*Book Review* Light as a Feather- Zoe Aarsen

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It was supposed to be a game…

Junior year is shaping up to be the best of McKenna Brady’s life. After a transformative summer, McKenna is welcomed into the elite group of popular girls at Weeping Willow High, led by the gorgeous Olivia Richmond. For the first time in a long time, things are looking up.

But everything changes the night of Olivia’s Sweet Sixteen sleepover. Violet, the mysterious new girl in town, suggests the girls play a game during which Violet makes up elaborate, creepily specific stories about the violent ways the friends will die. Though it unsettles McKenna, it all seems harmless at the time.

Until a week later, when Olivia dies…exactly as Violet predicted.

As Violet rises to popularity and steps into the life Olivia left unfinished, McKenna becomes convinced Olivia’s death wasn’t just a coincidence, especially when a ghost haunting her bedroom keeps leaving clues that point to Violet. With the help of her cute neighbor, Trey, McKenna pledges to get to the bottom of Violet’s secrets and true intentions before it’s too late. Because it’s only a matter of time before more lives are lost.

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My Review:

“Violet had suggested that we play a game….
She hadn’t mentioned that in her game, she was always the winner. Or that playing could cost you your life.”

Heathers meets The Craft in this twisted story that takes place around a middle school horror game. Or for the younger generation, Riverdale meets The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Light as a feather, stiff as a board is a game most kids played at slumber parties. Where we tried to outdo our friends with the most terrifying tales of death and hauntings. It never seemed to work but what happens when it does?

McKenna is now part of the popular clique and was invited to attend the birthday slumber party of the most popular girl at school. After discussing plans for the upcoming dance and guys in horror movies, things go from exciting to drab quickly. That is until the new shy girl at school mentions a scary game that she played with old friends.

One girl lays flat on her back, the other girls place their fingers beneath her and chant light as a feather, stiff as a board. After a while, the person on the floor starts to levitate with the power of concentration from the others. Before this happens, the head girl goes into gory details about how that person will die. Most of the girls go through it that night except McKenna.

After the party, things start to line up in a really disturbing way. One of the girls die and it happens exactly the way it was described at the slumber party. Now every girl who was there is on high alert and the clock is ticking for them to stop this force from ending their lives.

This book was seriously dark and creepy. The way the hypothetical deaths were described was really gory. Now I’m excited to actually see the show and read the other books in this series.

Light as a Feather was a fantastic read. YA horror is something that is looked past but we need more of this in our lives. There was something about this book that made me uneasy in my own house and I loved it.

stacy

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 2/17/20

Happy President’s Day!

This week I’m going to read an unsettling book, a classic, a graphic novel that I picked up at ALA in Philly, and a book that I purchased last week.

What are you reading?

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My Dark Vanessa- Kate Elizabeth Russell

44890081Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of RoomMy Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

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The Outsiders- S.E. Hinton

1191522The Outsiders is a book that delves deep into the hearts, minds, and stories of a group that had no voice before S. E. Hinton gave them one. She began writing the book at age 15, spurred on by the disturbing trend she saw growing in her high school towards a division between groups. “I was worried and angered by the social situation,” Hinton writes. “I saw two groups at the extreme ends of the social scale behaving in an idiotic fashion — one group was being condemned and one wasn’t…. When a friend of mine was beaten up for no other reason than that some people didn’t like the way he combed his hair, I took my anger out by writing about it.”

Thirty years after it was first published, The Outsiders still carries the same frightening and unifying messages for teens (and readers of all ages). The ruthlessly realistic and violent story of the Greasers and the Socs, rival gangs from very different sides of the railroad tracks, is narrated by Ponyboy Curtis, a smart, sensitive kid who has grown to become one of the most recognizable figures in the history of young adult literature. Any teen who has ever felt isolated or different can identify with Ponyboy, a kid forced to be tough on the outside, but who underneath is just as scared and needy as anyone. Hinton herself has said that she has never written a character as close to her own self as Ponyboy is. Young Adult fiction was shaped and defined by Susan Eloise Hinton, and the realism she attached to the genre became the norm, enabling later writers like Robert Cormier and Judy Blume to find characters and voices that actually spoke to adolescents. Since 1967, Ponyboy has become the hero for countless teenagers nationwide as The Outsiders stands to influence an entirely new legion of adolescents who need Ponyboy as much as ever.

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Gotham High- Melissa de la Cruz

51135390. sx318 sy475 From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Alex and Eliza and The Witches of East Endcomes a reimagining of Gotham for a new generation of readers. Before they became Batman, Catwoman, and The Joker, Bruce, Selina, and Jack were high schoolers who would do whatever it took–even destroy the ones they love–to satisfy their own motives.

After being kicked out of his boarding school, 16-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents’ murder. Selina Kyle, once the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.

When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight–but is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes … and where everyone is a suspect.

