Review of Cast No Shadows (Curiosity Quills Anthology)

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I got this book from NetGalley (for free in exchange for an honest review) and it was a lot longer than I thought it would be. Sometimes I would read 4 or 5 stories and only get through 3% more of the book. The stories varied in length, but they were all about ghosts. They took place in haunted houses, cemeteries, back roads and other locations in New York, with a few taking place elsewhere. It took me a few months to get through this one.
To me, this one was just ok. The stories were alright, but none of them were particularly memorable and I got bored a few times waiting for something to happen. There wasn’t any blood, guts or scary moments, even in ones that should’ve been scary. I won’t be reading anything else from Curiosity Quills.

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Huge Birthday Book Haul

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Hi everyone! I am really behind on posting. These are all of the books that I bought on or around my 30th birthday (11-12-16). They are from the thrift shop, Dollar Tree and a Harvest Bazaar that a local church was having. I found a ton of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books! Thanks to the great prices, all of these books only cost me $11.22 total. For 36 books! The books I got are:

  • Room 13 by Henry Garfield
  • The Scent of Shadows (The First Sign of the Zodiac) by Vicki Pettersson
  • The Taste of Night (The Second Sign of the Zodiac) by Vicki Pettersson
  • Sister by Rosamund Lupton
  • Blood Memories (Vampire Memories #1) by Barb Hendee
  • Hunting Memories (Vampire Memories #2) by Barb Hendee
  • Memories of Envy (Vampire Memories #3) by Barb Hendee
  • The Graces by Laure Eve
  • Trinkets by Kirsten Smith
  • Every Which Way But Dead (Rachel Morgan #3) by Kim Harrison
  • Cheerleaders: The First Evil by R.L. Stine
  • Cheerleaders: The Second Evil by R.L. Stine
  • Cheerleaders: The Third Evil by R.L. Stine
  • Cheerleaders: The New Evil (Cheerleaders #4) by R.L. Stine
  • The Thrill Club by R.L. Stine
  • Truth or Dare by R.L. Stine
  • The Dead Girlfriend by R.L. Stine
  • The Boyfriend by R.L. Stine
  • The Girlfriend by R.L. Stine
  • Party Summer by R.L. Stine
  • Silent Night by R.L. Stine
  • The Dead Lifeguard by R.L. Stine (Accidental repurchase. Oops!)
  • Betty Crocker’s Easy Meatless Dishes
  • Night Terrors edited by Lois Duncan
  • Strangest of All by Frank Edwards
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch #15 Harvest Moon by Mel Odom
  • Twilight #21 Evil on the Bayou by Richie Tankersly Cusick
  • More Ghost Stories
  • Railway Ghosts and Highway Horrors by Daniel Cohen
  • Pillsbury Fast and Healthy Magazine low-fat Italian!
  • Evernight by Claudia Gray
  • Tantalize by Cynthia Smith
  • Spin Magazine’s Underground USA
  • Stories of Ghosts, Witches and Demons edited by Freya Littledale
  • The Shadow and Other Strange Tales by Howard Goldsmith
  • Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Have you read any of these books? If you have, were they good? I’ve read Tantalize and most of the R.L. Stine ones before, but I wanted them for nostalgia’s sake. Now I just need to find time to read.

If anyone is interested, I also filmed a Youtube video of this haul.

Review of The Ghost Sitter by Peni R. Griffin

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The Ghost Sitter is is a children’s book about a young girl named Charlotte who moves into a new house with her family, only to discover that it’s haunted by the ghost of a little girl who lived there 50 years ago. Susie, the ghost, doesn’t seem to know that she’s dead and Charlotte wants to help her move on.
The book isn’t spooky at all, so it’s great for younger (elementary) readers. It uses the usual ghost detecting methods (cold spots, random breezes, disembodies voices, etc), which I expected. I like that Susie’s not a scary ghost. She just likes to play with the other kids. I like the scene where they’re tossing the toy around in a circle like a normal group of kids.
It wraps up nicely, reflects on the bonds between siblings and has a happy ending. I’d recommend this to younger readers and anyone who wants  nice, light read. I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads.

Review of Asylum – 13 Tales of Terror by Matt Drabble

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Asylum – 13 Tales of Terror is about a man named Martin who is starting his new job as a custodian at a mental health facility. He is being trained by an older guy named Jimmy and, after Jimmy discovers that Martin was a writer, he suggests that Martin write a book about the residents. I like that the short stories are part of the main story. After each resident’s tale, it goes back to the present where Jimmy gives Martin more information about them and we get to see Martin’s reaction and learn more about things. I really enjoyed that format and it worked well.

