Monday, November 15, 2021

Book Review | Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff

Too Bright to See is a middle grade horror novel by Kyle Lukoff.

Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff

I normally post the book blurb here, but based on the author's note, I think it's too spoilery for what he hopes people know going into Bug's story.

I haven't managed to keep up with reviews this year, and Too Bright to See is the book to definitely pull me out of my reviewing funk.

I loved, loved, loved this book.

In the author's note at the end of Too Bright to See, the author helps readers describe the book by providing the description he uses:

It's about a kid being haunted by the ghost of their dead uncle into figuring out something important!

That's perfect.

This is a wonderful coming-of-age book that I highly, highly recommend.

All of the stars. 


5/5 stars


Jennifer

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Monday, September 13, 2021

Book Review | The Last Beautiful Girl by Nina Laurin

The Last Beautiful Girl is a young adult horror novel by Nina Laurin.

The Last Beautiful Girl by Nina Laurin

BLACK MIRROR meets Darcy Coates in this exploration of the dangerous, dark side of beauty in the digital age, with a gothic, haunted-house setting.

When Izzy is dragged from Brooklyn to a tiny town for her parents' new job, she's not thrilled. The silver lining is the gorgeous old mansion she's moved into: the former home of an artist's muse who died tragically in a fire. But the house has its quirks: whole floors are closed off, paintings are covered up, and cell reception is nonexistent.

Izzy throws herself into starting an Instagram fashion account using the gowns and jewelry she finds hidden away in the house. She looks perfect in the photos--almost unnaturally perfect--and they quickly go viral. Soon she's got a new best friend, a potential boyfriend, and is surrounded by a group of girls who want the photoshoots and fame for themselves. But there's a darkness in the house, and a darkness growing in Izzy, too. When girls start dying, it's clear that something--or someone--in the house is growing in power, with deadly intentions.

The beginning of The Last Beautiful Girl reminded me so much of Horrid by Katrina Leno. They had a very similar setup of a girl moving to a new school, everyone knowing the history of her house but not telling her what it is, and the weird dynamic with the mom. Unfortunately, I think the similarities pulled me out of The Last Beautiful Girl. I couldn't help but compare.

The Last Beautiful Girl did eventually stand on it's own, and I loved all of the references to The Picture of Dorian Gray.

I feel like this is one of those books that might work for other people where it didn't quite come together for me. There's supposed to be a change in the main character, but I had a hard time rooting for her because I wasn't really a fan of the character to begin with. This is actually true of all of the characters now that I think about it.

The cover of The Last Beautiful Girl is one of my favorites for the year, but the story sadly didn't make it on to my list.

⭐⭐
2/5 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

Jennifer

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Monday, August 30, 2021

Book Review | Run Walk Crawl: Getting Fit In My Forties by Tim Lebbon

Run Walk Crawl: Getting Fit In My Forties is a nonfiction book by Tim Lebbon.


At forty-one I was overweight and unfit. As I turned 50 I was thirty pounds lighter, having spent my fifth decade training for, and racing multiple Ironmans, marathons, and other crazy adventures. This account of that fitness journey through my forties includes broken bones, severe chafing, regular cursing, rubber and lycra, an element of masochism ... and cake.

From New York Times-bestselling writer Tim Lebbon comes his first non-fiction book, charting his fitness journey through his forties––funny, hopefully inspiring, brutally honest, this is a book for anyone trying to get and stay fit, at whatever age!
Run Walk Crawl: Getting Fit In My Forties is written by horror author Tim Lebbon. Interestingly, Run Walk Crawl isn't the first running memoir I've read by an author in the horror community. Back in 2014 I read (and enjoyed) Chasing the Dragon: Running to Get High by Mark Matthews. I love reading running books - especially memoir style - so I was excited to curl up and read about Tim Lebbon's fitness journey.

