Bookish Blerd

I'm a book buying junkie who buys books faster than I can read them. But what better way is there to live than surrounded by books?! I read as much as I can and I do my best to give coherent reviews...which doesn't always happen.  I enjoy many genres, which is likely the reason I struggle with deciding my next read.

Review: The Blackstone Chronicles, Part 2: Twist Of Fate: The Locket

Twist of Fate: The Locket - John Saul

Re-read.

 

Things continue to go bad within the town of Blackstone.  The local family-run, independent bank is in the midst of an audit, which has put a halt on the renovation of the old asylum into a shopping center.  Which the town desperately needs.  Jules Hartwick, who's family had opened a century ago, had been fairly positive about the outcome of the audit, as he hadn't done anything illegal, only gave out loans to some townsfolk in need that other banks wouldn't have.  Plus his daughter was getting married to a man he more than approved of, someone who believed in banking the way he and his ancestors did, someone who would hopefully take over running the bank when he was ready to retire, thus keeping it in the family.  Life was good.

 

But the Hartwicks have been targeted by the dark figure, who leaves a present in the car of Jules' wife Madeline.  Jules found the locket wrapped up in his wife's car.  As soon as he touched the locket something within him snapped.  He accused his wife of having an affair and goes on an insane rampage.  Before the end, he sends a message of warning to Oliver Metcalf that evil was all around them and that it needed to be stopped before it killed them all.

 

Yeah, lots more people are gonna die!  This series is very creepy and equally thrilling.

Yucky Day

Ever have one of those days where you just don't feel right?  That's today.  It stared last night. I kept waking up just feeling icky.  Nothing specific, just feeling gross.  It followed me into the morning, and now the afternoon.

 

I'm trying to complete a few household chores, but I think I'm just going to brew some tea, have a little toast and sit in my room and read.  Hopefully I'll start to feel more like myself later.

Review: The Blackstone Chronicles, Part 1: An Eye For An Eye

An Eye for an Eye: The Doll - John Saul

This is a re-read for me. I read the original serial novels as they were published and felt the need to revisit them.

 

Creepy. Creepy. Creepy. Ugh I love John Saul's writing so much!

 

Strange things are afoot in the town of Blackstone. The Blackstone Asylum, which has stood at the top of the tallest hill, overlooking the town of Blackstone for over a century is scheduled for renovation. It will soon become a shopping center with the hope of rejuvenating the slowly dying town. The Asylum is deeply ingrained in the town's history and many are glad to see it go. But after the first ceremonial strike of the wrecking ball, everything starts going to crap. The bank finds itself in trouble and has to halt the project, which means a lot of people are going to be out of work, not to mention all of the loan payments from townspeople that will come due with no possibility for extensions. And all just in time for Christmas.

 

A dark figure scours through the asylum and finds a hidden treasure trove. A "gift" is sent to the McGuire family. It's an antique porcelain doll. And let me just say, this is one of many reasons why I don't mess with antique dolls *shudder* so creepy! It's an old creepy doll, of course its evil! After the doll is introduced into the household, tragedy hovers of the family like a black cloud. Bad, things happen, things that seem like accidents. Sadly, it's just the beginning of the bad times for this town.

Reading progress update: I've read 4 out of 82 pages.

An Eye for an Eye: The Doll - John Saul

This is a re-read for me.  I read each of the serial novels as they were released.  I still have my original copies.  While I remember enjoying the series, that's all I can really remember.  Halloween Bingo was a good excuse to re-read the entire series.

Review: Slade House

Slade House: A Novel - David Mitchell

Wow!  This was a pretty creepy and twisted tale.  This book was beautifully written and very interesting.  The whole time I read it, Hotel California was playing on a loop inside my head.

 

But what to say about it?  It's kinda of the age-old tale of a man being too stupid or stubborn--or both-- to listen to the woman in his life.  If Jonah had just listened to his sister Nora, things could have turned out so, so differently for both of them.

