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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Rise Up (Children of Blood and Bone – A Book Review)

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1)
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Children of Blood and Bone

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

They killed my mother.

They took our magic.

They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Across Orisha, the maji used their magic, granted from the gods, to bring peace and balance. Orisha thrummed with life with that magic. Burners awakened flames. Tiders beckoned waves. Zelie hopes one day to be like her mother, a reaper that can summon souls.

Then suddenly, the gods disappear and the ruthless tyrant king destroys maji across the land, destroying Orisha along with it.

Years later, magic reappears and Zelie grasps at the chance to bring it back in full and rise against those that destroyed it and her mother. With her brother and a runaway, they begin a quest to save Orisha. Will they be able to do so before the crowned prince catches up in hopes of stopping them?

 

Not going to lie, this premise actually reminded me of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It’s also partially the reason I picked it up. It wasn’t the whole reason! I’d heard many a great things about this book before it was released and wanted to hop into something fresh, so I plucked it off the shelf at Walmart. Wasn’t let down at all. This book was SO FREAKING, PHENOMENALLY, WONDERFULLY written. Yes, the caps were necessary.

 

The book itself is a work of art. The cover and the map of Orisha on the inside. Left me breathless. It’s truly worth owning the hardback version.

Children of Blood and Bone

The world Tomi built left me in a state of complete and utter awe. It was strong and you could perfectly see the stunning imagery. Such a beautiful, yet tragic landscape with tragic loss and overwhelming fear looming over it. From the scarred towns, filled with treacherous guards that take what they please to wounded temples with the ghosts of its inhabitants still lingering in its stone hallways. I was just blown away.

The characters just blew me away. This story is told from three POVs: Zelie, Amari, and Inan. Each of their strengths and struggles and heartaches plucked at my heart and really pulled me in. Zelie has such a heavy weight in her heart, carrying the past. When she meets Amari, they’re thrust onto a path that changes them forever. It changes Inan forever, too, as he it storn between following his duty to his father and king, and helping his sister. Soon enough, the affairs of the heart complicate these quests even more. The complexity of their emotions twist and twist and there were so many times I forgot to breathe. When Zelie felt her anger melt away into the possibility of love and even a possibility of moving forward with her life, I was spellbound. My heart broke open.

 

And the magic!! Oh, it was incredible! It’s interwoven into a maji’s life, called ashê. I fell in love with just how much a part of life it was. It wasn’t something that was out of the ordinary. It was cherished, and in my opinion wrongfully feared in some instances. This magic, made of elements I’m pretty familiar with already like: time, light, death, fire, water…it’s connected to everything because it comes from so much more than just thin air. It’s from higher beings and not just ones that we guess or hope are there. They’re very present beings. This was one of my favorite parts of the story. It’s beautifully complex, yet not at all because it’s so well written into these characters’ lives and all of Orisha.

It's so beautiful

To get real for a minute, when I read the book I could see some serious parallels to our own world. Yes, I said our, because we all live in it together. The biggest thing I noticed was the relation between the guards in this book that are vile and treacherous and police that have used brutal and unnecessary force and violence on people. I’ve seen the firsthand videos of people being wrongfully abused. This power that police have and even farther up, the government as well, is scary. This country, the U.S., has become a scary place. Tomi wrote about this parallel in her Author’s Note and I was stunned. She did a stunning job in presenting one of the biggest issues in this country in a well-put-together way that not only swept the reader away, but plunged them into a beautiful story. It sends a powerful message.

 

Obviously, I recommend this book. It’s powerful and rich and emotionally rendering. This book is eye-opening and a work of art that’ll move you, like splitting open the earth to see its heart. You’ll want more. Hell, I want more!