Run Walk Crawl is about more than just running. Since Tim Lebbon is an Ironman - the focus is on swimming, running, and biking. I loved that. I'm not very familiar with triathlon swimming, and I'm certain now I want to keep it that way! The washing machine of kicks and punches sounds pretty terrible to me.

This isn't a training book or a diet book so it's not one to pick up if you are looking for guidance or training plans on how to get fit in your forties (although you may get inspired). It's much more of a memoir style book with Lebbon walking the reader through his journey to get fit through his forties. If you love reading this style of book from athletes (like I do!), this is a great one to pick up. Lebbon is down to earth and perfectly touches on the best way to get fit - finding the thing you love that makes you move.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★
4/5 stars

Jennifer

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Monday, August 9, 2021

Book Review | Feral Creatures by Kira Jane Buxton

Feral Creatures is the second book in the Hollow Kingdom series by Kira Jane Buxton.

 

In this stunning follow-up to Hollow Kingdom, the animal kingdom's "favorite apocalyptic hero"is back with a renewed sense of hope for humanity, ready to take on a world ravaged by a viral pandemic (Helen Macdonald).

Once upon an apocalypse, there lived an obscenely handsome American crow named S.T. . . .
 
When the world last checked-in with its favorite Cheeto addict, the planet had been overrun by flesh-hungry beasts, and nature had started re-claiming her territory from humankind. S.T., the intrepid crow, alongside his bloodhound-bestie Dennis, had set about saving pets that had become trapped in their homes after humanity went the way of the dodo.
 
That is, dear reader, until S.T. stumbled upon something so rare—and so precious—that he vowed to do everything in his power to safeguard what could, quite literally, be humanity's last hope for survival. But in a wild world plagued by prejudiced animals, feather-raising environments, new threats so terrifying they make zombies look like baby bunnies, and a horrendous dearth of cheesy snacks, what's a crow to do?
 
Why, wing it on another big-hearted, death-defying adventure, that's what! Joined by a fabulous new cast of animal characters, S.T. faces many new challenges plus his biggest one yet: parenthood.

I laughed, I cried, I fell in love.

Told through the POV of animals in a post-apocalypse trying to save the last human on Earth, Feral Creatures was an absolute joy to read.

Feral Creatures is fantasy, scifi, and horror all rolled into one. It's a rare and beautiful book. The first book in the series Hollow Kingdom was one of my favorite books of 2019, and I have zero doubts Feral Creatures will be in my top books of the year list this year. (I have such a book hangover now!)

If you haven't read Hollow Kingdom, I highly, highly recommend you pick that one up and continue on with Feral Creatures. This series is such a gift!

⭐⭐⭐⭐
5
/5 stars


Review copy provided by publisher

Jennifer

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Sunday, August 8, 2021

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | August 8

Hi all! I'm been so long since I've posted an update! I'm not even going to attempt to catch up.

Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards

Did you see the winners and nominees in the Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards? So many amazing books!

My kids go back to school this week, and it's an absolute nightmare out there. Please stay as safe as you can. 🙏


Posted Last Week


Inheriting Her Ghosts by S.H. Cooper

Book Review | Inheriting Her Ghosts by S.H. Cooper ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - Inheriting Her Ghosts turned out to be such a comfort read for me.

Finished Reading


Feral Creatures (Hollow Kingdom #2) by Kira Jane Buxton
Feral Creatures (Hollow Kingdom #2) by Kira Jane Buxton - I loved this book so much. Stay tuned for my review tomorrow.

Currently Reading


Dragon Mage (Rivenworld #1) by M.L. Spencer
A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1) by Becky Chambers

Dragon Mage (Rivenworld #1) by M.L. Spencer - I'm listening to Dragon Mage on audio, and I'm obsessed. It has such a classic fantasy feel to it.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1) by Becky Chambers - I started reading this last night. Everything Becky Chambers writes is a delight.

Added to the TBR


The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould
Billy Summers by Stephen King

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould - I've very excited about this YA horror debut.

Billy Summers by Stephen King - Constant Reader.



This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

Jennifer

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