Posted in book reviews

The House by the Cemetery by John Everson – BLOGOWEEN BOOK REVIEW

House By the CemeteryTitle:  The House by the Cemetery
Author: John Everson
Publication Date & Publisher: October 18, 2018, Flame Tree Press
Genre(s): Mystery & Thrillers
Length:  256 pages
ISBN: 13: 9781787580008
My Rating: 3.5/5.0

Description (from Goodreads):

Rumor has it that the abandoned house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumors won’t stop carpenter Mike Kostner from rehabbing the place as a haunted house attraction. Soon he’ll learn that fresh wood and nails can’t keep decades of rumors down. There are noises in the walls, and fresh blood on the floor: secrets that would be better not to discover. And behind the rumors is a real ghost who will do whatever it takes to ensure the house reopens. She needs people to fill her house on Halloween. There’s a dark, horrible ritual to fulfill. Because while the witch may have been dead… she doesn’t intend to stay that way.

My review:

The House by the Cemetery by John Everson reads a lot like a horror movie. I could picture it all unfolding vividly in my mind as I read through (sometimes horrified, sometimes laughing) page after page of this thriller.
This book has all of the necessary components for a good spooky read: witches, murder, haunting, psychics, mystery… So it’s a good Halloween pick. I actually got scared a couple times while reading in the dark, so maybe leave the lights on if you want to sleep at night!
I enjoyed the characters in the book and the attention it brings to the lack of diversity and stereotyping in the horror genre. While there’s no way for me to know if the author purposefully meant to do so, I thought he did a good job of “calling-out” some things while not taking away from the story at all.
The main character, Mike, is a carpenter that’s hired to work on the abandoned house his friend plans to open a haunted house in. Mike is pretty much terrified of the house, but agrees because he’s in need of the job. For the most part, I liked Mike, but at times he seemed way too gullible. Unless he was under some sort of a spell, I just don’t see him actually agreeing to some of the things he does.
A problem I have with the mystery genre in general is that I hate guessing “the mystery.” This book has quite a number of twists that didn’t really surprise me. That being said, there were other aspects that did… One of the hardest parts of reviewing a book like this is not giving away spoilers, so that’s about all I can say here.
While this wasn’t my favorite mystery/thriller novel, I’d still recommend it for adults that enjoy horror movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, since the book definitely has the same tone/vibe. Because of sexual content/suggestion and the level of blood & gore description, I’d definitely only recommend it for adults though and wouldn’t recommend it for my teens.

Thank you Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for providing me with a free digital review copy of The House by the Cemetery. This in no way influenced my review.

What do you think of The House by the Cemetery? Have a suggestion for my next read? Leave me a comment below!
Are you planning on purchasing The House by the Cemetery by John Everson? Please consider using one of these affiliate links: Amazon

Posted in book reviews

Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard – BLOGOWEEN BOOK REVIEW

cover135697-mediumTitle:  Hunting Annabelle
Author: Wendy Heard
Publication Date & Publisher: December 18, 2018 HARLEQUIN – MIRA (U.S. and Canada)
Genre(s): Mystery & Thrillers
Length:  336 pages
ISBN: 13: 9781488095405
My Rating: 4.0/5.0

Description (from Goodreads):

Sean Suh is done with killing. After serving three years in a psychiatric prison, he’s determined to stay away from temptation. But he can’t resist Annabelle–beautiful, confident, incandescent Annabelle–who alone can see past the monster to the man inside. The man he’s desperately trying to be.
Then Annabelle disappears.
Sean is sure she’s been kidnapped—he witnessed her being taken first hand—but the police are convinced that Sean himself is at the center of this crime. And he must admit, his illness has caused him to “lose time” before. What if there’s more to what happened than he’s able to remember?
Though haunted by the fear that it might be better for Annabelle if he never finds her, Sean can’t bring himself to let go of her without a fight. To save her, he’ll have to do more than confront his own demons… He’ll have to let them loose.

My review:

Graphic made by the Amazing Anthony @KeepReadingForward

I picked this one to be my first Blogoween post and I’m so excited to share it with you!!! (Please visit Clo@BookDragons to learn more about Blogoween.)
The narrator of Hunting Annabelle is Sean Suh. He’s a young man who’s been released from a psychiatric prison a few years ago. Since being released, he’s only spoken with his mom and his psychiatrist…until he meets Annabelle at Four Corners, an amusement park that he describes as “a cheap Disney rip off.”
Sean has been diagnosed as a schizophrenic and he takes multiple medications, which make him feel disoriented and sluggish. This is important because, when Annabelle goes missing during their date at none other than Four Corners, Sean begins to shake off the sluggishness and other side-effects from his medication. He becomes clear for the first time in a very long time. Is it his love for Annabelle removing the effects so he can find her?
As Sean searches for Annabelle, he realizes he didn’t really know her. How could he, after all? He’d only known her for a couple of days. But he’s digging into her life and her past and in doing so, he learns that he wasn’t the only one keeping secrets when they met. This doesn’t deter him from his mission of finding her though. In fact, it seems to only make him care for her even more!
I have to admit… it’s a little odd to be inside the mind of Sean! It’s not that he’s not likable, it’s quite the opposite! I found myself so proud of him at times simply for not killing people! At other times, I was either wishing he had or thankful he did. If you’re a fan of the show Dexter, you’ll definitely take a liking to Sean Suh!!!
This book is crazy in all the best ways and had my heart pounding often!!! I recommend reading it in a nice low-light on a spooky October night! You’ll be in for more than just a good scare… There are multiple HUGE twists in Hunting Annabelle. My best advice for reading this one… don’t ever think you know what’s going on! Trust me, you don’t. (And that, is my highest praise for any good mystery!)

