Sep 28, 2020

ARC Review--Eventide by Sarah Goodman

"Eventide is an evocative YA historical fantasy thriller by debut author Sarah Goodman, for fans of Jennifer Donnelly and Libba Bray.

MADNESS, SECRETS, AND LIES

Wheeler, Arkansas, 1907

When their father descends into madness after the death of their mother, Verity Pruitt and her little sister Lilah find themselves on an orphan train to rural Arkansas.

In Wheeler, eleven-year-old Lilah is quickly adopted, but seventeen-year-old Verity is not. Desperate to stay close to her sister, Verity indentures herself as a farmhand. But even charming farm boy Abel Atchley can’t completely distract her from the sense that something is not quite right in this little town. Strange local superstitions abound, especially about the eerie old well at the center of the forest. The woods play tricks, unleashing heavy fog and bone-chilling cold…and sometimes visions of things that aren’t there.

But for Verity, perhaps most unsettling of all is the revelation that her own parents have a scandalous history in this very town. And as she tries to unearth the past, sinister secrets come with it—secrets that someone will go to violent lengths to protect….

A haunting tale of long-buried secrets, small-town scandal, and single-minded vengeance by talented debut novelist Sarah Goodman."

 

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

 

Sarah Goodman's debut Eventide had the looks of creepy and sinister ghost story set in the past. While the tale was a bit eerie it wasn't as creepy as I had hoped, but it still made for an intriguing tale of magic and lore with a bit of weirdness on the side.

Verity and her younger sister, Lilah, start their journey on a train to Wheeler, Arkansas where they are to be taken up for adoption. Their father had just been admitted to the asylum, his mind hasn't been right since their mother died a few years ago. Verity is just months away from being legally able to look after her sister on her own, so she sees this as a temporary setback from her goals of going back to New York and studying medicine.

Except Lilah is taken by a young woman, Miss Maeve, who can only adopt one child. If Verity wants to stay in town to be close to her sister, she'll have to be picked up by another set of adults wanting a child. She ends up taking a job at a farm in order to stay in Wheeler. It's not until a little while later that she gets the warning to never enter the woods, always stay on the path that goes around it. There's a strange and eerie presence in the woods, Verity can sense it, but she writes it off in her most logical way.

Life continues to go on for Verity in a mundane fashion. The other farmhand, Abel, of course plays a love interest for Verity. Though they have a certain chemistry brewing between them, he's apparently spoken for by another young woman. It's a bit of a gossip mill in the small town!

Sometime later, Verity starts to get a suspicion that Miss Maeve might not be the best person to care for Lilah. Verity thinks there's something dark and almost, sinister about the schoolteacher and she's determine to do whatever it takes to get her sister back safe and sound.

From the way the cover looks, I was anticipating a creepy and ghostly story, but yet, that's not exactly what we got. There's definitely an eerie vibe going on in this story, but the answers are usually slower to come. Which is to be expected, I guess I was just hoping to see more ghostly apparitions or something. 

As far as the romance goes it's not all there all the time. We have that budding romance brewing between Abel and Verity, yet there's still great strides that stand between them and there will be unimaginable obstacles they will have to overcome without realizing what they are facing. Vague enough? Hopefully. Lol.

The end had quite the twist! Though I will admit, I was hoping that one part to it was going to be more fruitful, I guess you could say. It just seemed like there was too much "happy" to the ending, though it was borderline melancholy. I just wasn't happy with where all the players ended up, let's say that! But if you're looking for a nice eerie read that's light on the scary this Halloween you might just enjoy Eventide!


Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars


Eventide releases October 6, 2020






It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.

 

Last Week I Read:

Eventide by Sarah Goodman (ARC)--Review to come later today!
Possession by M. Verano (5 stars)
Book of Shadows by M. Verano (4.5 stars)
 


Currently Reading:

The Merciless II by Danielle Vega


What I Plan to Read Next:

The Merciless III by Danielle Vega


Other Posts of Interest:

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Waiting on Wednesday

Random Thursday 

Book Blogger Hop

Rachel Caine Contest Winner! 

