Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday! Top 5 Books I'd Recommend for Halloween

Oh Halloween, one of the most fun holidays of the year. It's a time for ghouls, goblins, monsters, and candy! I will admit to loving reading horror and scary books all year, but Halloween gives the perfect excuse to pick up something scary. So this Top 5 Wednesday is all about books that I'd recommend for Halloween and I'm happy to oblige. Here are some Top 5 Halloween Reads in no particular order.
Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
When one thinks of Halloween, one thinks of ghosts and this book is perfect for that. In fact, the cover pretty much screams Halloween. This is also a great book for people that love the show Supernatural. We are with this kid named Cas who hunts ghosts for a living as his family profession. Cas starts to hear rumors of a house that no one comes out of alive, a house haunted by a ghost of a girl named Anna, who still wears the bloody dress she died in. This book is perfect for Halloween because is has a creepy, haunted house, a ghost, a cool ghost hunter, and a whole bunch of gore. Loved this book and it's perfect for Halloween.

Title: The Monstrumologist
Author: Rick Yancey
This book was one that really grew on me as I read it. In the beginning, I thought this is going to be lame. The monsters at first reminded me of the Looney Tunes Monster. Here he is :)
And I never really found the Looney Tunes Monster to be all that scary. I think his name was George. But as the book went on, the monsters became TERRIFYING!! They ate people, they had razor sharp teeth, and they would pop out of the ground with no warning and kill everybody! Also the atmosphere of the book was really creepy. There was a little humor in the book too, with a sort of mad scientist professor and an orphan named Will Henry under his care. If you want a book that will grow on you and the scare comes more gradually, then definitely pick this one up. It is great for Halloween and I can't wait to finish the rest of the series.

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
This one makes my Halloween list just because it is so darn creepy! While reading this at night, I had trouble going to sleep. I would hear creaks and noises and automatically think that a killer was in the house. This book deals with the son of a serial killer and his struggles to separate himself from his father and his fears that he will turn out like his father. Then some murders start happening around his hometown and it resembles his imprisoned father's crimes a lot. Jasper decides that he must catch the killer and hope that he never becomes one. If you want chills, over the top creepy, and looking over your shoulder in fear every 10 minutes, then go ahead and read this one. There is a tremendous cliff hanger at the end, which is why I'm waiting for the third book to come out so I can finish the series without having to drive myself crazy with the waiting. 
Title: I Am Not A Serial Killer
Author: Dan Wells
So yeah, another serial killer book, don't judge me. This is also a creepy, great Halloween read. In this book, our main character John Wayne Cleaver is a sociopath. He works in the family funeral home and loves being with the recently deceased. John also has many fantasies of killing people. He has steps and rules that he follows to stop himself from having the urge to actually kill anyone. Then some pretty messed up murders start happening in his town. Victims are ripped apart. John decides that he's going to hunt the killer and discovers more than he every imagined. I love this book and I love this whole series. John Wayne Cleaver is probably one of the creepiest characters I've ever come across. While reading, you are in John's head and you don't really want to think like John Cleaver. If you want to be creeped out, then go ahead and read this series. Don't say I didn't warn you though.

Title: The First Days
Author: Rhiannon Frater
ZOMBIESSSS!!! You know I had to put at least one zombie book in here and I thought I'd put in one of my favorites. Zombies are kind of a Halloween staple. The scary factor about them is not just the flesh eating, undead monster, but the vision of the end of the world and humanity struggling to survive. This is the start to one of my favorite zombie series. It's full of action, death, and zombies. This is a zombie book that should definitely be on your list to read.

