From Another Time, Another Dimension (Watcher in the Woods – A Book Review)

Watcher in the Woods (Dreamhouse Kings #2)
Author: Robert Liparulo
Published: 2008

On Goodreads

Watcher in the Woods - Scholastic

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

 

It’s not just the house that’s keeping secrets.

After Xander’s mom is kidnapped and dragged through one of the dimensional doorways of the house, the rest of King family rallies together to get her back. Secrets about they really moved into this mysterious house is divulged and the Kings will never be the same.

A new school year begins and the townspeople of Pinedale are starting to suspect the King family of strange things, like abuse. With the mystery of the house, and a strange man stalking them, they have to stand together if they hope to get their mom back.

 

This book was better than the first one by a hair. There were many new elements and characters. Turns out, Dad has been in this house before. There’s an assassin that came through one of the dimensional doors that wants the house for himself. A bully harasses David.

I liked that the novel spread out some, going to school and that clearing where you can nearly fly. New settings really open up a book. However, the clearing (the anti-gravity clearing as I call it) was very strange and out of place feeling. There was so much I Don’t Know that it was just pointless. It didn’t bring very much to my imagination nor did it do anything for me but feel weird. The school was really cool because there was a glimpse of it in the first book. Now, school is in session and obviously, nobody wants to go.

The storytelling didn’t improve by much. I’m still a little confused because the characters aren’t making much sense of everything so neither am I, but I did like that the emotions were higher. Dude, mom is gone. Time to crank this up to eleven! And there’s an assassin! (The flashback of the assassin’s time before getting teleported into the Dreamhouse was out of place feeling, too.) I liked that the intensity was kicked up a notch. Everybody is freaking out.

What is happening

 

Overall

Still not a book that did much for me. My heart got pulled a little. I love my mom beyond words and I’d be going all terminator if somebody kidnapped her so, I can relate to Xander on that level. The storytelling felt like a jumbled mess and therefore didn’t really pull me in even though the imagery was great. A strong feeling of meh.

 

Quotables:

“He thought he could be a hero, and now he was about to get shot or blown up or…something that amounted to the same thing: dead.” (David, p. 4)

“It’s not kidnapping if I asked you to take me.” (Keal to Jesse, p. 280)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

Find me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below?

Advertisements

A Door to Anywhere (House of Dark Shadows – A Book Review)

House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings #1)
Author: Robert Liparulo
Published: 2008

On Goodreads

House of Dark Shadows

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

15/25

 

Dream house…or bad dream?

When the Kings up and move from L.A. to the small town, Pinedale, Xander is more than upset. But when they happened across an old Victorian house hidden out in the woods, they think they’ve hit the jackpot. Everyone gets their own rooms. There’s woods for miles to explore.

Weird things begin to happen as they get ready to move in. There are prints of larger-than-normal feet in the dust. A special door in the linen closet. There a hallway with doors that lead to different periods in time like the Civil War. Xander begins to wonder if this is the coolest thing ever or just a dread nightmare come true.

 

This book marks 15 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I was really drawn in by the artwork and weirdness.

 

I honestly don’t know how I’m feeling about this book. It felt a little all over the place for me. I know this book is geared toward the independent reader genre, but still, I didn’t feel all that enthralled. Much of the bits were very intriguing, but I felt like they were lost in the story. Crazy things are happening in this old house, but they just didn’t work together, not in any way that made sense to me. My curiosity was piqued for sure, but unsatisfied. I did love the many TV references—Misery, Star Wars, and Supernatural to name a few. It puts the story in the real world, and lets readers relate more.

The setting of the small town and the old house was very cool. Everything was secluded, adding to the growing ominous feeling. The boys, Xander and David got a tower in their bedroom. Call me jealous, I’ve always wanted my own personal tower; a spot where I can read and have my own world. I really liked the blueprint of the house in the beginning of the book. Things like that really make me feel a little closer and involved with the story.

I struggled in following the story. There just wasn’t enough detail to make all of this click. I just couldn’t get emotionally invested either. This was written to get you on the edge of your seat with all of the wild things happening and sadly, I was just wanting it to be over.

