Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Montauk Monster by Hunter Shea

Remember when a "monster" washed ashore on a beach near Montauk, New York in 2008? Everyone speculated on the origins of the creature and most believed it to be a bloated animal carcass. But some remain convinced it was an experiment gone horribly wrong at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, which is located near Montauk.  The Montauk Monster by Hunter Shea builds a fictional story around this bizarre urban legend.

It's summer in Montauk and there's more to find on the beach than sandcastles and sunbathing beauties - one night, two bodies are discovered torn to pieces. When police receive several reports of animal attacks, they assume the same animal is responsible for the deaths. But the creature running amok in Montauk is far worse than a rabid dog.

There are many books about creatures ruining summer fun - Jaws, Night of the Crabs and Slime come to mind - and The Montauk Monster is a great addition to the list. What sets this novel apart from other creature features is this monster isn't your typical animal, like a shark or crab. And the fact that the monster in the book is based on a true story makes it all the more unsettling. The conspiracy theory surrounding the "Montauk Monster"and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (I learned all about this when I watched Unsealed: Conspiracy Files on Netflix) gave this novel an interesting twist.

The Montauk Monster is an action-packed novel that would make a great movie - it reads like a better version of one of those cheesy Syfy creature features. Definitely recommend reading this on the beach this summer.

This post is part of The Montauk Monster Tour. Check out the other posts here.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up

I did it! I can't believe I made it to the end! I could barely keep my eyes open from 3:00 am until now, but I somehow managed to push through it. I started reading Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road at 6:00 am on my Kindle and turned on text-to-speech because my eyes were getting blurry. 

I didn't quite make it to my goal of four books, but I came pretty close - three, plus 30% of Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road. I also didn't read as many pages as I did during the other Read-a-Thons I participated in, but that's just because I had to do a few things in the morning and didn't really start reading until around 1:00 pm.

Total pages read:  551

 End of Event Meme
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? I became really tired around 3:00 am.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? From the books I read today, Voracious by Wrath James White was pretty awesome. I also recommend The Castle of Los Angeles by Lisa Morton, Die, You Bastard! Die! by Jan Kozlowski, Suffer the Flesh by Monica J. O'Rourke and Population Zero by Wrath James White.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope. I thought everything was great!
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I thought the mini-challenges were fun - a nice break from reading.
  5. How many books did you read? Three
  6. What were the names of the books you read? Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King, Voracious by Wrath James White, The Woods are Dark by Richard Laymon
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? Voracious by Wrath James White
  8. Which did you enjoy least? Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King
  9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Very likely. I would be a reader again.

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Update #3

I'm still awake! I don't know for how much longer, since I've been struggling to keep my eyes open since 3:00 am.

I finished reading The Woods are Dark by Richard Laymon. It's very similar to Off Season by Jack Ketchum, but I didn't enjoy it as much as that novel.

Books finished: Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King, Voracious by Wrath James White, The Woods are Dark by Richard Laymon

Total pages read: 501

Snacks consumed: Bugles, pizza, cheese & crackers, iced coffee, Reese egg (it sounds like a lot, but it's been several hours since my last update)

Next up: Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road by Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, J.F. Gonzalez, Bryan Smith, Wrath James White, Nate Southard Ryan Harding, Shane McKenzie (if I can manage to stay up any longer)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dewey's Read-a-Thon My Name in Titles Mini-Challenge

For this challenge, you use books to spell out your name. Here's mine:


Dewey's Read-a-Thon Update #2

I finished Voracious by Wrath James White. Is it wrong that reading this made me hungry? I was munching on Tostitos and salsa while reading about a man craving his baby's flesh - "tender, succulent new-baby meat."

This was a pretty awesome read. Gory and entertaining, with a really interesting premise: a new weight loss treatment turns people into cannibals. There's more to it than that, but I need to get back to reading. If that brief description interests you, check it out.

Books finished: Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King, Voracious by Wrath James White

Total pages read: 261

Snacks consumed: Tostitos and salsa, Mini Eggs, a mini Mr. Munchy chocolate bunny

Next up: The Woods are Dark by Richard Laymon

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?

