Review: Jenny Plague-Bringer (The Paranormals, #4) by J. L. Bryan

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jenny plague-bringerTitle: Jenny Plague-Bringer
Series: The Paranormals, #4
Author:
J. L. Bryan
Genre: YA Paranormal, Horror
Source: Purchased (ebook)

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Jenny has survived in seclusion for the past year, but her peace is about to be shattered by two new paranormals, each of them with unknown intentions, both of them searching for Jenny and Seth.

The nightmares of Jenny’s most recent past life in the 1930’s erupt into the present, and she will face enemies old and new. Jenny is more vulnerable than ever, because she can’t use her pox without risking the small life now growing inside her.

Jenny’s entire life has led up to the challenge she must now face, one that will endanger her life, her unborn child, and her own soul.

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A few months ago, I probably wouldn’t have thought I’d get through this series. Not because it’s not good, but because I’m TERRIBLE when it comes to reading series book — I’m excellent, however, at putting off reading anything past the first few books until I get to the point where I don’t remember anything that happened in the series and have to reread.

This series is one that started with a reread of the first story and then a month-long effort to get through the entire series to see it come full circle. And it really does come full circle by the end of this book! While I had major closure by the end of the last book, Alexander Death, this book brought even MORE closure, giving readers more about the characters we’ve come to love, as well as diving into their past lives which seem to mimic the situations they’ve gone through over the years.

I kind of loved Jenny in this book. I loved her in all of the previous books, but she really grew as a character in this book. To go through her entire life being known as someone who brings disease, to the point where she’s in hiding, I knew that she had to have some major character development by the end of this story. And I was so happy with where it all went. Jenny is strong, determined, and it’s great to see her not think of herself as a plague-bringer, but someone who has so many other qualities and reasons to change herself.

This book didn’t have the same bang that the rest of the series had, but it was still awesome. In the end, my favourites will always be the first two books in the series, but it’s still been a wonderful journey with these characters and all of the craziness they’ve gone through. Bryan built this amazing world and it’s been great to live in it for the last four books — I’m sad that I have to let go of Jenny, Seth, and maybe even Ashleigh. If you’re looking for a great horror series, this is it!

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Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

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imaginary girlsTitle: Imaginary Girls
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Date(s) read: September 4 – 6, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Purchased (Paperback)

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Chloe’s older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can’t be contained or caged. When a night with Ruby’s friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby. But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has deeply hidden away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

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Book recommendations for me can be hit or miss. There’s this one blogger in particular who has the complete opposite taste from me when it comes to reading, yet she reads books that look sooooo interesting that I can’t help but give them a try. Once in a blue moon I end up liking the book, and other times I end up hating it.

Like this time.

I tried so hard to like this book. From the cover, it looked super spooky .The premise sounded creepy as hell. But where the author failed me was making it too slow, too boring, and giving me characters I could care less about.

Like Ruby. For about the first 50 pages or so (and for quite a good portion of the book), we’re told how amazing Ruby is, how pretty she is, how everyone would do anything for her, etc. But I didn’t like Ruby. It’s like after all this build up of her character, I could really take or leave her. And I kind of hated Chloe’s character for talking Ruby up SO MUCH that it was a disappointment for me. I’m not sure if it was because they were sisters that she seemed to abandon her own self, but it bugged me.

By the end of the story, I felt very confused. I wasn’t entirely too sure what was supposed to be going on for MOST of the story and Ruby was just so strange that I had no idea what the explanation for her character could possibly be. I wanted something amazing, something borderline supernatural, but it just kind of fizzled for me. Maybe I was expecting more of a wow-factor when it came to the buried town of Olive, but I just got a lot of description (mainly about the awesomeness of Ruby) and couldn’t find myself to care by the final pages.

I do have one other Nova Ren Suma book in my collection, Dani Noir, and I hope that I like it better. Without a doubt, she can string beautiful sentences together, but this book just didn’t do it for me.

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ARC Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux

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asylumTitle: Asylum
Author: Madeleine Roux
Date(s) read: August 13, 2013
Genre: YA Horror
Source: Aylee @ Recovering Potter Addict (ARC)

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Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it’s a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it’s no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux’s teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.

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I love a good horror story. Well, usually, I’m all about the horror movies, but since I try to READ more, I have been on the lookout for that perfect horror story FOREVER. Something that gives me the creeps and makes me want to keep the lights on.

Asylum is a book I read during the day, mainly because it had pictures in it and pictures CREEP ME OUT. It was very much like Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — images scattered throughout that are just enough to unsettle you. Unfortunately, since this was an ARC, I didn’t get to see ALL the images, but I do plan on getting a finished copy just so I can see what I missed.

One thing I loved was that this book was told from the point of view of Dan, our 16-year-old male narrator. His narrative wasn’t exactly a light narrative — nothing fluffy about it — but that’s what made the book awesome. I didn’t want anything light and fluffy. I’ll take my horror as creepy as I can get it! Dan also had issues in the past, growing up in foster homes, and having to see psychiatrists. His sidekicks of the story, Abby and Jordan, were also great. We didn’t get to know Jordan too much, but we caught glimpses of their pasts as the story went on — and also the pasts of some of the people who were at the asylum back when it was open and running.

I think the reason I loved this book so much was that it took place in an old asylum-turned-dorm. I mean, how creepy is that? Especially a mental asylum where so many horrible things took place — and where there are still remnants of what took place back when it was open. How could that not be terrifying?

The only things I really didn’t like about the story were that some of the images that were included were photos of a note or other calligraphic writing. Not very scary. I would’ve preferred more images of the asylum or things that took place in it. There definitely are scary images throughout, but I just wish there had been more. The other thing I didn’t like was that the book was compared to Miss Peregrine, which I really wouldn’t classify as a YA horror. Really, the only thing these two books have in common is the layout and images. I loved Miss Peregrine but feel like this book just can’t live up to that story — there are probably a lot of readers who will be disappointed thinking that it will be exactly like it.

This story is perfect for the horror lover — maybe a book to cuddle up with on a cold, autumn night as the coyotes howl in the distance. It will definitely have you looking over your shoulder and maybe keeping a light or two on after you finish!

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