Tag: Ghost Story

Review: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Posted March 11, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 5 Comments

Title: The Madness Underneath

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publisher: Putnam

Publication Date: February 2013

Genre: Young Adult Mystery

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.


Rory returns to Wexford, to find herself greatly changed. After her last experience with a ghost and the tales of Jack the Ripper, Rory knows that there are things out there that cannot be explained. She is now a human terminus, able to touch ghosts to send them onto the next world. And she doesn’t yet realize that her last encounter with ghosts will not be her last.

I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll make this brief- so. good.

Okay, maybe not that brief.

Rory’s character has changed since the last book, becoming a fuller and darker character. She was stabbed after all, and now has two sets of friends. One who knows what she is and one that has no idea. This book focuses a lot on Rory trying to come to terms with who she is and what has happened to her. I liked this new Rory, giving her a little bit of dark and a hint of edge.
She’s finally reunited with her ghost busting friends and that’s when the story picks up pace.
The story develops fast, and there is a touch of romance, though not too much. It hovers in the background, leaving an underlying suspense that almost killed me.
It may not have as much tension and mystery to it as the first book, but the sequel focuses more on Rory as a character and a couple of bad decisions and the people willing to take advantage of that. I’m not going to say who, but there are some pretty scary characters in this book, and they’re not ghosts!

So much fun. And it sets up book three really well.

And the ending- wow. Thanks Ms. Johnson. I have to wait how long to read book three?! For real??

Overall, a solid sequel.

Rating 7 Pretty Cool Would Recommend

Posted March 11, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 5 Comments

Giveaway and Review: Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Posted February 8, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Contests / 13 Comments

Title: Notes from Ghost Town

Author: Kate Ellison

Publisher: Egmont

Publication Date: February 2013

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.

I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.


Olivia is away at school when her best friend Lucas Stern dies, in her mother’s arms. The clues point to Olivia’s mom killing Stern, but Olivia doesn’t believe it- not when Stern’s ghost returns to her and tells her it wasn’t her mom, but someone else. And he needs her help to solve it. The murder trial is in days and Olivia must figure out who really did it before she loses her mom forever. And what about Stern, who comes to her like he’s real, like he’s still there, like they still love each other. How can you get over a ghost?

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read Notes from Ghost Town. Ghost story? Madness? Mental illness? Detective story? It’s all of those things.
Ellison does a great job writing Olivia’s own suspicions of herself and her descent into madness. Olivia is terrified of being like her mother and the illness that engulfs her, but what else is there to suspect when your best friend comes to you as a ghost. This really adds to the uneasy tone of the book. At times, I see Olivia as an unreliable narrator so I constantly cast suspicion on her and her mind. It takes a while for Olivia to figure things out, but this had to do more with self doubt and caution.
And the murderer, villain is pretty extreme. I’m not sure if I buy into the motivations, and the subsequent actions in the last part of the book by the killer, but it’s a twisty ride to get there.

Ellison has some really well written pieces in this book that flow off the page and suspend you in time, a snapshot of a scene or a life. I really those parts, especially because they were so peaceful and lovingly descriptive. The book is tense and dark, much darker than I expected, so these lovely parts serve a great balance as well.

Rating 7 Pretty Cool, Would Recommend

Thank you to Egmont USA for offering these fantastic books for the giveaway and providing me with an ARC!

You could win a Hardcover of Notes from Ghost Town and a paperback copy of The Butterfly Clues, both by Kate Ellison from Egmont USA!

Just fill in the rafflecopter below!
This giveaway is only for my followers and it ends the night of February 13th.
US and Canada only.
Good luck everyone!

Synopsis of The Butterfly Clues is here.
You can follow Kate on her website here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted February 8, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Contests / 13 Comments

Review: The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

Posted January 24, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Title: The Dead and Buried

Author: Kim Harrington

Publisher: Scholastic

Publication Date: January 2013

Genre: Young Adult Ghost Story/Paranormal

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review:


Jade loves her new house, her big, beautiful and spacious new house. She is excited to start her new school, make new friends. But all of that is wiped away from mysterious things start happening in her new house. When she finds out a girl her age died in her house the year before, Jade has a sneaking suspicion her house may be haunted. And it’s confirmed in the most terrifying way.
Her ghost was killed and wants to know who killed her. Now Jade must do everything she can to find the killer. A killer who goes to her school. A killer who may kill again.

Harrington’s books are always fun for me. Creepy, sending a light shiver up the spine, I usually sit for hours inhaling the stories she writes. This is no exception.

Jade is a typical teenager who finds herself in a very dangerous position. I love her relationship to her half brother. It’s obvious why Jade is fighting for him and why she loves him so much. I really enjoy her relationship to her step mother too. It’s strained to say the least, but with all of Harrington’s characters, there’s more than meets the eye.

