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

When Coraline steps through a door in her family’s new house, she finds another house, strangely similar to her own (only better). At first, things seem marvelous. The food is better than at home, and the toy box is filled with fluttering wind-up angels and dinosaur skulls that crawl and rattle their teeth.

But there’s another mother there and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and all the tools she can find if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Thoughts:

Perhaps I’m not the best person to review this graphic novel or the original book. I haven’t seen the movie yet either. But do you know what? Based on this graphic novel, I’m going to read the original and watch the movie. I liked the graphic novel that much!

It centres around Coraline who steps through a door in her family’s house to find another house which is incredibly similar to hers… only slightly better. Every single thing seems better in the other house. The toys, the food… Coraline thinks she’s got it good! There’s another mother and another father there though. They look like her actual parents, but they aren’t. They want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They’re determined to change her, but Coraline is fighting back. She wants to be with her true family and return to her normal life.

I enjoyed the illustrations from P. Craig Russell. I thought it was beautifully drawn. The other mother in particular really freaked me out. She really was an unforgettable character. I can still see those black button eyes when I close my eyes!

I thought this graphic novel was super creepy. I hear that the original is too, so I’m excited to read that as soon as I can fit it in.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel and will be checking out the original for sure!

Charlotte Says

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Frozen Charlotte
The Haunting

Synopsis:

Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.
Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.

Thoughts:

I’m not a fan of horror. I think I’ve always made that quite clear here on my blog. However, there are some authors that I make an exception for… and Alex Bell is one of them. I’ve read all of Alex’s books (adult books too, they’re good, you should check them out!) and I adore her horror stories. I was so intrigued to see what Charlotte Says was like after thoroughly enjoying Frozen Charlotte. I found Charlotte Says to be even creepier. Some parts literally made me shudder.

Charlotte Says is based in 1910 and it centres around Jemima. After the death of her mother in a fire, Jemima begins a job at a school for girls at the very remote Isle of Skye. (Readers of Frozen Charlotte will recognise the setting!) Jemima finds life there tough and she finds herself thinking about what happened the night of the fire. She receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls (they creep me out!) from a mystery sender. Jemima recalls a seance with the dolls and events that resulted in the fire. The dolls are causing so much trouble at the school after a series of accidents involving the young girls who are used to create havoc amongst their peers.

I could not put this book down! I needed to at points, to you know…calm myself down. I have a very vivid imagination and Alex’s writing really stimulates my overactive imagination. I don’t want to say much about the plot itself as I want it to be read and enjoyed! Just know that it’s terrifying at some points! There are scenes that are still sticking in my mind, days after finishing the book. I think this book is scarier than Frozen Charlotte so if you’re of a nervous disposition then proceed with caution! 😉

Even though this book is a prequel to Frozen Charlotte, I don’t think you necessarily need to read it in order to understand Charlotte Says. It merely enhances your reading experience if you can spot the links!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Charlotte Says really creeped me out. It’s such an atmospheric, chilling read.

As I Descended

As I Descended

How did I get it?:
It was a gift!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Lies We Tell Ourselves
What We Left Behind

Synopsis:

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

Thoughts:

I absolutely loved Robin Talley’s debut novel, but was a little disappointed by her second release. However, the synopsis of this book had me easily gripped and I knew I had to read it. I also really enjoy retellings and I was intrigued by the modern take on Macbeth.

As I Descended takes place at a boarding school. Our main characters use a Ouija board and that is the catalyst to the madness…Although this story is told from multiple points of view, Maria is the main focus of this story. She is determined to take down Delilah, who is the front runner for the Kingsley Prize, a scholarship for college. It will give her more time with Lily, her girlfriend. Maria and Lily work hard to make sure Maria gets that prize, no matter what it takes. The story definitely takes a turn for the worse when creepy things begin to happen….

I really enjoy Robin Talley’s writing style, she created such a wonderfully chilling atmosphere, I just had to keep turning the pages. I absolutely loved the diversity in the characters. As a reader, you can find LGBT characters and also a character with a physical disability.

If you don’t know much about Macbeth then it really doesn’t matter. I know the plot of Macbeth, but I’ve never read it and it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

I was pleasantly surprised by this book! It’s not quite Lies We Tell Ourselves, but it’s a creepy, intriguing read!

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!