My Rating: 4 Stars
A great read! A mix between different genres that blend perfectly together and with a style of writing that got me hooked from the beginning.
Arriving in a new school, Annie feels out of place. When she meets Elsie, she is forced to become her best friend. Her new friend soon begins to reveal that her character isn’t at all pleasant: she is controlling, spiteful and demanding, but at the same time, she is violently bullied. When Annie ends her relationship with Elsie and joins the opposition, things take a turn for the worse: Elsie dies of influenza… and she comes back to haunt Annie. How do you release a vengeful ghost when its anger is aimed at you?
This suspenseful novel is a page-turner with brilliant descriptions and amazing characters.
The setting was very well picked; the reader is taken back to 1918 during the World War I where political tension runs high, the talk of war is current and the Germans are considered the enemy. The descriptions allow the reader to live the story instead of just reading it. The storyline is solid and its depth reveals a few brutal events and behaviours that took place during that time. There is a mix of genres that is perfectly balanced and they all come together to create a historical ghost story.
The novel is fast-paced; I couldn’t find a moment it slowed down even for a moment, one of the reasons the book was so hard to put down.
The characters are the best element in the novel for me. They are very well developed and defined not only in behaviour but also in dialogue and their actions. I must admit I found it impressing that the author managed to do this with so many characters and not once lose track or diminish their presence in the story. Elsie is a character that I couldn’t help but sympathise with. In my opinion, her actions and behaviour come from her lack of attention and acceptance and her loneliness. If she never got anything positive out of human interaction, she wouldn’t know how to actually establish contact in a friendly way in the first place. She has a difficult character, but she was also a victim. Annie is a good main character and she struggles to fit in. In the end, she chooses to be part of the bullies group and it becomes her downfall. She does learn from it though, which was a satisfying point personally. Annie and Elsie are the pole opposites of each other both in personality and behaviour, like good and evil. However, I think the point of the author is that none is really good and no one is really evil, at least not without good reason.
A great read, one that I recommend to all the fans of a good ghost story with historical highlights.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Clarion Books. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
You know when people say that you should never judge a book by its cover? Well, this is definitely one of those cases! I must warn you right now that this book is brutal, very very graphic and definitely not for the faint of heart! I had to stop reading it and start with something lighter to be able to go through with it.
Olivia is about to start a new phase in her life: university. After her father drops her off at the campus dorm, Olivia takes a stroll in the university grounds only to be kidnapped by two masked man and thrown in a van. When she is finally able to see, she finds herself in a room that looks like the interior of a doll house; everything is pink: the bed, the walls, the furniture. Olivia quickly realises that there is no room to escape and the daily visits of her abductors show her in the most brutal way that she is at their mercy. In a house where several young women are abused and raped daily, Olivia spends five years confined in that pink room. Will she ever be able to escape?
Dark and disturbing doesn’t even begin to cover this novel. When I was younger I had nightmares about a white van and it still haunts me today. I can assure you that after reading this, I will run for the hills if I actually see one. My heart was beating on my throat for most of the reading and the level of psychological and physical horror of the story is both admirable and scary. Even though this is fiction, I know that these events actually take place around the world, and that’s why for me it was so hard to read. It’s like facing a reality that we just keep in the back of our brains.
The style of writing is great, pulled me completely into the story. There was this constant morbid curiosity to know what was going to happen next even though I knew nothing good was waiting around the corner.
I definitely want to read future novels of John Hunt but I do have hopes for something less dark and traumatic. I recommend this book to fans of hardcore thrillers with very detailed, disturbing descriptions. But again a warning, this is not for the faint of heart.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Black Rose Writing, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
I am a big fan of the dystopian genre. For me it’s both interesting and scary to think of which realities might actually happen and how humans deal with the changes. This is one of the reasons I really enjoyed Aftermath, since it’s more focused on the re-building phase than the actual moment of the apocalypse.
Aftermath takes place in a near-future where the world is broken and people are divided. After the fall of several bombs in the different areas of the US territory, people must adapt to a new environment and fight for a new order in society and government. Through the eyes of seven characters, you will be taken on a journey through human nature and instinct of survival in a world where the person to trust is oneself.
I really got into this novel and after I started I finished it quite quickly. The setting is brutal: it really brings out human nature and what we are willing to do to survive, instincts that only manifest in extreme cases. I think this setting really got to me since I believe it’s very possible to happen in the future, taking in consideration the daily news and ongoing wars.
The style of writing is very good and the story-line is very clear and easy to follow. I could see and feel the dedication and the passion of the author on the novel. I got a bit lost in the beginning while reading the past of the characters but in the end I think it was a very good way of showing not only the story of each character, giving them depth; but also to have a better idea of what happened before the bombings. The organisation of the factions was very cleverly thought and described but at the same time a bit brutal, since the people captured by a fraction have absolutely no choice but to submit and obey.
The characters are all unique in their one way and they all contribute to the story, which proves the good technique of the author when it comes to not leaving loose ends. I didn’t feel like a character was more important than others at all.
The ending was shocking and the cliffhanger was painful to deal with! I want more! I am hoping that the author continues to write in this style and that a second volume is on its way. I recommend this book to fans of dystopian literature that goes more in depth to the characters than the actual apocalypse.
I want to thank the author Joe Reyes for reaching out to me and sending me a free copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Engaging, addictive and amazingly written, Reckless had me glued to its pages! I’ve read Inkheart a few times and I can’t help but simply fall in love all over again with the writings of Cornelia Funke.
Once upon a time, a young boy named Jacob discovers this alternative world where he may escape his troubled past. For years he jumps back and forth between worlds becoming a master in finding lost enchanted objects until that faithful day, the day his little brother Will follows him into this magic world. But appearances are deceiving: this world is a very dark and dangerous place where happy endings aren’t waiting in the end of the story. When Will is viciously attacked, Jacob races to save his brother life before he becomes a blood-thirsty monster with skin made of stone.
I can’t get enough of the dark-fairytale world, Mirrorworld. It’s scary, creepy and it is really the worse that can happen in the stories that are supposed to end with “and they lived happily ever after”. It reveals the true meaning of the stories that we all know so well, in my opinion. There are new characters, new monsters but at the same time there are also those beloved characters from Grimm Fairytales, so it creates some familiarity.
The style of writing is amazing. I would have read it in German if I knew the language better, but with the English translation I still got to understand and really feel the story.
About the characters, Jacob is definitely the type of character that I enjoy reading about. He demonstrates his love and worry through actions and not words and although sometimes it seems like he doesn’t care at all, his actions show the bravery one needs to have while facing adversity. He is a great anti-hero with all the qualities and flaws that come with the title. However, Will is the opposite of his brother, and I think the intention was to have on one side the boy that suffered through hard times and tries not to grow attached to people, whereas on the other side, the young, innocent, untainted boy that just wants his brother’s attention. They complete each other perfectly and together they have this amazing brotherly bond that I couldn’t get enough of.
An amazing book that I will definitely re-read soon and that I recommend to all the fans of a dark world of tales!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Breathing Books, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.
Disclaim: All the images used serve for illustration purposes only, I don't own them. All the reviews and opinions are my own.