Showing posts with label the chase. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the chase. Show all posts

Friday, June 26, 2015

[Challenge] Horror Reading Challenge: Second Quarter Update

The Horror Reading Challenge is hosted by Tracy @ Cornerfolds. Goal is to read as many books of the horror genre as possible. The challenge started back in January 1st and ends on December 31st.
I'm actually quite proud of myself. I don't usually pick up many horror novels because it's really difficult to get me hooked with a good premise. I don't get scared easily and when I pick up a horror book that's only mediocre I tend to go back to other genre books for a while.

The challenge is a great way to motivate myself to read and try more horror or thriller novels, even those that I usually wouldn't have picked up. "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin has a huge following and I was actually quite intimidated by starting this novel. My expectations were fulfilled, namely that I didn't like it at all. I didn't think it was scary, it wasn't full of plot twists, but just written in a very messy way.

Good thing I decided to continue The Forbidden Game series by L.J. Smith then, because I absolutely loved the first novel and it scared the shit out of me. The series plays with human existential fears, but it's not so scary that you might pee yourself, but only gives up a really uncomfortable and eerie vibe, which is what I absolutely love.



 Books I've read so far: 

1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin 
YA / Thriller
★★☆☆☆ 
2. The Chase (The Forbidden Game #2) - L.J. Smith
YA  / Horror
 ★★★★☆
(Review)
3. The Kill (The Forbidden Game #3) - L.J. Smith
YA / Horror
  ★★★★☆
(Review)


 Challenge Levels
1-5 horror books: Running Scared
6-10 horror books: Brave Reader
11-15 horror books: Fearless
16+ horror books: Horror Hound
My Current Level: Running Scared

Challenge Update Schedule
March 26th - First Quarter Update
June 25th - Second Quarter Update & Giveaway
September 24th - Third Quarter Update
December 24th - Challenge Wrap-Up & Giveaway

 

Have you any recommendations for the challenge? 

Do you participate and what's your current level?

Continue Reading...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

[Review] The Kill (The Forbidden Game #3) - L.J. Smith


In THE KILL, Julian has kidnapped Jenny's boyfriend Tom and her cousin Zach and taken them with him into the Shadow World. In order to get them back, they have to play one last game with him. If they lose, Jenny is Julian's forever.


Fantasically Structured

I don't know what it is about this series, but I couldn't put this one down either. The structure of all three novels being constructed like games makes it very easy to follow the story line and even easier to just read them in one go.

The Shadow World is modeled after the amusement park Joyland they have visited before. I was slightly disappointed with that. I was hoping for the Shadow World to be created more like a surreal fantasy world, rather than an imitation of the real world. Amusement parks can be scary, but I was rather bored by the setting than intimidated.

The Same Thing All Over Again

I really enjoyed THE HUNTER and THE CHASE, but to be honest all three novels are just repeating the same thing over and over again. Julian wants Jenny, she prefers Tom, so Julian invents crazy games to kill her friends. The novels all struggle with portraying the characters and simultaneously trying to keep up this weird love triangle that is just poorly executed.

Julian isn't explored enough as a character to be interesting and appealing, and not for one second I rooted for them coming together and her ditching Tom. Julian always puts emphasis on how she's the light to his darkness, yadayadayada, but doesn't really show that he's in love with her. There are no truly sweet scenes between them, they only kiss when he practically forces her to and therefore the ending of it all doesn't make sense. They just don't click as a couple and he just annoyed me throughout the series.

I was hoping for him to change or show some character development the entire time - which he does when he has a slight breakdown towards the end - but it doesn't feel like character development. It just feels like a cheap attempt to make the reader sympathize with this poor little misunderstood demon prince that didn't really mean to kill anyone.


Rating:


★★★

 

Overall: Do I Recommend?

The execution of THE KILL could have been better, but overall it's a quick and alright read. I liked the previous novels better. Having read all three I can say that Smith just should have left it at THE HUNTER and refrained from creating a whole series.