My favorite stories were “No Strings Attached” and “The Devil’s Music.” “No Strings Attached” is about a poor kid who works at a toy store. It could be an episode of Tales from the Crypt or a show like it. “The Devil’s Music” is about a teenage devil-worshipper who plays guitar in a metal band. Sure it’s a cliché, but Paul is a fun character and the last line is funny.

Unfortunately, there were some editing issues and a lot of the stories, including the main one, were predictable. It was still an enjoyable read, but it’s not something that I would read again. 3.5/5 stars

Review of Haunted by Meg Cabot

I didn’t realize that this books was part of a series when I bought it, but it can be read as a stand alone story. The main character, Suze, gives enough information about what happened before this book to let you know why the characters feel the way that they do without recapping the first five books.
I feel like the author did a good job at making Suze sound like a regular 16 year old girl, who just happens to see ghosts. She has to deal with school, her friends, her stepbrothers, sort of boyfriend and learn more about her powers. I like that she has good friends and a supportive mentor.
Not much really happened in this book, but I like the writing style and the ending was good. There was a nice plot twist there.

I would be interested in reading the rest of the series and I recommend this to fans of young adult paranormal series.

Review of Without Chance by Christopher Bailey

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Without Chance is about a fourteen year old boy named Ryan who moves to a new state in the middle of the school year after his dad takes a job at a hospital. He’s pretty angry about it until he meets his new friend, Chance. Chance is the first person in the new town that nice to him and he’s just really happy to have a friend. He also has a run in with the school bully, Noah Porter.

I think all of the characters were well done. I like that the author writes the dialogue the way it would be pronounced since the characters have southern accent. (ie “I hav’ ta go.”) Ryan isn’t the most observant person ever. I had figured out what people wanted him to know about Chance way before it was revealed, but that didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment of the story. It took me a little while to figure out who the bad guy was. I liked trying to figure out Ryan’s dream as it changed (he has prophetic dreams). I figured out what he was dreaming about, but I didn’t know what certain parts meant.

I was really happy for Ryan that he survived everything and gained some new friends. I really liked his relationship with his dad. At first, they barely communicated, but their relationship got better over the course of the book. I love how accepting he is. I hope more parents are starting to be this way.

Christianity is a big part of the book. The book isn’t anti-religion, even though the church in the book is crazy, so I’m not sure if that will offend people. It didn’t bother me.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes young adult, lgbt and mystery books.

I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My review of Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board by Zoe Aarsen

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“McKenna Brady thinks her junior year of high school is going to be the best ever when she’s welcomed into the elite group of popular girls at Weeping Willow High School led by blond, gorgeous Olivia Richmond. Prior to junior year, McKenna was known in her small town as the girl whose twin sister died in a tragic house fire, and she’s overjoyed at the prospect of redefining her identity. She has a date to the Homecoming dance with Olivia’s handsome older brother, and a good chance of being elected to student council. For the first time since McKenna’s parents divorced, things are looking up.
But everything changes the night of Olivia’s Sweet Sixteen sleepover birthday party. Violet, the shy, mysterious new girl in town, suggests that the girls play a scary game called Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, during which Violet makes up elaborate stories about the future ways in which beautiful Olivia, brassy Candace, and athletic Mischa will die. The game unsettles McKenna because she’s already escaped death once in her life, but she doesn’t want to ruin her friends’ fun. It’s only a game, she reminds herself.
But it doesn’t seem like a harmless game a week later when Olivia dies unexpectedly in a violent car crash, exactly as Violet predicted. And something begins haunting McKenna’s bedroom at night, leaving her clues that all seem to point to Violet. McKenna enlists the help of her cute next-door neighbor Trey in finding out exactly what kind of curse Violet has put on all of the popular girls in the junior class. As Violet rises to popularity and seemingly steps into the life Olivia left unfinished, McKenna and Trey know they only have a limited amount of time to bring an end to Violet’s game before more lives are lost. “

At first I was kind of annoyed with how shallow the main character, McKenna, could be and she mentions quite a few times that they were “the prettiest girls in school”, but she stops doing that once the story moves along. I really got into the story and the mystery surrounding Violet. Is she evil? I wanted to know how she knew all of this stuff about everyone since she’s new.

I could picture everything that McKenna and her friends were going through in my mind. The author is really good at descriptions. After talking to a friendly priest, McKenna and Trey come up with a plan to stop Violet and save her friends. The last third of the book really picks up the pace and is full of action. My heart was racing! I was happy for them because I thought everything was over. Then I read the epilogue. Nice twist. I need to get the next book in the series.