I just finished Voracious by Wrath James White and I'm going to read The Woods are Dark by Richard Laymon next.

2. How many books have you read so far?

Two: Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King and Voracious by Wrath James White.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

I haven't read the two books I said I was most looking forward to in the introductory questionnaire (Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road and The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line: Veronica Mars #1), so still those two, I suppose.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

I had a couple of things to do this morning that I couldn't get out of, but I already had the day off from work.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Since my boyfriend got home from work, he's been pretty distracting. I keep shushing him, but I might read in my bedroom (instead of in the living room) if he doesn't stop talking.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

How little I've been able to actually read. I need to stop getting distracted.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I'm going to steal someone's idea that I saw in the comments on a post on the Dewey's Read-a-Thon website and say there should be a Goodreads group for the Dewey's Read-a-Thon. I think that's a great idea.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

Read more! Maybe sequester myself in my room or something so I don't get distracted. And make sure that I clear the whole day.

9. Are you getting tired yet?

I'm feeling OK at the moment.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? 

Read short books, so that it feels like you've accomplished more than you actually have. I've finished two books, but they were only a combined 261 pages. 

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Update #1

I haven't read much yet because I went out this morning, but I still managed to finish one book: Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King. It's definitely one of the worst Stephen King books I've read. The characters aren't as fleshed out as any of his other books. The plot is just the average werewolf story and not very interesting. The best part of the book are the illustrations, which are fairly gory.

Cycle of the Werewolf was made into a pretty good movie, Silver Bullet, which I actually liked more than the book (for once). I watched the movie before I read the book and already knew the identity of the werewolf. Maybe the lack of surprise added to my dislike of the book.

Books finished: Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King

Total pages read: 128

Snacks consumed: pizza buns, macaroni & cheese salad, mocha iced coffee and as I type this I'm eating Mini Eggs and drinking a pumpkin spice cappuccino K-cup

Next up: Voracious by Wrath James White

Dewey's Read-a-Thon

Today is Dewey's Read-a-Thon! I will attempt to read for 24 hours straight and post my progress here. I participated a few times before and managed to stay up the full 24 hours, so we'll see if I can do it again. Anyway, I'm excited to spend the whole day reading!

I have a few errands to run this morning, so I might not get much reading done in the first few hours, but I intend to read on the bus on the way there and on the way home.

These are my reading options (I probably won't even finish half of these, but it's good to have options):
My book pile is pretty small because most of these books are on my Kindle.
  1. Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King
  2. The Woods are Dark by Richard Laymon
  3. Voracious by Wrath James White
  4. Poisoning Eros by Wrath James White and Monica J. O'Rourke
  5. Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road by Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, J.F. Gonzalez, Bryan Smith, Wrath James White, Nate Southard Ryan Harding, Shane McKenzie
  6. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
  7. Queenpin by Megan Abbott
  8. Money Shot by Christa Faust
And the food I will be enjoying (last time I ran out of snacks and I didn't want that to happen again, so I went a little overboard):

Mmm...junk food.
  • Pizza buns
  • Half price Easter chocolate
  • Bugles
  • Tostitos and salsa
  • Frozen pizza
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Golden Grahams s'mores bars
  • Assorted K-cups
  • International Delight mocha iced coffee
Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Oakville, Ontario

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road - I've been saving it for the read-a-thon. I'm also looking forward to reading the Veronica Mars book. I reserved it at the library and it's finally my turn! I need to pick it up today (I live across the street from the library, so I don't have far to go).

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Tostitos and salsa because my boyfriend made the salsa from scratch.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I started a new job two weeks ago. It's full-time and my previous job was part-time, so I'm not used to working this much and I'll probably be pretty tired today.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
 
I want to read more than I did last time. My goal is to read four books so I will no longer be four books behind schedule on my Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

R.L. Stine Book of the Week: Silent Night 3

Rich, snobby Reva Dalby wants a little fame for Christmas. And since her daddy owns Dalby's Department Store, she can have whatever she wants. Someone else will always pay. Except this year Reva goes too far. Now someone is watching her. When she's sleeping and when she's awake...until she's dead.