Additional Info

Published: July 1st 1994
Publisher: Brilliance Corporation
Cover: Brilliance Corporation, 1994.
Genre: YA / Horror 
ISBN: 1441875433

Synopsis:
"It was Julian's last challenge before he disappeared into the Shadow World, taking Jenny Thornton's boyfriend Tom and her cousin Zach: ?If you want them, come on a treasure hunt. But remember: if you lose, there's the devil to pay.? Jenny, Audrey, Michael, and Dee have burned their bridges, leaving their families behind, to enter the Shadow World with a set of runes, magical letters that open the doors of hell. They?re lost in an amusement park nightmare, at Julian's mercy as they look for Tom and Zach. Jenny's only clue is a gold coin, Julian's gift, and Julian himself, more beautiful, more seductive, more dangerous than ever. And determined to make her his bride. . ."

Can You Recommend A Super Scary Read to Me?


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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

[Review] The Chase (The Forbidden Game #2) - L.J. Smith


In THE CHASE, Jenny and her friends think they have escaped the mysterious Shadow Man Julian. Little do they know that the intruders that took the game at the end of  THE HUNTER are already trying to figure out what it is. When they release Julian - whether on purpose or not - Jenny, Tom, Dee, Audrey, Zach and Mike have to watch their every step. Julian is back, and he wants to play a game.

Couldn't Put It Down!

I don't know what it is about L.J. Smith's writing, but I couldn't, for the life of me, put this novel down. When I had to other things I was just thinking about the novel and wishing to go back to reading. I love, love, love the idea still, and I love how it's reminiscent of Jumanji (the book was actually published before the film) - but with more angst and more blood.

Just like with the first novel, I couldn't identify with Jenny. She's just as unapproachable and unlikeable as Elena from her Vampire Diaries Series. Even after having read the first novel I still didn't really know who was who! Smith does her best to add description all the time and little hints so you can picture everyone in your head, but only halfway through this one I could finally keep up with the characters. Every single character is this novel has their distinct obsessions and interest, but it took a very long time for me to actually "get" the characters and start to like them.

Can somebody explain to me though what the fascination that everyone has for Jenn she's just too perfect.

An Extraordinary Plot That Saves the Day!

The odd thing is, that it doesn't even matter that I didn't like her or any of her friends. I am absolutely and utterly in love with the story idea, the whole "Teenagers play a magical game and it goes wrong" thing. The first one felt like reading a horror movie in an alternate universe where the characters aren't too stupid to see the obvious traps and run into the monsters arms. Having this novel extended into a series is like watching what happens after that movie and it's just so unique and interesting. I haven't read a single YA novel that had JUST the plot line for the horror in it and didn't settle for a mediocre romance side plot.

Yes, we do have the relationship between Jenny and the antagonist Julian, but that's a completely different thing. It's absolutely interesting and he's a terrifying character that I just can't figure out at all. Of course it's again very unrealistic that the super villain falls for the girl, but Smith does her best to explain everything logically. I can't understand why this novel series isn't extremely popular, it has everything I've been missing in YA Horror in the last couple of months, even years.

Another striking thing about this novel is that you can absolutely tell a lot of planning went into writing the series. There are some things that the characters say or do that just leaves me speechless. The little riddles that Julian gives them during the game for example are just brilliant. The way she manages to maneuver her characters out of every oh so dangerous situation is absolutely genius. Seriously, usually I tend to roll my eyes at magical solutions for problems, but the way L.J. Smith solves the characters' challenges is amazing. I'm in awe.


Rating:

★★★

 

Overall: Do I Recommend?

I love L.J. Smith's writing and I love her beautiful mind. She always manages to come up with new concepts that I'm eager to read about and this novel is no exception. I'm convinced that this is one of those novels that I'd probably reread times and times over and that's a very rare thing. Can't wait to start the third one! I haven't been disappointed by L.J. Smith so far and I can gladly recommend this series. Start with the first novel though, you're missing out!




Additional Info

Pages: 288
Genre: YA / Horror

Synopsis:
"Jenny's friends are lost one by one to a ghostly wolf and a phantom snake, instruments of the sinister but attractive Shadow Man, who has returned from the Shadow World with a deadly game called ""Lambs and Monsters.""



Have You Read Any of L.J. Smith Novels?

What Is Your Favorite Novel By Her?

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