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

Halloween Horror Recommendations!

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My FAVORITE part of October is getting the chance to recommend some of my favorite horror books to you all! I mean to be honest I can recommend these whenever I want but it’s more fun to do it in October!

These are all books that fall 100% into the horror genre in my opinion whether they’re actually terrifying or just an entertaining read or whether they’re full of spirits/monsters or deal with serial killers and slashers.

***I will be doing another post here soon of Halloween Recommendations for those of you who want a book that isn’t necessarily scary or horror! So some “non-spooky” books!***

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Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

(Review Here)

This is about a male teen, Cas, who hunts ghosts in his spare time and now he’s on the hunt for Anna, a vengeful spirit who murders anyone who sets foot in her home. Except she spares Cas’s life.

I highly, highly recommend this for any other Supernatural fans out there as it really has the feel to the story!


Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

(Review Here)

A YA horror anthology with some top notch stories! There were only a couple of duds in here but for the most part they were all excellent and definitely scary.


The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

(Review Here)

This story follows a vengeful spirit who wreaks havoc on those who murder or do harm to children. She meets a strange boy the sucks her in but the boy has a dark secret that she wasn’t expecting…

Okay so with this one I know a few people didn’t enjoy it but I am absolutely terrified of any stories that are even remotely reminiscent of The Ring or The Grudge and have disjointed bodies crawling out of things. That’s all one big nope for me so naturally this story scared the shit out of me!


The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

(Review Here)

This is a psychological thriller with a creepy twist, is it supernatural or is it something else? The story is told through video transcripts, journal entries, and newspaper clippings and the events all lead up to what ends in mysterious fire that killed three students and one, Carly Johnson, disappeared. In the ruins they find a diary that belonged to Carly’s twin sister, Kaitlyn, except Carly didn’t have a twin…..

I recommend this one for people who want more suspense than horror, it gets a little creepy but never anything super scary!


Alice by Christina Henry

(Review Here)

Trigger Warnings: Rape and other graphic violence

This is one where people are the monsters and it’s very violent and graphic. It’s a retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” that’s very dark and gritty I definitely don’t recommend this to the faint of heart, you’ll have to steel your stomach for this one. However, I recommend it to anyone who thinks they can brave it because it is still an excellent story!


Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

(Review Here)

You wouldn’t think that a graphic novel compiled of several short stories would be that scary but it is, it really is! These stories are open ended for the most part and that leaves more to your imagination in which case you’ll probably scare yourself thinking of it like I did! The illustrations are both terrifying and beautiful at the same time.

I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a quick horror read and you don’t mind open ended stories.


A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

(Review Here)

This is kind of a thriller/action-adventure/horror all rolled into one. It follows a group of teens who are invited to help explore a recently discovered underground palace in France. However, there’s something else waiting for them in the depths of the palace.

Kind of an odd story but I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a very fast-paced, suspenseful read!


The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

(Review Here)

A boy named Will Henry finds himself studying under Dr. Pellinore Warthrop who happens to be a monstrumologist, someone who studies monsters.

Pretty straight forward, this is a historical fiction and it’s a pretty dark horror story because on top of the creepy monsters there’s also just a lot of gore in general. You may get squeamish!


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Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

(Review Here)

Honestly this is one of my favorites on the list!

It’s about a pioneer family who moves out onto the prairie with a teenage daughter who is desperately trying to hide her pregnancy. However, they arrive and find a new home that was abandoned with the walls and floors covered in blood and they’ve heard rumors of the prairie being tainted by evil.

This is a wonderful mix of terrifying, gory, and twisted. You definitely will not see the twists coming at all! I recommend this one for the horror lovers out there who want to be scared silly, this one is a treat!


Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

(Review Here)

A group of teen contest winners all get whisked away out into the middle of nowhere to meet horror director Justin Blake. However, things start to get weird and soon they’re all trapped in a game of nightmares.

This reads exactly like a classic slasher horror movie so if you’re a fan of those you’re probably going to love this one! It’s entertaining but don’t expect a lot of depth.


