Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird BoxTitle:  Bird Box 
Author:  Josh Malerman
Publisher: Ecco
Publishing Date: May 13th 2014
Pages: 272
Genre: Adult Psychological Horror
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audio

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it's time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat--blindfolded--with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.
I came across this book by accident. I am not sure what I was searching but this book came up. I don't do many adult books for various reasons but when one sounds so awesome its a must read... I take the chance and read it. I am so glad I took the chance on this book. It was pretty awesome. Exactly the kind of read I needed and wanted and wow  it was good. Very creepy and disturbing and dark. 

The world has changed. There is danger outside. Dangerous creatures that if you look, you will go crazy mad and kill others or yourself or both. No one knows exactly what they are or what happens because no lives to learn about it. It's been about 4 1/2 years since the dark started and Malorie and her children have not seen the outside in this long. Now she and her kids will venture outside, down a river, to an unknown place on the promise of a stranger. They have to do this blindfolded in order to stay alive. Throughout the journey Melonie remembers it all from the very beginning to the present day and in those memories she finds the will and the determination to keep herself and her children alive on this dangerous and long journey.

This book wasn't at all what I expected but was everything I wanted. I really really enjoyed it. It was a slow burn kind of read. The first page really caught me but it wasn't a quick paced page turner. It was the page turner as I wanted more but it felt like a slow and deep read. I was really into it. 

The book is written in present POV and memory POV. I love these kind of reads. I don't know what it is but I do just love them. Probably one of my favorite type of formats. It makes the story so much more mysterious. I just can't wait to find out the while truth. Kind of like doing a puzzle. You get the beauty of the picture piece by piece and its fun but the appreciation of the beauty  comes once its finish. This was this book exactly. It was worth the time to finish the puzzle. 

I really loved Malorie. She was a strong woman. She was fearless in some ways but so fragile in others.. but no matter what she was she was determined. Determined to keep her children safe, to teach them, the secure them. to survive. She was smart and she was kind. She was a good mother but a scary mother. She did what she had to with no regret. Very likable character with flaws and all. 

The story was just creepy and dark. It was hard to feel anything but apprehension with every new chapter. With the present I didn't know what danger that Malorie and her children would need to face. With the past I knew Malorie survived but that is all I knew. I didn't know how she ended up alone or with children. I didn't know if I would find out what was causing the crazy or what the creatures were. I was as blind as Malorie's was in the beginning. Slowly it all came together and made sense and it was nice in the end because it felt like a calm after all the nerves and anxiety. Truly though everything between page one and the last page had me biting my nails and hiding under my covers at night. This is what nightmares are made of. 

The only thing that kind of made me roll my eyes. The author didn't know pregnancy that well. I could tell he got it from a book (being male and all) but I am not sure where he got some of the info. Some of it was just off to me and not right. But it didn't take away from the story as it was something to focus on. So I let it slide but I did giggle and roll my eyes at it.

It was everything a psychological horror should be. Read it if you like creepy and dark.

Josh Malerman                                  Josh Malerman is the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band the High Strung. He lives in Ferndale, Michigan.

His novel BIRD BOX came out in May 2014.

Pick Me: Pick our next reads....

We need a little help picking our next reads. We are both in the middle of some reads... but I am always stuck on what to read next. 

 I will have there catagories.... ARC... Shelf Book... and Audio.... 

Ash will just have New Read and Shelf Read 

So let's start... 

Jenn's ARCs

Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows, #1)In Place of NeverBlackhearts

Jenn' Shelf Books

Nexis (Tricksters, #1)The Yearbook

Jenn's Audio 

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell Mystery, #1)This Raging LightDark Heart of Magic (Black Blade, #2)

Ash's choice 

Insanity (Mad in Wonderland) (Insanity #1)Broken Dolls (Broken Dolls, #1)Don't Eat The Glowing Bananas
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Review: The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

The Mystery of Hollow PlacesTitle:  The Mystery of Hollow Places 
Author:  Rebecca Podos
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Publishing Date: January 26th 2016
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/Mystery
Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC 
All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It's the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn't come back. Neither Imogene's stepmother nor the police know where he could've gone, but Imogene is convinced he's looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she's gleaned from a lifetime of her father's books to track down a woman she's never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she's carried with her for her entire life.

