Category: Review

Some Can See by J.R. Erickson

Some Can See
Author: J.R. Erickson

Published: November 27, 2018
275 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The dead have stories to tell. Are you listening?

On a sunny August morning, in 1935, thirteen-year-old Sophia Gray finds her friend, Rosemary wandering in the woods. Rosemary’s yellow dress is tattered and stained, she walks with a strange lurch, and her eyes are vacant and glassy. She beckons to Sophia, desperate to show her something, and Sophia follows.

In an abandoned cabin, beneath a tattered blanket, Sophia discovers Rosemary’s body.

It was not Rosemary who led her there, but Rosemary’s ghost.

Step into the Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane

Twenty years after Sophia discovers Rosemary’s body, she finds herself trapped in the sprawling, and eerily beautiful, Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane, in the hands of a malevolent doctor who preys on patients who exhibit paranormal abilities.

Sometimes the dead don’t rest

In present day 1965, Hattie, much like her mother, thirty years before, is led by a ghost. A newspaper hidden in an attic reveals a secret that has shaped the lives of Hattie and her siblings. Hattie with her sister, Jude, embark on a crusade to remedy the wrongs of the past and discover the tale of deception that stole their mother a decade before.

Hattie and Jude are in a race against time to discover a murderer and save their mother from a horrific fate.

Get lost in a uniquely chilling story that spans the life of a family and the ghosts who haunt them.

Kim’s Review:

An asylum!!!!! Y’all know I love them!!!! My only real issue with this book, and unfortunately it’s kind of a big one, is that not much of the story actually happened in the hospital! I was expecting an AHS Asylum type story where most of the plot unfolds within the hospital. I’m hoping that if I keep reading the series (filled with stand alone stories), I’ll get to learn more about the asylum and this mysterious brotherhood that operates within the Michigan medical community.

But the story itself was interesting and I mostly liked Hattie and Jude. I sympathized with them easily and I was excited to see the resolution of everything. It kept me guessing and there were plenty of creepy happenings to make my inner horror fan happy. I’m not sure if this is labeled as YA or not, but I wouldn’t actually recommend this to younger readers. There are objectionable elements that would keep it best for more mature audiences. Overall, this was a great book and I can’t wait to continue with the series!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Children’s Picture Book Review: What If Bunny’s NOT a Bully?

What If Bunny’s NOT a Bully?
Author: Lana Button

Illustrator: Christine Battuz
Published: March 3, 2020
32 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 28, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Gertie the elephant says everyone on the playground should stay far away from Bunny because she’s super mean. But Kitty has questions: How did Bunny become a bully? Was she born that way? Was she stung by a bullybug? Or maybe she caught the bully flu? Wait, does that mean bullying is contagious? And if it is, couldn’t the other animals catch it, too? But … then no one would play with them either, and that doesn’t seem fair. Is it possible that Bunny is sorry? Should they give her a second chance?

Jessica’s Review:

According to Gertie the elephant, Bunny had apparently always been a bully. Everyone goes along with Gertie and now the kids want nothing to do with Bunny until Kitty comes into the picture.  She questions things such as what made Bunny a bully; she even wonders about   Bunny when she is old: Will she still be a bully? 

In some ways the story becomes a reverse bullying situation with the kids all ganging up on Bunny, until Kitty and her questions come in to play.  Then the kids realize what they themselves are doing to Bunny. 

This is a definitely an important picture book for young children (the book is aimed for ages 3-7) to help them understand the subjects of bullying, inclusion, understanding, empathy, and the ever important second chances.  This ‘reverse bullying’ angle also shows children what it may be like to walk in another person’s shoes.

The illustrations definitely add to the story as they show the emotions the kids are all feeling. Small children who can’t read would definitely get the story from the pictures as the story is being read to them.

Many thanks to the publisher Kids Can Press for granting me a copy to read and review. It was a pleasure!   

Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Blog Tour: 30 Days in June by Chris Westlake

Today I am sharing my review as a part of the blog tour for 30 Days in June by Chris Westlake.  This is a crime thriller that has a serial killer!

Book Description:

On the 1st day of June 1988, the residents of south Wales were thrown into a state of panic when a married couple were brutally murdered in their own home. The killer, nicknamed Spartacus by the media, did not flee the scene immediately; instead, he stayed to carve Roman Numerals onto his victims’ chests.

This was the beginning of a month-long killing spree, each murder taking a step closer to home.

Seventeen-year-old Jeffrey Allen was to be the final victim, on the final day of the month. Instead, he became the only survivor, and the only real witness. The killings ended as suddenly as they began. Jeffrey relocated to London, changing his name, and his identity, to Marcus Clancy. His past life became merely a dark secret.

On 1st June 2018, 30 years to the day since the first killing, a mysterious figure refers to Marcus by his old name, through closing lift doors.

Is Spartacus back? If so, has he returned to finish what he failed to do thirty years ago?

And so begins 30 days of terror for Marcus Clancy, culminating in dramatic fashion on the final day of June.

30 DAYS IN JUNE is Chris Westlake’s third novel, and his first crime thriller. He is currently writing his second crime thriller and is on schedule to have it completed in 2020.

30 Days in June
Author: Chris Westlake

Published: December 15, 2019
359 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 9-27, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

Sign me up: 30 Days in June is a crime novel about a serial killer during the month of June and the story also takes place in 1988 and 2018. The novel starts on June 1st, 1988 with a married couple and their sexually graphic adventures that take an unexpected turn for them.  Throughout the month of June the serial killer Spartacus frightens the immediate area until the final victim survives and then Spartacus disappears.

Fast forward thirty years and the survivor had moved and changed his name then one day he hears his old name, which starts him on a path he did not expect to go on. Is Spartacus back or is this some kind of copycat occurring exactly 30 years later? And if Spartacus in fact is back, what does he want after all this time?    

30 Days in June was a decent read for me. The premise is intriguing and you want to know if in fact Spartacus is back. I was not really attached to Jeffrey/Marcus, so I did not really care what happened to him.  He is an imperfect person and we see this over both time periods. Parts of the novel became a bit mind-numbing for me, but keep with it as when you get to the final few chapters, the story really gets moving and we have a final standoff  with a satisfying conclusion. 

Overall, 30 Days in June has its ups and downs but is ultimately worth it in the end! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Blackwells

About the Author:

After completing a Creative Writing course in 2010, Chris Westlake’s short story, Welsh Lessons, was awarded 1st place in the Global Short Story Award (not bad for the first writing competition he had entered). He followed this up with 1st place in the Stringybark Erotic Fiction Award and 2nd place in the HASSRA Literary Award.

Chris has written three novels. 30 DAYS IN JUNE is his first crime thriller. He is currently writing his second thriller, on schedule to be completed in 2020. He is determined to write many, many more – his main regret is that he didn’t start writing earlier.

Chris considers himself to be a developing author. He is always looking to improve, to make his next novel even better than the last. He is continuously experimenting with different styles, different genres.

Contact Chris:
Email: You can contact Chris at chriswestlakeauthor@hotmail.co.uk. He would love to hear from you!
Website
Twitter: @ChrisWestlake2

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