Showing posts with label ghost. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ghost. Show all posts

Thursday, August 4, 2016

[Review] The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) - Maggie Stiefvater: 2 Edgy 4 Me


In THE RAVEN BOYS, not-so-psychic girl Blue sees a ghost for the first time, in form of local, rich,"raven boy" Gansey. The only way a non-psychic can see a ghost is when they are their true love, or were killed by them.

What intrigued me: Nagging friends trying to force me to read this.

Do we really need Blue in the story?

The concept in itself is interesting, well though-out and could very much hold my attention. I do love a good psychic story, the great base frame is absolutely overshadowed by the annoying characters. The main dilemma of the novel is that Blue can never kiss Gansey, because then he'll die. Simple solution: Just don't kiss him?!

I didn't really get why Blue was in this story in the first place. As a reader self insert I suppose. It would have been way more interesting to simply read about the raven boys themselves, since they are a on a far more interesting side quest themselves that involves a lot less annoying teenage romance angst. Gansey and his friends are looking for a ghost themselves and I wish the whole book would have just been about this, rather than awkwardly trying to mesh the two storylines. It'll probably all get explained and make sense in future sequels (which I will not read).

Sometimes unique isn't good

It would be absolutely unfair and a blatant lie if I were to say that this is a poorly-written book. The characters are very well-developed (even though you could argue about everyone's right to exist in the story). The writing isn't bad by all means, the entirety of it clearly planned down to every detail. But when reading this, you can't help but feel like it's trying to be something that it's not. Every sentence wants to hold a deep meaning so badly and could as well be splattered on a wall as an inspirational quote. Some people like that. I do not. I find it annoying and very difficult to endure to have a cast of characters that basically speak in Bukowksi quotes.

And even worse, narration like that throw you out of the story and makes you focus more on the foreshadowing and ~deep meaning~ than the actual story. I had a tremendously hard time trying to connect to the narrative, even understanding what's going on because of this. The plot moves forward insanely slowly, switching POVs so often that trying to read this equals an erratic carnival ride. 

THE RAVEN BOYS didn't have a single character that even felt remotely like a real person. They are walking jars full of little quotes that someone thought up and then tried to weave a story around. Again, this isn't a reason to call this book bad, it's simply just not my cup of tea, and these kinds of novels will never be.

THE RAVEN BOYS has all the potential to be a masterfully-crafted novel with a literary feel that's more of an artwork than a book, but fails, simply because it's trying too hard to be exactly that.


Rating:

★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

It's not my thing, but it would be downright mean, ignorant, and unfair to give this any less than three stars. I can't stand overly poetic writing just for the sake of it and I am not a fan of self-insert narrators that don't do much, aside from awkwardly swooning over their love interest.

My rating is mostly this high because of the craft aspect - Stiefvater definitely did paint an impressive world, but somewhere along the way forgot that the story has to entertain, too. Maybe you'll feel differently.


Additional Info

Published: September 18th 2012
Pages: 416
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA / Paranormal / Ghosts
ISBN: 9780545424929

Synopsis:
"There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,”  Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.(Source: Goodreads)


Have you read THE RAVEN BOYS?

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

[Review] Something Wicked: A Ghost Hunter Explores Negative Spirits - Debi Chestnut: In which I'll be sleeping with the lights on





In SOMETHING WICKED, a ghost hunter gives an introduction to negative entities, how they come into our lives, how they operate, and what they are exactly.


What intrigued me: I love reading about the supernatural.

Absolutely terrifying...

Instead of just bombarding with knowledge and giving this as a text book feel as I feared, Chestnut alternates between pure information input and personal experiences. I absolutely enjoyed the little stories about the demonic spirits (or negative entities) she encountered and sometimes even forgot that I wasn't reading fiction. 

SOMETHING WICKED is truly a terrifying read. Just thinking about these evil creatures coexisting with us is absolutely unsettling. Even more reason to pick this up and educate yourself about the different types of entities, and the way you might have accidentally already invited them into your house.

There is just something about SOMETHING WICKED that makes me deeply uncomfortable. While I did want to read this just as a nice past time, because I half believe in anything paranormal and half just needed a good ghost story, it did somewhat convert me into actually, fully believing that we're surrounded by benevolent creatures. Chestnut doesn't necessarily force her beliefs on the reader, she states quite a couple of times how she is open to all religions and everyone's beliefs. The only thing that she is adamant about is that if you're being haunted by something wicked, you'll know. 

