Thursday, October 29, 2015

Horrorween Reviews: Author Spotlight: We'll Never be Apart by Emiko Jean

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments




Hi, I’m Emiko.

When I am not writing, I am reading. Most of my friends are imaginary. Before I became a writer I was an entomologist, a candle maker, a florist and most recently a teacher. I live in Washington (with my husband and very large dog) and love the rain.

My debut novel, WE’LL NEVER BE APART, was inspired by my work with children in foster care, and will be published by HMH Books for Young Readers Oct 6, 2015. I am represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management.

Title: We'll Never be Apart
Author: Emiko Jean
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication: October 6th 2015
Cover Rating: 5/5


Psychological. Thriller. If there was to be a picture next to the definition of psychological thriller, We'll Never Be Apart, would be that picture.

Alice and Celia are twins. They grew up living with their grandfather. They have a pretty normal life but then one thing goes wrong and the entire balance gets upset.

Alice is the good twin. She is quiet, smart and she doesn't burn things down. But she does her her flaws. Cellie being one of them. She doesn't want to hurt her sister even though her sister has done nothing but hurt her. Loving someone can be a fatal flaw.

Cellie is terrible. She hurts everyone, she starts fires and she is very cynical. She apologizes to Alive after each thing she has done but isn't that what sick people do? They keep apologizing but then they just go and do something horrible again. 

Jason is an anchor for Alice and Cellie. He is home. They haven't been given much love or any reason to trust anyone but Jason has given them those things. He sadly gives a little more to Alice than Cellie and he ends up paying the price for it. He seemed like a scumball to me, though. Some of the things he did and said were just nasty. 

I liked Chase. He seemed kind of like an asshole for the majority of the book but in the end he was still there for Alice when he didn't have to be. He could have left and moved on with his life but he came back and he was there for her. It's actually kind of sad and spooky, really. He could be the next Jason. I know he felt like he could save Alice and he wanted to try because he couldn't save his sister but he still didn't have to stay after he got out.

The girls have been in and out of foster homes since they were six. They have been to mental health facilities as well, which is to be expected with the whole fire starting thing. But Alice is always punished right along with Cellie. No matter how horrible Cellie's crime is, Alice always says that she did it just to protect her sister. 

The way the book is told, you really don't expect the ending at all. At least, I didn't. I cannot comment about how the book ended or anything really because that would spoil everything. Saying the book is a psychological thriller is kind of a spoiler too. But I say, if you liked Mara Dyer then you should give this a try. I got the same mind screwed feeling after finishing this as I did with the Mara Dyer Trilogy.

And, a word of advice, or whatever you wish to take this as, Mother's, Ball's, and Toilet Seats make everything much more enjoyable. 

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.



1. What was the inspiration behind We'll Never Be Apart?
Firstly, thanks so much for having me on your blog today! 

When I graduated from college my undergrad work was in entomology and I spent a very short time working in that field. I love bugs, but I didn’t feel like it quite satisfied my creative drive so during that time I pursued other avenues like candle making and flower arranging J. Finally, I decided to go back to school and become a teacher (I’m from a long line of teachers, education is in my blood). Since the book sold I’ve left teaching. I really loved being a teacher but found balancing writing full-time and teaching full-time was almost impossible! 

My first year teaching I worked at a school with a large population of foster kids. 
It was there the characters for We’ll Never Be Apart originally appeared to me, inspired by some of the foster kids I dealt with. In my head Alice and Cellie grew as characters taking on their own unique life story until I felt compelled to write it. 

2. Can you do Origami?
Yes! Although, I would consider myself a novice at origami. 

3. Have you ever been inside a Psychiatric Hospital?
I haven’t, but I did consult with adolescent mental health experts while writing WE’LL NEVER BE APART. I fact checked with them and also ran through logistical details of the novel – such as the schedule, the layout, and the health services provided. 

4. How hard is it to write a book?
I won’t lie. It is difficult. Writing a book is a true labor of love. But as difficult as it is, it is equally rewarding. 

5. If you have to choose between never writing again or never eating chocolate again which would you pick?
Ha! Tough choice. I eat a lot of chocolate while writing. To me chocolate = writing and writing = chocolate, if you know what I mean. But if I had to make a choice I suppose it would be writing.  

6. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be lots of things! A teacher (which I did for a long time), an astronaut (turns out it’s not as easy as it sounds), a photojournalist (I found out quickly this involved more risk than I was willing to take). My path to publishing wasn’t clear from a young age. And as I grew, I tried on different hats to see what fit me best. 

7. Are you currently working on any new books?
I am always writing something. Right now, I am working on another thriller. That’s all I am willing to say (don’t want to give away any spoilers J).

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Horrorween Reviews: Welcome to the Dark House

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Title: Welcome to the Dark House
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication: July 22nd 2014
Cover Rating: 5/5
Goodreads | Amazon

Welcome to the Dark House is such an intense, amazing book. I has said before that there aren't enough YA horror books out there but the ones that are have been rather good. This book is probably at the top of the list for murder/thriller. For the first 200 or so pages I literally couldn't put the book down.

The book is entirely centered around this horror film genius and his movies and a contest that these people entered thinking they would get to meet Justin Blake and see a premiere of his newest creation. I loved this concept. I am a huge horror movie buff. I have been watching horror movies since I was 7 or so. So, kind of like the character in the book, Garth, except I'm not annoying and trying to hide my actual fear.

Ivy is pretty much the main character even though the book rotates through every contestants point of view. Her parents were murdered but she was spared because she called the cops. Now she is living her life in constant fear and just wants to grow a pair. So she enters the Nightmare Elf contest to try and gain some.

The only other character I liked, besides Ivy, was Parker. The romance between the two of them was kind of weird. Let's just say that these were a bunch of horny teenagers/early 20's and they fell for each other fast. There was a lot of drama and "romance" going on in the beginning. The only pair that lasted was Ivy and Parker, though. 

I hated Garth, I hated Shayla, I didn't like Frankie too much and Natalie was pretty cool aside from being a freak of nature. Garth was a dick and he was hiding behind fear. He thought he was this super brave guy but he was really just a pansy. Even though I hated Garth, Hid nightmare was probably the best one. Frankie wasn't TOO bad but he was just another horny boy. Shayla was a fricken bitch. She said it wasn't her fault her friend killed herself when it obviously was most of her fault. She said she would ditch her for more popular people. She chose popularity over someone she called her BEST FRIEND. She truly disgusted me. Then we have Natalie. She had soo many issues. I have no idea if they were mental or real. But she was pretty cool. 

Parker.. no. NO! Ivy has to find him. UGH! He has to be in the next book. That was the worst ending! WORST ENDING! He better be okay. Like seriously! GRRR.

The entire time I was reading I was wondering if the killer had anything to do with this. But it seemed pretty extreme and elaborate to invite these kids just to finish ONE murder. I had sooo many questions floating around in my head and I loved that. I love when books make you questions things. 

The only real issue I had with this book was that it was so fast paced that I actually lost interest towards the end and found myself putting the book down. I read the majority of the book in one sitting but after a while I had to get up and do stuff and I just didn't feel myself being dragged back to the book so it took me another 3 days to finish the book. Yes, that can be a bad thing but the book was still very good. 

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Release Day: October 28th 2015 St. Martin's

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 10:00 AM 0 comments
Despite her superhuman strength and enhanced senses, Della Tsang's life as a vampire certainly hasn't been easy. Especially since she was reborn and bound to the mysterious, infuriating, and gorgeous Chase Tallman. 

But if there's one thing that's always kept Della going, it's her dream of being an elite paranormal investigator. Her newest case is the opportunity she's been waiting for, but as Della tries to solve the twenty year old murder and clear her father's name. She uncovers secrets about the vampire council. And about Chase. 

Feeling betrayed by all the secrets he's kept hidden from her, Della is determined to keep him as far away from her heart as she can. But she'll need his help to solve the case that will lead them into the darkest and ugliest vampire gangs in town and into the scariest reaches of her heart.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Horrorween Review: Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Title: Diary of a Haunting
Author: M. Verano
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication: August 25th 2015
Cover Rating: 5/5


I picked up Diary of a Haunting randomly. I saw the cover and though it was so cool that it was plastic and showed a different image when removed. I love covers like that. The premise sounded really intriguing as well. Then, add short chapters and I was sold!

