Psycho: Sanitarium


Psycho: Sanitarium
Author: Chet Williamson
Published: April 12, 2016
288 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The original Psycho novel by Robert Bloch was published in 1959 and became an instant hit, leading to the smash movie only a year later, which brought Norman Bates’s terrifying story into the public consciousness, where it still remains (proven by the success of the tv series, Bates Motel). It took Bloch 23 years to write another Psycho novel, revealing that Norman had been in a mental institution the entire time. In that sequel, Norman quickly escapes the sanitarium and goes on a killing spree in Hollywood.

But what happened in that asylum during those two decades? Until now, no one has known.

It’s 1960. Norman Bates is in the State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and it’s up to Dr. Felix Reed to bring him out of his catatonic state.

But Norman and Dr. Reed have obstacles in twisted fellow patients and staff members who think of the institution as a prison rather than a place of healing. And the greatest obstacle is the building itself, once a private sanitarium, rumored to be haunted. A wild card appears in the persona of Robert Newman, Norman’s twin brother, taken away at birth after the attending doctor pronounced him brain damaged. As Robert and Norman grow to know each other, Norman senses a darkness in Robert, even deeper than that which has lurked in Norman himself.

Soon, murders begin to occur and a shocking chain of events plunge us even deeper into the deranged madness inside the walls of Psycho: Sanitarium.

Kim’s Review:

Another mental asylum! I’m all over that! I bought this book for Ivan two Christmases ago but naturally he would rather watch horror than read it. What are ya gonna do? So I decided to read it. Worth it! I was on the hook the entire book and don’t actually figure anything out until it was spelled out for me! I can’t tell if that means these books keep getting better or I’m just getting dumber … neither would surprise me! Lol

This books shows the fascinating differences between Norman Bates and his mother. There’s also a different treatment theory given that I’d never seen before. Overall, this was a unique and intriguing read that I would recommend to any fan of Psycho! In fact, I’d recommend this book to just about any adult reader! Really good!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Read-A-Long: House of Leaves

House of Leaves
Author: Mark Z. Danielewski

Published: March 7, 2000
709 Pages

Book Description:

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth—musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies—the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story—of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.


House of Leaves was selected as our second book for a read-a-long. It was suggested by Beccie and I went with it.  We had 10-11 people participate in the read-a-long (which is a good number), and unfortunately all but one loved the novel.  Some still have not finished it but are trying.

There will be other’s thoughts whom participated in the read-a-long, including Kim who had to DNF it.

The next book has been selected for the read-a-long and immediate plans were for June, but due to certain events that have affected us all, we will have to see if that will be re-scheduled.

Until then, check out the reviews for House of Leaves:

Jessica’s Review:
Jessica’s Rating:
2 stars

Dates Read: February 15- March 4, 2020

House of Leaves (HOL) is a book that I am glad I read, but will NEVER read again.  Reading HOL was more than just reading a book, it was an experience.  HOL is not a typical novel, there is color to words (the word ‘house’ is blue in English and other languages), photos, and non-linear format. There are appendixes, footnotes, you read back and forth in chapters, and there are some pages with just a few words on them. And even on those said pages, the words can be non-linear.  I applaud the author for his hard work and accomplishment on having a unique novel like this published however….HOL is not a book for most readers, even the most serious readers, myself included.

HOL is a very difficult and frustrating read in many ways.  We have the main story of the family that lives in this house that is bigger on the inside than the outside… And it keeps growing.  (When I first heard of HOL I jokingly referred to it as a Tardis!). There is also Johnny’s story (which I honestly did not care about at all) and he has discovered an old man’s notes on the house.

HOL just did not work for me. All I was interested in was the house and the family and even they lost my attention. The novel became tedious and I have to admit I scanned through a lot of it, I know I missed some things.  The only ‘light in the tunnel’ for me was Tom.  By the time I got to the ending I really did not care about what happened.

Though not for me, it might be for someone out there!

Kim’s Thoughts (We can’t really say review as she DNF’d):

What a weird book. I can’t really give it a rating since I didn’t finish it … which I am totally ok with, cuz dang that is a weird book! I’m a big horror fan so I thought that I’d enjoy the story. It has tons of potential with that creepy underbelly of the house and the weird growls and all. And had it been just the story of the house, I probably would have finished it and liked it! But everything else, the old man, Johnny who literally has sex with every woman he meets, all the philosophy and theology and snooty cinematic criticism and over analyzing!!! How boring and confusing and exhausting! I finally couldn’t take it and decided to just DNF it. I gave it to Adam, my cinematic, super nerdy friend and I hope he reads it and loves it! I’m sorry, I didn’t!

Beccie’s Review:
Beccie’s Rating:
1.5 stars

Beccie is the creator of the Bookies Facebook page and yes, it was her suggestion to read House of Leaves, but I went with it!

I heard about this book on Booktube and it sounded so good. A guy finds some notes about a house that is bigger on the inside than the outside and the family who struggles to figure out what to do about their house; that sounds so good. I even knew going in that this book was uniquely structured and I was all for it. The author obviously put a lot of effort and time into creating this novel so props to him on that.

