Tuesday, December 4, 2018

REVIEW: Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson - 4.5/5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 1 comments
Title: Paper Girl
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary - Mental Health, Family Issues
Author: Cindy R. Wilson
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication: December 4th 2018
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading Format: Provided Paperback

Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson is the beautiful and painful story of Zoe, a girl who can't leave her apartment, loves making art from folded paper and is excellent at chess and Jackson, a boy who has lost his mother, ran away from his addict father and is trying his hardest to beat someone at online chess.

Zoe was a very fun character to get to know. She had panic attacks and from that she became agoraphobic. She was afraid to leave her house and she was afraid of social situations. She liked to say she was afraid of everything but after getting to know her, that appeared to not be the case. She could speak her mind fairly freely and once she started seeing a new therapist, she came out of her shell rather fast. 

Then we have Jackson. This story is told in back and forth points of view between the two main characters so we get as to know as much about Jackson's life as we do with Zoe. Jackson is about to graduate high school, top of his class, but he has a secret. After his mom died, his dad fell off the wagon and Jackson decided the best thing for him to do was to not be home with his dad. So he took to sleeping in his car, taking odd tutoring jobs to save up for college and practically living in the library. 

Tutoring is what brings out characters together. Zoe isn't doing so well in Math and Physics for her homeschooling classes so her mother hires Jackson, who also happens to be Zoe's sister's friend. Zoe knew him before she had her breakdown and she might have had a little crush on him. 

Mae, Zoe's sister pissed me off a lot in this book BUT she was real. When someone you love is hurting or has some kind of illness you can't cure, you tend to feel VERY useless and sometimes that useless feeling results in you lashing out and hurting the person who made you feel useless. I know this too well from personal experience. So, while I might have been pissed at Mae, the author wrote her character to be very realistic and that got her bonus points in my eyes.

With the help of Gina, Zoe's new therapist, Jackson and herself, Zoe takes steps to better herself. Her main goal is to go to her sister's graduation, which also happens to be Jackson's graduation, but she has a lot of little things to conquer along the way. She has a bunch of ups and a ton of downs and she pushes people away because she feels like she can't really conquer anything if she is being helped, but at the end of the day, she makes progress and keeps trying. She never gives up and that is beautiful.

And Jackson's story has a similar ending. Zoe helps him to face some things he was trying to avoid and by the end of the book he was glad he did. Jackson was a very forgiving character which had both good and bad points. 

I do think the pacing of Zoe getting better was a little fast. She hadn't left her home for a year but within a matter of weeks, she was doing better. I think if I had to have one problem with this book, that would be it. 

In the end, the heart of this book lies with 3 things. Mental illness, family issues, and chess. If I had to sum the book up those would be the three things I would choose. This story was sad but happy at the same time. As someone who lost almost 10 years of her life due to panic attacks, this book hit home but at the same time, it didn't. This book was very romanticized but still, underneath that, there were real problems being dealt with and I think that is more realistic than just breaking down the points of having a mental illness and making that into a story. People with mental illnesses live life every damn day and we are so much more than our illnesses.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Mini Review: Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen - 3.5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 1 comments
Title: Finding Baba Yaga
Genre: Fantasy Retelling
Author: Jane Yolen
Synopsis: 
A young woman discovers the power to speak up and take control of her fate—a theme that has never been more timely than it is now…
You think you know this story.
You do not.
A harsh, controlling father. A quiescent mother. A house that feels like anything but a home. Natasha gathers the strength to leave, and comes upon a little house in the wood: A house that walks about on chicken feet and is inhabited by a fairy tale witch. In finding Baba Yaga, Natasha finds her voice, her power, herself....
A mythic yet timely novel-in-verse by the beloved and prolific author and poet Jane Yolen, “the Hans Christian Andersen of America.”
Publisher: Tor
Publication: October 30th 2018
Cover Rating: 5/5

Whew, this was one weird book. It goes from a somewhat modern time period with Natasha who has a controlling father that she wants to get away from then it goes to the woods where she meets Baba Yaga. From there she meets another young woman but this young woman isn't as headstrong as Natasha and she lets a guy get into her heart and take her away to some castle. That is pretty much the gist of the outside story. 