Paige is the main character and she is rather annoying as crap. She is this rich, snobby little girl from LA. Her parents divorced and her mother decided to restart live in the middle of nowhere, Idaho. Her mother just got cheated on and her entire life is changing. I kind of think Paige could have been a little more understanding. 

She wasn't ALL terrible though, I will admit. She could have been worse. She cared about her brother and mother a lot. Despite their many flaws. Her mothers "everything deserves to live" policy and her brothers weirdness.

The house Paige's family moved into sounded pretty badass. An ex-hospital with huge rooms and, hey!, you even have your own built in basement neighbor that no one ever told Paige about. That part was pretty screwy, honestly. 

The book is told in diary type blog entries. At the beginning of each entry Paige puts how many spiders and flies and the size of the flies. The spiders and flies are a huge part of this book. At one point, Paige even captures a few flies just to see if they live without each, which they do....

Chloe is the average strange girl at school. She has no friends so I guess she figured being friends with the new girl would work. And it kind of did. 

Raph is your average... basement neighbor...? There really isn't much to say about Raph. His entire situation is pretty funky and I kind of blame him for what happened in the house and with Paige. I mean, he was the one trying out the weird funky religion thing and he did bring home all the crap to study Pronoica. Pronoica DID sound pretty interesting though. 

Towards the end things started to actually pick up and get weird. They find a bunch of hidden secrets and Paige turns out to be not who I thought she was. The ending was so very weird and confusing though. So much random crap is thrown at you and it takes a bit to figure everything out. Like, was Paige possessed, crazy or was the house possessed.

At the end of the book there is this news type article that makes the book seem more real. I thought that was a pretty cool touch.

The one thing I found myself asking a lot as I read this book was "What?!", no specific questions. Just WHAT?!

If you like spiders, flies, wildfires, weird little brothers, things multiplying and ending up in weird places, ghost stories, weird religions and crazy crap in general then this is the book for you.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Release Day: October 20th 2015 St. Martin's

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 10:00 AM 0 comments
In this beautiful, haunting debut, a boy is whisked away to the country in the wake of a scandal, and finds a captivating creature in the attic whose attention comes at a sinister price.

"Tell the story to its end," says Eren with a grin.
His yellow eyes are glowing like embers in the night.
"When I reach the end," I say, "what happens? You'll have the whole story."
"Hmm," he says, looking at me and licking his lips with a dry, grey tongue. "What happens then? Why don't we find out?"


People are keeping secrets from Oli. His mum has brought him to stay with his aunt and uncle in the countryside, but nobody will tell him why his dad where his father is. Why isn't he with them? Has something happened? Oli has a hundred questions, and only an old, empty house in the middle of an ancient forest for answers. But then he finds a secret of his own: there is a creature that lives in the attic…

Eren is not human.
Eren is hungry for stories.
Eren has been waiting for him.

Sharing his stories with Eren, Oli starts to make sense of what’s happening downstairs with his family. But what if it’s a trap? Soon, Oli must make a choice: learn the truth—or abandon himself to Eren’s world, forever.

Reminiscent of SKELLIG by David Almond and A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness, EREN is richly atmospheric, moving, unsettleing, and told in gorgeous prose. A modern classic in the making.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Horrorween Reviews: Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Title: Daughters Unto Devils
Author: Amy Lukavics
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication: September 29th 2015
Cover Rating: 4/5

Daughters Unto Devils is on of those historical, prairie filled, demonic books where you know bad crap is going to happen. Mother who gets sick while she is pregnant, daughter who is born sick because of that, entire family of 7 stuck in a tiny cabin for a really bad winter... Something is bound to go wrong.

I am not sure how I feel about Amanda. I don't know if she was crazy or possessed or if she was just raised to think that the way she was was wrong. Yes, she laid with a boy. Yes, she got pregnant. Yes, she had some unclean thoughts sometimes. But who doesn't? Even the holiest of people stray sometimes and you don't see them getting possessed. Then again, I also have no idea if she was really possessed. The entire book just had my mind going back and forth. 

