Top Ten Tuesday (Halloween Edition): Horror Books On My TBR!

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish.

It was kind of hard for me to come up with a Halloween theme for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday because I’ve already done so many Halloween themed posts! So I decided to just go with some horror books that are still on my TBR but I can’t wait to read them!

You can find some of my other Halloween posts here:

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10.) Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake

The sequel to the amazing “Anna Dressed in Blood” so of course I need to read it! Hopefully it’s as good as the first one, I wasn’t expecting “Anna” to be as gory and scary as it was!


9.) The Suffering (The Girl from the Well #2) by Rin Chupeco

I was terrified by the first book and since I’m a sucker for scaring myself I want to read the sequel!


8.) The Diviners by Libba Bray

This might just be more of a paranormal/supernatural book and not horror but I’m including it anyways. I read the first chapter and it was pretty creepy so I’m excited to get into this series!


7.) Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

This is a book I picked up and read a quarter through and set back down. It was definitely creepy though and I do plan on picking it back up. It’s basically about a haunted suit and the ghost of the old man is haunting the main character now. Like I said it’s super creepy.


6.) It by Stephen King

I don’t think this one needs an explanation.


5.) The Child Thief by Brom

Peter Pan is my favorite fairy tale and so I’m ALL for any retelling of it but especially a dark, horror retelling.


4.) Bird Box by Josh Malerman

A short, slow horror style book but I want to give it a go. Especially since it’s really short….because I’m lazy.


3.) The Ravenous by Amy Lukavics

I’m not too sure about this book anymore since it hasn’t been getting the best of reviews but I really enjoy Lukavics’ books so I’d like to at least try it.


2.) Say Her Name by James Dawson

I’m always pretty creeped out by Blood Mary stories so I’m ready to be scared with this one.


1.) Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

I’m currently reading Alameda’s other novel “Shutter” and really enjoying it PLUS this one sounds very similar to the Alien movie franchise and I’m here for it.

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Do you have any of these on your TBR as well?

What are some horror books that are on your TBR?

Any favorite horror books?

Let me know in the comments and Happy Halloween guys!

The Sassy

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ARC Review: This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis

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Sasha Stone knows her place—first-chair clarinet, top of her class, and at the side of her oxford-wearing boyfriend. She’s worked her entire life to ensure that her path to Oberlin Conservatory as a star musician is perfectly paved.

But suddenly there’s a fork in the road, in the shape of Isaac Harver. Her body shifts toward him when he walks by, her skin misses his touch even though she’s never known it, and she relishes the smell of him—smoke, beer, and trouble—all the things she’s avoided to get where she is. Even worse, every time he’s near Sasha, her heart stops, literally. Why does he know her so well—too well—and she doesn’t know him at all?

Sasha discovers that her by-the-book life began by ending another’s: the twin sister she absorbed in the womb. But that doesn’t explain the gaps of missing time in her practice schedule or the memories she has of things she certainly never did with Isaac. As Sasha loses her much-cherished control, her life—and heart—become more entangled with Isaac. Armed with the knowledge that her heart might not be hers alone, Sasha must decide what she’s willing to do—and who she’s willing to hurt—to take it back.

review

**** Big thank you to Katherine Tegen Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! ****

Trigger Warnings: Graphic description of injuries, medical procedures, and health issues.

I really don’t know how to rate this book because while it was still interesting I’m left feeling a little disappointed with it. I also just had some very personal issues with some of the content (which I will go into detail about below) so I’m left giving it a rating of 2.5 because I neither strongly liked or strongly disliked this book.

PLOT

I’d like to first go out on a limb and say this book really, really wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I was expecting something with a little more suspense and thriller style twists to it, but what I got was a pretty predictable plot line and a very unlikable main character. There is a bit of a twist half way through and the story takes a turn but it wasn’t very shocking and I really disliked the second half of the story because it was super slow.

The pacing was pretty even throughout the beginning of the book and I kept reading wanting to know more about Sasha’s situation but as I mentioned previously there’s a twist half way through that made the story take a bit of a dive as far as pacing goes. I thought it was considerably slower and even pretty boring all the way through to the end.

There’s hardly any plot twists which was really disappointing for a mystery/thriller and the big plot twist that makes up the entire story is very predictable and not at all a surprise. Also disappointing. I was expecting there to be a lot more shockers than that. PLUS a lot of stuff is given away in the synopsis! I hate that!

I do really like unreliable narrators and in this case the story was pretty good since Sasha is a very unreliable narrator. She actually makes the story very dark as her character flaws come to the light and we don’t know what to believe. That’s part of why I enjoyed the story and was able to finish it.

