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 😀

YOU WILL LIKE THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE:

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.

YOU WILL LIKE THIS IF YOU LIKE:

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children.

Review: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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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.

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You Will Like This Book If You Like:

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

 

Review: Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson

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Category: YA Fiction

Published: September 2015

Read: February 2017

Score: 4.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more. She also has a secret.
Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.
When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

Review: This was a book that I was not sure if I would like or not as it’s concept was different but it turns out I thought it was a great book and I absolutely loved it. So much so that I have already got the second instalment and look forward to the third.

middle_560e828b359d9397421f37228e942cf59_walkon_1_bIt’s a take on the western YA style with Leah Westfall as the main character. Set in the mid 1800’s during the gold rush Leah is someone who can sense gold which makes her very secretive because this is something everyone wants. What is better during this time than a sense to sense gold?! She lives with her parents until they are killed and her uncle is trying to possess her as she thinks he  knows her secret. So she takes off after her best friend to head to California where there is gold to be had, and so much so you can pick it right up off the ground.

Due to the time period she has to dress up as a boy to make her way across and until she finds her friend she meets both good people and bad people. One notable character is Becky whom is a big part of this book and one character who you hate at first but grows on you as you get to know her better and why she is the way she is. Plus being a mother myself I understand her need to protect her children.

She finally meets up with her friend and they journey out with a group of wagons and a rag-tag group of people to make it to California. It’s adventurous, and dangerous. You meet Native Americans as well as stampedes of buffalo. There were parts where i was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen and if they were going to make it. 8088db0ab9ccdfab4c479967af267146

The writing was so good that I felt like i was right there. I also like how the author touches on thins like the Native Americans and how people were so scared of them and vilified them but in reality they were just families trying to make it as well. There is also a LGBTQ part of this story which is also interesting because of the time period. It’s an easy read as far as the writing goes but very descriptive. You can tell there was research done in to this story.

4f1097ff-9188-41a8-aa11-2418511b9bcf-jpg-_cb291892061_My only problem is with Leah’s uncle. The end was anti climatic and I get it’s setting up for the next book but he was made out to be worse than he seems to be. I am hoping that this changes in the next story.

This is a great YA read but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone younger than 14. There is sex mentioned in it and injuries and racism. Which are all great subjects to teach about but might be a bit overwhelming for anyone super young.

YOU WILL LIKE THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE: Westerns, action, adventure, books with a bit of romance. YA books that are trilogy.

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Review: Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

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Category: YA Fiction

Published: September 2015

Read: January 2017

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart. Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…
FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.
FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.
FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.
FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.
OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

Review: This was an interesting book in many ways. Another take on the Sherlock Holmes stories and one of the best ones I have read so far, although it was not a super fast page turner. It’s a  teenage Sherlock and a teenage Moriaty whom is a girl, not a criminal mastermind older male.

Right from the get-go Sherlock and Mori meet and a crime happens they start to look in to it. Turns out this murder and a few other hits very close to home for Mori. They go to school while trying to solve this murder and Mori is also trying to deal with the fact her mother died about a year ago and she now has to look after her brothers. Who could have done this terrible crime and what does it have to do with Mori. As Sherlock and Mori grow much closer, they get closer to solving these crimes. stickersheetproof

This is more of a story of Mori and not Sherlock. He is a secondary character and it’s never from his point of view. It’s all from Mori’s point of view and this was one downfall of this book. I was hoping for more Sherlock and how he was thinking and how he was solving the murder but he really didn’t do anything but comfort Mori and look moody. Mori did all the crime solving and was the one dealing with things. She is also not a very good friend, keeping secrets…tisk tisk!

On that note there were aspects of this story that I really enjoyed. It’s a defiantly who done it. By half way through the book you know who did the crime, but there is still the whole is it this person…isn’t it…what is happening? I wanted to read till the very end to find out what was happening.

I know there are two more books at least…I will read the second for sure but it didn’t end in the this book that you had to read the next one.

For a teen book it’s a good one to recommend. It’s not gory or anything like that despite being a crime book. It might be a great way to introduce Sherlock and that whole world. There is sex but it’s in the background and not descriptive at all. It does talk about domestic violence and abuse but in a way that shows it’s wrong and that you need to get out. It’s not a hard read, very well written and not overly descriptive. Both adults and teens whole like crime books should pick this one up.