I do know that Amanda was weak and very susceptible to crap she should have been able to avoid and ignore. She allowed herself to become the way she was. If she was strong enough she could have changed herself. She seemed very selfish and that was clearly evident throughout the book. 

Emily was an annoying brat. It made me wonder if SHE was the one who was a sinner. She slapped Amanda and was completely horrible to her but once Zeke came along she was no different than Amanda had been with Henry. 

There were some parts that made me have hope. Like when Amanda first held and tried to help with taking care of Hannah. She started to understand her sister a little more and she fell in love with her. It was so beautiful. But something just had to come along and mess it up. 

The ending didn't quite turn out the way i was expecting it to. The entire thing with Zeke and the Doctor was unexpected and weird. Edmund and Hannah... WOW! And the demonic possession crap didn't happen how I thought it would. It wasn't a bad ending. But it was kind of cliffhangery. Especially after they finally got home to their cabin on the mountain and Amanda heard the fiddle playing.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Horrorween Review: Catacomb by Madeleine Roux

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Title: Catacomb
Author: Madeleine Roux
Publisher: Harper
Publication: September 1st 2015
Cover Rating: 4/5


I have been sitting on this review for weeks now. I read Catacombs the week it came out in order to finish up the trilogy so I could be done with the books. I have a love/hate relationship with these books. I remember disliking the first one, the story was a great idea but I didn't like the way the author executed the book. I read the second one and it was a bit better but I still felt like it wasn't the right book for me. So, reading the third book was something I subconsciously decided to do in order to say, Yeah, I read that trilogy. But I had no idea writing the review for this book would be so hard.

Daniel is back, obviously. He has graduated and has decided to go on a toad trip down the East Coast to help Jordan get to his uncles house. The entire time I was reading the book I couldn't help but think if Daniel just stayed put he wouldn't have ran into so many of these issues. But they again, he never would have found out about his family history or his birth parents. So its a rock and a hard spot situation, like it is in all of the books in the trilogy. 

Abby is annoying in this book. I used to somewhat like her before but she just became a hemorrhoid in this book. Dragging the guys all over the place to take pictures and that acting like an ungrateful brat. Also, her and Dan were supposed to be "dating" and there was NO emotion or love or anything that led me to believe that they were in any kind of romantic relationship.

Jordan was his annoying self. He didn't change much but he did become a bit angrier? He got mad easier and didn't take as much crap as he did in the first two books. 

These books are meant to be spooky and mysterious. There is always some sort of adventure or something that needs to be solves but I just felt like the books were lacking. They were just meh reads for me. I actually really wanted to like them. I loved the pictures and the ideas the book was based on but I feel like it should have been scarier or more brutal or SOMETHING. I can't quite name what I feel is missing but I definitely feel it.

I loved the whole New Orleans aspect of the book. I have always wanted to go there. I will say that out of the 3 books that this one was probably the creepiest because I know how creepy New Orleans is and I could picture the group actually down there searching for stuff. 

The ending made me soooo angry. It was a cliffhanger! A cliffhanger for the last book in a trilogy. I mean, I guess if you have no interest in learning about Dan's parents then the book ended fine. But I had questions. 

Overall, I gave the book 3.5/5 stars.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!!!

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 3:28 PM 0 comments

Yaayyy!! I really need to do this. I am like 8 books behind on my goal for Goodreads. Ahhh. So this starts October 17th and I will just be updating this post, probably. 


TBR:
Shackled by Tom Leveen
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
First & Then by Emma Mills

Will be adding one or two more. Got to look through my books better :)

PROGRESS:

FINISHED:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Horrorween Review: Very Bad Things by Susan McBride

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Title: Very Bad Things
Author: Susan McBride
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication: October 14th 2014
Cover Rating: 4/5


Very Bad Things was on of those books I picked up on a whim because it was cheap and the cover was pretty cool. The synopsis sounded intriguing so why not give it a try, right? It isn't exactly a spooky book but it does deal with murder and mystery.

Katie ended up at Whitney Prep because of some pretty messed up circumstances. I don't think the school was really for her though. She had one friend and a boyfriend but she mainly seemed like an outcast to me. Then all this crap starts happening and she is the center of attention for a few reasons. 

