The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is AMAZING


The Graveyard Book

author : neil gaiman

pages : [paperback] 286

favorite character : nobody

memorable quote :

Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.

summary :

I’m so glad that I finally read this book. I’ve tried a few other books by Neil Gaiman in the past (Coraline, The Ocean at the End of the Lane) and really loved them, so I feel like he’s going to become one of my favorite authors. I actually already have another book of his to read now that I also fell in love with The Graveyard Book.

This book is written in a way that it could be enjoyed by younger readers. But, as I’ve always believed, it’s a sign of a great children’s story if it can be enjoyed by older generations, too. There was so much to this book–not just the creepy murderers and the paranormal elements–that I feel would most closely touch older audiences. There’s fear of being separated from a family, the adventure of growing up and coming into your own, and over all of that there lies the question of what happens to us after death. Even thoughThe Graveyard Book is filled with ghosts, there are still so many questions you’re left with as you’re piecing together this world. There are much stranger creatures out there besides the ghosts. In fact, those will start to look quite normal and natural compared to what Bod has to face.

Main character Nobody, or “Bod”, is just adorable. He grows up in the graveyard with all of the ghosts (and stranger creatures) to protect him from the mysterious man who murdered the rest of his family. I was torn between thinkingwow, that life is so cool and wow, Bod isn’t going to know ANYTHING if he ever leaves this place. It was breathtaking to see how unique his life was, how he loved learning about the ‘real world’ and the things that could only be taught in the graveyard. All of that compared to the rather mundane and boring world where people went on without knowing the existence of all of these magical things. The place his parents’ and sister’s murderer lurked, waiting for him.

I loved never being able to predict anything in this book. Bod’s little adventures are interspersed with bigger plot elements. He slowly explores the graveyard, as well as his personal limitations, and that teaches him things that will help him to survive against the forces that (for a reason that’s revealed at the end of the book) are out to kill him. I really wish that I could read more about him, now that the book is over. This book really captured my imagination so I feel like part of me is still stuck in that world.

I’d definitely recommend this book, to anyone. It’s full of creepy adventures, wonderful stories, and characters that are almost so interesting they pop off of the page.

Remembrance by Meg Cabot continues one of my favorite series



The Mediator #7

author : meg cabot

pages : [paperback] 388

favorite character : jesse

summary :

Fifteen years after the release of the first Mediator novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot returns with a deliciously sexy new entry to a fan-favorite series. Suze Simon—all grown up and engaged to her once-ghostly soulmate—faces a vengeful spirit and an old enemy bent on ending Suze’s wedded bliss before it begins.

You can take the boy out of the darkness.

But you can’t take the darkness out of the boy.

All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva).

But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight.

From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child, to ghosts of a very different kind—including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is certain must have come from the Devil himself—Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night.

Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past—including one she found nearly impossible to resist—strike first?

What happens when old ghosts come back to haunt you?

If you’re a mediator, you might have to kick a little ass.

review :

I absolutely loved The Mediator series when I first started reading it. I remember picking up the first book back when I was in seventh grade and loving it so, so much. It wasn’t until a few years later that I actually realized that there were more books in the series and struggled to find them available at Barnes & Noble (because this was before the days when I could just go online and pick out whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted). I was so pumped when I heard that Meg Cabot was continuing the series, this time with some adult novels. Now that I’m nearly out of college (!!), it’s like I’ve grown up with Suze and Jesse.

Unfortunately, I feel like maybe I personally put too many expectations on this book. For starters, it was longer than the other books were, maybe because it’s an adult novel. That meant that in places the plot felt really drawn out and I wasn’t even certain of where it was going because there were so many little side-plots happening. Of course, favorite characters kept popping up throughout the book, and I loved seeing them again. Cabot also kept the same tone and writing style in this book that I loved so much in the original Mediator books.

Some things were a little problematic for me. For instance, Suze is desperate to be ‘together’ with Jesse, officially, because they’re engaged and know they’re soulmates. Literally every time she sees him, she goes off on a tangent about how he won’t let them sleep together yet. I mean, let the guy have a break, Suze. He obviously adores you, has saved your life countless times, and is keeping himself away from you for religious reasons.

Then there was the whole thing about Paul Slater coming back when I hoped he’d have gotten himself locked up in prison sometime between the ending of the young adult books and the start of this one. You’d think those extra years of experience would have taught Suze not to keep secrets about Paul from others but, apparently, she can’t help but fall back on those old tricks. Paul was as disgusting a villain as usual, so . . . I’m really hoping Suze will be able to help out and/or watch his life be destroyed at some point.

Still, it was nice to have the gang back together again. Suze is ready to kick ghostly and human butt. The little moments of tense action that surround her really reminded me of the other books, which I thought was a nice touch.

I still really enjoyed this book, despite building up my expectations too much. I’d really recommend them–but read the other books first!