With enchanting art by Thomas Pitilli, this new graphic novel is just as intoxicating as it is chilling, in which dearest friends turn into greatest enemies–all within the hallways of Gotham High!

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Cracked Up To Be- Courtney Summers

45046784When “Perfect” Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter’s High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher’s pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn’t want to talk about it. She’d just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there’s a nice guy falling in love with her and he’s making her feel things again when she’d really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she’d turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 12/30/19

The new year is almost upon us. I don’t know about you but this year felt as if it flew by.

This week I’m going to read a book that I was asked to review on Netgalley, an arc that I received from the publisher, and a book that I just purchased.

What are you reading this week?

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True Story- Kate Reed Petty

49017632A propulsive, dazzlingly original novel about the fifteen-year fallout from a poisonous high school rumor, exploring how stories from the past can come to define who we are.

A gifted and reclusive ghostwriter, Alice Lovett makes a living helping other people tell their stories. But she is haunted by the one story she cannot tell: the story of, as she puts it, “the things that happened while I was asleep.”

Back in 1999, Nick Brothers and his high school lacrosse team return for their senior year in a well-to-do Baltimore suburb as the reigning state champs. The afterglow of their big win is bound to last until graduation; not even the pressure of college applications can get in the way of their fun. But when a private school girl attempts suicide in the wake of one of the team’s “legendary” parties, and a rumor begins to circulate that two of Nick’s teammates sexually assaulted her, it seems like it might ruin everything–until the team circles the wagons, casts doubt on the story, and the town moves on.

But not everyone does. Fifteen years later, four people–Alice, Nick, a documentary filmmaker, and a wealthy entrepreneur–remain haunted by the roles they played, the things they still don’t understand, and how the story has shaped their lives. In sections told from different points of view, each more propulsive than the last, the layers of mystery are gradually peeled back as we barrel toward the truth of what really happened that night . . . and what came after. At once a compulsive page-turner and a thought-provoking exploration of issues both timely and timeless, True Story marks the debut of a phenomenal new voice in fiction.

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Havenfall- Sara Holland

48342370. sy475 A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost. New York Times bestselling author Sara Holland crafts a breathtaking new contemporary fantasy perfect for fans of Melissa Albert and Holly Black.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe . . .

Sara Holland takes the lush fantasy that captured readers in Everless and Evermore and weaves it into the real world to create a wholly captivating new series where power and peril lurk behind every door.

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The Rebel of Raleigh High- Callie Hart

45712191. sy475 * The Rebel of Raleigh High is the first book in the Raleigh Rebels Series. Please be advised, this book comes with a trigger warning. Intended for readers 17+ *

Silver

Hit me.

Kick me.

Hurt me.

Hate me.

There’s nothing that the students of Raleigh High can do to Silver Parisi anymore. Over the past year, she’s had to endure more pain and suffering than most people are asked to bear in their lifetimes. She’s a pariah, an outcast, a ghost. She’s also never been one to take shit lying down, though…despite what half the football team might say. With only one hundred and sixty-eight days left of the school year, it won’t be long until graduation, and Silver’s planning on skipping town and leaving Raleigh firmly in her rearview mirror… Until he comes along…AlexOrphan. Degenerate.Reprobate.Deviant. Alex Moretti’s earned most of his labels, and he’s not ashamed of a single one of them. He’ll earn far worse before he’s finished with his new found ‘friends’ at Raleigh High. Having spent years being ground down under the boot heel of society, it’s time for a little payback. And if exacting revenge upon the heads of the Raleigh elite means he can also help the beautiful girl who hovers in the shadows, then that’s all for the better. Oil and water. Fire and ice. The differences between Silver and Alex are broader than any chasm. To reach one another, they must take a leap of faith and fall into the divide. And falling? Nothing good ever came from falling.

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*Review* Verity- Colleen Hoover

43225180Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

A standalone romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, releasing December 18th.

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My Review:

“What you read will taste so bad at times, you’ll want to spit it out, but you’ll swallow these words and they will become part of you, part of your gut, and you will hurt because of them.”

Colleen Hoover steps out of her comfort zone and brings a riveting thriller to the table. An unexpected tale that you won’t be able to put down. This is the best possible way to lose sleep.

Lowen is dealing with the aftermath of losing her Mother and is struggling to gain her ground as a writer. She gets the call of a lifetime to finish a mystery series for a very famous author who is no longer able to write due to an injury she suffered after her being involved in a car accident. She’s hesitant at first but the money that is offered it too hard to pass up. That money will save her from complete ruin.

She picks up her life and moves into the Crawford residence. Lowen has years and years of notes and scrap pieces of papers to go through to help her complete this series. Thinking maybe she can find an outline or any information that will help her in any way. What she stumbles upon is something that will make her start to question everything. It’s a manuscript for an autobiography by Verity Crawford.