Donovan is cute, broody art boy extraordinaire, but sadly, I felt like there was something lacking in his character. He didn’t pull me in and the romance between him and Jade seemed lackluster for me. While Jade is an ok character, I can’t say I liked her. Her and Donovan didn’t really stand out for me on their own or together.

What I really enjoyed was the story. Part ghost story, part mystery, I liked the second guessing. For a while, I had no idea who the killer was and I kept flip flopping back and forth. This book is a fun, fast mystery with a good edge of creepiness.

Rating 7 Pretty Cool, Would Recommend

Posted January 24, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Posted October 15, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Title: Haunting Violet

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

Publisher: Walker Publishing

Publication Date: June 2011

Genre: Young Adult Ghost Story

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I purchased this book.


Violet has spent her childhood helping her mother “contact” spirits, as in fooling everyone into believing she is a medium. However, one day, Violet finds that she can really talk to spirits. And the dead have a lot to tell her.

I really like Alyxandra Harvey’s Drake Chronicles, so I was excited to give this stand alone novel a try. The book is much more serous in tone, taking place in Victorian England with all of the era’s rigid rules and social restrictions. Immediatley, it’s obvious that Violet’s problems is not restricted to only being haunted by ghosts. Her dear mother is a huge source of danger, manipulation and abuse. The ghosts are scary, but Mrs. Willoughby is scarier.

The challenges Violet has to face, coming to terms with her own gifts, finding the murderer of this innocent girl, choosing between to very different suitors are well balanced. Harvey’s dialogue is natural. It’s easy to believe that Violet and Elizabeth are friends, why she is attracted to Colin and how years of being treated by a selfish mother has cost Violet.

The book started off slow for me, it took me a couple of days to get into it. But by the time I was over half way through, it picked up and I finished the rest in a night. It’s worth the wait. While I didn’t love it as much as I do The Drake Chronicles, Haunting Violet is still a well written ghost story with a creepy personality.

Rating 5 Ok, Decent Like Diet Coke

Posted October 15, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Review: Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Posted October 11, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 11 Comments

Title: Graveminder

Author: Melissa Marr

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: May 2011

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
I purchased this book.


Rebekka Barrow goes home, the only home she’s ever known, back to her grandmother Maylene, back to her old boyfriend and love of her life, back to her past. Maylene has died, under mysterious circumstances, but what Rebekka thinks she knows and what actually is are two different things. Because Rebekka is a graveminder, like Maylene before her. And it’s her job to makes things right.

There are so many beautiful things about this book. The unsettling tone kept me feeling uneasy, the townsfolk eager to accept with no questions asked. The sinister and evil quality a small, lone girl can have, running around through the small American town, afraid of nothing, no one. Because she is the one that should be feared.

The claustrophobia of a small town and its residents and the secrets that they keep was fun and eerie. Marr does a wonderful job with a variety of characters. Most interesting is Mr. D “Charles”, and Alicia, both found on the other side of the town. On the dead side. The setting is wonderfully crafted and navigated, the town being its own character.

But sadly, some things really fell flat for me.
While Rebekka has been running away all of her life, she quickly finds herself resuming bad habits and old relationships with the townspeople. Most notably Byron Montgomery, the undertaker. Through the years, their on and off again relationship has been rocky at best. And while Byron knows Rebekka will only break his heart again, he can’t stay away from her.

Here is the big problem I found with the book- and that is Rebekka and Byron.
Two characters who are supposed to be so right for each other. There’s already a history of these two being in love, Rebekka fleeing and Byron left to pick up the pieces. This is what I have to say: Really Byron? Really? I mean, the girl breaks your heart a dozen or so times and still, you’re there. Not only there, but following her around like a lost puppy, jumping at her command. Sure, he tries to exercise some control, but in the end it’s always what Rebekka wants. And this just made me sad. I wanted Byron to be stronger, with more of a mind of his own. Yes, he can still want/need/love Rebekka, but does it have to be at the cost of himself?
Rebekka is also not a favorite character of mine. I love a good damaged, insecure and suspicious heroine as the next girl, but there weren’t enough redeeming qualities to Rebekka for me. She’s sorta… annoying. By the end of the book, I still not sure why Byron loves Rebekka. I didn’t believe them as a couple. Which is a huge problem if the romance is a big part of the book.

Daisha is a great villian. I will not tell you anything else. Just don’t invite her in for something to eat.

I was happy to read a stand alone book. I’ve been reading so many series books, it was refreshing to have a full complete story arc without a cliff hanger.

And Marr’s storytellng is fun to read, on the couch in comfy socks, just in time for autumn. It’s a slow creep down your spine.
I’m just sorry that I couldn’t stay in the town and hang out with Amity and the others. Those characters I believed.

Rating: 5 Ok, Decent like Diet Coke

Posted October 11, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 11 Comments