Tessa was a little too weird and clingy from the beginning. I know she went through a fire and adoption and a lot of other crappy things but I have no idea how someone didn't see the crazy in her sooner. 

Mark was the only normal one out of the bunch. He just wanted Katie, hockey and  to make something of himself. It is so scary to think that Steve wanted to sabotage Mark just so he could take his place on the hockey team and have scouts pay attention to him. Sports are dangerous both on and off the court/field.

This was a rather short book that contained not one mystery but multiple ones. Roses death, Tessa's little situation and the whole Steve Getty crap, which was far more than just messing with Marks life. Most of the mysteries were rather predictable. After a little while I kind of guessed Tessa's situation. But I didn't connect it to Rose or anything else. 

In the end, Tessa was bat-crap crazy. She was still trying to be friends with Katie. I mean, yeah, she did kind of save her but the reason Katie was in the situation in the first place was BECAUSE of Tessa. So I don't truly count that as saving. And the person Katie ends up being friends with is kind of funny but a little expected. 

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Horroween Reviews: Mary: Unleashed by Hillary Monahan

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 2 comments

Title: Mary: Unleashed
Author: Hillary Monahan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication: September 8th 2015
Cover Rating: 5/5


Within the first few pages of Mary: Unleashed, I could tell that I was going to have some problems with the book. Maybe not the story itself, but definitely the book. The author wasn't very consistent with her details but then again she was consistent with tiny facts like the EXACT color of Kitty's caramel brown hair. But things like Shauna being the one make Jessica bleed rather than Mary were inconsistent. All the author has to do was go back and reread the last 3 pages of her own book in order to be consistent. I feel like that was kind of lazy. I am writing this before I get too far into the book but this opinion will not change. I may or may not like the book by the end. But the authors inconsistency is definitely bothering me.

After finishing the book and reading the authors note I can overlook most of the inconsistent parts. I do have to say that it still irks me that the author couldn't just look back to make sure things were the same. 

There was more action and a lot more plot/story revealed and I feel like this book was a great way to end the duology. The first book was kind of just an opener. Like it should have been a prequel novella, maybe. The first book was pretty tame compared to this one. 

Shauna was pretty much the same in this book. Although she lost some friends she still felt bad for Jessica. I can understand having a bond with someone for so many years altering your view of them. But Shauna KNEW and SAW everything Jessica had done yet she still cared about her. She was too soft and I wish she would have been a little bit stronger. 

Kitty changed. She became Anna. She hated Jess and spoke her mind more and stood up for herself. It was amazing to see but it's horrible that it took death to change her. 

Jessica got what she deserved. I know Shauna didn't think that in the end but that is because she had a good heart. Jessica did try to redeem herself and tried to help but I still have no idea whether it was for selfless or selfish reasons. She was definitely not trustworthy and it made everything she did questionable.

I really enjoyed these books. They were such a creative way to retell the Bloody Mary legend. I thought it was interesting that the girls didn't do the simple thing and break the mirror in the basement of the church. They thought it had to be something more complex that was causing the Mary haunting. But in the end it was still pretty much the same old, same old. I did expect the book to be a little more casualty heavy but it was pretty light. I don't know if I am disappointed about that or not. I think the story was told very beautifully and I wouldn't change any of it.

I would have loved more backstory for Elsa and what happened with her Mary situation. I would also like to know what happened to the Sheriffs' wife and what is up with that weird field on his property. I know it was said that every family has their own evil they fight but it still wasn't clear what the field was about. 

The end was amazing and sad and just so full of information. I still have no idea why Mary would go after her family. They didn't do anything to her. They aren't the ones who killed her or put her body in where it was. But I guess they didn't really try hard enough to find her body or help her. So maybe that's why? Who knows. I loved the letters throughout the books. They were helpful and helped us get to know who Mary was before she became this puss oozing ghost-demon.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.



