• Horror Graphic Novel Review

    Through the Woods

    My Review: I’ve read a lot of horror, ones that were bloodier and more disturbing than this. Yet those novels and graphic novels didn’t affect me the way that this one did. Through the Woods is a collection of horror comics that hearkens back to the creepiest fairy tales. The atmosphere in the novels is not to be understated, the stories and art are chilling, even when the stories are straightforward and can be predicted. Even the introduction and the conclusion, brief as they were, evoked feelings of dread cover to cover. I found myself feeling uneasy, particularly while reading the first story, Our Neighbor’s House. My favorite easily was…

  • YA Contemporary Book Review

    Bad Romance

    Warnings: Gaslighting My Thoughts Bad Romance is a heartbreaking story about relationship abuse and self-loathing, and one of the most accurate portrayals that I’ve ever read. The book is exceptionally well-written, with developed characters that talked and acted like typical teenagers. It shows how trouble at home can drive a young woman into the arms an abuser, trapped in a relationship because of dependency. One of the things that worked really well for this novel is that it starts from the beginning when Grace met Gavin and how they fell in love. Too often with stories about abusive relationships the story takes place when things are already bad and nearing…

  • YA Contemporary Book Review

    Looking for Alaska

    Warnings: Drug Use, Drunk Driving, Sexually Explicit Content My Thoughts If our early years are our Spring then adolescence is an invincible summer that feels like it’ll never end. Being a teenager, everything seems so much bigger, more life-changing, everything feels like a big deal. Miles goes to a boarding school seeking his great perhaps, the great unknown that will upend his boring life. At school, Miles meets Alaska, a magnetic young woman with a bad reputation, and quickly falls head over heels. What made this book special to me was that I just found it so relatable, I was reminded so much of how my high school experience had…

  • Book Review

    That Weekend

    Warnings: Violence, Domestic Abuse, Mature Themes My Thoughts An intensely readable page-turner with more twists than an M. Night Shyamalan movie, That Weekend is a young adult mystery thriller about a trio of friends that disappear in the woods. The story begins with Claire, the only one of the three that is found injured and alone in the woods with no memory of what happened that weekend. It’s the perfect set-up for a summer thriller. The first twenty percent of the novel was slow, setting up Claire’s story and her relationship to her two best friends. It was essentially just Claire’s romantic drama with three different teen boys and while…

  • Book Review

    Shimmer and Burn

    Warnings: Violence My Thoughts Shimmer and Burn was much much darker than I expected and I LOVED it. A locked away kingdom ruled by a ruthless king, forbidden blood magic that is both beautiful and deadly, a power-hungry princess, a dying world infested with diseased cannibals–this book had it all. That is, except for the main character, Faris. This book was almost perfect for me, but I just wish that Faris wasn’t so bland. The book is carried by an extremely strong plot and well-developed side characters but.. well the story just sort of happens to Faris. She is constantly made out to be a fighter but she ends up…

  • Book Review

    The Liar’s Daughter

    Warnings: Child Abuse My Thoughts I knew that this story was going to be a page-turner just by the look of it, and the brief synopsis hooked me. The Liar’s Daughter is less about everyday life in a cult, but about Piper’s search for truth and eventual recovery from the trauma that she has endured and tucked away. Piper is virtuous, obedient to her parents, and cares for the other children that she lives within an abandoned theme park. She dreams of being initiated into the commune and doing her part to better the lives of other people, away from the toxic influences of modern society. The setting feels like…