Zombies in the Big City (Zom-B: City – A Book Review)

Zom-B: City (Zom-B #3)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated D for an undead teenager that will do whatever it takes to survive, but won’t be anybody butt-monkey.

 

The lack of Activity, the silence, the zombies sheltering in the deserted cars—I assume the worst.

B has finally made it out of the underground facility that was gearing up to use her as a weapon. Now in the city, B has heard that the military is sweeping the city for survivors. While she weaves through the city, making her way through zombies, she meets different people as she makes her way to the next pick-up point. Trouble quickly finds her and she must make some dangerous choices.

 

Zom-B series so far…

Zom-Breview

Zom-B: Undergroundreview

 

In this next chapter of B’s zombie adventures, she is in London and she comes face to face with the mutants that are responsible for the zombie breakout. It’s wild and I’m was left wondering what B will do now. They’re still pretty creepy. The story still keeps up with the action and gore of the undead, though pretty basic which didn’t leave me shocked sadly. The danger this time are ones that were seen before shit broke loose all the way at the beginning. B describes them as mutants and they’re pretty gnarly looking. Instead of attacking her, they and Mr. Dowling (A creepy fucking clown. Like seriously, why does it always have to be clowns?) want B to join them as they terrorize people. Of course, this conflicts with her new lease on life to be a better person.

New characters came into the story and as usual, I wonder if they’ll be seen again. A group of military delinquents and a not-all-there artist, Tim, who is pretty sure he’s a prophet of the zombie apocalypse. They’re pretty wild and not all there. I actually got some The Walking Dead vibes with these other people. I do hope that B finds somebody that doesn’t come off psychotic. Her journey is a lonely one and while I still don’t like her, I do feel some pity for her, but she’s tough and literally heartless. Whatever comes next, I’m sure she can hack it.

 

Overall

The books move pretty fast so I get them done within a couple hours. Each act as a chapter with something new and grisly. While sometimes silly, I still find myself intrigued. This may be the 3rd book, but the story is pretty slow going with curiosities in every book that leave me with questions. I want to know what is in store for B next. Of course, I already know it’ll be worse than this.

 

Quotables:

“The dead are the best listeners in the world. The corpse takes it all in, never interrupts, doesn’t criticize me, lets me waffle on for as long as I like.” (B, 15)

“In the end, stripped bare of everything else, as everyone is eventually, all we’re left with is the truth.” (Tim, p. 91)

“Silly old B! Still keen to help the living. Will I never learn?” (B, p. 162)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson.

 

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Zombies on a School Day (Zom-B – A Book Review)

Zom-B (Zom-B #1)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

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Barnes & Noble

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated R for a revolting, racist kid who decided to find redemption in the zombie apocalypse.

 

The news outbreaks of zombie attacks across the world have to be a joke, right? That’s what B thinks. Then suddenly school turns into a zone of blood, guts and the walking dead. B is forced to allegiances with the nearest person, not undead. There are no friends or enemies. Just whoever and whatever it takes to stay alive. But, one regrettable move will make B rethink life completely.

 

I got a handful of these books because I was curious. Also, they were relatively inexpensive. Who doesn’t love a good zombie book?

Right out of the gate I was surprised. I don’t like the main character. In fact, B is outright horrible and knows it too! However, she comes out of a household of domestic abuse and in some cases, it trickles down to the children. It’s sad but true. I do like that it was given such a personal POV. I do admire that B soon realizes she doesn’t want to be the racist bully at all. Soon enough, it becomes about redemption and that is a long road.

While the book is pretty short, it has a lot in it. It moves fast so it was a quick read, but I didn’t feel like I missed a thing that Shan didn’t want me to. I do like that there was so much gore and action too! It was brutal and the bomb drops were major! I also like how succinct the book is. When it ends, you know it’s not the end of the book, just the end of a chapter and what’s coming will be bigger.

 

Overall

Not a series I’m addicted to or anything I’m going to gush over like you’ve seen me do, but it is intriguing. There’s a lot that’s coming and I look forward to the next ones. I’m a sucker for a good redemption story, and of course, zombies!

