The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp #BookReview #Horror

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Title: The Last Days of Jack Sparks
Author: Jason Arnopp
Series: N/A
Format: Digital ARC, 336 pages
Publication Details: July 28th 2016 by Orbit (first published March 3rd)
Genre(s): Horror; Supernatural
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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Jack Sparks died while writing this book. This is the account of his final days.

In 2014, Jack Sparks – the controversial pop culture journalist – died in mysterious circumstances.

To his fans, Jack was a fearless rebel; to his detractors, he was a talentless hack. Either way, his death came as a shock to everyone.

It was no secret that Jack had been researching the occult for his new book. He’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed in rural Italy.

Then there was that video: thirty-six seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now. This book, compiled from the files found after his death, reveals the chilling details of Jack’s final hours.
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Review

The Last Days of Jack Sparks is a book of many things. It’s part horror, part mystery, part thriller, and it’s hilarious in a deliciously, dark manner. 

Jack Sparks is a famous (or perhaps more infamous than anything) journalist. His ego is as huge as his reputation and he’s the perfect anti-hero.

Jack has a lot of crazed followers but even more haters. When he announces on Twitter that his new book will be ‘Jack Sparks on the Supernatural’, the reaction goes viral. His fellow atheists and believers in science are outraged…because what does a devout atheist have to say about something so ridiculous? And the believers out there are outraged because who is he to investigate something he can’t even let himself believe. 

Of course, being an egotistical glory-hunter and fame-seeker, this only spurs Jack on. His first big mistake is attending an exorcism in the middle of which he breaks into laughter. Then a mysterious video appears on his own YouTube channel which he has no idea how it got there. The video is hella eerie and appears to show a genuine, very pissed off ghost. This time Jack can’t ignore it, but investigating it will be his ultimate downfall.

I absolutely loved this book. Jack reminded me a lot of Mystery Man from Colin Bateman’s novels of the same name. He is a lovable rogue. He is completely hopeless but you can’t help but root for him. It made me laugh how he rationalised everything he saw. No matter how bad the ghost/poltergeist/possession -whatever you want to call it- got, he always had an answer. But deep down, Jack Sparks knows differently. 

I’m loathed to give more of the plot away as I don’t want to ruin it, but believe me when I say that Jack Sparks… is about a lot more than an atheist exposing supernatural phenomenon.

For the most part, I found this book riveting. It made me LOL in one breath and recoil from creepiness in the next. I also adored the relationship between Jack and his room-mate Bex, and finally realising how unreliable Jack is as a narrator. 

Most of all, I think the way this story was written is genius. The majority of it is made up of Jack’s manuscript which he was typing as he went, up to moments before he died. It even includes notes to his editor which are also hilarious. He’s such a dick!😉

The rest, which is where we can compare ‘truths’ is made up of Jack’s brother’s commentary, email exchanges and Jack’s confession at the end. This style had the potential to go so wrong, and I’ve hated the use of emails and texts in books before, but here I thought it extremely clever.

I originally rated this as 4/5, but in writing this review I can’t think of one negative thing to say about it. So have ALL THE UNICORNS, JACK SPARKS. 

unicorn rating

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Book Blitz: Mirror Image #BookPromo

Welcome to another book promo on Lipsyy Lost & Found. The wonderful Xpresso book tours have arranged the blitz and giveaway for this new chilling thriller. Check them out if you haven’t already, and keep reading to find out how to win a signed book and a $10 Amazon Gift card.

Mirror Image by Michele Pariza Wacek


Publication date: May 27th 2016
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Which would be worse, knowing that your dead sister has come back to life and is now a serial killer or that someone else is the killer….and that person is you?

Six months after Linda’s sister Elizabeth killed herself, Linda has finally gotten her life back to some semblance of normalcy. Until a killer appears who is stalking men … a killer who resembles Elizabeth … a killer who seems somehow familiar to Linda.

And, to make matters worse, Steve, her old high school crush and now a detective, is assigned to this case. He’s asking Linda all sorts of questions, questions Linda couldn’t possibly have an answer to.

There’s no reason for him to be investigating Linda. She couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this.

Could she?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

hen Elizabeth was born, her mother knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the hospital had made a mistake.

