Showing posts with label June 2022. Show all posts
Showing posts with label June 2022. Show all posts

Friday, June 24, 2022

Sin Series Books 1 – 3 by A.I. Nasser

Genre: Adult, Horror
Source: I won a copy from LibraryThing. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book 1 - Kurtain Motel

I will say that this is definitely not the book to read during a storm at night. After car trouble Patrick is picked up by a priest and due to a storm they stop at a creepy motel. The setting was a perfect setup for this story. The “guests” find themselves plagued by their deepest sins. Something wants them to confess these sins. If you really want to creep me out then add in spiders. They are my biggest fear. This is told from multiple points of view.  I happen to be someone who likes this. I don’t think I would ever want to be in a motel like the Kurtain Motel.  This is just the first book in his Sin series so it ends a little bit differently than I liked, but set things up to make me read the next one. If you love creepy books then this book and this author is the one for you.


Book 2 - Refuge

Okay, book 2 of A.I. Nasser’s Sin series is just as creepy as the first book.  Three people have escaped the Kurtain Motel. They end up in a town called Refuge. I am a strong believer that names in books are often a story in themselves. It made me wonder why the author would name the town Refuge. Just when they think they have their lives returning to normal the creep factor is turned up once again. We still have a theme of “confessing their sins” running throughout this series. This author knows how to make everything about his book creepy. Definitely one of my favorite horror authors. Now on to the third book in this series.


Book 3 - Purgatory

Patrick and Jimmy have been on the run since they left the Kurtain Motel. They are trying to find Jimmy’s mom who was possessed by the evil that haunted them at the motel. They find themselves in a town called Darville. Something is definitely wrong in Darville. Evil lurks there. Once again those creepy spiders make an appearance. All I kept thinking as I read this series is that it would make an awesome movie, spiders and all. I do feel that the series left me with some unanswered questions. Was that enough to make me not enjoy the story?  Definitely not. I need to check some of the other books by this author. But please, check out this trilogy, you won’t be disappointed.

Monday, June 20, 2022

The Whispering Storm: Respecting Mr. Ravi by Christopher


Genre: Upper-Elementary

Source: I received a copy from StoryOrigin to facilitate my review. The Opinions expressed here are my own.

I have enjoy this book which shows Alex Thomas trying to help his school janitor. I have noticed throughout the books that take place in Timpleville, that Alex has a respect for Mr. Ravi. Mr. Ravi is a great mentor to Alex. In this book he realizes that everyone including the principal treats Mr. Ravi with little respect. Alex has plans to change that. If you have read any of the books involving these characters you quickly learn that what Alex plans doesn't always come out the way he expected.  This is a quick read.  It addresses issues of bullying and respecting others.  Another great book I can't wait to introduce to my students.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Alex Was Here by Christopher Francis


Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery
Source: I purchased a copy

I enjoyed this second book by Christopher Francis. The characters were familiar. However, as the story progressed we watched them change for both the good and the bad. I teach middle grade and so this story depicted sixth graders quite well. Alex and Daisy in the first book "Remembering Kaylee Cooper" had to help the little girl return to her parents at Screaming Ridge. Unfortunately, this event created more havoc at Screaming Ridge. It seems a portal was opened and the whole of Timpleville found themselves in danger. The way the author chose to tie this all up was genius. This is the third book I have read by this author. I currently have five others to read. I can't wait.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

The Girl in the White Van by April Henry

Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Mystery
Source: I purchased a copy

I absolutely love this author’s books.  She takes young people and puts them in situations that are a nightmare in themselves.  Savannah is a young girl who is kidnapped. She is taken out to an old trailer where she finds Jenny. She is another kidnap victim and has been held for ten months. Savannah and Jenny are completely different. Savannah takes Kung Fu and so she fights back.  Jenny seems to have just given up until she meets Savannah.  As they try to escape knowing the danger the tension is brought to a whole new level. Just like in her book, “The Night She Disappeared” the author has given us a character in Savannah that is willing to fight back. This action keeps the story moving forward. I love how her characters are strong girls, or girls who find the strength to do what they didn’t know they could do. I had to wait until the summer to read this because my students handed it from one to the other.  I can make sure to get this book into the hands of my students.  

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Where She Fell by Kaitlin Ward

Genre: Young Adult, Adventure
Source: I purchased a copy. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This was one of the stranger books I have read. I had actually started it last year and never finished it. Today was as good as any day to finish it.  Eliza is not very out-going. She and two of her friends go down near the swamp. When her friends leave her to take a picture outside a cave she walks on. Suddenly she finds herself falling through the earth.  Eliza is found by a group of people who have fallen down as well. They’ve not been able to find a way out so they have formed a colony.

Eliza learns many things about herself while she is underground. She learns to be more assertive. She learns what true friends are. The friends she had on the surface were not true friends. She learns you can’t just sit back and wait when things take a wrong or bad turn. Sometimes you have to step up and go for what you want or what you know you should do.

For me I felt the ending needed a bit more. It was like watching a movie build up to the end and then you want to know what happened next, but never find out.  I will still recommend this book to my students and others who like adventures and young adult books.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste


Genre: Middle Grade, Traditional, Folklore
Source: I own a copy on my classroom shelves

I love reading folklore from around the world.  What I enjoyed almost as much as reading the book was research what Jumbies are and where they come from. I did this shortly after I started the book. I had not heard of them before. Knowing a little bit about them before I started the book made it that much better. Reading this book was a treat for the senses. The world building is so good you can visualize it. You can almost taste the oranges. You are right there with Corinne.  This is just creepy enough to pull the reader in and hold them in the world. The author surrounds the main character with other characters who have their own issues. They find themselves a lot stronger working together. This is a common theme in middle grade books.

Every culture has their “boogie man” that parents use to warn their children to be good. Children are taught about the evil Jumbies.  Corinne doesn’t believe in these magical creatures. But like all good creepy stories the main character will soon have to change their opinion.  I began this book during the evening my husband was out moving his bees. I quickly decided this was a book I needed to read during the day.  That is something that is an awesome sign for me. It means that the book is so good and creepy that I will want to get a good start real early the next morning. Each Jumbie has its own creep factor that made this so original and such a great read.  Books like this one are the reason I prefer reading middle grade fiction. This is now one of my favorite authors.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

The Girl In The Lake by India Hill Brown


Genre:  Middle Grade, Mystery/Horror
Source: I purchased a copy

Celeste and her brother Owen are spending the summer at their grandparent's lake house along with their cousins Daisy and Capri.  Celeste is not interested in spending tine at the lake. She can't swim. She failed her swim test. Her brother Owen loves the idea of swimming since he passed his test. He is not interested in hiking with his grandfather. He has a fear of mountain lions. He doesn't know if there are any, but why take a risk?  Daisy is the kind and courteous one but she fears storms. Capri is a lot like Celeste. She fears failure.  Will these four learn to face their fears? What does a ghost who looks like Celeste have to do with everything that is happening at the lake house?
I bought this book for my classroom from the book fair. Before I had a chance to take it home and read it a student asked to check it out. I ended up buying a second one and taking it home so that I could read it. I just now got around to it.  I now know why my students kept telling me I needed to read this book. I read it in under three hours. It was that good.  Great mystery/horror story. Kept me on the edge of my seat.   I highly recommend this book.