Stacking the Shelves

 

 

 


 

Sep 27, 2020

Stacking the Shelves

 

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

 

I don't know about you guys, but this week just felt extra long. Doesn't help me when work is starting to get slow. I'm going to be doing some training for the next few days starting Monday. So hopefully that will provide fruitful. In other news, I am have the damnedest time trying to find some Halloween merch! Firstly, it truly looks like Target will not be putting out any adorable miniature erasers! I don't know about your guys, but I kind of just like collecting them! Lol. But I guess COVID has had an impact on Target's eraser industry because they have not had any! On top of that, I keep looking for a cute little Halloween Ghost Succulent thingy-mo-bob, but literally NO Target in my area has it! They either say SOLD OUT or NOT SOLD AT THIS STORE! I took a peek at eBay, which I do in times of desperation, and naturally saw someone selling a set of 3 succulents for $60!! SIXTY DOLLARS on 3 succulents that add up to $9! NINE!! That's highway robbery right there I tell you! Add to that I cannot find a Halloween tote at my usual stores. I knew last year or the year before that I should've bought an extra one, but noooo, I thought the store would keep getting them! And they haven't yet!

I know I'm getting ahead of myself, that this is still September, shockingly. But I am a planner. I like to be ready and done for things before they really get close to starting. I mean, if you've ever seen me pack for a trip, especially a bookish trip, I start like 2 weeks in advance by making multiple lists of things I'll need, what bags they'll go in, etc etc. And yes, that's mainly when it comes to bookish trips that require the extra planning and meticulous packing! Lol! For non-bookish trips I'm making a list of clothes and such a week in advance!


But onto the haul, as I did just ramble a bit too much there! I did not buy a single book! I came close yesterday, but sadly the one and only copy on the shelf was so severely damaged I was not going to spend full cover price on that!

I did do something rash though...I requested another ARC for review and was accepted!

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer (ARC)
 
 
THANK YOU Bloomsbury YA!
 
 
 
Then I got a few other bookish goodies, like my Crush pre-order goodies:
 
I got a notepad, two bookmarks, two stickers, a bracelet, and the surprise item was an art print, which I decided to cover so if you are waiting on yours you can still be surprised too! 
 
 
 
Then...I fell back on old habits and bought another book sleeve! But it's Halloweenie!! And it's a mass market paperback size and I've only a few of those! I decided I wanted a variety, so I think I'm up to 4 of that size alone! So it's not an addiction in that particular size. LOL!
 
Thanks again for Fandomsleeves so aiding me in my addiction! Lol! I LOOOVE this size for my mass market paperbacks and have yet to find another shop that carries it or makes the sleeves with such great sturdy quality!
 
 
 
And then some time ago, but it's really hard to remember since shipping and processing times are slower because of COVID, I placed another order on ShopDisney! This is only half of it, the other half has not shipped which makes me nervous because the items were back and forth being on their site, then disappeared, then reappeared, then one disappeared. Just tell me that MINE are set aside and are awaiting being boxed or whatever! I ordered them as quickly as I could so it better not get canceled.
 
I know the Disney ornaments are not of high quality for their high price tag, but when I saw this one of the Beast giving Belle her library, I had to have it for that alone! The paint job isn't the best, but it's not terrible either, so it's a keeper! I love the details on the back even more because MORE BOOKS!


And then because my order was like $7 or so away from free shipping, I threw in this cute little Halloween pin! Granted now I see another one I really want, so I'm waiting for when one of the other items I'm eyeing "releases" and hopefully I can buy them then too!  



And that was it for me! What goodies did you get this week? Both bookish and non?










Sep 26, 2020

Rachel Caine Contest Winner!

 

Hey all! It's time to announce the winner of my Rachel Caine giveaway! One lucky winner gets to choose one of any Rachel Caine's books! And there's a lot to choose from!

And the lucky winner is...


Jeffrey C. Lowe!


Congrats Jeffrey! I'll be emailing the winner shortly and he'll have 48 hours to respond or else a new winner will be chosen.

Thanks again for entering guys! And if you haven't read any of Rachel's books yet, I highly recommend checking them out regardless! Her Weather Warden series is still my absolute favorite!





Sep 25, 2020

Review--Book of Shadows by M. Verano

All Melanie wants is a blank book to keep a journal of her private thoughts. One day while browsing in a used bookshop, she finds the perfect blank book—smooth black leather with strange symbols in gold embossing. But once she gets home, Melanie finds herself too intimidated by the heavy vellum pages to write her trivial thoughts on them. Her Wiccan friend Lara tells her it’s better suited to be a magical spell book, called The Book of Shadows.