The inside story is about Natasha trying to find herself in a world where she was constantly controlled by her father. Finding Baba Yaga helped Natasha find herself. The story is very whimsical and strange but it is also beautiful if you take the time to understand what is going on.

Side note: I would like to thank this book for reminding me about Baba Yaga. When I started reading another book series, Throne of Glass, there are some witches in the book that are described like Baba  Yaga with the iron teeth and nails, etc. Without reading this book previously before starting Throne of Glass I probably wouldn't have put those clues together.

Overall, I gave the book 3.5/5 stars.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

REVIEW: Crown of Thunder by Tochi Onyebuchi - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Razorbill/Penguin. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Rating: 4/5
Publication Date: October 16th, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy
Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, romance, slight mature scenes, sins, and slight gore)
Pages: 336

Synopsis: 

Taj is headed west, but the consequences of leaving Kos behind confront him at every turn. Innocent civilians flee to refugee camps as Karima’s dark magic continues to descend on the city. Taj must return, but first he needs a plan.

With Arzu’s help, Taj and Aliya make it to the village of her ancestors, home of the tastahlik—sin-eaters with Taj’s same ability to both battle and call forth sins. As Taj comes to terms with his new magic, he realizes there are two very different groups of tastahlik—one using their powers for good, the other for more selfish ends.

Aliya is struggling with her own unique capabilities. She’s immersed in her work to uncover the secret to Karima’s magic, but her health begins to mysteriously deteriorate. With the help of a local western mage, Aliya uncovers her true destiny—a future she’s not sure she wants.

As Taj and Aliya explore their feelings for each other and Arzu connects with her homeland, the local westerners begin to question Taj’s true identity. Karima is on his heels, sending dark warnings to the little village where he’s hiding. Taj will have to go back and face her before she sends her mostly deadly weapon—Taj’s former best friend, Bo.



I felt like for a sequel this book was well done. The writing was still as strong as it was in the first book and the plot was so interesting. I liked the relationships that were explored in this book and I liked how the characters are more developed in this book. I feel that this was a solid book and I would love to see more of this series.

However, I do feel that the ending was very rushed and it felt that there were things that were left unsaid. Some of the parts of this book could have used a bit more fleshing out. I also feel that this book had some continuation issues. It felt that there were some parts of this book that didn’t seem to line up with the first book.

Verdict: Overall, I think this is a solid read and the series is fantastic despite my nitpicking. Definitely pick up book 1 and 2 this Halloween season!


Saturday, October 27, 2018

REVIEW: Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Razorbill/Penguin! Thanks! All opinions are my own!
Rating: 

Publication Date: October 31st, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, slight gore, sin)
Pages: 298

Synopsis: 

In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.

A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.



I had seen this cover in like every bookstore and I’ve always been so intrigued by it. I will say that the cover very accurately matches the tone and the happenings of the book. The character development in this book is very well done and the plot is interesting throughout the book. I felt like this book was really well written and I think the whole plot was a very interesting concept.

However, I did feel that there were a lot of characters in this book, some of them with similar names, which made it hard for this reader to keep them all straight in her head. I also feel that this book was a tad too slow paced for me.

Verdict: Overall, a very well written and solid read! Definitely recommend.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

REVIEW: The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck - Erin

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
The Lantern's Ember
The Lantern's Ember
by Colleen Houck
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Delacorte Press
ISBN3: 9780399555725
Library

ABOUT:
Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare.

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos. (GoodReads)

RATING: 

REVIEW:
I really did like this book. It’s the rushed ending that forces me to only give this book 3 stars. I really thought this book was going to have a sequel…. but no…. the last 20-30 pages just rushes to an end that just wasn’t fulfilling. Sure all the characters’ stories have an end of some sort… but I wanted more. I really wanted an epic battle. Or at least more to the main story that made sense. It was like the author ran into a page limit and was just like “Ok I guess I’ll just smash something that could be a hundred pages into twenty”. This book could have been so amazing!

