Review: Sanctum by Madeleine Roux (Asylum Book #2)

Category: YA Fiction

Published: August 2014

Read: June 2016

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. Much as they’d love to move on, someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timey carnival, with no note and no name. Forsaking their plan never to go back, the teens return to New Hampshire College under the guise of a weekend for prospective students, and there they realize that the carnival from the photos is not only real, it’s here on campus, apparently for the first time in many years.Sneaking away from sample classes and college parties, Dan and his friends lead a tour of their own—one through the abandoned houses and hidden places of the surrounding town. Camford is hiding a terrible past, and the influence of the asylum runs deeper than Dan ever imagined.

Review: This was a really good book for a sequel and I actually really enjoyed it. It didn’t take long to read and I am already on to the third in the series.

Once again we are back with the trio Dan, Jordan and Abby as they start to receive messages and they have an old carnival theme. Why are they receiving them and who is sending them? As they try to get over what happened at Brookline over the summer they are drawn back for a weekend as “prospective students”. What happens there is messed up, can Dan figure out why he is seeing things? Or who is after them and following them? Will it be too late?

It’s as fast paced as the last one, and once again not scary but still a good overall read. There is always a part of you that knows the subsequent books are never as good but I can say this one didn’t disappoint.

Jordan is still my favourite character with his wit, and quickness and probably the most brains in the whole operation. Dan I find annoying as a main character. Everyone keeps tell him to let it go, and yes he has visions, but he should just let it go as they say. He also says he doesn’t have any friends but these non existent friends still keep trying to hang out with him. That is what lost the score for this book was Dan. He’s annoying but totally tolerable.

I also really enjoyed the carnival theme although it didn’t overpower the book. It felt like a side note, but the pictures surrounding it were a lot of fun.

You also get a little closure with this book as well. If you don’t want to read on that would be okay, this could totally be a stand alone, but if you wanted to continue the journey by all means enjoy!

It’s the same writing, overall really good and not to much. It still would be good for any teen to read and any adult who likes these types of books. The pictures are fun and add a little something to it. I also like how the chapters are broken up.

I look forward to the next book, as you will look forward to the review 😀


Asylum (the first book)

Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Category: YA Fiction (Horror)

Published: August 2013

Read: May 2017

Score: 5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it’s a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it’s no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Review: This was a surprising book that I actually really enjoyed. Usually the “horror” type books I find to be campy and not very good at all but I was surprised and am already on to book two in the series (look for the review soon).

It’s about Dan Crawford, who by all accounts doesn’t have a lot of friends but is very smart and likes Psychology. He goes to a summer program at a college and is set up in an old insane asylum. Which has to be creepy in and of itself. The way it’s described it’s not even cleaned out fully just mostly the areas where the summer students are living. Dan starts to find creepy pictures all over the place and start to see things. The good news is he finds friends in both Jordan and a possibly girlfriend in Abby. It’s all connected how and are they going to make it through the summer.

The pictures sure add a creep factor to this book. It gives you something to look forward to, I wish there was more tbh. They did tie in with the story which is great and I really enjoyed it, gave you a visual besides what you picture in your head as you read it.

It’s not scary at all, for me anyway. As this is a YA book I dont’ see kids being scared of it as well so I would say it’s good for anyone from 13 and up. There is no sex or anything like that, mentions death and lobotomy’s and some of the things that went on in these types of places but overall not scary at all.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book too. Dan could be a little annoying at times, but isn’t that all teenagers? I loved Jordan the most. I am also happy with the Game of Thrones references. That was a nice touch.

I am looking forward to finishing the series and hope it’s as good as the first one.


Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children.

Review: The Story of Lucius Cane (Book 1) by Vanya Ferrerira

Category: Adult Fiction (Fantsay)

Published: February 9, 2016

Read: May 2017

Score: 4.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) London, 1794. Lucius Cane, a peculiar sort of vampire, comes upon an opponent the likes of which he has never seen before – a brute with remarkable abilities. But not all is as it seems as their encounter unfolds in a manner that neither of them expected.

Review: This book was given to me by the author for an honest and fair review. In no way has this changed how I feel about the book or will change the kind of review I will provide.

This was a very short read. I read it within a day or so. It’s only book one in a series but it’s also more like a short story. So first and foremost if you like really quick reads, this one is totally for you.

It’s about Lucius a vampire who people want dead and someone is hired to kill him but this someone is not what your typical “contract killer”. He also has abilities of his own, that kind of mirror a werewolf. So your classic tale of teeth vs. teeth.

You meet Lucius and the battle happens. It’s a really great battle I must say. It’s to the point and it’s one bad ass against the other.