The introduction section was an intriguing start and once I got to the part of the story introducing the Navidson family and their bizarre home it was fascinating. Sadly, shortly after they discover this mysterious hallway and the father takes to exploring it with his brother and other friends it got boring very quickly. Every “expedition” into this hallway was just the same boring thing over and over and over again with slight dimension changes. Thank God a lot of this book was made up of pages with very little wording on them because those were the pages that got me through this book. I will say my favorite character was Tom. He was the bright spot in this otherwise boring AF story. He brought the humor that I needed in order to get through. In fact, I actually laughed out load a few times at his jokes and sense of humor.

Oh, but let’s not forget that this 700+ page book isn’t just about this family living and exploring this house. No, there is also the narrative of Johnny who has discovered this deceased old man’s notes about this house. I followed Johnny’s narrative up to the point where his mother sends him letters but after that I just didn’t care one little bit about his story. I literally skimmed over his parts because I just didn’t care. His narrative is told as footnotes to the Navidson story, which was annoying to have a story that I kinda liked be constantly interrupted to hear about Johnny’s experiences or thoughts or memories. On top of Johnny’s footnotes, there are also footnotes that will lead you to other pages in the book to look at drawings, pictures, letters, etc . That was all fine UNTIL you would reach a footnote that was for a completely made up book. What is the point of that!! There is no point, that’s what. Oh but wait, even more footnotes will direct you to evidence in the back of the book to which you stop reading to go find said evidence and all you get is….”evidence or exhibit not found” WTF!!!! Why.. WHY!!!!

**SPOILER**

So all that annoyed me to a frustrating level and then I finish this damn book and start discussing it with Yami and she informs me that Johnny isn’t even real. Which let’s remember, I skimmed a lot of his story so I asked for examples that led her to this conclusion and after going back and reading parts that I missed, her conclusion makes every sense to me and if that isn’t THE BIGGEST WASTE OF TIME. This book could have easily been cut by 300 pages had all the mostly empty pages been condensed and a stupid index of every freaking word mentioned in the book wasn’t included. Seriously when was the last time you read a book and wondered, “I wonder on what pages the word “so” are on.”

**END OF SPOILER**

I give this book 1.5 stars. 1 star because I forced myself through this because here’s the kicker….I SUGGESTED WE READ THIS POS!!! The .5 goes to the author’s dedication to creating this story. I hated this book. I DO NOT RECOMMEND!!! I’d like to formally apologize to anyone who purchased this book to participate in this read-a-long. I’m so sorry I led ya’ll wrong. I’m normally not one for violence against books but if I had a fireplace this book would have been used for kindling.

Beccie also gives her video review/rant on her YouTube Channel:

Yami’s Review:
Yami’s Rating: 2.5 stars

Yami also has a Facebook page where she reviews the books she reads:

Let me start off by saying, I really liked the Navidson story and sometimes Johnny’s story. I also give credit to the author for how the book was put together. With that being said, I didn’t care for the book and I would not be reading it again. I felt myself drifting off a lot through this book because of how really boring most chapters were. When I got to the end, it left me so confused. I don’t know if who I think was the actual story teller of this story is true or not and I know a lot of people have their own opinion on who it was. And with the actual author not saying who the real story teller was in the book, you are left forever in a guessing game. Even though this book wasn’t for me, it doesn’t mean it won’t be for you.


So there you have it, House of Leaves was not for any of us, but it will be for others out there.  This is one of those books where it is love it or hate it.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK (Only available via third party vendors- You would get it cheaper buying via the Amazon US site, yes, you would have an extended wait, but it is MUCH cheaper otherwise).

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Blog Blitz: Children’s Book: Five Minutes, Alfie

Today I am sharing my review as a part of the blog blitz for the children’s picture book Five Minutes, Alfie by Lily Mae Walters. This is a fun children’s book that will wake the kids up!  There is also a giveaway going on for a paperback copy of the book (UK Only).

Book Description:

Alfie snuggles down in bed,
dreams still in his little head.

He dreams he’s a king going out for a ride.
“A dragon sleeps in front of the gate,” they cried.

How will they succeed in waking him up?
By helping each other and lots of luck.

Five Minutes, Alfie
Author: Lily Mae Walters

Illustrator: Jack Foster
Published: February 14, 2020
60 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Date Read: March 19, 2020

Jessica’s Review:

Five Minutes, Alfie is a fun read for young children that has colorful pictures. This is a children’s book to NOT read when you are trying to get the kids to go to sleep as they may become excited about the story and want to know what is going to happen at the end. I have to say the book has a dragon in it as well which makes it even more exciting! What kid doesn’t like having a story with dragons?!?!?

At the beginning of the book Alfie’s mom is trying to get him up for the day, but he just needs  a few more minutes to finish his dream, after-all,  he is a king!  The problem Alfie’s kingdom is facing is this: there is a huge sleeping dragon outside the castle and no matter what the people do, they can’t wake it up! This story will have the kids in anticipation if the people will  be able to get the dragon awake and what will happens when it wakes up?!?!?!

Five Minutes, Alfie rhymes which makes it fun to read aloud.  The CGI pictures are bright, colorful, and definitely add to the enjoyment of the story.  This book will keep the kids wide awake and ready for their next adventure! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also star in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

Contact Lily Mae:
 Instagram @lilymaewalters
Twitter: @LilyMaeWalters1

**UK Giveaway**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.   The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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