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

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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

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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

Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: March 24th 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghosts, Revenge

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“Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.”

The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.

We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.

Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.

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Review: Among the Living (PsyCop, #1) by Jordan Castillo Price

Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: October 2008
Publisher: Indie
Point of View: 1st Person & Male
Genres & Themes: Adult, M/M romance, Paranormal, Ghosts.

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Victor Bayne, the psychic half of a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who’s more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves.

He hooks up with handsome Jacob Marks, a non-psychic (or “Stiff”) from an adjacent precinct at his ex-partner’s retirement party and it seems like his dubious luck has taken a turn for the better. But then a serial killer surfaces who can change his appearance to match any witness’ idea of the world’s hottest guy.

Solving murders is a snap when you can ask the victims whodunit, but this killer’s not leaving any spirits behind.

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Review: The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: August 27th 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Female
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Paranormal, Ghosts, Gothic, Friendship, Mystery, Family, Music

BLURB:

Olivia wants a new life, and it might take ghosts to get it. A heartfelt, gently Gothic novel from Claire Legrand.

Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.

Her mother’s left; her neglectful father, the maestro of a failing orchestra, has moved her and her grandmother into the city’s dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.

Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help; if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.

Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living; and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving.

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Review: Of Metal and Wishes (Of Metal and Wishes #1) by Sarah Fine

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: borrowed
Publication Date: August 5th 2014
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Pacing: fast
POV: 1st person & female
Genres & Themes: YA, Gothic, Steampunk, Romance, Ghosts, Friendship.

BLURB:

There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.

As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.

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Review: Tortured Souls (The Orion Circle #1) by Kimber Leigh Wheaton

Tortured Souls by Kimber Leigh Wheaton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: July 28th 2014
Publisher: Sea Dragon Press
Pacing: fast
POV: 1st person & female
Genres & Themes: YA, Paranormal, Romance, Mystery, Ghosts, Friendship.

BLURB:

Sometimes Rest in Peace isn’t an option…

Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it’s ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can’t keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.

When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie’s longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.

But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he’s never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.

Kacie can’t ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.

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