So that's it, that's my Top 5 Recommended Halloween Reads. I hope you found something deliciously scary to sink your teeth into. Tell me what books you love for Halloween. I'm always excited to add another scary read to my TBR. If you want to take part in Top 5 Wednesday for yourself, then go ahead! It's full of fun topics to discuss every Wednesday. Here's the list of all the Top 5 Wednesday-ers!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review of: Night Film By Marisha Pessl

Title: Night Film
Author: Marisha Pessl
Published by: Random House
Released: 2013
Summary: Stanilas Cordova has fascinated Scott McGrath for many years. Five years ago, McGrath set out to uncover the secrets of Cordova and thanks to a mysterious source, Scott finally thought he had something to go on. Using the information from the mysterious source, McGrath makes a claim about Cordova that gets him in trouble. Five years later McGrath has lost his job and his family, so he decides to forget about Cordova. Then Cordova's daughter is found dead of an apparent suicide and McGrath is sucked into the Cordova web once again. McGrath, with the help of two other people, set out to investigate Ashley Cordova and are shocked by what they find. Cordova is hiding more secrets than anyone could imagine, secrets that might be too dark to ever see the light of day.
My Thoughts: I first just want to point out that this is a beautifully designed book which is one of the first things that drew me to it. I love a book that incorporates pictures and documents because the story becomes more real and takes on a life of its own. Night Film felt more like a movie than a book. I felt like I was experiencing a movie rather than reading. I loved the story, the characters, really everything about this book. Entering the world of Cordova was so creepy and fun and you don't know what twist or turn was going to happen next.
I really enjoyed our band of intrepid investigators, Scott, Nora, and Hopper. I thought they made a good team and were just different enough to compliment each other.
I really loved the story as well. Being along on the journey to uncover the secrets of Ashley Cordova and her father was a ton of fun and went in some very different directions than I was expecting.
At times, it felt a little long and a little low on the action, but it was always interesting enough to keep me reading.
That ending though! It definitely left me wanting a real conclusion and I didn't really get it. I want to know what happens to Scott McGrath. The ending sort of reminded me of a Cordova film. Night Film is definitely a good book and I highly suggest you read it!
Uncovering Cordova's secrets couldn't be more fun!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Published by: Little, Brown and Company
Released: 2012
Summary: Lobos Nod is famous for being home to the notorious serial killer Billy Dent who had victims in the triple digits. The Billy Dent slipped up, was caught, and sent to prison. These days, Lobos Nod is still home to a Dent, Billy's son Jazz. Jazz wishes he could be a normal kid, but with a legacy like Billy's hanging over you, it's impossible. When a batch of new murders pop up in Lobo's Nod, everyone is on edge, Jazz especially. Jazz knows that with these new killings, attention will return once again to Billy and to him. Jazz decides to track the killer down for himself, but struggles with doing it for good or just for the chance to redeem himself.
My Thoughts: This book creeped me out! I enjoyed Jazz, Howie, Connie, and G. William as they rushed to catch a killer and I loved the guessing game of who-done-it. But this had to be one of the creepiest, most disturbing, scary YA books I've read yet. There were a couple of nights that I would put the book down and be afraid to go to sleep. I would hear noises outside and then be afraid that a killer was right outside my window. If you want to freak yourself out, then go ahead and read this at night, but if you scare easily, then stick to daytime reading. 
I liked Jazz. The struggle that he was going through felt so real. Is he destined to end up like Billy or is he destined to do good things in the world? Also having Billy's voice in his head and nightmares was just plain scary. I think Jazz characterized what it really must be like to be the child of a notorious killer. Super super creepy.
I really liked Howie and Jazz's friendship with him. Howie offered a bit of light to a very dark story.
I wasn't blown away by the relationship Jazz and Connie shared. I just felt like the chemistry wasn't really there. I also really thought Connie would end up on the victim list eventually.
And that ending!! Why do that to me when I don't have the second book nearby? I have to know what happens next.
Overall, I really enjoyed it. I was very creeped out through most of it and enjoyed the mystery aspect. If you want a good scare, then pick up this book.
Be afraid, be very afraid cause Billy Dent is terrifying

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Reading Right Now! (#15)

Title: Shadowlark (Skylark #2)
Author: Meagan Spooner
I'm on page 123 of 327 so that makes me 38% done with the book.

