Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly blog meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where you list the books you read last week and the ones you hope to read this week.

Read Last Week:

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater:  I had time to ransack the YA section this week.  I was feeling yucky all this week, so I had more time for an extra book. I enjoyed this but realized I skipped Linger! Review will be posted soon.

Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman:  This book was a slow start for me, but then wowed me near the end!

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman:  I am a huge fan of Carol Goodman.  This was a reread for book club (my choice), since it is one of my favorite books.

Currently Reading:

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl:  I read about these through my participation in Castle Macabres Frightful Fall event.  I decided to take this book and the second in the series while I was at it.

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl:  Same as above. :)

Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan:  This was nearby on the shelves at the library and it drew my eye.  So it came home with me too.  Only fitting for the month.

I am curious, what is the scariest book you have ever read?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Those Across the River- Review

Title:  Those Across the River
Author:  Christopher Buehlman
Source: Librarything

Goodreads Summary:

Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.
It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten.
A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols's homecoming...
My thoughts:
Frank and Dora are a cute couple, in love, trying their own thing.  Frank was a very together character - trustworthy, brave, devoted.  Maybe not too quick to catch on to the fact though, that the town was headed for trouble.  Pay close attention to the town forum part of this book, this is the event that sets the rest of the book in motion, although you might not realize it while reading it.  I was a little bored at this stage in the book, and didn't read it too closely, and then later went back to reread it.  There is a definite slow build to action, but I ended up loving this book so much, that I immediately gave it to my brother to read when I was done.
It took me some time to get into this book.  I kept picking it up, reading a little, then putting it back down for a few days.  I just thought the first half was so slow, and not that scary.  However, once it hit the halfway mark, I couldn't put the book down!  It was creepy, scary, everything I wanted and expected.  One of the spookiest parts for me is when the main characters need help, they are alone on the street, and the rest of the townsfolk lock their doors and windows against them, unwilling to help.  It was just so coldhearted, it creeped me out.  There are also seriously gross descriptions, and scary situations throughout.  And I loved every minute of it.
Much like the Krewe of Hunters series, I found myself wanting to know more about what exactly happened at the Savoyard Plantation all those years ago.  It is explained in bits here and there, and the reader can read between the lines and put the whole story together, but I wanted more explanation on it. This seems to be a big thing for me in books.  I think if an author is going to allude to something in the past, I think they should fully explain it. Maybe it is the history buff in me, I don't know.  I have a degree in History, so maybe that is why I need/want to know more. 
All in all, I really enjoyed this book! It was a slow started, but had a big finish!

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly blog meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where you list the books you read last week and the ones you hope to read this week.

Read Last Week:

The Pumpkin Man by John Everson:  I got this from Netgalley; while I enjoyed it and it had its freaky moments, the end was lackluster. 

The Evil Inside by Heather Graham:  Another Netgalley book.  I enjoy this series, and this was a perfectly timed read for the season.  

Currently Reading:

Beyond Delicious by Mary Ann Winkowski: I won this from Librarything - very different concept for a cookbook! I am planning on making a meal or two from these ghostly recipes this month- I hope they were good cooks before they were a ghost!

Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman:  Another Librarything book.  Sounds appropriately eerie for the time of year.

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman: A re-read. This is our book club book for the month- my choice.  I love this author, and I hope that my book club likes it just as much as I did the first time around.  I love love love this author!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Evil Inside - Review

Title:  The Evil Inside (Krewe of Hunters #4)
Author:  Heather Graham
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:

For as long as it has stood overlooking New England’s jagged coastline, Lexington House has been the witness to madness…and murder. But in recent years the inexplicable malice that once tormented so many has lain as silent as its victims. Until now…
A member of the nation’s foremost paranormal forensic team, Jenna Duffy has made a career out of investigating the inexplicable. Yet nothing could prepare her for the string of slayings once again plaguing Lexington House – or for the chief suspect, a boy barely old enough to drive, much less kill.
With the young man’s life on the line, Jenna must team up with attorney Samuel Hill to pinpoint who – or what – is taking the lives of those who get too close to the past. But everything they learn brings them closer to the forces of evil stalking this tortured ground.

