You Don’t Know Me From Adam (The Space Between – A Book Review)

The Space Between
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Space Between

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

21/25

 

Once, my mother told a whole host of angels that she rather die than go back to a man she didn’t love.

When you’re half-angel and half demon from Lilith and Lucifer life can be…complicated. Daphne’s life is nothing but an endless expanse of time filled with soap operas and knick-knacks from Earth. When her brother, Obie, goes missing up on Earth, she thinks she may be to blame. She’ll do anything to get him back.

She sets out to find her Obie, but she’ll need the help of possibly the last person to see him. Truman. Together they trek through the cold streets of New York City in search of her brother. It grows increasingly dangerous for them. Daphne delves more into her demonic half as Truman tries to figure out his strange dreams. The both of them struggle with their growing feelings for one another while hoping they’re not too late to rescue Obie.

 

This book marks 20 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. Brenna Yovanoff is an author that I’ve heard quite a bit about, so I was glad to find a few YA novels by her.

 

Angels and demons. Some think of this as quite the taboo subject when it comes to fiction of any kind because of how it reflects on the Bible and beliefs. I, however, get fascinated. It’s got a mythos base just like Egyptian Gods and Greek Gods. So, I was pretty intrigued when I spotted this book. The cover art was pretty freaky too.

Given the notion of a hellish ride, I’m not sure it got that far for me. If it didn’t seem to jump all over the place, I think I would’ve been much more immersed it it. The story jumped between first person POV of Daphne two third person POV of Truman and that was really conflicting.

Scarlett Reader

More so, I couldn’t get a grasp on any chemistry between Truman and Daphne. That was a bit of a downer. Her desperation to find her brother, and his inner turmoil was stronger than the attempted pairing of them. I was in this for the adventure!

The details and depictions in the book were really interesting. Yovanoff really pulled me into this realistic world of heaven, hell, bringing it to our world in a very real sense. It was dank and dark with a sliver of hope. The creatures that slithered in the darkness were creepy! However, this world only felt scary when with the characters. They gave it life more than any other element.

The ending of the book made reading it all worth it. Quite a few surprises. Even a special cameo by the one and only Lucifer. It was chilling! I’m not talking about the dapper, heart-melting grinner that we’re waiting to reappear on Netflix either. This Lucifer’s presence made me stop breathing. He didn’t make any other appearance in the book, but the build-up around him throughout the story was so good!

 

Overall

This was a nice little page-turner with freakishly, hellish originality. The Winchesters would approve. I enjoyed the mythos that was touched on as well as the side of depression I feel like some people don’t understand. I do wish some parts had been more clear

 

Quotables:

“Open your eyes and look at yourself. That’s you, undisguised. That’s your black, revolting heart.” (shadow man to Truman, p. 125)

“All my life, I’ve understood the nature of where I come from, but I never thought I might be wicked until now.” (Daphne, p. 143)

“Love. The word makes me feel unsteady, like something is moving under my skin. I’m not about any kind of love, but I don’t tell him that. Love is for people with a certain amount of humanity.” (Daphne, p. 160)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Feels Like Falling by Digital Daggers.

 

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When the Bees are Long Gone (Stung – A Book Review)

Stung (Stung #1)
Author: Bethany Wiggins
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

Stung - The Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

There is no cure for being stung.

One minute Fiona is thirteen and being put to sleep for her safety and the safety of everyone else, the next she wakes up older and confused. There’s a strange tattoo on her hand, but these tattoos marked the infected, mindless, violent beasts.

Worse, she’s on the wrong side of the wall. She doesn’t know why or how, except that she’ll have to conceal her tattoo by any means necessary, especially after she’s caught by the militia. Now she’ll have an old friend and a new, shaky ally to stay alive as it becomes more obvious that she isn’t like the other tattooed beasts.

In this world, where a bee sting was more dangerous than anything else, Fiona may just help save it. That is, if she doesn’t end up dead first.