4/5 stars

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld


author : scott westerfeld

pages : [hardcover] 599

favorite character : darcy

memorable quote Hiding from the truth was worse than being lied to.

summary :

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

review :

I’ve been looking forward to reading Afterworlds ever since it was released. Because it’s a huge book (nearly 600 pages!) I thought that I would need a lot of time to set aside and fully enjoy this novel. Instead, it’s pretty easy to get through because even though it’s told in dual narration both portions of the story are interesting. I’ve never read anything like this before but knew that it had to be great. This is Scott Westerfeld; nothing he ever writes is disappointing.

I do have to admit that toward the end of the book I liked Darcy’s chapters–involving the real world and a glimpse at the inside of the publishing industry from an author’s perspective–more than I did Lizzie’s–where she’s discovering more about herself, her gifts, and the afterlife. I loved reading about Darcy attend things like Book Expo America because that’s something I can clearly picture in my mind and I loved reading her reactions to having to publicize herself. There’s so much that goes into creating excitement for a book and making it perfect before it’s released. Lizzie’s story, on the other hand . . It was gripping at the beginning. There were those first chapters that were awesome–as Darcy and her agent and editor continued to agree on. The rest, I wasn’t so sure that I would have been reading if this novel had been split in two. One for Darcy’s story, one for Lizzie’s. I began to like Lizzie’s half for the little details I could see in it, the changes that Darcy was making to her story because of the people she met in NYC as well as the suggestions others made for editing the story. The romance in it was so insta that it was nonexistent for me. I did like a few unconventional choices that Lizzie made, however, that kept it from being a typical paranormal romance.

I think this is a book that many will love. You just need to get past the intimidating look of it’s bulk. Honestly the pages fly by so quickly, it isn’t difficult to read this in a few days.

Anyone who is interested in writing or publishing will definitely get a kick out of the ways Darcy immerses herself in this world. From YA Drinks Night to having women publishing in her same year referring to themselves as ‘debut sisters’, there are hilarious moments mixed with the anxiety-inducing ones. Such as the expensive nature of living in NYC, the bated breath that comes with waiting for edits to come out, and the clinging fear that remains after finishing one book–because what if that was a fluke and it won’t happen again?

Even though I rented this one from the library, I’m going to buy myself a copy because I’ll definitely reread it in the future.

4/5 stars

Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks


Friends with Boys

author : faith erin hicks

pages : [paperback] 220

favorite character : maggie

summary :

After years of homeschooling, Maggie is starting high school. It’s pretty terrifying.

Maggie’s big brothers are there to watch her back, but ever since Mom left it just hasn’t been the same.

Besides her brothers, Maggie’s never had any real friends before. Lucy and Alistair don’t have lots of friends either. But they eat lunch with her at school and bring her along on their small-town adventures.

Missing mothers…distant brothers…high school…new friends… It’s a lot to deal with. But there’s just one more thing.


review :

This book was so much fun to read! There was a lot going on with it and none of it seemed to be directly connected but I’m hoping that there’ll be another book that explains all of the elements in this one a little further!

Maggie is such a fun character to read. She’s always been homeschooled so she has anxiety about leaving home and trying to meet new people for the first time in her life. Because I struggle with social anxiety myself, it was interesting to see how Maggie handled this new situation and gradually became more comfortable in her school.

Her brothers were so fun! I only have one brother myself but I can imagine how much worse things would be if I had to have three of them . . . and how wonderful if could be to have all of those siblings, too. Their family dynamic was beautiful and I want to see more of it! They act like a normal, realistic family, which grounds some of the more fantastical parts of the book. Like the fact that Maggie can see ghosts. More specifically one ghost who likes to hang around the graveyard and never says anything. I think that the only thing really lacking about this book is that there’s no progress with the mystery about the book. It’s the only supernatural thing in the novel . . . Will there be more? Hopefully we’ll find out.

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a new read or who really enjoys graphic novels! The style of art in this is right up my alley and my library has another book by this author that I’m going to pick up ASAP so I can enjoy more of this!

4/5 stars

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson


The Vanishing Season

author : jodi lynn anderson

pages : [hardcover] 256

memorable quote The living always think that monsters roar and gnash their teeth. But I’ve seen that real monsters can be friendly; they can smile, and they can say please and thank you like everyone else.

favorite character : maggie

summary :

Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter’s come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I’ve watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I’m the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I’m tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I’m tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don’t know why. I think it’s because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.

review :

I love Jodi Lynn Anderson. Love her writing. I’ve read her children’s books and also Tiger Lily and all of her work is written so well. The Vanishing Season is no different because it’s very gripping and enthralling. I couldn’t put this book down and liked that it was so short because I could read it all in one day, yet I also hated that because it meant I needed to leave that world sooner.

What I really looked for in this book was great characters. Maggie was amazing, flawed, and just really entertaining to follow. She felt like a real person who could have lived down the street from me, had I lived in such an isolated little town. I liked seeing her interactions with the others her age and how they dealt with the deaths that were happening so close to their home. It felt like real reactions: first indifference, then laughing speculation, then paranoia.