If you like Supernatural then you would probably like these books. When I first started them I couldn't stop thinking about one episode. I haven't seen very many episodes but these books just have a great vibe that feels similar to the shows.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Horrorween Review: Stonehearst Asylum Movie

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments


Everyone has a different definition of scary. And everyone has something that they think about when someone says Halloween. Some people happen to love asylums. So, if you are that person, then this movie is for you. And guess what?! It's on Netflix!! 

I was putting a puzzle together and it was too quiet so I decided to browse the Horror section of Netflix because, well, it's October and I enjoy a good horror movie. Now, most of the time it's extremely hit or miss with Netflix, mostly miss, so I was shocked to find that I was actually watching this movie and enjoying it.

This movie showed perfectly how horrible asylums were 'back then' and I found myself on Dr. Lamb's side more than anyone else's. That place was not curing people it was storing them away and torturing them. Keeping them in locked rooms and completely drugged up. If you truly wish to rehabilitate someone you do not drug them up and lock them somewhere. My opinion on the matter is that the so called Doctors were actually just as mad, if not madder, than the patients sent to these places.

I think my favorite parts of the movie are what Dr. Newgate did with Arthur/Ogre and with the mother who wouldn't eat until her son came home from war. It just showed that he would have mad an amazing doctor despite what the end of the movie told me. 

The ending was so funny. I didn't expect it at all. And I am so glad the Asylum is now in the hands of who it is. It is just so sad to think that so many females were said to have Female Hysteria back then.

So, yeah, I really recommend this movie! As I said, it's on Netflix, so go watch it!


Friday, October 9, 2015

Horrorween Reviews: Mary: The Summoning

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Title: Mary: The Summoning
Author: Hillary Monahan
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication: September 2nd 2014
Cover Rating: 5/5


Bloody Mary has been an urban legend for a long time. I have heard and read many different versions of it. I think we all have, honestly. But, Mary: The Summoning was pretty original. It made me think of the Supernatural episode where Bloody Mary gets summoned. This book is definitely creepy and perfect for Halloween.

Shauna would do anything to make her friends happy, at least that's how I saw her. And she definitely got herself into one hell of a situation. But who thinks an urban legend is going to actually be REAL?? So you can't really blame her for doing a silly thing that girls do at sleepovers. But you can blame....

Jessica. She is such a horrible person. I can tell from a few pages in that she is one of those hard to please girls and you need to do everything she says or you will pay the price. She is so possessive and everything has to be done HER WAY. If you don't go along with her plans then she gets really bitchy and makes her friends feel like crap. She is a complete mental case and she thought she wouldn't lose her friends. 

I do think that Jessica went into this entire think thinking that Mary wouldn't pick Shauna. I do have to admit that it seemed like Jessica had this bond to Shauna and she tried to save her. She even tried to give Mary to someone else. But that someone else was still a friend... I have no idea what Jessica was thinking. She cared about Shauna but then her actions also seemed very selfish. I wonder how differently things would have been if someone else would have gotten Mary. I don't think Jessica would have tried to help them.

Kitty was very gullible. She needed to grow a back bone. I can't help but think that all it would have taken was one of the girls to say no and walk out for this entire situation to not have happened. Out of all of them, Anna seemed like the most likely one to stand up to Jessica. Maybe that's why Jessica didn't seem to show much emotion during the locker room scene. Who knows.

Even thought it is pretty hard to scare me, I have definitely been thinking and looking at reflective surfaces in a different way. I will look around my room and be like oh she can come through my t.v., my laptop, my ipod, my hand sanitizer bottle... You never think of things like that. How many reflective surfaces do you have surrounding you on a daily basis? That is just scary, especially after reading this book. Even my bookmark is reflective!!!! Ahhhhhhh.

I can't wait to start the next book. I want to learn more about the church and this jerkwad Pastor Starkcrowe. I also want to know what more Elizabeth had to do with Mary's situation. She seemed like more than just the average school bully. Maybe Elizabeth is related to Shauna and Jessica knew that and wanted to take revenge? There just feels like there is soooo much more to the story and background then what has been told so far. 

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Author Spotlight: Sanctuary by Jennifer McKissack

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:00 PM 0 comments


Jennifer McKissack lives in Texas and writes for teens. She's working on another YA Gothic with a haunted manor house, family secrets, and romance, this one set on the moors of Scotland.