 

Quotables:

“At the end of the day you have to work out for yourself what’s right or wrong.” (p. 46)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Ride Wit Me by Nelly ft. Ludacris.

 

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No Tears Left to Cry (Little Monsters – A Book Review)

Little Monsters
Author: Kara Thomas
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated C for teenagers who disappear leaving only a creepy handprint behind as a calling card.

 

What kind of girl doesn’t cry when her friend goes missing?

Kacey Thomas is the new girl of Broken Falls. After moving in with her dad and his wife and step-siblings, she’s been trying to find her footing. It hasn’t been easy though this new life she’s stepped into is much better than that it was with her mom.

She’s also been accepted into the circle of new friends’: Bailey and Jade. They do everything together, even things that Kacey doesn’t even want to do. When Bailey and Jade go to the biggest party of the year without her, though they said they’d go together, Kacey is hurt. Kacey isn’t able to ask about though since Bailey goes mysteriously missing that night.

The whole town goes on the hunt for the missing girl. Kacey takes on her own mission to find her friend, but the shocking discoveries she makes along the way make her regret it. She learns quickly that even in a small town like Broken Falls, rumors spread like wild and sometimes appearances can be deceiving.

 

This book wasn’t my jam. It was surprising in places but it didn’t capture my attention in any special way sadly. Kacey comes from a broken home, though it wasn’t only her mom that made her life hard, it was her as well. With her father and new family, it’s not always easy either because he’s working all the time and doesn’t make time for her. This book is definitely in the mystery genre. While I’m lucky and didn’t fall asleep, I just didn’t get into this. It took all my effort not to flip to the end and figure out

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The characters were crazily layered in this small snowy town. There was always finding out something new and questioning who did what. Discovering who was responsible for everything was actually surprising and unexpected! And I really loved how an urban legend was tied in with all of this. I will say this, it sucks to find out that your friends were never really your friends. That’s happened to me in real life and reading about a situation like it in a book makes me hurt. It just creates a rotting feeling.

This is definitely one of those stories where you pay attention to the little details. There is so much in them and each one is important, leading up to the big reveal. The reveal of what, you ask? Snag a copy of this and find out! I can’t spoil it for you. LOL. Definitely a Girl on A Train, teen version vibe.

 

Overall

This book isn’t a keeper for me. It didn’t stir up more than my curiosity. I wish there’d been so much more, but I don’t know. I did little more than shrug about this. Wasn’t kidding when I said mysteries weren’t my thing, but I wanted to give this a try. I legit thought there’d be some horror, supernatural theme to it. Not the case and that’s okay. I’m actually going to give this my mom and then a friend. They love creepy mysteries.

 

Quotables:

“Thing is, I love my mom. But I’m starting to think it’s possible to love someone and hate them at the same time.” (Kacey, p. 23)

“Have you ever wanted something so badly you thought it might just kill you?” (Bailey, p. 167)

“There’s no such thing as best friends. Everyone is only out to protect themselves.” (Kacey to Ellie, p. 305)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Apologize by OneRepublic feat. Timbaland.

 

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Wet Hot Vampire Summer (The Traveling Vampire Show – A Book Review)

The Traveling Vampire Show
Author: Richard Laymon
Published: 2001

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Traveling Vampire Show

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated: M for mature themes.

 

See.

Watch.

Tremble.

Scream.

A hot summer of 1963, there are flyers tacked up all over Grandville, advertising for the Traveling Vampire Show for one night only. The main event: the alluring and blood-draining Valeria.

After a bet is made, three teenagers: Dwight, Slim, and Rusty, are determined to get in to see the show even though only those who are over eighteen are admitted. The day is long and after a dog attack, deceiving friends, and strange break-ins, they wonder if they should go and what might await if they do.

 

This was a pretty good book. Definitely not your typical summer adventure. I’ve never read Richard Laymon before. I’m glad I got too.

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Slipping into the paranormal/horror genre, this book takes place in the small town of Grandville and everybody knows everybody’s business. By the end of this book, hell, not even, a good quarter of the way in, I knew the ins and outs of this town. The description, imagery, and world-building was superb! The entire book took place during the course of an entire day and it was so in depth and extended without a boring drag. It was warm, dry, and breezy during a time when you didn’t have to be afraid that somebody would break into your home. It was safe.