What I hadn’t expected to love so much about the novel were the little interludes in between some chapters where the ‘ghost’ of the book would speak. You spend much of the book trying to figure out who this presence was while they were alive, how long they’ve been dead and hanging around this house on Water Street. Eventually I thought that I had the answer, only to have another twist happen that proved me completely wrong. I’m not sure if others would be able to predict it but there are several other twists in the story, so you’ll always be guessing even if you think you’ve figured out what will happen next.

I’d recommend this book to anyone. I got it from the library and I’m going to buy myself a copy so that I can read it again. This book is well-written and has memorable characters. It’s purely a beautiful, touching story that needs to be shared with more people!

5/5 stars

Giveaway + Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

The Girl from the Well

release date : August 5

author : rin chupeco

about the author Rin Chupeco: Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She’s been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living. The Girl from the Well is her debut novel. Connect with Rin at

pages : [hardcover] 272

favorite character : okiku

summary :

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

review :

I have a love/hate relationship with scary stories. I’m absolutely captivated by them during the day, when I’m reading them. Then at night I’m haunted by what I’ve read and the creatures that I can conjure up in my mind. That’s part of what made The Girl from the Well so terrifying for me; every portion of this horror story is so well-told that I could perfectly picture the spirits as well as the gruesome acts that occur within these pages. This book is not for the faint of heart; it isn’t like a horror movie where you can look away when things escalate. No, you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from the page once the truly creepy events of the book start.

From the very beginning I wasn’t sure of what to think of Okiku. We’ve all been taught by books and horror movies that terrifying-looking ghosts are out to get you, but what if there was one that was only out to avenge those who, like her, had been murdered? I’ve never read a story where the ghost is portrayed as a kind of murderous heroine. I loved reading on to find out more about the ghost’s past, especially because as a reader we witness firsthand her vengeance. Even knowing that it is a child killer being hunted doesn’t make the entire experience less shocking.

What I also found interesting was that a select few people in the world had the ability to see beings like Okiku. Depending on how old they are or where they originated, these people have different reactions to her. Through these encounters we also get to learn more about our narrator. Although she speaks in first person, she doesn’t willingly say much about herself and has been dead for so long that it’s obvious she’s lost a lot of what had made her human. She hardly understands people anymore and it’s worse because her appearance frightens those who can see her, even if she is not hunting them.

Even if this book did scare me and maybe kept me up for a few nights, I’ll forgive it because it had such an interesting storytelling structure, great characters, and I absolutely loved the ending. Sometimes when it comes to horror stories I feel like the end can only go one of two ways and The Girl from the Well chose neither option. The ending really surprised me but left me satisfied. That’s something that I tend to worry about when it comes to horror but my worries didn’t come true!

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a frightening story to keep them up at night.

4/5 stars

This book was amazing, so don’t you want a copy of your own? Enter to win a finished copy of The Girl from the Well! Click the Rafflecopter link below. US & Canada only.

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Did Not Finish: The Lost Boys by Lilian Carmine


The Lost Boys

author : lilian carmine

pages : [paperback] 522

summary :

An intensely addictive romance novel about girls, ghosts, and forbidden love, ideal for fans of Stephenie Meyer
Fate has brought them together. But will it also keep them apart? Having moved to a strange town, 17-year-old Joey Gray is feeling a little lost, until she meets a cute, mysterious boy near her new home. But there’s a very good reason why Tristan Halloway is always to be found roaming in the local graveyard. Perfect for fans of Stephenie Meyer and Lauren Kate, The Lost Boys is a magical, romantic tale of girl meets ghost.

review :

**I was less than a hundred pages into this when I decided The Lost Boys wasn’t worth my time anymore, thus this will end up being less of a proper review and more an explanation of why I couldn’t put up with the rest of this.**

I rarely mark my books as DNF, especially one like this where I was very happy that my request for this on Netgalley was honored. But perhaps the comparisons to Stephenie Meyer and Lauren Kate should have warned me away. I did enjoy Meyer’s books, more so The Host than anything else, but Lauren Kate wrote Fallen, which was another book I couldn’t get through. Anyway, I usually ignore comparisons to other books and authors because it’s hard to compare these things.

First of all, I was attracted to that gorgeous cover and ended up hoping the title was going to be a Peter Pan reference. No such luck for me but the summary seemed promising, anyway. The problem started with the prose! Every other sentence was an exclamation! I couldn’t tell if Joey was always shouting! Or if she was that enthusiastic! I could get over the quirk of her name, even though everyone in the book needs to comment on it and Joey makes a big deal out of it. But she doesn’t act like a senior in high school. We’re reading this from her perspective and while the exclamation points don’t help, there are also the phrases she uses that seem out of place. Her actions, as well as those of all of the other characters, don’t make any sense.

Simply the way that the story was structured reminds me of how young writers, maybe teenagers, often start out, with simplistic prose and unnatural dialogue and actions. These are the things that are supposed to be improved upon to be made into a publishable book. Not this. I can’t believe that this is an actual book and I can’t believe that it’s supposed to be made into a trilogy. I do not recommend you try out The Lost Boys.

1/5 stars