 

Quotables:

“Deep down, I know the truth. I knew it the moment I saw the maji of Ibadan in chains. The gods died with our magic. They’re never coming back.” (Zelie, p. 15)

“The truth cuts like the sharpest knife I’ve ever known. No matter what I do, I will always be afraid.” (Zelie, p. 313)

“I hate my magic. I despise the way it poisons me. But more than anything, I hate the way it makes me hate myself.” (Inan, p. 323)

“We don’t need to fear magic. We only need each other.” (Inan, p. 387)

“You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasn’t keeping us alive. It was thinking we’d never fight back.” (Zelie to King Saran, p. 416)

 

More to come…

-K.

 

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P.S. Song today? Rise Up by Imagine Dragons.

 

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Something Wicked Lurking in the Shadows (The Witching Hour – A Book Review)

The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #1)
Author: Anne Rice
Published: 1990

On Goodreads

Witching Hour

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

10/25

 

They call him the man, but Aunt Carl says he’s really the devil.

The history of the Mayfair witches is a long one, but the man-creature- Lasher that has followed the women of that line is even older. After the death of her biological mother, Rowan Mayfair come to New Orleans, home of the Mayfairs. With falling in love with Michael Curry and getting to know her family, Rowan feels like she’s finally home. Well, that is until Lasher, the man, makes himself known and seduces Rowan. As she falls prey, she refuses to acknowledge this thing. As a doctor, she is a believer of science not religion, so she finds it difficult to believe in this creature, but she should and she should be afraid. Something wicked this way comes…back.

This book marks 10 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve seen the movies, but never read the books. I’ve heard so many great things that I was excited to read Anne Rice.

When it comes to the supernatural genre, I’m a lush. I love my paranormal novels and Anne Rice is one of the most revolutionary authors of the genre. Right up alongside Bram Stoker himself. She brings the supernatural into the eighties while keeping it’s gothic framing. I was surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. It was beautiful, yet slightly on the scary side. She really combined the two elements well and left me feeling odd because I’ve never felt that way about writing. LOL.

Whoa, it’s big! I was stunned at what a whopper of a book this was. There was so much detail that my senses were in overload. So much of the book is back history though. That did bother me a little bit. All of that history, though very necessary, stalled the story for me. Pushing past all of it was so worth it! The ending totally blew my mind to a disturbed place! It was dark and grimy and I was wide eyed and freaked out.

ITBT

The characters blew me away. They’re rich and connected and I found myself holding my breath from time to time. There are no boundaries from the horrors and the romances that follow and surround them, especially for Michael and Rowan. I’ve never seen two people like these opposites before. Rowan is brash and her temper is easily flared while Michael-until he met her-is an introvert of sorts. I really liked how the characters came across. They have a long history that really is magical. My utmost favorite thing about them is whether you consider the Mayfairs good or bad.

The way that the Talamasca a is intertwined with this series and all of the history with the Mayfairs is astounding. They’re only known as those who watch. They don’t get involved with the supernatural, though of course you quickly learn that isn’t the case. They’re more involved and a part of the Mayfair witches than they’d like. I really like when a story can get so unexpectedly twisted like it did with these two branches.

Witching Hour

Anne Rice is mindblowing. She encompasses the magic of New Orleans, bringing its culture and lore out in a beautiful gothic style. I really love how upfront her writing was, too. There were no hidden meanings in my opinion. It was right there, up front.

I won’t lie, there were times I was ready to give up on this book, but there were so many parts that made it worth it. It was seductive, pushing and pulling. I swear she could compete with V.C. Andrews. While this book was incredibly steamy and I was totally engrossed, I was also highly disturbed. Rice really throws the shockers at you.

Quotables:

“We watch. And we are always here.” (p. 4)

“We are an old family, Father. We don’t even know how old. There is no one now who can identify some of the portraits you see around you.” (Carlotta to Father Mattingly, p. 81)

“You know, when I was in my twenties, falling in love with a person in one evening would have been damn near impossible. Least it never happened.  And when I was in my thirties? Well maybe, but again it didn’t happen, though now I’m in my late forties now, and I’m either more stupid than ever or I know enough finally that I can fall in love with a person in one day or one night.” (Michael to Aaron, p. 249)

“When I look into the future all I see is how weak most people are, and how little they do to fight fate or fortune.” (Mary Beth, p. 478)

“The dead are so close they can hear us.” (Rowan, p. 672)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Freak on a Leash by Korn.