And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

(Review Here)

One of my other favorites plus I love the cover!

Two girls, Silla and Nori,  arrive at their aunt’s manor in the forest and soon learn that everything is not right and the manor may be cursed. They aren’t allowed to enter the woods, the trees feel like they’re closing in around the house, and there’s a strange man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night…..

So creepy and so good! The Creeper Man will definitely be haunting your dreams after reading this one….


The Merciless by Danielle Vega

(Review Here)

Four girls gang up on an outcast tying her up and attempting to perform an exorcism on her. However, it’s more torture than anything else and Sofia, the new girl, wants out but if she goes against the others she may be next…

This one isn’t too creepy or scary but it definitely is full of twisted mean girls, gore galore, and some demonic possession!

If any of those things interest you I’d recommend checking this one out!


The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

(Review Here)

Lucy and Margaret are cousins who live with their respective parents in a mansion in the middle of the woods, one day Margaret’s mother goes missing and she slowly starts to believe she can hear her dead mother’s voice in the walls. Lucy watches as Margaret slowly goes insane and she soon starts hearing voices as well and must confront the legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.

Not as good as “Daughters Unto Devils” but still very twisted and creepy! Most of the book is a bit slow but the ending makes it all worth it!


Dreamfall by Amy Plum

(Review Here)

A group of teenagers enter an experiment that is supposed to help cure their insomnia but instead find themselves all trapped within a dreamworld made up of their worst nightmares.

I thought this was going to be more sci-fi than anything but was surprised by how scary it actually got! There are definitely some very creepy nightmares the kids have to make it through.


Night Film by Marisha Pessl

This one can be both scary horror and suspenseful thriller, there are some supernatural elements to the story and the situations themselves can get pretty terrifying.

A journalist, Scott McGrath, investigates the death of Ashley Cordova, the daughter of the mysterious horror film director Stanislas Cordova. He believes there’s more to her death than anyone knows and as he digs deeper he discovers more and more disturbing things about the family and wonders if he may be next.

If you want a very dark, gritty, and terrifying thriller this one is for you. It’s extremely compelling and fast paced.


The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

(Review Here)

Trigger Warning: Rape, violence, and gore

A Romani girl studying herbcraft under her Gran’s teaching befriends an outsider but on her way home one day they are both jumped and brutally assaulted leaving her friend on the brink of death. She must now utilize her dark witchcraft to extract body parts from the boys who wronged her in order to save her friend.

If revenge stories are up your alley this one is very satisfying and I loved the addition of the witchcraft. However, if you can’t handle gore or graphic violence maybe leave this one alone.

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

Are you going to give any of these horror books a try?

What are some of your favorite scary horror books?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors I’d Like To Meet At BookCon

Top Ten Tuesday(1)

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey. You can check out the group’s Goodreads page for this month’s topics!

This week’s topic is “Authors You’d Want To Meet at Book Expo America & BookCon” which I unfortunately am not attending either but I can dream! Maybe one of these years I can actually attend.

I’m only doing authors appearing at Bookcon because the list for BEA was a little tedious to look through. You can find a full list of the authors appearing at BEA and BookCon HERE and HERE.

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5.) Leigh Bardugo

While I have only read the first installment of Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy (so I’m not a die hard Grisha fan) and “Six of Crows” as well I still would jump on the opportunity to meet her.


4.) Kendare Blake

Love, love, loved her book “Anna Dressed In Blood” and I own its sequel as well as the first book in her other series “Antigoddess”, I also cannot wait for her new book “Three Dark Crowns” this fall! So many awesome books!


3.) Richelle Mead

When I was younger Mead’s Vampire Academy series was everything to me, I adored it and meeting the architect of one of my favorite series would be amazing.


2.) Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

Two in one because they both wrote “Illuminae” which I freaking loved, I five starred the shit out of that book and I would love to meet the masterminds behind that awesome piece of science fiction!


1.) Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor is amazing, she is a goddess of writing. Seriously, she is awesome I absolutely loved her books “Lips Touch: Three Times” and “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” and her writing is magical and beautiful. I would LOVE to meet her! I would probably scream in excitement.

