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review 2019-10-29 20:55
Review: The House in the Hills
The House in the Hills - Rowan Hanlon

I received a copy from Netgalley.


I love haunted house books and movies, and the premise of this book definitely sounded like something I would watch if it was a movie. Bright young couple Marc and Harmony moving into their first house – a gorgeous house in the Hollywood Hills, a prime piece of real estate…for an astoundingly cheap price.


However, this book sat on my Kindle for months on end until one Saturday morning at the hairdressers when I selected it at random.


Given the premise – anyone with half a brain would (or should) be saying what’s the catch? To be fair at first the wife, Harmony at least ponders that very question – why is it so cheap? However, her husband persuades her this is her dream house and a great opportunity for them. At first I quite liked Harmony as a character.


I can’t remember what the husband did for a living - she ran a popular food blog and was passionate about it. She seemed rather sensible and together. If a bit high strung and quick to judge. One of the first things we learn is there’s a guest house on the property. And comes with a tenant – a bubbly bright hot young actress. Who immediately rubs Harmony the wrong way by making a joke about promising not to sleep with her husband.


As the couple settle into the house and new routines before long Harmony is experiencing creepy feelings and strange things happening, all of which Marc tells her is her imagination. Arguments become more frequent. And Harmony finally learns the truth about what really happened in the house and why the price was so cheap. By this point my liking of the characters had dwindled to wanting to smack them. Harmony was bossy, snobby and wooden. The arguments were repetitive and the “spooky experiences” were just stupid.


The book was poorly written, and the characters became increasingly annoying. There were some parts that were just jaw droppingly ridiculous. The idea had potential, but the execution was just bad. Unimpressed with this one. Just didn’t like it at all.


Thank you to Netgalley and Reverberator Books/Weapenry Co-Op for approving my request to the view the title.

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text 2019-08-30 19:55
#Friday Reads

Hi everyone, I am back on my blog & booklikes where I have decided to stay since all of my stuff is here and it's my comfy space. Thanks for sticking by me during my crazy, stretched-too-thin times. 


I hope you'll all find a little time this weekend to settle in with a good book. I'll be listening to TEETH IN THE MIST by Dawn Kurtagich as much as I can this long weekend, how about the rest of you? 


The Ladies of Horror Fiction September discussion starts at Goodreads on Sunday and I need a bit of head start because I am a slowpoke. If you want to join us the group is here and everyone is welcome. The chat runs from September 1 through the 30th but the discussion threads will stay up forevermore.





I'm also reading this one in ebook. I accidentally read three road trips through hell in a row. Such a weird coincidence, right? Has this ever happened to you? I seriously have hundreds of books and I pick three that have similar themes. So weird.



It's also been too long since I posted a photo of my demon kitty so here he is doing what he does, haha.



Have a great weekend!

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review 2019-08-26 13:06
Review: This Lie Will Kill You
This Lie Will Kill You - Chelsea Pitcher

I received a copy from Netgalley.


This title appealed to me immediately as it came recommended for fans of “One of Us Is Lying” which I absolutely loved. However, this book failed to meet the high standard of that book. I thought this book was awful.


The premises was interesting enough. There was a party and someone died. The actions of a small group of people lead to the tragedy and someone saw what happened. Now, a year later those people are sent mysterious invitations to a murder mystery party with a big prize. No name of the person inviting them.


The party is a costume party and each character is given certain props. Challenges to solve that get more personal and more deadly as the night progresses. Secrets are at stake, lives are at stake and the risks become more and more over the top. Some of the group were friends, some aren’t and they all must come together to figure out what’s happening and survive the night. Should be interesting. Its high stakes and tense.


Problem for me was I absolutely hated all the characters. They were all horrible horrible people or bland people with about as much personality as cardboard. Also, very predictable. I knew almost immediately who the responsible person was. As the plot went on it became just ridiculous and unbelievable.  


It was one of those – this is so stupid why am I finishing it books? – but I did read the whole thing.  I just really did not like this book at all.


Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster UK Children’s for approving my request to view the title.

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text 2019-04-14 17:00
Review: When I Cast Your Shadow
When I Cast Your Shadow: A Novel - Sarah Porter

I received a copy from Netgalley.


If I could give this book 0 or minus starts I would, it was really that bad.


It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book I have actively hated so much. I’m all for diving into dark fiction every now and then but this book was one of the worst, most absurd things I have ever read. It made no sense whatsoever.


Normally I would just say to hell with it if I don’t like it and DNF, which made it all the more irritating because even though I hated the story and loathed the characters, I wondered if A) it would get any better or B) I would be able to work out what the fuck was going on.


Unfortunately, neither of these things happened.


The premise was what caught my attention, I’ve read a previous book by the same author, which was a little weird, but I liked it. As I said, I do like dark fiction every now and then. So why not try it? The story follows New York based teenage twins Everett and Ruby whose eldest brother Dashiell died recently of an overdose.


