Dark Reads of the Month: August

This is a little later than  my usual monthly book posts because it was my 29th birthday last weekend so I was busy. Also I have been unpacking my library and that is taking a long time. Maybe I will share photos when it is finally finished.

So any way, on to the books for the month.

I Am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist


A group of strangers wake up one morning to find that everything outside has disappeared. Anything beyond their windows is now nothingness. What happened? Why did it only happen to them? And why do creepy figures and creatures keep appearing?

As I have mentioned in previous posts I am a huge fan of Lindqvist’s first novel Let the Right One In. It is one of the best vampire novels of all time in my opinion. So when the publisher asked me to read his new novel I jumped on it. This novel reads very much like a Stephen King book without the King tropes. It was The Langoliers without the disappointing ending. I can’t say much more without spoiling it so just read it for yourself if you are a fan of this kind of surreal horror with lots of mysterious happenings.

The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill


A young man with a life long obsession with a famous explorer decides to write a novel about his hero’s life and uncovers some horrific truths along the way.

This is very much along the lines of classic gothic fiction. I absolutely love everything by Susan Hill right now and her gothic novels are just what you need when the weather becomes more Autumny. This novel was a little longer than her other books but I enjoyed the slower pace of it. It was like a slowly unwrapped mystery burlesque.

If you have read all of the old gothic novels I suggest you pick her books up because they are basically old fashioned gothic literature written in modern times.

Charlotte Says by Alex Bell


This is the prequel to a novel I wrote about in my first Dark Reads of the Month post: Frozen Charlotte. This is a series about haunted dolls that make people do horrible things. In this prequel we find out about the history of the school Frozen Charlotte was set in and where the dolls came from.

Normally I don’t write about prequels or sequels to novels on here but I didn’t know this book was coming out until it was sent to me and I know a few people on here read Frozen Charlotte because of my post about it so I thought I would let you know about the newly released prequel.

This is a YA horror novel but it is seriously creepy so I think plenty of adults would enjoy it if they wanted a quick spooky read. I loved both novels and  I am 29 years old and not a big fan of young adult fiction. If dolls jamming pins into people’s eyes sounds icky enough for you maybe give this a read. It would make perfect Halloween reading. Just maybe read Frozen Charlotte first.

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ARC REVIEW: I AM BEHIND YOU By John Ajvide Lindqvist

Synopsis:

Synopsis from GoodReads.com:

“A supernatural superthriller from the author of Let the Right One In

Molly wakes her mother to go to the toilet. The campsite is strangely blank. The toilet block has gone. Everything else has gone too. This is a place with no sun. No god.

Just four families remain. Each has done something to bring them here – each denies they deserve it. Until they see what’s coming over the horizon, moving irrevocably towards them. Their worst mistake. Their darkest fear.

And for just one of them, their homecoming.”

Review:

Creepy, disturbing and confusing, I am Behind You is a novel that will keep you guessing.

When I first heard of this novel I automatically thought of one of the first Stephen King stories I read and that was The Langoliers. The Langoliers was a bit of a bust to me personally but I still liked the idea of a group of strangers waking up to find themselves suddenly cut off from the rest of the universe, so I hoped that this book would give me what The Langoliers was missing. Did it deliver on that front? Heck yes it did. In spades.

Not only did this book actually have the twist I wanted to see in The Langoliers but it also had something else, a creep factor. While Stephen King focused more on the human element with The Langoliers and that fell into a pile of nonsense at the end, I Am Behind You gives you both them human and supernatural element of horror. The characters start seeing freakish creatures and figures and they get increasingly worse and more horrifying as the book goes on.

The only real issue I found with this novel was the changing view points. Normally I am fine with a novel that changes character perspective but this book did it constantly. It meant that I found myself getting one or characters confused because they were similar.

I would say that this would make a great Halloween read. If you don’t want ghosts, and ghouls, but you want a disturbing adult novel that will get you thinking I would suggest picking this one up.

I Am Behind You is scheduled for release on the 7th of September. 

Rating:

 

 

3 out of 5

This is a pretty solid three out of five. I enjoyed this novel a lot but I dont feel quite right giving it four starts for some reason.

 

Thoughts & Progress: Bout of Books Day 2

Continuing my trend of sucking at Bout of Books this August, I bring you the wrap up for Day 2.