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Review: Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

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Category: YA Fiction (Teen)

Published: October 2008

Read: December 2016

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

Review: This was a great read to kick off another holiday season. The perfect part about reading this book is that when I started to read it, it actually started to snow where I live. It was a pretty picture to go along with my book. I have also never read any of these authors (I know not even John Green) and was excited to check out a bit of their work. 7201c0d4401ed6af670b5986412cc751

I am a huge fan of short stories and these did not disappoint. The book consists of three stories from each author. They are all set to the back drop of a HUGE snow storm hitting a small town. When they talk snow storm they are talking, white out and can’t drive anywhere snow storm. Stop a train snow storm! They are all connected as only stories set in a small town where everyone knows everyone can.

blizzard-011You start out with The Jubliee Express by Maureen Johnson. It’s about a girl Jubliee who is on her way to visit her Grandmother in a quick last min trip and get’s stranded in said small town when her train breaks down. She meets Stewart who lets her come to her house to stay. Minus the never go anywhere with a stranger thing that bothered me it was a cute story where two people who don’t know proper romance love meet, and well…the rest I am sure you can figure out. They are both strong characters and mesh well together.

The second story is by the famous John Green, A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle. I must say I LOVED this story by far. I found it funny and action packed and great characters. You meet one who’s catch phrase “Ass Hat” is used throughout and I must say I noticed I was saying it myself as I was reading this book. It’s a cute story of three friends trying to make their way to the waffle house because there are cheerleaders stranded from the storm. To teenage boys this is a really big deal. Chaos ensues as different groups try to make it there in this storm. Hence the humour throughout the whole story. For my first John Green story I was impressed and loved it. From this alone I would read another one of his books. 7502878b29ed67ed816baf4b1323c75a

The last story if about Addy, in The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle. I didn’t like this one so much and this is why I gave the book a 4/5. I found the main character very whiny and I couldn’t stand her at all. I know the story was about her and getting over her “me me me” attitude but it was hard for me to get over it. It wasn’t  a bad story but it was annoying and I found myself just struggling to get through.

For a teen book it is what you expect. There was talk of sex and some drugs but nothing hard core. It would be a good read for the younger to the older teens, and a great little book full of Christmas spirit. It is all based around Christmas eve and morning so that is the nice part about it. I would recommend this as a stocking stuffer or a great gift for any teen girl or anyone who loves quick short romance stories without the heave PDA.

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Review: Harmony House By Nic Sheff

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Category: YA Fiction

Published: March 2016

Read: November 2016

Score: 2/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror.
After Jen’s alcoholic mother’s death, her father cracked. He dragged Jen to this dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to “start their new lives”—but Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Strange visions follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had.

Review: So this was  a book I had high hopes for as it sounds amazing and had a little bit of horror attached to it I was very excited to read it. Alas I am disappointed overall. It was not a very good story and was not the best written book. I felt that there were things unanswered and just didn’t make sense to the overall flow of the book. supercell_cloud21

Jen moves with her dad to Harmony House and from day one she feels like there is something off about the place. It’s in a small town where everyone knows everyone and there are no secrets. She makes friends easy but will they stay her friends after a sleep over at the house? There is noises and bad smells and weird pictures. Everytime she turns around she is seeing something out of the corner of her eye. Than there is her dad…what can i say about her dad? He’s bat shit crazy! He’s a religious fanatic who forces Jen to pray and condone for her sins. It all builds up to an ending with a big storm that will determine the rest of her life.

750995c97cd3696e0c8e454e4fba1ed7It deals with death, and alcoholism and loosing a parent…and having a crazy one. Moving to a new town, making new friends. All good concepts but just not written out well. It jumps from one thing to the next and you never really feel any closer to anything. The prologue sets it up so that you know it’s a  crazy house but it never really explains how it is associated with the overall story. There is a pregnancy that isn’t explained….how the hell did it happen!?!? And than the boy who may or may not be a ghost. There are so many things unanswered you don’t feel good when the book ends. It’s obviously a stand alone but why so all over the place?

It’s written okay. It’s not very long book and there are not even a lot of paragraphs so it’s fast. It’s not very scary at all either. I can see some people liking this for sure but for me it just wasn’t very good at all. For teens they might like it and good thing is it’s not too scary so even the younger ones won’t find it too bad. The talk of rape throughout the book in different context is a totally different story.

Overall, not a good book. I am not sorry I read it but will not be reading it again.

Horror movie scene with a girl dressed in white in a desolated house; Shutterstock ID 149780201; PO: 1259; Job: ghosts
Horror movie scene with a girl dressed in white in a desolated house; Shutterstock ID 149780201; PO: 1259; Job: ghosts