Showing posts with label ghosts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ghosts. Show all posts

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.




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

"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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Saturday, May 23, 2015

[Review] Hourglass (#1) - Myra McEntire

In HOURGLASS, Emerson Cole finds out that her ability to see "the dead" is linked to time travel. Together with Michael Weaver, a consultant posing to help her get over her issues with mental illness and hallucinations, she learns more about the secretive organization called Hourglass that specializes in training people with abilities like her.

Doctor Who Meets RUBY RED

The premise reminds me of a mixture between RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier and Doctor Who, and I love it. I absolutely love mind-confusing twists and alternate story lines that make your head hurt if you try to make sense of them. Time paradoxons and worm holes are not something you see in YA every day. I have so much respect for every author that attempts to tackle the topic of time travel because you can easily mess this up by being inconsistent.

Michael Weaver is obviously not only Emerson's consultant but also her love interest. They are drawn to each other from the minute they lay eyes on each other and the tension is pretty ... well, intense. 

It's Impossible to Dislike Emerson & Michael Together

For once I'd love to read a YA novel in which the main characters fall in love with each other because of their personalities, not because they find each other super attractive. Yes, there is some mumbo-jumbo explanation for the fact that they are two parts of a whole. Why is it always like that? Why can't the protagonist fall in love with a love interest for once that s/he isn't immediately drawn to because of their outer appearance?

However critical I may sound, I absolutely loved this novel and I could not put it down. It's somewhat of a guilty pleasure, there are so many things that I'd usually heavily criticize, but I just couldn't in this one. I love Emerson's character voice, the setting, the idea and the concept of time travel mixed with a very unique love story. I'm bickering about the romance a little, because it's very obvious that they are destined for each other and I'm a little tired of that.

Emerson and Michael spend so much time with each other that it's very hard to go through all those pages without even liking them a little as a couple. I felt like the romance was forced on me and I had no say in whether I want them to be together or not. In that respect, McEntire does a great job. If I actually think about it, I would rather have seen Emerson with somebody else. More screen time apparently equals more chemistry.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I'm very surprised that I loved this. I absolutely fell in love with the concept and I can't wait to read the sequels and I can't wait to learn more about the physics of time travel. It's a fast-paced dynamic story about love with a dash of time travel. Beware of the plot twists - you won't see them coming! I'm very glad I decided to read this.

"One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should've happened?"

What's Your Favorite Novel About Time Travel?

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

[Review] Twenties Girl - Sophie Kinsella

In TWENTIES GIRL, Lara is visited by the eccentric ghost of her late grandaunt Sadie who appears to be stuck in the 20s and is desperately looking for a lost pearl necklace. Along their quest, Sadie falls in love with the perfect man - which turns out to be a problem since nobody aside from Lara can see her.

Polar opposite protagonists

This is your typical Sophie Kinsella novel with witty protagonists, a cute love story and a side plot full of intrigues. Lara is a 27-year-old headhunter who doesn't have her life together at all and is probably one of the most secondhand-embarrassing characters I have ever read about. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's funny.

Sadie on the other hand is refreshing and figuratively a breeze of fresh air, and one of rational thinking. Even though she appears to be the naive one, she's actually the only person in this novel who uses their head. The whole desperately-wanting-to-fall-in-love thing is just a way to hide what a truly wise and intelligent character she is, considering the fact that she's the ghost of a 105-year-old woman. I loved the little things about her, how she just wanted to spend some time dancing and looking pretty while being all about her - unlike Lara, who's constantly trying to please the men around her.


It's Kinsella. I devoured it in two days but no other author would have been able to get away with this. The whole headhunting side plot is unnecessary and Natalie, the best friend, is as well. I understand how Kinsella wants to use her as a metaphor for Lara finally breaking free and taking charge of her own life, but eh. I didn't care about the whole headhunting business.

However, I did enjoy this. Yes, it's not the real deal, Kinsella does better usually, but even at her worst she's better than 80% of the chick-lit that's on the market right now. I loved Sadie, I loved to hate Lara and even though the conclusion is obvious, obvious, obvious to no end, I wanted to read it myself and never thought even once about quitting. 




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I'm a Kinsella fangirl. Don't take advice from me. If you've never read anything by her, I suggest you start with REMEMBER ME?, which is my all-time favorite of hers.

"Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?
When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie—a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance—mysteriously appears, she has one request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, because Sadie cannot rest without it. 

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from and about each other. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family."
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

[Review] Bad Girls Don't Die - Katie Alender

Alexis' sister Kasey is obsessed with dolls. She only thinks it's a little weird, until her sister starts acting strange.

When they find out she's possessed by a doll, Alexis has to do everything she can to save her.

What intrigued me: I love horror in all forms.

I liked Alexis. She is a typical YA protagonist but still not as delusional or immature like Juliette from SHATTER ME or Laurel from LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD.

There's a strange vibe around Kasey though, she is supposed to be twelve or fourteen, but acts like a nine-year-old. That’s where you can tell that an adult's writing this. 

In general there is a lot of awfully convenient action going on. I just have to go ahead and spoil some stuff to prove my point. I feel like I can't really express my opinion on this without spoiling the ending. The whole novel builds up to (what you hope is an) epic climax and then just flip-flops like a fish on dry ground and leaves you disappointed. Here's what I noticed:

Don't read if you don't want to get spoiled!!!

WHAT A SURPRISE that Alexis happens to know the girl whose family was destroyed by the very same ghost that now possesses her sister.
WHAT A SURPRISE that Megan (unlike any other 21st century mean girl) suddenly was eager to help and instantly became Alexis’ best friend.
SURPRISINGLY this happend when she needed someone to provide her with information that only Megan had.
WHAT A SURPRISE that Megan knows how to get rid of a ghost. Yeah, exorcisms were also my favourite pastime acitvity at 16.

Also letting Kasey live in the end? Come on. It’s a ghost story, this is supposed to be an awesome hybrid between YA and horror! I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t even feeling any human emotion to be honest. I just read on, hoping that there would be something extraordianary coming, besides creepy-girl-in-the-corner-at-dark clich├ęs. Well. She just kept the latter ones coming.

Also you can’t write a dark story without actually remotely touching dark subjects. Tragic backstories are alright, but as a reader I am more interested in the present than suicidal teenagers or arsonist ghosts in the past. Make sacrifices in the present! Else, by letting everybody live, it just seemed like a cheap excuse to write another ten sequels which I am not going to read. 




Overall: Do I Recommend?

Usually I would say this is a nice YA read. But luring readers in by saying this is a horror story, only with teen protagonists, when it clearly isn’t, is just cheating.
The crammed-in romance plot annoyed me and therefore I didn’t care about Carter or his tragic backstory. Most characters only have short appearances in order to fuel the plot and then get dumped into character nirvana.

Additional Info

Published: April 21st 2009
Pages: 346
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA / Horror
ISBN:  9781423108764

"Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening--to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey -- but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?"(Source: Goodreads)

 Have you read any good horror novels lately?

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