The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Genre: Horror

My Rating: DNF @ 9%

I’ve attempted to read this book twice now! It came highly recommended and many raved about it. But unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me.

What didn’t work:

-the pacing was way too slow, which resulted in me skimming and is never a good sign.

-the storytelling was very monotone. This part was explained by a friend, which is why I gave it a second chance. But in the end, I just didn’t have the patience for it.

All the ideas were there and there are some really well-written reviews on Goodreads that summarize the story really nicely (which I enjoyed), but it wasn’t enough keep me invested. Sorry..I tried!

Just cause it wasn’t my cup of tea, doesn’t mean it won’t be for you.

Have you read this yet? Have you read anything else by this author?

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Genre: Horror, Gothic Horror, Classic Horror

My Rating: 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

Denn die Todten reiten Schnell.” (“For the dead travel fast.”)

“Omnia Romae venalia sunt-Hell has its price.” – Dr. Seward’s Diary

Have you ever loved a book, eventhough it wasn’t perfect?

** minor spoilers up ahead **

Oh my goodness..I loved this story so much, despite some flaws and trouble with the dialogue. I’m a total amateur when it comes to classics, so I needed the help of Google to help navigate through some of the language.

One of my goals this year is to start reading some classic literature, and this was a good introduction for me.

Since I like to end on a positive note, lets start with:

The Flaws..

The ending. After such a strong buildup, the ending was very anticlimactic in my opinion. I literally went back and forth between the ebook and the physical copy, to see if I had missed something or if the two copies were different. Nope. They both ended the same way, which was a disappointment.

I was like “Wait. What? That’s it?!!”

Renefield. I quite enjoyed reading about him, so I was bummed to see his character go nowhere. I kept thinking his parts would lead somewhere, but it never really did. Unless I missed something?

Count Dracula. I didn’t know what to expect, but I did kinda think his character took a bit of back seat. We spend a lot of time between Dr. Seward, Van Helsing and Mina, but we don’t get to see much of the man himself..mostly just the things he’s is capable of.

Jonathan Harker

– While I enjoyed his account of his stay at the castle with the Count, I wanted to know how he managed to escape. All we know is that he is found at a hospital/chapel, but we don’t know how he got there or why Dracula lets him go.

What I Loved..

The Characters!

I can’t say there was one character I didn’t like!

Lucy

– I loved her! She’s like that adventurous friend you live vicariously through.

Dracula

– I was surprised by what I learned about him. 1) He has a moustache. I didn’t know that. Did you?

Ok, so truth be told. The mention of his bushy eyebrows, totally made me think of Count Chocula. You know..the chocolatey cereal?! 🤭🤭

2) He’s a shapeshifter! I knew he could turn into a bat, but who knew he could turn into wolf too? Let alone, control them. If I read it correctly, he was also able to turn into mist? Or fog?

So if you read it or know the story, you can see why I was disappointed with the ending.

Van Helsing

– The only Van Helsing I knew of before reading this book, was the one Hugh Jackman played on screen. (I know..I need to get out more.) 😜😄

He surprised me the most. Firstly, I didn’t know this is where he originated from. And secondly, he is so not Hugh Jackman. 🤣

Dr. John Seward

– He seemed like such a good, sweet guy. Picture Ross Gellar, but an actual doctor. 😜

Mina

I loved her sisterhood with Lucy. She was a good friend and in my opinion, a strong woman, given the time period.

Overall, I highly recommend reading this if you enjoy classic fiction or wanna dip your toes into Gothic horror (or both).

Have you read it? Do you like reading classics? Which ones are your fave?

NOS4A2 By Joe Hill @WmMorrowBooks

Genre: Horror

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“HIC LOCUS EST UBI MORS GAUDET SUCCURRERE VITAE.”

– This is the place where death delights to help the living.

I had DNF’d this first time I tried to read it. And it wasn’t because it wasn’t good. At the time, IT was still fresh in my mind, and Maggie’s stuttering reminded me too much of Bill.

I’m so glad I gave this another go, cause it was a fucking wild ride!

I totally geeked out and loved all the nerdy references:

-the Superman earrings
-Wonder Woman shirt
-Horcrux tattoo
-The name of the nurse: Bilbo! Hello LOTR!!
-Tabitha (love that he named an FBI agent after his mom). In fact, this book was dedicated to her! How sweet is that?!!

I also loved the subtle nods to Dad’s work in this one.

My only tiff was that some parts dragged . I felt like 100 pages could easily have been shaved off. And the ending..while it was satisfying, I think it should have been played out differently for an even more dramatic effect.

Overall, a great read if you’re in the mood for horror and a different take on vampires.

I know most hated Charlie Manx & Bing, but I loved them cause they were so vile!

Have you read it? Seen the show?

