Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Book Review | The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave by J.H. Moncrieff

The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave is a horror novella from J.H. Moncrieff.

Sometimes evil looks like a fuzzy teddy bear.

Still grieving the untimely death of his dad, ten-year-old Josh Leary is reluctant to accept a well-worn stuffed teddy bear from his new stepfather. He soon learns he was right to be wary. Edgar is no ordinary toy...and he doesn’t like being rejected. When Josh banishes him to the closet, terrible things begin to happen.

Desperate to be rid of the bear, Josh engages the help of a friend. As the boys’ efforts rebound on them with horrifying results, Josh is forced to accept the truth—Edgar will always get even.

It's catch up review time! I read The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave before summer took over and all things reading and reviewing went by the wayside.

It's probably obvious why I would want to read The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave. An evil teddy bear? That won't leave? Yes, please.

As a child, I had an exorbitant amount of stuffed animals. I was convinced they were all alive. As soon as I'd leave my room, they'd come to life and play all day and make sure to return to their positions so I wouldn't find out their secret. There's a reason I was so nice to all those toys. It wasn't really the sugar and spice thing, it was the fact that I didn't want them to kill me in my sleep.

The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave speaks to that place inside me. It was fun read, but it was also very nostalgic for me. It brought this feeling over me much the same way coming of age books do. It reminded me of some of the magic I lost when I became an adult.

That being said, this damn bear actually would kill you in your sleep. It has a Chucky thing going on with it. You think you are getting rid of it, but you're not. No matter what you do, it's not going to leave.

The childhood fears in The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave go deeper than just the evil teddy bear. Josh's step-father is abusive beyond knowingly giving Josh a toy that would terrorize him. It's heartbreaking at times.

If you are looking for a quick horror read, The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave is good way to fill your evening.

7/10 Recommended Read

Review copy provided by publisher

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 2015 | Notable New Book Releases

It's October! So many things are right in the world when it's October. Today is my husband's birthday, too. Not only does the world begin turning into a spooky wonderland today, there will also be cake.

These are the October 2015 release books I'm most looking forward to reading:

Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror edited by Christopher Golden
Expected publication: October 6th 2015

A blockbuster anthology of original, blood-curdling vampire fiction from New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, including Charlaine Harris, whose novels were adapted into HBO’s hit show True Blood, and Scott Smith, publishing his first work since The Ruins.

Before being transformed into romantic heroes and soft, emotional antiheroes, vampires were figures of overwhelming terror. Now, from some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, comes this stellar collection of short stories that make vampires frightening once again. Edited by New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden and featuring all-new stories from such contributors as Charlaine Harris, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Scott Smith, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michael Kortya, Kelley Armstrong, Brian Keene, David Wellington, Seanan McGuire, and Tim Lebbon, Seize the Night is old-school vampire fiction at its finest.

October is the BEST month for anthology reading. I will be spending many a night curled up with these vampire stories.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Expected publication: October 6th 2015

Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl.

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

Did they just say ghost story? I've never read a Rainbow Rowell book, but this one promises monsters.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Expected publication: October 6th 2015

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshiped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

Patrick Ness. I don't even know what this book is about, but I do know I will read it.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Expected publication: October 20th 2015

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

The reviews have been sounding really good to me on this one, but it's a chunky monkey so I'm not sure how committed I am yet.

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
Expected publication: October 20th 2015

The first adult novel in more than three years from the bestselling author of the Fairyland books

Radiance is a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood—and solar system—very different from our own, from the phenomenal talent behind the New York Times bestselling The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

Severin Unck’s father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986 in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family. Rebelling against her father’s films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. For this is not our solar system, but one drawn from classic science fiction in which all the planets are inhabited and we travel through space on beautiful rockets. Severin is a realist in a fantastic universe.

But her latest film, which investigates the disappearance of a diving colony on a watery Venus populated by island-sized alien creatures, will be her last. Though her crew limps home to earth and her story is preserved by the colony’s last survivor, Severin will never return.

Aesthetically recalling A Trip to the Moon and House of Leaves, and told using techniques from reality TV, classic film, gossip magazines, and meta-fictional narrative, Radiance is a solar system-spanning story of love, exploration, family, loss, quantum physics, and silent film.

This one has been on my wishlist for a long time. I completely adore Valente's Fairyland series. I'd love to read an adult release from her.

The Humbug Murders by L.J. Oliver
Expected publication: October 27th 2015

Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol investigates a shocking murder—before he becomes the next victim—in this playful mystery in a new series from a New York Times bestselling author.

Scrooge considers himself a rational man with a keen sense of deductive reasoning developed from years of business dealings. But that changes one night when he’s visited by the ghost of his former boss and friend, Fezziwig, who mysteriously warns him that three more will die, and ultimately Ebenezer himself—if he doesn’t get to the bottom of a vast conspiracy.

When he wakes the next day, Scrooge discovers that not only is Fezziwig dead, but he’s under arrest as all evidence points toward himself: Scrooge’s calling card was found in the cold, dead hand of Fezziwig’s body, and someone scribbled “HUMBUG” in blood on the floor nearby.

Now, Scrooge must race against the pocket watch to clear his name, protect his interests, and find out who killed his last true friend—before the “Humbug Killer” strikes again. Joining Scrooge in his adventures is a spunky sidekick named Adelaide, who matches his wits at every turn, plus the Artful Dodger, Fagin, Belle, Pickwick, and even Charles Dickens himself as a reporter dealing in the lurid details of London’s alleyway crimes.

Full of action and wry humor, The Humbug Murders is a fun take on a classic character—Scrooge as you’ve never seen him before.

The concept of this book confuses the hell out of me, enough so that I'm totally interested in reading it.

Do you have plans to read any of these October releases?

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Shelf Control | Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Shelf Control is a feature at Bookshelf Fantasies where we confess each week the books we have on our shelves that we haven't read. This week I'm going with a classic.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

So the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter remembered the chilling events that led her down the turning drive past the beeches, white and naked, to the isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast. With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten...her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant -- the sinister Mrs. Danvers -- still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of the evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca...for the secrets of Manderley.

I always keep Rebecca in that stack of books I hope to read next. She's RIGHT THERE waiting to be read, but it still hasn't happened.

Have you read Rebecca?

If you ever want to buddy read a book I've mentioned on Shelf Control, please let me know!

This post is being shared as part of Bookshelf Fantasies's Shelf Control?

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Review | The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner is a YA dystopian novel by James Dashner. It is also the first book in the Maze Runner series.

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

Take this review with a grain of salt.

I tried to read The Maze Runner back in January with no luck. I couldn't get into it at all, and I decided it wasn't for me.

This past month, however, my hubs wanted to watch the movie. I have strict rules against watching a movie before I read the book, but since I had no intentions of reading the book, I thought what the hey. It's not often hubs is requesting one of "my" movies so I went with it.

Here's the kicker - I really liked the movie. So much so that I wanted to read the book.

The book was much easier for me to get into this time around because it was more like a reread. I was also listening to it on audio with a good narrator so it was altogether a nice read for me.

I can't say what my original rating would have been if I had forced my way through it, but I do know my interest in this series is high right now. I just need to decide if I'm going to read The Scorch Trials now or stick with watching the movies.

6/10: Good Read

Have you read The Maze Runner? What about the movie - have you seen it? I'm really looking forward to The Scorch Trials. I'm leaning more toward doing the movie again, though.

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