A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Day Shift – A Book Review)

Day Shift (Midnight Texas #2)

Author: Charlaine Harris

Published: 2015

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

Rated U for going undercover to get rid of the annoying people on your lawn.

 

There is no such thing as bad publicity, except in Midnight, Texas.

Reporters flood Midnight after one of Manfred’s clients, a wealthy widow, dies during a séance. Accused of being a thief, his reputation is at stake. Olivia and Manfred team up to figure out how to keep his reputation intact and keep Midnight safe. In the process, unexpected secrets come to light.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Midnight Hotel just reopened. Acting as a temporary residence for the elderly waiting on openings in livings centers and a place for commuters on temporary jobs. It seems like Midnight’s population just grew.

 

The Midnight, Texas trilogy is a part of my New Year’s resolution and this is 2 of 3.

 

MC - amazon

Amazon

Midnight Crossroad review – here

 

The cute and supernatural town of Midnight gets a little more exciting as the Midnight Hotel opens and a were-tiger comes to town. New drama and new characters bring new adventures. Olivia gets her assassin on in this book and has a little too much fun
(as if there was such a thing). I love her sass. She’s such a badass. I also like that she does show that things bother her. While this series still comes across a little too vague for me, I really enjoyed it. She really stood out in this book. It was her time to shine. Even more, she teamed up with Manfred and thus one of my favorite bromances came into being on the page. I loved them teaming up in the show and seeing it the books makes me geek out hard.

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Many little seeds planted in the book seem to be getting ready to bloom and I look forward to the final book to see what comes of them!

Barry of True Blood had a cameo! I had heard he did and it was one of the teeny reasons I was excited to read the books. He got his own storyline and got to give all Sookie Stackhouse fans a squee of joy. It’s just too bad he couldn’t find a home in Midnight. I’ve always believed that Barry was one of the most underrated characters. I wish he had his own book series. He’s such an interesting character.

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This community feel is one I love so much. Midnight is quaint and cute and just the norm that I think people wish they had in their own towns. I still wish it was more rewarding in its details. I’m being stickler about it and I don’t care. I also don’t care that I’m sounding greedy. There just wasn’t enough for me to feel deathly attached. If any of these characters dropped dead I wouldn’t really care and that’s a bummer. No, that’s a lie. I’d feel bad if Mr. Snuggly died, and I hate cats. He’s just sarcastic and funny.

 

Overall

Still a delight to read. Very humble and sweet. This is a town I’d love to live in. I still feel like while I’m getting beautiful imagery, I’m not getting enough from the characters. But, like many people in the real world, they have their secrets. It makes it relatable, hard to care about sadly. I can’t wait to read the final book. And yes, I’ll say it again, BARRY DESERVES HIS OWN BOOK(S).

 

Quotables:

“Manfred reminded himself that while his car was humble, it was paid for, that he didn’t need a house, and that adding a room to the lawyer’s house was better than being in jail.” (p. 150)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Bright Lights by Matchbox Twenty.

 

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Two For One Special (Lothaire – A Book Review)

Lothaire (Immortals After Dark #12)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Rated D for domineering, douchy, dreadful vampires that are over-sexed.

 

All fear the enemy of old

A deadly force dwells within her

Centuries of cold indifference shattered

Driven by revenge and desperation, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, Lothaire, has plans to take the Horde’s crown, but not until he’s found his bride. Ellie Peirce grew up in Appalachia but always wanted a better life for herself. Getting possessed by a goddess was not what she meant. Now in the clutches of Lothaire and his demands, Ellie comes up with a devious plan to get free.

As Lothaire searches for the magical relic that will help him and his goddess be together he begins to wonder if she truly is his bride that was promised to him. But that’s impossible. He despises humans and swore to never fall for one. He battles his emotions, struggling to figure out who he’ll choose.

 

I am a BIG fan of Kresley Cole. Massive! I’m head over heels for her Arcana Chronicles series. I saw this in the bookstore and went for it. I couldn’t wait to see what she had in store for me. Not going to lie, I got major True Blood vibes, guys.

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Vampires! Love’em. Hate’em. They play a major part in stories. I love them. From Dracula to Twilight. There’s always something new brought to the mythos of the creature of the night. This one wasn’t up there for me though. I’m all for lusty fun. But this breached the kind of thing that isn’t fun and that’s when a person is being treated like an imprisoned object to be thrown aside. Because I couldn’t get past that I couldn’t fully get into the story sadly.

