Top Ten Tuesday 10/25/2016

top ten tuesday

Woo hoo, first official book related post since I have been back! I love Top Ten Tuesdays and it could be because I love to make lists but I love also being able to quickly share some of my top ten favorite books pertaining to a certain topic. This Tuesday’s topic is:

Halloween related freebie: ten scary books, favorite horror novels, non-scary books to get you in the Halloween/fall mood, bookish halloween costumes, scariest covers), scary books on my TBR, etc.

So my top ten list is going to be…Top Ten Young Adult Thrillers

*Seriously if you’re looking for some last minute creepy thrillers to get you in the mood for Halloween,  I would recommend any of these.*

1.) Ten by Gretchen McNeil

2.) The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

3.) Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

4.) The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu

5.) The Ruining by Anna Collomore

6.) Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

7.) The Cellar by Natasha Preston

8.) The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

9.) The Rules by Nancy Holder

10.) One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards

If you’re looking for more scary/thrillers leave me a comment and I can suggest some more as I had about 20 and had to cut the list in half.

The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

book review2
22456909

Title/Author: The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse – February 17, 2015

Genres: YA Paranormal, YA Horror, YA Thriller

Format: ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy)

Source: Edelweiss

Other Books from Author: The Murmurings

Rating: images (2)

What This Book Is About

The fact that neither of her parents wants to deal with her is nothing new to Penny. She’s used to being discussed like a problem, a problem her mother has finally passed on to her father. What she hasn’t gotten used to is her stepmother…especially when she finds out that she’ll have to spend the summer with April in the remote woods of Washington to restore a broken-down old house.

Set deep in a dense forest, the old Carver House is filled with abandoned antique furniture, rich architectural details, and its own chilling past. The only respite Penny can find away from April’s renovations is in Miller, the young guy who runs the local general store. He’s her only chance at a normal, and enjoyable, summer.

But Miller has his own connection to the Carver House, and it’s one that goes beyond the mysterious tapping Penny hears at her window, the handprints she finds smudging the glass panes, and the visions of children who beckon Penny to follow them into the dark woods. Miller’s past just might threaten to become the terror of Penny’s future….

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I was so excited to be granted access to an ARC of The Bargaining on Edelweiss. I LOVE creepy, scary young adult books and was eager to jump right into this one. The Bargaining definitely delivered the creepy factor and much more. The first night I began reading this, I started dozing off and waking up, so by the next day I had to start all over again because I couldn’t remember anything I had read. I had been about 35 pages in and was just like…

embarrased

Once I started rereading the book, I was instantly sucked right in. I will admit that I began reading the book from the beginning for the second time in my Western Civilizations class, and I continued to read through the entire class. (Gotta love crazy old college professors…see Saturday’s post.) Luckily Monday was one of my short days, so I immediately went home and continued reading. In all honesty, and sorry for my choice of words, The Bargaining scared the shit out of me. Already being pretty afraid of the dark, reading this in bed in complete darkness (it was on my iPad so my lights were all off) may have not been my smartest choice. I was actually afraid to roll over because I thought someone or something would be standing next to my bed. I never experienced “scary goosebumps” from a book until I read this one. Seriously, read when it’s still light out!

I really liked the storyline of The Bargaining and how Penny’s and Miller’s pasts tied into it. I was constantly left guessing what was going to happen next and overall what really went on in those woods. Penny seemed like your typical moody, curious teenager. At first she annoyed me a little bit because she made no effort with her stepmom, but I ended up really liking her in the end. Miller on the other hand, we get to know his story in the prologue of the book. Knowing who he was and what he caused I think automatically influenced my feelings towards him. Even as he became friends with Penny, I still didn’t really like him too much. The huge shocking secret Miller finally shares with Penny at the end was so unexpected and surprisingly that I couldn’t believe it.

The Carver House reminds me of the many abandoned, haunted places that are all over the state of New Jersey. I’m a hug scaredy cat, but I’ve always wanted to check some of them out. (There were two specifically that really set the picture in my head for the Carver House and if you’re interested in reading about abandoned places and the rumors behind them here are the two houses. Demon’s Alley and Purgatory House. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a justifying article for Purgatory House.) I think I really was interested in the Carver House because of the mystery behind it. You don’t know what happened there or who previously lived there, just that a lot of people talk and have stories to tell about it. If the Carver House was real I may consider flying across the country to find it.

dem036

(A house from Demon’s Alley, inspiration for what the Carver House looked like in my mind.)