ITBT

The closeness between Xander and his siblings was so special. At such a young age, most siblings fight and bicker and that wasn’t the case at all. They were there for each other and protecting one another. However, the parents were very odd. There wasn’t much of a difference between them and the kids. They talked and acted like them. Any real parental authority was overshadowed by them wanting to relate to the kids and be their friend. It really threw me off.

 

Overall: this book wasn’t what I imagined. I knew it wouldn’t be gory or utterly spine-tingling, but I do feel like this should’ve been more to help make the story more vivid and enthralling. Connect the dots. With tigers in the jungle and a creepy man wandering the property and other unexplainable things, I hoped for something more.

 

Quotables:

“What was embarrassing or personal, dreams and fears—it was all fair game in the King household.” (Xander, p. 107)

“We’re humans, not robots.” (Mom to Xander, p. 107)

“Loved ones die. Fact of life.” (Xander, p. 271)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

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.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Tell me in the comment below.

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.

 

Find me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

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

 

Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

Dryads and Enchiladas (The Burning Maze – A Book Review)

The Trials of Apollo: The Burning Maze
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Burning Maze

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Once was Apollo

Now a rat in the Lab’rinth

Send help. And Cronuts.

It’s bad enough that Apollo, the awesome, Greek God of music and poetry was turned into a mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos, and that he’s being bossed around by the twelve-year-old demi god, Meg. Now, they’re on a quest to save five Oracles and possibly the world from a trio of Roman Emperors. Having saved two oracles already, they are given a prophecy.

He and Meg, along with the satyr, Grover Underwood, must go down into the labyrinth to find the third emperor to find the next Oracle. What Lest-er-Apollo hasn’t told his companions is how he’s been feeling weaker and weaker. He worries that he may not be up to the task. But, in order to return to his shining glory, he must be. Calling on two demigods for help, he prays they will free the Oracle from the scorching maze for him-er, help him free the Oracle.

 

One of my favorite things that can happen in is when a beginning starts off very entertaining, while also catching me off guard. This book did just that by starting off with No. That’s it. Just the word no. I laughed so hard, because I could hear the defiance in the word so clearly, like a seven-year-old stomping its foot down. Certainly, a great way to start it off.

This addition to the series was BIG one! Stilled filled with the funny, it was also much more intense and heartbreaking. The bravery and show of friendship between the characters is inspiring. There were gains, but there were great losses during this part of the journey. Riordan really works this emotional rollercoaster. And I don’t care that I’m 25, I really enjoy his books.

Love it

The setting mostly circulates in Palm Springs and the Labyrinth—you’ll remember this fun place from Percy Jackson. There are many new faces as well as old. It made me nostalgic as well as excited. Old bonds and new ones. I’m just giddy thinking back on it.

Apollo is still Apollo, but I am loving the development. It’s obvious that this is no longer just a quest for him. He’s become less self-absorbed, which is surprising, right!? He’s made amazing allies and friends even though at times it difficult. I love that this book shows that it’s not easy to let people in, nor is it always sunshine and rainbows, but you accept them. The guest stars, Jason Grace, Piper McClean, and Grover Underwood really show just how big of a quest this is. Everybody is joining in. It really keeps the story fresh. I especially enjoyed the dryads that came into this story. Where they seem like helpless creatures, in here they don’t. Just give me more of all of this.

give me more

There were many moments that my heart was broken and mended and broken and mended. The hardships for Apollo only increase and I don’t envy the weight put on his shoulders. It’s heavy. Each step of this journey is incredible and emotional. Yet, I couldn’t stop reading. The adventure has me hooked.

There’s so much action that if you blink you’ll miss it. Shocking twists jumped out when I least expected it. I’m always pleasantly surprised with the way mythology is brought to life in such an exciting way.

If you haven’t started this series, do.

 

Quotables:

“Unbelievable. After four thousand years, I am still discovering new things.” (Apollo, p. 141)

“Pretty can be useful. Powerful is better.” (Medea to Piper, p. 165)

“I wondered, not for the first time, why we Greek Deities had never created a god of family therapy. We certainly could have used one. Or perhaps we had one before I was born, and she quit. Or Kronos swallowed her whole.” (Apollo, p. 358)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

Speedy Quote Sunday

Speedy Quote Sunday

Hello, loves! It’s Speedy Quote Sunday.