I just finished the first book, so I decided to jump right in to the second one. My main reason for doing that wasn't necessarily because of an undying love for the series, but rather because I checked this book out from my library through an inter-library loan, so returning it and then checking it back out would have been a teeny tiny bit of a hassle and wait. At the ending of the first book, I was a little intrigued as to what was going to happen next.
To be perfectly honest, I didn't love the first book. I just thought it was an average read with a main character that was annoying at times. This second book is so far slightly better than the first. The reader is still with Lark as she journeys through the wilderness, tries to understand her powers, and tries to find her brother. Lark still manages to annoy me at various points in the story. The new place they are in is interesting, so I'm curious as to what's going to happen there. Also I'm curious as to what is going to happen with Oren. I do like Oren and want things to work out for him.
So yeah, I really don't have that much more to say. So far I'm thinking it is just going to be an average series, average read. The world, while confusing, is sometimes interesting. I still want to know more about these past wars and how they managed to destroy the world.
So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! Are you reading anything good? Do you have any suggestions for what I should be reading? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Review: Death Note Black Edition Volume I by Tsugumi Ohba

Title: Death Note Black Edition Volume I
Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Art by: Takeshi Obata
Published by: VIZ Medai, LLC
Released: 2003, 2010, 2011
Summary: Light Yagami is a top of his class high school student who one day stumbles upon a DeathNote dropped by a Shinigami, (Death god) Ryuk. With this Death Note, Light can kill people just by writing down their name and picturing their face. So what does a normal high school student do with this power? He kills people, lots and lots of people, and sets in to motion one of the biggest manhunts Japan has ever witnessed. Is Light Good? Bad? and will he ever be caught? Read the manga and find out.
My Thoughts: I was extremely curious about this series because of all the awesome stuff I've heard about it. Many of my booktube friends have read the series and loved it, so when I saw the first volume for cheap, I decided to pick it up and give it a try. At the beginning, I wasn't sure that I would love it, but as I got farther and read on, I just couldn't put it down.
Light is so twisted in how he categorizes good and evil and who he decides to kill. It's also interesting how he doesn't see himself as evil or bad when he's going around murdering everybody and then enjoying the game of his manhunt. It's also interesting to see him go from killing criminals only, to killing the good guys in the world. Light is super twisted and it'll be interesting to see how far he can go before he's caught. The shinigami, Ryuk adds a nice bit of comic relief, even though he's not that pretty to look at.
I'm really enjoying the story and I'll be interested to see how it all works out. Hopefully I can pick up more books in the series soon. This is a fun manga and I highly recommend it.
Death Notes be scary, especially when Light Yagami has one

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Reading Right Now! (#14)

Title: Skylark
Author: Meagan Spooner
I'm on page 182 of 344 which makes me about 53% done.

What I'm Reading Right Now! is Skylark by Meagan Spooner. I picked this book up through my library after reading and loving These Broken Stars. These Broken Stars was written by the author duo of Aimee Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Since I absolutely loved These Broken Stars, I decided to check out any other works/books that the authors' had written.
This book is the first in a trilogy and centers around a girl named Lark. Lark lives in this domed city, sealed off from the outside world by magic. The rest of the world has been destroyed by some past wars and all the remaining citizens live in these dome shaped cities. The cities are powered by magic that is carried in all children. Children are called to be Harvested, stripped of their power to fuel the city and then assigned to jobs in the city. Being harvested is the passage to adulthood. Lark is impatiently waiting. At 16, she is one of the oldest people to have not been harvested. Finally her day comes when she is taken to the Institute to be harvested of her powers. But what should be a quick procedure turns into a nightmare when Lark learns that she is a Renewable and her power never completely goes away. The city plans keep her captive and strip her power from her again and again. Seeing that as a fate worse than death, Lark plans to escape the city and try to survive in the wasteland outside of it.
So I'm about halfway through this book and so far it is just a ho-hum, average read. I'm having a hard time really getting into the world that Spooner has created. Sometimes I'm like, oh this is interesting and cool, and then a man eating tree will come along and the randomness of it will just pull me out again. Also, I'm not sure that I'm really liking Lark as a main character. She's kind of getting on my nerves. She is scared of everything, like the sky and the rain, and I just want to tell her to get over it.
I do have the second book in the series checked out as well, so I'm probably going to end up reading that. 
Unless something super stupendous and awesome happens, I don't think I'm going to end up loving this book. So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! Let me know what you're reading and if you're enjoying it or not.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Review: Plagued The Midamerica Zombie Half-Breed Experiment by Better Hero Army