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While the story spans the life of an ancient vampire, the story was fast-paced. I love the way Cole can write like that. She keeps me on the edge of my seat and the pages turning fast. I loved how she could turn this on its head so fast. One moment there’s a fight for survival happening and the next the throes of heavy lusty sex are making me breathless. Like, whoa.

 

Overall

It’s not a bad read. Not at all. This just wasn’t my scene. Obsessive is cute. So is possessive. But, there’s a line to be drawn and not crossed for me. And it crossed, therefore, crossing this book from my like list. I mean, Ellie was sassy, but Lothaire was incredibly overpowering and disgusting. I can’t get over how he was. If you liked this book then awesomesauce. Just not for me.

 

Quotables:

“Life in every cursed drop.” (p. 261)

“I’m twenty-four years old. I’ve spent more than twenty percent of my life on death row. And I’ve still known more happiness in my short life than you have in your unending one.” (p. 295)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Bad Things by Jace Everett.

 

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Secrets Among Honesty (Midnight Crossroad – A Book Review)

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Published: 2014

On Goodreads

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Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated

 

You might pass through the town of Midnight without noticing it, if there weren’t a stoplight at the intersection of Witch Light Road and the Davy highway.

Such a small town with many boarded-up windows and curious inhabitants, Manfred Bernardo is its newest resident. Moving into the open place beside the pawnshop, Manfred is welcomed by everyone, even after he tells them he’s a psychic. He discovers quickly that he’s going to fit in just perfectly. As perfect as it can go with a vampire neighbor and a witch who lives across the street.

Then the pawnshop’s owner, Bobo is thrown into rough waters when his girlfriend turns up dead. Manfred and the rest of the town step in to help figure out who did it. Several secrets come to light, but so many more still hide under the surface of Midnight.

 

The Midnight, Texas trilogy is a part of my New Year’s resolution and this is 1 of 3.

 

This is my first time reading from Harris and I really enjoy her books. There’s something light and down to earth about them. I’m still collecting her Sookie Stackhouse novels so I won’t be able to get to those anytime soon. But, I’m glad to have this trilogy to get my taste into Harris’s supernatural world.

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There is such a wide range of characters. They’re all special and unique and given attention and I like that. It made all of Midnight important. I love a good community that can rally together. However, I wish it could’ve gotten more personal with the characters. Because I didn’t know enough about them I couldn’t get attached to them. I like trying to figure out what makes characters so mysterious, but this verged on vague and disinterest that pushed them toward not important.

The energy of this book was at a comfortable hum. It just felt like a day in the neighborhood which is super nifty. I felt I was resident in this dry, supernatural town. Loved it! The best bit has to be how steady the storytelling is. Just day to day without rush. These are the lives of the Midnighters.

I will be a little grumpy here and say that I can’t believe it took so long for the cat to talk! Like holy cow! Having seen the show, I found Mr. Snuggly to be so entertaining. I am glad he wasn’t just added in and is a part of the trilogy. Such a bonus!

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Overall

While this doesn’t quite make it to my favorites shelf, I am definitely keeping it. It’s a beautiful book. I swear it’s like it’s filled with kindness and normalness for the supernatural. They’re just living the normal life like us. Plus, the cover art is gorgeous.

 

Quotables:

“You people who live in Midnight. You’re all marching to the beat of a different drummer.” (Arthur to Bobo, p. 160)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Midnight by Emily Thomas.

 

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It Begins… (A Discovery of Witches – A Book Review)

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated B for characters that bewitch you, bewilder you and make you melt into a massive puddle from swooning so hard.

 

It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.

Diana Bishop, of the Bishop witches that date back to Salem, and also a young scholar of Oxford spends her days studying and researching alchemy in Oxford’s Bodleian Library while also resisting using her magic. Then one day she calls up a manuscript that hasn’t been seen in centuries. Witches, vampires, and daemons alike gather, waiting for her to call it again. More than anything she wants to be left alone.