It had been a difficult pregnancy. Marie spent most of it in bed, nauseated, uncomfortable, exhausted. She barely kept anything down, subsisting mostly on tea and saltine crackers. When the time came to deliver, the doctors performed an emergency Caesarean section, so she wasn’t able to actually watch the birth.

She couldn’t explain it, but the first time the nurses presented her with Elizabeth, she refused to even hold the baby. “There must be some mistake,” she insisted.

“There’s no mistake,” the nurses said, their approach firm and no-nonsense.

Blond and pale, Elizabeth looked nothing like the other dark haired members of the family. But it was more than that. Elizabeth felt wrong. Marie sensed it every single time she looked at Elizabeth, touched Elizabeth, smelled Elizabeth. The baby was alien to her. Elizabeth was not her baby.

But she could do nothing about it. Her husband hadn’t seen the birth. He had refused to attend any of his children’s births. The nurses kept assuring her that no one had made, could possibly have made, a mistake. So Marie had little choice but to bring her home.

Elizabeth was different, always — strange. Marie hated to use that word about any of her children, especially her youngest, but she could find no other word to describe her. Elizabeth was strange. Period.

From birth, the baby kept quiet. Rarely fussed. Hardly cried. She started talking at six months, much earlier than the rest of her children, and started forming full sentences at just over a year old.

She spent most of her time alone or, once she learned how, reading. In fact, Elizabeth remained such a quiet child, Marie could easily forget about her. It made her nervous. Elizabeth was too quiet.

Even her scent was all wrong. Babies smelled warm and sweet, of milk and talcum powder. Elizabeth’s scent reminded her of meat just beginning to

spoil: thick and rotten.

But there was something else wrong with Elizabeth, something more serious than her near silence, her behavior, her scent. Even more serious than that alien feeling, which Marie had tried to dismiss as simple post-partum depression, although it never did go away entirely.

When Marie was really being honest with herself, which didn’t happen often, she could admit what really disturbed her most about her daughter.

Her eyes. Elizabeth had silver eyes.

Not always. Most of the time they looked gray. But sometimes, they changed to silver. Occasionally, Marie even thought she could see them glowing, like a cat’s. Especially at night. There Elizabeth would be, lying on her back, perfectly quiet in her crib, her eyes strangely open, shining faintly in the darkness. Marie would tell herself that Elizabeth’s eyes merely reflected the nightlight in a bizarre fashion. After all, none of her other children’s eyes ever glowed. But it still didn’t make her any easier to face, late at night, as silver eyes stared at her from the darkness. They seemed so old, so ancient. Eyes that had seen thousands of years and hundreds of lifetimes. Those eyes peered out from her newborn’s face, watching her every move, strangely calculating, full of adult understanding and knowledge. She felt afraid, if she were being honest … all alone in the room with those peculiar silver eyes watching, watching, always watching.

Nonsense, she reassured herself. Surely, she could not be afraid of her own infant daughter! What would her husband say? Plenty probably, and most of it with his fists.

Still, she found herself checking on Elizabeth less and less. She argued with herself: Elizabeth didn’t fuss much anyway. Marie didn’t need to check on her so often — not like she did with her other, noisy, “normal” babies.

Her other children. Such a joy they were, her four boys and other girl — Peter, Mark, Mike, Chad and Linda. All healthy, regular children, with coarse dark hair, brown eyes and a little bit of baby fat on their bones. They looked the way children should look, the way her children should look, like their parents. But more importantly, they acted the way children should act — loud, boisterous, rough, needy. Marie loved them for it, loved how she couldn’t get a moment’s peace when they played together. Even when their play turned to fighting, she still preferred it to Elizabeth’s silent, eerie presence.

But Marie loved Elizabeth, too. Loved her fiercely, with the same passion she felt for her other children. Marie knew she did. She told herself she did, time and time again. The fact that she felt relief when Elizabeth wasn’t around meant nothing. She just needed time away from her children, after all. Almost all mothers welcomed the time they had away from their constant, children-related responsibilities. It didn’t mean she loved them any less. It didn’t mean anything at all.

Meet the Author

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly.

As you can imagine, writing has been a driving passion throughout her life. She became a professional copywriter (which is writing promotional materials for businesses), which led to her founding a copywriting and marketing company that serves clients all over the world.