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Sorry for the short post guys but there’s only so much I can say about authors I’ve never met and how much I love their books!

Are you attending BEA or BookCon? (If so, I’m jealous)

What authors will you be meeting or want to meet if you went?

Did any of these authors make your list as well?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to leave a link to your T5W as well!

The Sassy

Book Review: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

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Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

review

This book was freaking amazing no amount of praise will ever do it justice. If you love YA Horror or if you’re looking for your next “make me sleep with the lights on” book, then look no farther than “Slasher Girls and Monster Boys”. 

It contains 14 short stories by some of the best YA authors out there, and it definitely shows. It promises horror and thrills, and it delivers them. I haven’t ever read an anthology book before and I am glad I chose this to be my first. All of these stories were mostly enjoyable, which I think is really saying something, since you’re reading a book with 14 short stories in it. There were a couple I wasn’t overly fond of, but more often then not I loved these creeptastic stories.

At the end of each story it’s revealed where the authors drew their inspiration from, various music, books, and movies. I’ll be reviewing each story individually so buckle up kids this is gonna be a long one!


The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma

3.5 Stars

Tons of people that have read this book will say that this short was their favorite story in the entire thing. I disagree. I disagreed the minute I was done with this story, because I knew that there was no way this was the best the book had to offer. It was confusing, I honestly STILL don’t understand it. Perhaps there’s just a lot of symbolism that just “flew over” my head. Get it? Because it’s a story about birds……. anyways. The plot was a very realistic type of creepy (who doesn’t think perverts are creepy?) and there’s a bit of a supernatural twist that made it just…..weird. The story was interesting enough but it really took a turn for the worst for me, it wasn’t explained enough. It left me with tons of questions. So if any of you have read or do read this please come back and comment and let me know your thoughts, I’d love to discuss it with you!


In The Forest Dark & Deep by Carrie Ryan

4.5 Stars

Probably my favorite story in the whole book, I read Ryan’s “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” series and I loved them and so I had high hopes for this one right away. It was truly horrifying, I found myself looking over my shoulder while reading this one! It’s also pretty disturbing, a little gory, and more than a little unsettling. It also has an emotional touch, I was definitely affected by this as well. I loved the sentiment of “not all monsters are filled with darkness”. The ending really comes full circle and it wasn’t as confusing for me as “Birds”. For me, “In The Forest Dark & Deep” was the scariest story in the entire anthology.


Emmeline by Cat Winters

3 Stars

When I started reading this story I had no idea how it fit into this book, then it hit me half way through, there’s a bit of a paranormal twist. “Emmeline” isn’t creepy, scary, or gory at all. It’s just sort of…disquieting. It was also very quick to read through, not one of my favorites but still very entertaining. The writing was beautiful and the atmosphere was haunting, Cat Winters does creepy historical-fiction extremely well. It’s more of a sad romance than a horror story, it’s a little emotional, you definitely feel a pang of sympathy for Emmeline.


Verse Chorus Verse by Leigh Bardugo

4 Stars

This one was very entertaining to read through although I found the horror aspect to be somewhat lacking. The story revolved around the lives of the characters more than anything, so a lot of it was gossip. The ending was almost abrupt and I felt I really didn’t understand how it happened or why. Certain things are brought up throughout the story but are never revisited to show why they MATTERED in the story. Still had a creepy moment or two, and one of the better shorts in this anthology, even though it left me feeling a little vexed.

Hide-And-Seek by Megan Shepherd

5 Stars

“Don’t expect death to play by the rules.”

This one along with “In the Forest Dark & Deep” are tied for my number one favorite story in the whole book. It is absolutely engrossing, “Hide-And-Seek” focuses on a folktale that revolves around Death. A girl who dies must play a game against Death to win her life back, sound interesting? It is. For a short story the mythology within it is FULLY explained, it was very well built and keeps you informed throughout. Now the inspiration for this particular story is a very clever horror movie, therefore making this story VERY clever and creative. The ending was fantastic everything is explained and resolved nicely, I was completely satisfied. Definitely one of the best reads in “Slasher Girls & Monster Boys”.