Her entire world shifts when she meets Matthew Clermont, fellow doctor of Oxford and vampire, who like others, is very interested in the manuscript. What begins as a mission to get Diana to call up the manuscript soon turns into something much deeper, passionate, and filled with many discoveries than either of them intended. They’ll stand up to anything and everyone in their way to protect each other and the manuscript that may contain the most important answers to questions about their existence.

 

The All Souls Trilogy is a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is book 1 of 3.

 

For the last twenty-four hours, I’ve been debating about how to begin this review. I’ll start where I began with this beautiful, mesmerizing series. The television show. I’d heard about it through a grapevine—I can’t remember which—and knew in my gut that I just had to watch it. I knew it wasn’t the typical broody supernatural show. There was both complexity and sophistication and so much beauty. I was blown away. So that’s where it began for me and then I just had to read the trilogy.

The book was long and deep, but I can honestly say that I feel like it didn’t drag. There’s purpose and a sense of longing and wonder with magic weaved in-between. Witch water and witch fire. Vampires as hunters. And daemons as overly intelligent and creative beings that dance on the line of sanity. I’m bewitched I tell you!

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Everything Horror

Diana and Matthew are drawn together through powerful passion, magic, and determination. The chemistry between the two of them is fire! I’m melting from the heat and certainly not complaining. I admire how stubborn they both are and how they stand up for what they believe in and how they feel. It’s so intense and incredible. It shook me, guys. And also, if you’ve read this already or watched the show, French bundling. LOL. I’ll never stop laughing like a moron at that. It’s so adorable, yet blush-worthy. The book made me feel intensely.

The surrounding characters were also phenomenal! I loved all of them! Well, except for Knox and Gerbert. They’re villainous dillholes. Ugh! So many dimensions and life and all-around loveable other characters. I especially loved when everyone was together under the Bishop roof. I especially loved how the Bishop witches are surprising, almost as if to say they’re the weirdos of their species. LOL.

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And Marcus and Miriam, gah! Love them. They, along with Mathew, don’t come across as the typical type of vampire: broody and depressing. It’s refreshing. In fact, they take on a realistic facet, coming across as dominant creatures. Of course, coming across the Bishops created a great challenge.

There was so much to take in with this book. All good. All amazing. Completely mind-blowing. From the world building of Oxford to Madison to Sept Tours, it was all vivid and colorful and just gorgeous. The imagery was just stunningly realistic and added so much to the characters and swept me away.

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Overall

I honestly don’t have a bad thing to say about this book. Not a damn one. Finding the right words for this review was so difficult because this book was what I can only describe as ineffable and obviously rambling. It was in-depth and magical and splendid in how Diana and Matthew and all of the other characters worked my emotions. Praise from all angles from me. People told me this would be one of those ones that would become an obsession and it has! It’s just absolutely magnificent from head to toe, from magic to love, just absolute perfection. There’s so much more to this story than what the show gave, but they’re both so fantastic and leave me desperate for more. Never read anything like this. I need to start the next one!

 

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The Nerd Daily

 

Quotables:

“Aunt Sarah had always told me that magic was a gift. If it was, it had strings attached that bound me to all the Bishop witches who had come before me. There was a price to be paid for using this inherited magical power and for working spells and charms that made up the witches’ carefully guarded craft.” (Diana, p. 13)

“I want what I shouldn’t want, and I crave someone I can never have.” (Mathew, p. 106)

“A witch shouldn’t keep secrets from other witches. Bad things happen when she does.” (Gillian to Diana, p. 122)

“Did you know that a witch’s blood makes music? Like a siren who sings to the sailor, asking him to steer his ship into the rocks, the call of your blood could be my undoing—and yours.” ‘(Mathew to Diana, p. 175)

“Dying was nothing at all like I’d expected it to be. There was a moment of bone-deep quiet. A sense of parting and regret. Then nothing.” (p. 503)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? It Won’t Kill Ya by The Chainsmokers ft. Louane.

 

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Hey Jealousy…NOT By the Gin Blossoms (The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 1: Phantom.)

The Vampire Diaries: Phantom (The Hunters: Vol. 1)
Author: L. J. Smith
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

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Harper Collins

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for the skeletons coming out of the closet getting ignored and frustrating the hell out of you.

 

Dear Diary, I am home!

We did it. We saved everyone.

