Posted in Reviews

Review: A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
Verdict: hella good horror, even for folks who don’t usually love horror!

Recommended: yes!
For folks who don’t usually love horror, for an insiders view of a faked (maybe?) possession, for psychological horror where you don’t really know what to believe or who to trust

Summary

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

Thoughts

This book is absolutely fascinating. I am not a fan of horror, whether in movies, games, books, or anything else, really. But this book recommended to me was a captivating winner! So I recommend it for folks who don’t usually like horror, but DO like a story that makes you question everything over and over again, and analyze all aspects from a million angles. It’s a bit of a who-dunnit in that you just don’t know what to trust.

Continue reading “Review: A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay”
Posted in Book Talk

April Wrap Up (a happy month!)

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?

I planed to read 7 books, and I read 5 with one in progress still because it’s really long. The one I skipped was my own additional, funny enough. The recommendations I got from everyone got read though, and WHEW WERE THEY GOOD RECOMMENDATIONS! 🥰 I read 13 in total though, as my usual mood-reader-ness whims kicked in during the month as well.

The Plan:

My plan was mostly recommendations from y’all, and they were fabulous.

The Result:

Not only did I post twice about books I gave up on this year, I added another to the list shortly after with Undercover Bromance. I still can’t believe how immediately I hated that one. My responses aren’t typically so aggressively bad, but dang did this just rub me the wrong way (not ideal for a romance novel 😏).

BUT, with that out of the way, the rest of my reading was so so good! The recommendations I got from y’all were fabulous, and I enjoyed all of them quite a lot! I really should post some reviews of Head Full Of Ghosts and Legendborn because I certainly have a lot to say about them. We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a book I feel like I want to talk to people about to discuss interpretations and ideas. There’s so much more waiting for me in it, but I need others in order to get it.

Continue reading “April Wrap Up (a happy month!)”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Where the Rhythm Takes You, 5/11/21

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass!
Expected Release: May 11, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • TOBAGO! That is a place I have never been in real life or in a book, and that is guaranteed to attract me to a story. While this story will primarily take place at a resort, I’m hoping I can learn some about the country and people.
  • A resort, a crazy successful DJ, and first-lost love. Also inspired by Jane Austen’s persuasion apparently? I haven’t read Persuasion, but Where The Rhythm Takes You sounds like it will blend grief and love and growing up and taking risks and moving on and all kinds of strong and difficult themes of LIFE together. The plot basically sounds really strong and like if it’s done well, it will be utterly captivating.
  • And, oooooooh I feel like this might also have some really delicious tropes to enjoy in the romance-y part of it! It’s a fancy resort? On a tropical island? And they have HISTORY TOGETHER? Yup, if there’s not some kind of accidental-falling-on-each-other moment, or getting caught in the rain, or the double take when they realize how close they’re standing, I’ll be surprised. The rest can be deliciously original. I just want a few! ^.^

Summary

Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago, the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden – her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything – left the island to pursue his music dreams. Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running.

And that’s when Aiden comes roaring back into her life – as a VIP guest at the resort.

Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal – the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them…

PS: here’s a map for anyone who has no idea where Tobago is. Learn something new every day! 😀

Posted in Reviews

Review: The New Girl by Kid Toussaint

The New Girl by Kid Toussaint

Recommended: for sure!
For a cute friendship story with a twist of family drama, for some (possibly accurate?) insight into Dissociative Identity Disorder, for a flavor of Inside Out with the different personalities that come out, for gorgeous art to render a potentially complicated problem

Summary

Elle is just another teenage girl… most of the time. Bubbly and good-natured, she wastes no time making friends on her first day at her new school. But Elle has a secret: she hasn’t come alone. She’s brought with her a colorful mix of personalities, which come out when she least expects it… Who is Elle, really? And will her new friends stand by her when they find out the truth?