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Eyes of Fire (Summer of Fear – A Book Review)

Summer of Fear
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1983

On Goodreads

Summer of Fear - SR

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Full boltFull bolt

 

Rachel’s not jealous of her beautiful cousin. But she is afraid.

Cousin Julia comes to live with Rachel and her family after a terrible car accident. Slowly, inch by inch, Julia is taking over Rachel’s life. She takes her bedroom, her boyfriend, and soon enough her family. Everybody thinks Rachel is jealous, but that’s not it at all. There’s something dark about Julia, and Rachel’s terrified.

 

This book was a quick read. It is. Rather short. I finished it in three hours. I really enjoyed it even though a page was missing. LOL. I will never know what happened on the first page of chapter five. Kidding. I can probably buy a new copy of the book. This one I got out at a library sale. Those things are freaking gold mines. Anyway…a fantastic read. Classic, cult, and edgy from the same author of I Know What You Did Last Summer.

I know

Rachel is that ultimate final girl that—I hope I’m not the only one—you miss in horror movies these days. While everyone falls under Julia’s spell, she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. There’s heartbreak and even that panic inducing feeling. It wasn’t strong, but this dark and mystical story was a great page turner. Duncan does so well at building up to her great reveal. She always gets you with that twist. When everybody turns on Rachel, she fights back. And let me tell you, that was intense. That feeling of isolation that she gets trapped in is nothing compared to what could possibly happen to her.

I really clung on to the additional element of witch lore and magic. From having read a more horror novel last time, this was fresh to me. Witches of late have appeared more as agents of good, but not in this story. This book really touches on the bit that witches can be evil, too. There are upsides and dark sides of the supernatural and it was pretty cool to see the dark side.

Evil Witch

The attention to detail was wonderful. Not too much, but enough that the imagery was perfect, reminding me that this is set before the era of cell phones and DVDs. For many these days I’m sure your’e saying, “WHAT!?”. Yup, those days existed folks. After all, this was done in the eighties. Duncan’s writing really captured that without seeming overboard. I really liked it.

A favorite summer read of mine, but I believe Lois Duncan is great at creating a story like that. It’s the deadly story that gets you wanting summer. What kidn of story does that!? LOL. This one did, for me. Utterly original and, like I said already, classic. I’d really like to have the rest of the collection. So, do you read it because you like paranormal stories and horror? Yes! Do you read this because I say so? Well, that’d be cool, but I haven’t mastered the ability of manipulation so you’ll have to decid that for yourself.

 

Quotables

“It’s crazy, isn’t it, thinking you’ll never have anything but two brothers and then finally, at your age, getting a sister.” (Mike to Julia, p. 18)

“When you lose touch with youth, you grow old fast.” (Professor Jarvis to Julia, p. 56)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Summer Sunshine by The Corrs.

 

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From the Page to the Screen – A Book List

Hello, my epic and awesome bookworms!

How’s hangin’?

I’m good. The weather has been up and down. Rainy and snowy (which sucks). It’s supposed to be spring! I’ve discovered that I’m really into the trend of cacti. Don’t know why. Well, actually, it may relate to me being as prickly as a cactus. Kidding!And I’m on my sixth bag of jelly beans, but I can’t help it! The Sweet Tart Jellies are sooooo good. They do that thing where they rub my tongue raw, though.

Anyway, I have the monthly book list! This time I went with one that could stir up debate: the best book turned movie. There are a lot of favorites out there. I took some time to get some and have compiled a list. You be the judge!

Bridge to Terabithia
Author: Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia

“It really captured all of the creativity and imagination that the characters have.”

-Kat J.

Bridge to Terabithia

Harry Potter
Author: J.K. Rowling

HP

“It was pretty close to the books and created real magic.”