Overall I think The Bargaining was great. It’s labeled as a chilling and suspenseful novel, and that it definitely is. It was truly terrifying at some points and I love when a book can deliver that level of terror. I will be purchasing a physical copy of The Bargaining in February when it is published and rereading it in the future. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in young adult mysteries, thrillers, paranormal, horror genres or anyone interested in local legends and abandoned places. I cannot wait now to read Carly Anne West’s other young adult book that has been on my TBR-list for so long, The Murmurings.

Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

I was so excited to read this book. The cover looks super creepy and the summary gives you the impression that it’s going to be a truly terrifying novel, but it definitely fell short of my expectations. I was expecting my heart to be racing while I was reading Welcome to the Dead House and instead I had to pull myself through it.

Welcome to the Dead House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

3stars

18459190

 What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.

(Summary from Goodreads)

I am so thankful that I read this book through an ARC tour because I would have been disappointed if I had bought it. From the summary, I thought Welcome to the Dark House was going to be a scary, thrilling novel. It was still a thriller because you didn’t know what was going to happen next, but it certainly didn’t have my heart racing.

The story is told in six different perspectives, which from the summary it seems like it may only be told from two, Ivy and Parker, but no all six winners are narrating. It often was pretty confusing as to who was narrating and I would have to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to see, but the six different perspectives were also kind of necessary to the storyline. As for the six characters, I have mixed feelings for all of them. Some were jerks, others were so moody and depressing, and there was one I was really suspicious of. None of them really brought anything great to the story and there were two in particular who were constantly getting on my nerves by the middle of the book.

The storyline also went really quickly. I thought more time would have been spent in the amusement park since that is where all the big important events were happening, but I felt like the author spent way too much time going over their first night at the house. I did get pretty good visuals in my head while I was reading because the writer did a great job describing everything. She also leaves the end open to what could be a sequel (or perhaps it will be a trilogy). The epilogue confused me big time, but if there is no sequel I will be really disappointed. So many questions were left unanswered and if there will be a sequel, I might give Welcome to the Dark House a 4 star rating instead of 3 only because then this book would be more interesting as it is setting up events for a sequel (if that makes sense).

I feel like I am once again only complaining about this book, but there were some things I did enjoy. I thought the idea of the story was great. Instantly it reminded me of a horror movie I watched where a group of friends goes to a haunted house called, The House of Fears, and it focuses on people’s biggest fears (clowns, buried alive, drowning, ect.). I thought the movie was great and this in a way was very similar. It also reminded me a bit like the horror movie Prom Night. I can’t go into too much detail about the similarities between them though without giving away some spoilers. I also finished the book in only one day, although I was more or less getting through it hoping it would get better. If you enjoyed or watched those one or both of those movies, I’d recommend reading Welcome to the Dark House. It does have a pretty good rating on Goodreads as well, 3.80 stars. If you have read it, did you enjoy it or did it have you scared? If you haven’t read it, please don’t let my review turn you away from it. Give it a try because everyone has a different opinion.

