Tag: Contemporary

Book Review: Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Horrorstör
Author: Grady Hendrix

Published: September 23, 2014
248 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör is designed to retain its luster and natural appearance for a lifetime of use. Pleasingly proportioned with generous French flaps and a softcover binding, Horrorstör delivers the psychological terror you need in the elegant package you deserve.

Kim’s Review:

Holy cow. I’ve read Hendrix’s other books and loved them, so I’ve had my eye on this book for a long time. I read it in one sitting and it’s easily my favorite of this quarter, so far! He describes it as “horror parody” and that’s so accurate! So many times throughout the book, I felt both creeped out and amused. The book is in a catalog-ish format, so there were furniture illustrations. So many times, I had to stop reading so I could giggle! Yet I was still scared! How he managed that, I’m not sure, but he did!

The story itself is unique and engaging. Hendrix loves a good metaphor and of all his books, this one is the most obvious, so I didn’t feel quite so stupid after I finished it. Overall, I loved this book and I would recommend it to anyone! I think even those who don’t really like horror would like this book. But those who love horror will adore this book!! I thought it was brilliant!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: This is My America by Kim Johnson

This is My America
Author: Kim Johnson
Published: July 28, 2020

416 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 19-27, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

Jessica’s Review:

I had this novel selected to read for April’s #Diverseathon prompt, which is a character who is not Caucasian. I DID finish it in April, I just did not get the review written by the end of the month.  But it still counts!

This is My America is a novel that was published last year and is very timely with what was going on with our country.  This is My America centers on Tracy and the Beaumont family.  Seven years ago her father was convicted for double murder and sentenced to the death penalty; he is innocent and has only 267 days left, so his time is running out.  Every week Tracy has written to Innocence X to try and receive help in her father’s case to no answer.  Then the unexpected happens, a white girl is killed and Tracy’s brother Jamal is a suspect. And up to this moment he has never been in trouble with the law and had a very promising future.  Jamal is on the run and now Tracy is determined to help both her father and now her brother.

This is My America is Johnson’s debut novel and what a debut it is! It shows how incarnation affects every member of the convicted’s family and the injustices of African Americans.  Johnson also shows us what it is like inside and visiting a convicted inmate in Texas.  It also shows some history into the KKK and how that organization still exists today and what they can do.  Johnson touches on so many important subjects and reaches her readers with very likable and enduring characters that you can’t help but feel emotions for.

Written in short chapters, this is one novel you don’t want to put down as the reader becomes fully invested in the story and is rooting for Tracy to succeed in both her father and now brother’s cases.    Be sure to read the author’s note at the end of the novel.  Though Innocence X is a fictional organization, Johnson mentions actual organizations out there that work to free those wrongly convicted.  I adore Tracy and her bravery at doing everything she can.  She is a character that young girls could look up to. 

This is My America is one that needs to be read by all teens and touches on so many important subjects that our nation is dealing with more every day.  This novel is up there with Dear Martin for me and may in fact even pass it in my reading. I cannot wait to see what Kim Johnson writes next!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

The Chain
Author: Adrian McKinty
Published:  July 9, 2019
352 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 1-10, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

It’s something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it’s a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom, and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn’t do as she’s told, the boy will die.

“You are not the first. And you will certainly not be the last.” Rachel is now part of The Chain, an unending and ingenious scheme that turns victims into criminals — and is making someone else very rich in the process. The rules are simple, the moral challenges impossible; find the money fast, find your victim, and then commit a horrible act you’d have thought yourself incapable of just twenty-four hours ago.

But what the masterminds behind The Chain know is that parents will do anything for their children. It turns out that kidnapping is only the beginning.

Jessica’s Review:

Single mother Rachel receives the call that no parent ever wants to receive.  Her daughter Kylie has been kidnapped and they are now part of The Chain.  To get Kylie back Rachel must pay a ransom… and then kidnap another child, thus continuing The Chain. If Rachel fails at any of this or if the next person she selects fails at any of this, Kylie will be killed.  The person who has kidnapped Kylie is not playing games for she is a mother and her own son was also kidnapped.  And one more thing: Rachel is a cancer survivor and it looks like her cancer is back.  Will Rachel get the ransom and even more… will she kidnap someone else’s child to continue The Chain?

I was lured in from the beginning of this novel and found myself reading it at every moment I could.  I had to know what was going to happen!  The Chain is a very intense novel and I’m not even a parent! 

This will not be a book for everyone, as some readers who are parents may not be able to handle this story.  If you are a thriller lover as I am then I say DO READ THIS ONE!  It was an original and unique story for me and though it does get a little less realistic towards the ending I was fully invested.  This would make quite the movie and I would watch it! 

The reader feels for Rachel and sees the change she goes through from disbelief in her situation to what she does later on in the story due to need. This novel shows how much one person can change so quickly when needed.  The Chain is also a lesson in social media: Don’t put your whole life on Facebook! 

During the novel one character that is math oriented mentions to another that books should not have more than 77 chapters.  Lo and behold The Chain is made up of 77 chapters:  PSYCH!!!  The Chain is a complete story and for me everything tied up well. 

As of now, The Chain is my top thriller of the year and my #2 read of the year.  I cannot recommend this novel highly enough as this is the kind of book I love to read! The Chain is a club you definitely do not want to be initiated into! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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