Author: Kenneth Oppel
Published: October 6, 2015
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it’s just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp’s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to “fix” the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.
All he has to do is say “Yes.” But “yes” is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back?
This was an interesting read. I do love horror, but horror in the more traditional sense. The Nest was definitely different. Oppel took the traditional changeling story and made it unique. My dad, being an English Literature teacher, loves the story of The Changeling. He even shows the Star Trek episode to his students every year. Believe me, I hear a lot about it. But this is a new take on the old story.
I can’t claim to understand the deeper meanings of this book, y’all know I’m a bit shallow, but I enjoyed the story. Steve is a sincere and likeable character and Oppel captured the realistic thinking of a kid whose family is hurting. The reading was easy and the illustrations were great! This was another one that I read in one day. I would recommend this to teens who enjoy subtle horror and to anyone looking for an interesting read.
Author: Emilie Autumn
Published: June 22, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Book Description from Goodreads:
Two young women, living centuries apart, both accused of madness, communicate across time to fight a common enemy… their doctors.
“It was the dog who found me.”
Such is the stark confession launching the harrowing scene that begins The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls as Emilie Autumn, a young musician on the verge of a bright career, attempts suicide by overdosing on the antipsychotics prescribed to treat her bipolar disorder. Upon being discovered, Emilie is revived and immediately incarcerated in a maximum-security psych ward, despite her protestations that she is not crazy, and can provide valid reasons for her actions if someone would only listen.
Treated as a criminal, heavily medicated, and stripped of all freedoms, Emilie is denied communication with the outside world, and falls prey to the unwelcome attentions of Dr. Sharp, head of the hospital’s psychiatry department. As Dr. Sharp grows more predatory by the day, Emilie begins a secret diary to document her terrifying experience, and to maintain her sanity in this environment that could surely drive anyone mad. But when Emilie opens her notebook to find a desperate letter from a young woman imprisoned within an insane asylum in Victorian England, and bearing her own name and description, a portal to another world is blasted wide open.
As these letters from the past continue to appear, Emilie escapes further into this mysterious alternate reality where sisterhoods are formed, romance between female inmates blossoms, striped wallpaper writhes with ghosts, and highly intellectual rats speak the Queen’s English.
But is it real? Or is Emilie truly as mad as she is constantly told she is?
The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls blurs harsh reality and magical historical fantasy whilst issuing a scathing critique of society’s treatment of women and the mental health care industry’s treatment of its patients, showing in the process that little has changed throughout the ages.
Welcome to the Asylum. Are you committed?
I got this book for Christmas and I was immediately drawn to the cover! Of course, I’m all about asylums so there’s that, and the cover art is gorgeous! It did start out a little slow, but when it got going, boy howdy did it get going! I love the way that she broke down the thoughts in Emilie’s head to try to capture the issues of mental health. And apparently this book is biographical so Emilie Autumn the author has dealt with these very problems. Emily (with a y) is a fascinating character that I wish I could learn more about. I felt like I missed a lot of details that would have been helpful, but I’m too shallow to get them . . . if that makes any sense at all. That’s the only reason I gave this book 4 stars. There were times that I felt a little lost. Other than that, I loved the story, I found it interesting and engaging and it stayed in my head long after I put the book down. Overall, this was a great read; a little bit of creepy, a little bit of history, a little bit of crazy and it all came together into an awesome story! Not a great book for teens, but really great for more mature audiences! 😉
**BONUS!!!** If you are a fan of coloring books, Emilie Autumn created one!
Description from Amazon:
Enter the world of the Asylum with 23 original illustrations hand-drawn by Emilie Autumn herself, just waiting for YOU to bring them to life with color!
Devotees of Emilie Autumn’s bestselling gothic fantasy novel, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, will recognize the iconography of the Asylum world, from keys, gears, and clocks to the famous spiked gates, teapots, corsets, striped stockings, and, of course, rats!
The circular mandala style is designed to stimulate your creative brain whilst calming those voices in your head when they get just a bit too loud.
These exquisitely detailed designs are printed on one side only to allow you to easily remove the pages for displaying your art. Following each coloring page is a double-sided lined note page on which you are invited to record the wild journeys your mind went on whilst you were coloring.
Whether you color as a relaxation technique or as a wake-up call to your inner artist, Emilie invites you to collaborate with her and escape into the Asylum with this adult coloring book suitable for Plague Rats of all ages.
• 23 original coloring pages
• 23 double-sided lined note pages
• Durable, glossy cover and binding
• Dimensions: 8.5” x 8.5”
Author: Neal Shusterman
Published: May 5, 2005
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Dread Locks is the first entry in the Dark Fusion series from master storyteller Neal Shusterman. He cleverly weaves together familiar parts of fairy tales and Greek mythology to tell the story of fourteen-year-old Parker Bear, rich and utterly bored with life—until a new girl arrives in town. Tara’s eyes are always hidden behind designer sunglasses, and her hair, blond with glimmering spirals, seems almost alive. Parker watches, fascinated, as one by one Tara chooses high school students to befriend; he even helps her by making the necessary introductions. Over time, her “friends” develop strange quirks, such as drinking gallons of milk, eating dirt, and becoming lethargic. By the time Parker realizes what Tara is doing, he is too embroiled to stop her. In fact, she has endowed him with certain cravings of his own. . . .To say more would spoil the spooky fun of this wild thriller—let the twist speak for itself and leave you still as a statue.
Neal Shusterman is easily becoming one of my all time favorite authors! Everything he writes holds me enthralled through the whole story! I found Dread Locks at 2nd & Charles and I got so excited! I was waiting for the next book in another series that Shusterman wrote to get here from Amazon, and this one is short so I read it, and loved it! Shusterman has a way of being philosophical without being pompous or hard to understand. Dread Locks is a mix of fairy tale and myth. Yes, there is a subtle difference between the two and Shusterman weaves them together flawlessly. I honestly have no critique to give with this book.
It’s an imaginative story that’s meant to be experienced through your imagination so don’t expect to take it all literally. There are little lessons to learn throughout; the characters are likeable, they could have easily moved into annoying, but they never did. And my very favorite part of this story is the ending! Holy cow!!! But I can’t tell you, you just gotta read it for yourself!!!! 😊 I’d recommend this to any teen, I think this is a good book to get them into reading. I’d also recommend it to anyone looking for a short but interesting read.[Top]