 

Fiona reawakens in a world that has completely crumbled because of the extinction of bees. People have to self-pollinate their fields. Women are scarce. Violent being that were once people roam the desolate world, destroying any living thing that crosses its paths.

 

How was this book? It is straight down the middle for me. It was good, but it wasn’t great. Call me psycho or morbid or anything, but I’ve always wondered about a world without the bees. It’s a real possibility. They’re going extinct and it sucks. I love bees. They help gives all kinds of things we need from food to beauty to life. So, I was pretty amped up. BUT. Yep, a but. Everyone has them and we all like to shake them. So, here’s a little shake-shake. There were pros and cons to this book.

Fiona was an interesting character. She struggled with her new reality because in her head she still felt like she was thirteen. I found that to be one of the COOLEST things in this book. It was so unique and incredibly realistic. Fiona had to play catch-up really fast and she had some help from her old neighbor/slash friend, Bowen, who’s no longer thirteen either, but seventeen, nearly eighteen. While there’s a spark between them, the progression between them went from subtle and gentle to suddenly macho speed and was very weird. He was so guarded against her and by the end of the book it was as if he couldn’t live without her. Just the way it came about was too rushed for my liking.

Scarlet Reader - Slow Down

The plot of the story was predictable and reminded me of The Maze Runner, but I loved it anyway. The way it came about was unique and bleak. I was thriving to see more of it. Wiggins did such a great job creating this dead world. I could imagine the dead and barren, grey wasteland and the vibrant, tech city behind a great wall. The law and lack thereof in this universe were horrifying. You don’t want to be a girl here. Although, not going to lie, I wouldn’t mind reading a book where men are the rare ones alive. Just saying.

Some parts of the book came off as ridiculous and filler. Not good filler either, sadly. The flashbacks on Fiona’s life really added to her backstory, but it was some of the interaction between her and Bowen that felt like too far of a stretch. Like, it was forced. However, there were some lines that were so good they took my breath away.

As I said, this book was right down the middle.

 

Overall

I like and didn’t like this. It’s really a 50/50. I may read the sequel just to see how it goes for Fiona and see if she and Bowen could have a life together. This wasn’t a mind-blower, just a decent read to pass the time.

 

Quotables:

“I don’t remember going to sleep. All I remember is waking up here—a place as familiar as my own face.” (Fiona, p. 1)

“I will not die without fighting for a life I am not yet done living.” (Fiona, p. 253)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Crave by Tove Lo.

 

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The Black Tidal Wave (The Hatching – A Book Review)

The Hatching (The Hatching #1)
Author: Ezekiel Boone
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

The Hatching

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

 

There is no waking up from this nightmare…

An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake. A nuke is dropped in China. A strange  and fatal plane crash is investigated by the FBI in America. Strange earthquakes in India. As the series of events increase, they come to a head.

A species thought long dead wakes up and begin swallowing the world, turning into a horrifying  apocalypse that’ll haunt waking dreams.

 

First, the cover art is wicked. Webbing over a black cover really gave a great idea that the book was about spider and that it would be creepy. I got a copy that actually came with a slip on case that enhanced the ominous vibe. It really got my hopes up! Which kind of sucked.

This book straight-up comes off as a SyFy (or if you still remember the original tag-SciFi) movie. No joke. The terrible graphics and bad puns, all done on purpose, and completely unbelievable. Come on, guys. You know what I’m talking about. Sharknado. Lavalantula. And this one, of course, is about ancient spiders waking up, ready to take over the world.

the hatching - The Scarlet Reader - tumblr

I found this book unrealistic and not as scary as I was hoping. It wasn’t scary at all actually, and I’m jumpy around spiders. With how the characters came off—overly vulgar and over the top—I couldn’t take this book seriously. It dimmed my interest.

