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review 2020-02-20 02:22
The Forbidden Game: The Hunter, The Chase, The Kill by L.J. Smith
The Forbidden Game: The Hunter; The Chase; The Kill - L.J. Smith

This omnibus edition includes all three books in the trilogy. In the first book, Jenny is doing some last minute preparation for her boyfriend Tom's birthday party and stumbles across a mysterious game store, where she buys a game in a blank white box. The game turns out to be a paper house, with paper figures you can draw on to look like the various players, and paper cards on which the players are expected to draw their worst fears. It seems like harmless fun, until the game becomes real, and Jenny, Tom, Zach, Dee, Audrey, Michael, and Summer are all trapped in the house and forced to face their fears if they want to survive. The one putting them through all of this is Julian, an evil but handsome being who wants to make Jenny his.

In the second book, everyone tries to adjust to the consequences of Book 1, and Julian's back for another game. In the third book, Jenny and her friends must travel to the Shadow World for a rescue attempt. They end up in a deadly amusement park, and this time around Julian isn't the only threat they need to worry about.

L.J. Smith was one of my top favorite authors when I was a teen, despite her book's frequently ugly covers (seriously, the original Night World covers were hideous, although they were at least more memorable than the current "face on a black background" omnibus covers). She was my go-to author for YA paranormal romance, and I loved several of her books enough to reread them multiple times.

I don't think I ever reread the Forbidden Game trilogy, though, and all I could remember about it was that it starred a hot evil guy and had a disappointing ending. I can tell you right now that the reason Teen Me was so disappointed was because I approached this trilogy as paranormal romance. In reality, it's more like YA horror with romantic elements, or maybe a YA horror love story. Even though I'd adjusted my expectations for this reread, the trilogy's ending was still a bit disappointing.

Smith's writing was as compulsively readable as I remembered it being, although it felt a bit dated, especially during the first book, and the computer scenes in the second book made me laugh a bit. Jenny was very much an "L.J. Smith trilogy" sort of character: the gorgeous blonde girl who was loved by everyone and viewed by everyone as being very good and kind. It was a bit much, but I suppose it fit with the "Persephone and Hades" vibe that the story was going for.

The horror aspects in the first book were a bit cheesy, but still decent. In Book 2, I liked the creepy moments before the newest game started (Audrey and Dee's experiences were my favorites), but the game itself was largely forgettable. Book 3's horror elements, on the other hand, were fabulous. It's no wonder that the primary thing I remembered about this trilogy was the amusement park. I'm a fan of creepy animatronics, so I considered Leo the Paper-Eating Lion and the stuff in the arcade to be some of the best parts.

The romance aspect... Even with my vague memories of how the trilogy turned out, it was hard not to read it as paranormal romance.

After the events of Book 1, I hated myself a little for wanting Jenny to end up with Julian - after all, the guy was responsible for one of her friends ending up dead (granted, the friend didn't have much of a personality) and was trying to force her into a position where she had no choice but to stay with him.

But I also kind of understood it. At the start of the book, Jenny was working her way towards becoming Tom's perfect Stepford wife, wearing clothes and styling her hair primarily to suit his tastes and laying out a future for herself that revolved around him and his plans. Tom's happiness was the most important thing. Then Julian appeared. He considered Jenny the light to his darkness and, unlike Tom, was completely focused on her. He was also way more charismatic and interesting. Tom was barely on-page in the first and third books and spent most of the second book either sulking a bit out of jealousy or acting like he'd already lost her and could only watch her from the shadows. Julian was more appealing than that. And what about a third option? Jenny could have ended up single, but stronger and more self-confident. I'd still have been bummed about Julian, but that outcome would have worked better for me than Jenny ending up with Tom. Boring, boring Tom.

