Poetry. What can you say about poetry? It has the ability to make you feel. Whether it is love, longing or anger, you feel something. However, there is a breed of poetry that can make you feel disgust, anger and even fear. This is my genre of poetry. Horror poetry. But I want to say that even though it is listed as horror the anger and the love in some of the poems shine through. There is beauty in what is horrific and The Apocalyptic Mannequin doesn’t disappoint.
Synopsis: Collection of horror poetry
What I liked: Wytovich is so talented. I mean she is seriously talented. I want to have everything that she has ever written. She plays with words like toddlers play with play-doh. Honestly, she killed me with this collection. The anger and sadness that comes through her words just knocked me down. It was beautiful. I mean seriously. There wasn’t a poem in the collection that made me take pause it was all so beautiful and so haunting.
What I didn’t Like: Not a damn thing.
Star Rating: 5 Stars
My Thoughts: UGGGGHHHHH!! I want everyone to read this. What I really loved was the themes that ran through the collection. Not only was it about the end of the world but being a woman. Being a woman in a time that is uncertain and politically tense. I was reading somewhere once that some of the best art has come at times of political strife. Notice I used the word art. This collection is art. Everything about it screams and claws and rallies. If you haven’t read it yet PLEASE get it. It is amazing, sad and will make you angry. Which in my opinion is the whole reason that art is important.
Thank you Raw Dog Screaming Press for my review copy.
Again I am just going to say that I loved the idea of a book being serialized. I hate to use the word vintage or throwback….but in the era where we can have anything delivered via an app on our phone it was refreshing. As I am writing this I think that there is more to this story then just an apocalyptic story. I’ll talk more about that later….But the story feels very personal.
Synopsis: The last book in The Fearing serialization.
What I liked: Something that I really enjoyed was the ending. I wasn’t happy about the trip of the story being over. However, I love where Taff took it too. The ending itself made me happy. Through out the story there was this feeling of anxiousness. The entire story was a race…..a race between good and evil. But it wasn’t truly that. It was a truly fresh take on fear. What fear actually is and how fear works. Taff is truly talented. The plot through the story moved perfectly….there are times where you can slightly catch your breath and then you are taken on a roller coaster ride through the countryside.
What I didn’t Like: There wasn’t anything that I really didn’t like.
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
My Thoughts: I didn’t really want to read the ending of this serialization. I really enjoyed waiting for each book. It was like waiting for the next movie in a series or waiting for the next episode of a TV show. In the era of movies on demand or binge watching tv shows, it reminded me of being patient and enjoy the waiting. I want to say that the story felt a lot more personal. Fear is an interesting emotion and the idea that fear could destroy the world is so poignant right now. I will say this I personally loved the ending. I can’t talk about the ending without giving it away but I loved the ending.
The super cool thing is that the covers can be put together to form a cool picture.
Thank you to Grey Matter Press for my review copy!
I know I have said this before but I really wish that more publishers would serialize their stories. It has been so much fun waiting for each novella and then devouring it as soon as it comes in the mail. Honestly, it reminds me of watching a regular TV show and needing to wait a week to watch the next episode. It has made me super happy.
Synopsis: Book 3 in the serialization of The Fearing.
What I liked: I love the story. I really, really do. With the fact that it is serialized it allows the pacing to pull the reader in. It was really nice waiting for the next installment. The introduction of Mr. Jackoby was really interesting and added new flavor to the story. The characterizations are so well written, as a reader I am worried about some of the characters. Taff’s story is so well written that you really don’t want it to end. I do have book 4 and will be reading it this week. But I really love how Taff has built the story up. I can’t wait until to read more about Monday as well.
What I didn’t like: ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING
Star Rating: 5
My Thoughts: Seriously, I wish that more publishers serialized their stories. It was really nice not binging the entire thing. I really hope the Grey Matter does this with another book. It really drew out the enjoyment of the story.
In the age of binge watching TV shows and instant gratification would a serial book really work well. As far as I am concerned it works amazing!! The waiting for the next part of the story is like a build up. Wondering what is going to happen with the characters. That is why I am super glad that John F.D. Taff and Grey Matter Press has made this bingable story into smaller chunks to savor instead of gulp down.
Synopsis: The second installation in Taff’s The Fearing serialization.
What I liked: AAAHHHHH I love the fact that this is serialized. I love the cliff hangers. Taff knows just where to stop the story…..to give you just enough to keep you wanting more. I really appreciate how Taff moved the story along from the first book. It is basically, like waiting for the next season of a TV show that you have been waiting for. The pacing of the story is perfect for the way the story is being told. The characters are perfect for the story. You have feelings about the characters…you either like them or hate them. Taff has done amazing work keeping the multiple story lines throughout both of the books together. I am still loving the new take on the apocalypse.
What I didn’t like: It isn’t that I didn’t like that it ended but I did like the serialization.
Star Rating: 5 Stars
My thoughts: I would love if more publishers started serializing books. I love the binge reading and I do it all the time however, I’ve really enjoyed slowing my reading down and to really become invested in the story. The waiting is wonderful to be honest. Also it makes me think about the Penny Dreadfuls, it is reaching back to the history of publishing. Most books were serialized when printing was a luxury.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am continuing on my YA horror adventure. I was lucky enough to read some of West’s dark poetry last year. So when the author contacted me about reading a YA ARC I was like yeah. As I am on a YA horror adventure I thought it would be a great time to read and review Last Things.
Synopsis: A loner girl tries to help a rock star boy from her high school as everything goes very wrong.
Things that I liked: West’s treatment of the characters was very well done. As a reader I really appreciated the thought that West puts into the details for her characters. West was able to capture the dynamics of high school cliques in a three dimensional way. The story line was interesting and well thought through. There were some twists and turns that were really interesting and well written. There weren’t any real plot holes.
Things that I didn’t like: The pacing of the first 3/4s of the book was really slow. West was working on tension but it just seemed to drag for me.
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
My thoughts: Even though the first 3/4s of the story was slow I did enjoy it. There were enough twists in the story to keep you engaged. However, all the action in the story happened very quickly and I was left with a feeling of wanting more. I wanted to know more about Thea. I wanted to know more about her family and her mother. I just wanted a bit more from the story. However, I will say this I read Last Things after I finished Wanderers so that may have something to do with it. But I did enjoy the story. But the pacing was a bit too slow.