Along with being a copywriter, she also writes novels (in fact, she just published her first novel, a psychological thriller/suspense/mystery called “The Stolen Twin” and her second novel “Mirror Image'” is set to be published in May 2016) plus, she is also the author of the “Love-Based Copy” books, which are a part of the “Love-Based Business” series and cover both business and personal development.

She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and her border collie Nick and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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This Week in Books #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week. 

After a couple of weeks where pesky real life busy-ness formed a black cloud over my blog, I’m pleased to feel back in control! Here’s to business as usual… I hope (although I am away this weekend – Doh)!

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Now: The War Against the Assholes ~ Sam Munson

I’ve only just started this so nothing to report yet. I love the sound of it though.

Then: Glass Sword ~ Victoria Aveyard

I found this really slow-going at the beginning and I thought I would never get into it, but then it all changed and I couldn’t stop reading. I didn’t find Mare as annoying as others seems to have either… My review will be up next week sometime. 

Next: ??? 

Probably Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by H.P Wood as that’s my next ARC in the queue.

New on the Shelves

Borrowed: I borrowed these from my friend Dora…

Save me, Kurt Cobain

2016debuts6What if you discovered that Kurt Cobain is not only alive, but might be your real father?

Nico Cavan has been adrift since her mother vanished when she was four—maternal abandonment isn’t exactly something you can just get over. Staying invisible at school is how she copes—that and listening to alt music and summoning spirits on the Ouija board with her best friend and co-conspirator in sarcasm, Obe. But when a chance discovery opens a window onto her mom’s wild past, it sparks an idea in her brain that takes hold and won’t let go.

On a ferry departing Seattle, Nico encounters a slight blond guy with piercing blue eyes wearing a hooded jacket. Something in her heart tells her that this feeling she has might actually be the truth, so she follows him to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. When she is stranded there by a winter storm, fear and darkness collide, and the only one who can save Nico might just be herself.

Chelsea Horror Hotel

chelseahhDee Dee Ramone doesn’t quite know what he’s getting himself into when he and his wife Barbara move into the squalid Chelsea Hotel with their dog Banfield. He spends most of his time trying to score drugs and walking Banfield, with whom he can magically communicate. Meanwhile, he can’t stand his neighbors and shies away from violence, but wishes everyone were six feet under. He also thinks that the room he’s staying in is the very room where his old friend Sid Vicious stabbed Nancy Spungen, and begins having nightmares of Nancy emerging from the bathroom with a knife wound.

After one of his nightmares, an evil force enters his hotel room and hurls him against a wall. Dee Dee also gets involved with the transvestite lover of one of his gay fellow addicts. When his wife finds out, the two fight it out and become seriously wounded. During all this, Dee Dee is tormented by the living and dead demons that plague the hotel, along with the ghosts of his old dead punk rock friends Sid Vicious, Johnny Thunders and Stiv Bators. And that’s when the Devil himself decides to join the party…

Waiting on Wednesday

(linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Pinborough’s award-winning 2009 novella gets a re-release this August. I’ve been meaning to try more of her stuff for a while so I’d like to give this one a go.

langofdying In this emotionally gripping, genre-defying novella from Sarah Pinborough, a woman sits at her father’s bedside, watching the clock tick away the last hours of his life. Her brothers and sisters–she is the middle child of five–have all turned up over the past week to pay their last respects. Each is traumatized in his or her own way, and the bonds that unite them to each other are fragile–as fragile perhaps as the old man’s health.

With her siblings all gone, back to their self-obsessed lives, she is now alone with the faltering wreck of her father’s cancer-ridden body. It is always at times like this when it–the dark and nameless, the impossible, presence that lingers along the fringes of the dark fields beyond the house–comes calling.

As the clock ticks away in the darkness, she can only wait for it to find her, a reunion she both dreads and aches for…

  

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you’re joining in leave the link to your answers in the comments so everyone can take a look:)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Changed My Mind About #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is…Ten Five Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

What an interesting topic this week! I don’t know how easy it’s going to be though. I guess as bloggers, it’s quite easy to rate a book ‘wrongly’ because we don’t often have time to let our feelings about them sit and fester.

Sometimes when I read old reviews I wonder why I gave such generous or harsh ratings. I think it also takes time to realise which books will have a lasting impression or impact on you. Some of the books I’ve wanted to throw out the window have become my favourites simply because I can’t stop thinking about them!

So with that in mind, I’ve gone over some reviews and re-rated those in the most need. 

1. Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory

netg2 With the looming shadow of Edgar Allan Poe falling over one family, Gregory takes the reader into a world of uncertainty and fear.

Oliver Gooch comes across a tooth, in a velvet box, with a handwritten note from 1888 to say it’s a tooth from the boy Edgar Allan Poe. He displays it in his new bookshop, and names the store Poe’s Tooth Books.

Oliver took the money from his small daughter Chloe’s accident insurance and bought a converted church to live in with his altered child and wife. Rosie hopes Chloe will came back to herself but Oliver is secretly relieved to have this new easy-to-manage child, and holds at bay the guilt that the accident was a result of his negligence. On a freezing night he and Chloe come across the crow, a raggedy skeletal wretch of a bird, and it refuses to leave. It infiltrates their lives, it alters Oliver’s relationship with Rosie, it changes Chloe. It’s a dangerous presence in the firelit, shadowy old vestry, in Poe’s Tooth Books.

Inexorably the family, the tooth, the crow, the church and their story will draw to a terrifying climax.

Original Rating: 3/5

New Rating: 4/5

Wakening the Crow was a strange, disturbing read and at the time I wasn’t sure how much I enjoyed it. But two years on and I still think about this book and I still want to own a bookshop in a creepy church despite all that happened in Oliver Gooch’s. I’d love to reread it so I think it definitely deserves another unicorn.

Read my original review here

2. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

sept1She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king’s assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Timesbestselling Crown of Midnight.

Original Rating: 4/5

New Rating: 3/5

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with this series. I finished this book on a high which is perhaps what possessed me to give it 4/5, but in hindsight I don’t think I really enjoyed it that much. I remember skipping whole passages because I was bored and it took me ages to read. I’ve also had no motivation to pick up Queen of Shadows and haven’t even bought a copy, which speaks volumes to me. 

It would be nice to complete the series, but right now I’m not sure if I will. Consider yourself demoted, Celaena. 

Review

3. Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

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 Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something’s got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe–until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

Original Rating: 3/5

New Rating: 4/5

At the time I described the beginning of this book as dire but by the end I really liked it, and now all I can remember is how hot Reyn was. I was taking a load of books to the charity shop last month and put this one in the pile, but then I felt compelled to take it out again. I just couldn’t part with it! Probably because I still wanted Reyn in my life and decided there and then that I need to read the next book.

So that’s why I think it deserves another unicorn, bad beginning or not!

Review

4. The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy

This time, the bad guys take the stage.

Tanith Low, now possessed by a remnant, recruits a gang of villains – many of whom will be familiar from previous Skulduggery adventures – in order to track down and steal the four God-Killer level weapons that could hurt Darquesse when she eventually emerges. Also on the trail of the weapons is a secret group of Sanctuary sorcerers, and doing his best to keep up and keep Tanith alive is one Mister Ghastly Bespoke.

When the villains around her are lying and scheming and plotting, Tanith needs to stay two steps ahead of her teammates and her enemies. After all, she’s got her own double-crosses to plan – and she’s a villain herself…

Original Rating: 4/5

New Rating: 2/5

Even in my original review I wasn’t sure why I rated this companion to the Skulduggery Pleasant series so high. I remember nothing about the book, only the feeling that I didn’t enjoy it. I’ve had book #10 of the original series sitting on my shelf for over two years and I haven’t wanted to pick it up. I’m pretty sure that’s because this book has subconsciously put me off which is a huge shame because I was loving the series before this. Sure, they were getting a little samey but I definitely wanted to finish the series. 

I’m really going to make the effort to forget about this little blip and finish the proper books in the series. 

Review

5. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

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In a darkened room a young man sits telling the macabre and eerie story of his life – the story of a vampire, gifted with eternal life, cursed with an exquisite craving for human blood.

Original Rating: 3/5

New Rating: 4.5

I’ve read this book at least 3 times so I have no idea why I’ve only given it 3/5 on Goodreads. I haven’t read it since having my blog so I don’t have a review to check. I guess I’ll just have to reread it to be sure…😉

 

That’s all I’ve got this week. Do you have any books you’d like to re-rate?

