Author: Katharine Turner
Published: September 16, 2014
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
It’s not just a game.
As far as Elaine Morris is concerned, the Ouija board is just a game she played at sleepovers as a kid. But her best friend, Debbie, has been messing around with one recently–and claims she’s starting to hear strange noises around the house. ‘Laine thinks Debbie is a total dork for getting spooked, until Debbie dies in a horrible and haunting way. Desperate to figure out what really happened to her friend, ‘Laine starts using the Ouija board to uncover its mystery. She soon learns that something sinister has come through the board, and it’s not ready to say GOOD-BYE.
Apparently this book is based on a movie: I have not seen the movie so I thought I’d go for it. I actually liked it a lot. It was simple, understandable and engaging. I picked this book up as a filler until another book arrived from Amazon and I’ll admit that I didn’t have high expectations. Some silly teenage drama showed up and that’s the reason I took away a star. Other than that, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! The emotions were real and I really sympathized with the characters. It was spooky without being full on terrifying so I’d say this would be a good one for teens or beginner horror fans. Overall, an excellent horror book!
Five Total Strangers
Author: Natalie D. Richards
Published: October 6, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 14-17, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 1 star
A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster.
When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly college kids who were on her initial flight.
As the drive progresses and weather conditions become more treacherous, Mira realizes that the four other passengers she’s stuck in the car with don’t actually know one another.
Soon, they’re not just dealing with heavy snowfall and ice-slick roads, but the fact that somebody will stop at nothing to ensure their trip ends in a deadly disaster.
Five Total Strangers shows the stupidity and drama of young adults and why car companies don’t tend to rent cars to people under age 25! Mira is a high schooler flying alone trying to get home for Christmas. Her plane lands as a huge blizzard is set to hit the area. With her anxiousness to get home, Mira decides to catch a ride with her flight seatmate Harper and friends. But things are actually far from what they appear…As everyone in the car are actually strangers to each other and someone is up to no good!
The whole novel is in the car with few stops and the drama that continues. The group faces wreck after wreck as the weather worsens and their phones start dying and things start disappearing.
This is a novel that shows that having common sense works; Don’t go out in weather that is going downhill fast with complete strangers as you could be risking your life in multiple ways. Unfortunately, most people (including all of our characters) do not have common sense these days, but then we would not have this novel if Mira did!
The novel just did not work for me as we arrived to the climax and found out the responsible party. It came too much out of left field and there were also some outstanding questions left at the end. These characters were not sympathetic at all, so I did not care what happened to them. I have been lucky in the past that most of the YA/NA (Young Adult/ New Adult) books I have read have not had the overbearing drama that this novel did, otherwise I would not be able to read YA/NA!
Unfortunately, this is not a novel I can recommend.[Top]
Author: Camryn Garrett
Published: October 29, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 1-5, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
In a community that isn’t always understanding, an HIV-positive teen must navigate fear, disclosure, and radical self-acceptance when she falls in love–and lust–for the first time. Powerful and uplifting, Full Disclosure will speak to fans of Angie Thomas and Nicola Yoon.
Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.
Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.
Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on…
Simone does not have an easy life: Born with HIV and having to change schools, living with both of her dads who won’t let her even see her gynecologist on her own, now she meets a boy she is interested in. But what about her HIV status and possible sex? She thinks things are going fine and then at her new school she gets an anonymous note in her locker…
If you want to read a novel with diversity then Full Disclosure will be the novel to read as it is extremely diverse. Full Disclosure talks very candidly about many subjects that most YA novels steer clear from: Sex and sexual health, vibrators, masturbation, and much more. It also raises awareness about HIV and how it can be transmitted that the reader may or may not be familiar with. It also shows how one faces life living with HIV and when/how they should choose to disclose their status to others.
Due to the nature of the novel, I would suggest parents read this novel first before passing it on to your teen. This would be to see if your teenager is ready to read a novel like this, but also for the parent to prepare themselves as they may find themselves having to answer questions that may be raised. I would say this would be for the older teenagers from ages 16 and up.
All of these characters are realistic and candid with their situations, and Simone and Miles are just cute together along with being honest and open with each other. In some ways they seem more mature than their age, which is understandable for Simone as she has been living with HIV her entire life
Full Disclosure is recommended!