Tag: 4 stars

Wait Till Helen Comes

Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Published:  November 2, 1987
184 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Beware of Helen…

Heather is such a whiny little brat. Always getting Michael and me into trouble. But since our mother married her father, we’re stuck with her…our “poor stepsister” who lost her real mother in a mysterious fire.

But now something terrible has happened. Heather has found a new friend, out in the graveyard behind our home — a girl named Helen who died with her family in a mysterious fire over a hundred years ago. Now her ghost returns to lure children into the pond…to drown! I don’t want to believe in ghosts, but I’ve followed Heather into the graveyard and watch her talk to Helen. And I’m terrified. Not for myself, but for Heather…

Kim’s Review:

This was the first book by Mary Downing Hahn that I read. I was looking for scary, ghost stories and this one was perfect! After I finished this book, I worked my way through most of her other books. I very much enjoyed this story, but I gave it 4 stars because of Heather. Unfortunately, I doubt she could be changed much because her awfulness is what makes Helen believable. I just don’t understand how any parent could allow their child to act the way that she does.

I think we’ve already established that I’m not a very compassionate person. I don’t have much patience for self-pity, or for the excuses people use to shift responsibility for their lives. Yes, Heather saw her mother die in a fire and I get that that would be a traumatic thing for a kid. But, why the heck was she not taken to a therapist?? Spoiling a kid is never the right course, no matter what the situation! Ok, other than that, I love this book! I always go back to it when I’m looking for a creepy read. Hahn did a great job of entwining history and ghosts. Molly is a great protagonist, she’s very believable and I couldn’t help but sympathize with her. It’s also safe for younger readers. I absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a scary, ghost story.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Graphic Novel Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Author: Emily Carroll
Published: July 15, 2014
208 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House”—though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brother’s fiancée may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.” And of course, you must revisit the horror of “His Face All Red,” the breakout web-comic hit that has been gorgeously translated to the printed page.

Kim’s Review:

Creepy as all get out!!! I mean holy crap! Ivan got me this book for my birthday this year, and that shouldn’t be surprising since he’s a horror geek. And I give him credit; he never buys me a book without reading the description first and if it doesn’t sound good to him, then he saves it for me to buy for myself. But I digress! This was a great collection of eerie stories! Most of them have a lot of implied horror, which I do like, just not as much as obvious horror, cuz I’m an obvious person! I did love the illustrations, but there were times when I felt like I was reading a kid’s picture book. Obviously, it’s not a kid’s book, it was just a little sparse for my taste. Other than that, I really liked this graphic novel! A good one to send chills down your spine! Definitely a must for anyone who loves the macabre!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Mrs. Murray’s Ghost

Author: Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Published: August 31, 2018
112 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Mary’s family has moved into a huge Victorian mansion. She loves her gigantic new house, especially her room. But then she begins to meet the house’s other residents. Mrs. Murray was murdered in Mary’s new house. At first she tries to scare the new residents away, but there seems to be a force connecting the ghost to Mary. Even the stranded Brownies, the little people who live between the walls, feel that connection. When Mary becomes deathly ill, the Brownies and the ghost team up to try to rescue her, only to encounter a witch and her evil minions. Time is running out. They must rescue Mary from a fever-induced dream world before she is trapped there forever.

Kim’s Review:

This was a fun little story and I would definitely recommend it to upper elementary and middle school kids. The imagination was entertaining and vivid; the characters were mostly believable and lovable. My main issue is Mary. She was cute and I did like her, but she just acted older and more mature than a 10-year-old. Had she been a little older, then I would have completely believed her. The brownies were easily my favorite. Their Scottish brogue surprised me, but once I got into the rhythm of listening, instead of just reading, they became the best part of the story. I wish there was little more about Mrs. Murray. Her story was clear and I was glad of that, but I guess I would have liked a little more insight into what Mary could do for her. Thankfully, she grew on me too and that frustration turned into curiosity. I would love to read more about Mary and all the creatures residing in her cool mansion. An excellent story!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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