 

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan #OutSoon #YABookReview

 

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Title:
 You Know Me Well
Author: Nina LaCour & David Levithan
Series: n/a
Format: Digital ARC, 256 pages
Publication Details: June 2nd 2016 by Macmillan Children’s Books
Genre(s): Contemporary YA; LGBT;
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour, the award-winning author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments, and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

Review

You Know Me Well is a story of unexpected friendship, unrequited love and putting yourself out there set amongst the glittering backdrop of San Francisco’s Pride week.

Mark is secretly in love with his best friend Ryan. They fool around now and again but never discuss their feelings. The main problem is that Ryan hasn’t decided who he is yet and is definitely not ready to come out, but even if he was ready, would Mark be the one for him?

Katie is changing. She wants to be called Kate but her friends can’t get used to it. She’s not sure if she even likes her friends any more. Kate’s obsessed with a girl that she’s never met but is about to be set up with. The main problem here is that when things get difficult, Kate’s anxieties kick in and she runs away, literally. Can she get over her fears and stick around for long enough to meet her soul mate?

On one crazy night out Mark and Kate meet, and they understand each other perfectly. Their bond is instant and powerful. And they come to help each other realise their dreams, and get through their first, scary venture into love. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was a super-fast read that captures the excitement and turmoil of first love and unbreakable friendships perfectly. 

Like in Nick & Norah and Dash & Lily, David Levithan faultlessly embodies the ugly-beauty of being a teenager in love. He does it so well, and all of his previous collaboration books have worked for me. Nina LaCour is new to me, but her chapters marry with Levithan’s seamlessly. 

I was initially worried about the ‘instafriendship’ element of this story, but it didn’t bother me at all. Kate and Mark just worked, and I think that’s actually what makes it realistic. For me, making friends was never as easy as it was during my teenage years, so it gave the book a real nostalgic feel. Levithan’s books always manage to do that for me!

You Know Me Well was a fun yet poignant read with realistic LGBTQ characters; a wonderful celebration of diversity and friendship. 

unicorn rating 4

You Know me Well is available to pre-order now. 

We Need to Talk About… promoting books to teens #Discussion

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We Need to Talk About…is my new discussion post where I ask the blogosphere (that’s you guys) for opinions/advice/rants on anything from ‘how do some bloggers read so many books?’ to ‘how do you rate books?’. 

This week I want your thoughts on teen magazines and why they don’t seem to have book review sections…

A few weeks ago I was in my local large newsagents and decided to have a look through the teen magazines to see if any of them featured book reviews, and I didn’t find one. I was completely shocked! Sure, some of them promote good body image and safe sex practices which is good, but not one of them promoted reading. Considering how huge the YA market is, that really confuses me.

Many of you will know by now that I work in a prison library. Part of my job is to promote reading to reluctant readers and I get to see first-hand the undeniably strong links between crime and illiteracy. So many of the guys in prison that can read, read only non-fiction and when I ask them why they don’t like fiction, the general consensus is because ‘it’s not real’, ‘too unbelievable’ and they ‘can’t follow it’. I wonder why they’ve never enjoyed a good fiction book and why they can’t see what a great escape (pun intended) from prison life it could be. 

There seems to be a lot of focus on reading to babies and children which is vital too, but where do teens get their love of reading from if it hasn’t already been passed on? I’m not knocking schools at all, but I never wanted to read anything the school set me, and reading definitely wasn’t seen as cool. I went through a good few years of not reading because I thought my friends would think I was sad or a geek or whatever. 

One thing sticks in my mind though. I remember that one of the popular girl magazines that me and my friends read religiously often had a free book attached. I still have my copy of Secret Vampire by L.J Smith from that. And that one little freebie made reading cool again. 

Looking at today’s teen (11+) magazines, it saddens me that they don’t seem to promote all the amazing things going on in the YA book industry. 

Is it simply because the internet has taken over and is a better place to promote reading and bring fangirls (and boys!) together? Or are magazines missing a trick here? Maybe they think reading isn’t cool but endless make-up ads are. It’s sad if that’s all that sells. 

What do you think? Should books be featured in teen magazines more? Or do you think they are and I’ve just not seen the right ones? Do any of you write YA reviews for magazines?

Fellside by M.R Carey #BookReview #Horror

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I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

 

fellsideTitle: Fellside
Author: M.R Carey
Series: N/A
Format: Hardback, 496 pages
Publication Details: April 5th 2016 by Orbit
Genre(s): Horror (Supernatural); Mystery
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!

