Waiting for Wednesday: Uncanny by David Macinnis Gill

Book Synopsis:

“In this chilling stand-alone novel by the acclaimed David Macinnis Gill, sixteen-year-old Willow Jane discovers she has the ability to stop time, and witnesses an ancient evil infiltrating her Boston neighborhood and hunting her friends and family. This original and sinister spin on gothic tradition will appeal to fans of Asylum, American Horror Story: Coven, and The Walking Dead.

You cannot wake the Shadowless when she sleeps within my bed. Kiss the lips of the Shadowless and the morning finds you dead.

When a bolt of lightning causes a Boston-wide blackout on her sixteenth birthday, Willow Jane doesn’t think anything of it—until she begins stopping time, until she comes face-to-face with her menacing familiar, until her sister disappears. But these aren’t the only strange and horrifying things to come out of the storm. An ancient witch named the Shadowless has awoken and escaped from her crypt, and she’s looking for revenge on Willow Jane’s family.” 

Why I need it:

Personally I don’t think there is enough YA horror out there so when I see a new release in that genre that looks promising it goes straight on my to read list.

Honestly this book had me when the synopsis said it was for “fans of Asylum, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead” because I love 2 out of those 3 things. I am probably the only person in the world who hasn’t seen an episode of Walking Dead. When it comes to American Horror Story though I am a bit of a junkie.

The summary of this book that reminds of the Mara Dyer series. Another dark book where a teenage girl finds herself having sudden unexplained powers with a horror element. The Mara Dyer series might have had a disappointing ending but I will still always love the first and second books of the trilogy.

That cover is also seriously pretty. It is simple and impactful. And as someone who works in design that font made up of tiny twigs is just eye candy for me.

An interesting idea wrapped in a genre I want to read more from, Uncanny is one release I am looking forward to finally getting my hands on.

Uncanny is scheduled for release on the 5th of September 2017

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

What is your favourite YA Horror novel? Maybe I will read and review it.

REVIEW: Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

frozen-charlotte-book-coverSummary:

Synopsis from GoodReads.com:

“We’re waiting for you to come and play. Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lilias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died.” 

Review:

First of all I want to thank Sarahbaroom on Instagram for recommending me this book when she heard that I was looking to review horror novels for younger readers. You are a live saver Sarah. And if anyone else wants me to read anything creepy feel free to drop me a comment.

Generally I am a very harsh critic when it comes to YA novels. I find that they can be a bit cheesy and predictable. So when I started this book I set the bar pretty low, but I was very pleasantly surprised. This was an awesome horror novel. There were even moments where it felt like it was building up to a cheesy YA trope moment but then it didn’t happen. It doesn’t even have much of a romantic subplot which just makes it even better.

When it comes to horror this book does not fail to deliver. There is at least one creepy scene in every chapter and it gets increasingly action packed as it goes along. It even has creepy dolls, and things involving dolls or children in horror are my favourite. I would say that this book is similar to The Boy Who Drew Monsters, in that it has horror film style pacing and depth. You get to know the characters as much as you need for the story and there is no unnecessary details or talky scenes.

There is nothing really offensive in this book but it is not for young readers. The scary scenes might frighten some younger readers and there is quite a bit of violence in places. If you can handle the average horror film you can handle this. For older readers, I think this book would be enjoyable. The only thing that makes this YA is the age of the characters and lack of sex and bad language. Maybe if you are an adult who wants to read horror but doesn’t like the swearing or sexual references that are in a lot of adult horror novels give this a go.

I do have two negative points about this book to point out though. Firstly, the beginning is a little teen horror flick cheesy, but once all of that is over it gets increasingly good and less predictable. My second point is that the book is set in the UK but a lot of characters have American names. It isn’t the end of the world but it is a pet peeve of mine.

Rating:

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.com. I loved it but it lost a point due to the character naming issue and the slight cheesiness at the beginning. It did not frighten me but it ticked all of the boxes when it came to being a solid horror novel.  This will be a book I will be recommending people for a long time.

As always feel free to follow me on GoodReads and if you have read Frozen Charlotte let me know what you thought of it below, and I am always open to book suggestions.

Best Reads of 2015

2015 is almost over already?! I feel like I just finishing writing my 2014 list of favourites.  I suppose time flies when you are reading great books, so here, in no particular order, are some of the best books that I read during 2015.

1. Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

17026_413852478709121_1163712783_nIf you have been following me this year you will know that I read a lot of Neil Gaiman books during 2015, but this is one of the best.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a stand alone fantasy novel told by a man recalling some strange and fantastical events from his childhood. That is all I can really tell you about the plot without ruining it so just go read it yourself. It is basically Coroline for grownups.

Brilliantly written and wonderfully creepy you should check this book out if you have not read it yet. To read my full review click here.

2. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

the-miniaturist-978144725089001This is one of those books that takes you by surprise by how good it is. I only read this book because it kept appearing everywhere I went so I bought it to stop it haunting me, and I did not regret that decision at all.

This is a standalone historical fiction novel set in 17th century Amsterdam. It follows an 18 year old girl called Nella as she marries into a very mysterious family that she barely knows.

If you are interested in venturing into the world of historical fiction I would highly recommend picking this one up because I could not put it down once I started reading it. To read my full review click here. 

3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

2213661Oh look another Gaiman book on my favourites list.

The Graveyard book is a standalone middlegrade novel about a living boy called Nobody who is raised by ghosts in a graveyard. It is spectacularly dark and well written, and the amount of research that probably went into the folklore and customs of English graveyards really shows.

If you want a quick, funny and dark book about growing up this is the one for you. It is also based on The Jungle Book but instead of a jungle and animals raising a boy it is a graveyard and ghosts. For more details you can read my full review of it here. 

4. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

9781408854280If there had to be a contender for the top spot of books that I read this year this would certainly be it. I loved this book so much that I had the worst book hangover that I have ever experienced after reading it. I am extremely disappointed that it is a standalone because I still miss the characters so much even though the story was wrapped up very well.

This book is set in 19th century England and it is about a man who wakes up one day to find a strange pocket watch on his pillow. After the watch saves him from a bombing he sets off to find out where the watch came from.

If you like historical fiction, steampunk, adorable relationships or simply the idea of pet clockwork octopi this is the book for you. You can read my full raving review here, and that also include a sample of the audiobook.

5. Vicious by V.E Schwab

vicious_victonagi_v-e-schwabAnother contender for my top book of 2015, Vicious is a brilliant book that focuses on all of the grey areas in the superhero/supervillain dynamic. I am a massive fan of all things comic book related so to read a superhero novel this well written just ticked all the right boxes.

This is about two friends who decide to carry out some experiments to gain superpowers, but when things go wrong it puts them both on the path of revenge.

Who doesn’t love a good super-powered superhero story? This has all the grittiness of the Batman comics so if you are a fan of the dark knight and other gritty heroes you will probably love this book. I think this best thing about this novel is that you are never entirely sure whose side to be on for a good portion of the book. You can read my full review here.

6. You by Caroline Kepnes

20821614This book might have seriously freaked me out after reading it but it is still going to be in my top reads list for 2015. This is the book equivalent of a car crash, it is graphic and chilling but it is impossible to put down.

YOU is written from the point of view of a romantic stalker and one of the most unique things about the novel is the narration style as all of it is addressed to the woman he is stalking even when he is no where near her.

There is a sequel to this book coming out in the new year and I am very tempted to read it even though this first one scared me A LOT, and I am not easily frightened. If you like American Psycho you should give this one a read. You can read my full review, and all the warnings surrounding this book, here.

Those are my top picks for 2015. How many of these books have you read? What were the best books you read during 2015? I am always open to recommendations so feel free to leave your favourites in the comments below.

As always feel free to add me on my GoodReads, Tumblr and Instagram, as I am always open to more bookish friends to read with in 2016.

REVIEW: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

2213661Summary:

Synopsis from GoodReads.com:

“After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…” 

Review:

This is a stand-alone middle-grade to young adult novel, but don’t let the age genre put you off because you cant go wrong with Neil Gaiman and in this book he certainly delivers. The only thing childish about this novel is that the story is written from the point of view of a child. The rest of the story is rather dark and strange. In a lot of ways it is another version of The Jungle Book but instead of animals in the jungle, it is ghosts in a graveyard who raise a young boy.

This book is magnificently written and uniquely illustrated. I haven’t seen an unillustrated version of this novel yet but I have seen different versions with different artists doing the illustrations. Gaiman presents the story in his usual easy to understand and quirky writing style so you yourself get a sense of what it is like to grow up in a graveyard and you can easily put yourself in the main character’s shoes.