Book Review Update

So I know I haven’t posted a book review in a little while now. I do have a book that I finished last week and am waiting to post a review on. I don’t have another book finished yet, so I am trying to put off the review for maybe a few more days. I’m currently reading The Year I Turned Sixteen and if you’ve seen the book or read it before, you know it’s a long one. For those of you who have never seen or heard of it, it is 700 pages long, but consists of four mini books I guess you would call them? It is a young adult novel so it is going by pretty quick, but I don’t want to wait too long between the two reviews. Just wanted to apologize to everyone who follows and reads my posts and I will have a new review up in the next few days, so keep an eye out for it. I am also thinking about starting to do videos and add them on here. I’ve been on the blog for six months now and that’s just crazy to think of. While I love writing reviews and Top Ten Tuesdays, I think I’d enjoy doing monthly wrap ups and book hauls and even TBR lists on videos. Mix it up on here a little bit. I haven’t ever made a video before though so I am a bit nervous and am generally a shy person, so if I do post a video at the end of this month please bear with me. I am also very very very inexperienced when it comes to video editing so the first post will also probably be from beginning to end, no edits. Anyhow that’s about it for updates on my blog. I do have one question if anyone would like to help me out. In February or so I read Ten by Gretchen McNeil and absolutely loved it. The problem, I can’t find any books similar to it. If anyone has any suggestions please tell me them. I mainly stick to young adult and teen books so please keep that in mind when recommending anything. If you don’t know what Ten is about, I’ll summarize the type of books I’m looking for. A mystery/thriller where there is a group of people/friends and one by one they are being killed/murdered and in the end it is a shocking twist or surprise of who the killer is. In Ten, ten teens are on a weekend trip to a friend’s house on an island and then get stuck there for three days when a nasty storm comes through and knocks out all the power and makes it impossible to get a boat back to the mainland. One by one the teens are found dead and the book is just filled with suspense and surprises. So if you can recommend me a good book amoung those lines, you are amazing! Also, any “scary” teen/YA books please recommend as well. Thanks everyone!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

When I first heard about this book, I assumed right off the bat that it was a zombie apocalypse book. Why? Because it seems like most dystopian novels are/have been about a zombie apocalypse in some form. Now, while I am tired of zombie book after zombie book coming out, I thought this one sounded really good and creepy. Well I was right about two out of three things. The 5th Wave was definitely a very good book and it also was incredibly creepy.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

4stars

9780399162411_p0_v4_s260x420

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

(Summary from Amazon)

*SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE 5TH WAVE AND ARE INTERESTED IN READING IT, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*

So yes, I was not expecting Cassie to mention aliens on the very first page of the book. At first I was like wow this will be nothing like I was hoping for and aliens…not nearly as scary as flesh eating zombies. Ha, was I wrong. After reading The 5th Wave, it is very safe to say that aliens scare the crap out of me. I got the chills just thinking about something like this happening and it actually being real and not fictional. Let me say, it was some pretty scary thoughts. While the pace of the book I felt like went kind of slow in the beginning, once I got into it I didn’t want to stop reading it. I loved the characters and even though some of them were only in small parts of the book, I felt emotional when something tragic would happen. The one character I did have the most mixed feelings for was the main characters, Cassie. I don’t know why I actually felt this way about her, but sometimes she just made me so furious that I wish I could have smacked her, and other times I wanted to cry with her and tell her everything would be okay. While most of the book was like on the edge of your seat, turning the pages, wanting to know what would happen next, kind of thriller, The 5th Wave definitely had some emotionally sad parts. (Cassie’s family, the parking garage incident, and Evan). There was also different sections of the book and at first I didn’t realize that the story would be told in different point of views, so I got a little confused after I finished the first part and moved onto the second, but once I realized it was someone different I was able to tell right at the beginning of each section whose point of view I was reading. This last part I am going to say might be completely false to you, but it is just my opinion. I felt like there was a good amount of shocking and unexpected reveals. *SPOILER* For example, when Cassie’s brother Sam was taken away on the school bus I thought, “okay yeah these must be good guys”, but then they went and killed all of the adults left. So then I’m thinking, “well they have to be aliens in human form then, but still why would they take the children?”. Then later in the book when all the kids go to the base they say they are the military or whatever and that they needed to keep the kids safe first and I believed for a while that they were telling the truth, even though I didn’t quite understand why they would have killed all of the adults at Cassie’s base. Finally in the end we do find out that they are in fact aliens in human bodies and that it is their main alien base and that the children are being trained to go out and kill all human survivors (the 5th wave) so that the aliens can take over Earth. Honestly, I was a bit shocked when I found out the real truth. I feel like I shouldn’t have been since I did have nagging thoughts in the back of my minds, but I liked that there was the surprise element in this book and everything wasn’t so predictable.

I am anxious for the second novel, The Infinite Sea, to come out on Septemeber 16, although I am not 100% sure if I am going to buy it or wait to rent it from the library which is what I did with The 5th Wave. This series definitely has a lot of potential to become popular and big in the YA book world, and if directed and casted properly, I think it would make an amazing movie adaptation as well.