Goodreads 

bookdepo

Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It’s not the kind of place you’d want to end up. But it’s where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.

It’s a place where even the walls whisper.

And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess.

Will she listen?

Review

Not only did I really enjoy The Girl With All the Gifts, but Mike Carey visited the prison I work in to help us celebrate World Book Night so I was hoping I would LOVE this book. Unfortunately, I can’t quite say that, but I definitely didn’t hate it!

Fellside started off great. Jess is a heroin addict who burnt down her flat, killing a little boy in the process and in turn is sent to Fellside prison. The prison – a scary enough prospect as it is – also appears to be haunted, and the little boy Alex is never far from Jess’ side. 

This was one of those books that I had no idea where it was going – which I love. It never felt like it was just about Jess’ time in prison, or about it being haunted, it was something different altogether. But as exciting as that was, I felt I was being constantly let down by the direction it took.

I loved the eerie parts of the story, such as Alex taking Jess through the other prisoner’s dreams; the dreamscape thing on the whole was a really interesting concept and described perfectly by Carey.

But then there was this whole prison drug dealing storyline with corrupt officers and scared doctors working with the prisoners for profit or sex and it just bored me. I don’t know if it’s because I work in a prison (and I’m sure to some extent these things do go on), but I didn’t find it interesting at all and didn’t think the story needed it. 

Also, Carey refers to prison officers as guards throughout which put me off slightly. I don’t know anywhere in the UK that uses that term. 

Overall, I think my main problem with this is that I didn’t like any of the characters. I did grow to like Jess more as it went on but it was too little too late.

I did enjoy the mystery though, and that’s what kept me reading. I needed to know who Alex was and whether Jess would get her appeal. 

I feel like Carey is turning into a new Stephen King for me. I enjoy his books a lot but something always lets them down, usually the ending. The same can be said here. I felt like the book should have ended much earlier than it did. No stone was left unturned, it just went on and on until everything was wrapped up a little too perfectly. I’m pretty sure I felt the same about TGWATG too. 

That said, I’m still really interested to see what he comes up with next, and it was lovely to meet him. I even got him to sign my copy.:)

unicorn rating 3

Fellside is available now in hardback, or paperback from the 25th August 2016

 

This Week in Books #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week. 

I’ve been mega busy this week so I’m keeping this one brief!

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Now: Glass Sword ~ Victoria Aveyard

I haven’t made a great deal of progress with this because I’ve been so busy, but so far, so good!

Then: The Last Days of Jack Sparks ~ Jake Arnopp

I loved this, it was insane! My review will be up on Monday.

Next: ??? 

I’m not sure. Hopefully another one from my physical TBR pile.

  

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you’re joining in leave the link to your answers in the comments so everyone can take a look:)

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Book Blitz: The Neverland Wars #BookPromo #Giveaway

Welcome to another book promo on Lipsyy Lost & Found. The wonderful Xpresso book tours have arranged the blitz and giveaway for this new Peter Pan retelling. Check them out if you haven’t already.

The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse

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Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: May 9th 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Young Adult

Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.

Goodreads // Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Smashwords

Excerpt

A chill crept down Gwen’s spine, and her eyes could not refocus fast enough. She clutched fistfuls of Rosemary’s quilt, instinctively preparing to throw herself under it if there was a monster lurking in the dark. Gwen wasn’t afraid in the normal sense of the term, but her heart raced as she noticed the boy sitting on the rocking chair in the corner of the room.

The chair rocked with a squeak as he stood up from it. Walking slowly toward the window, he came into view as he entered the moonlight. He stared at Gwen, and she stared back.

His eyes were steady in their intensity, but impish in all other manners. They impulsively surveyed the room, never lingering on any particular aspect of it, but always coming back to Gwen. A vine of ivy was wrapped around his waist and strewn across his shoulder like a belt and sash, just barely holding his tattered shirt and shorts to him. His clothes seemed held together with bits of twine and magic. He moved fluidly in his own skin. Gwen wasn’t even conscious of how much she envied his playful motion. Even with his gangly, broad shoulders, he stood tall with a childish sense of confidence.

Gwen wasn’t sure, but he looked like a freshman. He couldn’t have been younger than fourteen.

He wore hemp bracelets and braided jewelry around his wrists; pine-cone chips and wooden beads were woven into his necklace. They jangled as he walked.