Melanie doesn’t know much about that stuff, but Lara, her boyfriend Caleb, and his friend Lucas, get her started by writing their own made up spells inside the book’s tempting pages. What they didn’t expect was a new spell showing up inside the book—and in handwriting none of them recognize.

Soon they discover that the spells suggested by The Book of Shadows itself do work—but not without wreaking havoc on the lives of the four teenagers.

 

 

It seems we have reached the end of M. Verano’s Diary of a Haunting series with the last one titled, Book of Shadows. I’m sad that this series is over already. I found it to be utterly creepy, yet just the right kind of read for this time of year. In this one, we get more of the traditional diary sense in formatting. There’s a few drawings added, but no photographs or other pieces of “evidence.”

Melanie starts the story talking about how she acquired a new diary for herself from a local magic shop. Not the cutesy stores, but a real shop for Wiccans and the like. She didn’t get it by honest means though, she lifted it off the shelf and stuck it in her bag. Already I wasn’t too thrilled with Mel as a person, I mean shoplifting, really? But since this blank journal is so pretty and special, she wants to make sure she fills it with something meaningful. So her diary entries continue in a plain journal, I think it might have been an online version too.

When Mel’s Wiccan friend, Lara, gets the idea that she should write spells in it. She starts the journal with a spell for good luck. Joining them in this venture is Lara’s boyfriend Caleb, and his friend, Lucas. They think it’s all fun and games, just a joke, but they find out that the spell really works.

But that’s not the end of things, far from it. Soon Mel becomes consumed by this book. Constantly drawing in it and she’s not much of an artist for that matter. Yet she gets this urge just to draw these monstrous creatures in the book and sometimes, has no memory of even doing it.

Things start to escalate, naturally, as the powers that the quartet are messing with are not the nice kind and soon things ultimately take a turn for the worst.

I do want to give pre-warning right here that this book does bring up the topic of religion a lot. Not only with Wicca, but Christianity as well. And the latter it’s almost cult like. Mel and her friends live in part of the Bible Belt and nearly everyone in town belongs to one church, except for Mel of course. They’re almost zealots in their belief and preaching to anyone not in their church why they ought to be.

The horror in this story derives from the book Mel and her friends are toying with itself. It’s something demonic and with a mind of its own and what it does to its owner is unfathomable. There are a few shadows and things that Mel sees and can’t figure out what it is that just passed the corner of her eye. It’s definitely a book to make you jump at every little thing for sure.

I was once again a bit upset that the mysterious M. Verano did not make an appearance again like he did in the first book. Granted, he does tell us this story, in a way, with his foreword and editor’s note and how he came to be in knowledge of all that passed with Mel and her friends. I guess because he clearly had a role in the first book, I expected it would be something similar in these last two.

The ending was once again, spine-tingling chilling. Let’s remember that these are horror stories and those tend to end one of two ways. I won’t say which one of those this book took, but it was surprising nonetheless. I guess I still had hopes for just a bit more detail though and what Verano was going to do next with this knowledge.

I would easily pick up another of Verano’s books should he write another novel to terrify his readers. Book of Shadows will have you thinking long and hard about what journal you chose next for your thoughts. Choose wisely friends. ;)

 

 

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

 

 

 


 

 

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
 
 
This week's question is:  Do you have a pet peeve about books? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)
 
 
 
MY ANSWER: Well, that's kind of hard. In terms of writing techniques, there's lots of little nuisances that might depend on how they're executed. One author might do it in a way that won't bother me and another might drive me crazy with how they do the thing. I'm thinking in terms of character traits or something like that.

One thing I ABSOLUTELY HATE and is a HUGE pet peeve, is cover changes mid-series! That's my #1 no matter the author, the series, or how I felt about the previous cover! It drives me absolutely insane!! Because then in the very end...you basically have to wait until that final book you've waited years for to come out in paperback another year after its hardcover release to even contemplate having a matching set, but then it's not hardcover which makes me sadder. So then I basically end up having mismatching formats with matching covers. Because, yeah...like 90% of the time I end up buying the previous books just to have matching covers...if I love the author of course. Which 95% of the time I do! 

In this scenario, I'm still debating about what to do with Jennifer L. Armentrout's Origin series. LOOOOOVED the original covers, HAAAAATE this new cover look.










Sep 24, 2020

Random Thursday

Ready to learn more totally true facts that sound like the opposite? Lol. True Facts that Sound Like Bull$#*t by Shane Carley continues to be a quick and entertaining read! Let's continue our read through on Nature!



(image borrowed from Healthline)
We think tomatoes originated in Italy, because, you know PIZZA! But they are actually grown in South America!


I mean I like salsa too!



(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
The tarsiers' eyes are as big as their brain! Their eyes are so big that they can't even move them. Their necks have evolved to allow their heads to swivel like an owl's does!


Omg, these guys are so cute! He's a real live Beanie Boo! 




(image borrowed from Medical News Today)
Did you know bananas are technically berries? Oh and raspberries and strawberries aren't.


Mind. Blown. 




(image borrowed from World Wildlife Fun)
A human being could swim in a blue whale's veins. A blue whale's heart is about the size of a car, so the veins have to be big too!


Whoa. I mean...I guess I should get it since they're so big! 




(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
The Camponotus saundersi, a type of ant, can basically self-destruct and cause himself to explode as a defense mechanism during a fight with another ant. It has glands that are filled with a corrosive and sticky substance that can paralyze its attackers and save other members of its colony.


Where was that in A Bug's Life?! 






 

Sep 23, 2020

Review--Possession by M. Verano

All her life, Laetitia has wanted to be a star. It’s more than an ambition - somewhere deep inside, she feels certain that she was born for greatness.

But her path to stardom now seems to be halted by a mysterious undiagnosed illness that’s taken over her body. Doctors don’t have a clue what could be causing it. She stays home from school most days, documenting her strange symptoms. Symptoms that start with fevers and chills, but soon escalate to strange items her body seems to be producing - bones, nails, and even glass.All the while, Laetitia is fixated on what's happening in the news: race riots that are moving ever closer to her neighborhood. But when visions of horrific scenes begin to invade her mind, even the media can’t distract her.

As Laetitia's illness worsens, she soon begins to wonder - is her sickness biological, or is it something more? Are the voices she hears signs of insanity - or signs of something much more sinister and demonic? Or, perhaps, signs of something more benevolent... something holy?

Laetitia always knew she'd be a star... she just never knew how quickly it would all manifest.

 

 

Another creepy novel down and this time it was M. Verano’s Possession, the second book of the Diary of a Haunting trilogy and this one definitely had a different feel to it. This time there was no haunted house, but a haunted person, you could say. Laetitia has vibrant dreams of being a famous singer, but everything begins to slowly crumble for her as time goes on and strange things continue to happen to her.

Laetitia thought it was just a sore throat, one that she intended to remedy as soon as she could, for there were very important auditions coming up in a few months that could start her career as a famous singer. But then the dreams start, terrifying ones where she wakes up feeling the aftermath of the pain that occurred in her nightmare. They are unexplainable and they don’t go away.

She starts out writing blog posts, fun ones that involve her different hairstyles with wigs or singing tips, but when mysterious and disturbing photos that are straight out of her nightmares appear on her blog without her doing, she shuts it down and turns into private diary entries instead. And let me tell you guys, this book was pretty scary and disturbing…which made it a perfect Halloween read!

There are a few pictures in here that may also be considering disturbing, but none that I would call horrifying. In fact, they sometimes get a little distorted so you can’t really make out what you’re seeing, but from Laetitia’s descriptions, you know.

Laetitia and her family start to believe that she may very well be possessed by something sinister. Things continue to escalate as time goes by and though he was not directly involved, we do catch an appearance of the mysterious Dr. Montague Verano. The author’s own character in this series is puzzling, he played more of a role in the first book but here, he’s merely mentioned in some documents that appear evidence style and of course in the forward and author’s note.

It’s weird, even though when you read the forward or preface in the beginning, you know the outcome…of sorts, but not what it pertains or how we got there. You almost wonder in the good doctor might have been misleading us. You’ll find out if he was or not by reading of course and it was definitely a powerful and chilling ending!

I was amazed by how current event related this book was too. Though it didn’t mention any real/true events it creates its own (that I am aware of) that feels real enough. Protests of racial injustice is brought to fore, yet the author does this in a way that just brings it in as an event. It didn’t really feel like it was sharing his points or whatnot. And let’s remember that this book is already four years old. The events are more or less background details though. Laetitia mentions it on occasion though, so you know it’s going to be significant.