Despite the bad ending, the rest of the book was fun and entertaining. As a HUGE Halloween fan, it was great to see so many spooky character and places connections. Jack is a lantern (Get it? Jack O’Lantern!) and he guards a covered bridge and has a creepy ghostly horse and he likes to ride around with a lit pumpkin to scare people…. Does that description remind you of Sleepy Hollow at all? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. He guards a gate to the monster world. There were many gates that he’s helped protect in the past including one in Salem, Sleepy Hollow, and Roanoke (three “spooky” towns!!!). In the monster world we have vampires who stories connect to Transylvania, a man made monster who resembles Frankenstein, a mad scientist who owns an island like the island of Dr. Monroe and so many great connections.

Main character wise…. I loved our little witch, Ember, though she did act very naive sometimes. Jack was an interesting guardian, though I feel like his romance was a little too easy.  Finny was a good overall sidekick, but nothing super special. Dev was a decent vampire though his longing for Ember got tiresome. The love quadrilateral (yes there were four people instead of our usual three) was kind of odd and a bit pointless. I feel like it was rushed and in some ways just didn’t make sense. Many of the other characters in the book we interesting and cool as well, but I feel like they didn’t get enough attention. I blame part of that problem yet again on the rushed ending.

Overall, this was a fun quick read especially for the Fall/Halloween season. It’s a “clean” read so young tweens and teens of all ages can enjoy it. Give it to someone who’s a fan of horror connections. 

Image result for halloweentown meme

Sunday, October 21, 2018

REVIEW: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments


Disclaimer: I bought this book on my own accord. Yay me!
Rating: 


Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy 
Recommended Age: 14+ (violence, gore, mature scenes, romance, magic, diversity!!!)
Pages: 525

Synopsis: 

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.



Holy hell what can I say about this wonderful book? It’s like Harry Potter level of addiction and it makes me happy inside! I love this book!! The characters are complex and developed. The plot in intriguing and there’s not an “easy way out” or “one simple solution”. The book has a lot to talk about in regards to racism and prejudice. The book has an excellent and unique magic system. The book is just WONDERFUL! I was intrigued throughout the book. I felt that the pacing was on point and the writing was well done. I also realized why there was so much hype about this book: IT’S FUCKING GOOD! It’s the diverse fantasy that I’m happy and excited to see in the book community and it’s the best thing to read when it’s rainy outside (I tested this so definitely do this).

The only thing I would nitpick on is that I felt it was a bit long. I feel like the book could have been broken up into two books and it would have still been just as good, so I’m wondering how long this series will be and if there will be enough material for all of those books.

Verdict: Diverse fantasy that we needed yesterday.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

REVIEW: Phantom Wheel by Tracy Deebs - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Little Brown Young Readers and The Novl. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Rating: 

 Publication Date: October 16th, 2018
 Genre: YA Sci-Fi
 Recommended Age: 14+ (hacking, the digital apocalypse, some language, some romance)
 Pages: 403

Synopsis: 
Believing they have been recruited by the CIA, six teen hackers arrive in LA for a hacking aptitude test with the promise of a college scholarship and a job with the CIA after graduation. But one of the teens, Owen, walks out, refusing to participate. The other five decide to stay and complete the tests. When they finish, they leave feeling equally accomplished and unnerved.
Then silence-until they receive a text from Owen: You’ve been played. He’s uncovered evidence that the hackers created “Phantom Wheel,” the most devastating virus ever made. Jacento, the corporation behind it all, plans to use this virus to gain unprecedented access to personal data. And that’s just the beginning of the devastation. Can the teen hackers stop Phantom Wheel-and protect their own secrets from being revealed-before it’s too late?

Ever since being with my husband I’ve developed a fascination with hacker novels. I love asking Ethan if stuff in the books are possible or not and what his opinions on things are and this book wasn’t any different. For the most part, I enjoyed the book. I loved the dynamic between the cast of characters, I loved how developed each of the characters were, and I felt that the plot was intriguing enough to keep me interested throughout the book. I felt that the pacing was level throughout the book as well.