“This is your sister?” he asked, his question seemed rudely incredulous. “Hollyhock, let me see her.”

Before Gwen could make sense of this remark, an exploding light burst from an inexplicable place in the darkness. Gwen was disoriented when the light came so quickly at her. Circling up around her, the golden light left a trail of fast dissolving glitter that rained down on her. What little of it touched her glowed faintly on her skin before disappearing. It felt like a pins-and-needles numbness in the best possible way.

The bright light that radiated from Hollyhock’s little body half-blinded Gwen in the otherwise dark room, but Hollyhock flitted in front of her, and Gwen caught a glimpse of the creature. Her eyes were unusually wide, and her massive irises were an otherworldly color for which Gwen had no name. Her ittybitty lips and nose were hardly there at all, but her sunny hair was pulled back in two long, dangling braids. Her limbs were like twigs, and she wore a leaf draped over her like a tunic. Gwen didn’t need to be told that she was looking at a fairy.

“Huh,” he responded, sitting down on the hardwood floor of Rosemary’s room. “You said your sister was a kid.”

“She is, Peter!” Rosemary defended. “I told you—she’s a big kid.”

Finally addressing her properly, Peter spoke to Gwen in a condescending tone. “I expected you to be younger.”

“As did I of you,” Gwen curtly returned.

Peter, the young man, shrugged with his eyebrows and looked away, indicating that he was not going to bother engaging a hostile girl.

Gwen didn’t care. She couldn’t have cared. While Hollyhock played in the fish mobile above the bed like an aquatic merry-go-round, Gwen clutched Rosemary close to her. “Rosemary, we were so worried! Thank God you came back.”

“I had to come back, Gwenny,” Rosemary told her. “I had to come back for you.” Hollyhock, tiring of the mobile, zipped back down and buried herself in Rosemary’s hair, poking her head out of it and trying to part it like curtains. Rosemary giggled, taking Gwen’s hand. “Let’s go.”

“Whoa, wait, no.” Gwen grabbed hold of Rosemary’s arm. “We’re not going anywhere. Mom and Dad are worried about you. The cops were here… You can’t go—where?”

Hollyhock, on Rosemary’s shoulder, said something that sounded like a sneeze and a hum. Rosemary translated the one word she had already learned in the fairy tongue. “Neverland.”

Meet the Author

audeyAudrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual and footloose quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University’s online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot. You can find her at audreygreathouse.com

Facebook // Goodreads // Twitter

GIVEAWAY!

Enter the Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL) and you could win a Clean Teen Mystery Box

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Huge thanks to the author/publisher and Xpresso Book Tours. 


Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here

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This Week in Books #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week. 

Hope you guys are all having a good week. Here’s what I’ve been doing since last week…

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Now: The Last Days of Jack Sparks ~ Jake Arnopp // Glass Sword ~ Victoria Aveyard

I didn’t mean to start Jack Sparks yet but I finished You Know Me Well quicker than expected and I was stranded on a long bus journey with only my Kindle – you know how it is. Anyway, as much as I wanted to read Glass Sword, I’m a bit hooked on it at the mo, so I’m attempting to reading both.

Then: You Know Me Well~ David Levithan & Nina LaCour

This was really cute. My review will be up a bit nearer to the release date which is June 7th.

Next: ??? 

I’m not sure this time. Hopefully another one from my physical TBR pile.

New on the Shelves

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves)

 

Bought: I haven’t bought any books this week.

From Netgalley: 

The War Against the Assholes ~ Sam Munson

waragainstMike Wood is a teenager at a decidedly unprestigious Catholic school in Manhattan, accustomed to solving problems using brawn rather than brains.

One day, his nerdy classmate Hob Callahan persuades him to read a mysterious old book of unknown authorship, The Calendar of Slights. On the face of things, the book is a guide to performing clever card tricks; but in fact, it is a test for recruiting new members to join a secret cell of radical magicians.

Amazingly, Mike passes with flying colours unlocking not only his potential magic powers – but also the door to New York City’s vast and hidden underground network of warlocks, sorcerers and mages.

Here, with Hob as his unlikely guide, Mike’s role as a steadfast soldier begins. For there is a war being waged. A war between rivaling factions of magicians that has spanned the ages. A clandestine war against the establishment: a war against The Assholes.

  

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you’re joining in leave the link to your answers in the comments so everyone can take a look:)