City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

I may be on a bit of a Schwab kick this month. But I will say this I wish when I was in grade school this book was in the library. When I was in grade school the main “horror”book that was in the library was Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. They were always checked out and hard to get your mitts on. Seriously I really wish City of Ghosts would have been an option.

Synopsis: A girl whose parents who write paranormal books goes on an adventure in Edinburgh.

What I liked: Schwab is so freaking talented!! The pacing of the story was fantastic. The premise of the story has been done before but Schwab takes the story and makes it fresh and modern. The characters are well written. The setting for the story is lovely and Schwab really captures the history and beauty of one of my favorite cities in the world.

What I didn’t like: There is nothing that I didn’t like.

Star Rating: 5 Stars!!!

My Thoughts: I really really enjoyed this story. It was so well written and the premise was great! I loved it. I can’t wait for the second story in the series. I love that Schwab started the series in Edinburgh. It is a city that is steeped in history, legend and ghost stories. It is one of my favorite cities in the world. I loved the idea that the main characters parents are writers of paranormal books. It was such a lovely part of the story.

Grief is The Thing With Feathers by Max Porter

I read a lot of different books. Some are recommendations, others are review copies. There is a book tuber whose recommendations are normally spot on. She has been waxing lyrical about Grief Is The Thing With Feathers. So I picked up this little tome when I was at the library the other day. I am so very happy that I did. As an aside this lovely little book has been made into a play which I would love to see.

Synopsis: Dad losses his wife. The children run amok. Crow comes to help.

What I liked: I really enjoyed the story. The pacing is spot on for this type of story. It flows like you are flying with crow. Porter does an amazing job describing grief in a literary way. You don’t have to get into the details of what happens to Mom but grief permeates everything in the book. However, towards the end you feel hope. You feel like things will be getting better.

What I didn’t like: There isn’t anything that I didn’t like.

Star Rating: 4.5 stars

My Thoughts: Crow is such a great personification of grief. The story outlines the stages of grief that Dad goes through with the boys. I think that it is such a beautiful way to show how grief effects people and how things change through time. That time will help with grief and sometimes it takes something to help you through it. I loved this story. It shows that grief is a process and at some point you will get through it.

Little Darlings By Melanie Golding

I was talking to my friend Laurie from Barks Book Nonsense and she was telling me about a thriller that she had just read that was more like a horror novel then a thriller. She thought it would be right up my alley. So I picked it up from the library as you do. Sometimes thrillers just don’t do it for me. But Little Darlings was more horror than thriller as far as I am concerned. with a little bit of fairy tale thrown in there. *which is why Laurie suggested it to me*

Synopsis: A new mother with twins begins to believe that someone is after her children.

What I liked: I really enjoyed the storyline. I like how the legend aspects of the story are written. It made my dark little heart happy. The characters are well written. The pacing of the story is fantastic. It is a fast pace read which engages the reader. The story is engaging and as a reader you need to know what happens next.

What I didn’t like: I personally hated the husband but that is how his character is written.

Star Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed so many of the aspects of the story. To me this story is not really thriller unless because there is a cop then it is considered a thriller. The back story was right up my alley. I really enjoyed the ending…it left me guessing as too what actually happened. But I SO enjoyed the back story. I don’t want to give it away so I am not going to talk about it.

The Near Witch By V.E. Schwab

I always appreciate a well crafted story especially when the story has fairytale elements. Witches, lost children and dark atmosphere is my jam. I appreciate the work that it takes to craft magical worlds. Personally, I am a fan of old world elemental magic stories. Since Harry Potter was released there has been so many books about magic but not elemental magic. So when V.E. Schawb’s book The Near Witch came out and I read the synopsis I knew I needed to read it.

Synopsis: A girl finds herself to a mystery when local children start going missing.

What I liked: Schwab is truly a talented storyteller. For me this book was like falling down a rabbit hole. The language and the character and all the little nuances that are written into the story. The pacing was a little slow for about 20 pages, however, Schwab was building the story of the village of Near so that was understandable. I appreciated the myth like structure to this story. It wasn’t magic like abracadabra magic but older more elemental magic which was written beautifully. Her characters are so well written that by the time you finish the story you feel as though you know them.