Pretty campy and fun and even humorous at times; yes, these are a few of my favorite things. Such a good Fright Night vibe. I was digging it.

Scarlet Reader - Traveling Vampire Show

I really liked Dwight and Slim, but found Rusty to be a horrifying little troll I wanted to shove off of a bridge. His little sister was a needy little imp too. They both made my jaw drop to the ground with horror. Cruel, liars, and completely spineless, the two of them are vicious and I couldn’t believe that Dwight was friends with them. Slim however, was so kick-ass. Tomboy with the curves, she’s gone through her own hell and is so strong for it! And she’s so smart. It’s is my absolute favorite thing about this book that she takes up the names of literary characters over her own name. I am in complete awe of her.

Scarlet Reader

This book really took me for a ride. There was nothing cut and dry about it. Shockers and sharp turns were around every page and really got me feeling paranoid. Laymon really got my skin creeping with goosebumps on the way to the book’s main event. Fantastic with the build-up and extra side stories that allowed me to get to know the characters so much more. I love it when there’s side stories, and he wrote them so well! I’m mind-blown. So fantastically done without breaking the flow or steering away from the main story i.e. getting to this vampire show.

 

Overall

A pretty good read. I was addicted. It’s not like it was some life-defining read, but it was a good book. Great for a summer time read. Certainly, for mature audiences too.

 

Quotables:

“Most of us tell ourselves we don’t believe in that sort of stuff, but maybe that’s because we’re afraid to they might exist. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens from outer space, black magic, the devil, hell…maybe even God.” (Slim, p. 43)

“And even if you could somehow sort out the whys and find the truth, maybe it’s better if you don’t.” (Dwight, p. 51)

“The blood’ll bring vampires like chum brings sharks.” (p. 352)

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Song today? House of the Rising Sun by The Animals

 

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Summer of ’82 (The Sacrifice Box – A Book Review)

The Sacrifice Box
Author: Martin Stewart
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - The Sacrifice Box

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Never come to the box alone.

Never open it after dark.

Never take back your sacrifice.

During the summer of 1982, five kids—Sep, Arkle, Hadley, Lamb, and Mack—all brought together under different circumstances. With nothing in common, they spend the summer together as unexpected band of friends. On the last day of summer, when they’ve been drawn to this mysterious box in the woods, they each put something into the box and the repeat the rules of the box.

The summer of 1986, the five haven’t spoken since the summer four years ago, but now, they wrangle together because something dreadful has happened. Somebody has broken the rules of the box. Now, the things they’ve given to the box are coming after them, trying to kill them. They have to figure out who before the evil within the box

You broke the rules. Now you’ll have to pay.

 

First off, if I love a cover, if it’s eye-catching, I have to gush about it, and that’s the case here. The cover is originally what caught my attention with this mysterious Stranger Things spin-off vibe with the red letter glow. The eyes staring out of the box at me were creepy too! Dark and ominous and such a classic feel. Definitely a fantastic work of art. Then after reading the inside slip, I was intrigued.

The 80s!! WOO!! A good time period. Before cell phones and computers. Geez, hard to think about that. While this book is set in the 80s and during the summer, (the best of the four seasons—fight me on it), the book takes place in the UK/England is what I’m guessing at because there weren’t major specifics, and I was just trying to pick it up from the description. The imagery brought to the story was vivid and lush, and I was soaking it up like a sponge (much like this plotting cat). Just stunning visuals. I could see it all so clearly like I was there.

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I really enjoyed this book. It was quirky, filled with humor, friendship, and fun. Quite campy. Also, September Hope is an awesome name! Each of the five are interesting, but I didn’t feel very much chemistry. I couldn’t understand what really brought them together even outside of having nothing to do that summer. I’ve had plenty of summers where I didn’t have people to hang out with and I was all good with hanging out with myself. The intensity between them all was great. It added growth to the story, but I didn’t get very attached to any of them, and I love to get attached. Attachment makes the heart break or flood and drown you in emotions. I just didn’t get enough to make me feel much for the characters. If anything I felt bad that these kids were having a shit time after screwing around with bad juju.

