Just Like Home
Author: Sarah Gailey
Published: July 19, 2022
Audiobook: 10 hours
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: October 25-31, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
“Come home.” Vera’s mother called and Vera obeyed. In spite of their long estrangement, in spite of the memories — she’s come back to the home of a serial killer. Back to face the love she had for her father and the bodies he buried there.
Coming home is hard enough for Vera, and to make things worse, she and her mother aren’t alone. A parasitic artist has moved into the guest house out back, and is slowly stripping Vera’s childhood for spare parts. He insists that he isn’t the one leaving notes around the house in her father’s handwriting… but who else could it possibly be?
There are secrets yet undiscovered in the foundations of the notorious Crowder House. Vera must face them, and find out for herself just how deep the rot goes.
Warning: This one goes in a supernatural direction! And I was not looking for that, there was no sign at all about this. I wanted a good old horror novel!
I was excited to finally get this one the week of Halloween: I was ready for a good, scary story dealing with the past of a serial killer father, but heed my warning above, this novel ended up being not for me! If I had known it was going to go in a supernatural direction, I would have skipped it.
This one is a slow burner that got going closer to the end when the supernatural elements came into play. It just didn’t work for me. This one was a big disappointment after I really enjoyed The Echo Wife last year.
Author: Jason Rekulak
Published: May 10, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 28- August 3, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.
Mallory immediately loves this new job. She lives in the Maxwell’s pool house, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.
As the days pass, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister, and his stick figures steadily evolve into more detailed, complex, and lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect these are glimpses of an unsolved murder from long ago, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force lingering in the forest behind the Maxwell’s house.
With help from a handsome landscaper and an eccentric neighbor, Mallory sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy—while coming to terms with a tragedy in her own past—before it’s too late.
Hidden Pictures is definitely the book to read and it has illustrations to go along with the story which is the icing on the cake! This one is definitely a page turner and I read it in just a few days! I actually binged about half of it on a Saturday which is saying something for me!
We have Mallory who is a recovering addict who is given a chance to be a nanny for a family with their young son Teddy. Mallory enjoys the job and adores Teddy. But then he starts to draw for her. At first the drawings are innocent and age appropriate, but then then evolve into the sinister and creepy and well beyond the capabilities of a five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect something is going on and that it has something to do with a long-ago murder of where she is staying. She goes all in to find out what is going on now and what happened all those years ago.
This novel is not really a horror novel, but suspenseful and definitely creepy with a side of paranormal added in. It takes you in for a ride that you cannot put down! The illustrations make the novel 1000% better! They definitely enhance the story and add that creepy factor that would be missing otherwise. Rekulak definitely won with having both Staehle and Horner illustrate.
Around the last 50ish pages when it got to the big twist I sent a text that said ‘WTF!’ to one of my friends because I knew she had already finished it. My mind was totally blown and I want to read it again sometime knowing the ending now.
If you enjoy thrillers this is THE NOVEL to pick up this year! If you have small children around Teddy’s age, I apologize in advance for your reaction to the next drawing they make for you. Grab Hidden Pictures now and you can thank me later![Top]
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!