However, as much as I love an unreliable narrator and a dark plot the book actually got really, really…….weird. Usually I love weird but with this I just felt super confused and I finished the book thinking “What the hell did I just read?” and not really in a good way. I enjoy a good open ended book but with this ending I felt like a bit more explanation or plot development would have done it a lot of good. The only comprehensible thought I have on the ending of this book is it’s WEIRD.

The writing was really great though and I found it to be extremely readable, honestly it was probably one of the reasons I was able to read this through to the end. I will definitely be checking out McGinnis’ other books just for more of her writing.

Last but not least I’d like to address one of my biggest issues with this book which also happens to be a personal issue of mine. This may or may not affect your reading of this book but I’d like to throw it out there and that has to do with the trigger warning I listed at the start of this review:

I have anxiety and a big part of my anxiety is linked to my health (i.e. hypochondria) and therefore I cannot stand reading about or listening to in depth descriptions of health issues or medical procedures because it triggers my anxiety. “This Darkness Mine” really goes into great description of these things and it becomes a major part of the plot, if I had known this ahead of time I probably wouldn’t have wanted to read the book since reading through this triggered my anxiety to the point where I had to stop reading at times. This is a big part of why I didn’t rate this book higher, it’s a personal issue I understand but one I wanted to warn others about as well.

characters

The characters in this book are another drawback for me, while I liked that Sasha (the MC) was an unreliable narrator making the story a bit more interesting, she was extremely unlikable. We’re talking a downright crappy person and it was frustrating to read through and listen to her say rude things to and about people. I understand that these things were Sasha’s character flaws and were there to drive a point home about her and none of these things were portrayed in a positive way. However, this didn’t make me enjoy her any more.

There were actually quite a few side characters that I liked such as Sasha’s friend Brooke and Isaac who is the love interest. I thought Brooke was hilarious and her bits were worth reading and Isaac was actually such a sweetheart and I feel terrible about some of the things that happen to him.

romance

While I really liked Isaac and I wanted him to be happy I just felt that Sasha treated him like crap, plain and simple. It definitely isn’t a healthy or positive relationship but McGinnis doesn’t glorify this at all which I liked. Neither Isaac nor Sasha are physically or verbally abusive to one another but I just feel like it’s still unhealthy because of the way Sasha negatively treats him at times.

in conclusion

As I said there are a lot of mixed feelings on this book because while some things worked a lot of them didn’t for me.

What I Loved:

  • Unreliable narrator, dark atmosphere
  • Writing
  • Side Characters

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Slow pacing in second half
  • Predictable
  • Plot is given away in synopsis
  • Weird….just downright weird plot
  • Unexplained, confusing ending
  • Trigger Warning Material
  • Unlikable main character
  • Negative romance

RECOMMEND

I’d recommend reading this only if you like unreliable/unlikable main characters, strange plots with open endings, and if you aren’t triggered by anything I mentioned in the warnings. Otherwise I’d steer clear of this one.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Down The TBR Hole #3

Top Ten Tuesday(92)

It kind of feels like I’m doing these too often but I did want to do one every week just so I could get through my TBR fairly quickly! Here’s another installment of Down the TBR Hole in which I actually get rid of a couple more books!

If you missed my other two posts of Down the TBR Hole here they are:

This was “created” by Lost in a Story!

The Rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

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Current TBR Count (774)

**** If you’re paying close enough attention to notice the inconsistency between this post’s count and the last post’s count it’s because there were duplicates on my TBR that I removed! ****

Book #21

The Devil’s Intern by Donna Hosie

Date Added: June 18th, 2015

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I actually borrowed this book from the library and read part of it and honestly could not get into it at all. It’s supposed to be humorous but I just don’t think I’ll enjoy trying to read it again.

The Judgement: Go


Book #22

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Date Added: June 19th, 2015

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I actually think that this would be interesting and it does have a F/F romance (which is why I initially added it) but I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get around to actually reading this so it’s going to go.

The Judgement: Go


Book #23

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Date Added: June 23rd, 2015

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I think Liane Moriarty has a very addictive and entertaining way of writing and so while there might not be a lot of substance to it I think it’s fun. I also want to read this before watching the HBO series too so I’ll keep it.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #24

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Date Added: June 23rd, 2015

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Dragons + I own a copy = Keep.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #25

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs

Date Added: June 23rd, 2015

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I wasn’t quite sure if I’d ever continue this series but watching the movie made me want to again so I’m going to keep this one and hopefully finish the trilogy.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #26

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

Date Added: June 23rd, 2015

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I absolutely adore Middle Earth so I’m hoping to eventually push my way through this book.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #27

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Date Added: June 23rd, 2015

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I hate that I bought this book on my Nook Color because that was honestly such a waste of money. I have zero interest in reading this and I’m probably not ever going to because the Paranormal Romance craze is over and I have better things to read now.