The only things that concern me about this book are the time jumps. At times they seem uneven and awkward. The way the kids talk about different computer things and hacking items can be confusing to people who aren’t into that or who haven’t read books like this before. There’s no explanation to the stuff they talk about or do. There are also things the kids do that don’t have an explanation to them and the way their written can be confusing. For example, at one point the kids break into a building with a plan to gather something (trying to not be spoilery). The heist goes off like how it would in a movie, but there’s no prior explanation to the readers, which is a bit confusing at first. It’s like you’re an outsider looking in throughout this book and at times it works, but sometimes it really doesn’t.

Verdict: A excellent hacker novel that makes you want to binge.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

REVIEW: The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas - Erin

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
The Cheerleaders
The Cheerleaders
by Kara Thomas
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9781524718329
Library

ABOUT:
There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe. (GoodReads)

RATING: 

REVIEW:
A great murder mystery for the Fall Season. I will admit that I’m not a huge fan of American Football or Cheerleading. It is with huge relief that I tell you that this book has little to do with either of those. The only real connection is that all the girls who died were part of the cheerleading squad and now there is no more cheerleading at their school. The story revolves around Monica, the sister of one of the dead cheerleaders, and her search to figure out if her sister really killed herself or not. All of her sleuthing drags her deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole that is all of the girls’ deaths. They’re all connected right…. Or are they?

The characters were all well represented in the book. I don’t want to give too much away with descriptions of them or their personalities, it might ruin the story. Our main character Monica though is a very strong and intelligent female and I loved seeing that in a Teen mystery story. I’m a little sick of the main female character’s storyline getting dragged through romances. Thankfully there is very little of that in this book.

This book was full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing. It’s a very dark read that deals with a lot of tough issues like suicide, grief, abortion, alcohol, murder and more. It’s defiantly for your more mature teen reader. Give it to older teens looking for a good, creepy, suspense mystery!

Image result for mystery meme

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

REVIEW: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White - 4 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Title: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication: September 25th 2018
Cover Rating: 4/5

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White is a very interesting retelling of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. In this retelling, Victor Frankenstein is portrayed as this mentally ill genius who would do absolutely anything to figure out a way to cheat death. But he didn't just want to cheat death for the sake of science, he wanted to cheat death because he can't imagine his life without his love, his Elizabeth.

Elizabeth lost her father at a young age. That made her an orphan. The woman who was raising her told a wild story about Elizabeth being royalty/she had come from a wealthy family. Elizabeth didn't believe the story, she just thought the woman spun the tail to get her out of her hair. Then, the Frankenstein family bought her as a playmate for their young, strange son, Victor.

We enter the book when Elizabeth has left the Frankenstein estate in order to search for Victor. Victor was away for school after his mother's death and Elizabeth hadn't heard from him for a long time. She sent their friend Henry after him but Henry decided to venture off and do his own thing as well so it was up to Elizabeth to find Victor and bring him home.

Victor was a very odd character. His brilliance was amazing but it would ultimately cause his downfall. Or maybe that was Elizabeth. It all depends on perspective. Either way, I think Victor would have met his downfall one day either by succumbing to his persistent fevers or by killing the wrong person. Regardless of how he dies, I still did not like him from the beginning and quite honestly I didn't like Elizabeth either but together, they wove the most macabre story that was pretty enjoyable.

In the end, everything got turned upside down, things got bloody and Elizabeth had to make some pretty tough decisions in order to survive. The story ended a lot differently than how the actual Frankenstein did

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Monday, October 8, 2018

REVIEW: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Genre: Young Adult Historical Thriller
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Publication: September 20th 2016
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading format: Provided ARC/Owned Hardback


I wanted to start this review off by saying I have read this book 3 times now and for some odd reason, I never posted my review for it. I had one all written up and even had the custom synopsis picture I do finished but something happened between point A and point B the follow-through just never happened sooooo I decided to trash the older review and rewrite a new one now that I have read the book AND LOVED IT so many times.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco is a wonderful retelling and reimagining of the Jack the Ripper murders. This book stars the lovely Audrey Rose Wadsworth and the dashing Thomas Cresswell as they assist Audrey Rose's uncle in trying to solve the Ripper murders that are happening throughout the book. 