I received a free review copy of this book through NetGalley. This in no way influenced my review.

What do you think of Hunting Annabelle? Have a suggestion for my next read? Leave me a comment below!
Are you planning on purchasing Hunting Annabelle? Please consider using one of these affiliate links: Amazon, Book Depository

Posted in book reviews

Blogoween (I told you I'd post my participation announcement before the 1st! 😜)

As I semi-announced in this past Wednesday’s WWW Wednesday post, I’ll be taking part in Blogoween (Bookblogger Style) this year!!

Graphic made by the Amazing Anthony @KeepReadingForward

What is Blogoween???  I’m glad you asked…
You can find out more by visiting Clo @BookDragons, but it’s basically a time for us book bloggers to take October and spread some wonderful bookish Halloweeniness across the internet. (Yeah, I said Halloweeniness… Of course it’s a word – I just used it in a sentence, did I?!?)
While there are 3 different participation levels to chose from, I’ll be participating in Level 1. I REALLY want to do Level 3, but realistically that’s just a little much for me at the moment.

Level 1: 13 Days of Blogoween

  • Pick any 13 days to post
  • Don’t have to be consecutive
  • Don’t have to post on Halloween (but you can!)

Level 2: Pumpkins & Spice

  • Must post on the 24th Oct through to the 31st Oct (that’s 7 posts)
  • Must be consecutive posts
  • Must post on Halloween
  • Can’t change level

Level 3: Ghosted

  • Posting EVERY DAY (that’s 31 posts)
  • Can mix Autumn themes into your posts
  • If you find within the first few days it’s too much, can switch to Level 1

One of the best parts about participating in Blogoween is that you’re not alone! There are some wonderful hosts who’ll be giving prompts all along the way. So you don’t even have to worry about blogger’s block! Here are the hosts for each week:

1st Week ~

Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward: Mon 1st – Wed 3rd
Kaleena @ Reader Voracious:Thu 4th – Sun 7th

2nd Week ~

Camilla @ Reader In The Attic: Mon 8th – Wed 10th
Lauren @ Northern Plunder: Thu 11th – Sun 14th

3rd Week ~

Jamsu @ jamsudreams: Mon 15th – Wed 17th
Anna @ The Bursting Bookshelf: Thu 18th – Sun 21st

4th Week ~

Sam @ Fictionally Sam: Mon 22nd – Wed 24th
Soph @ Bookwyrming Thoughts: Thu 25th – Sun 28th

5th Week ~

Clo @ Book Dragons: Mon 29th – Wed 31st

Visit the hosts and/or sign-up to participate! It’s going to be a great time!
Are you participating in Blogween? Thinking about participating (or just have something to say)??? Comment below!
Happy Blogoween Everyone!!!

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday -September 26, 2018

img_1384-0Hello everyone! It’s time once again for WWW Wednesday ! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.
Don’t know what WWW Wendesday is or how to participate??? All you need to do is answer the following three questions and link back to Taking on a World of Words, or you can put your answers in the comments on her blog! (You can also leave your link in my comments to be sure I don’t miss your post!)

The three WWW questions are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Here’s what I’m currently reading:

I just started reading Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek by Anthony O’Neill today… As you probably know by now (assuming you read my WWW Wednesday regularly), I never say what I think on a book until I’m pretty far in so nothing to report so far on this one!
I am really enjoying The House By the Cemetery by John Everson!!! I’ll probably be finishing it up today (assuming the migraine I’m trying to keep at bay allows it). This has been a great start to my list of books I want to post about for Blogoween.
(No, I haven’t “officially” signed up for Blogoween yet… Yes, I’m going to… At some point before October 1! Yeah, I know that’s in 4 days, stop pestering me…)

I recently finished:

I CANNOT WAIT to gush about these three books I recently finished reading!!!
Not the girls you’re looking for by Aminah Mae Safi… seriously, I NEEDED a book like this when I was younger!
Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar had me sobbing most of the time, but I know I’m going to be reading it over and over again and forcing anyone I can get to listen to me to read it!
A Home for the Redeemed by Sue Behnke was also a great read!
Stay tuned for the reviews for all these to be posted over the next week!

What I’ll be reading next:

What’s your WWW? Any thoughts on the books above?  Leave a comment or send me a message through the Contact Me page.
Want to support my laziness??? Feel free to leave a link to your own WWW Wednesday post in case I miss it over on Taking on a World of Words. (The link list is long over there guys, and I’ve got a lot of books to read…)