Review: The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano

20499930The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Publication Date: September 13th, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 7+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Ghosts, Paranormal, Friendship

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BLURB:

Lionel is a wild boy, who doesn’t much like to be around other people. He’d rather be a purring cat or a wolf stalking the woods.

Marybeth is a nice girl. She doesn’t need to be told to comb her hair or brush her teeth, and she’s kind to everyone at the orphanage . . . Lionel most of all.

Different though they are, Lionel and Marybeth are best friends in a world that has forgotten about them. So when a mysterious blue spirit possesses Marybeth—and starts to take control—they know they must stop it before the real Marybeth fades away forever.

Continue reading

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Review: Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

28855782Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Publication Date: November 29th, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghosts, Thriller, Mystery, Horror

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BLURB:

When fifteen-year-old Sophie’s best friend dies abruptly under mysterious circumstances, Sophie sets off to stay with her uncle and cousins on the remote Isle of Skye. It’s been years since she last saw her cousins — brooding Cameron with his scarred hand; Piper, who seems too perfect to be real; and peculiar little Lilias with her fear of bones.

Sophie knows that in her uncle’s house, there are rules she must follow: Make no mention of Cameron’s accident. Never leave the front gate unlocked. Above all, don’t speak of the girl who’s no longer there, the sister whose room lies empty of all but the strange antique dolls she left behind.

As Sophie begins to explore the old house, a former academy for girls shut down long ago, she discovers unsettling secrets that shed light on a dark and dangerous history. But there are some secrets Sophie never expected to uncover. Secrets about her own family. Secrets that suggest Sophie may be in more danger than she could have ever imagined. Continue reading

Review: A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby

29241322A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: September 27th 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age:13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Ghosts, Jack the Ripper

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BLURB:

IT’S LONDON 1888, and Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the people of the city. Evelyn, a young woman disfigured by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, who has nowhere to go, does not know what to make of her new position as a maid to the Elephant Man in the London Hospital. Evelyn wants to be locked away from the world, like he is, shut in from the filth and dangers of the streets. But in Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, she finds a gentle kindred who does not recoil from her and who understands her pain. When the murders begin, however, Joseph and Evelyn are haunted nightly by the ghosts of the Ripper’s dead, setting Evelyn on a path to facing her fears and uncovering humanity’s worst nightmares.

A Taste for Monsters is a terrifying and haunting tale of the monstrosity of men and the salvation one may find in the unlikeliest places, from Edgar Award–winning author Matthew J. Kirby. Continue reading

Review: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

12232938The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: 2002
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Point of View: 1st Person & 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Very Slow
Genres &  Themes: Adult, Death, Family, Ghosts, Life, Love

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BLURB:

The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder — a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family’s need for peace and closure.

The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished. Continue reading

Review: Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1) by C.C. Hunter

8705784Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: March 29th 2011
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Ghosts, Vampires, Witches

BLURB:

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs… Continue reading

Review: Shadowland (The Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot

Shadowland by Meg Cabot

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: November 1st 2000
Publisher: Avon
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghosts, High School

BLURB:

There’s a hot guy in Susannah Simon’s bedroom. Too bad he’s a ghost.

Suze is a mediator – a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won’t leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn’t seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations.

But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it’s not that easy. There’s a ghost with revenge on her mind… and Suze happens to be in the way. Continue reading

Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram, #1) by Lauren DeStefano

A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: September 1st 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 10+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Paranormal, Ghosts, Family, Friendship

BLURB:

Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

Lauren DeStefano is beloved by critics and readers alike, and her middle grade debut is lyrical, evocative and not to be missed. Continue reading