Jack the Ripper is one of my favorite unsolved mysteries that I like to read and watch shows/movies about. So, when I heard about this book it instantly shot to the top of my TBR. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy so I got to read the book before it came out and I don't know if that was a blessing or a curse because then I had to wait over a year for the next book to come out. Sometimes reviewing books early suuuckksss.

During the book Audrey Rose and Thomas team up to try and figure out the murders by themselves. This leads to a lot of mystery and mayhem and perhaps a stolen kiss or two. Oh, how I loved the dynamic between the two characters. Audrey Rose was trying to keep her virtue and good name intact while Thomas was being all sorts of tempting and making lewd jokes and advances. Nothing about the situation was harmful and they just complimented each other perfectly.

I loved the historical aspect of the book. I used to very much dislike historical fiction but ever since this book came out I have been devouring it. Especially if it contains a mystery/thriller element. I might even go so far as to say that Historical Mystery/Thriller is my new favorite genre, aside from plain old Mystery/Thriller.

After many failed attempts at tracking down the killer and even going so far as to name someone very close to her as the killer, the book came to an ending that I truly was not expecting. I can usually guess where a book is going and so far, with Ripper, Dracula, and Houdini, I have not been able to guess the killer until the very last moment before he is revealed. But the killer for Ripper was very shocking and heartbreaking all at once. 

In the end, I wish I could fully put into words how amazing I believe this book and the others in this series are but I really don't think there are any words for the emotions I feel when reading this series. I adore these books so much and I want to thank Jimmy Patterson for publishing these and many other amazing books. If you haven't checked out any of the books under this publishing brand then you are seriously missing out!

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

REVIEW: Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Rating: 
Genre: YA Horror/Fantasy
Recommended Age: 12+ (something Wiccan this way comes. Seriously, if your parents didn’t allow you to read Harry Potter they most definitely won’t like this book).
Pages: 187

Synopsis: 

Morgan and her best friend, Bree, are introduced to Wicca when a gorgeous senior named Cal invites them to join his new coven. Morgan falls for Cal immediately? and discovers that she has strong, inexplicable powers.


When my husband and I were little we apparently already had a common interest: witches! We loved stories about these spell casters and we read a ton of book between us about different YA or MG novels concerning the topic. Since my husband kept a ton of his older books and this series concerns witches, he gave the series to me so I can read it. And I loved this book. It was simple and straight to the point about a girl who becomes infatuated with the new guy in school and his religion: Wicca. She and her friends start to practice the art and she comes to the conclusion she is sensitive to the magic. But is that all about our protagonist? The plot and pacing of this book were perfect for how small of a book this was. While this book was mostly just an introductory piece to the series, it wasn’t at all boring to me.

However, I didn’t feel that the characters were that developed and most were forgettable. There was a huge cast of characters introduced in this short book and it made remembering names very difficult. Maybe if the book had few key characters or if the book was longer then I could have remembered all of them.

Verdict: While there are a bunch of characters, the main storyline is intriguing and I’ll definitely be reading the second book of this series.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

REVIEW: Asylum by Madeleine Roux - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Rating: 
Genre: YA Horror
Recommended Age: 13+ (jump scares and creepy)
Pages: 310
Disclaimer: None, I bought this book on my own!

Synopsis: 

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, the New Hampshire College Prep program is the chance of a lifetime. Except that when Dan arrives, he finds that the usual summer housing has been closed, forcing students to stay in the crumbling Brookline Dorm—formerly a psychiatric hospital. As Dan and his new friends Abby and Jordan start exploring Brookline’s twisty halls and hidden basement, they uncover disturbing secrets about what really went on here . . . secrets that link Dan and his friends to the asylum’s dark past. Because Brookline was no ordinary mental hospital, and there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.


I like scary books sometimes and I’ve always heard Madeleine Roux wrote some really good ones. When I read House of Furies last year I wasn’t that impressed, but decided to trudge on with Asylum anyways. While I felt it was better, I still didn’t enjoy the book that much. I thought the world building was much better than House of Furies and the book has really creepy and cool illustrations, but for the most part, I was disappointed.

