IT’S SPOOKY SEASON! And this is the best book to dive into for all the season feels. Think Clue meets RPGs meets thriller. And it’s got diversity! So it’s like the spooky read we’ve all been needing. Plus the spooky cabin in the woods setting is basically a fall necessity so I was already hooked before I even started. But the contents are also so wild and intense so I was still hooked right until the very end.
So this book features a rag tag group of friends. And I love how they’re the type of people that you wouldn’t expect to be friends but somehow they just work. While this book was spooky at times, it wasn’t the main focus. It was more of a thriller than a horror for sure but there was also LOADS of drama! I mean, if you have a bunch of friends thrown together in this type of situation drama is bound to follow!
This is overall a fun and crazy read! It’s got a little bit of something in it for so many people and is constantly edges the line of spooky. Plus you get to play the guessing game of who-done-it! And I ALWAYS love stories that give me a bit of a mystery!
About the Author
Marieke Nijkamp a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek.
Fans of Speak by Laure Halse Anderson and Identical by Ellen Hopkins will love Talk.
Donoghue’s young adult book reaches new heights in this portrait of sexual abuse, violent alcoholism, and devastating realizations.
Sometimes the past just won’t let go. You wake up and everything has changed. Your whole world is turned upside down. And you know that things will never be the same. Four lives, two different roads, two destinations: a psychiatric hospital or the morgue.
The Hales are an all American middle-class family on the outside. But behind their masquerade, each member of the family has their own dark secrets.
For Susie, she’s the oldest and the most responsible, the voice of reason in the family, and maintained the facade of happiness. But dig a little deeper and find a girl still scared, looking for her father’s love, and substituting it with sex and alcohol.
For Mary, she is the youngest and suffered the most from their painful childhood, can only find peace through cutting and is in a constant battle with her parents, her sister and her life.
George Hale is a charming man, who chose to live an unconventional life and stubbornly forced those ideals on his family. He drank. He would pick fights. He would disappear for days on end only to return and uproot them from their life and they would find some new place to live with the police right on their heels.
Susie and Mary. They are half of the Hales All American Family. But what lies beneath their wholesome family facade? Each sister hides their own dark secret, being sexually abused by George, their own father.
Vivid, haunting, and authentic this portrayal of abuse and self-harm, Donoghue manages to show the horror and the guilt of sexual abuse in a realistic yet appropriate way. With authentic and well-developed characters, Talk will be one of the most suspenseful books you read this year with a powerful shocking ending.
Gemma Donoghue is the author of the bestseller Young Adult book Delicate, Fragile and Good Enough.
This is one of those achingly honest books. The narrator tells everything just as it is and doesn’t hold back. And boy, do things look perpetually grim. Even when things start to look up we are instantly thrown right back down to the reality of the situation. And as you are reading this book it raises the question on what would you do when your own worst nightmare was the person meant to protect you from harm?
Talk goes deep and covers many topics that often get unceremoniously swept under the rug: alcoholism, abuse, homelessness, self-harm, and rape. And I think that Donoghue was so successful in opening a conversation on these topics because of how the book was written. Susie was our narrator and, like I mentioned before, she just told it as it is. Of course there were moments when her facade cracked, but for the most part her ability to calmly tell the story and give as much detail as possible is what made the story so haunting and realistic.
And haunting this story is, because it shoves these topics in your face and doesn’t give you a chance to look away. And what I liked best about this book is that it was honest. It was honest about what it was and what it talked about. Even if the characters within are anything but honest. It’s an odd combination, but one that works.
About the Author
Gemma Donoghue is a first-time self-publishing author, and a lover of anything that involves horror, mystery, and romance.
Every five hundred years humanity bears a child who has unlimited power over life and death.
And now she’s a teenager. Rook Dagger spent the first fifteen years of her life safely tucked away in a beautiful cottage on the lake, enjoying home-cooked meals and homeschooling far away from the rest of the world. But her power couldn’t be hidden forever. The time has come for her to be enrolled in Hemlock Academy, a centuries-old institution designed to cultivate and create the greatest necromancers in the world. The children who attend will one day be placed among the seven kingdoms of magic, serving Kings and country for as long as they’re needed. To harness the power surging through her veins, Rook will need guidance in the art of giving of life… and taking it away. This power makes her unique. Dangerous. Different. Her abilities could make her an unstoppable force of nature, if she wasn’t hung up on a boy. G Gianni–a beautiful distraction with pouty lips, pale skin, and a sharp tongue. His attention consumes her. His scent entices her. His words infuriate her. She loves to hate him. He hates to love her. And together? Well, together, they could destroy the world.
This book gave me all the dark ephemeral fantastical feels. Yeah, I’m feeling the descriptors right now. I love a solid character that has some awesome necromancer(y?) powers. I dunno, maybe I’m morbid, but being able to raise the dead is just really intriguing! There’s just something so inherently wrong about it that I love the question of, but is it right? Plus you could do a lot of damage with an army of the living dead. But anyways, I’m getting off track! Hemlock takes all the fun of magic schooling and makes it dark and twisted!
There’s something so campy and nostalgic about books set in magic schools. It’s probably because of the time I grew up, but I always enjoy a good read with this setting. Plus there’s always going to be a lot of DRAMA when you put a ton of teenagers together. And isn’t some good drama what you live for in life? Because it’s definitely what I live for, especially when I can sit on the sidelines, eat some popcorn, and read about it. And this book definitely had that throughout, so buckle up.
Given the gorgeous cover I expected this book to be on the upper age range of YA, but it’s actually on the lower. And I’m definitely not mad about that! I feel as if this particular area is often overlooked and I think a cover like this might bring some attention to the fact that YA doesn’t automatically mean 17/18 year olds. So in a sense this was actually kind of a refreshing chance to get away from what I always see and read about slightly younger characters.
