#FrightFall Read-a-Thon Begins!

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Today is the 5th October which means that the #FrightFall Read-a-Thon officially begins! The Read-a-Thon lasts a week and you are only required to read one scary book during the week (or a thriller/mystery/gothic novel for those who are faint of heart).

During the Read-a-Thon I’m planning on reading the following:

Image Source: Goodreads

Image Source: Goodreads

Enshadowed

Image Source: Goodreads

Ideally, I’d like to read four books for this Read-a-Thon but at the moment I’m undecided on what the final two books should be. If I make my mind up I’ll either update this post or I’ll mention the final two books in a report about my progress with #FrightFall in a few days time.

If you would like to participate in #FrightFall, then you can sign up here. I’m really excited about this Read-a-Thon as I love all things spooky. Good luck if you’re taking part in #FrightFall! 🙂

– Liz

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FrightFall Read-a-Thon Is Coming To Get You!

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Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the horror genre. You can imagine my delight when I discovered the FrightFall Read-a-Thon, which is being hosted by Seasons of Reading. Seasons of Reading host read-a-thons throughout the year that tie in with each season. FrightFall is taking place from 5th-11th October, 2015.

If you’re interested in taking part, then you can head on over to the relevant FrightFall post here in order to sign up. I don’t normally like creating TBRs for each month of the year as I don’t like to make myself feel as though I’m only allowed to read the books I’ve picked out. When it comes to October, however, I enjoy getting my hands on scary books and letting people know what I’ll be reading that month. I’ll be writing a post regarding my FrightFall TBR nearer the time.

I hope other readers sign up for this read-a-thon and join us in what is sure to be a spooktastic week! 🙂

 – Liz

Reiko – A Japanese Ghost Story by James Avonleigh Review

Image Source: Goodreads

Image Source: Goodreads

It was a story that shocked Japan.

In the remote village of Izumi five high school friends died within the space of a fortnight.

The circumstances were never explained.

Four years later a British paranormal researcher travels to Izumi in an attempt to unravel the mystery.

There he encounters much more than culture shock.

He encounters the dark side of Japanese culture – the side they don’t talk about in guidebooks.

He encounters Reiko.

 

Reiko – A Japanese Ghost Story by James Avonleigh

Release Date: 25th April, 2013

Pages: 305

Publisher: –

Format: Kindle Edition

Source: Kindle Unlimited

I’m a big fan of Asian horror, especially if it comes from or is set in Japan. Reiko – A Japanese Ghost Story by James Avonleigh is, as far as I’m aware, only available in Kindle format. When I came across Reiko, I had been looking for a book that would give me a good scare. Asian horror has always been able to frighten me and I hoped that Reiko would be able to provide me with the scares I was looking for.

As I began to read the story, I felt that Reiko had potential. That feeling, however, wasn’t to last. Sadly, Reiko turned out to be a very clichĂ© horror story. It was like watching a really bad remake of an Asian horror film. The novel wasn’t scary at all and it didn’t feel original. Very little happened in the novel and when things did occur it wasn’t anything that the horror genre hasn’t seen before. The characters just weren’t memorable either.

The writing was fine and was certainly easy to read, making the novel a fairly quick read. The descriptions were rather repetitive, though. With the amount of times cherry blossom trees are mentioned and described, you could invent a drinking game if you wished. The ending needed more work as it felt rushed. Having said that, the writing was definitely the best thing about Reiko.

If you’re new to the horror genre, and especially Asian horror, then Reiko may be the book to send a shiver down your spine. However, if you’re very familiar with the horror genre then give this book a miss, as Reiko is nothing that you haven’t read, or seen, before.

2/5 stars

– Liz

Famous Last Words by Katie Alender Review

Image Source: Goodreads

Image Source: Goodreads

“Willa is freaking out. It seems like she’s seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It’s almost as if someone — or something — is trying to send her a message.

Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Los Angeles — a killer who reenacts famous movie murder scenes. Could Willa’s strange visions have to do with these unsolved murders? Or is she going crazy? And who can she confide in? There’s Marnie, her new friend who may not be totally trustworthy. And there’s Reed, who’s ridiculously handsome and seems to get Willa. There’s also Wyatt, who’s super smart but unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood Killer.

All Willa knows is, she has to confront the possible-ghost in her house, or she just might lose her mind . . . or her life.

Acclaimed author Katie Alender puts an unforgettable twist on this spine-chilling tale of murder, mystery, mayhem — and the movies.” (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)

Famous Last Words by Katie Alender

Release Date: 30th September, 2014

Pages: 320

Publisher: Point

Format: Hardback

Source: Gift

A couple of years ago I read Katie Alender’s Bad Girls Don’t Die trilogy which I found to be average and disappointing. I was hesitant about reading Famous Last Words, also by Alender, because of this. I shouldn’t have worried because Famous Last Words was a great read.