Here are a few quotes from books that really made an imprint on my heart. Sometimes they do that. They’ll make you melt. Twist you up. In most cases, they’ll stay with you because they added meaning to your life. That or they made you laugh so hard you nose-sprayed your drink.

Anyway…they’re special.

“There are moments in your life you wish with all your heart you could take back. Like, just erase from existence. Like, if you could, you’d erase yourself right out of existence too, just to make that moment not exist.” (It’s Not Summer Without You, Jenny Han)

The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy is one that I read every summer. It’s innocence and first love and the beach. There are these bits that always get to pause. This was definitely one of them.

“Didn’t anyone tell you it’s not polite to skip ahead to the end of the book?” (The Librarians and the Lost Lamp, Greg Cox)

Okay, so I’m guilty of this. I can’t help it! I just want to know if it’s worth the journey. There’s nothing worse than going on this great journey only for the ending to be utterly dreadful. Plus, if that ending captures me, then I definitely want to get there.

“My mother once told me that diamonds were born of pressure, but I never understood what she meant until I met you.” (The Dark Calling, Kresley Cole)

The Dark Calling had so many moments that ripped my heart. With such nonstop intensity and incredible heartache, I was a mess. Cole has a way of sticking her hand through your chest, grabbing your heart, and twisting it.

More to come soon…

-K.

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

Hanging Out at the Walgreens – (How to Hang a Witch – A Book Review)

How to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch #1)
Author: Adriana Mather
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

How to Hang A Witch

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Being the new girl is tough. Being the new girl in Salem could be deadly.

Sam Mather is moved to Salem, Massachusetts—the home of the infamous Witch Trials. Being the new girl sucks, and it sucks worse when weird things start happening, all of them coming back to Sam. The Descendants—ancestors to witches—mark Sam like a leper because of her descendant to one of the Witch Trials’ major persecutors. As if her own checkered past wasn’t enough.

Eventually, they all must work together to break a centuries-old curse or else history may repeat itself.

As many have said, this is like Mean Girls meets history class, and they aren’t wrong. Emotions were high. While this book started bumpy at first, I got into it pretty quickly. Sam is such a spunky character on the outside and in, but also deeply caring. Her concern for her dad was incredibly heartwarming. I really loved all the memories she looked back on involving him. Though he wasn’t physically in the book, he has such a strong presence.

The use of the actual history was awesome! The Salem Witch Trials is one of my favorite subjects aside from Stonehenge, the pyramids, and everything strange. The way that this was so interwoven with the Trials really made me geek out. I really liked the way the story unraveled as a curse. Made more dark. The Descendants were more emo than I expected and came off a little cliché, but it was funny. I really found them to be entertaining. I feel the same about Elijah, the ghost of this witchy story. Rules were for ghosts really shocked me. While they can go through solid surfaces, they can also be touched and teleport? Very odd, but completely refreshing. I loved the dynamic between him and Sam. Him being formal and her being her awkward self.

awkard

Now, I know this has a sequel attached to it, but I feel like it could be a full-blown series. I just feel like there are so many possibilities, especially after reading the mini-bio of Adriana at the back. I really do hope that Haunting in the Deep isn’t the only book in this series.

This started out a bit rough for me. It was super awkward! Buuuut, then I remembered, I’m really freaking awkward, so my many grimacing, and cringing, moments aren’t because the book is terrible, because I enjoyed it immensely, but because I get it. Granted there were some rather silly moments that were odd, but nothing I couldn’t skip past, though it is part of the reason I can’t give it a full 5 bolts. Great and quick read.

Quotables:

“They really love their witches here.” (Sam to Vivian, p. 2)

“You never know in life when something unpredictable will happen.” (Elijah to Sam, p. 208)

“I can’t make friends at school, but I can with the dead. So at least I’ve got that.” (Sam, p. 254)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Cecilia and the Satellite by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.

Find Me:

Twitter

Goodreads

Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.