Ruby was completely besotted with Dashiell to something boarding on reverence. (I’m half convinced there was something else going on there as well.) They were both totally obsessed with each other. Ruby was completely blind to Dashiell’s flaws. He was an addict, charming and manipulative and could convince her to do anything, long after he’d been thrown out of the house. The father was a workaholic, their mother left years ago. Ruby was an idiot. A sycophantic moron who couldn’t see the danger around them. Her brother Everett was possibly the only remotely likeable character in this. The more straightforward, sensible of the pair.


Something seems to allow Dashiell to come back from the dead in a spirit form where he can possess a body if he murders it and can live in it’s skin. At least that was my understanding. So naturally Ruby is the first person he goes to. Which is squicky enough in itself. Yet when Everett notices something off about Ruby and when she’s not possessed she tells him Dash came back he thinks she’s lot the plot. And before long Dashiell has convinced Everett whilst possessing Ruby that he could possess him instead. He can have one or the other.


And does some pretty vile things whilst wearing Everett – including visiting his old girlfriend whilst in Everett’s body and getting her into bed. She doesn’t know Everett is possessed, of course. Which is pretty much rape – she consented to Everett, not Dashiell. If she doesn’t know Dashiell is the one riding the front she gets no say in that. And that’s pretty fucking disgusting.


On top of all this there’s some of sort Land of the Dead plot where other ghosts are walking around, and Dashiell has pissed off the Big Bad who runs the show. And comes after him for revenge.


The whole thing was bizarre, twisted. Way too many characters, all of whom had no personality and were just pretty horrible people. It was beyond fucked up and just an awful, awful novel. Nothing made sense and it was pretty much one of the worst things I have ever read.


Thank you to Netgalley and MacMillan-Tor/Forge for approving my request to view the title.

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text 2019-04-13 17:00
Review: When The Lights Go Out
When The Lights Go Out - Mary Kubica

I received a copy from Netgalley.


The premise of this one caught my attention and made me want to request it. A girl’s identity is called into question when she finds her name is on a record of deceased people. With an alternate story of a woman’s decision some 20 odd years ago that might be the cause of it.


For the most part, this was actually a pretty good book. Jessie Sloane has lived with her single mom her whole life then mom gets sick and dies. Jessie has spent most of her life caring for her. She suffers from terrible insomnia which plagues her for days at a time during this difficult period.


I liked Jessie as a character, she was tough and seemed fairly smart and logical given her terrible circumstances. She knew how to look after herself. Applying to college for financial aid she discovers Jessica Sloane is deceased. Bringing on a whole host of panic and desperate search for answers as to what the hell her mom was hiding and where it all went wrong and how could she have never known this before?


The second story line follows Eden and her husband Aaron. The one thing Eden wants more than anything is a baby, but Eden seems to be unable to conceive. Which puts a huge strain, both emotional and financial on what was otherwise a perfect relationship.


Eden’s story was hard for me to relate to, as a woman who has no interest in rearing children, her obsession was just something I couldn’t get my head around as a reader. Yet as the novel progressed and Eden’s chapters went on I did find myself empathising with her. No matter what this poor woman tried nothing was working. And her best friend who came to visit has two or three noisy children she always brings with her and is pregnant again. It was heart-breaking for Eden. But as things go on and get more difficult Eden’s desire for a child becomes all consuming. She works at a hospital and is often going to the new baby ward. She drops hints that she did something terrible and it doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. At least that’s what the story seems to want you to think, anyway.


Meanwhile Jessie is struggling to find out what happened and why “Jessica Sloane” is deceased. And how did she get this girl’s social security number? Made worse and worse by the fact that she just can’t sleep and her mind is going round in circles. She doesn’t know what’s real or what’s not anymore. It’s all pretty compelling stuff. And definitely becomes a page turner.


This is a huge spoiler but it pissed me off so much and ruined the whole book for me and I need to rant about it.


It gets to the point where Jessie can’t cope anymore and you start thinking dear god what else can go wrong for this poor girl, how is this ever going end? And then the book does what every English teacher told me in school was the poorest way you could end a novel ever. “And then I woke up and it was all a dream!” At the start of the novel Jessie is with her mother in the hospital on her death bed. She won’t leave her mother’s side and has been there for days. A kind doctor gives her something to help her sleep. Understandable. But then the combination of stress and drugs give Jessie this epic nightmare. And that’s all it was. A nightmare.

(spoiler show)


I mean…for fuck’s sake. All of that…all of that and to have it ruined with that. It just felt like such a huge let down for what was otherwise a really good book. The truth about Eden’s story is revealed as well, and thankfully that wasn’t as infuriating. It actually turned out to be nothing like what I thought it would be.


Great potential but ruined by a rubbish twist. The end itself wasn’t that bad, really. But that twist just pissed me off so much.


Thank you to Netgalley and HQ for approving my request to view the title.

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