Category: Review

Buried by Sian B. Claven

Buried
Author: Sian B. Claven
Published: October 15, 2019
122 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Home is where the heart is … or the hatred.

You can feel the love and care someone puts into their home just by walking into it. Equally, you can feel the hatred and malice when you step into a home where dark deeds have been done.

Alex and his team of so-called paranormal investigators are given the opportunity of a lifetime when they are able to film inside one of the most haunted, and cursed, locations in their area:

The Jackson Mansion.

The thing that makes this mansion truly unique is that it is built completely underground. Determined to uncover the dark secrets of the mansion’s past, and prove himself a notable investigator, Alex doesn’t care what it takes. The mansion, however, has other ideas, as well as some rather restless occupants.

Kim’s Review:

Claven has become one of my all time favorite horror authors! She doesn’t pull any punches and writes some of the scariest and most disturbing stuff I’ve ever read! Buried is just such an example. While not quite as perverted as her Asylum books, it’s still explicit and frightening! It reminds me a lot of Grace Encounters, which if you have not seen, you should watch. A TV crew goes into a haunted mansion looking for a great story and some freaky shots, but what they find is not what they expected! I was engrossed; I couldn’t put it down!

Once again, if you don’t like even the tiniest bit of horror, then you will not like this book. But if you want something obviously scary and thrilling, then pick up this book!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Trapped by Michael Northrop

Trapped
Author: Michael Northrop
Published: February 1, 2011
232 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 2-6, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive. . . .

Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn’t seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision. . . .

Jessica’s Review:

Trapped is a short and quick read that I enjoyed until it abruptly ended.  Were the last few chapters accidentally left out of my copy?  Nope, that was it!  Who lives, who dies, and what’s going to happen next?  I will have to decide that on my own…

I was pulled in from the beginning wondering what was going to happen.  I knew it was going to be a bad storm, but the snow just would not stop!   These poor kids just kept getting worse off as the novel progressed.  For a YA novel that has boys and girls stuck alone together, there surprisingly was not much teenage drama: They were focused on survival. 

If you like quick YA reads, give Trapped a try. Our narrator is a boy, which is a rarity in YA novels.  *Disclaimer*:  Going in keep in mind that the novel ends with no conclusion/ epilogue.

Northrop wrote another novel which interests me called Surrounded by Sharks.   It is similar to Trapped in that it deals with survival, but I doubt I will read it.  It is about the same length as Trapped and I am afraid that there will be no conclusion, and my thinking is this:

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

If you have actually read Surrounded by Sharks, I would love to know if there is a conclusion to that novel!

Other than the lack of conclusion, Trapped would be perfect to read while it is snowing: I just hope you don’t end up in a blizzard like our poor teens!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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The Storied Life of AJ Fikry

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Published: April 1, 2014
Audiobook 

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: December 15-23, 2019

Book  Description:

As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming.

Jessica’s Review:

Poor AJ Fikry has had a difficult time in his life lately:

His wife has passed away, his bookshop is not making sales like it should and now a prized possession is stolen!  Life can’t possibly get any worse can it?  No, in fact it can go in a complete 180! 

This was a very enjoyable audiobook. At first AJ is not likeable at all, but over time he and his story grow on you.  Maybe there are second chances after all.

If you are a bibliophile like me, you will enjoy this book as it is set in a bookstore! (Books  Galore!) I would stay away from other reviews and even other book descriptions, as they give away what this mysterious package is. The book description that I first read did, and I wish I had not known. Go into this book knowing as little as possible and you will be sure to enjoy it! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US  
Amazon UK  

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