jenryland

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Spooky book reviews

I posted about Becky’s Spooky Reads Challenge. Although I’m busy working on moving this blog, I wanted to post my reviews.

Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Seventeen year-old Cas has to step into his father’s shoes as a ghost killer after his dad’s untimely death. Cas and his mom arrive in Thunder Bay, Ontario, so he can take on a new challenge: killing Anna, the ghost of a girl who died in the 1950s under mysterious circumstances. Cas soon realizes that Anna is no shrinking violet of a ghost. Violent and vengeful, she stalks around her Victorian mansion in a bloody dress, trying to kill anyone who crosses her threshold. Strangely, she spares Cas. As Cas gets to know her, he begins to realize that maybe the two of them might be able to help each other move beyond their past traumas.

I’m embarrassed to admit this book is a little scarier than the things I normally read. But I really enjoyed it. A guy protagonist is always a refreshing change. The setting was atmospheric. The characters were well-drawn. If you’re a huge scaredy-cat, this book might not be for you. But if you enjoy an edgier (and edge-of-your-seat) read, be sure to pick this book up!

Random thing about the book that obsessed me: the text was printed in dark red ink. Or maybe dark reddish brown. The color of … blood? I don’t know, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Fifteen year-old Bridget Liu is still reeling from the death of father, a police psychologist, the year before. She can’t believe her mother is already dating again. Since her dad’s death, she’s discovered a strange new talent: banishing demons. The Monsignor at her Catholic school has secretly enlisted her help with a few exorcisms around the neighborhood. How can she possibly manage all this, plus the cute guy at school who has a thing for her — a guy who also happens to be the son of the police chief. As Bridget comes to terms with her new abilities, she’ll also discover new and disturbing facts about her father’s murder.

This book has a sassy, snappy style which toned down the scary.  The story draws in some angel/fallen angel aspects and puts a new spin on these popular themes — a spin that did confuse me a little. If you like your heroines of the Buffy variety and are creeped out by dolls, keep an eye out for this book.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

I’m a huge fan of this author. I love Scarlett and I love Ginnie. Still, I was apprehensive about this book because it wasn’t going to be a quirky contemporary read. Happily, I loved it from the very first page. Rory, who hails from small town Louisiana, arrives at a tony British boarding school to discover that a Jack the Ripper copycat killer is on the loose in the area around the school. If that isn’t weird enough, after a near-death experience, Rory can see dead people. As a result of her new ability, she gets drawn into the Ripper investigation and begins to wonder whether she might be the killer’s next target.

Rory was a great character — lively and quirky. I love books set in London, books set in boarding schools, love stories about characters who are out of their element… The book had twists and turns that I didn’t anticipate at all. And it was just the right amount of scary. Don’t miss it!

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