The build-up to the sacrifice box and its evils were making me curious. Kudos on keeping me intrigued. It got gritty and horrific pretty quickly too. That, and hilarious. You can’t say you wouldn’t laugh a bit if your teddy bear was chasing you everywhere. I understand that that’s also creepy because that fluffy little sucker was vicious and just not right in the head, but I couldn’t stop giggling at times.

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While there were many mysteries that I feel like didn’t get quite figured out, I was still engrossed in this. It was fast-paced and unique and original. And, it was dimensional. While the current five struggle trying to figure who among them is responsible for putting them all at risk, you learn about the group that sacrificed to the box before them. I liked the fluctuation between both times. It added an interesting history. BUT. I will say this. It wasn’t important to have that history. Not in my opinion. It just beefed up the story, giving it some interesting flavor.

However, I won’t say that this is some profound book. There are a few moments that get you thinking, but it doesn’t extend into something deep.

As for the box?

Scarlet Reader - Sacrifice Box

Your guess is a good as mine. It’s the biggest mystery. Where it came from and where it’s going and what’s really inside, nobody knows.

 

Overall

This was both creepy and beautiful with a dash of funny. Granted, there are still a lot of questions that I have surrounding the box and these kids, I still thoroughly enjoyed this. I’ve also come to the conclusion that sometimes, there are things that will never be known. Does that bug me? Yes. Was it super imperative to the plot? No. That’s because the plot was deadly, but not solely fixed on being anything other than entertaining and it succeeded. LOL. A fun read.

 

Quotables:

“A crow on the thatch, soon death lifts the latch.” (Sep’s mum, p. 11)

“We’re all little miracles. Everything about us: all our stupid habits and our jokes and our weird faces, on a spinning ball that’s the perfect distance from the sun. And now here we are, you and me, sitting on top of a million years of history.” (Hadley, p. 137)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? In the Shadows by The Rasmus.

 

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You Don’t Know Me From Adam (The Space Between – A Book Review)

The Space Between
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Space Between

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

21/25

 

Once, my mother told a whole host of angels that she rather die than go back to a man she didn’t love.

When you’re half-angel and half demon from Lilith and Lucifer life can be…complicated. Daphne’s life is nothing but an endless expanse of time filled with soap operas and knick-knacks from Earth. When her brother, Obie, goes missing up on Earth, she thinks she may be to blame. She’ll do anything to get him back.

She sets out to find her Obie, but she’ll need the help of possibly the last person to see him. Truman. Together they trek through the cold streets of New York City in search of her brother. It grows increasingly dangerous for them. Daphne delves more into her demonic half as Truman tries to figure out his strange dreams. The both of them struggle with their growing feelings for one another while hoping they’re not too late to rescue Obie.

 

This book marks 21 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. Brenna Yovanoff is an author that I’ve heard quite a bit about, so I was glad to find a few YA novels by her.

 

Angels and demons. Some think of this as quite the taboo subject when it comes to fiction of any kind because of how it reflects on the Bible and beliefs. I, however, get fascinated. It’s got a mythos base just like Egyptian Gods and Greek Gods. So, I was pretty intrigued when I spotted this book. The cover art was pretty freaky too.

Given the notion of a hellish ride, I’m not sure it got that far for me. If it didn’t seem to jump all over the place, I think I would’ve been much more immersed it it. The story jumped between first person POV of Daphne two third person POV of Truman and that was really conflicting.

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More so, I couldn’t get a grasp on any chemistry between Truman and Daphne. That was a bit of a downer. Her desperation to find her brother, and his inner turmoil was stronger than the attempted pairing of them. I was in this for the adventure!

The details and depictions in the book were really interesting. Yovanoff really pulled me into this realistic world of heaven, hell, bringing it to our world in a very real sense. It was dank and dark with a sliver of hope. The creatures that slithered in the darkness were creepy! However, this world only felt scary when with the characters. They gave it life more than any other element.

The ending of the book made reading it all worth it. Quite a few surprises. Even a special cameo by the one and only Lucifer. It was chilling! I’m not talking about the dapper, heart-melting grinner that we’re waiting to reappear on Netflix either. This Lucifer’s presence made me stop breathing. He didn’t make any other appearance in the book, but the build-up around him throughout the story was so good!