Lowen decides to keep it a secret to save Jeremy (Verity’s Husband) from dealing with more grief. He already lost his twin girls in two separate accidents and now is helping take care of his wife who is confined to a bed or a wheelchair. But as Lowen reads on and starts falling in love with Jeremy, she contemplates showing him this morbid manuscript.

Will Jeremy learn the truth about his wife? Or will Lowen complete the series while biting her tongue?

This book was full of crazy twists and turns that I didn’t know where to look next. There are not enough words in this language to warn you about how morbid and disturbing this book was but I loved every single page. CoHo leaves her comfy space to bring you something dark and twisted. I never knew that she could write something like this and I hope she continues with this genre. She was made for the dark and disturbing.

Verity is a novel that will shock you and turn your blood cold. Everything in this book will make you rethink everything and to trust no one. This was so intense that I couldn’t put it down. Just be ready to be mind-blown and to have your mind scattered in a million different pieces. This will definitely be the page-turner of the year.

stacy

*Cover Reveal* Of Salt & Stars- Seven Jane

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Click on the image above to see Jean Book Nerds Nerd Blast for Of Salt and Stars

Of Salt and Stars
By Seven Jane
Series: Havenwood Falls 
Genre: Dark fantasy
Release Date: May 24, 2019
Publisher: Ang’dora Productions

ABOUT HAVENWOOD FALLS
The Havenwood Falls Collective is the group of award-winning and USA Today bestselling authors writing in the Havenwood Falls shared world, a universe that includes four series in the paranormal fantasy genre. Our authors have been featured in USA Today, on Good Morning America, and in the Emmy’s Gifting Suite. Discover more about the Havenwood Falls world and see the full book list at www.HavenwoodFalls.com.Welcome to the secluded mountain town of Havenwood Falls, home to sexy men, strong women, and neighbors who bite. Discover supernatural mystery, thrills, and romance in a place where everyone has a deep, dark, and often deadly secret.

This is a stand-alone dark fantasy tale in the Havenwood Falls shared world. Havenwood Falls is a collaborative effort by multiple authors across multiple series all in the paranormal fantasy genre, allowing readers to discover new authors and stories to fall in love with. Each author brings a stand-alone plotline, so they can be read in any order.

You might also enjoy these Havenwood Falls books:

  • Forget You Not by Kristie Cook
  • Covetousness by Randi Cooley Wilson
  • Ink & Fire by R.K. Ryals
  • Nowhere to Hide by Belinda Boring
  • The Lurkers Within by Danielle Bannister

Books are released on a monthly basis.

Look for Havenwood Falls High, a Young Adult series; Legends of Havenwood Falls, a historical fantasy series; and Havenwood Falls Sin & Silk, the darker, sexier side of town.

Immerse yourself in the world of Havenwood Falls and stay up to date on news and announcements at www.HavenwoodFalls.com. Join our reader group, Havenwood Falls Book Club, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HavenwoodFallsBookClub/

SYNOPSIS

Two women, one love, and a curse lurking in deep, dark waters

For as long as she can remember, Maris Heilen has been haunted by dreams of a beautiful woman beckoning to her from beneath the water. These dreams have been Maris’s only constant. She’s lived her life like a leaf caught in the rushing tide: no rules, no commitments, and no long-term lovers, either—just a string of broken hearts that have tried to anchor her unwilling heart to the earth. When her dreams take on a new sense of urgency following the mysterious death of her estranged father, Maris knows it’s time to uproot and keep moving, her soul pulled to the west, toward the water—toward her.

Instead, Maris finds herself drawn to a surreal little town high in the Colorado mountains, where she begins to believe her dream might be much closer to reality than she’d ever imagined. When she discovers her past is linked to a legend even more haunting than her dreams—and that the woman in them is not only real but in danger of being lost to an unfathomable darkness—Maris resolves to outshine the evil that has crept into a small corner of a forgotten forest in Havenwood Falls.

Giveaway!

– Winner will receive the Ultimate Havenwood Falls Swag (Mug, Tote, and Key Chain) 
– Winner will receive an E-Copy of THE ISLE OF GOLD and OF SALT AND STARS by Seven Jane.
Click on the image below to enter. Good luck!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Seven Jane is an author of dark fantasy and speculative fiction. Her debut novel, The Isle of Gold, was published by Black Spot Books in October 2018.

Seven is a member of The Author’s Guild and Women’s Fiction Writing Association. She writes a weekly column for WFWA‘s Industry News newsletter, and is a regular contributor to The Nerd Daily.

She is represented by Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management and supported by Smith Publicity.

 
PHOTO CONTENT FROM SEVEN JANE

WEBSITE: http://www.sevenjane.com/
TWITTER:
 @sevenjanewrites
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18030363.Seven_Jane
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/sevenjanewrites
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/sevenjanewrites/

Click on the image below to check out more about this blast and upcoming blog tours.

stacy