It is written very well, and descriptive which is nice for such a short story. I would have given it a perfect score if it was more to the battle but not because it’s so short. If I get the chance I would continue this story for sure and follow more of what this author might produce.


Anything by Anne Rice, or are a fan of the Underworld movies

Review: The Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Lusia Lang

Category: Adult Fiction

Published: November 29, 2016

Read: May 2017

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) The Eye of Nefertiti is both a stand-alone novel and a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat. The time-traveling ancient Egyptian feline with human powers returns together with his beloved Pharaoh and his close friends, the High Priest of Amun-Ra and Elena, an Egyptologist’s daughter.
The cat is quick-witted, wise-cracking narrator as well as free-spirited, ever-curious protagonist, and the story he tells is an exotic, imaginative, spell-binding tragicomedy. The cat travels from present-day New York City to England, both ancient and modern, then to ancient Egypt, where he confronts a horrible demon and experiences a sublime emotion. Once back in England, he descends into a psychological abyss so deep only the Pharaoh can save him.
The Eye of Nefertiti interweaves feline and human, past and present, natural and supernatural. It contains numerous surprises, twists and turns, intriguing characters, both human and animal, fascinating revelations about ancient Egyptian history and culture, and an ingenious application of the Tarot and an Italian opera.

Review: This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for a review. This has in no way reflected how I feel about the book.

This was a book that was different. I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did. I won’t lie the cover threw me off, as it’s not the nicest but it hides a good book. Who knew a book about a talking and time traveling cat could be so enjoyable.

This cat in question, he can walk and talk and eat like a human and with his best friend the high priest they settled in America present day with Elena who has given birth (by the High Priest) to a boy who is the recantation of a pharaoh that the cat loved. They get called to England for Elena to write a story about ancient Egypt. There they find out the past has never really died and have to time travel back to see if they can fix it, but are they the real cause?

I enjoyed the time travel part of it, it was different and quite a twist on the story. Where are they going to end up as the High Priest seems to be a bit of a twit. You don’t hate him but you kinda want to hit him sometimes. You get to see Egypt to Stonehenge.

It’s suppose to be a sequel to a book but it can be a standalone. I did not read the first book or know anything about it and it didn’t affect the enjoyment of this book in any way.

The cat is witty and funny and I can honestly say that I laughed out loud at certain parts. That is why is was such a surprise. My only disappointment was the ending. It was good but it was a total WTF moment and it threw me off. It felt rushed. It wasn’t bad but it could have been better.

This author has a lot of potential and is a good writer, despite a few mistakes in the book grammar wise it was very well written and easy to read. I look forward to anything else that she might come out with.


Reawakened by Colleen Houck, The Other Boelyn Girl by PhilippiaGregoria

Review: The Boy In The Oak by Jessica Albarn

Category: 3-5 Picture Book

Published: September 2010

Read: May 2017

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) In the garden behind the cottage grows an ancient Oak that hides a secret. The young boy who lives in the cottage couldn’t care less about the tree and certainly doesn’t know it is enchanted. But the Faeries soon change this…
They cast a spell which causes the ancient Oak to swallow the boy whole. As the seasons pass, the boy trapped inside begins to experience the world as a tree, and regret his cruelty towards nature. But the Oak does not let him go. Then a new family with a young girl moves into the cottage. The girl senses magic behind the mystery of the boy who disappeared there many years ago. Will she discover the Faeries and what they’ve done? And, more importantly, will she be able to break the spell?

Review: This was a weird book, with a good message but weird and not one I would read to my child until they were a lot older as it could be deemed scary. It’s also interesting because it’s long but in between each pages are these thin sheets with really beautiful simple drawings of faeries and trees and people. They truly are beautiful.

It’s about a boy who pisses off the faeries of the forest behind his house by being mean to living creatures and nature. They trap him in a tree and when he see’s his parents leave thinking he was kidnapped he is stuck there for what sounds like a very very long time. Than eventually another family moves in and a little girl is with them. Does she see him? Can he save her before the same fate happens to her as did to him?

As I said it’s a bit of a dark story. About a kid whose parents think was kidnapped but really just put in a tree for all eternity. It’s also a long story. I can’t see most young kids sitting put for the whole thing. Its got dark undertones despite being a kids book.

Overall it’s not a bad story. Good moral…do not hurt nature and respect all things living and not.

Well written and as I said earlier it’s got beautiful pictures that were great to look at.


