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Search tags: Southern-Gothic
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review 2018-09-21 12:45
DRAWING BLOOD by Poppy Z. Brite, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Drawing Blood: A Novel - Matt Godfrey,Crossroad Press,Poppy Z. Brite

A good old haunted house story is something I've always loved, so when the narrator of this tale offered me a chance to listen to the audio in exchange for a review, I jumped at it. Poppy Z. Brite is an author I've heard a lot about and I've been wanting to read his work for quite some time. I learned a few things while reading this book and one of them is that Poppy Z. Brite can write.

 

Trevor is a young man returning to the house where his mother and brother were killed 20 years ago. Shortly after his arrival in Missing Mile, his old hometown, he meets a young computer hacker on the run, named Zach. The two immediately feel a connection and together they go to face Trevor's childhood home. What will they find there? Is the house actually haunted? You will have to read this to find out. 

 

While the writing quality here was good, I have to admit that I was disappointed in the story itself. This is not the author's fault, nor the narrator's,  it was my sky high expectations. I expected a scary as hell story- and while there was a little darkness,  there was way too much romance for me. I don't mind explicit sex scenes, (gay or straight),  if they are integral to the story. Now I totally get the term insta-love. These two just met, one of them a virgin, and before you know it they are going at it at a breakneck pace. And going at it again. And again. The sexy times were sexy, don't get me wrong but after a while they finally led me to ask "Can we get to the horror already?"

 

Eventually, we did get to the horror, but after such a long build, it failed to move me much. I'm not sure if I was just bored by that point, or if all the romance had inured me to what should have been an exciting finale. 

 

The narration by Matt Godfrey was excellent as always, I especially loved his Jamaican accent. Yeah, mon! 

 

As I said, I did like the writing, and in a few spots it was nearly lyrical. From what I understand this is one of Poppy Z. Brite's, (now he goes by the name Billy Martin), earlier works. While I didn't find this novel to be a true horror story, I'm told his later works definitely are and I will be tracking those down in the future, maybe even the near future. 

 

Recommended, as long as you're not looking for a horror tale and you don't mind a lot of romance and sexy times! 

 

*Thanks to Matt Godfrey for the audio of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2018-09-20 18:12
Phew.
Where All Light Tends to Go - David Joy

This book has broken me. Heart, soul, body, all entirely shattered because of this damn book. I'd read it again though, because it was honestly that good of a book. David Joy has my utmost admiration and respect for his writing abilities. He's definitely going on my list of authors to watch.

 

Hilariously, this book affected me so much that I tried to listen to my cozy mystery book this morning and I wanted to scream at the protagonist about how easy of a life she had and would she just SHUT UP about all her woes? I might need a buffer book before I read anything cheesy.

 

Phew.

 

 

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text 2018-09-17 23:43
Reading progress update: I've read 45%.
Where All Light Tends to Go - David Joy

Quote that just sticks with me:

 

“It’s funny how it only takes one person taking the time to show you they care for all that bad shit to not seem so bad for a moment. It’s not like the demons go anywhere. What haunts you is still right there when you go back under, but that one gesture from one person can bring you to the surface for a second or two. And for a very long time, all I’d really needed was to come up for air.”

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text 2018-09-17 22:07
Reading progress update: I've read 45%.
Where All Light Tends to Go - David Joy

This book is really bleak overall, which would normally put me off, but Joy has managed to keep Jacob just above all the shit that's trying to drown him.

 

In fact, I can't even being to explain how impressed I am with Joy's ability to keep this book from getting too depressing. Don't get me wrong, the subject matter is rough. Jacob's family is like shattered glass. His mom is an addict, his dad is a drug pusher and yet, somehow, Jacob still shines through. He's not perfect. He's not even close to being a normal young adult, because of everything that he lives through on a daily basis, but he has a huge heart. He has some empathy and avoids the "meanness" that his dad radiates.

 

I'm wondering if that heart is going to get him in trouble.

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review 2018-09-15 21:17
Well, at least I got my Southern Gothic Square checked off by forcing myself through this.
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls - Clara Emily Carpenter

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~BOOK BLURB~

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Emily Carpenter

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Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Ugh!  I tried to get into this, but I just couldn't.  I read a couple other books by this Author and really liked them.  So, what gives?  First and foremost we learn early on, that all the women in her family going back a few generations have suddenly become schizophrenic on their 30th birthday.  I really couldn't buy into this scenario, and it pretty much made it impossible for me to like the rest of the story.  This could also be why I didn't connect with the characters, no matter how hard I tried.  All of them came off as pretty unlikable, and I couldn't care less about their fates.  Lastly, I can't stress enough how important it is to have a different narrator for each characters POV, because I couldn't distinguish between Althea and Jinn's characters, and I was left confused most of the time.

 

Overall, a lackluster mystery for me with an equally lackluster ending.  But I might be in the minority with these feelings...there are lots of great reviews for this, after all.

 

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~MY RATING~

2STARS - GRADE=D

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 2/5

Secondary Characters~ 1.5/5

The Feels~ 1/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 2/5

Theme or Tone~ 2/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2.5/5

Ending~ 2/5

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Book Cover~ Meh…it's underwhelming for sure.

Narration~ ☆3 for Kate Orsini…she was okay, but she should have used a different variation of her voice for each of the MC's.

Setting~ Alabama

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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I used this for Southern Gothic Square in Halloween Bingo

 

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