Thoughts

I saw this book a few times and was debating reading it, but I figured it would be pretty much like that movie inside out and didn’t really want to bother reading a story I felt like I would already know (despite the fact that I haven’t actually seen that movie…). Finally, I read a couple of reviews and several people mentioned that it’s more focused on dissociative identity disorder and other personality things like that rather than just being a characterization of emotions in general. Frankly, that’s what sold me. I was hoping this would be fun, and creative, but also a way that mattered a little bit more and could give people insight into those that need it.

Continue reading “Review: The New Girl by Kid Toussaint”

Dune begins

Hey y’all! I finally started Dune! I’m not very far yet, but my overwhelming impression is that there will be many words I don’t know. I bought a physical copy, but now I’m thinking I should have read a digitally so I could look up all these words! It’s a bit of a two-fold issue, because there are so many words specific to the world itself but then also just really advanced vocabulary English words. If I can keep track, I’ll probably have a lot of new words by the end of the book!

Posted in Reviews

2 Second DNF Review: Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Wow did I hate this. Really strange given that I really enjoyed the first one. I can’t read that Mack winks one more time because I’m 30% through and it’s been like two times a page and I can’t deal with this vom-inducing guy. I also hate the “you know you love me” attitude. Shut up dude and don’t tell me how I feel. I’m not a huge fan of Liv either, with her constant fake gagging and anger at everything. Basically no one is likable in this book, to the point where the idea of sexual tension between them is off-putting since I dislike them both. Ugh.

Other issues:
– There are tons of typos and incorrectly used words in the digital copy. Especially weird because it’s a digital file so updates can be made and spell check exists.
– A romance based around a sexual assault and revenge? Maybe a bit of an inappropriate combination?
– Flat characters. Felt like they existed only to each personify one extreme trait to make it enemies to lovers.
– The reason they’re enemies is because… he once ate her leftovers. Seriously?

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Lycanthropy and Other Illnesses, 4/27/21

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnessesby Kristen O’Neal!
Expected Release: April 27, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Magical realism. There’s the realistic side of her chronic illness, and the mystical side that maybe her friend is actually a werewolf? I love when things blend like that and make it as though both things could possibly be completely normal and happening two towns over.
  • The learning about a chronic disease is so important for those who don’t have that experience (myself). Plus I love that it sounds like she has an adventure too, and isn’t solely defined by her difficulties.
  • Yo if a friendship can survive (maybe literally…) one of the members becoming a werewolf? That’s probably a pretty good stand to model from. I want to see how much they love each other! ^.^

Summary

Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were. Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses.

When Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya does something out of character: she steals the family car and drives to Pennsylvania to check on Brigid. Priya isn’t sure what to expect, but it isn’t the horrifying creature that’s shut in the basement. With Brigid nowhere to be found, Priya begins to puzzle together an impossible but obvious truth: the creature might be a werewolf—and the werewolf might be Brigid. As Brigid’s unique condition worsens, their friendship will be deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing them to reckon with their own ideas of what it means to be normal.

Posted in Chatty

A tiny secret / mistake that turned into tiny science

Hey y’all! Yesterday I posted about 5 books I’ve DNFd this year. About ten seconds after posting it, I thought “man that all felt really familiar to write. …did I already do a post about this?”

And yes, the answer is yes, I most certainly did. Since I realized it so quickly I was just going to de-post it, scrap it, and write something new. You may realize: I did not do that. FOR SCIENCE!

I’m SUPER curious how this post will compare to the first a few months ago. I’m also really hoping someone calls me out on it because I think that would be hilarious (and delightful that anyone knows my blog well enough to call me out on a post from a few months ago. Thanks in advance, long-term readers! ^.^) So for now I’m leaving them both in the world and will update this after I see what happens!

What happened

The second post had 4x as many views, 3x as many likes, and engagement on twice as many days (so… two days. xD). BUT, the first post got a few comments, so had active engagement.

Somehow within 2 months, and the addition of 2 more books to the list, there was actually a fairly significant increase in stats on it. Also, 2 people liked both posts which cracked me up. I have to wonder if it seemed familiar to them too, or if they hadn’t noticed!