Tag: YA

Friant’s Video Friday: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Illustrated Version)

Today Kim brings you a video review of the illustrated version of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. She previously reviewed the novel here.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Author: John Boyne
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Published: April 11, 2017
352 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The international bestseller that has touched millions of readers around the world is now available in a deluxe illustrated edition, featuring powerful illustrations by acclaimed artist Oliver Jeffers.

Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance. But Bruno decides there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Asylum Obscura

Asylum Obscura
Author: Stephanie Johnson
Published: September 20, 2019
322 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Charlotte, a young girl with her own personal demons, inherits Cliffmoore House when her grandfather dies. Cliffmoore House, an abandoned asylum as it turns out, has demons as well. Charlotte and her companions need to stop the evil entities before they consume the asylum grounds and their souls.

Kim’s Review:

Is anyone surprised that Kim read this book?? If you are, well you obviously need to spend more time on the blog! The description excited me and I love finding new indie authors, so I bought it and read it.

First, the pros. Johnson created a great setting with Cliffmoore House. I wanted so badly to visit and to learn more about it and it drew me in immediately. She also has a good imagination for horror. There were some parts of this book that had me legit creeped out! I know she is totally capable of writing a brilliant horror novel, but unfortunately this is not that novel.

Now, the cons. In horror, less is more. If the plot line can’t stand on its own as a scary one, then throwing every scary element you’ve ever heard of into it is not going to help. Thankfully, this plot line is already creepy. This book should have been an anthology of haunted hospitals and hotels and private homes all over England. If that had been the case, I would have added at least a star to my rating. But the fact that everything happened in this one hospital to this one group of people diminished the entire experience. There were too many spirits to make any one of them special. There were too many exorcisms and they simply became par for the course. And just when you thought the story was over, yet another entity was thrown in and by that time all I could think was, “really? Another one?!”

There were also certain details that Johnson never really acknowledged. There were satanic drawings and symbols in the lab, but no other evidence of satanic rituals. Explanations for most of the spirits but none for the truly terrifying ones.  Plus the book was riddled with typos and incorrect pronouns, which to be fair, could be easily fixed by a good editor. I’ll admit that this has more to do with me than with the book or the author, but I just really didn’t connect with the characters. Charlotte just seemed flat to me. Maybe the drug and alcohol abuse would have made more sense if earlier trauma had been identified, but I really never saw anything that justified it so it was just an annoyance through the whole book.

Overall, I’m glad I read it and I hope Johnson will continue writing, but I also say that it’s easy to see this is her first novel and she has a lot of growing to do as a writer.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

[Top]

Friant’s Video Friday: Allies by Alan Gratz

Today Kim brings you a video review of Allies by Alan Gratz.

 Allies
Author: Alan Gratz

Published: October 15, 2019
325 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

June 6, 1944: The Nazis are terrorizing Europe, on their evil quest to conquer the world. The only way to stop them? The biggest, most top-secret operation ever, with the Allied nations coming together to storm German-occupied France.

Welcome to D-Day.

Dee, a young U.S. soldier, is on a boat racing toward the French coast. And Dee — along with his brothers-in-arms — is terrified. He feels the weight of World War II on his shoulders.

But Dee is not alone. Behind enemy lines in France, a girl named Samira works as a spy, trying to sabotage the German army. Meanwhile, paratrooper James leaps from his plane to join a daring midnight raid. And in the thick of battle, Henry, a medic, searches for lives to save.

In a breathtaking race against time, they all must fight to complete their high-stakes missions. But with betrayals and deadly risks at every turn, can the Allies do what it takes to win?

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

[Top]