(spoiler show)

I appreciated aspects of the ending more now than I probably did as a teen - the way all of the characters were forced to face the things they most feared about themselves and how others viewed them, and how they supported each other in the end. But I can't help it, I still read (or reread, I guess) L.J. Smith's books for the romance more than anything else, and this trilogy was just painful in that respect. I can understand why Teen Me never reread it.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2019-10-08 05:05
This YA 'Clue' mystery, inspired by the classic 80's film and the board game, is a fun read for your October TBR!
In The Hall With The Knife - Diana Peterfreund

Scarlet. Mustard. Green. Peacock. Plum. Orchid.

One storm will change their lives forever…if they survive the night.


When a killer storm strikes at Blackbrook Academy, an elite prep school nestled in the woods of Maine, a motley crew of students are left stranded at the aristocratic mansion on campus. House later, his lifeless body is discovered in a pool of blood.


Based on the classic board game CLUE, IN THE HALL WITH THE KNIFE kicks off a trilogy of young adult mysteries in which nothing is what it seems, and everyone has a motive for murder.


The Game is On. No One is Safe.



I am going to hazard a guess and bet that a whole load of readers of this will pick it up out of nostalgia for either the cult classic 1985 film 'Clue' or because they enjoyed the Hasbro board game of the same name that the excellent movie was based on.

Or both, which is why I had to read it!


This is a modern reimagining of the board game 'Clue' (and when it's brought 'to life' in this way, it takes on the story form like the movie); set in an elite prep school in the woods of Maine called Blackbrook Academy. The characters are all there: Scarlet, Mustard, White, Green, Plum, Peacock, Orchid, and yes, Mr. Boddy. They all become stuck in this grand mansion of a school out on the tip of a rocky peninsula in the middle of what seems to be the storm of the decade, with no power, no way in or out, and then there's a murder.


The characters all have secrets, and a lot of them neatly fit stereotypes (rather like the original movie, I suppose, which may grate on some nerves and irritate some readers, but is actually wonderfully campy in the film). If you don't have the movie to constantly compare to (even with the board game as background), the book actually simply works well as a YA fun murder-mystery read: everyone is a suspect, they all seem to have a motive, but it doesn't get too heavy or scary. This is actually much like the vibe of the film; mystery LITE. 


I would be interested in hearing what people think who have only played the board game, and from those who have not played the game but seen the film; I may have seen the film so many times that I constantly had images of Tim Curry scurrying around a mansion in a butler outfit (he was just SO PERFECT). I do think that Diana Peterfreund has paid great homage to the general 'Clue' board game franchise, and it will bring back some warm fuzzy feelings for fans (unless you expect the characters to be carbon copies of the movie versions, as well as the storyline). 

It took a little while for me to get fully invested in the story, and much like the film, the 'big event' happens quite the way into the book. The chapters are named after the different characters as they reveal more about each one and follow them through the story. That took a while to get used to (it is used SO much) but I found it useful in separating their story arcs.


It's always a huge gamble to write a movie based on a book, so is it just as much of a gamble to write a book based on a movie? I'm not sure. This may be removed enough from the original film (or game) that it will find a different audience anyway. And maybe people will go out and play the board game again??! Who knows.


This will be released 10.8.19 on Amulet Books (Abrams) and there are plans for a series of Clue mysteries (at least 2 more books).

You can find all the links to GET A COPY HERE!



*I gratefully received this ARC as part of Miss Print’s ARC Adoption Program. Thank you!


Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/43908878-in-the-hall-with-the-knife
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text 2014-04-23 11:59
5 Board Games For Book Lovers Who Love to Kill & Merry

Wanna play a game? Try five book inspired board games that will give you shivers and happy chills. And will take to to magical book world.




The Walking Dead Board Game


The board game shows world created by Robert Kirkman in comic book series and gives you the opportunity to play Rick, Shane, Andrea, and other The Walking Dead characters. You need to stay safe and alive, collect supplies, deal with zombies and find your way through. Not so easy to do. 


