The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Genre: Horror

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

** Unpopular Opinion & Spoiler Alert **

Have you ever watched a movie trailer thinking it was gonna be epic, but then you watch the movie and think the trailer pretty much showed all the good parts? And the movie kinda sucked?? (Hello, The Last Jedi! I’m talking about you!)

Yeah..that was this book for me. There were sooo many times I wanted to chuck this book at the wall, but couldn’t cause I was reading it on my phone! Not to mention..I nearly DNF’d it twice!

I don’t know who’s head I wanted to drown in Miss Mary’s barrel of rabbit spit more! Carter or Patricia! I think maybe Carter! There wasn’t one character who didn’t annoy the crap outta me. Okay, maybe Mrs. Greene. But that wasn’t why I didn’t enjoy this book.

I expected more vampire than book club banter. Instead, this read more like women’s fiction than it did horror in my opinion.

For me, it was a slow and rocky start. But it picked up at chapter 4, where I found myself saying: “Now this is the shit I’m here for!” Unfortunately, that high didn’t last long, and fizzled out again soon afterward.

There were some really great moments in this story like: Ann Savage going all Mike Tyson on Patricia, the story of Hoyt Pickens, the rats and last 30% of the book (surprisingly).

But overall, it didn’t live up to hype for me.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they’re more likely to discuss the FBI’s recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.

But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she–and her book club–are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.

Beach Read By Emily Henry @PenguinRandomCA

** Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion **

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Pub Date: 05. 19. 20

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Here’s the thing about writing Happily Ever Afters: it helps if you believe them.

Here’s the thing about me: I did until the day of my father’s funeral.”

I’ve been on this horror, zombie, thriller sorta binge lately.
Lovey dovey reads was so not what I was in the mood for, but this. This ladies & gents was worth the read!

For those who haven’t read it yet, I suggest stopping right here and going in knowing as little as possible!

I buddy read this one with Norma @readinginthecountry and so glad I did!
I loved that we both had very similar thoughts and feelings about the story and the characters and their relationships.

I was definitely caught off guard by how hot and heavy this book got! 🔥🔥
It was blue ball territory.

“I dreamed about Gus Everett and woke up needing a shower.”

*gush* I really liked Gus! January was frustrating at times, but I loved watching her and Gus’ relationship develop.

Both Norma and I felt the last 25% of the book lost a bit of steam. Although loose ends were tied, I wanted more from the Sonya storyline. I just felt the whole point of January going to the beach house was to get answers and closure about her dad’s other relationship. Instead, that part was short and still left me unsatisfied. I would have also liked to hear her mother’s side of that story.

Overall, it was a wonderful story. One that would make an excellent book club selection.

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

The Outsider: Book vs HBO Series

** UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT **

The Book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Show: 🔥🔥🔥 1/2 out of 5

I had been looking forward to watching the show for months! But I wanted to read the book first. Maybe that was my mistake. But I didn’t want to ruin the book like I have in the past.

Let me just start by saying..I LOVED the book! It gave me a hangover. I thought the show would do the same, but didn’t!

Instead, I was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong. The cast was great and played their characters well. But as weird as it is to say, it was slow! Now when it comes to Stephen King, it’s usually the other way around. His books are slow burn and long. But not this one in my opinion. I flew through the book!

Like any book to film adaptation, there are always missing details. Had I not read the novel, I think I may have been confused as to what was happening on screen. (So maybe I didn’t make a mistake 😜)

While I appreciate the creators trying to stick closely to the book, I feel like it may have been better to just go a different direction instead.

Have you read the book or watched the show? What did you think?

Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 1 by Sui Ishida

Genre: Manga

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

QOTD: Do you like stories about zombies? Or zombie apocalypse?

What’s the last supernatural book you read?

OMG! This was soo good! It’s my first time reading Manga, which I didn’t think I’d be into since I’m not really into Anime. But my oldest child is into it and has now got me hooked!