I thought the storyline of haunted school was a bit overdone and this one didn’t strike me as anything unique. The pacing is a huge issue in the book. There’s action over 2-3 pages and then everything is normal again. The chapters are very weirdly done as they do nothing to help with the flow of the book. The character development was almost non-existent and the main character was very frustrating to me.

Verdict: If you can get past how choppy this book is, it’s a really good horror book. Otherwise, it’s frustrating and tired.


Friday, October 5, 2018

REVIEW: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco - 4.5/5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Title: Hunting Prince Dracula
Genre: YA Historical Thriller
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication: September 19th 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading format: Owned Hardback
I loved Stalking Jack the Ripper. Every chance I get to suggest the book to someone, I do, very enthusiastically. So I was BEYOND excited to get my hands on Hunting Prince Dracula. Although there wasn't as much gore aspect in HPD I still enjoyed it just as much, but Audrey Rose needed an attitude adjustment or a Xanax.

We start the story off with Audrey Rose and Thomas on a train on their way to a prestigious forensic school that just so happens to reside in Vlad the Impalers castle. On the ride they find out that the locals are worried that Vlad has risen from the dead and has started to kill people again. Once at the castle the two figure out that there is a killer replicating vampyric deaths and also replicating deaths as if the person was a vampire killed by a hunter. So two very different deaths but also two very similar situations.

I really enjoyed the mystery solving portion of the book but I think I could have lived without the sexual tension between Thomas and Audrey Rose. There was anger where it wasn't needed and sexual thoughts when they weren't needed. I understand the author is trying to advance a romantic plot within the book but sometimes enough is enough. Even with the crazy tension I still found a way to love the book. Especially when we find out that Thomas has one hell of a secret he's been keeping.

Audrey Rose spent the majority of this book worried more about what her peers thought of her and of the fact that she wanted to be an independent woman rather than actually solving anything or doing her forensic work. She was doing a wonderful job of screwing herself over without Thomas or her classmates help. Sometimes being too worried about one thing can really skew what's really important. Also, I found it very interesting that Audrey Rose didn't say anything when Thomas convinced her father to let her go to school. So she only accepts help when it greatly benefits her.  Hmm, I hope her attitude improved in the next book.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

REVIEW: Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel by A. W. Jantha - Erin

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Hocus Pocus & The All New SequelHocus Pocus & The All New Sequel
by A.W. Jantha
Hardcover, 560 pages
Expected publication: July 10th 2018 by Freeform
ISBN13: 9781368020039
NetGalley

About:
Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween enthusiasts all over the world. Diving once more into the world of witches, this electrifying two-part young adult novel, released on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 film, marks a new era of Hocus Pocus. Fans will be spellbound by a fresh retelling of the original film, followed by the all-new sequel that continues the story with the next generation of Salem teens.

Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison's seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don't quite go as planned, it's a race against time as Poppy and her friends fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches' latest death-defying scheme. (Goodreads)

Rating: 

Review:
“Another Glorious Morning! It Makes Me Sick!”
I LOVE THIS BOOK!
I was so excited to have a chance and read this book ahead of time. I’m a huge Hocus Pocus fan and have been waiting for more to the story since the original movie came out in the 90’s! I wasn’t to disappointed in this retelling and sequel. The first half of the book is the original story/movie only there are little “clues” added in that lead to the second half of the book which is the sequel. It was fun to get to read the original story and picture the movie in my head as I was going. I give the author props for doing a good job with the retelling. 


The sequel was not as good as the original, but that’s ok because I never expected it to be. It was still cute and funny. All of our favorite characters from the original are back in the second, including Binx! There are new characters that are introduced including a long lost sister and the Sanderson Mother! There are obvious twists and we know the kids will save the day again but that’s not really the point of the story anyway. It’s a story about family, friendship, and trust. On all those points it hits the mark. The sequel does end with a cliffhanger that definitely left me wanting more! I really hope they do another book. While the original was a great movie, I think that the sequel would be better suited as a Disney Channel movie. That’s not saying it’s not good, it just has more of that kind of vibe. Readers young and old who are a fan of the original movie will enjoy this read. Younger new readers might question what a virgin is so parents be prepared to field that question. 


*To see more of Erin's reviews please click her signature to go to her blog

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