What I didn’t like: There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like

Star Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I appreciated the way magic was portrayed in the book, elemental and old. The story crafting and the world building was beautiful. I enjoyed so much of the beauty with the moors. However, this story goes much further than that. One of the things that I enjoyed was the way that Schwab peppered just a little bit of feminism through the story. The idea that women can do anything that a man can do and sometimes do it better. That was a really lovely part of the story.

The Saturday Night Ghost Club By Craig Davidson

I was born in the 70s and was a kid in the 80s. I grew up watching the TV shows from the 60s and 70s like The Brady Bunch and Wonder Years. I wonder if Generation X is the first generation to really have this level of nostalgia for other times due to our love of media. With that being said, I love a good coming of age story, Boys Life, The Body or Stranger Things. There are different things I appreciate with each story. Over the last year or so I had seen The Saturday Night Ghost Club I was intrigued. When Penguin contacted me about reviewing the paperback of The Saturday Night Ghost Club I couldn’t resist.

Synopsis: A boy who grew up to be a brain surgeon talks about the summer where he really began to change.

What I liked: The pace of the story keeps the reader engaged. Davidson keeps the story moving by intermingling the story of the ghost club with the story of the narrator and his family. Davidson’s characters are three dimensional and you care about what happens to the characters. Davidson showed his talent by interweaving the past and the present seamlessly. the changes that the characters go through is completely appropriate for the situation and age of the characters.

What I didn’t like: There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like in the story

Star Rating: Star Rating 4.5

My Thoughts: The story wasn’t really what I thought it was going to be. I remembered being a young kid riding my bike without a care in the world. Where summer break wasn’t about taking care of a child but being a child out in the world with no cares and looking for adventure. But it also made me think about how we as a society deal with some issues that people have. I also thought about family and the things that we do to protect the people we love. I don’t want to compare this to other coming of age stories as each coming of age story falls into its own niche.

Big Thanks as always to Penguin for providing me a review copy.

Choking Back the Devil By Donna Lynch

Last year I got into reading poetry during National Poetry month. I am really glad that I did. I have been lucky to read so many great poetry collections. I review Donna Lynch’s Witches last year and knew that she was going to be a poetess that I would want to read again. I was so thrilled when she came out with another collection this year Choking Back the Devil. She is one to watch out for.

Synopsis: Dark poetry from the mind of Donna Lynch.

What I liked: Donna is a truly gifted poetess. Each poem in this collection is gut wrenching. Lynch has a real skill in taking words and conveying pure and raw emotion with them. All the poems were 4.5 and 5 star reads for me. Through the collection there is some truly heart wrenching subjects. Loss, love and depression. So many things within the this collection. I love how Lynch plays with words and metaphors. There is so much to unpack in this collection that there aren’t enough words to put it all together.

What I didn’t like: There was nothing in this collection that I didn’t love.

Star Rating: 5 stars!!!

My thoughts: After reading Lynch’s other poetry collection witches I couldn’t wait to see what she was going to come up with next. I was not disappointed in the least. I appreciate the the way that Lynch provides twists and turns within her poems. Lynch is truly a talented poetess. She deals with so many horrific themes in her poetry with such beauty.

I want to thank RDSPRess for sending me a copy of Choking Back the Devil in exchange for a honest review.

Rites of Extinction by Matt Serafini

There are times when the cover of a book just grabs you. This is one of those times. It doesn’t tell you what that book is about. It is just a beautiful cover. There are no hints or tells. Which is okay by me. Rites of Extinction is one of those books. The cover does not give away any of the story itself.

Synopsis: A women tries to find the man that brutally killed her daughter and some other women.

What I liked: The story was fast paced and the plot was intriguing. The characters were three dimensional and I really appreciated the way the characters were written. There were no plot holes. The story itself was well plotted out and I personally didn’t see where it was going. But once the reader was in the thick of the story you couldn’t stop reading it. You wanted to get to the next page and the next page so you could find out what is actually happening.

What I didn’t like: There was nothing that I didn’t like.

Star Rating 4.5 stars

My thoughts: I have a love of folk horror. This story had many different aspects of folk horror that it really made me happy. The twist in the story was fantastic. I was pretty blown away by the twist and I wasn’t sure what to think when it was revealed. Honestly it wasn’t what I expected. I personally thought we were reading a women descending into madness. However, your perception of the story and the characters change dramatically. But I loved the aspects of folk horror in the story. It really made the story unique and I truly appreciated that.