The Dark, Scary Parts and All by Danielle Paige

2 Stars

I didn’t enjoy this one, even though it wasn’t TOO horrible to force my way through. This story wasn’t even really horror at all, it also lacked any kind of creepy or dark atmosphere. Mostly it’s a bunch of high school mean girl-ness with a supernatural love interest, it’s the dullest story in the ENTIRE BOOK. One thing I did like was the (very) small inclusion of Greek mythology, such as the tale of Hades and Persephone. Our MC wasn’t complex, twisted, or even vaguely interesting compared to other MCs in the book, she’s pretty much a Mary-Sue. Not a fan of this story.


The Flicker, The Fingers, The Beat, The Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke

2 Stars

I think I disliked this one even more than Paige’s story (above), it’s by far one of the least enjoyable stories. Basically the entire thing is about a bunch of douchebag teenagers, seriously, they’re the worst sort of people. They’re all extremely unlikable, you will not give a crap what happens to them at all, hopefully that was Tucholke’s point because if it was she nailed it. If that wasn’t bad enough it’s also PAINFULLY obvious what two horror movies this story draws its “inspiration” from. I put quotes over that because it isn’t so much inspiration as much as it’s taking the two plots of the movies and mashing them together, it’s practically like watching both movies play out in one. There’s nothing new or added it’s the exact same, which was super irritating because it just wasn’t that original.


Fat Girl With a Knife by Jonathan Maberry

3 Stars

I’m starting to think of Maberry as becoming a bit of a one trick pony, it was so predictable what horror element he was going to bring to the table. Zombies. His story wasn’t scary, or creepy, and it was kind of lacking the overall mood the other stories set. Mostly it focused on your typical high school drama, bullying, and mean girls. However, what the story lacked for in outright horror and scariness it made up for in our MC, Dahlia. She’s a high school “fat girl” but she doesn’t lay down and take shit from anyone, she’s a very strong character. Dahlia was so much fun to read about and she’s what really drove the story. I’d give her an A+ but unfortunately I wouldn’t for the rest of this story.


Sleepless by Jay Kristoff

4.5 Stars

Brilliant, creepy, and a very captivating story. “Sleepless” is definitely one of my other favorite stories in this book. It starts out a little slow and tedious, but trust me when you get a little further into it it gets downright intense. Also as you read through you’ll probably notice right away the similarities between this story and a very classic horror movie. There’s a couple of twists throughout and you won’t see them coming, I know I didn’t. Now I can’t say too much without giving away the twists but this is certainly one of the better stories in the book, it fits the overall themes perfectly.


M by Stefan Bachmann

3 Stars

This one, to me, didn’t really fit in with the rest of the stories, I didn’t find myself horrified or creeped out at all. Although with the inclusion of a blind narrator the overall atmosphere is very well developed, it’s an eerie feeling on its own. There’s nothing supernatural here, so it really wasn’t very engaging for me. I don’t understand why it was selected to be in this book, it’s surely the odd one out. “M” is more of a murder mystery than anything else, not really impressive to me.


The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu

4 Stars

I found this story to be a bit of a disappointment, it was 100% me and not the story though. I was expecting it to be the most terrifying thing I’ve ever read just because of the title. “The Girl Without a Face” that just SCREAMS horrifying, right? However, it was scary enough to be enjoyable, for me. It took a bit of a psychological turn and I hated that, I just wanted a good old fashioned REAL monster and it would have been so much scarier because we can’t EXPLAIN a real monster. But someone who did bad things? We can justify them being haunted by their mistakes. Therefore I was disappointed, I wasn’t getting my pants scared off it felt more like I was being taught a lesson in morals and karma. Still, I liked this story and it had a pretty high creep factor going on and a GREAT ending.


