You ever have one of those days where things aren’t necessarily going your way. I had a few days like that in a row. But when you come across a story that sucks you in and doesn’t let go, all that seems to fall away. If the story is done right it is something that grabs you by the brain and just won’t let go. The Switch House by Tim Myer was one of those reads.
Summary: A couple lose a child and then go on a reality TV show to switch houses. However; when they switch back to their own home things aren’t necessarily the same.
What I liked: I liked the entire story. I thought it was going to be straight forward when I first started reading it and HOLY BEEGUS!!! It zigged when I thought it was going to zag. And then when I thought the twists where done it zigged again. I love when a story keeps me guessing and let me tell you this story did. I enjoyed the pacing of the story and Meyer’s writing was so good. The last few pages I was holding my breath.
What I didn’t like: Honestly, there was nothing I didn’t like about the story, pacing or the characters that Meyer dreamed up.
Star Rating: 5 stars and more!!!
My Thoughts: My brain is still wrapped around the story. I have all the thoughts about this story. It is going to be with me for a while. For me the story wasn’t as much about horror as it was about being a parent. I know I might be looking too deeply into the story but I in the words I can see the frustrations of being a parent. Again I may be looking to deeply but sometimes there can be more behind words then just words. Tim Meyer’s The Switch House knocked my proverbial socks off.
I don’t have a list of favorite books. There are too many to love and the list changes. It depends on where I am in life. That being said I do have a list of favorite literary characters. One of my top five favorite characters is Patrick Bateman. Yes, that is right that lovable, status crazed psychopath from Brett Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. I think it was because of the way he was written. Ellis wrote his character bordering on the ridiculous. The diatribe about Hughey Lewis and the News is probably one of my favorite scenes from a book or a movie. I don’t know why it just strikes me as particularly funny. Maybe it is the fact that Power of Love is playing in the background as he wields an axe. Another favorite literary character is Rob from Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. Slightly narcissistic and a lot of snobbish lists regarding music. What would happen if you crossed Patrick Bateman with Rob (books instead of music). You get a book loving psychopath named Joe.
Summary: The story follows Joe and his love/obsession for Beck. He isn’t going to let anything stand between them.
What I liked: THE WHOLE ENTIRE THING!! Kepnes is a storyteller of the highest order. Her characters are well crafted and three dimensional. One minute you are creeped out the other minute you are feeling bad for them. Particularly for Joe. How the hell does that work LOL?! I know what you are thinking but it is particularly towards the end of the story. The storyline flows so well. The pacing is so good. It is a slow burn and I really like that. You are pretty much at the edge of your seat the entire time. The settings that are used throughout the novel also become characters particularly the bookstore. I could gush on and on and I don’t want to spoil this deeply creepy book for anyone.
What I didn’t like: There is nothing I didn’t like.
Star Rating: 5 stars
My thoughts: I started this story thinking OMG creeper status a million and I ended the story thinking OMG everyone in the story is well and truly f’ed up. But that is the beauty of this book. There are so many WTF and ewwww moments that it is such a pleasure to read. I love books like this for that exact reason. It was a a perfect read for a lazy Sunday. Why did it take me this long to read it!!
I love thinking about what people I meet where like in high school and wondering if I would have been friends with them then. I was a member of the all encompassing freak class. I had purple hair, smoked clove cigarettes and wore flannel. What made me even more of a freak I read, usually had the answers in English or history class and I listened to weird music. Well at the time it was considered weird music until it hit the mainstream radio stations. I was more then happy with my small circle of friends and our mutual love of shared passions. One of these passions was anything horror. I would like to think I would have been friends with the main character in The Art of Escaping.
Summary: A misfit girl and a popular guy share a secret. But will this secret lead them to shared mutual destruction or freedom?
What I liked: Callahan was able to use a plot device I really like. The story is told from Mattie and Willem’s points of view. Callahan does a great job of tying the two stories together to form a cohesive narrative that overlaps so you get a in-depth perspective. There is another story within this story. It isn’t intrusive and fits very well. The characters are well fleshed out. The plot was well thought out and the ending didn’t feel rushed or out of line with the character’s motivations. As this is a YA title the writing is appropriate for a YA audience. Actually, I think it is a great YA novel.
What I didn’t like: The beginning was slightly slow for me after about 50 pages it picked up and I was sucked in.
Star Rating: 4.5
My thoughts: I really liked this story. I would like to think that it is because I was one of the outcasts at high school. I love the way Callahan used Escapology as metaphor for the angst that you feel as a teenager. I loved both Mattie’s parents. I really identified with them as a parent that was a bit different then the other parents. This is going to be controversial but it was refreshing to read a YA book that didn’t end horribly or have something devastating happen to the characters. It was a story that had so much hope that it warmed my bookish heart and that made me happy.
I want to thank Amberjack Publishing for a review copy for my honest review and I want to thank Ms. Callahan for writing a YA book that is full of goodness and hope.
