Friday, October 31, 2014

The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

Book: The Girl From The Well
Author: Rin Chupeco
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published


From Goodreads:

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as "Dexter" meets "The Grudge", based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

My rating: 4 Stars
My opinion: From an adult perspective who lives for these types of books, I didn't find the book as scary as I thought I would, but I did find it highly interesting and creepy. On that note, as a younger reader, this book would creep the heck out of me.

Numerous scenes in the book were reminiscent of the movie THE RING and another I have seen. I can see why numerous reviews are referring to that.

I'd def. recommend this book to a younger reader. Be careful about a sensitive reader though. There are a couple of scenes that can def. scare a younger reader. 

Relatively clean from swearing/sex/etc. Nothing really smacked me across the face in my reading.
Source:  Publisher     
Would I recommend? : Already have, especially this Halloween season
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

White Chalk by Pavarti K. Tyler

Wow, I have been gone a long time! Real life is busy and gets in the way blocking blogging efforts. My New Year's resolution this year was to be much better with my daily blogging. I do believe that I failed. Oy vey! Maybe 2015 will be better.

I just finished a book by author Pavarti K. Tyler that has brought me back in. White Chalk is a classic example of why I love indie books and authors so much. This book goes where modern day traditional publishing would be terrified to go.

Book: White Chalk
Author: Pavarti K. Tyler
Narrator (if applicable):N/A

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Ms. Tyler takes readers into the world of 14 year old Michelle "Chelle" Whitney. Chelle has an alcoholic father and a co-dependent mother, both of whom don't have time nor energy for Chelle to interfere with their dysfunctional relationship. This leaves Chelle open to victimization from many fronts including bullying by her classmates and sexual molestation by her teacher, Mr. Harris. Enter schoolmate sixteen year old Troy Christiansen. When he shows interest in Chelle, she knows it must be romantic. Has she finally found someone to love her? Will he finally be the salvation she craves? 

My rating: A book that is able to have me as emotionally involved as it did is nothing but a 5 Star read for me.

My opinion: This book was a tough read. Probably my toughest read of 2014 so far. On that note, White Chalk is an excellent read. Again, probably the best book I have read all year.This 250 page book is hauntingly disturbing in its storyline and, as a mother, was a very painful read. I found myself wanting to take Chelle in my arms and tell her that everything would be ok. I had moments of anger, particularly at her parents, followed by moments of somberness and sadness in reflecting back to my teen years and seeing some aspects of myself in her.

The characters in this book were superbly developed and Ms. Pavarti's ability to dissect the dynamics of an alcoholic dysfunctional family unit and the roles each member takes on were superb.  I have counseled numerous girls like Chelle.  

Source: Sisterhood of the Traveling Book on Goodreads author donated book.
Would I recommend? : This book is a Sisterhood of the Traveling Book selection.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

WARNING: This book is not a young adult selection. Aside from the descriptive sexual exploitation that happens to Chelle, this book deals with very adult topics. I would never say to ban a book, but as a parent and a former counselor, one better make damned sure that their teen could emotionally handle the topics within its storyline. Other than that, I would say New Adult and up.

Monday, July 7, 2014

That Night by Chevy Stevens

Book: That Night: A Novel
Author: Chevy Stevens
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Toni Murphy has your typical teenager life. A boyfriend she loves and an annoying, "Eddie Haskell" sister that are coupled with a bully clique that is determined to make her life a living hell. Her world spirals out of control when her sister, Nicole, is found brutally murdered and Toni is convicted of her murder. Toni is innocent and, after her release from prison, she will stop at nothing to find who the true killer is even if it means going back to prison. 
My rating: 4 Stars
My opinion: That Night give readers the typical high quality Chevy Stevens writing. Although the greater majority of this book was told in two different time lines, Ms. Stevens pulled it off perfectly. Normally, I complain about this, but have noticed that this author has a knack for doing it flawlessly.

I have to admit that I found it disappointing that I did figure out the ending about 1/2 way through, but the author did offer several alternative possibilities that she could have went down.

I still prefer Still Missing as my favorite Chevy Stevens book, but this is a very close second.

Source: Publisher for review
Would I recommend? : I have and it is Sisterhood of the Traveling Book's July Book of the Month.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

The Kept: A Novel by James Scott

Book: The Kept: A Novel
Author: James Scott
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Set in upper New York state at the end of the 19th century, midwife Elspeth Howell returns to her family's farm after delivering a child only to find that her husband and all but one of her children have been slaughtered. As she walks around the farm, she herself is shot, but not murdered. When she comes to, she finds her son has survived the slaying by hiding in a closet. Who would want to slaughter this farming family? Could the truth be uglier than what Elspeth thinks?
My rating: 3 stars
My opinion:  This book started off much stronger to me than it ended. I saw a progressive deterioration of the storyline. In fact, I have to say that I was rather disappointed with the ending and felt the author could have gone much darker than what he did. On that note, I will admit that I didn't see what I expected in the mystery unraveling so that was somewhat a nice surprise, but not enough to bump up its rating in my head. 

The author's writing was good and the character development was excellent. He did an excellent job of offering readers a very dark and atmospheric story.  

Source:  Publisher for review
Would I recommend? : I would recommend other books above this. I liked the book, but I didn't love it. 
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

Citizen Canine by David Grimm

Book: Citizen Canine: Our Revolving Relationship with Dogs and Cats
Author: David Grimm
Narrator (if applicable): n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Mr. Grimm offers readers a progressive into humans relationships with their canine and feline companions.
My rating: 4 Stars
My opinion: As a lover and spoiler of pets, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

On that note, it is a very good, but also a particularly dry read. I broke the book down into "daily read" sections because of the amount of detail provided.

Parts of the book had a schizophrenic feeling because the author jumped from dogs to cats to other animals at times when it didn't feel appropriate and/or necessary.

I loved the history part of the book more than the genetics/animal husbandry part. I thought the latter felt to bogged down with technical detail. 

I like to give fair warnings of tough periods of reading. This book can be graphic and emotion provoking as it describes "cases" of inhumanity of how we got to where we are in animal laws.  
Source: Publisher for review
Would I recommend?: I have, but more for lovers of non-fiction or animal lovers. 
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone