Review: Return to the Dark House (Dark House #2) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Book Title: Return to the Dark House
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Published Date: July 21st, 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: YA Horror
Series: Book 2 in Dark House duology
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
Ivy Jensen survived the Dark House once, but can she make it out a second time?

Two months have passed since Ivy narrowly escaped the Nightmare Elf’s grip, but the memories of Parker, Natalie, Shayla, Frankie, and Garth continue to haunt her. Their killer is still out there—somewhere. The police trail has gone cold, though, and it’s up to Ivy to piece together the clues to find him.

When a cryptic video arrives in her inbox, Ivy soon finds herself back in the spotlight, this time on a twisted scavenger hunt through the dark, ancient halls of a long-forgotten Gothic school building. Ivy’s not alone, either. Taylor Monroe has returned to the scene. But can Taylor be trusted? Or is she another pawn in the Nightmare Elf’s deadly game?

Laurie Faria Stolarz crafts a mesmerizing thriller that will leave readers looking over their shoulders.

Disclaimer: Library book.

I don’t know if you guys remember, but I really enjoyed Welcome to the Dark House so when I heard that it was getting a sequel, I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to dive back into this world.

Guys, the wait was so worth it!

They added an element to the story that made it even scarier and I actually loved that. This time, it wasn’t the Nightmare Elf that scared the ever loving hell out of me. It was this mysterious E. W and the boy called Ricky. The origin of these boys took this story down a path that I was not expecting.

I think the thing I was most excited about was that we got to meet Taylor this time around. She had been the girl who had left before things had even really begun. I knew after finishing Welcome to the Dark House, that she probably was important to the story. I was really curious to see what her part was in all of this.

This book was even more terrifying than the first book in this series. I would love to talk about certain things, but I don’t want to spoil you guys, so I’ll just say, READ IT. If you haven’t read the first book, then binge-read both books, one right after the other. If you enjoy horror books, you will not be sorry. 5 stars to this utterly terrifying but at the same time, captivating book.

Review: The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

Book Title: The Creeping
Author: Alexandra Sirowy
Published Date: August 18th, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Horror/Mystery
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Eleven years ago, Stella and Jeanie disappeared. Stella came back. Jeanie never did.

Now all she wants is a summer full of cove days, friends, and her gorgeous crush—until a fresh corpse leads Stella down a path of ancient evil and secrets.

Stella believes remembering what happened to Jeanie will save her. It won’t.

She used to know better than to believe in what slinks through the shadows. Not anymore.

Disclaimer: I received this book as an e-ARC from Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers in exchange for my honest review.

I’ve been in an epic slump over the past few weeks. This slump included both reading and blogging, so I was definitely nervous to read this book. I really didn’t want the first book I’ve read in weeks, to be a disappointment.

Thankfully, this book was an awesome surprise.

With books in this genre, I put a lot of importance on the writing. I want to feel scared. I want to be intrigued. I want to be afraid of the unknown. Sirowy’s writing did that for me.  I basically read 85% of the book in one day.

I was utterly captivated by the mystery and horror that Sirowy created. I won’t say much about the mystery & horror aspect because I want to avoid spoiling the book for those who haven’t read it yet.

What I wasn’t expecting was the romance. I loved, LOVED the romance. It was unexpected as there isn’t normally romance in books like this. But it was cute and sweet to see how this boy cared for Stella.

Stella did have a bit of a toxic friendship with Zoey. Zoey really drove me insane. She was judgmental and rude and mean, especially to the boy Stella falls for. Yet, Stella continues to defend her. That drove me insane. I understood that Stella felt this loyalty to Zoey, but I desperately wanted Stella to have a backbone.

The mystery of what happened to six year old redheaded Jeanie was captivating. I kept wanting to read more and more. I wanted to learn more about that day, but Stella couldn’t remember anything.

Until bits and pieces started coming back to her.

I cannot say enough good things about this book. It did remind me a bit of The Devil You Know by Trish Doller, which I also enjoyed. This book will be getting 5 stars from me.

Review: Welcome to the Dark House (Welcome to the Dark House #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Book Title: Welcome to the Dark House
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Published Date: July 22nd, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA Horror
Series: Book One in Welcome to the Dark House duology
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Disney Hyperion via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Now this is how you do a horror book. 

I probably enjoyed it even more than I would have originally, because I read it in the dead of night. It was so creepy and I couldn’t put it down. I was up until nearly 4am because I had to know what happened and I had to know how it ended. After finishing it, I found out that it was book one of a duology, so YAY. I cannot wait to go back into this story next year. It’s gonna be a long wait.

It started off normally enough, with us meeting Ivy, Parker, Shayla, Natalie, Garth, Frankie, and there’s a 7th contestant, Taylor, who we don’t see much of in this book. I am definitely hoping we see more of her in book 2 because I think she has a lot to add to the story. The book is split up into six different POV’s and I was worried that I would have difficulty following the individual stories, and I did at first, but it wore off quickly.

Things start getting creepy that night and it only continues into the next day as they arrive at an abandoned amusement park. A whole lot of stuff goes down, and it’s truly scary stuff, I mean I had nightmares after I finished the book because of the stuff that happens in the amusement park.

Oh let’s not forget Nightmare Elf, hands down the scariest part of the book for me. It made me think of what would happen if you mixed The Elf on the Shelf with Chucky, and that was enough to give me massive goosebumps while I read this book. The Nightmare Elf visited me in my nightmares after I finished the book.

I have to admit, I love being scared in books, so I was really glad I read this book. I am seriously excited for book 2, and it’s definitely going to be a long wait, especially given the cliffhanger that this book ended in. It was a near perfect read for me, and I’m giving it 4.5 stars. If you like the Horror genre, I would definitely recommend this book. If you are easily scared, I’d avoid this book.

Review: (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

Book Title: (Don’t You) Forget About Me
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Published Date: June 10th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Mystery/Horror
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.

Disclaimer: I received this book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

This book, much like Quinn’s first book, was a puzzle. Normally I hate puzzles. They frustrate me, they make me lose my temper a lot. But when there’s a puzzle in a book, I’m patient and eager to see how things unfold. That was certainly the case with this book. I was fascinated by the world that Quinn had created.

Gardnerville was a place where no one got sick, everyone lived a long life and it was place that promised newcomers a happy, illness free life. But that life came at a price. Every 4 years teenagers are affected with deadly powers. A teen could turn his entire football team into stone or, even lead them to a watery grave. 

This book had so many twists and turns in it that I wasn’t even sure what direction the book would take. It did take me awhile to read it but I think part of that was that I was trying to figure out what was going on and I was actually reading slower than I normally do in an attempt to really let everything sink in. Little tidbits of information at every turn kept me guessing about what was truly going on and I still was never able to figure it out before the book ended.

The last 25% of the book was the best part. That’s when things began to click into place and all of my questions were answered. The way the story was weaved was awesome and I absolutely loved how this story was like an onion. As I read the book, layers and layers of the book unfolded until the entire story was laid out in front of you by the end.

This book was truly awesome and I’m giving it 4 stars. It was absolutely fascinating and Quinn has earned herself a spot on my auto-buy author’s list. This book was such a great ride and I cannot wait to see what Quinn writes next.

Review: Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten

Book Title: Wickedpedia
Author: Chris Van Etten
Published Date: June 24th, 2014
Publisher: Point Horror
Genre: YA Horror
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s the return of Point Horror for the Internet generation! Don’t open the door. Don’t answer your phone. And whatever you do, DON’T turn on your computer. . . .

Cole and Gavin love playing practical jokes through Wikipedia. They edit key articles and watch their classmates crash and burn giving oral reports on historical figures like Genghis Khan, the first female astronaut on Jupiter. So after the star soccer player steals Cole’s girlfriend, the boys take their revenge by creating a Wikipedia page for him, an entry full of outlandish information including details about his bizarre death on the soccer field.

It’s all in good fun, until the soccer player is killed in a freak accident . . . just as Cole and Gavin predicted. The uneasy boys vow to leave Wikipedia alone but someone continues to edit articles about classmates dying in gruesome ways . . . and those entries start to come true as well.

To his horror, Cole soon discovers that someone has created a Wikipedia page for him, and included a date of death. He has one week to figure out who’s behind the murders, or else he’s set to meet a pretty grisly end.

Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I must be getting really picky about books in the YA Horror genre, because this is the second book that I’ve read recently in this genre and, once again, I’m woefully unimpressed. I love murder mysteries and I was sure this one was going to hook me and it didn’t. 

I think it had to do with the fact that not only did the characters bore me, but I didn’t even care about the murders. I thought for sure the added storyline of the social media playing a part in this book, would make it more interesting.

I didn’t even care that Cole’s life was in danger. I found myself almost wishing for his death. I know that sounds awful, but man, was this book boring. It lacked the creepiness factor that I love so much in YA Horror.

So again, this book didn’t do anything. It didn’t scare me. It didn’t freak me out and I wasn’t invested in the characters or the murders. I was bored out of my mind. I’m giving this book 1 star. Hopefully it will be someone else’s taste, but it definitely was not my taste.

Review: Followers by Anna Davies

Book Title: Followers
Author: Anna Davies
Published Date: June 24th, 2014
Publisher: Point
Genre: YA Horror
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
To tweet or not to tweet . . . what a deadly question.

When Briana loses out on a starring role in the school’s production of Hamlet, she reluctantly agrees to be the drama department’s “social media director” and starts tweeting half-hearted updates. She barely has any followers, so when someone hacks her twitter account, Briana can’t muster the energy to stop it. After all, tweets like “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark . . . and a body’s rotting in the theater” are obviously a joke.

But then a body IS discovered in the theater: Briana’s rival. Suddenly, what seemed like a prank turns deadly serious. To everyone’s horror, the grisly tweets continue . . . and the body count starts to rise.

There’s no other explanation; someone is live-tweeting murders on campus.

With the school in chaos and the police unable to find the culprit, it’s up to Briana to unmask the psycho-tweeter before the carnage reaches Shakespearian proportions . . . or she becomes the next victim.

Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I have been so horrendously disappointed by the YA horror genre lately. I haven’t been creeped out or scared to read the book at night. What I have been is bored, uninterested and unsatisfied by the creepiness.

Unfortunately Followers did nothing to excite me. In fact, as I read this book, I kept checking to see how much I had left to read. Sure I could have decided not to finish it, but I feel like I have made that decision a lot lately, so I decided to try and finish it.

I managed to finish it, but to be honest I want those hours that I spent reading this book back. It didn’t get better, like I was hoping it did. The characters did not become more interesting, in fact they stayed just as flat and uninteresting as they began as. Which makes me sad. I love a good character arc with good character development. Unfortunately this book was lacking in so many things that it really needed.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone because I didn’t enjoy it at all. I was bored the entire time, which made me really sad. I am giving this book 1 star because it it was poorly written, and the execution was awful.

Review: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Book Title: Another Little Piece
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Horror
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn’s haunting debut.

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.

Holy crap! What did I just finish reading?

Those were the words that floated out of my mouth the moment I finished reading this book at 2am this morning.A book really has to draw me in big time for me to stay up half the night devouring it. Another Little Piece definitely did that. First, lets just get this out of the way, this is not a book for everyone. Not everyone is going to devour this book like it’s their last meal.But after a slow start, this book picked up steam and never looked back.

Normally I hate poetry in books but the poems that were in this book, worked. They were poems that Annalise wrote herself before she disappeared and they nearly always gave clues as to what was going to happen next.

The writing fit the story so well. At times it was disjointed but that made sense to me as Annalise felt disjointed herself. She didn’t remember her life at all and she struggled to try to remember it. The writing was beautiful and haunting which, again fit the book so well.The use of the author’s descriptive language was awesome.

I adored Dex, he was a wonderful surprise and he was good to and for Annalise which was awesome to see. There was a slight love triangle but I’m not even sure you can call it that because Logan was from the past and there was never really anything there between him and Annalise. 

The paranormal elements were definitely a surprise as I didn’t see that coming at all. Normally I shy away from paranormal elements in books, but it was done so well this time that I didn’t mind it. It definitely added a layer to this book.

My brain literally HURT while reading this book. Not in a bad way, just in a I-gotta-know-what-happens-next kind of way. There were multiple questions I had throughout the book and every time a question was answered, another one would crop up. I mean that is a GREAT way to get people to want to keep reading, so kudos to Kate Karyus Quinn for doing that.

It was labelled as a bone chilling, spine tingling book but I didn’t get that feeling. Yes there were parts that were creepy as all get out but nothing really bone chilling or spine tingling. I also didn’t get many feels from this book. So those are the main reasons that I am giving this book 4 stars. Not everyone will love this book, but you should definitely give this book a try.

Review: Thicker Than Blood: A Collection of Short Stories by K.N. Lee

Book Title: Thicker Than Blood: A Collection of Short Stories
Author: K.N. Lee
Published Date: June 8th, 2013
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services Inc.
Genre: Short Story/Horror
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A collection of dark tales. 

Thicker Than Blood 
Twin girls embark on a journey of fear, discovery, and death. 

Where is Katie? 
This little girl is more than what she seems. What is she hiding? 

The Galloway Lake 
There are rumors that the Galloway Lake is haunted. Tanya wakes up to find herself drowning in it. Can she survive this horrific night?

Disclaimer: This e-book was a personal purchase.

I think I have come to the conclusion that short stories just aren’t my thing at all. This is the 2nd book of short stories that I have read and I just cannot get into them. I was hopeful because the descriptions od each short story looked really good and creepy. However the only one I actually liked was the 2nd one. Where is Katie. That was a good one and I really would have liked to see a full length version of just that one.