There is a noticeable improvement in Alender’s writing in Famous Last Words compared to the Bad Girls Don’t Die trilogy. The writing was well paced, making for a quick read. I was captivated by the writing and the plot. I did not want to put the book down and whenever I was not reading the book I found myself thinking about it. I just needed to know what was going to happen next.  Famous Last Words was, however, slightly predictable. I was able to guess the identity of the killer pretty much straight away but I still had fun reading all the twists and turns as they unfolded. It was also nice to read a YA novel that was not bogged down by romance. I’m someone who has become tired of insta-love, love triangles and romance in YA. Romance does play a small role in this book but it certainly did not put me off. Instead, Alender lets the Hollywood serial killer plot take centre stage, which I appreciated and enjoyed. I’m a big fan of the horror genre, so I am used to a lot of scare tactics used in books and movies. It takes a lot to scare me but Famous Last Words had a definite creepy vibe to it that got to me at the end of the novel and I put that down to Alender’s carefully crafted writing.

I found the characters in the Bad Girls Don’t Die book to be one-dimensional and sometimes immature. But, just like with the writing, the character development has also improved greatly. Willa, the main character, was so much fun to read about. She is relatable, intelligent and likeable. As people who are familiar with the horror genre, and especially slasher films, know, if you do not have a strong protagonist then you often end up rooting for the villain. One of my main problems with the Bad Girls Don’t Die books was the development of Alexis, the main character, and with Famous Last Words being slasher-esque, I thought that I might end up with another main character I couldn’t root for. I was wrong. I was able to support Willa 100% and I always wanted to see her succeed. Willa, along with the other characters in the story, have depth to them and are interesting to read about.

Overall, Famous Last Words was such a pleasure to read and I would definitely recommend this book to others. I would also love to read another book starring Willa simply because she has been one of the best main characters I’ve read about in a while. I am now eagerly awaiting Alender’s next book, The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall.

“Maybe it’s human nature to be drawn to the things that have hurt us the most.” (Page 197)

4/5 stars

 – Liz

#FridayReads 14/08/2015

If you don’t know, #FridayReads originated on Twitter and every Friday people tweet what they’ll be reading over the weekend. Bunny Cates brought this over to Youtube and I’m hoping to write a #FridayReads post each week to share with you what I’ll be reading.

This weekend I will be reading:

Image Source: Goodreads

Image Source: Goodreads

There’s something about the Japanese and their ghosts that just creeps me out. I have high hopes for this one!

Happy reading! 🙂

– Liz

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie Review

Sunshine Book Cover

Image Source: Google

 
Based on the wildly popular YouTube channel, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl has been described as “ Gilmore Girls meets Paranormal Activity for the new media age.” YA fans new and old will learn the secrets behind Sunshine—the adorkable girl living in a haunted house—a story that is much bigger, and runs much deeper, than even the most devoted viewer can imagine…” (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
Released: 26th March 2015
Pages: 301
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Source: Purchase
As someone who loves the horror genre, it is a bit disappointing that horror doesn’t get the attention it should do in YA. When I saw The Haunting of Sunshine Girl at this years YALC event at London Film and Comic Con I jumped at the chance to read it. I hadn’t heard of the Youtube network before so this book was my introduction into Sunshine’s world.
I enjoyed reading The Haunting of Sunshine Girl. I didn’t find it to be the most original of scary stories and the ghostly happenings in the book aren’t anything new if you’ve seen/read a lot of horror as I have. I’ve found that because I consume so much horror in varying formats I’ve become desensitized to a lot of scare tactics used in horror so I can’t say that I found this novel to be frightening. However, I do think that it does have the potential to scare people who aren’t as familiar with the horror genre and the audience the book is mainly aimed at: teenagers. I think that The Haunting of Sunshine Girl is a great gateway horror read for people looking to explore the horror genre further. The book reminded me of the Point Horror books I used to devour when I was a teenager and had I been in my teens when I read this book I would have loved it.
At times the pacing felt a little off and the writing felt a bit rushed but these are only tiny criticisms. I also appreciated the fact that Sunshine and her Mum are close. YA often depicts tense and fragile relationships – if any at all- the main character has with his/her parents/guardians and the good Mother and daughter relationship in this book made a nice change. I also found the concept of lusieaches to be quite interesting and I’d like to know more about them.
On a final note, for the past couple of years I’ve been battling depression. Depression has pretty much destroyed the love I once had for the written word. I find it so hard to read novels now but I actually wanted to pick this book up and read it. Some part of me has remembered how much I love reading and that’s all because of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl. I can’t thank Paige McKenzie enough for that. This book will always have a special place in my heart because of that.
I wish I didn’t have to wait until next year for the sequel but, while I wait, I’ll head on over to Youtube and check out the Sunshine videos.
“If I stared long enough and hard enough, would I be able to see the demon beneath her skin?”
4/5 stars
– Liz