 

This is basically a Hotel California type situation.  A person with the right type of...psychic energy I guess, is lured into Slade House by the Grayer siblings, where they are treated to all sorts of fantasies--or hallucinations--and once they succumb, they are never seen again.  But each victim is warned by the previous victim until finally one of them is strong enough to fight back, which is the beginning of the end for the Slade House.

 

It was pretty spooky and kind of sad.  Enough of he victims' backgrounds were revealed that you felt real sympathy for most of them.  Anger, even, at siblings for what they were doing to innocent people.  It was a very good series of interconnected vignettes and while it wasn't completely an 'open ending', I feel like there is a door left open for a sequel.  I'd be very interested in reading.

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 36 out of 256 pages.

Slade House: A Novel - David Mitchell

 

This is a big bag of bizarre.  Can't wait to see where it's going.

Halloween Bingo 2018: Update #1

Squares Called:

09/01/18- Classic Horror

09/03/18- Cryptozoologist

09/05/19- Cozy Mystery

09/07/19- New Release

09/09/18- Southern Gothic

09/11/18- Terrifying Women

09/13/18- A Grimm Tale

09/15/18- Modern Masters of Horror

09/17/18- Creepy Carnivals

09/19/18- Relics and Curiosities

 

 

Called-Not Read=Trick or Treat Bag

Read-Not Called=Candy

Called-Read=Black Cat

 

Read:

09/02/18- The Night Circus [Superatural]

09/03/18- Jaws [Fear The Drowning Deep]

09/04/18- Blue Lilly, Lilly Blue [13]

09/06/18- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time [Baker Street Irregulars]

09/17/18- Odd Thomas [Terror in a Small Town]

Review: Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas  - Dean Koontz

Let me preface my review by saying that I saw the movie a few years ago and enjoyed it very much, so I fully expected to enjoy the book.  And I did.  However, I couldn't stop picturing Anton Yelchin as Odd and it made me very sad.  That being said, the movie was a pretty fair representation of the book.  Minus the parts with Odd's insanely bad parents.  OMG they were terrible, horrible people!

 

The story is told by the protagonist, Odd Thomas, who can see the dead...and other otherworldly things.  He lives a life of simplicity as a fry cook in a small town and wants nothing more than to settle down with his soul mate, Stormy and maybe get a job selling tires...eventually.  He does his best to help the dead settle whatever business they still have on this plane so that they can finally cross over to the next.

 

But that all changes the day the Fungus Man comes into the diner where Odd works. This man is  the precursor to the tragedy about to hit Odd's town.  Odd is then in a race to figure out what horrible thing is about to happen in his town, learn what the Fungus Man has to do with it all, and keep as many people safe as possible.

 

Having enjoyed the movie so much, I kind of expected the book to blow me out of the water.  It did not.  It was good, very good even, but not great.  The story was very sad really.  Learning the way Odd and Stormy grew up, the burden of his "gift", the ending.  I'm a little hesitant to continue with the series, but really, I need to find out what happens to Odd next.

 

Even though it didn't knock my socks off, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who's into the supernatural.

Reading progress update: I've read 27%.

Odd Thomas  - Dean Koontz

This is for bingo square: 

Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

I really enjoyed this book.  Christopher was just too pure for the world, and I wanted to hug him, but he would have hated that.  Christoper is an autistic boy who finds the neighbor's dog murdered.  Initially he is blamed for it because he's found at the scene of the crime cradling the dog.  Christopher is then determined to act as a detective like Sherlock Holmes and discover who killed poor Wellington the dog.

 

This book is told in the first person, which usually makes me cringe and stop reading; however, it was so beautifully written that I feel as though I got a chance to see the thinking process of an autistic person first hand.  It was very fascinating to see how his thought process worked; how he saw and interacted the world and the people around him.

