Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark - Alvin Schwartz

Title: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Author: Alvin Schwartz
Illustrator: Brett Helquist
Format: Paperback
Rating: 3 Stars

This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz's popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright. There is a story here for everyone -- skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney. Stephen Gammell's splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories -- and even scary songs -- all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.If You Dare!

When originally published, the illustrations were done by Stephen Gammell, but the version I read had updated illustrations by Brett Helquist - also known as the guy who illustrated the Series of Unfortunate Events books.  Just thought I'd put that out there.

I read this as a group read with a facebook group I am in (The Booket List - come check them out if you're in the mood to join a really fun great book group!)

So, you can imagine that these stories are about as scary as a hangnail for grownups.  If you read the book as an adult, you are probably not going to be scared.  That being said - this was a fun and quick book to read.   The stories are fun and at some points even funny.  Yes, I said it - I laughed at some of these stories.  But I am 38, and was reading this book for fun and not really expecting to be scared.  

If you have kids who love to be scared and who love a good spooky story, this would be a great book to read with them!  

There is literally no character development here, and no plot to anything because these stories are all less then 5 pages.  So don't go into this thinking you're going to be reading some deep stories here, because you're not.  Just go into this with the expectation of having some (rather cheesy) fun.  While you're at it, use this as an opportunity to be like me and try to scare some kids you love.  (IF you feel they can handle it.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Extraordinary Book Titles

Hi everyone - Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday - a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This weeks topic is Extraordinary Book Titles. The titles I've picked are either books I've read and loved, or books that I have on my TBR that I am super super excited to read.

1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
2. All The Light we Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
4. Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix - Julie C. Dao
5. 100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
7. The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
8. Between Shades of Grey - Ruta Sepetys
9. The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World - Amy Reed
10. The Gulag Archipelago - Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn

Your turn reader friends - what book titles do you just absolutely love?  Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman

Title: The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

The Rules of Magic is a prequel to the book Practical Magic, and follows the stories of Jet, Frannie, and their brother Vincent while they are young.

This novel had many magical aspects that made it very enchanting and fun to follow.   There was one thing that happened near the beginning of the novel that nearly made me stop reading though. One of the characters has this trait of being irresistible to others romantically.  So many people are attracted to him,  and one of his aunts neighbors uses that to her advantage and does stuff with him that no adult should ever do with a 14 year old child.  The authorities have used this as a chance to speak out against rape and sexual abuse against minors, but she didn't.  She should have because iny mind there is no reason a grown ass adult should ever be doing that with a child.  A leaning opportunity was sorely missed.

All that being said,  there were many things I did enjoy about this book.  I feel that the way the siblings learned about their magic in their own ways was good.  Their learning about who they are and coming of age as witches was well developed.

There were many different layers to this story - the side characters, the interactions between those characters and the main characters, the way we learned about the main characters and what they liked, and what they were like when they were young and as they got older.  The story is just filled with so much stuff that adds depth to this story and really makes you want to finish reading it.

I liked that this book had different settings and that the kids traveled and spent time at their aunt's house as well - I think having the story split between NYC and their aunt's house was good for the development of this story because it gives readers the chance to see what they kids are like in their home and in a different place.

Overall, I don't know that I would read this again, but it was a decent book and if you like magical realism you will probably enjoy this book.

Monday, October 7, 2019

My Zombie Apocalypse Team

Hey reader friends!  HAPPY OCTOBER!

Today, I am bringing you Literary Characters that would be on my Zombie Apocalypse team!  This post idea came from a list of prompts by Kelly over at Another Book In The Wall!

1. Tom Imura - Rot and Ruin Series.  If you've read these books, you know what happens to Tom.  That being said, I'd still have him on my team to fight the zombies.

2. Mad Eye Moody - Ok, so we all know Mad-Eye is, well, mad.  BUT, let's face it - having one of the best auror's ever on your side?  SO WORTH IT.

3. Baghra - sure, she was, you know, the Darkling's mother. But she's one bad ass lady, and she'd kill some zombies like it's going out of style.

4. Nina Zenik - I don't think I need to go into the details.  She kicks ass, and she has to help kill all the zombies.

5. Inej Ghafa - the baddest badass of all badass ladies - she'd be killing zombies before we could even know what was going on.

Ok, reader friends - your turn. If you had to pick some literary characters to be on your zombie apocalypse team, who would you pick?

Friday, October 4, 2019

Dating Profile Friday - Harry Potter

Name: Harry Potter
Education: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Job: Auror
Status: Divorced

Likes: Quidditch, brooms.
Dislikes: Haters, the Malfoys

About Me: I was a student at Hogwarts and though I didn't complete my NEWT's, I have gone on to become a successful auror with the Ministry of Magic.  I married my school sweetheart, and that didn't work out well, so now I am seeking one that I truly can spend the rest of my life with. I killed the worst dark wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort. I guess you could say I'm still pretty amazing. 

If you send an owl, they'll always know where to find me, even when I'm traveling for work. 


If you've created your own dating profile for a character, post your link in the comments below - I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Can't-Wait Wednesday

Hi everyone - welcome to Can't Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings.

Now, you'll have to forgive me, because 2 of the books on my list have already been released (SHOCK AND AWE!) But to be fair, they were released yesterday, and it might be a while before I get to them because my TBR is HUGE!

The third book I am super super excited for right now is a romance by one of my FAVORITE YA authors -

I have to sit on my hands and wait because this book isn't being released until February 18, 2020!  But I am SO EXCITED. 

Your turn reader friends.  What upcoming books are you really excited to read right now?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Books On My Fall 2019 TBR

Hi y'all - welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday.  Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. 

This weeks topic is: Books On My Fall 2019 TBR

Some of the books on my list are older books that I've been meaning to read for a while - and I am determined to get through them this year!  

Some of them are still older books that are in a series that I really want to finish!

And books I want to read but don't have pictures of right now: 

1. Artemis Fowl
2.Artemis Fowl - The Arctic Incident 
3. Artemis Fowl - The Eternity Code
4. Artemis Fowl - The Opal Deception
5. Artemis Fowl - The Lost Colony 
6. Artemis Fowl - The Time Paradox
7. Artemis Fowl - The Atlantis Complex
8. Artemis Fowl - The Last Guardian