My thoughts:

This book is set in Salem, MA, around Halloween, making it a perfect October read, in my opinion.  Jenna Duffy is a member of the Krewe of Hunters, an FBI group made up of people with a little bit different skills- they can see ghosts.  Jenna returns home to Salem at the request of her Uncle Jamie, a twee little Irishman, who can spin a good ghost story.  He is also respected psychiatrist in the community, and when one of his patients, a teenager named Malachi,  is accused of a murder Jamie doesn't believe he committed, he asks Jenna to return home and use her gifts to help free Malachi.  They enlist the help of hot-shot attorney Sam Hall; Jenna and Sam inevitably fall in love, but Sam does have to struggle with a few aspects of Jenna's life- such as her ability to see ghosts.  Jenna obliges her uncle, which leads to learning much more about the history of Lexington House, where Malachi lived and his family was axed to death.

In my opinion, we didn't learn enough about the history of Lexington House.  As with all the books in the series that I have read, I have enjoyed them immensely, but was left wanting to hear more of the back story.   This book in particular left me even more curious than the rest.  The house is "evil", filled with tales of murders that have taken place there throughout the decades, all the way back to the Salem Witch era, a period of time that has been an interest of mine for years.  I wanted to know more about the history of the house, and why what happened there, happened. 

This is a fun book, and while it didn't scare me, it did have some pretty gruesome scenes.  I enjoyed this book, and think it was a perfect addition to my October reading lineup.

I also read this for the Frightful Fall Readathon hosted by Castle Macabre.  I had intended to read more, but it just didn't work out this week.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Pumpkin Man- Review

Title: The Pumpkin Man
Author: John Everson
Source: Netgalley

Goodreads Summary:

After her father’s gruesome murder, Jenn needed a place to get away from it all with some friends, to take her mind off her grief. The empty seaside cottage she inherited seemed perfect. Jenn didn’t know that the cottage held arcane secrets, mysteries long hidden and best left alone. She didn’t realize until it was too late that the old books and Ouija board she finds there really do hold great power. And it was only after her friend’s headless body was discovered that she knew the legend of the local bogeyman was no mere legend at all.

An evil has been unleashed, a terrifying figure previously only spoken of in whispers. But now the whispers will become screams. Beware…THE PUMPKIN MAN.

My thoughts:

This book started off so scary, it gave me the creeps!! I was reading it at night before bed, and I was sure someone was going to pop out of my closet at any moment and get me.  Unfortunately however, the excitement reached a crescendo and then died down. 

Jenn inherits her aunt's house in California after her father is murdered and decapitated.  Strangely and ironically, not long after this happens, Jenn and her roommate Kirsten both lose their jobs on the same day ( and they both work at the same school), and then upon going home, find out that they have to move out of the condo.  How very conveinent.  This actually bothered me- it was too tidy and implausible that this would happen.  I was able to suspend belief for the whole book, including the ghostly killer, but for some reason this really bothered me.

Once Jenn is in California, it gets super creepy! You find out all sorts of nasty secrets about Jenn's aunt and uncle, and his family before him.  And then the things they find in the house, not to mention everything that was written in Jenn's aunt's journal! There are many gruesome murders, some surprising, and then one that was not really explained that well.  As the end of the book nears, the tension starts to slowly build...and then flatlines.  The end itself was predictible and boring.

I was disappointed in the ending of this book, but I thought that everything leading up to it was pretty good and worth the read.  This book won't change the world, but it will keep you entertained for few hours.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly blog meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where you list the books you read last week and the ones you hope to read this week.

Last week was so busy, and this week is looking to be the same way.  I can't wait to get back to slow and steady instead of this fast breaknecked speed I am working at.  And I didn't read either of the book I meant to read last week! My husband stole Ghost Story out from under me, and then I downloaded the wrong book onto the Nook. But I did enjoy the book I ended up reading.

Read Last Week:

The Pumpkin Man by John Everson:  I read this for Netgalley.  I think it was a great start to the month of October. 

Currently Reading:

The Evil Inside by Heather Graham:  This is another installment in the Krewe of Hunters Series.  I have read Heart of Evil and Phantom Evil already- and I somehow missed one in between those and this one though. I am loving what I am reading of this book so far!

If I'm Lucky:

Season of the Witch by Christopher Knight:  This book was given to me by the author when he visited our school, and I am really looking forward to reading it.  Hopefully I have time this week, if not, I will finish it next week.