This book jumped all over the planet. From where the ancient spiders breached the earth in South America and devoured a tourist group to a nuke drop in Asia to the oval office, the book really circulated around the important parts, tying them together in a unique way that seemed random, but wasn’t. Was it clear all of the time? No. Did it seem pointless sometimes? Yes. But it wasn’t. It was just incredibly expansive, showing how dangerous this ancient species had and in such a short time. That a shoe wasn’t going to be enough to stomp them out.

the hatching -The Scarlet Reader - tumblr

 

Overall

This was not what I excepted. I just couldn’t get into this book, but I started it and then finished it. Now I will go ahead and donate it, because maybe somebody else will enjoy it more than me.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Pinch Me by The Barenaked Ladies.

 

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Midnight Tease

Midnight Tease - Giphy

Happy Midnight Hour, my precious booknerds!

Shall I begin this post with the tradition song of Halloween???

Halloween

This is my month! So excited. I look forward to dressing up this Halloween.

Reading this month will be filled with all kinds of spookiness. From witchiness to facing up to a curse that makes your worst fears come true. I can’t wait! There’s something about things that go bump in the night. It’s my kind of normal. Bring on the scary books, scary movies, overdose of sugar, and pumpkins!

Mum and I have put up our Halloween tree. It’s creeping and crawling with spiders and pumpkins and skeletons.

Halloween tree - The Scarlet Reader

We’d gotten the idea last year and then got really lucky to find a black Christmas tree. And yes, that’s a witch hat on top.

Anyway, here’s what’s coming for October!

 

 

Coming Soon…

Book browsing

 

Stung
Author: Bethany Wiggins

Stung - The Scarlet Reader

The sting of a bee turning people into mindless beasts and a girl stuck on the wrong side of it. I’m intrigued.

 

What a Girl Wants
Author: Lindsey Kelks

What a Girl Wants - The Scarlet Reader

Finishing up that summer reading!

 

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Author: Krystal Sutherland

Semi Definitive List of worst Nightmares - The Scarlet Reader

Halloween isn’t Halloween without curses and fears!

 

Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber

Caraval

A deadly game. I like games!

 

The Rules of Magic & Practical Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman

The Scarlet Reader

Googly-eyed here. Finally getting to read the books my FAVORITE MOVIE is based from. Can’t tell I’m EXCITED can you?

 

 

Currently…

Unbreakable yes

 

black bird of the gallows
Author: Meg Kassel

black bird of the gallows - The Scarlet Reader

 

Ragwitch
Author: Garth Nix

Ragwitch - The Scarlet Reader

 

Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead

Bloodlines - The Scarlet Reader

 

Up For Review…

Up for Review

 

Bold Tricks
Author: Karina Hale

Bold Tricks - Scarlet Reader

 

The Hatching
Author: Ezekiel Boone

The Hatching

 

Ender’s Game
Author: Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game

 

to make monsters out of girls
Author: amanda lovelace

to make monsters our of girls - The Scarlet Reader

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Even In Your Sleep (Down a Dark Hall – Book Review)

Down a Dark Hall
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1974

On Goodreads

Down a Dark Hall

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

The terror is real only in her dreams.

Kit is dropped off at Blackwood School for Girls along with others. Each of them possess unique traits. Strange things begin happening around the grounds. Kit is having weird dreams and sleep walking. With each passing day, it gets stranger. She knows evil lurks down the dark halls, but she only sees it when she’s asleep. How can she escape? How can she get free if no one will believe her when her fears are only in her dreams? Or are they?

Like Duncan’s other books that I’v read, this was pretty good. She brought the supernatural element again to one of her novels. The dark halls of Blackwood are chilling and creepy. There are many unexplainable instances. Sleepwalking. Dreams of dead people. And becoming oddly talented and skilled at something you typically aren’t.

Kit experiences all of this and she’d love to run away. Her parents dumped her on the doorstep of this private school and didn’t look back as they to go on their honeymoon. Jerkfaces. Lucky for Kit, she made some friends. I really like the story. As you progress, the story intensifies until BAM! Everything breaks loose and Kit is feeling helpless.