About the Author
*Voted OUAB Author of the Year of 2018*
Rue Volley is a USA Today Bestselling Author and award-winning screenwriter who is best known for creating compelling storylines with a multitude of twists and turns that leave her readers virtually speechless.
She specializes in paranormal romances that include otherworldly characters who, regardless of their supernatural abilities, feel oddly familiar, or in other words, human. This, coupled with her easy reading style, wicked sense of humor, and excellent world building skills, has garnered her a fiercely loyal fan base over the past decade who support her regardless of what genre she chooses to write in.
Some of her best works include 13 Ways to Midnight, Hellhound, The Devil’s Gate, and A Vampires Tale of Blood and Light. All of which utilize her skill at piecing together compelling dramas that highlight her love for vampires, witches, angels, and demons across many genres including young adult, new adult, urban fantasy, and erotic romance.
Rue Volley’s work seems to be synonymous with one phrase in the publishing world. Thoroughly addictive.
She is accredited with two award-winning screenplays for film, Hellhound (original script, 2014) and Awakening (contributing screenwriter, 2015). IMDb: imdb.com/name/nm7043310/
Rue is represented by Gladys Gonzales Atwell, Publicist, and Sarah Davis Brandon, Publisher. Business inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Set in the fictional town of Lake Haven, Maine, Evoke examines the complexities of love and loss among childhood friends after a tragic accident claims the lives of three, while leaving two behind. When five friends return home from college for the summer, it feels as if the friendship that has bound them together since childhood is stronger than ever. But when Laney Thomas wakes up two-months later and discovers she is the sole survivor of the accident that has claimed the lives of three of her friends, Laney quickly realizes the world she awakened to is not the one she remembers.
Evoke won a Gold Medal in the YA Mystery Category in the 2019 Readers’ Favorite International Awards.
Well dang this book was good! Like seriously, I couldn’t put it down! If you’ve read any of my other reviews lately you’ll know that I’ve been struggling to stay focused on books, so it really came as a shock that I was so instantly lured into this story! But lured, hooked, sunk I was! I HAD to know what happens (something I can usually figure out right away) and then even at the end there was another HUGE twist! I also see on Goodreads that it’s listed as a series, so now I kind of need the next book ASAP.
Evoke is one part thriller one part mystery one part romance and a whole lot in between. The romance itself is a reeeaaalllllyyyyy slow burn friends to lovers, and while I’m not usually a big fan of this trope I was LIVING for it in the story! I mean, there was still that aspect of “we can’t!” that I oh so love! And also it was just a really wholesome thing. I don’t want to speak too much on this because it’s kind of sort of spoiler-y. Just know that there is romance and it is sweet and amazing!
The whole thriller/mystery aspect comes into play with how Laney has lost a weeks worth of seemingly the most important memories of her life. One moment she is excited to spend time with her four best friends and the next she wakes up in the hospital, only one of two remaining from their friend group. You can feel Laney’s frustration and grief over mourning the loss of her three closest friends while at the same time not being able to remember their last moments together. It’s quite heart wrenching and part of the reason I couldn’t put the book down. I just HAD to know what was missing, what led up to such a terrible accident.
About the Author
D.M. Simmons grew up in a small town in California’s Sierra Nevada Foothills. A voracious reader from an early age, she began writing poetry and short stories in elementary school, and continued that passion throughout high school and college. She studied literature, creative writing and communications at University of the Pacific, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she is a communications executive by day, and writer by night.
The June Boys by Courtney C. Stevens Publisher: Thomas Nelson Release Date: March 3, 2020 Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
The Gemini Thief could be anyone. Your father, your mother, your best friend’s crazy uncle. Some country music star’s deranged sister. Anyone.
The Gemini Thief is a serial kidnapper, who takes three boys and holds them captive from June 1st to June 30th of the following year. The June Boys endure thirteen months of being stolen, hidden, observed, and fed before they are released, unharmed, by their masked captor. The Thief is a pro, having eluded authorities for nearly a decade and taken at least twelve boys.
Now Thea Delacroix has reason to believe the Gemini Thief took a thirteenth victim: her cousin, Aulus McClaghen.
But the game changes when one of the kidnapped boys turns up dead. Together with her boyfriend Nick and her best friends, Thea is determined to find the Gemini Thief and the remaining boys before it’s too late. Only she’s beginning to wonder something sinister, something repulsive, something unbelievable, and yet, not impossible:
Ahhhhh! This book was so good! I’m a sucker for a classic styled mystery, so of course I was immediately interested in this one. Add in some of the dark and broody elements and I’m sold! I mean, the writing is just so delicious and elevates the story.
The bulk of this story is about Thea trying to figure out who the Gemini Thief is after her cousin becomes one of his yearly victims. Basically, the Gemini Thief operates under this weird yearly schedule where he steals three boys and holds them captive for thirteen months before letting them go alive. The only problem is that one of the kidnapped boys suddenly turns up dead.
I think that this book is coming out at the perfect timing too. This truly sounds like something you would hear about on a true crime podcast. Which also helps add to the eerie feel of the story. The realness of the horror these characters are facing is palpable, allowing you to descend into the madness of what is occuring.
About the Author
Courtney “Court” Stevens grew up among rivers, cornfields, churches, and gossip in the small town south. She is a former adjunct professor, youth minister, Olympic torchbearer and bookseller at Parnassus Books. These days she writes coming-of-truth fiction and is the Community Outreach Manager for Warren County Public Library. She has a pet whale named Herman, a bandsaw named Rex, and several novels with her name on the spine.