Title: Sanctuary
Author: Jennifer McKissack
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication: September 29th 2015
Cover Rating:3/5


I have stated in previous reviews that ghost books are a guilty pleasure of mine. So, of course I would want to read Sanctuary. It is told in the time of WWII, I believe. The book has a very old time feel to it though. Living on an Island with barely any modern luxuries will do that to a book. But it also felt very elegant and haunting, albeit, creepy, too.

Cecilia is just as haunted AND haunting as the island, Sanctuary. She has lost so much and has been cast away from the only place she has called home only to be pulled out of her school and sucked back to the island after her Aunt Laura's death. She didn't want to come back but at the same time she didn't want to leave. Her entire family is buried on Sanctuary and she has no one left. She is spunky and inquisitive. I do wish she was a little less shy though. She should have got in her Uncle's face.

Eli was cute, smart and funny. What's not to like about a young professor who loves books? Plus he kind of sticks up for Cecilia and isn't afraid to put Uncle in his place. 

I wanted to jump through the book and kill Uncle. If a guy ever talked to me or treated me the way he treated women I would probably be in jail. He was such a horrible human being. Married again not even a month after his "beloved" wife died. Treats Cecilia like she is an abomination. I know he probably wasn't in his "right" mind.. But either way. The person who Uncle was portraying was horrible.

Mary was rather disgusting. Throwing herself at Eli and treating Cecilia pretty much the same was Uncle did. She was such an ass kisser. Bringing up Cecilia's dead family at any given chance and rubbing it in that Cecilia really didn't have any reason to be on the island anymore since she wasn't a blood relative of Uncle. 

As the book progressed it grew more haunting and sad. Learning about Amoret and the Dr. and everything surrounding Captain Winship and taking over Amoret's village. It was all just so sad and horrible. But, if anyone had a good enough reason to haunt and entire Island, Amoret definitely did. We meet so many new people and the mystery of Cecilia's family and Amoret just gets sadder and weirder. 

I just couldn't imaging being in Cecilia's position. She had no one. She was hated by her uncle and treated pretty badly by Mary. You could tell that there was something evil at work here. There is no way this much tragedy could befall one family in such a short period of time. 

This book was such a great read. It was a little slow at parts but I think that was because it has such tiny print. The chapters are super short though. So it contains something I hate, tiny print, and something I love, short chapters. I want to say soo much more but I know all of it would be spoilers so I will leave the review at this and say that if you love ghost stories and something that will haunt your soul then this is the book for you

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.


1) What was the inspiration behind Sanctuary?
REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier. I first read that classic novel as a teen and many times since. 

2) Do you believe in ghosts?
I’ve never seen a ghost, but I’m open to the experience. 

3) Which would you prefer? A man like Eli or a guy from this time period?
Wow. What an interesting question! I feel like I need to write an essay on that instead of a short answer. And I kind of want to ask you that question back! Which would you prefer? 

Eli is – as my editor said – dreamy, and forward-thinking for his time. I’m quite fascinated by him. I don’t want to say more because I don’t want to reveal spoilers. 

But guys of today are cool too. 

4) Coffee or tea?
How I love my coffee. Until death do us part.

5) If you had the choice to go back in time and choose when you were born, would you? and if so, what you/time period would you pick and why?
I’m well-suited for this time period. I wouldn’t have done well in a time or place that had fewer opportunities for women. We still have a long way to go, but things are much better than they were. I saw how my mom suffered from societal expectations of what she should be; I’ve often thought how glad I was not to be born when she was. 

But still . . . other time periods have a hold on me. I love to immerse myself in research or in novels exploring past events or centuries or places and imagine myself there. 

6) If you could live on a private Island for the rest of your life, would you?
I’m an introvert and enjoy solitude, but no. I need people around me too. And bookstores. Real live bookstores.

7) How would you pitch Sanctuary to the people who are reading this interview?
Ghosts, family secrets, an old mansion that seems to be a living thing . . . if you want to immerse yourself in a Gothic story about a girl exploring her family’s unsettling past on a spooky island off the misty coast of Maine, SANCTUARY is the novel for you. And romance. You need to enjoy a bit of romance.

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