While Possession didn’t necessarily provide the ghosts we saw in the first book of the trilogy it did still provide other elements of a good ghost story. It’s definitely not one to read late into the night…unless you like that sort of thing! Lol! I’m still sort of curious about one thing that was mentioned regarding Laetitia’s family house that never really got discussed again, but I guess it’s just supposed to be one of those unsolved mysteries…no pun intended! Possession is a perfect read for this time of year and you honestly don’t have to read the first book in the series in order to grasp the contents of this one, but I still recommend it for that too was a pretty creepy read!

 

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

 

 

 

 


 
 

Waiting on Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine




A dazzling new edition of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, fully illustrated in brilliant color and featuring exclusive interactive paper craft elements, including a foldout Hogwarts letter and more!
 
In this stunning new edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, experience the story as never before. J.K. Rowling's complete and unabridged text is accompanied by full-color illustrations on nearly every page and eight exclusive, interactive paper craft elements: Readers will open Harry's Hogwarts letter, reveal the magical entryway to Diagon Alley, make a sumptuous feast appear in the Great Hall, and more.

Designed and illustrated by award-winning design studio MinaLima -- best known for establishing the visual graphic style of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films -- this edition is sure to be a keepsake for Harry Potter fans, a beautiful addition to any collector's bookshelf, and an enchanting way to introduce the first book in this beloved series to a new generation of readers.


Can you IMAGINE what this series will look like with Minalima adding the super cool features?! Omg I am so excited! I might not buy the entire series...yet...I don't know. I only bought the first book illustrated, and in the UK anniversary hardcover editions, and the 10th anniversary US side...so I might stick with book 1 for this format too! Lol. Yeah...I buy a lot of books!


AUTHOR: J.K. Rowling
ILLUSTRATOR: Minalima
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Inc
GENRE: MG Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: October 20, 2020





In near-future New Orleans, Draugar, again-walkers, are faster and stronger than most humans, but not venomous until they are a century old. Until then, they shamble and bite. Since not everyone wants to see their relatives end up that way, Geneviève Crowe makes her living beheading the dead.

But now, her magic’s gone sideways, and the only person strong enough to help her is the one man who could tempt her to think about picket fences: Eli Stonecroft, a faery who chose to be a bar-owner in New Orleans rather than live in Elphame.

Then human businessmen start turning up as draugar.

Suddenly, the queen of the again-walkers and the wealthy son of one of the victims, both hire Genevi√®ve to figure it out. She works to keep her magic in check, the dead from crawling out of their graves, and enough money for a future that might be a lot longer than she’d like. Neither her heart nor her life are safe now that she’s juggling a faery prince, murder, and magic.



I only just found out about this book a few weeks ago as I was writing this post in advance! I just ordered a backtitle from Melissa (from earlier in the year) and then I find out she's got a new series starting! SWEET!


AUTHOR: Melissa Marr
PUBLISHER: MM Ink
GENRE: Modern Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: September 2, 2020





Sep 22, 2020

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker



Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.

 

"My pulse pounded harder, faster, so loud in my ears I could hear nothing except a primal part of my brain shouting a warning. Behind you. Behind you. Look behind you! I whirled around, eyes wide as I searched for my pursuer." Kindle loc. 16%*


 

*Quote comes from the eARC therefore it and its location are not final. 

 

 

 

 

TITLE: Eventide
AUTHOR: Sarah Goodman

PUBLISHER: Tor Teen
GENRE: YA Horror
RELEASE DATE: October 6, 2020

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

 

This week's topic is: Top Ten Books On My Fall 2020 TBR

 

*in no particular order

 

10. Eventide by Sarah Goodman--I mean obviously! Lol!
9. HORRID by Katrina Leno--now if only a B&N near me would HAVE IT IN STORE!
8. POSSESSION by M. Verano--super excited to read the rest of this series!



7. THE LONELY DEAD by April Henry--kind of choosing random spooky titles that I may or may not actually get to!
6. WATCHER IN THE WOODS by Kelley Armstrong--I've got to get caught up in this series!
5. WINTERWOOD by Shea Ernshaw--loved her first book!
 
 
 
 
4. TALES FROM THE HINTERLAND by Melissa Albert--another review book I want to read!
3. HOCUS POCUS & THE ALL NEW SEQUEL by A.W. Jantha--keep meaning to read this around Halloween, not sure if this will be the year or not!
2. THE MERCILESS II by Danielle Vega--so need to finish this series!
 
 
 
1. CRUSH by Tracy Wolff--and of course my #1!