The characters in this book are fascinating and lively, even though most of them are dead, and when I finished the book I found myself missing a few of them. Due to the characters being ghosts they are from a variety of different periods in history and how they speak is even written to reflect the speech patterns from their time period. There are nods to Celtic mythology and old christian beliefs, such as having a section with unconsecrated ground in the graveyard. Also the main character is called Nobody, which is a fantastic name, and he is a very believable and realistically written little boy.

The only problem I had with this book was that there was not enough of it. It left me with a couple of unanswered questions, which I suppose added an air of mystery to some things but at the same time I want answers. I want a companion to this book that tells me the backstories of all of the ghosts and the organisations mentioned in this novel. I need more!

Rating:

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.com. (You can follow me on Goodreads by clicking here) I don’t care if you think you are too old to read this book you need to check this one out. I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially if you like The Jungle Book or ghost stories.

This will be the last time I share my “What should I read next?” poll so pick a book while you can and I shall review the winner.

REVIEW: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

leviathan-cover

Summary:

Synopsis from GoodReads.com:

“Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.” 

Review:

Flying whales, hot air balloon jellyfish, dart bats and giant mechanical war machines, this is probably the strangest retelling of World War One I have ever read. Scott Westerfeld, the writer of the popular Uglies series, has delved into the world of all things steampunk and alternative history with this unique series.

Leviathan manages to creates a world that is both new to the reader but familiar at the same time. It is set at the outbreak of World War One and follows a character on either side of the war. Alek, an Austrian prince, and Deryn, an English officer who pulling a Mulan throughout the whole novel. Both main characters are equally interesting and well developed so it is hard to pick a favourite between the two.

The only real problem I had with this novel was that is very much felt like a set up novel for the rest of the series. It could be a little slow at points but at the same time you can understand why while reading it so you keep plowing through it. It was not until halfway through the novel that I became fully hooked on it, possibly because that was the point where they introduced a Tasmanian tiger into the story and I find them adorable. I want people to bring those cuties back from the dead Jurassic Park style because they are adorable and weird.

If you are interested in reading this book I would highly recommend buying it in physical form instead of getting an ebook version because it is illustrated and personally I found that the ebook file sort of lost a lot of the detail that was included in the wonderful sketches in the book. I am planning on buying myself a proper copy of the book so I can have all of the pretty pictures.

Rating:

I gave this book a solid 3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.com. I will be reading the rest of the series because I am curious about how everything is going to pan out.

If you have read Leviathan feel free to let me know what you thought of it below. I am also interested in reading more steampunk style literature so I am open to reading suggestions.

Also vote on my poll here to help me decide what book I should read next.

POLL: Help! What Should I Read Next?

I have never done a post like this before and I have never done a poll before so this should be interesting. Basically I have a tiny first world problem, I have downloaded too many ebooks and I have no idea what book I should read next so I have decided to ask the bloggiverse to pick for me. Cast your vote on what I should read next. I have managed to narrow the list down to five and I will review whatever book wins.

REVIEW: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

16096824Summary:

From GoodReads.com:

“When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.”

Review:

This book is the first book in a new young adult trilogy that is based around a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

I know this book is super popular among book bloggers and Youtubers lately so I know a lot of people are going to disagree with my opinion on this book but I am going to come right out and say it: this book sucked. It is the sneaky sort of bad too. It starts off strong with a strong, pretty action packed first chapter which keeps you reading until you realise that chapter one was the best written chapter in the whole thing.

Another problem I had with the book was the characters. Personally I found them rather boring and unlikable, and this made it very difficult to care about them and what was happening in the story. Everyone was a little dull and flat, and the characters who were a little less dull and had slight development, were jackasses.

Complaining aside, this book did have its good points. It is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and I think that side of the book was carried out pretty well. The main character, Feyre, is a little different from the Beauty characters that we are used to seeing though so that took me a while to get used to. It had some beautiful ideas and imagery that I haven’t seen anywhere else and those ideas where what kept me reading. If it wasn’t for the uniqueness of some of the ideas in this novel I would have given up on it five chapters in.

I think it is safe to say that I will not be reading the second book when it comes out next year. I am just really disappointed because I was looking forward to reading this and Beauty and the Beast is my favourite fairy tale. Hopefully I can find a better retelling in another novel.

Rating:

I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.com. It would have been a one star but since this book had some promising elements I decided to give it two. Overall I am just disappointed.

If you have read A Court of Thorns and Roses let me know what you thought of it? I would love to know.