This story follows Ken Kaneki as he transitions from human to half-ghoul, and his struggle to accept what he’s become.

I love graphic novels, but have always liked them to be in full colour and never enjoyed the ones done in black and white. Maybe it’s the style of drawing, but somehow in manga, it works really well!

It took me a while to get used to reading right to left (I know! I’m Asian..shame on me! 😜). But the nice thing about this one, was that it wasn’t too busy or too much dialogue happening on one page, so it made it very easy to adapt and follow.

The artwork was fantastic and was just the fix I needed to satisfy my craving for horror and zombies!


Shy Ken Kaneki is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out that she’s only interested in his body—eating it, that is. When a morally questionable rescue transforms him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of Ghouls, which exists alongside our own.

The Outsider by Stephen King @GalleryBooks

Genre: Thriller, Horror

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I think it was someone else. I think it was an outsider.” – Holly

If you like:

✔ Thrillers and gory details

✔ Myths, legends and the supernatural

✔ Police procedurals

“Because the man who raped Frankie Peterson with a tree branch and tore open his throat coached my son for four years..”

🔥🔥HOT DAYMN!! 🔥🔥 I love it when Stephen King packs a good punch at the beginning of his stories. It doesn’t always happen that way, but this is definitely going to be a new fave of mine!

It was much faster paced, compared to a lot of his other books and one that I highly recommend, whether you’re new to The King of horror or not. 👏👏👏

I can’t wait to dive into the show!

Yay! I’ve completed my transfiguration portion of my O.W.Ls exam. 5 more to go! 😬

“Murder might be its life’s work, but sorrow was its food. Sorrow and anger.”

Have you read this one? Or watched the show?

Which one is your favourite King novel?

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

Magical Readathon 2020 #MagicalReadathon

Hey Bookworms! Kinda late with this one, but better late than never!

Are any of you participating in @book_roast‘s Magical Readathon? This will be my first year! 🙂

Which Wizarding Career did you select?

It was so hard for me to choose, but I finally picked Curse Breaker! It seemed fitting for this crazy time we’re in. 😜

To complete my O.W.Ls, here are my list of hopefuls (wish me luck! I’m a slow reader 🙈):

Ancient Runes: Heart rune-heart on the cover or in the title

☆ A Heart So Fierce And Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Arithmacy: Magical qualities of number 2-balance/opposite. Read something outside your favourite genre

☆ The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Charms: Lumos Maxima– book with white cover

☆ An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Defense against the dark arts: Grindylows-book set at sea/ocean

☆ Beach Read by Emily Henry

Potions: shrinking solution-book under 150 pages

☆ Sabrina The Teenage Witch

Transfiguration: Anigmus lecture– book/series that includes shapeshifting

☆ The Outsider by Stephen King

☆ back-up: Monstress Vol. 2 by Marjorie Liu

What are excited to read this month?

[Cover Reveal & Excerpt] The Startup Squad Returns!! @thestartupsquad @MacKidsBooks

Genre: Middle Grade

I had the pleasure of reading The Startup Squad last year, and boy! What a pleasant surprise! It was a super fun and great story, especially for young girls. GIRL POWER!!

And now, the squad has returned with a second installment called Face The music, which I’m very excited for! Here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come:

1

Jumbo marshmallows.

Where were the jumbo marshmallows?

Harriet knelt on her kitchen floor, peering into the depths of the snack cupboard. Her long, dark pigtails grazed the floor as she squinted into the back of the shelves. No marshmallows.

“If I were a jumbo marshmallow, where would I be?” she said to herself as she closed the cabinet and got to her feet. She dusted off the knees of her emerald-green leggings. These always reminded her of The Wizard of Oz, which is why she’d paired the leggings with her red gingham farm-girl shirt and a denim miniskirt.

When picking out clothes, most people try to match colors or patterns. Harriet preferred to match themes. On some days, like today, the theme was subtle; on other days, it was so obvious, her outfits resembled costumes. Harriet liked it this way. Clothes should add drama and excitement. Otherwise, what was the point?