I was off work again, and that means more distraction and wanting to do anything but read. My Tuesday was spent getting some retail therapy in and instagramming things. On the bright side though I bought some cool patches for my patch jacket. Also a small child followed me around a shop shouting “She’s a vampire!” and pointing at me, maybe that was my punishment for not reading enough. I’m not a vampire, just to clear that up.

My partner wasn’t home last night so most of my reading was done lounging on the sofa, listening to The Cure and enjoying the thunderstorm outside. Northern Ireland had a glorious storm last night. It made for perfect reading weather.

So here is my progress for Tuesday the 22nd of August:

I read 109 pages of Goth Girl and the Wuthuring Fright. That was it. At least I read something that was actually on my TBR list this time.

Reading Plans for the Day:

  • Finish Goth Girl. I know I said that yesterday but I am determined to do it today.
  • Get at least half way through Mist in the Mirror.
  • Read some of I am Behind You because my lack of progress in this book is just getting silly by this point.
  • Start Nightwing Vol 1.

 

Thoughts & Progress: Bout of Books Day 1

We have survived the first day of Bout of Books! If you want to take part but haven’t signed up yet today is the last day to do so. Check out their website to join in.

So long story short, I suck.

I was off work yesterday and so I spent the first day of Bout of Books relaxing and watching stupid internet videos. I also read a book that wasnt on my TBR list for this readathon. Aw well, at least I read something. Better than nothing I suppose.

So here is my progress for Monday the 21st of August: 

I read 168 pages of Red Hood and the Outlaws volume 1 and finished it. This graphic novel wasn’t in my TBR list but after reading Death of the Family on Sunday I was still in the mood for more DC comics so I had to read another one that I have been meaning to get to in a while. Thank you for the recommendation J.W Martin at Storeys of Stories

21 pages of Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright. 

20 page of I am Behind you. I am enjoying this book but I keep getting distracted every time I try to read it.

Not the best start to a Bout of Books but I plan to make up for it today.

Reading Plans for Today:

  • Finish Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright. This book is illustrated so I should be able to get through it pretty easily.
  • Finish part one of I am Behind You at the least.

Now I am off to order myself some dinner and get reading.

Are you taking part in Bout of Books this month? If so share your progress with me and tell me what you are reading.

Also, what is your favourite take out food? Tell me.

Bout of Books 20 TBR

Time to do the same thing we do every few months, Pinky. It’s time for Bout of Books.

Even though I take part in Bout of Books every time it is on I can I feel like I have to do this one because I am hosting my own readathon in October. I need to get in the mood!

Read about my own readathon Spook Stock here

If you don’t already know Bout of Books is a readathon that occurs multiple times a year. You simply have to read as much as you can during the week and there are mini challenges that you can take part in throughout the week. Here is an extract from there website for more info:

“The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team”

Now onto what I will be reading for the next week.

I have made the grave mistake of buying lots of books and accepting a lot of books lately so I plan to use this Bout of Books as a way to clear some books off my TBR pile. This plan has made my TBR list for this readathon more than a bit challenging but lets see how far I get into it anyway.

I am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Page count: 544

I am currently reading this book and I am only 10% of the way through it. This is an ARC copy I recieved from NetGalley that I have to get finished before the book’s release. I will let you know what I thought of it once I am finished, I promise. Spooky so far though.

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Page count: 461

This book has been on my TBR pile for a long time and I have mentioned it a few times on this blog. I wasn’t that interested in this book because it is about zombies but then I found out that it is written by one of my favourite comic book writers. I just had to add it to my list once I found that out.

Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright by Chris Riddell
Page count: 244

I am in love with the Goth Girl series by Chris Riddell. It is funny, beautifully drawn and the books are so easy to fly through. This is a children’s series but there are enough hidden literature references in there to keep adult book lovers happy. This is the 3rd book in the series. I have been buying them ever since my mum bought me the first book last year because she thought Goth Girl looked like me.

The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill
Page count: 274

I know nothing about the book other than it is a horror novel written by Susan Hill and I currently enjoying binge reading all things Susan Hill. This is a fun twist because I used to find her books dull before but now I love them. Hopefully this book will be as good as the others.

X-men Volume 2
Page count: 136

This has been on my to read list since I bought it and three others of the same series at a convention in June. I have been an avid reader and collector of X-men comics for ten years now. This is a series focusing on the women of the X-men and their mission to protect a baby and be the general badasses they usually are.