Rebecca Podos' debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us - the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.

This book caught my attention right away and I knew I wanted to read it. I love a good mystery. This one sounded emotional and good. and it was. A very enjoyable read. I liked the story, I liked the mystery, I liked liked the characters, and I liked all the stuff in between.  This  read was good at fulfilling the mystery lover in me and the realistic fiction lover in me. 

Imogene Scott lives with her father and her stepmother. Her mother disappeared when she was really young. She knows two things. Her father loved her mother and her father loves her. The day that her father turns up missing is the day her world gets turned upside down. Imogene will have none of this. She will not settle for a missing father and knows he wouldn't just get up and leave her for no reason. She starts to unravel clues to when he is and follows the trails. She gets more than what she bargained for of course. And that is when it gets emotional. 

I enjoyed this read. It was good for the mystery and for the realistic fiction. I really liked Imogene and she wasn't hard to connect to at all. She was the only character I connected to but the story was more about her growth and her discoveries. So I was okay with this. All the other characters were kind of off in the background as noise. 

Imogene was a pretty strong character but not a very emotionally sound person to me. She knew what she wanted but did not know how to deal with her discoveries. She didn't want change in her life or to accept that her life was anything other than what she always saw on the surface. She buried things. That is how she dealt. In looking for her father she discovered there were many things she needed to come to terms with and deal with. Of course it didn't really happen until the end. 

The other character that I liked was her stepmother. Now I didn't realize this until the end of the book, because I saw everything through  Imogene's eyes and she didn't really like her stepmother. She didn't dislike her... she was just there on Imogene's life and she accepted that. In the end though... she turned out pretty okay. 

The story was really easy to read. It was almost too easy at times. It felt more of a story for a younger teen in the writing but maybe not in the content. The mystery kept me wanting to read more. I knew where it would end up but didn't. I knew she would eventually find her mother or her father or both but didn't know how she would find them or if all would be right when she found them. It kept the pages turning. 

The only issue I really had with the book was the ending was wrapped up just a little to pretty for me. That is why I mentioned it felt like it was written for a younger crowed. A little to happy of an ending for the kind of emotional book it was. However this did not take away from the enjoyment of the book.I just think it didn't have as much of a punch in the end. 

I liked it. I read it quickly and ended it with a feel good feeling. I enjoyed it truly.

Rebecca Podos' debut YA novel, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, is forthcoming from Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins) on 1/26/16. A graduate of the Writing, Literature and Publishing program at Emerson College where she won the M.F.A. Award for Best Thesis, her fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, Glyph, CAJE, Paper Darts, Bellows American Review, and Smokelong Quarterly. Past Awards include the Helman Award for Short Fiction, the David Dornstein Memorial Creative Writing Prize for Young Adult Writers, and the Hillerman-McGarrity Scholarship for Creative Writing. She works as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Delightful Discoveries: Fantasy

Delightful Discoveries are books that I have discovered recently... old, new, just released... from blogs, Goodreads, libraries, friends, or bookstores. 

And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga, #1)
And I Darken bt Kiersten White

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

The Marked Girl (Marked Girl, #1)
The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingle

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Los Angeles)…
When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends (including his betrothed, Kat) find themselves stranded in modern-day L.A. via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home to Caelum—soon. Then they meet Liv, a filmmaker foster girl who just wants to get out of the system and on with her life. As she and Cedric bond, they’ll discover that she’s more connected to his world than they ever could’ve imagined…and that finding home is no easy task…
Worlds collide in The Marked Girl, an exciting fantasy tale turned upside down. 

Ivory and Bone
Ivory andBone by Julie Eshbaugh

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms, #1)
Ever The Hunted by Erin Summerill

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

Riders (Riders, #1)
Riders by Veronica Rossi

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen--Conquest, Famine, and Death--are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now--bound, bloodied, and drugged--Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for--not to mention all of humankind--he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

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