“Marshmallows!” she called. “Come out, come out wherever you are!”

Harriet hated silence; whenever she encountered quiet, she broke it. Luckily, her home was rarely quiet—and rarely empty. With a mom whose hair salon was in the basement, an artist dad whose studio was in the garage, and three older brothers—members of a rock band—someone was always around. Today, though, her parents were grocery shopping, her brothers were at a horror movie, and Harriet had stayed home since neither activity held any interest for her. Marshmallows, on the other hand, were of great interest.

Harriet opened the cabinet that held the pots and pans—no luck—and then the one with all the plates and bowls. She did find something wonderful there, but it wasn’t the bag of marshmallows. Curled into a salad bowl was her brothers’ pet skink, Zappa, sleeping soundly. The pink stretchy headband Harriet had placed over the reptile’s head had slipped and was covering her eyes like a sleeping mask.

“Zappa bo bappa,” Harriet cooed. She lifted the reptile out of the bowl and cradled her in her arms. Zappa opened her eyes and clambered onto Harriet’s shoulder. She clamped her tiny claws onto Harriet’s shirt and promptly resumed sleeping.

Harriet was just adjusting the headband on Zappa’s head when she heard a knock at the door. She was thrilled. If there was one thing Harriet liked more than visitors, it was surprise visitors.

Coming!” she bellowed, and skipped to the door, clutching Zappa so the skink didn’t fall. She looked through the peephole and found her friends Amelia, Didi, and Resa standing on the front steps.

“Hiiiiii!” she cried, flinging open the door.

Resa and Amelia were facing each other, in the middle of a heated debate.

“You’re joking, right?” Resa was saying. “The carbon fiber racket is so much better than the aluminum! End of discussion.”

Amelia shook her head in wonder. “I don’t know why I thought taking tennis lessons with you might be stressful.”

“Come in!” Harriet squealed. “I’m so glad to seeeeeeeee you!”

She clapped her hands, which made Zappa pick up her head and look around before deciding it was nothing worth waking up for. Didi, who’d been standing on the top step, startled at the sight of Zappa’s moving, and she would have bolted if Harriet hadn’t grabbed her hand just then.

“Don’t worry, Didi,” said Harriet as she pulled her inside. “I’ll keep Zappa out of your hair.” She raised her eyebrows way up and nodded quickly. “Get it? Out of your … hair? Because of how Zappa got tangled in your hair last time?”

“Uh, yeah, I remember,” said Didi nervously. Her long, wavy hair, the color of chestnuts, hung loose around her shoulders and down her back. She gathered it together and shoved it inside her sweatshirt, then pulled the hood up and cinched it closed.

Harriet knew Didi didn’t like skinks. Not just skinks, actually, but all reptiles. Not just reptiles, actually, but most animals. Harriet could not fathom this. It was like not liking ice cream or birthdays. Harriet adored animals. Especially the scaly little sucker attached to her shoulder.

“I’m so glad you all are here!” Harriet exclaimed as she led the girls into the small, bright kitchen. “I have been bored out of my gourd! And I can’t find the jumbo marshmallows anywhere!” She opened the fridge and peered inside.

“You keep your marshmallows in the fridge?” asked Amelia. She tucked her pale blond hair behind her ears in a gesture that had become such a force of habit she didn’t even realize she was doing it.

“No,” said Harriet, “but things end up in weird places in this house. Once, I found my hairbrush in here, in the fruit drawer.” She closed the fridge and began to search the broom closet.

Resa followed behind her. “We come with exciting news! Harriet, you are not going to believe what we just read in the newspaper.”

“Was it a headline that said, ‘Marshmallow thief arrested’?” asked Harriet, closing the closet door.

“Uh, no,” replied Resa. “It’s about your favorite—Harriet, watch out!”

Harriet had clambered onto the kitchen counter and was pulling herself up to standing so she could peek over the top of the cabinets.