...and very fascinating

SOMETHING WICKED balances somewhere between being a strictly informative non-fiction book and a memoir, telling the scariest anecdotes I've read in a while. If you're a horror fan and have problems getting scared, pick this up. Trust me, I will be sleeping with the lights on tonight and I'll definitely be hyper sensitive to anything that even remotely seems like I'm in an otherworldly presence. 
More than once I felt a shiver down my spine reading this, not because Chestnut is pushing it and trying to scare, on the contrary, her narration is pretty straight-forward and clean, but because to me true facts are always scarier than any fiction could be.


Rating:

★★★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

SOMETHING WICKED is a fantastic read for those with a healthy curiosity about the paranormal. Even if you're a non-believer, there are quite the fascinating ghost stories in this that may or may not convince you to overthrow whatever you believe in. But caution: this is honestly one of most terrifying reads I've encountered.



Additional Info

Published: July 8th 2016
Pages: 240
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Genre: Non-Fiction / Spirituality
ISBN: 9780738742175

Synopsis:
"Forget what you know or think you know about negative entities. Unless you are one of the few who have encountered a demon, it's almost impossible to grasp the depth and scope of such pure evil and how these creatures can enter someone's life and completely turn it upside down. Something Wicked explores the topic of negative energies, dark forces, and exorcisms with fresh eyes so that you may come to your own conclusions."

Do you believe in ghosts?

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

[Review] Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) - Kendare Blake



17-year-old Cas Lowood is a ghost hunter, always on the road to find ghosts to kill.

When he stumbles upon the local lore on Anna Korlov, a ghost that has killed every single person who set foot in her former home, he instantly becomes obsessed with her. When he finally attacks, Anna does something he hasn't seen any ghost do before - she spares his life.

What intrigued me: I love a good ghost story!

Great Premise - Slow Beginning

The premise is great, but it lacks in execution. The story doesn't really start until page 100 and it's annoying. The side characters are unnecessary and it makes no sense for Cas, an experienced ghosthunter, to drag local teenagers into this, when he's known for being a loner. I feel like the side characters that Cas makes friends with at school, are just an excuse to hit off an unnecessary love triangle.

I feel like a lot of the book could have been cut and I wished that Blake just cut to the slack sometimes. The novel could have started with Cas being spared by Anna and you'd have a kickass beginning right there. I don't understand why there's the need for so many random side kicks that are just annoying.
Also, I believe that Cas would have worked better as a character if he'd been written as an adult. He's too comfortable in his skin, conceited, and doesn't feel like a teenager at all. He's not believable.


A Fluffy Ghost Romance? Uhm... 

I don't think it's even a romance. It's as insta-love-y as it gets. Cas the ghost hunter and Anna the ghost he has to kill, instantly fall madly in love with each other. Then again, Cas doesn't come across as a professional when dealing with Anna. There is just not enough reason for him not to attack her on the spot. His early attempts at killing her seem sloppy, making me question why he's such a renowned ghost hunter, when he's actually pretty rubbish at his job. It doesn't make sense either that Cas takes the help of Carmel, Thomas, and Co, Why would he endanger innocent civilians?

Aside from the ridiculously long build-up, the insta-romance, and the poorly-written protagonist - the biggest problem of this novel is that it just isn't scary. Not even for half a second. There are maybe two or three gory scenes that are pretty gross if you imagine it, but the writing isn't vivid enough to make me see the whole thing in front of my eyes. I didn't even happen once that I felt like I was diving into the story, the writing just doesn't do it for me. This may also be due to the way Cas narrates the story - he flips between monologues, flashbacks, and the present events so often that you don't have the time to get really lost in any of the scenes.


Rating:

☆☆

 




Overall: Do I Recommend?

Nope. Not scary. I only read this because I was looking for the perfection combination between scary and romantic. This is just weird.




Additional Info

Published: October 17th 2011
Pages: 316
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA / Horror
ISBN: 9780765328656


Synopsis:
"Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas's life."   (Source: Goodreads)



Can you recommend a great YA Horror book to me?

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