A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman

3 Stars

This one is hard to review because it’s also hard to explain. I’m not even sure I knew what was actually going on towards the end. The story starts slow but finishes with a bang, the characters all fell pretty short and weren’t interesting at all. They did, however, talk about “night creatures” stalking them through the wilderness and that was enough to get me excited. There was a pretty interesting back story explaining the actions of the characters and that ,for me, is what really made the story. The night creatures were really the best part though, they sounded so creepy.


Stitches by A.G. Howard

4 Stars

“Stitches” started out strong and ended the same way, it grabs your attention right away and holds onto it until the story is over. It’s gory, graphic, and full of surprises. There are a few moments that are actually very touching and emotional, which is a BIG surprise in a story that’s so gruesome. Caution to those of you who are a bit squeamish!


On the I-5 by Kendare Blake

3.5 Stars

I love Blake’s writing style in “Anna Dress in Blood” and it shows the same in this short story. There’s a twist or two that ended up not being all that surprising after reading an entire book full of them. It would have been better off being placed earlier in the book. Still a very compelling story with a bit of a paranormal angle.


So in the end “Slasher Girls & Monster Boys” is a fantastic read and I HIGHLY recommend it. See if you can pick it up this Halloween (coming up), I guarantee you’re in for some scares!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

 

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So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
Yet she spares Cas’s life.

review

This book is amazing, let me just say that I am glad I bought my own copy of this book. I won’t be sharing it with anyone…ever. The entire book is inked in red, it’s great, I love whoever decided to do that.

But I digress.

PLOT

The story is downright addicting, I can’t seem to ever find any decent YA Horror books. This one is now my golden standard for that genre. There were scenes in the book where I was actually getting really paranoid, and I was sitting in broad daylight. It was creepy, suspenseful, gory, and absolutely horrifying. Usually it takes quite a bit to freak me out, and this book had me running to be in rooms full of light and people.

It’s fairly fast paced and action packed, it will certainly keep your attention through out. There’s also a few plot points that keep you guessing as well, I doubt you’ll see a few of them coming! You also get those “Holy shit that did not just happen!” moments as well. You’ll hate it and love it at the same time.The mythology of the book is very intriguing, it’s certainly my cup of tea, I did have a two minor problems with it though. The athame isn’t really explained and neither is our primary villain. (I won’t spoil that for you). I understand that they will both probably be made clear in the sequel “Girl of Nightmares”. So I’ll let it go. And the romance is also kind of annoying, I didn’t really enjoy it. I didn’t FEEL anything, I didn’t think “Oh they’re so cute” at all. It’s just….decent. It’s definitely subtly built though, so points for that, and it’s really in the background of everything else going on in the plot. Easy to ignore if you don’t enjoy it that much (like me).

characters

The characters are all witty and extremely entertaining. I loved reading about everyone of them, I grew very attached. Which is how you know the book is awesome, when you care about each character.

  • Cas (Our MC), is a teenage boy, therefore his head-space is a little annoying to read in but I don’t mind, it’s a pleasant change from always reading about teenage girl protagonists. He’s funny and knows his job well, which is killing ghosts of course. Cas is pretty badass, he develops quite a bit throughout the story, it was really great watching him grow as a character.
  • Anna – is a complete badass, I LOVE her. I don’t think you can read this book and not love Anna. She’s terrifying, she’s charming, and she’s smart. I can’t really go as in depth as I want to about her character, without giving away spoilers. Saying she’s a badass should really sum it up though. Anna really develops, I think she develops even better than Cas did. I loved reading about her.
  • Thomas & Carmel – two of Cas’s friends that are both endearing and amusing. They’re both undoubtedly loyal and brave as well, I don’t think Kendare Blake could have written a better pair of friends for Cas. Usually I don’t find myself caring for a lot of the secondary characters, but I loved both Thomas and Carmel, I really did.
  • Tybalt – Cas and his mom’s cat. He’s awesome because: 1.) he’s a cat and 2.) he’s a cat with a very well written personality.

RECOMMEND

Overall I definitely recommend this book to fans of YA or fans of anything horror/paranormal. It’s a great book. Go read it now! And while you do that I’ll be anxiously, awaiting getting my hands on “Girl of Nightmares”.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy