Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather

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Haunting the Deep is set six months after the end of How to Hang a Witch and Samantha hasn’t been talking to anyone, especially the Descendants. That changes when she starts seeing ghosts and dreaming about the Titanic, which they’re studying in school. That sets off a chain of events that effects everyone around her. Samantha and the Descendants, with help from some new and old allies, race to find the answers before it’s too late.
The book is a quick read since in takes place over a two week period and I figured out who the bad guy was right away (unlike the first book), but it was still a fun read. I like the friendship between Samantha and her neighbor Mrs. Meriwether and her friendship with the rest of the Descendants. She even gets a ghost cat. If there’s a third book in the series, I’ll definitely read it.
The author works in some social commentary about the way the class system was on The Titanic and how things are similar today.  At the end, she gives a brief history of her family members who were on the Titanic. I’d recommend this to fans of the first one, historical fiction, books about magic or books about the Titanic.
I got this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

I gave it 4/5 stars.

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How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

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I was hooked on this book from the first chapter. Before that really. I read a sample of it on Amazon and had to buy this book, and I never buy Kindle books. How to Hang a Witch is a young adult historical fiction book with a mystery in the middle and some romance thrown in. Even with all of that, it has a good plot and  a pretty good twist (even though I figured it out a bit before the main character, Samantha, does). It kept my interest and I wanted to follow the clues and figure everything out. I also really want to go to Salem.

It’s about a girl named Samantha Mather who moves to Salem, MA from New York City after her father falls into a coma and they are forced to sell their house and move into her father’s childhood home. She gets picked on at school, has bad luck, and, to top things off, starts seeing a ghost in her house. Things get weirder and worse for her from there.

She finds out about a centuries old curse involving the families from the witch trials. Now it’s up to her and a clique of other kids, called the Descendants, to stop it before its too late. With the death toll rising, Sam accepts help from her neighbors and the ghost, Elijah, to stop a surprising enemy.

I’d recommend this to fans of historical fiction and books about witches.

Humanity’s Hope by Pembroke Sinclair

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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. There are some slight spoilers in this review.

I like that it starts off with a sort of homage to Night of the Living Dead (The main character, Caleb, his sister and their friend are running across a field to a farm house). It was a good start. Then all of a sudden Caleb is working at a place called Zomtech as a computer technician/programmer and we’re supposed to figure out that the previous scene was a flashback/memory.
While trying to readjust to life post-zombie apocalypse, his life is thrown into chaos once again when he receives threats from an unknown source demanding that he give them “what they want.” But who are they and what do they want? By the time it got to the major twist, I was forcing myself to finish this because I just didn’t care anymore. The things Caleb was doing didn’t make sense.
Honestly, it was a good idea for a book, but there’s too much description and not enough action. Also, I get it. Caleb has wing tattoos on his wrists and a scar. Sheesh. Talk about something else.

2/5 stars

Review of When They Came by Kody Boye

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When They Came is a clean dystopian, young adult novel set in the future after aliens have invaded Earth. The main character, Ana Maria Sofia Barrios, chooses to join The Midnight Guard like her older sister so she can help protect her community.

The book doesn’t have any sex or swearing in it, so it’s fine for teens of all ages. If a character swears it’s written as “I swore from the pain.” or something instead of actual swear words. Ana and her family are very close, which I liked. Her sister is nice and accepting and seems like a positive role model for her. In this world, she definitely needs that. The trope of everyone wanting something in the apocalypse is used in this book, but I think that really would happen in an apocalypse.

The action and the aliens are well described and the pacing is good. While most of the descriptions are really good, like when they’re going to houses or wherever, some fell flat. In the scene where they go outside the walls for the first time, they break into one of the houses and break glass and it’s described as “breaking like teardrops.” It was weird to me. My main issues (as a warning, this part contains spoilers) with the book were that Ana is called by her whole name (or variations of it) all the time and everyone wants to sacrifice themselves for the “special” girl. Also, when getting beamed up by aliens, she actually says “Take me to your leader.” Are you kidding me?!
Overall it was an alright book, but it frustrated me at times. I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads, but it’s really more of a 2.5.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review of Venomous by Christopher Krovatin

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Venomous is another one of my Dollar Tree finds. This one is about a boy named Locke Vinetti who lives in New York with his mother and little brother. He suffers from intense anger issues that he refers to as “angries” at first and then renames his anger “The Venom” after the Spiderman villain. The book follows his struggle to live a normal life despite the fact that he feels like he has a creature living inside of him waiting to destroy his life.

His best friend, Randall, introduces him to his friends, their tarot club and a pretty goth girl named Renee. Things seem to finally be looking up for him but it doesn’t last long. The book deals with mental illness, drinking, medications, therapy, family issues, anger management, love, friendship and death. It also has lots of swearing and has some sex, so this isn’t for younger kids.

I like that each chapter starts off with a drawing that’s a page from a graphic novel with a bit of story and it’s supposed to be one that Locke is writing. Even though the book can be pretty dark at times, it ends with a hopeful scene. The other thing that I like about the book is that it doesn’t make the idea of taking pills (like Zoloft) or seeing a therapist a weakness. Even though the characters themselves might have some issues with it, their friends don’t.

Review of Rebels Like Us by Liz Reinhardt

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Rebels Like Us is about a girl named Agnes who moves from New York to Georgia for her senior year of high school and gets a huge dose a culture shock. I empathized with her character because moving from CT to MD was like that for me. I laughed out loud when Agnes’ teachers thought she was messing with her by not calling her “Ma’am.”
Honestly, not much happens in the first third of the book besides Agnes meeting and hanging out Doyle, going to school, arguing with her mom, dealing with Ansley (the head mean girl) and avoiding talking to her father, but the book moves along at a good pace and I still wanted to keep reading and I wanted to see what happened to the characters. I generally dislike “instalove”, but it worked for Agnes and Doyle. They’re a cute couple.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of racism at the new school, including segregated proms. I was annoyed at that. I don’t see how that would be allowed in 2017. Agnes, Doyle and their friends make an alternative prom, but it doesn’t sit well with people who want to keep their “traditions” alive, and someone puts a burning cross on Agnes’ lawn. I felt like after that there was a huge lead up to the alterna-prom with all the news coverage and everything, and then the prom itself was barely covered in the book. That was kind of a let down. It’s like Ok, then the prom that we all worked so hard for happened. Cool. There was so much money left over that there will be another one next year. Nice. I’m gonna graduate now.
I still enjoyed the book and was very happy to win it through the First Reads program, but I only gave it four stars because of that.

Review of “A Hard Day’s Night” by Mia Kerick

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A Hard Day’s Night is about a Beatles obsessed high school senior named Lennon who spends a “gay day” with his best friend Fin. They do all the stereotypical stuff that gay guys like based on a google search and hilarity ensues.  It’s a really quick read and the characters learn about who they really are in the process of doing these ridiculous (and expensive) things. I know it’s supposed to be a fun story, but I just kept thinking about how much money Lennon must have spent on everything and how ridiculous that was. It could’ve gone towards his college education. Some parts are sad and others are angsty. I don’t want to give much away. I liked the ending. I’ve read other books from this author and enjoyed them as well.

I got this for free from Reading Deals in exchange for an honest review and they hounded me relentlessly even before the review was due and even after I explained that I’d had a seizure and had to go through a month of tests and appointments.