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Friday, August 7, 2015

ARC Review The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper's kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel's past, something that ruined their friendship forever.

Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they
found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock's next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds—revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come

I am not sure what to say about this book aside from the fact it was AWESOME! It was mystery, fantasy and a bit of horror all rolled into one. The author describes the motel Amy lives in with its musty rooms and it's desolate tower with such perfection I felt like I was standing in the dark with the characters. Her description of the small town life almost makes me miss the dry hot summers of my home town where everything smelled like cigarette smoke and the breeze from the lake.

The story is written back and forth with three different time periods; 2013, 1955 and 1989. The story tellers are primarily; Rose, mother of Amy, Piper, best friend of Amy and Jason; boy who was in love with Amy when they were kids and is now married to Piper's sister. Dispersed between chapters are letters Rose's sister writes to Alfred Hitchcock. It was such a great complex yet simple story with intriguing characters, good dialogue and a creepy atmosphere.

I actually like the chapters that took place in 1989 and 1955 the best, the 2013 chapters just kind of tied the novel together but I didn't find the content as good. There is a pretty cool twist in this book and while I saw part of it coming I didn't see ALL of it, which I enjoyed. I have read one of this author's books before and there was nothing magical in it, but it tried to make you think there was going to. This book is the OPPOSITE of that.
I loved this! You should go out and read it....RIGHT NOW.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings.

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish, where we showcase our top ten favorite books that ______.
This week it is top ten fairy tale retellings.

1) 12 Dancing Princesses meets Princess and Frog as well as a dozen others

2)This contains a myriad of fairy tales
3)The White Bride and the Black Bride

4) Snow White

5) Sleeping Beauty

6) Bluebeard
7) Beauty and the Beast

8) Cinderella
9) The Snow Queen

10) 12 Dancing Princesses

Also as a bonus, cause you know I gotta toot my own horn, especially as a self published Utah author. I wrote a 12 Dancing Princess Retelling that got really good reviews. After Realm

Monday, August 3, 2015

ARC Review: Hawthorn by Jamie Cassidy

I received this novel for free from netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review

A house on a hill.
A house filled with mirrors.
A house with eyes that watch their every move.

“I hate it on sight. It’s dull and large and clunky, a
creepy old house with a creepy house smell.”

Learmonth village has a history, a past that they hold dear, superstitions that they cling fast to. Learmonth House, however, is governed by its own set of rules, its own past and Gemma and her family are about to discover just what those rules are.
Learmonth has a pact with the darkness and the darkness is hungry.

WOW....So I thought this was going to be a haunted house novel. It was not (though I won't tell you WHAT it was)....Cause SPOILERS

This novel was really good, once I got into it I couldn't put it down. It was creepy and dark, detailed, well written and I didn't see the ending coming until it was almost too late.

This novel was written with each chapter from a different character's POV, which I enjoyed. There are two five yeas olds, then Gemma the MC a 18 year old girl, Mary (the kid's mom) and Jules the mom's girlfriend. That's right: girlfriend. It was pretty awesome to see their strong lesbian relationship proudly on display, there is even a moment where Mary has to stand up to one of the kid's teachers for being prejudiced which I thought lent depth to the characters and the plot.

There is a trigger warning for rape in this book, Gemma is magically drugged more than once which allows the bad guy to take advantage of her sexually. It wasn't fun to read, but it moved the plot forward and wasn't written simply for shock value or kicks, it has a legitimate purpose for being there.

No love triangle, no insta-love, Gemma is a decent female lead, not a Mary Sue or Special Snowflake, but not a kick ass heroine either, she felt pretty normal actually.

The back drop of the story is England and the author does a good job with the cultural references, unlike a more recent book I just read.

The reason this is getting four stars instead of five is there is a weird jump in the middle of the book I didn't care for and I felt the last half was rushed a little bit, other than those two things not much to complain about. I really liked this and will probably read the sequel.