 

In the middle searching for the killer, Christopher uncovers an entirely different mystery regarding his family.  His dad has been lying to him and throws his world into a tailspin.

 

This book is funny and engaging and gives a small bit of insight into the life of a person with autism, and being the parent of a child with autism.

Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 226 pages.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

This has been on my TBR for ages and I'm using it for:

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater

I really love the way the series is progressing.

 

This books has a bit more angst as Blue is worrying over her missing mother and her feelings for Gansey are getting harder to keep at bay.  I love that was there was some growth from Adam who has finally realized what an idiot he has been.  Ronin is...well Ronin.  He's a jerk, but he's a loyal jerk who cares about his friends more than he'd ever admit.  And I love Jesse Dittley and the fact that he nicknamed Blue, 'Ant'!  There are a few more characters in this book, but the main cast of characters does not get lost in the story, which is fantastic writing.

 

They've made progress in finding the Raven King as well as Maura, but things are getting ever more dangerous for the group.  All-in-all this was a great continuation of the series, and it sets up for the next book beautifully.  

Reading progress update: I've read 168 out of 400 pages.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater

 

Reading this for my 13 square

SPOILER ALERT!

Review: Jaws

Jaws - Peter Benchley

This book was a nightmare.  An utter disaster.

 

I went into it expecting it to be far better than the movies, because that is typically the case.  It was not.

 

At least the movie got it mostly right.  It was about the shark and it's unexplainable appearance and extended stay in the waters of the small island town.  What the movie got wrong was the the shark was not a monster, but a victim.  I always cheered for the shark.  What the book got right was... Quint dying--which is not a spoiler because it happens in the movie and if you haven't seen the movie at least once, I just don't know what you've been doing with your life.

 

So it started off really great, the initial shark attack, they immediately knew it was a shark attack, and the Chief of police was strong-armed into covering the whole thing up in order to save the summer tourism for the island.  And to some degree, it's almost understandable.  They need the summer tourism boom to live through the winter, and the statistics suggested that there wouldn't be another attack.  Even if the Chief had a bad feeling about it.  And of course the Chief was right to want close the beaches, because two more people get attacked--in the same day.  They can't hide it any more.  News outlets have gotten hold of the story and it's beginning to look bad for Amity.

 

Then a good third of the books goes on to focus on Chief Brody and is wife and their marital problems.  Ellen who is portrayed as loving and strong in the films is a selfish, weak [insert bad word] in the novel.  Long story short, she regrets giving up her life of means to marry Martin and she makes him suffer for it.  She has an affair with Hooper and the whole thing just makes me hate her character completely.  

 

They uncover information that the mayor is in deep with the mafia which is why he's been pushing Chief Brody to reopen the beaches in time for Independence Day.  Which, actually kinda makes more sense than the entire town council being a bunch of heartless jerks who didn't care if tourists died in a shark attack as long as they made good money that summer.

 

This book was definitely a product of the time it was written in.  It screamed 1970s from the terminology used to the behaviors displayed.  But Quint was by and far the worst.  He was a horrible person in both book and film.  His methods were despicable and his lack of empathy for animal life... Needless to say he deserved to die even if he didn't get the death he deserved.  The shark took him with him, but I feel he should have been the shark's last meal.

 

I was really cheering for the shark to live and everyone else to die.  But no such luck.  The best parts of the book were Quint kicking the bucket and Hooper waxing poetic about the possibility of megalodon being a live somewhere in the depths of the ocean and how beautiful she would be.

 

This was just a disappointment to me.

Reading progress update: I've read 190 out of 285 pages.

Jaws - Peter Benchley

...and now we have the mafia?! OMG the majority of thos book has been about Cheif Brody's marital problems.

Reading progress update: I've read 156 out of 285 pages.

Jaws - Peter Benchley

Oh good gravy, what the hell am I reading?! I thought this was about a shark, but this has taken a serious left turn.  Definitely a departure from the movie! Ellen is an asshole.

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