Through the Woods by Emily Carroll


Review: The Silver Gate by Kristin Bailey

Category: 9-12 Fiction

Published: January 10, 2017

Read: May 2017

Score: 3.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) In shepherd boy Elric’s tiny village, people think children like his younger sister, Wynn, are changelings-left by fairies and doomed to curse all around them. As a baby, Wynn was born with developmental delays, and according to the rules, she was supposed to be abandoned in the woods.
Instead Elric’s mother saved his sister and hid her away for eleven years. They live in secret and fear of being discovered, yet their home is full of love, laughter, and singing. Wynn and Elric’s favorite song is about the Silver Gate, a beautiful fairy realm where all children are welcome.
But when their long-absent father returns to sell Wynn to the Lord’s castle as a maid, Elric realizes that folk songs and fantasies can’t protect them from the outside world. They have to run away. Still Wynn believes there’s only one place they’ll ever be safe, and it lies beyond the Silver Gate.
The road to freedom is long and treacherous. If they have any hope for survival, Elric and Wynn must learn to depend on each other above everything else-and discover the magic that always reveals itself when it seems like all is lost.

Review: This was a cute and touching book that I really enjoyed reading. It has a good message and talks about the bond of siblings that can form even in the most dire of situations. It also shows us that no matter your abilities or what life has handed you deep down we are all good people who just want to be loved and treated with respect.

It’s about Elric and Wynn who go on an adventure after their mother dies to save Wynn from becoming a slave in the local castle whom she has just been sold too by her father. Elric risks everything to help save her and get her somewhere safe…but the question remains as to where that actually is.

Wynn has some sort of mental disability and it’s never mentioned what. Children born with things like are considered “changelings” that are children that were switched by ferries and left instead. I am sure this is not a new concept in our history. Wynn was special and hidden away because of this but now she needs to be protected.

They meet good and bad people along the way and find out there is more to life than what meets the eye and magic is always all around.

There are a few heavy topics in this book and people get hurt so for the younger kids just starting to read this might not be the one they should start with. The writing was well done and you could picture everything clearly. It was also left over for a sequel. I probably won’t pick it up but I am happy I read this one.

I gave it the score I did as it was an okay book but not a grabbing attention book. I did like it but I won’t read it again and I found some parts very slow to get through. It was good for what it was.

Full Moon Rise Over Pine Tree in Palm Beach Florida


Fantasy novels with a medieval type twist

Review: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher


Category: YA Fiction

Published: October 2007

Read: May 2017

Score: 4.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Review: This book is one that will live on past us all and will keep coming back as people get in to the new show that has everyone talking about. It tore me open and even now, despite finishing it last night, I can’t stop thinking about it. This will not be  a long review as most people already know the story either by the book or by the new show on Netflix.

Just a quick recap, this book is a narrative of two different people. Clay and Hannah. Hannah killed herself and made a bunch of tapes before she did so detailing why and calling out people who didn’t help her along the way or did things to her. Clay is on this tape and he has to listen to them all to find out why. It’s a roller-coaster of a ride and messes with him emotionally. 30-13-reasons-why_w710_h473

At first, I thought this book was a little slow. We have all been in high school and know how really crappy it can be. Things happen, rumors start, people love each other one min and hate each other at the turn of a hat. It is what it is and it’s four years that can be amazing or hell depending on you and where you stand in it all and how much you care about certain things. So for me, the start was like …okay this is normal teenage stuff.

Than things changed…

2471d020b79fe1cefd59fe0a853d507c I won’t get in to details as it will reveal spoilers and if you are like me and have just read it or have not yet I am not going to ruin it for you. A lot more things happen. A lot of things that kids are dealing with now that I don’t remember when I was in high school. There are things like rape, drugs, consent,  protection just to name a few. Once the book goes on it just sucks you in and you can’t stop. I read this book in four days.

After your done you understand Hannah and why she did what she did. You wish you could help her as no one else seemed to be able to. I also really loved Clay. He is, as it is stated in the book, a really good guy and I loved him. What a great and honest character that got sucked in because of what he felt for this lost soul. images

The reason I gave it a half star off of a perfect score was the beginning. As I said it was a  little slow to start but picked up very fast. It’s a easy read. You know who is talking when and you can follow along no problem. It’s a teen book and quite frankly I think every teen should read. It’s issues we all deal with now a days and it’s a talking point. NO I don’t think it will glamorize suicide if anything people will talk and that is the first step in realizing what is happening around us and help out our fellow human beings. If you want to have a open conversation with your child have them read t his and it will be a great starting off point. Yes it has a very heavy subject and it’s not easy but this is life.

Now on to watching the show. Hopefully it’s as good as the book.


You Will Like This Book If You Like:

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins, Realistic teen stories about todays modern teens.