Archive | October 2013

Book Review: Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Velveteen Cover

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“Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.

Bonesaw.

Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.

It’ll be brutal… and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules… or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.”

What I see: Up front? A bit too long. However, this is a gruesome ghostly tale with teenage heat! (I’m not a fan of the heat but I know tweens and teens will love it!) I loved all the spookiness and it’s nice to see Purgatory get some environmental space. I feel like the idea of it all is fresh, pushes the limits, has a murder(ish) mystery and teen love blossoming.

Yes it’s a bit calculated but at the end I got what I wanted, to a point, and it followed the formula. A nice change of pace and different from most of the usual YA I read, it’s perfect for Halloween! Be warned, the author does not hold back from squirmy details! Happy Halloween everyone!

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Take Part: All Hallows Read!

It’s nearly Halloween! Neil Gaiman is back for another year of leading the fantastic All Hallows Eve event of All Hallows Read!

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Give a scary book to your best mate or someone at work! Spread the love of spooky stories! As October is the best month to enjoy being scared out of your wits!

If you could give any scary book to anyone, which would be the title you’d always go to? 

Book Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

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“Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to “the Smoke” and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The “Special Circumstances” authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.”

What I see: I know this series has been around for a while and I’ve wanted to read it for ages. It. Did. Not. Disappoint! The tone, the language, the idea is so forceful that the reader instantly believes Tally’s way of life. I loved it. From the first chapter you dive in and hang on page after page! Fun fact: It’s set in futuristic Seattle! What?!

It’s fast paced, different and engaging. However, there is so much more than just this idea of ‘being pretty’. I feel there’s a lot of depth to this superficial idea of making everyone pretty, although I’m aware this is not an original idea, but it’s well written and I have high hopes for this series.

The only downfall? The romance bit, (of course). It’s calculated, a bit clunky and expected, but does it help the book sell? Probably. That doesn’t mean I have to like it. Everything else is brilliant though. I really want to see what a ‘pretty’ looks like too. I get the feeling they’re kind of like Brats dolls.

Can you imagine? 

Book Review: A Midsummer’s Night Scream by R. L. Stine

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Oh, what fools these actors be!

It was a horror movie that turned into real horror: Three young actors lost their lives while the cameras rolled. Production stopped, and people proclaimed the movie was cursed.

Now, sixty years later, new actors are venturing onto the haunted set. In a desperate attempt to revive their failing studio, Claire’s dad has green-lit a remake of Mayhem Manor, and Claire and her friends are dying to be involved.

At first, Claire laughs at Jake’s talk of ghosts and curses. He’s been too busy crushing on her best friend, Delia, or making out with that slut, Annalee, to notice that she’s practically been throwing herself at him. What does he know anyway? This is her big chance to be a star!

But then, Claire runs into a creepy little man named Benny Puckerman, and gets her hands on a real love potion! Unfortunately, the course of true love never did run smooth…

Get ready for laughter to turn into screams as the Grandmaster of Horror, R.L. Stine, takes on the Master of Theater in this modern reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

What I see: Le sigggggggghhhhhhh. I know that people have been super negative on Goodreads about this book, and that’s one of the reasons why I got it as soon as it was published. There are a lot of haters on the Internet and I wanted to see what was fact and what was fiction.

I had also just finished some of Stine’s Goosebumps, so his juvenile writing was fresh in my mind. I was really disappointed by this story. I felt it was a good idea, but it lacked the execution. It just didn’t work. I felt that the snuff film references were too adult for the piece, and yet, all the dialogue and characters acted like they were ten.

There was a huge disconnect with everything. Some scenes were too obvious when others were not obvious enough. The sentences were a lot like Goosebumps, to short, with a two page cliff hanger chapter. It just didn’t come together and flow. I wish it did. The blurb and idea are fun, interesting, but the end delivery isn’t there. It makes me sad, because I am a huge fan of Stine’s work. I hope he keeps at it for YA! I want to read what else he can do. 

My Favorite Book for October: The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin

Has there ever been a book that reminds you of someone special? 

Spookily

Before I moved to England I worked in childcare for seven years. Two of them were spent at an on site after school program down the road from my Uni. In the early evenings, the routine for the head teacher and myself would be to gather the remaining kids and have story time before combining to one of the larger rooms and locking up ours. 

I don’t know if it was one of our kids or if it was myself or my head teacher that found The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, but it made for fantastic October reading. 

Usually I was the one that did the reading aloud, I really enjoyed reading to the kids. For Spookley, my head teacher took the lead, which allowed me to be the peanut gallery. 

It was one of the best moments at work with my head teacher. We grew to be great friends once we moved on from the after school program, and Spookley was one of our fond memories of working together. 

Our kids enjoyed it too. We all cheered at the end for Spookley. Such a heartwarming story. 

When October rolls around, I’m always looking forward to paging through Spookley.