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review 2015-02-08 04:15
A Living Nightmare - 4/5 Stars
A Living Nightmare - Darren Shan

This story is brilliant in its simplicity. It's clear from the beginning that this series was written for the Goosebumps graduates. The writing is simple and well paced. There isn't a lot of down time with the plot. It moves along well. That combined with the familiarity of the vampire, makes this quite easy to follow.
I liked Darren in the beginning. I felt like he was the sensibility to Steve's recklessness. He thought things through. He was kind to his sister and tried to be fair with his friends. He was the All-American Boy. Then Madame Octa happened.
He acted like any other boy his age would. He saw this crazy cool spider and had to have it. He stole it, which was wrong, but given that this whole story is kind of remarkable, I can forgive him that trespass. What got me, though, was 1) that he'd refused to give up information they could save his friend's life and 2) how easily he accepted becoming a half vampire.
Steve would have died before Darren admitted that it was a spider bite. That seemed very selfish to me. Then when Mr. Crepsley told him that he must become his assistant to save Steve, Darren didn't seem all that upset about it. I would have expect at least a little internal conflict. But no, he just went with it.
Other than those two details, I really enjoyed the book. I really hope Darren and Mr. Crepsley catch up top the Freak Show. I think that would be a wonderful setting. The idea is original and unique. I can't wait.
I also want to get to know the other performers. They sounded fascinating.
The end left a lot of room for good action. Will Darren adapt easily to the life of a vampire? Struggle? Will Steve make good on his threat? Will Darren see his family again?
I can't wait to find out.

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text 2015-02-07 20:48
Reading progress update: I've read 116 out of 272 pages.
A Living Nightmare - Darren Shan

When is it ever a good idea to steal a deadly spider from a vampire? Answer: When you're Darren Shan.

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review 2014-04-17 00:00
A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak, #1)
A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak, #1) - Darren Shan Finished it in one sitting. It had a shallow plot, something obviously meant for children or teens younger than 18.

I have to press the issue again regarding books that really not scary but they are considered as horror. This book didn't scare me at all, but like I said, it was meant for children- young adult, although I have to say anyone who is over 13 wouldn't consider this horror. Not even the part where the "freaks" were described could be considered scary. It had a very predictable plot but I don't know why I finished it in one sitting. Regardless of the shallow plot it still made me wonder what could happen next now that Darren has been turned into a vampire

I would recommend this to the younger audience, or someone who really wants a fast read that would neither leave you with satisfaction nor hate. I decided to give it 2 stars. The book was just okay for me, but maybe I should've read this years ago, because my genre preference has obviously changed.
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text 2013-11-24 05:12

The lovely Amber from www.booksofamber.com has decided to host a read-a-thon and I am so very excited about this!

You can check out Amber's post here:

Start: November 24, 2013 at midnight
End: December 1, 2013 at midnight
Rules: There are no rules.

I decided to try for 4 books, and then if I end up reading more than that hurray for me!
So here is my to be read for the week:

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
2. Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan
3. Poison Princess by Kresley Cole (which was chosen from my TBR jar)
4. Requiem by Lauren Oliver 

I really hope to do daily 
updates throughout the week and will hopefully have reviews of these books up once I am finished with them.

Happy reading!
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review 2013-07-16 00:00
A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak, #1) - Darren Shan This is an older series and many of you may have read it years ago or already decided it wasn't for you, but maybe my review will sway you into giving it a chance (or just make you remember how much you loved it.)Here's my take on things:Be prepared for a male author with all male main characters. There's a younger sister character with a small part and I enjoyed the siblings' relationship, but aside from her and a few mothers, this is mostly a series about boys. Did that bother me? Not at all. Just pointing it out.Lots of gore, which I enjoyed immensely. Also, some deadpan humor thrown in so it wasn't completely gross and disgusting all the time. It was a nice way to break things up so it didn't feel dark and bleak every step of the way.The story is short and intense and doesn't contain a lot of filler. I can see how this might get compared to the Goosebumps series because those were quick reads too, though I'd say this series is for a slightly older audience, but if these had been around when I was 10 or so, I would've gobbled them up.Not a whole lot of surprises, you can kind of see where things are heading early on, but the few surprises that are included are pretty big ones. There's also a scene in the beginning that doesn't get explained and I'm curious to see where things go with that. I love that Shan obviously planned this as a series but still wrote a full book. Things are left open-ended, but there's not really a cliffhanger and I appreciated that.This is a short gory book with a slightly new twist on the vampire mythos geared heavily towards male readers (though I think girls won't feel alienated at all) and the inclusion of a "freak show" is something fascinating and I welcomed reading about a topic done to death (heh) that ended up still feeling unique. I really liked it and already have the next book loaded up on my Kindle (though I'm trying really hard not to start it tonight ... must ... wake up ... early ...)I can see how this series is so popular now and hope the quality continues with each subsequent book. Also, if you liked this book and this series, definitely check out his other unrelated series, The Demonata; I really loved the first book and I can tell you that reading A Living Nightmare after Lord Loss that his writing only gets better.It's really neat to watch an author progress and continue to improve and also clearly enjoy his work. There are not a lot of authors writing stories like Shan's and I think it fills a nice pocket that fans of the Goosebumps series can stick their hand into once they start getting older. I definitely would've been one of them and I can't wait to dive deeper into the rest of his series.
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