Nightwing Volume 1
Page count: 160

I have mixed feelings on DC comics at times but I have recently discovered a new saving grace: Robins! I am currently obsessed with all things related to the various Robins that Batman has had over the years. The Batfamily are the best. I picked up this series because I want to get to know Dick Grayson a little better. Normally I prefer things more focused on Damien or Jason so this seemed like a nice change.

Also I plan to fullfill my goal of cosplaying a Robin in 2018 but that is for a different blog post.

Final Page Count Goal: 1819

Will you be taking part in Bout of Books next week? If so, what will you be reading?
There is still plenty of time to sign up if you want to join in.

If you want to keep track of my Bout of Books progress or generally want a readathon pal I will be posting throughout the readathon on GoodReads, Instagram and Twitter 

Waiting for Wednesday: I am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Book Synopsis:

“A supernatural superthriller from the author of Let the Right One In

Molly wakes her mother to go to the toilet. The campsite is strangely blank. The toilet block has gone. Everything else has gone too. This is a place with no sun. No god.

Just four families remain. Each has done something to bring them here – each denies they deserve it. Until they see what’s coming over the horizon, moving irrevocably towards them. Their worst mistake. Their darkest fear.

And for just one of them, their homecoming.

This gripping conceptual horror takes you deep into one of the most macabre and unique imaginations writing in the genre. On family, on children, Lindqvist writes in a way that tears the heart and twists the soul. I Am Behind You turns the world upside down and, disturbing, terrifying and shattering by turns, it will suck you in.”

Why I need it:

What is going on in this novel?! Why has outside been deleted?! What did these families do?!
All of these questions I need answers for.

I am a huge fan of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s writing. Let the Right One In is probably one of my favourite novels and definitely my favourite vampire novel. You can read my review of it here. So it is safe to say that I am looking forward to his newest book.

The concept of this novel sounds like something from a Stephen King novel. It almost reminds me of The Langoliers with it being about a group of people who suddenly find themselves cut off from the rest of the world. Hopefully it won’t contain any of The Langoliers time-whimy plot nonsense because that was when that story reached the point of stupidity.

Will this book be another brilliant novel from a brilliant author? I guess we will have to see when it comes out.

I am Behind You is scheduled for release on September 7th 2017

Waiting for Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Break the Spine to spotlight upcoming releases, and continued by Wishful Endings

ARC REVIEW: Charlotte Says by Alex Bell

Summary:

Synopsis from GoodReads.com:
“The much-anticipated prequel to the bestselling FROZEN CHARLOTTE, a Zoella Book Club title in Autumn 2016.
Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.

Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.”

Review:

Creepy dolls, ghost children and needles in eyeballs, what else would you want from a horror novel?

I read the first book Frozen Charlotte earlier this year and I was left dying for a prequel. I needed to know more about these creepy dolls. Where did they come from? Why did they want to kill people? Did I get what I wanted? Yes and no.

I got my prequel and it was just as creepy as I expected, but at the same time it was just a more detailed writing of events that were mentioned in passing in the first book. I enjoyed that but I would have liked a few more new things thrown in. That is the only negative thing I found about it. Other than that it was a brilliant read.

Even if a lot of it was a rehash of events mentioned in the last novel the book did have one new thing that made it stand out: A scary ghost. Yes the dolls are frightening but in this book there is also a ghost who visually is frightening. I am not easily scared but I wouldn’t want to see this ghost in person. I am not going to give spoilers, but ghosts who have their expression frozen like a death mask, especially when their death was horrible, are chilling. Imagine choking to death and your face being stuck like that forever. A pleasant image? No. Stuff of nightmares.

Also unlike the original book this novel contained a very realistic romance. I am not normally one for romance in novels but when it is realistic and isn’t getting in the way of the plot I can happily enjoy it. It was kept very to the side and was rather mature for the main romance in a teen novel and those traits made it rather sweet. If you aren’t big on romance you can enjoy this one without the annoying YA style love tropes being shoved in your face the whole time.

Warnings:

Will frighten younger readers, horror, threat, gore, animal cruelty and abuse.

Rating:

4 out of 5

I LOVED this book almost as much as I loved the first one. I would happily say that an adult would enjoy this simple horror read if they wanted something quick to fill an upcoming October night with. The perfect addition to anyone’s Halloween to-read list, but I would say, read the first book first, but that is just common sense.