I saw the movie of The Exorcist when I was in first grade. The most horrifying scene in the whole movie for me as a kid was when Regan was spider walking down the staircase. I think I kept my head behind a pillow for the rest of the movie. I was absolutely frightened by that scene. I am not sure what about that scene even as an adult still creeps me out. I had read the book about 10 years ago and once I saw some of the other horror lovers reading it I decided it was time for a reread. I am so glad that I did. It is one of those stories that scare you in different ways as you get older.
Summary: A little girl is possessed by an evil demon. This story follows the people who try to help her.
What I liked: I loved the writing. The writing is one of the most important parts of The Exorcist. When you can take something as mundane as a “invisible” friend and make it something terrifying then you have hit the pinnacle of writing. The characters are fleshed out and you truly feel their emotions as you are reading. Blatty’s descriptions of the physical transformations that Regan undergoes are horrifying.
The storyline and the POV of the characters are as crisp and fresh as the day they were written. This story is as timeless and scary as it was when the book was first released. I hope that people will continue to read this horrifying book in the future.
What I didn’t like: There is nothing that I didn’t like about The Exorcist.
Star Rating: 5
My Thoughts: As a parent the whole premise of The Exorcist is terrifying. Your child is normal one day and then under goes a complete transformation practically overnight. I was raised Roman Catholic and possession was something that wasn’t discussed. The religious over tones in The Exorcist are really interesting. What I think is that the story isn’t so much about Regan but rather Father Karras. You watch as the priest goes from questioning his faith to being brought back into the fold. Which makes me wonder if Blatty was questioning the divide between science and faith?
The first horror book I read was about fairies–not the sweet ones with glitter on their cheeks, but Irish fairies who would steal children and replace them with changelings. So, my first-grade self laid in bed and waited to be stolen by the fairies, listening to the clock ticking in the hall and figuring that as long as I heard it then I was still at home. I fell asleep listening to that clock in the hall tick, and I woke up the next morning in my bed. I am sure that my grandmother’s stories about fairies didn’t really help.
My tastes in horror run the gambit, and I am always grateful for a book that can give me goosebumps. Kin did just that!
Summary: A family of cannibals loses a victim. What is to become of the family and the victim?
What I like: Burke’s writing style for me is perfect for this type of novel. His pacing was perfect; not to fast and not to slow. The beginning of the novel really piqued my interest and it didn’t stop. I had to know how the story was going to end. I appreicated the twists and turns in the story. The characters were well developed for their story arcs.
What I didn’t like: Burke killed one of the characters that I liked!!
Star Rating: 5
My Thoughts: I loved the page turning suspense that Burke built throughout Kin. So lets put it this way I loved the story from start to finish. It was gory and was psychologically thrilling. From the first page to the last page it was a page turner and hard to put down. My love of good horror was overly satisfied with Kin. I will defiantly be reading another by Burke.
I was thinking the other day about how short stories are like a sandwich. A sandwich is a total meal between two pieces of bread. They can be sweet (peanut butter and honey) or savory (brie and bacon). Yes, I know brie is not everyones taste but it is amazing you should try it. Anyway back to my original point. Short stories are the same way. They are a beginning, middle and an end but short. Like a sandwich…..whhaaaa I totally blew your mind there right. There are days when I just want a sandwich and there are days where I want a 3 course meal. This week I really wanted a good sandwich The Sea was a Fair Master fed that need.
Summary: Delectable dark and vicious short stories.
What I liked: There was so much to like about this collection. The stories were well written. In two pages Demmer was able to flesh out stories and characters which is a testament to his writing style. Each story is completely different, like an episode of the Twilight Zone or Crypt Keepers Tales of Terror. There were two stories that I really enjoyed in particular: Restroom Finds and Revenge of the Myth. They both dealt with subjects I enjoy reading: dystopian survival and myths. Demmer ticked all the boxes in these two stories for me.
What I didn’t like: There wasn’t anything in particular that I didn’t like. I wasn’t a big fan of Trashcan Sam the pacing read a bit off.
Star Rating: 4.5 Stars
My thoughts: I am pretty excited to read more from Demmer in the future. I enjoyed his writing style. If this was just a taster of what he has up his sleeve then the horror/darkreads community need to keep an eye on him.
A BIG Thank You to Calvin Demmer for sending me a advanced review copy in exchange for my honest review!
There is something magical about the words “Something wicked this way comes…” this is pretty much how I felt when I started reading The Hatch I really got into reading poetry for National Poetry month. So I wanted to keep the ball rolling and try some horror poetry. This is when the very dark and devilish little book landed on my kindle.
Summary: Darkly devilish poems and short stories.
What I liked: There aren’t many “horror” poets these days. Not sure I can class this as horror but it was a dark read. My favorites where: The Wake, The Fly, Self Defense and Northwest Passage. Fletcher has a way with prose that makes you invested in what he is writing. The cover art even on the digital copy was beautiful and detailed.
What I didn’t like: There wasn’t much about this book of prose that I didn’t like.
Star Rating: 4 Stars
My thoughts: I am hoping to read more from Fletcher in the future. The Hatch was something different to what I normally read and was a good palette cleanser.
A Big Thank you to Netgalley and Brooklyn Arts Press for an advanced review copy for my honest review.