The Walking Dead in reviews:


JASNA: I’m curious to see what happens to Negan as the series progresses, and whether he’ll meet the same fate as the Governor once All Out War comes to an end. Interestingly enough, a comparison could have been drawn between the Governor and Rick. It’s not far fetched to imagine Rick becoming twisted and sadistic like the Governor if something were to happen to his son... click to read more


Yodamom Finds her ForceQuick and Dirty- (Audio) Woodbury, it wacko capital of the new world. The new man in charge is beyond sanity, and has so many secrets, he doesn't even know who he is at times... click to read more



Carolyn Cannot Live Without Books!: It's kind of nice knowing the series can potentially go. We meet new people and the group tries to unite with the town they went to live in... click to read more 



Game of Thrones Board Game


Board game based on George RR Martin The Song of Ice and Fire series. Rule and assign orders, enter battles. conquer lands and seas, collect castles and negotiate… or not. Remember, stay strong and beware of the the wildling Hordes. The winter is coming. 

P.S. You will need quite a table and long night for this. We know, we've played.


Game of Thrones in reviews:


Marwa Ahmed: The magic element, the myths, the ancient stories, the Seven Houses.. The whole world building is detailed and fascinating... click to read more


jody eve: Ahhh what can I say? It's good. I loved it. My hubs and I started watching the show as I was reading the books (never getting ahead of the books, of course.) The books are so much better... click to read more


Confuzzled Books: Like the watching the series I feel like I could read the book over and over. This is just a story filled with awesomeness and I have just started it. I am both excited and fearful what is to come to these characters... click to read more



The Shining Board Game


The first play-tester of this game was Stephen Kind himself who also helped to create it. It’s for two players so the rules are simple. One person is for the Hotel, the second for the Torrence family. The survivor is the winner.


The Shining in reviews:


Zoë Markham: I'm trying to think how old I would have been when I read this for the first time. I must have been either 14 or 15. It terrified me, genuinely terrified me, to the point where this is the first time I've re-read it since. And it's just terrified me again... click to read more


Gurglings of a Putrid Stream: Like his other books, The Shining is King all over, which isn't always a good thing. It's wordy, it's got a kid much too advanced for his age, and it ends with that Mythbuster mentality that isn't satisfied until everything gets blown to hell. But this book, more than the others, is the one that was built for King's style... click to read more


Isa Lavinia: The only book that scared me so much, I refused to get out of bed for a glass of water in the middle of the night and ended up drinking from the hot water bottle that had been warming my feet... click to read more



Beowulf Board Game


The game is based on the legend of the great hero Beowulf. But don’t be mislead. You will not be Beowulf himself, you’re a member of his band fighting with the dragon. Will you succeed him as a king in the end?


Beowulf in reviews:


Lisa (Harmony): This was a surprisingly speedy, easy and enjoyable read--for which Heaney, the translator, deserves a lot of credit... click to read more


Nostalgia Reader: It was a story of courage and loyalty, facing danger in order to protect fellow men. I didn't care for the tangents of previous fights and battles that mainly explained the lineage of certain characters, but knowing that lineage back when this was written was very important, I can understand why it was included... click to read more


I Live in Many Worlds: Beowulf has always been a favorite of mine. Ever since my ninth grade English teacher introduced it to me years ago, I fell in love with Beowulf's bravery and the battle against Grendel... click to read more



And if you cannot stands the zombies and murderers any more, find your love and get married. 



Pride and Prejudice Board Game 


A classic board game inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice novel. How to play? Pick a couple (you have four to choose from), move them as a team or separately, collect game tokens and rush to the Parish Church to marry and win the game.  


Pride and Prejudice in reviews: 


Bookworm Blurbs: “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I think all of us here on booklikes can relate to this!... click to read more 


Dog-Eared Pages: And yet, there are many surprises when you re-read Pride and Prejudice.  The most obvious one for me is the sheer audacity of Austen’s prose.  By audacity I mean her fearless ability to be witty at everyone’s expense... click to read more


Lit Lovers Lane: Austen’s characters are as well-fleshed out and believable as any contemporary ones. Whether it’s the feisty Elizabeth who gives Darcy as good as she gets, the brooding Darcy who’s social skills leave much to be desired, or Elizabeth’s grasping mother who plays favorites with her daughters….all are fully alive and bring technicolor images to mind... click to read more

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