Sunday, April 28, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: The Beast of Brenton Woods by Jackson R. Thomas

I love werewolf books, so I was really looking forward to reading The Beast of Brenton Woods and it did not disappoint. 

Everyone in town has heard the notorious legend of the white wolf of Brenton Woods, which supposedly was responsible for many murders in the 80s. Recent gruesome deaths have led a few members of the local law enforcement to believe the white wolf is back, while others will need to suspend their disbelief if they want to help save the town from the savage beast.

The Beast of Brenton Woods is a quick and fun read with tons of gorewhich is to be expected of a novel about a monster that rips its victims to shreds. The action starts on page one and the frenetic pace doesn't let up until the end.

The ending left a few questions unanswered, so I'm really hoping Jackson R. Thomas will write a sequel. I would really love to read more about the beast of Brenton Woods and see what happens to the characters in the future.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz

When 10 authors are invited to a writing retreat/contest at reclusive writer Roderick Wells's secluded estate, they can't believe their luck at getting the chance to be mentored by a literary genius. Not to mention, one winner chosen by Wells will get $3 million and a publishing contract. But the writers soon come to realize maybe they weren't so lucky after all when they start disappearing one by one.

I'm a huge fan of Jonathan Janz and his latest book, The Dark Game, did not disappoint. I love books about writers, especially when those books contain excepts from the characters' works in progress. Several chapters in The Dark Game are excerpts from the novels the writers in the book are working on at the retreat. I especially liked how one of the characters was writing a book called The Siren and the Specter, which is another Janz novel.

Even though there are a lot of characters in the book, I found it easy to tell each of them apart because they were all well-developed and each writer had a distinct voice and writing style. I also really enjoyed the slow reveal of each character's dark past.

The settingan old mansion in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by spooky woodswas made even creepier by the fact that the writers had to wear blindfolds while they were chauffeured there, so they had no clue where they were. There are lots of scenes with the characters exploring the mysterious grounds that add to the eerie mood.

If you're a horror fan and you haven't read Jonathan Janz yet, you should definitely check out his work. The Dark Game is a creepy and fast-paced read with excellent characterization. I also highly recommend Janz's other novels, Children of the Dark, The Sorrows, and The Siren and the Specter.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Dewey's Readathon Closing Survey

Total Pages read: 828
Total books read: 6 1/2
Total hours read: 24

Woohoo I made it to the end! I decided to go to bed at 8:00 am instead of writing this post because I was so exhausted.

Closing Survey

1. What hour was most daunting?

The last few hours I could barely keep my eyes open and I was debating on just going to bed, but the graphic novel I was reading (Revival) was so interesting that I just had to finish it. I told myself I would go to bed when it was over, but then I wanted to see what happened next so I read Revival Volume Two and that took me to 8:00 am.

2. Tell us all the books you read!

In the Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill, 1922 by Stephen King, The Offering by Gerald Suster, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz, Revival Volumes One and Two, and half of The Con Season by Adam Cesare.

3. What was your favourite snack?

Bruschetta on a french baguette

4. What was your favourite facet of the day?

Just getting to spend the whole day reading was awesome.

I didn't participate in many challenges (other than the Instagram one), but I got a bingo!

  • Wear something bookish related: I was wearing a sweatshirt that says "It's not hoarding if it's books."
  • Re-read a book: I read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark for the first time when I was a kid.
  • Read a book with illustrations: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
  • Read for an hour straight: I pretty much read straight from the time my boyfriend went to bed (around midnight) until 8:00 am
  • Read a book with 3 words or less in the title: The Offering
  • Read 200 pages
  • Eat a healthy snack: baby carrots
  • Read a book with a person on the cover: Revival Volume One
  • Read in your PJs: I had pyjama pants on all day
  • Finish a book: I finished 6 1/2
  • Read for a total of 5 hours
  • Read a book with diversity: Revival Volumes One and Two
  • Read a book new to you: All the books I read except Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
  • Read in two separate locations: The balcony, the couch, the bed, the bathtub

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Dewey's Readathon Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?

1922 by Stephen King

2. How many books have you read so far?

Two: In the Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill and The Offering by Gerald Suster. I also finished the last 30 or so pages of The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz because I fell asleep when I was reading it last night and I really wanted to see how it ended.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the readathon?

The Con Season by Adam CesareI was saving it for the second half so I would have something to look forward to.

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

I've just been giving into distractions, like when my boyfriend wanted to watch an episode of a TV show I wanted to see, I stopped reading for a half hour. I also spent a lot of time taking pictures for the Hourly Instagram Challenge instead of reading.

5. What surprises you most about the readathon, so far?

I'm surprised at how far I am from my reading goals I am (2/16), but I guess I shouldn't be because I feel like this happens every readathon. I should be able to concentrate more soon when my boyfriend goes to bed. 

Dewey's Readathon

Today is Dewey's Readathon! I'm pumped to read for 24 hours straight, but I'm already feeling tired, so we'll see if I can make it. I'm behind on my Goodreads Reading Challenge, so I scoured my shelves (and my Kindle) for the shortest books I have so I can complete lots of books today.

  1. Midnight by John Russo
  2. The Offering by Gerald Suster
  3. Nightmare Child by Daniel Ransom
  4. The Grave by Christopher Pike
  5. Tales of Terror #2 by Christopher Pike
  6. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
  7. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
  8. Revival Vol. 1 by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton
  9. Revival Vol. 2 by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton
  10. In the Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill
  11. 1922 by Stephen King
  12. The Con Season by Adam Cesare
  13. The Doll House by Edward Lee
  14. Blister by Jeff Strand
  15. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  16. Mr. Nasty by Leo Darke

My snacks:
  • Chips
  • Milk chocolate toffee hazelnuts 
  • Gummies
  • Reese's Pieces eggs
  • Bruschetta
  • Brie
  • Nescafe Ice Java
  • Peace Tea (peach and sno-berry)
  • Cappuccinos, Chai lattes, London fog lattes
Getting to Know You Survey

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?

