Saturday 31 October 2020

Blog Tour- The Forest of Ghosts and Bones

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! I hope you're all having a spooktacular day full of pumpkin carving and costumes. Today I'm taking part in a very spooky blog tour for The Forest of Ghosts and Bones, the brand new fantasy novel by Lisa Lueddecke. I adored A Shiver of Snow and Sky (you can read all about my thoughts on that book HERE) so I'm super excited to read this brand new story from Lisa and share my thoughts on it! For now, I have a very spooky Q&A with Lisa herself! 

Hi Lisa! As it's coming up to Halloween, what type of books get you into the Halloween spirit?

I have a bit of a soft spot for thrillers and mysteries, so when it starts getting towards Halloween, those are what tend to draw me in. Books that add to the feeling of unease.

The Forest of Ghosts and Bones is inspired by the myths you knew growing up. Are there any around this time that are your favourite or remind you of Halloween?

I’m honestly just so inspired by anything that has to do with souls or ghosts. I always get this delightfully eerie feeling as Halloween gets closer like I might see something haunting a window, or hear footsteps on the stairs. Since the book was inspired by a comment my grandmother made about souls lingering in the world, I think that fascinates me the most.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

 Liljana, for sure. She had a lot of history, and she made questionable choices, which made her an interesting person to write. Other than her, though, I really liked writing Benedek. He was a lot of fun to hang out with, in my mind.

 To get into the Halloween spirit, what would Béata, Liljana, and Benedek go as for Halloween?

Béata would probably go as a dead person from history, like an old royal, or someone from a story. Something like that. Benedek would probably not dress up at all, but he would spend some time with family and friends just the same. Liljana would either go as herself, because she quite likes herself. Or she would go as her take on a queen, with a magical, possibly deadly twist. 

I'd like to say a big thank you to Scholastic for letting me take part in the tour and providing me with a copy of the book! I had such a fun time going out to take spooky pictures with it and I'm looking forward to reading it. The Forest of Ghosts and Bones is available to purchase now!

Wednesday 28 October 2020

Review on Grave Matter

Samuel’s world is turned upside down when his girlfriend Eliza dies in a car crash. Unable to move on, Samuel seeks the help of his estranged Aunt, who he remembers healed an injured bird with Hoodoo. However bringing someone back from the dead is a lot more complicated than healing, and Samuel must tread a darker path if he is to be reunited with Eliza

I picked this book up on a whim just because Juno is one of my favourite authors, and I thought a short book could help me out of my reading slump. This book is short and is printed on good quality paper with double spaced text, making it super easy to read! It specifically caters towards people who don’t normally enjoy reading, and those with dyslexia, and even though neither of those apply to me I did still find the book easier to read than most books. Usually, I can’t read for long periods of time due to eyestrain and headaches, so I was surprised that I was able to read the whole book in one sitting without the usual problems I have when reading for longer periods. I was also grateful for the larger font, as my eyesight is pretty terrible and I can sometimes struggle with reading tiny fonts. 

 So onto the actual plot! Bringing a loved one back from the dead only to have everything go terribly wrong seems like an overused idea, so I was surprised that despite this being the main plot, the story still managed to be interesting and unique. The way Samuel brought Eliza back was pretty terrifying, and I loved how making him do awful things like sacrificing a goat showed us just how desperate he was to get Eliza back. As Samuel was the one to crash the car that had killed her, Samuel feels guilty about Eliza’s death, and feels like he has to put things right by bringing her back to life. What I loved about Eliza’s resurrection was that it didn’t just bring her back, it rewrote the whole timeline so that Eliza had never died and it was Samuel who had got hurt in the crash. To everyone but Samuel, Eliza had never died, and Samuel even wonders if everything had been a weirdly vivid dream he had while he was in a coma. However, Samuel starts discovering things to prove that it had all been real, such as his bank account being empty from paying for the recipe to bring Eliza back, along with seeing a terrifying shadow monster that seems to be the cause for his mum’s mysterious illness. I loved how even though everything seemed to be fine at first, Samuel starts to see the severe consequences bringing Eliza back had.

The characters were pretty thought out for such a short book, especially Samuel. I’m not sure if he was intended to be such an unlikable character, but he came across as a spoilt rich boy who was used to getting his own way. Even though he felt guilty, he also seemed to have selfish means for wanting Eliza back, and did some pretty awful things that no normal person would ever dream of doing… Also he called his parents mother and father and really who doesn’t want to secretly slap a character who does that? I also want to mention The Milk Man, who is much scarier than he sounds I promise! The Milk Man was a mysterious albino man who gave Samuel the recipe to bring Eliza back, and he didn’t seem entirely… human. Basically, he was a really creepy bloke who’s motives remained a mystery. Apart from stealing every penny in Samuel’s bank account, we don’t really get a proper reason as to why The Milk Man helped Samuel. Maybe he just wanted to rob a rich snobby kid who knows. Whatever his motives he was a pretty creepy guy!

I loved this book and even though it’s short, there is a lot packed into it. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a creepy and interesting read, and I would even go as far as to say it’s a good book to give to anyone who dislikes reading! Reading big books can be a daunting task for anyone who isn’t used to reading for pleasure, so this could be the perfect book to start off a lifelong love of books!

Monday 19 October 2020

Spooky Reads!

As there’s less than two weeks until Halloween I thought I would pick out some spooky reads! Honestly I’m probably not going to get through all of these but I thought I would be a little ambitious as I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. I’ve decided on four books I want to try to read so here they are!

1# Howl’s Moving Castle: I have a confession. I’m not really a huge fan of horror books. I’m not sure why exactly but I just tend to not enjoy them that much, which is why one of my choices is Howl’s Moving Castle. I’m a huge fan of the Studio Ghibli adaptation of this book, and I meant to read it last year but I just didn’t have the time. Something that I found out was that this book actually has Welsh themes, which as a Welsh person myself I’m excited for! I’m looking forward to seeing how the book differs from the Japanese themes in the Ghibli movie. As poor Howl has been living on my shelf for so long I’m going to make sure to finally meet him this year! 

#2 Witch: Okay yes this is a proof and I’m a terrible book blogger for not reviewing it on release day, but I think it’s still valid if I read it for Halloween (please don’t hate me Zephyr!). As the title suggests, this is a very appropriate book for the time of year, as it is all about witches and magic! I actually started reading this book last night and it seems really interesting. The writing style is making it a little tricky for me to get into it as it’s written in a very old fashioned way due to the book being set in the 17th century, but I think that as                                                               soon as I get used to it I’ll end  up enjoying this book. 

#3 Carrie: I’ve never read a Stephen King book, so I thought I’d start with his first one, Carrie. Everyone has heard of this book and seen the movies so I won’t explain what it's about. I've always loved the movie adaptations and loved the idea of a girl with psychic powers getting revenge on her bullies! I think the length of Stephen King books is what puts me off reading them ,so I think Carrie being a fairly short read will help me get into his books. As my copy of Carrie is part of an omnibus I might read the other two if I have the time. 

#4 Frozen Charlotte: This book sounds super creepy! I’ve had it on my shelf for a while so figured this was the perfect time to read it. I’ve always found dolls to be creepy, and I used to have a talking doll that would go off in the middle of the night! Maybe that’s why I’ve always preferred plushies. This book is giving me very Annabelle-like vibes so I’m ready to hide under my duvet while reading this one! 

As my country has been put  a two week lockdown I hope these spooky books will help me get into the Halloween spirit. Hopefully I will enjoy them enough to pull me out of my reading slump. If you have any favourite spooky books then please let me know as I’d love to check them out!