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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Arc Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie and Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Based on the wildly popular YouTube channel, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl has been described as “ Gilmore Girls meets Paranormal Activity for the new media age.” YA fans new and old will learn the secrets behind Sunshine—the adorkable girl living in a haunted house—a story that is much bigger, and runs much deeper, than even the most devoted viewer can imagine…

I was given an arc copy of this book from the publisher on net-galley in exchange for an honest review

This was a GREAT book, I started it and couldn't stop reading it. It is haunting, refreshing and unique. I haven't seen the YouTube channel it is based on and don't really care to, honestly. This book was awesome, the atmosphere was great I actually felt cold, wet and moldy while reading it just the way the main character describes feeling in their haunted house.

I am not sure it's as Gilmore Girls meets Paranormal Activity as the blurb says, but I did enjoy the plot line, mythology, characters and background. The novel didn't scare me however, at no time was I like, "turn the lights on please." I enjoyed Sunshine's interactions with the ghost little girl and the demon as well as Nolan and all the other colorful characters. This was a solid novel, thought out, interesting and built up.

I really like that there is a HUGE possibility for a romance between Nolan and Sunshine that never happens, so many YA books have too much romance in them (mine included) that it is a breath of fresh air to find one without.

My only issues with this book were that she was just SO into photography at the start of the book, which bugged me cause that seems to be popular in YA right now. I just read a novel called Sweet Unrest where the heroine is WAY into photography too. However, the big issue was that after a few chapters the photography thing really isn't seen again. My second issue was the start of this book was too Twlight for me. Sunshine has been forced to move from sunny warm Austin Texas to an always raining and wet small town in Washington, that she bitches about being dark, wet, cold and dreary for most of the novel.

Those things aside, and they did NOT affect the rating, this book was a fast paced edgy novel that I read through in two days. Warning though: It ends on a cliff hanger that seriously made me go, "WTF! No!!!!" Now I HAVE to read the sequel.

Arc Review : Housewitch by Katie Schickel

Allison Darling, former foster child, now a stay-at-home mom of three, desperately wants to fit in with the organic latte drinking, hundred-dollar-yoga-pants-wearing moms who run Monrovia, her charming seaside village. Constantly feeling like an outsider, Allison dreams of more for her children. When the Glamour Girls, a soap-selling company run by the most charismatic and powerful women in town, recruits Allison, she jumps at the invitation. The Glamor Girls have a hand in everything in Monrovia, from bake sales to business deals. This is what Allison’s wanted her whole life—to be liked. To be popular. To belong. After Allison’s estranged mother passes away, she learns her family’s heartbreaking legacy and the secret Allison’s been fighting to suppress all her life emerges: she’s a witch. What’s more, she’s not the only one in town. There’s more to the Glamour Girls then it seems… and once you’re a Glamour Girl, there’s no going back. Allison must use her rediscovered magic to defend Monrovia, protect her marriage and her children, and reclaim her legacy. Fighting tooth and nail for her family is easy, but what about for herself? Is it too late to confront her own demons and become the woman she dreams of being? Housewitch is a fantastic, clever women’s fiction debut with a lot of heart and a touch of magic

I was given an arc excerpt of this book from net-galley in exchange for an honest review.

I was able to read about of half of Housewitch and I will now have to purchase the book to finish it. So be forewarned that this review is only about the part I did read. I really enjoyed this book, the writing was good, the characters intriguing, the magic was fun and it wasn't YA, a normal grown up book...not a romance novel either. The characters lives are already fully established and as a reader you are coming into things just as everything in the MC's life starts to change and get exciting.

The book bounces back and forth between Allison (the MC)and her life in a stuck up rich suburb she desperately wants to fit into and her mother's past where she was a witch girl in the woods. There is a dark witch after Allison's family and she doesn't find out about it until it's almost too late! All of the information about her biological family gets dumped on her at the worst time, when she is trying to fulfill the role of perfect mother, hostess and wife, and not doing so well at it.

What I enjoyed most about this novel was that I am a mother forever feeling like I don't do enough, not enough cleaning, baking, after school activities, volunteer work...Am I a good mom? Do I do the right things, am I like the other mother's I know? And in this novel Allison has all the same fears, hopes and dreams that I do. She is surrounded by moms who volunteer for the PTA, bakes ridiculous appetizers and do Mary Kay like cosmetics stuff, make their kids costumers from scratch, keep miraculously clean houses and always look perfect. Only one of her friends is not like that and doesn't give a crap about any of it, but Allison, really wants to fit in. She finds out however, that most of the moms in this suburban Stepford like hell are actually witches and ones being groomed by the dark witch, so everything isn't quite as it seems.

This novel was humorous and interesting.

So I recommend getting this book and diving in asap. I will be buying it and finishing it as soon as I can.