With supernatural forces at work, I’m a little unnerved. Losing control is scary. It’s a feeling that can make anybody go over the edge, which is exactly what happens with Kit and her friends.

I found the characters to be quite like-able…except for Headmistress Madame Duret. She can go jump in a ditch because there is a special place for a person that lets ghosts possess teenagers. Kit was a strong-headed girl and has no time for bullshit. She also doesn’t leave her friends behind, which puts her in a high place on my list.

Each of the girls were having different things happening to them that were unexplainable. Kit was hearing music everywhere. Her closest friend, Sandy, was creating poetry, which doesn’t seem all that bad, but it was in foreign languages. The other girls, too. It was alarming and I wanted to figure this book out more. When I did, I was surprised. They weren’t just experiencing supernatural events but were pulled into them, getting possessed by ghosts. And being in the front seat of that was crazy!

This also just came out as a movie. I’m kind of intrigued. Ghosty movies are always chilling to me and I would love to see the differences between it and the book.

Down a Dark Hall

The style Duncan has with her books is one that I love. Incredibly simple and attention grabbing. She knows all the tricks to make a person go investigate the dark and creepy places, though they probably shouldn’t. There’s bread crumbs of curiosity behind with a twist of scary. And the TWIST! There always a twist, and Duncan did NOT disappoint. It gets me going and like it. This was also a quick read. Her novels aren’t usually long.

Overall

While I can’t say this is some epic literary piece, it was pretty epic. Period. She really approached the teen slasher/supernatural genre with great skill. These are instant classics in my opinion. A fun read to indulge in when you want goosebumps, like a story you tell around the campfire.

Quotables:

“Somewhere in the quiet dormitory someone had shrieked, In pain? In terror? Perhaps only from a nightmare, and yet, perhaps for some other reason. For—help?” (p. 42)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Help I’m Alive by Metric

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Peruse Carefully (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams – A Book Review)

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Author: Stephen King
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Bazaar of Bad Dreams

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

A master of horror, crazy, and supernatural, Stephen King brings another collection of short stories. A few you may know. Others come at you with a realistic and horrifying twist that will make you shiver. From a people-eating car to a little green god of agony possessing an elderly, rich and entitled asshole to a Kindle linked to the Dark Tower.

In this latest collection, the King still stirs that pot, mixing the dark and morbid side of reality with that of the fantasy side.

 

Personally, Nightmares & Dreamscapes is my favorite collection of the King’s stories: the hardcover, purple with the gravestone. Just beautiful. This one wasn’t as great, but their were a few stories that really perked my interest. Just something about the way they caught me by surprise.

Mile 81

The Bad Kid

Ur

The Little Green God of Agony

Obits

Summer Thunder

The ominous shadow that hangs over all of these stories really enticed me. It kept me curious.

I found the title of the book to be intriguing. A bazaar-a market that sells goods-was a unique choice for it, emphasizing that you can peruse these short stories instead of reading them in order. And, bad dreams? Yeah, the King isn’t kidding. Some of these stories are what nightmares are made of. And the cover, looking at a person and only seeing death, is beautiful and chilling.

Short stories are an art form. I agree with this. Very hard to conquer. Sometimes. With this book, I feel that. This was one that I had 50/50 feelings about. It was good, yet not really. The imagery was powerful with each one. Some of the stories I enjoyed immensely and others not so much. There were points where I just couldn’t get invested into the story. I felt like I was getting dragged.

However, each detailed intro to each story was poignant and beautiful. It’s getting a backstage pass to what I believe to be one of the funniest yet outspoken minds of fiction. He truly writes some beautiful words in a cloud of morbidity. I dig it.