Title: Plagued: The Midamerica Zombie Half-Breed Experiment
Author: Better Hero Army
Published by: Better Hero Army
Released: July 6, 2013
Summary: Tom has lived in guilt ever since that fateful night when the zombies rose. His sister was only out of his sight for mere seconds, but that was long enough for Larissa to get bit and be lost to the zombie curse. He and his older brother have been tasked with returning to the zombie states year after year to find their sister and get her home.
While on Biter's Hill, Tom comes in to contact with a half-breed. She's not fully zombie, but not fully human either. She fascinates Tom. When Biter's Hill gets overrun by zombies, Tom and his brother are separated. Tom must try to survive until help can arrive.
My Thoughts: I received this book to review from Better Hero Army and I want to thank them for the opportunity to read it. I love a good zombie tale, and this one was pretty darn good. It had an interesting world set up that I enjoyed reading. Some territory had been abandoned to the zombies and it was this territory that our two brothers ended up venturing to. Zombies can be made non-contagious in this world and are captured and bought and sold as slave labor. There are also half-breeds in this world, which are neither human or zombie. Just some really interesting kind of nuances to add to the genre.
I really enjoyed the struggle for survival and trip to Midamerica. I enjoyed most of the characters in the book too. Not all of them were developed as much as they could have been, but I kinda liked Peske. Tom as a main character was all right, sometimes he just felt kind of flat to me.
All in all, a quick and enjoyable zombie yarn. I'm so excited I got the chance to read and review it. If you love anything and everything zombie, then go pick this one up. It has enough action, suspense, and intrigue to keep reading until the last page.
**Look out for my review on Book 2 in the series in the near future**

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Female Characters!

Time for another Top 5 Wednesday and this weeks topic is Top 5 Female Characters. I interpreted this as Top 5 strong/kick-ass female characters. I don't know why my mind went there, but it did. So these were the top female characters that came to my mind. They are tough, kick-ass, and just all together awesome female characters. I have read all the books they are in (except for one. I haven't read Hunger Games yet. Please don't kill me, it is on my to do list.) So here are some of my favorite tough girls from books in no real particular order.

1. Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games

Katniss Everdeen is a duh on this list. When one thinks of tough, kick-ass female characters, she has to be one of the first girls that comes to mind. Now sadly, I haven't actually read The Hunger Games. Why haven't I read them? I really don't have a good excuse. I have this slightly hipster thing going on where I don't want to read something just because it has suddenly gotten popular. I want to read it before it is popular, so I can brag and say, "Oh yeah, I've already read that." I know, shameful. I will read the books one day though because the movies have made me really want to read them. Katniss Everdeen is super tough and super awesome! She is great with a bow and arrow and because of her I got myself a bow and arrow. I wish I was as good of a shot as Katniss. Also, she survived the Hunger Games!! And lets be honest, I would have died in the first few minutes of the games. I would have been like that little curly headed kid in the movies, scared, afraid, and Dead Dead Dead.

2. Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter Series

Hermione Granger makes this list because of her bravery, which is probably why she made it into Gryffindor. She knows more insanely useful magical tricks then anyone I know. Dumbledore could know more, but for a young witch, she knows soooo much stuff. Yes, sometimes Hermione can be annoying and a bit of a know-it-all, but without her Harry and Ron would have been dead so many books ago. Hermione always stands by her friends and is determined to save the world from those who seek to destroy it. Hermione definitely deserves a place on this list.

3. Luna Lovegood also from the Harry Potter Series

Luna Lovegood could sound a little out there, but she is on this list for reasons that I will explain. First, I must say that Luna has to be one of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter series and I wish she could have been in all the books. Luna exhibits a lot of bravery and shows a lot of loyalty to people important to her. Luna is also not afraid to be herself no matter what other people think, that is one of the things I love about her and really strive to be for myself. Luna earns a spot on this list because she is awesome!