The Judgement: Go


Book #28

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Date Added: June 23rd, 2015

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Another book I bought on my Nook that I’m probably not ever going to read. It sounded interesting at the time but I have way too many other books I need to read.

The Judgement: Go


Book #29

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Date Added: June 23rd, 2015

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This one is debatable for me since I might still read it but at the same time: so many other books to read that I’m much more interested in. This one doesn’t sound terrible though so I may still give it a shot. CONVINCE ME!

The Judgement: Go (For now, unless you convince me.)


Book #30

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

Date Added: June 23rd, 2015

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I picked this up in my local used book store and I’ve also read Novik’s other novel “Uprooted” and really enjoyed it so I’m hoping this one won’t disappoint. Plus there’s dragons!

The Judgement: Keep

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Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Do you think I should have kept any of these books?

Do you agree with any of my keeps or discards?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

 

Trick or Treat Round The Block Book Tag

Top Ten Tuesday (27)

I found this  tag over on Hardback Hoarder’s channel so be sure to head over and check out her video of this tag as well! This is probably going to be my last Halloween themed book tag but maybe I’ll squeeze in another, you never know.

This tag was created by The Bookish Porcupine.

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1.) Creepy house on the corner of the street: Book with a creepy cover

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It’s definitely one of the creepier covers I have seen! Also my current read and so far it’s not disappointing!


2.) Lights out (party poopers): A book you want to read when you want to escape

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Fantasy is always good to me for this and so I’ll pick a fantasy book on my TBR that I’m hoping will be completely immersive! I adore Laini’s writing style so I sure I’ll adore this book as well.


3.) The house that gives out the cheap candy: Guilty pleasure book

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Definitely “Paper Princess”. While I do mention that I loved it a bit it’s still a bit of a guilty pleasure for me because I NEVER like books like that but for some reason that one was just so addictive!


4.) The house with the best decorations on the block: Best haunting/Halloween themed cover

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It’s a perfect combination of witches and Halloween colors so I think it fits very well!


5.) The house that gives out the best candy: #1 Halloween recommendation

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Slasher Girls & Monster Boys is a great read for Halloween and since it’s an anthology of short horror stories there should be a couple stories in there for everyone, though I thought pretty much all of them were fantastic.


Speed Round:

1.) Corn Maze or Haunted House?

Haunted House! (I think they’re scarier and just more fun)

2.) Classic or Unique Costume?

Definitely unique since that’s what I try and do for all of my costumes every year!

3.) Sexy or Scary Costume?

Sexy.

4.) Comedy or Horror Halloween Film?

Definitely Horror!

5.) Chocolate or Sour Candy?

Both? I supposed Chocolate wins out though….

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I’m going to tag a few of my newest followers!

Tag You’re It!

****Don’t feel obligated to do this tag though!****

Mackenzie @ The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Library
Kristen @ Her Grace’s Library
Des @ Des’ Random Thoughts
Marty @ The Cursed Books
Amberry Books

The Sassy

Creepy Book Covers: Part 2

Top Ten Tuesday

This post is pretty straight forward! You can read my first post of creepy covers here! I’m trying to keep a lot of my posts here for the rest of the month Halloween related so here goes nothing.

Keep in mind these are only covers of books I have either read or are on my TBR. If there are any other super creepy covers you know of let me know in the comments below!

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It by Stephen King

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Of course I’m going to include this one with its many variations of creepy covers but this is the one I own and its the one that I think looks great and also creepy. I like the big Cheshire cat style clown grin full of teeth, it’s definitely scary!


Unwind by Neal Shusterman

While this might not necessarily be a horror book it seems to have a pretty dark synopsis and the cover is more than a little creepy. Hands pressing against things like that always freaks me out.


Say Her Name by James Dawson

Bloody Mary and mirrors make for a pretty scary cover especially with all of that condensation….


The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski

I think this cover is gorgeous and creepy all at the same time! The leaf dripping blood is just really neat, maybe I’m strange?


The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

Creepy setting, dark, with a creepy girl on the cover = one big creepy.


Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

The ghost of Anna standing with blood dripping down her dress on the cover is pretty darn creepy.


The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Something about old fashioned baby strollers creep me out especially with the creepy little mobile there…..


A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmmann

Also not the creepiest cover on this list but the colors and font give off an eerie vibe in my opinion.


Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano

This is super scary looking, anything that’s faceless gives me chills especially with the one girl climbing up the wall. Nope!


Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

I don’t like anything being covered with fabric like this, it’s always creeped me out and while this one isn’t super terrifying it’s a little bit…uncomfortable to look at!

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Do you find any of these covers to be creepy?

What are some of your favorite creepy covers?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: Unique Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish.

I don’t have much to say about this week’s choices since the theme is pretty straightforward so this post will be shorter than usual!

These are not in any particular order.

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10.) Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

9.) And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

Because it’s pretty yet creepy sounding.

 8.) Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

7.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

6.) Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

5.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

4.) The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

3.) And I Darken by Kiersten White

2.) Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

1.) Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

I don’t know why but for some reason I really like the word vengeance?

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Have you read any of these books as well? What did you think?

What are some of your favorite unique book titles?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

 

Book Review: Mary: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1) by Hillary Monahan

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There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her. Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go. A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: ‘Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.’ A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror. Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered. A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–befo…

review

I honestly had to really sit and debate over what I wanted to rate this because while there were some things I didn’t like I really did enjoy this book. So instead of a 3 or 3.5 rating I’m just going to round it all the way up to a solid 4 because this book was FUN and definitely entertaining!

Just a word of warning though: Don’t read this in the dark or alone!

PLOT

This is actually very fast-paced and there is no messing around setting up the story for Bloody Mary in the beginning, Hillary Monahan wasted no time throwing us right into the nitty gritty! I thought the pacing kept up throughout the entire book as well with barely a moment’s rest, the characters were pretty much under constant attack by Mary. Plenty of excitement and scares, that’s for sure!

The plot mostly focuses on the summoning of Bloody Mary, the haunting of the girls, and the girls trying to defeat her for good. There’s plenty of action and scares that will keep you on the edge of your seat too! Plus there’s a pretty good twist towards the end of the book as well that just adds to the overall thrill factor. However, the plot doesn’t have as much “oomph” as I would have liked but that could be being saved for the sequel maybe.

Let me just say that I thought the book had some VERY creepy and scary scenes as well, I was pleasantly surprised! This book really passed my expectations on all fronts but especially on that one, I’m glad it was scarier than I anticipated! Although I will say in order to scare me all you have to do is have something scuttling and doing that creepy disjointed crawling and I’m done for (which ended up happening)! I think Monahan did such an amazing job writing and describing Mary and each creepy scene in great detail, and to make a book scary it really is in the details.

The only thing I had a slight problem with was the characters making some dumb decisions, such as investigating an abandoned building at night alone. Dumb. However, I will say that for the most part the characters were actually pretty smart especially considering the fact that they’re a group of teenage girls in a horror book! Plus this quote pretty much explains away any irrational decisions because it makes perfect sense:

“In the past, when I watched horror movies because I thought being scared was fun, I always got angry at the characters whose hands shook so badly they dropped the car keys when the monster was chasing them. If someone wanted to survive, she would keep it together long enough to get away. Now, standing in the locker room like a frightened lamb, I understood. Fear shut my body down…”

Also that ending was such a cliffhanger, it’s not fair! I need the next book immediately!

characters

I actually really liked the characters in this book and as I said while they did make some questionable decisions they were all pretty smart about their ghost situation for the most part.

Shauna and Kitty both came full circle throughout reading and I thought their characters developed well. Anna was okay as well but she didn’t really come into focus all that much and Jess didn’t change at all. I also just despised Jess’s character in general since it was her who insisted on summoning Mary in the first place! She was a great character for furthering the plot though, I will give her that.

Then I suppose there’s Bloody Mary herself and she was fearsome to behold let me tell you! As I mentioned earlier Monahan did a fantastic job describing Mary in great detail and she was terrifying! I also really enjoyed digging into Mary’s past as well, the background on her character was interesting.

romance

There is a bit of a side romance between Kitty and another character but it’s not a main focus at all in the story. Other than that there is zero romance which is nice not only for a YA book but also a horror in general!

in conclusion

Overall this book definitely isn’t perfect by any means but it’s fun, scary, entertaining, and great for reading this time of year!

What I Loved:

  • Plenty of creepy and scary scenes
  • Fast pacing
  • Great writing with lots of detail
  • No romance

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Plot needed a little more attention
  • Characters made questionable decisions

RECOMMEND

I highly recommend checking this book out if you’re a fan of horror or looking for a fun, scary book to read for Halloween! Otherwise if you don’t like being scared maybe skip this one!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository / Book Outlet (Best Deal)

The Sassy