I haven’t seen the show yet, but I’m going to this week and can’t wait!!

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

[#BookReview] If It Bleeds by Stephen King

** Minor spoilers up ahead **

Genre: Horror, Occult Fiction, Thriller, Suspense

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐ 1/2

If it bleeds, it leads. That’s because the stories people are most interested in are bad news stories.

Mr.Harrigan’s Phone

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I’m so glad I buddy read this one! Otherwise, I would’ve been more disappointed with this story than I was. I kept waiting for ‘the moment’, but there never really was one. Sorry..but the rest of the book doesn’t get any better either!

I did enjoy the relationship between Craig & Mr. Harrigan, along with the creepy texts, which is why I gave this one a 3.

Life With Chuck

Rating: ⭐⭐

The ending of this one was my only favourite part, and wish the story were lead with this idea instead of an apocalyptic one.

It was just weird and didn’t quite mesh well for me.

If It Bleeds

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I LOVED The Outsider and this was my most anticipated story! Unfortunately, it was mostly underwhelming and slow at first. Very much like the show..slow and boring.

About halfway through it picked up and I was enjoying revisiting the idea of an Outsider.

I liked Holly Gibney more in this story, even though I have a love/hate relationship with her. So if you already don’t like her, you’ll hate this story cause it’s all about Holly here.

Rat

Rating: ⭐⭐1/2

This story had a lot of potential with missed opportunities in my opinion.

I kept thinking it was going to be a pandemic story and trying to see where he was going with the whole flu thing. But it never really went anywhere.

I’m not a fan of rats, so the scritch scratching of a rat at the door in the middle of a stormy night, in a cabin, in the woods was creepy and cringeworthy for me.

There was a small unexpected twist, but that was about as good as the story got.

What I wanted to see was Drew go a little Jack Torrance while he was out in the cabin alone. Instead, not much happened and I just wanted to be done already.

Overall, this was probably my most disappointing King book I’ve read and own so far.

Have you read it? What did you think?

First Line Fridays | #currentlyreading

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books where we share the first line or lines of a book we are currently reading or going to start soon.

NURSE THORNTON DROPPED INTO THE LONG-TERM-CARE WARD A little before eight with a hot bag of blood for Charlie Manx.

Are you into horror?

I’m currently buddy reading NOS4A2, which is actually a second go for me. I DNF’d it the first time and wanted to try it again.

Do you ever give books you weren’t feelin the first time around a second chance by reading it again?

What are you reading right now?

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

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.

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.

After The Flood by Kassandra Montag @HarperCollinsCa @Kassandra_m7

Genre: Post-apocalyptic fiction

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This story starts off exactly how you would picture the world to be if majority of it was wiped out by massive flood and destruction. I kinda felt like I was in a movie!

I usually hate slow burn reads, but I was heavily invested in Myra’s search for Row and wanted to see where her journey would take me.

Jacob

He definitely got under my skin! I hated him from the very beginning and wanted to kick him in the balls! As the story went on, I kept hoping there would be some logical explanation for leaving.

Myra

She was equally as frustrating and unlikeable!  Given the circumstances, the choices she made were understandable.  But she was just so selfish!

Daniel

Aah..I actually liked him, even though he had a secret of his own.

Marjan

The things this woman has had to endure..pull at my heartstrings!

With Pearl being in the picture, we really see Myra’s struggles as a mom.

I had some minor issues with it and wouldn’t normally have chosen a book like this to read, but I found myself enjoying it and it was the perfect choice for our Bookish Ladies Club buddy read.

Have you read it? What did you think? Is it on your tbr?

A little more than a century from now, our world has been utterly transformed. After years of slowly overtaking the continent, rising floodwaters have obliterated America’s great coastal cities and then its heartland, leaving nothing but an archipelago of mountaintop colonies surrounded by a deep expanse of open water.

Stubbornly independent Myra and her precocious seven-year-old daughter, Pearl, fish from their small boat, the Bird, visiting dry land only to trade for supplies and information in the few remaining outposts of civilization. For seven years, Myra has grieved the loss of her oldest daughter, Row, who was stolen by her father after a monstrous deluge overtook their home in Nebraska. Then, in a violent confrontation with a stranger, Myra suddenly discovers that Row was last seen in a far-off encampment near the Arctic Circle. Throwing aside her usual caution, Myra and Pearl embark on a perilous voyage into the icy northern seas, hoping against hope that Row will still be there.

On their journey, Myra and Pearl join forces with a larger ship and Myra finds herself bonding with her fellow seekers who hope to build a safe haven together in this dangerous new world. But secrets, lust, and betrayals threaten their dream, and after their fortunes take a shocking—and bloody—turn, Myra can no longer ignore the question of whether saving Row is worth endangering Pearl and her fellow travelers.

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