 

Overall

This was a nice little page-turner with freakishly, hellish originality. The Winchesters would approve. I enjoyed the mythos that was touched on as well as the side of depression I feel like some people don’t understand. I do wish some parts had been more clear

 

Quotables:

“Open your eyes and look at yourself. That’s you, undisguised. That’s your black, revolting heart.” (shadow man to Truman, p. 125)

“All my life, I’ve understood the nature of where I come from, but I never thought I might be wicked until now.” (Daphne, p. 143)

“Love. The word makes me feel unsteady, like something is moving under my skin. I’m not about any kind of love, but I don’t tell him that. Love is for people with a certain amount of humanity.” (Daphne, p. 160)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Feels Like Falling by Digital Daggers.

 

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When the Bees are Long Gone (Stung – A Book Review)

Stung (Stung #1)
Author: Bethany Wiggins
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

Stung - The Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

There is no cure for being stung.

One minute Fiona is thirteen and being put to sleep for her safety and the safety of everyone else, the next she wakes up older and confused. There’s a strange tattoo on her hand, but these tattoos marked the infected, mindless, violent beasts.

Worse, she’s on the wrong side of the wall. She doesn’t know why or how, except that she’ll have to conceal her tattoo by any means necessary, especially after she’s caught by the militia. Now she’ll have an old friend and a new, shaky ally to stay alive as it becomes more obvious that she isn’t like the other tattooed beasts.

In this world, where a bee sting was more dangerous than anything else, Fiona may just help save it. That is, if she doesn’t end up dead first.

 

Fiona reawakens in a world that has completely crumbled because of the extinction of bees. People have to self-pollinate their fields. Women are scarce. Violent being that were once people roam the desolate world, destroying any living thing that crosses its paths.

 

How was this book? It is straight down the middle for me. It was good, but it wasn’t great. Call me psycho or morbid or anything, but I’ve always wondered about a world without the bees. It’s a real possibility. They’re going extinct and it sucks. I love bees. They help gives all kinds of things we need from food to beauty to life. So, I was pretty amped up. BUT. Yep, a but. Everyone has them and we all like to shake them. So, here’s a little shake-shake. There were pros and cons to this book.

Fiona was an interesting character. She struggled with her new reality because in her head she still felt like she was thirteen. I found that to be one of the COOLEST things in this book. It was so unique and incredibly realistic. Fiona had to play catch-up really fast and she had some help from her old neighbor/slash friend, Bowen, who’s no longer thirteen either, but seventeen, nearly eighteen. While there’s a spark between them, the progression between them went from subtle and gentle to suddenly macho speed and was very weird. He was so guarded against her and by the end of the book it was as if he couldn’t live without her. Just the way it came about was too rushed for my liking.

Scarlet Reader - Slow Down

The plot of the story was predictable and reminded me of The Maze Runner, but I loved it anyway. The way it came about was unique and bleak. I was thriving to see more of it. Wiggins did such a great job creating this dead world. I could imagine the dead and barren, grey wasteland and the vibrant, tech city behind a great wall. The law and lack thereof in this universe were horrifying. You don’t want to be a girl here. Although, not going to lie, I wouldn’t mind reading a book where men are the rare ones alive. Just saying.

Some parts of the book came off as ridiculous and filler. Not good filler either, sadly. The flashbacks on Fiona’s life really added to her backstory, but it was some of the interaction between her and Bowen that felt like too far of a stretch. Like, it was forced. However, there were some lines that were so good they took my breath away.

As I said, this book was right down the middle.

 

Overall

I like and didn’t like this. It’s really a 50/50. I may read the sequel just to see how it goes for Fiona and see if she and Bowen could have a life together. This wasn’t a mind-blower, just a decent read to pass the time.

 

Quotables:

“I don’t remember going to sleep. All I remember is waking up here—a place as familiar as my own face.” (Fiona, p. 1)

“I will not die without fighting for a life I am not yet done living.” (Fiona, p. 253)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Crave by Tove Lo.

 

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