4. Allison Sekemoto from The Immortal Rules Series

Allison Sekemoto from Julie Kagawa's Immortal Rules is one of the toughest, fiercest, most dangerous, kick-ass female characters I know. Well, I don't know her, but of characters from books I've read, she is the fiercest. I've only read the first book in the series and I loved it. I need to read the rest soon. Allison lives in such a screwed up dangerous world and she manages to survive and wield an awesomely dangerous weapon. You do not want to mess with Ali, cause if you get on her bad side, then you are probably dead.

5. Dekka from The Gone Series

I almost forgot about Dekka when making this list, but when looking back on books I've read and thinking about tough female characters, I realized that Dekka was my missing piece for this list. For those of you that don't know who Dekka is, she makes her appearance in mid to later books in the Gone Series. And if you have no idea what The Gone Series is, you need to remedy that right away. I love the Gone Series so so much. Dekka is a mutant freak and I say that with so much love. Dekka has the power to cancel gravity and she uses that power to team up with Sam and save the kids numerous times in the FAYZ. Dekka is tough. She's not really a friend that one can giggle and laugh with, she has a hard shell that friends have to work to break through.Once you do break through that shell though, Dekka is brave, loyal, and awesome. Dekka is totally deserving of a spot on this list.

So those are my Top 5 Female Characters. Do you agree or disagree with the girls on my list? Did I overlook an awesome female character? Let me know! Top 5 Wednesday is a thing that happens every Wednesday. People with any kind of social media can join in the fun. Here's a link to the rest of the Top 5 Wednesday-ers! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Terrible Covers

I figure since it is still Wednesday, I can still do this post. This week's topic is Top 5 Terrible Covers, a fun one to be sure. Everybody has those covers that they hate, that they think are ugly, and can't understand why the book designers designed such an abomination. Let's be honest, hating on things can be fun! So here are my Top 5 Terrible Covers in no real particular order.

Title: Shades of Earth
Author: Beth Revis
Probably one of the worst ideas for a cover change in history. You'll probably notice as you scroll down this post, that a lot of the books I picked have suffered from unfortunate cover changes. This one has to be one of the worst. The first two books in the series had beautiful covers, and then someone had the bright idea to change it to this! And have it be the last book as well with a totally different cover! I haven't read the series yet, and I know a lot of those glass half full people will say that these new covers really capture what's happening in the books. I don't really care. It is an ugly cover. Just blah. I will read the series though, but bad bad cover change.

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
This is another cover change, and a lot of people tend to like this cover change decision. To be honest, I didn't think the original cover of this book was that great either. What makes this a terrible cover for me is the eyes. Eyeballs kind of creep me out when they are on covers. And when you think about it, eyes really aren't that beautiful of an image. Especially just one eyeball with weird eyelashes and an overabundance of water. I sometimes feel like the eyes on book covers are following me. I just don't like eyes on covers, which is why I don't like these covers. The color scheme is alright, but I's don't like the eyes.

Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
These covers have been unfortunate looking from the start. There is always something about sticking a random close up of a face on a cover that usually doesn't spell beautiful. I will say that the designers did stick with a cover idea and carry on with it until the last book, so bravo for that. I've never been a real fan of these covers and I don't think they've ever really tried to make them look better or fix them. The girl on the cover really reminds me of a Laura Croft/Angelina Jolie. Does anybody else see it? I still need to finish this series. I've read the first book and need to get on with the others.

Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
This makes my terrible covers list for the same reasons the book above did, I just don't have a thing for random girl faces on a cover. I love the typography and the swirly swirls on her face, but I don't like the weird profile shots of her and the boy. I think on the shelf, this series looks fantastic because the spines are beautiful. But the fronts are half terrible. If they had just went with the typography and the swirls, it would have been A+, but throw in random, closeup human faces, and it becomes terrible.

Title: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
This is another book that got a terrible cover change midway through the series. The cover for the first book was beautiful, and then they decided to go with this. First thing wrong, random girl profile. The idea they were going for with the wolf thing was kinda cool, but it didn't work itself out into anything spectacular. Just stop with the random girl faces.

So that's it for this weeks Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Terrible Covers. What book covers do you think are the most terrible? I'd love to know. Here's a complete list of all the Top 5 Wednesdayers if you wanna check them out and join in on the fun.