-Kya Y.

Harry Potter

Gone with the Wind
Author: Margaret Mitchell

Gone With the Wind

“I love historical fiction and this really did well in capturing Scarlet O’Hara. The length of the movie compared to the book was perfect.”

-Susan C.

Gone with the Wind - Giphy

The Time Machine
Author: H.G. Wells

FullSizeRender

“I love time travel sci-fi. The movie was really good in showing how the hero slowly turned into the villain with each time travel. It’s also gotten me into Dr. Who.”

-Jeff C.

Time Machine - Time Travel Nexus

Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants

“A truly magical story. Kept close to the book.”

-Delena T.

Water for Elephants

Twilight
Author: Stephanie Meyer

Twilight - Open Book Society

“I loved how well the intensity of the emotions of the characters were captured. Edward was perfect.”

-Rae R.

Twilight

The Princess Bride
Author: William Goldman

Princess Bride - The Housework Can Wait

“Just, yes. Definitely the best.”

-Becca B.

Princess Bride

Cat in the Hat
Author: Dr. Seuss

Cat in the Hat

-Bernard F.

Cat in the Hat

The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry

The Giver

“It wasn’t perfect, but they did a good job capturing the vibe.”

-Cierra M.

The Giver

Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo

Because of Winn-Dixie

“It did a wonderful job of capturing the essence of Opal and her relationships.”

-Alice T.

BoWD - Giphy

Have a book that you believe was made into a great movie? Tell me in the comments below!

More to come soon…

–K.

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Shamanism and Undying Love (Bound to You – A Book Review)

Bound to You
Author: Christopher Pike
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Bound to You

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

 

In this book comes two stories of magical suspense.

Spellbound

Cindy is getting used to being Jason’s new girlfriend after his previous one was found horribly mutilated up in the mountains just weeks ago. She’s sure that he wasn’t involved, but there’s something off about him. She can’t put her finger on it. When another classmate is found dead in a similar way, she and foreign exchange student, Bala, are determined to figure out what is happening. When they discover what horrific thing could do something so grizzly, they wish they hadn’t.

See You Later

Mark is in love with Becky. Becky has a boyfriend that isn’t Mark. Kara is determined to get Mark and Becky together. Very determined. But why? This drives Mark to not give up on how he feels for Becky. How far will he go for the girl he loves?

 

Before I get started with this review I’d like to say I’m sorry for my lateness. Work has been really taking over. Also, one of my sisters have swung by for Spring Break. I do have a couple books up for review, so yay!

 

How to begin…Just get it out there. This book was not for me. Nope. Not even a little.

The setting was beautiful and so was the story plot. That goes for both stories. They seemed so great at first and I was really intrigued. I didn’t get past that feeling. There were just parts that didn’t make sense to me. Some parts were extremely abrupt, coming out of nowhere, jarring me and others that made no sense at all.

However, there were some really great moments, much like a shooting star. Brief, but amazing and beautiful. I just wish it had been continuous.

Spellbound: About shamanism and crazy animal spirit

See You Later: Time Travel

Out of the two, See You Later was my favorite. It was sweet and I liked the direction it was going. But that was about it. It was very meh. However, the twists in each of these books was pretty good. They weren’t the kind that made your eyeballs bulge from their sockets. They were smirk worthy because they sly plot twists. I dug’em.

Shrug II

What I couldn’t really handle was the way the story was being told. It felt very bland and I just couldn’t get interested. In some instances, what went on felt incredibly ridiculous to me and unrealistic, like it didn’t happen naturally. Because of that I couldn’t believe this book which led me to be unable to be sucked into it.

The characters didn’t even keep me interested. In fact, they made me annoyed. They were very bland without any really development. Completely one track. I get that these stories stack between middle school and high school, but still. I just felt like what was important wasn’t being focused on and vice versa. There just wasn’t any real feeling there. You know what I mean. I wasn’t moved by them. I like being swayed like branches in a breeze.