Thumbs Up

Now, my favorite stories (above) are favorites because of one BIG element. Shouldn’t be that hard to guess if you’ve been keeping up with me this far in the blog. There’s that special supernatural touch. Though, if I had a specific favorite it would be Obits. The story centers on a journalist’s dark comedy obituary and his sudden ability to kill people with it. So much power and so dangerous!! This was the greatest page turner, and maybe that makes me a bit morbid, but I’ve read stories similar to this—where you could write someone’s death and then it actually happens. Its creepy and unnerving. Imagine having that kind of power. It’s mind-blowing!

mind blown

And I swear, when reading this, I can hear the King’s voice ring so clearly, and it sounds very close to a professor’s I had: cocky and condescendingly intelligent with a thrive for life. It made me smile. I liked that professor, because while he did sound like that, he was a cool guy. Made everyone feel included and nobody felt stupid. There was learning to be had and he did a great job of helping with that.

 

Overall

This book left me tied up on how I feel about it. There were some great stories. They really pulled me in. But…I wasn’t moved to love the entire book. That’s what’s interesting about short stories. Because you don’t like one, doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the entire book.

Beautiful words, chilling stories, intense characters, but a one-time read for me.

 

Quotables:

“If you saw a guy lying by the side of the road, it didn’t matter if he was a Samaritan or a Martian. You stopped to help.” (Mile 81, p. 23)

“Arr, reality’s a dirty place with no religion in it.

So buy me a drink, goddam you!

We’ll toast elephants that never were.” (The Bone Church, p. 162)

“I think the world is mostly populated by shitheads. You take it from there.” (UR, p. 210)

 

More to comes soon…

-K.

 

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P.S. Song today? Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson

 

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You’re Not Jay…(Jay’s Journal – A Book Review)

Jay’s Journal
Author: Anonymous
Published: 1979
On Goodreads

Jay's Journal

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

14/25

 

On a cold January night, Jay put a pistol to his head and pulled the trigger.

He was sixteen.

Jay didn’t understand the point of keeping a journal. As a teenager, he’s hormonal and troubled and just trying to find his way. Suddenly, he’s sucked into a group of friends and convinced by his girlfriend to join in on witchcraft, Ouija boards, and demon summoning. As life takes a dark turn, Jay feels isolated with no chance to escape. His only escape are within the pages of this journal.

 

This book marks 14 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve met people who’ve read from Anonymous and they really liked the books. I wanted to open up to new authors and this was one of them.

 

Okay, this book seemed pretty upfront and not all that out of the norm. From my own point of view, magic is neither good nor bad. It’s the believer and practitioner and their intentions that determines whether the magic goes good or bad. So, when I read this, I was real effing shocked by the gradual darkness that swallowed Jay.

Jay's Journal

The magic went from interesting and nifty to dark side. It was unnerving and actually pretty damn scary by the end of the book, and I don’t scare that easy, but this…this was chilling.

Set in the 70s, Jay had an ordinary life. He had normal parents that he felt like were smothering him. Had a sibling, Chad, that looked up to him. It was the typical, nuclear family. More so, the language really promoted the period with such words as neat and Judas. It pulled me into it even more.

It was from Jay’s personal POV that we came across this story. That alone left me a little unnerved. The thing about a POV such as this is that you aren’t looking through a person’s eyes. You’re looking from their personal emotions. The way he recalled everything that happened and how it felt was haunting and unnerving. From out of body experiences to ESP, he wrote it all down. Most of the time he wrote in prose, but from time to time he wrote poetry, which I really liked. The emotions reached great highs and scary lows.

Jay's Journal

What made this book so scary? It’s all true. These are Jay’s real words that his mother allowed to be read by everyone. It’s her hopes that it’ll warn and help others.

 

This book was just amazing, creepy, and all around a perfect read. It encompassed the time period and emotions. My best friend officially wants to read this book. I recommend to fans of both fiction and nonfiction. This was crazy.

 

Quotables:

“I WAS SURE I COULD HANDLE IT!” (Jay, p. 9)

“Night…endless is thy name” (Jay, p. 21)

“All evil lurks inside and hides it so I cannot see. But it sees me.” (Jay, p. 168)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Fleur Blanche by Orsten.

 

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