The Con Season by Adam CesareI've enjoyed all the other books I've read by him and this premise of this one sounds interesting. 

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I've been wanting to try these President's Choice Milk Chocolate Toffee Hazelnuts for months after seeing them every week when I go grocery shopping.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I work in a thrift store and I get 50% off all books, so that's where I buy most of my books.

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'm going to read every book in my stack today. Haha, probably not, but I'm going to try.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: The Window by Glenn Rolfe

When James gets the chance to spend the rest of summer vacation with his father — instead of living with his mom and her new boyfriend in a new town — he's thrilled. So is his father, Richie, who has been having a rough time since the divorce. When Richie sees something in the window that offers him a way to indulge in his deepest, darkest desires, he gives in, not thinking about the consequences. Only James notices something different about his dad and can stop the demon from permanently possessing Richie.

The Window is a coming-of-age horror tale in the vein of IT by Stephen King, Children of the Dark by Jonathan Janz or Ghoul by Brian Keene, but instead of battling a monster, the 13-year-olds in this book deal with demonic possession.

The characters are well-developed and relatable. I really cared about them and I was upset when horrible things happened to them (especially at the end). It takes a while to get to the action because a lot of time is spent getting to know the characters, but it's definitely worth the big pay off at the end.

If you're looking for a dark and unsettling coming-of-age horror novel with great characters give The Window a try. I've read two of Glenn Rolfe's other books, Boom Town and Chasing Ghosts and I highly recommend those as well.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, February 28, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish

After she's laid off, goes through a divorce, and her daughter moves to Australia, Hannah decides to move to Edinburgh for a fresh start with a new job as a tour guide in Henderson Close, a supposedly haunted tourist attraction. She soon discovers the stories about Henderson Close aren't just rumours when she sees a spirit for herself.

I've read and enjoyed pretty much all of Catherine Cavendish's books and The Haunting of Henderson Close is no exception. She always writes such relatable and interesting characters, like the main character in this book, Hannah.

I loved the setting of this novela haunted tourist attractionand thought it was very spooky. I read this book late at night and was creeped out, jumping at every noise, thinking there was a ghost in my apartment.

If you're looking for a spooky ghost story I highly recommend The Haunting of Henderson Close!

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, January 28, 2019

24 in 48 Wrap-Up

Total hours read: 15 1/2

Total pages read: 687

Books read: The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish, The First One You Expect by Adam Cesare, Bone Saw by Patrick Lacey and about 100 pages of Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss

I didn't make it to 24 hours because I kept getting distracted, but I enjoyed the books that I did manage to read and recommend them all. The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish would be a great choice for fans of ghost stories and The First One You Expect by Adam Cesare and Bone Saw by Patrick Lacey would be perfect for horror movie fans (hopefully I'll have full reviews for these later this week). 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

24 in 48 Readathon

This weekend is the 24 in 48 Readathon. Instead of reading for 24 hours straight, you can read 24 hours over the course of the whole weekend. I'm planning on reading 12 hours today and 12 hours tomorrow.

What I'll be reading:

  1. The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish
  2. Bone Saw by Patrick Lacey
  3. The Nightmare Room by Chris Sorensen
  4. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  5. The First One You Expect by Adam Cesare
  6. Twin Lakes: Autumn Fires by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason
  7. Someone at the Door by Richie Tankersley Cusick
  8. Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss

  • Bugles
  • Cheddar balls
  • Mystery Pringles
  • Vanilla bean shortbread cookie chips
  • Whoppers
  • Junior Mints
  • Fun Dip
  • Sponge toffee
I'm not going to eat all of this, I went a bit crazy buying junk food at Dollar Tree and I had some candy leftover from my Christmas stocking. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Disco Deathtrap by Cameron Roubique

After four students from DeAngelo High are killed in a drunk driving accident, an English teacher and a gym teacher team up to organize an all-night lock-in at Rollerville Roller Disco on New Year's Eve 1980 to prevent losing more of their students. Sadly, they would've been safer anywhere other than Rollerville, which is rumoured to have been built over a cemetery. With a blizzard piling snow against all the emergency exits and a chain on the front door, there is nowhere to run once the slaughter begins.

I'm a huge fan of '80s slashers and I'm always looking for books that have a similar plot and style to the movies that I love. Disco Deathtrap perfectly captures that '80s slasher feeling and reads like a VHS horror flick you rented from Blockbuster. I enjoyed every minute of it and can't remember the last time I had this much fun reading. I had been in a bit of a reading slump before I started Disco Deathtrap and I'm so happy that it brought me out of it!

Other slasher novels I've read have had one-dimensional, stereotypical characters, but Cameron Roubique spends a lot of time introducing and fleshing out the large cast of characters before the action starts so I really cared about them when bad things started to happen. Another pet peeve of mine is when novels have a lot of characters and they're too similar and it's hard to tell them apart, but each character in Disco Deathtrap has enough unique characteristics to easily differentiate them from each other.

Obviously, since I'm a slasher fan I'm also a huge fan of gore and Disco Deathtrap has TONS of blood and guts. There's also a real '80s feel with lots of references to songs playing at the roller rink, fashion, etc.

If you're a fan of '80s slashers, definitely check this one out. I can't wait to read his other books, Kill River and the sequel, Kill River 2. Hopefully Cameron Roubique will be writing more "Year of Blood" books like he mentions in the Afterword of Disco Deathtrap.

Rating: 5/5