The other two were just okay. I hate saying that,but I promised myself that I would be totally honest in my review of books.Overall they really didn’t have the horror & creepiness factor that I was really hoping for. That’s why I have to give it 2 stars.The 2nd short story saved it a little bit but not enough for me to really enjoy it.

Maybe someone else will like it. Judging by the stellar reviews I’ve seen,I seem to be the only one who didn’t really enjoy it. Give it a shot if you want to.

Review: Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder & Revenge by David Lubar

Book: Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder & Revenge
Author: David Lubar
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2013
Publisher: Tom Doherty & Associates LLC
Genre: Teen/Horror/Mystery
Book link: Goodreads
Purchase links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis: Girls enact revenge on a sadistic PE teacher. Two stowaways find themselves on a ghost ship.An ancient predator stalks the wrong victim. These are just some of the taglines for the 13 short stories in this book.
Disclaimer: I got this book as a gift from Christina at A Reader of Fictions
Review: Like the book itself,this review will be quite short and quick. I had never heard of this book before so I was curious about it. It was downright spooky and creepy. I don’t know how Christina knew I’d be into it as I don’t think I asked her to send it to me.
But anyhow I finished the book in about a day. I decided not to read it at night as it kept freaking me out.Usually I am not that into short stories but these kept me engaged and interested to see what the next short story would bring and if I’d be hiding under the bed again.
I agree with the warning sticker on the back of the book. This collection of short stories is definitely not appropriate for kids. These stories would bring on nightmares for even the bravest kids so wait until the kid is a teenager.
I adored the cover. It was so creepy with the black,red & grey with a pinch of white. Perfect for the kind of book that this was.
The writing style & editing were interesting. The writing style definitely read like a MG book which was weird because this book was not recommended for kids in middle school. No editing issues either which was a relief. I’ve found that editing issues are more common in short stories like this.
I’m torn between a 3.5/4 star rating. It was a good,short read but not one I am likely to read again.

Review: 314 by A.R. Wise

Author: A.R. Wise
Publish Date: December 24th, 2012
Published by: Amazon Digital Services Inc.
Series: Book 1
Available: Amazon
Synopsis: Alma Harper has done her best to forget all about what happened in Widowsfield 16 years ago. She has a great career that she loves and is rekindling things with her one true love.Ye the number 314 haunts her as does the day her brother disappeared.When a reporter appears in Alma’s life just days before March 14th,Alma realizes that for her own sanity she must find out what happened that day,sixteen years earlier.
Disclaimer: I got this book as a freebie off of
Review: I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting into when I got this book as a freebie off of Amazon. I needed a scary book and boy did this book deliver in a big way. The beginning was definitely creepy and disturbing and if I had a weaker stomach I probably would have abandoned the book.This was definitely not a book for everyone due to it’s dark subject matter. Nor do you need professional help if you enjoyed this book.
The hops from sixteen years ago to present day were a little difficult to adjust to but once I did adjust to them I had no issues. Editing was great. I found no issues in either grammar,spelling or formatting which really made me a happy camper.Editing is a big issue for me so to see a flawless editing job in this book was a great feeling. Pacing-wise the story was good too. There was one point,about 3/4’s of the way in,where there was a little lull but thankfully it didn’t last long.

I really loved Alma. I resonated with her so much it was nuts. From the estranged relationship she had with her father,to the on and off again relationship she had with her high school boyfriend. Really just those two things were SO similar to my own life.We got a few flashback snippets of her relationship with her mother and that’s where the similarities ended.I am extremely close with my mother (best friend close) and Alma was not.

Paul was so awesome throughout the book. You knew that he loved Alma.It was plain as day.Especially when he agreed to join Alma on a quest for the truth.Yes he had kind of a douche-y history but it was clear that it was always Alma.Thankfully the romance/mushy stuff took a backseat to the creepier stuff.

Eeeek, I loved Jacker. He was another awesome character who turned out to be so much more complex than anyone could have imagined.Rachel and Stephen were awesome too,even if Stephen was a tad bit overzealous about the whole Widowsfield thing.I actually felt sympathy for Rachel because Stephen seemed SO obsessed with it.Now I wanted to like Aubrey,I really did but she came in so late in the book that it was hard for me to really care too much about her.

I didn’t even realize this was book 1 of a series until I reached the end. GAH! I was so aggravated about that.However I still plan on reading book two. Now that I look back on this book it does seem like the entire thing was the beginning of a series.There was a LOT of character development which I loved.This book is getting 4.5 stars from me. It was practically perfect except for that small lull that I mentioned earlier and the addition of Aubrey who I think was brought in too late in the book.