My Thoughts:

Silent Night 3 may not be as good as the first book, but at least it's not as awful as the second one. The book is fairly predictable - I knew the identity of the killer a few chapters in - but I guess a 26-year-old who has read a lot of horror should be able to easily figure out the ending of a book written for children and teens. There was a second twist at the end that surprised me, though. 

The plot isn't the most exciting. Reva is in college now and has brought her roommate, Grace, home for the holidays. Unfortunately, Grace's abusive ex-boyfriend won't stop calling and she's paranoid that he will show up and kill her. Meanwhile, Reva's poor cousin, Pam, has designed scarves with her friend, Willow, and wants to sell them at Dalby's Department Store. Naturally, Reva takes all the credit for them and arranges a fashion show at Dalby's to create buzz about the scarves.

Nothing bad happens to Reva in this book. In the first one, she's the victim of horrible pranks and in the second one, her arm is broken, but in this one, nothing! It's disappointing since I enjoy when a bitchy character like Reva gets her comeuppance, but it was still fun when Reva said or did mean things. Overall, Reva is an entertaining character, even though she's snotty and unlikeable.

I recommend reading the first Silent Night book and skipping the two sequels.

Rating: 3/5

PG-13 Gore: As she tried to catch her balance, she felt something sticky under her shoes. She glanced down.

A pool of blood had formed around Traci's feet.

Dark red blood, spreading out in a circle. 

Reva clamped her hands tighter against her mouth and closed her eyes. I'm stepping in it, I'm stepping in her blood!

Then she opened her eyes. Blood? But where did it come from? Traci had been strangled, right?

Where did the blood come from?

Shaking all over, Reva examined Traci's body. And saw the support pole. The pole that held up a mannequin. Jammed through Traci's back. 

Someone had murdered Traci! Strangled her, Then hung her from the pole like a plastic mannequin!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

R.L. Stine Book of the Week: Silent Night 2

Sure, she promised to be nicer after last year's horrors. But a rich, spoiled girl like Reva Dalby always thinks she can have anything—or anyone—she wants, and never, never pay.

But now it's payback time. Someone is out to kidnap Reva.

This year, Santa is bringing Reva a little holiday fear. And just around the corner is the biggest, most gruesome Christmas present of all—murder. And it's all hers!

 
My thoughts:

I enjoyed Silent Night when I read it a couple years ago, but unfortunately Silent Night 2 is the typical lousy sequel. 

The plot is very dull. A broke 18-year-old and his girlfriend attempt to kidnap Reva and use the ransom money to buy Christmas presents. Most of the book is comprised of failed attempts to kidnap Reva and nothing remotely scary or exciting happens. There are also plenty of chapters where Reva is bitchy to customers while she works at her father's department store, Dalby's, which is a bit entertaining, but not enough to redeem the book. Reva's cousin, Pam, is working at Dalby's again as well, despite the fact that she tried to rob it in the last book. I guess her uncle felt sorry for Pam because her family is poor and he's a millionaire? 

Silent Night 2 is too predictable: kidnappers tie Reva and her cousin Pam up, Pam loosens the ropes and they hide from the kidnappers, FBI shows up to save them. 

Also, where's the Santa from the cover of the book?! That actually might've been an entertaining book. I would choose a killer Santa story over a kidnapping story any day.

Rating: 1/5

PG-13 Gore:  With a loud groan he jumped up quickly and lumbered into the open elevator.

Reva shut her eyes tight. She heard Danny scream all the way down.

The scream ended four floors below in a sickening splat.
 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!


Hope you all have a great Halloween! This is the costume I wore to work today. It looked pretty cool but it was really hard to eat with all that fake blood and glue stuck to my face. I only had time to watch two horror movies tonight: All Hallows' Eve and Halloween.

How are you spending your Halloween?