Instinctively, Resa put her hands up behind Harriet, spotting her. “You’re gonna fall!”

Harriet raised herself up on tiptoe and peeked over the top of the cabinet. “Aha!” Something was there, though it was hard to tell what from a quick glimpse. Steadying herself with one hand, she reached out with the other and closed her fingers around … something.

“Bingo!” she exclaimed as she pulled it down. It wasn’t the bag of marshmallows, but it was something she’d been looking for.

“Oh, curling iron, how I’ve missed you!” Harriet said.

She turned to show the girls the treasure she’d uncovered, but the sudden movement threw her off balance. She took a step back and would have fallen off the counter if Resa’s hands hadn’t been there to shove her back into place. In the hubbub, the curling iron flew out of her hands, hitting Amelia in the arm. Amelia’s shriek startled Zappa, and the skink made a run for it, darting down Harriet’s body, then down Resa’s body, and then onto the kitchen floor.

“Nooooo!” Didi screamed. “Not again!”

She scrambled onto the kitchen table, knocking off books and papers and cereal boxes. She crossed her arms in an X in front of her face, as if she were warding off vampires.

But Zappa wasn’t interested in Didi. Instead, she darted over to the thirsty-looking ficus in the corner and dragged something out from behind it with her mouth.

Resa walked over to investigate.

“Looks like Zappa solved the mystery of the missing marshmallows.” Resa pulled the bag of jumbo confections from Zappa’s mouth. The skink paused for a moment, considering her next move, then padded out of the kitchen.

“Hallelujah!” Harriet exclaimed. She jumped down from the counter with a thud.

For more info on The Startup SquadThe Startup SquadWebsiteMacmillan Children’s PublishingWebsite

One Of Us Is Next by Karen McManus @DelacortePress @PenguinTeenCa

Genre: YA, Mystery & Thrillers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.
If you’re a fan of:

✔ Pretty Little Liars
✔ Multiple POV’s
✔ Plot twists


True, Jellyfish.  He did get caught.
But his inspiration lives on in Bayview.
And he’d fucking love the game I’m playing right now.
-Darkestmind

Always take the dare!

It was a tad slower than the first book in some areas (which you need to read, if you haven’t), but I still found myself not wanting to put the book down and enjoying it!

There were some twists and turns I didn’t see coming, which I love! Cause it’s becoming pretty rare for me in the thriller genre.

I only guessed half the answer with this one, and even then, I still doubted myself!

Well done Karen! 👏👏👏

Have you read it yet? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?!!

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

[#GraphicNovel] Gotham High by Melissa De La Cruz & Thomas Pitilli

GENRE: Graphic Novel, Young Adult

MY RATING: ⭐⭐

Artwork: 5 ⭐

Storyline: 2.5 ⭐

PUB DATE: 04. 07. 2020

**UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT**

I’m gonna be the first to address the elephant in the room! Did anyone else not see a problem with Bruce Wayne being Chinese?! Seriously..his name may as well have been changed to Bruce Wang.

Let me break it down to you:

– Bruce Wayne is Chinese or half Chinese. His Uncle Alfred is also Chinese but with a white last name (Pennyworth)?

-Selina Kyle is Hispanic

-Ivy is Korean

You still with me?

While I appreciated the cultural diversity and all for ethnic representation, this was sooo not the way to do it! I kinda hated this version to be honest. Allow me to explain.

First of all, I’m Asian..so the idea of a Chinese Batman is just weird & wrong! Even for me!! I grew up with Bruce Wayne being white, and should have stayed that way in my opinion.

The story itself was good, but I had a hard time getting past the cultural change and stereotypes.

Had this been an entirely different cast of characters, that just so happened to take place at Gotham High, then sure. This would have worked. But I don’t think this will appeal to any of those who are fans of the original dark knight.

Who ever gave the green light on this version must’ve been hella high!

After being kicked out of his boarding school, 16-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents’ murder. Selina Kyle, once the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.

When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight–but is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes … and where everyone is a suspect.

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