 

 

I can’t say that these did very much in the way of entertaining me. That could be different for other people. Many readers on Goodreads really enjoyed them, but I’m not one of them sadly. It just wasn’t for me. I needed more.

 

Quotables:

“Seven weeks ago today, on August 2nd, seventeen-year-old Karen Holly died. The circumstance surrounding her death as reported by Jason Whitfield, her boyfriend at the time, are as follows…” (Spellbound, p. 6)

“My tribe is sunk in superstition. I have rebelled against it my entire life.” (Spellbound, Bala to Cindy, p. 44)

“You should be the hunter, not the hunted.” (Spellbound, Joni to Alex, p. 67)

“On my eight birthday, I asked my grandfather how big the world was. When you are small, he said, it is huge. But when you are a master of nature, it is like a ball you can hold in your hand.” (Spellbound, Bala to Cindy, p. 248)

“I’m such a liar. I lie to myself constantly. The truth is I didn’t know what I wanted beck then, But when I saw her, I began to get an inkling.” (See You Later, Mark, p. 257)

“It seemed the most important decisions I made were the ones where I decided to do nothing.” (See You Later, Mark, p. 320)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Undefeated by Daughtry.

 

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Just Around the River Bend (Wind in the Willows – A Book Review)

The Wind in the Willows
Author: Kenneth Grahame
Published: 1908

On Goodreads

 Wind in the Willows

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

5/25

 

“Look, baby! There goes the great Mr. Toad! And that’s the gallant Water Rat, a terrible fighter, walking o’ long him! And yonder comes the famous Mr. Mole, of whom you so often have heard your father tell!”

In the Wild Wood, Mole, Water Rat, Badger, and the troublesome Toad with his need for speed on a motor car, go on harrowing and fantastical adventures. From a wintery night in the Wild Wood to escaping jail, these creatures whisk away its readers through a magical story. True friendship is experienced and tested with each new obstacle and they’ll rely on each other to make it through.

 

This book marks 5 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I really wanted to put some classics on this list to encourage and widen my interests. This was such a great choice.

 

Young. Old. It doesn’t matter. This is an amazing story for every age. Much like Winnie the Pooh, this story really personifies these bumbling animals, allowing them to act and do a lot of what humans do. The personification isn’t a lick out of place. Rather, it’s enchanting and felt completely natural, really sweeping me further away into this magical place with these characters.

Wind in the Willows

I must say, Toad is so troublesome! He’s inconsiderate, careless, and rather rude! He’s very lucky to have friends like Mole, Water Rat and Badger. I would’ve flung his slimy bum out in the snow. He truly wound me up and had me looking very angry. Crazy, amphibian…

The book isn’t very long. Definitely one you can read in one sitting. The description from the setting of the Wild Wood to how the animals speak is so beautiful. Every inch of this book is lush and beautiful and wondrous.

The writing is just…I’m seriously speechless. But, something has to be said for something so lyrical. There are songs and poems strewn throughout by the characters. The way each bit flows from the world of the Wild Wood to the homes of the animals to their speech, really swooned me. I could sway to Grahame’s language. Get lost and stay that way. It was just magnificent. So much depth, yet completely accessible.

I honestly don’t have a bad thing to say about this book. I laughed, I scowled, I enjoyed is so much. I always think that classics should be on everybody’s reading list. There are some you like more than others, of course. This one is one of those one I like the best.

 

Quotables:

“Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wide World.” (Rat to Mole, p. 18)

“The poetry of motion! The real was to travel! The only way to travel! Here today – in next week tomorrow!” (Toad, p. 35)

“There seemed to be no end to this wood, and no beginning, and no difference in it, and, worst of all, no way out.” (Mole, p. 48)

“He sang as he walked, and he walked as he sang, ad got more inflated every minute, But this pride was shortly to have a severe fall.” (Toad, p. 154)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? A Place Called Home by Kim Richey.

 

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