Everyone except Damon…

The supernatural damage and invasion from evil spirits have been erased from the destruction of the town to the trauma of the townspeople. Even those who died have been back from the dead. Almost everyone. Damon Salvatore who’d died saving everyone in the Dark Dimension.

Elena and her friends have been given a second chance. They’ve graduated high school and are determined to spend their last summer before going to college. Fun gets put on hold however when something strange begins to happen to everyone. Jealousies and tension rise between the friends, straining relationships and bringing about truths they didn’t expect.

As things come to light, Elena struggles with her dreams of Damon. That can’t connected be to anything though, right? Damon’s gone. It’s just her grief, right? Then why is she having this gnawing feeling that it’s more?

 

I can’t believe I’ve finally gotten to the third part of the TVD trilogy of trilogies. It has been SO FREAKING LONG! Like, seriously. I finished Shadow Souls back in high school and then just couldn’t get to The Hunters until now.

This was not my favorite installation. Elena became so whiney and selfish and I was not having it. Not. At. All. NOPE. All of this shed such a harsh light on her and it made me feel so bad for Bonnie. It’s always been my belief that she deserved great things and when she admitted how she felt in regard to Elena and Meredith—small and living in their shadow—it hurt. It’s what I’ve believed since the very beginning and to hear her confirm it broken my friggin heart. She’s such a bubble of delight and so powerful and everybody just uses her and then dismisses her like she’s nothing! GAH! And this was the worst book to showcase this.

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I was so glad Bonnie got it off of her chest. It was also epic to see Elena fall flat on her face a few times too, both literally and metaphorically.

There was a new addition to the TVD-verse and her name is Celia. Alaric returns to the series with her, his research partner. She’s not my favorite and quite stuck up. But, she made for an interesting half-triangle with Alaric and Meredith.

The big bad being a demon is interesting, but I didn’t find it that well developed. It was very underwhelming. I didn’t get a good visual of it either. It was just…pathetic. Ugh. I hate to say that, but it’s true. There could’ve been so much more to make it more interesting. It fell so short.

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Overall

A great start and such an interesting result, but the big reveal was not big at all. Not my favorite book of the series. So, low on the bar. On to the next one!

 

Quotables:

“We’ve all been given another chance. We did it. We saved everyone…Everyone except Damon…And vampires don’t reincarnate. They don’t go to Heaven, or Hell, or any kind of afterlife. They just…disappear.” (Elena, p. 9)

“He was a monster. He was supposed to be a monster, to take blood unflinchingly, to kill without a second thought or care.” (Damon, p. 275)

“They’ve doomed you, just like they doomed the one they really loved.” (Jealousy Demon, p. 352)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

  1. S. Song today? Paralyzer by Finger Eleven.

 

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Silver in the Red (Red Queen – A Book Review)

Red Queen (Red Queen #1)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

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The Hollywood Reporter

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated R for radical rebellion and liberation that’ll possibly make you stop breathing sometimes.

 

Power is a dangerous game.

It’s their blood that separates them. Red and silver. Reds live in the slums and at the whim of Silvers. Silvers, with their godly, supernatural abilities, look down on the Reds with disdain and disgust.

Mare Barrow has lived in the Stilts all her life, stealing what she could to help her family survive. But suddenly and unexpectedly, she’s given a chance to prove she can be more than a thief, but it falls apart when she, along with all silvers, discover supernatural abilities, which she shouldn’t have because her blood is red.

Instantly she’s thrust into the deadly world of the silvers as a lost princess, and set to betroth one of the king’s sons. There are many deadly secrets hiding in the world of silvers and she’s only one. Delving further into the silver world, she’ll have to be careful. One wrong move could mean her life.

 

Sooooo…this is a reread. I read it a couple of years ago, but just having gotten Glass Sword and then King’s Cage, I wanted to relive this beginning. I’m very glad I did.

Mare is such an intense character. She’s very smart and quick on her feet and as a thief, she has to be. Now she has to do it as royalty or else she could end up worse than dead. Just like the first time, I was left holding my breath, and the end still shattered me. Mare’s heart broke and every bit of trust she harbored was obliterated. Everything she knew was ripped away and it messed me up good. Aveyard is great when it comes to the sting. And she stings a lot with the fierceness of a scorpion with dear Mare.

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And the Princes! Let me faint for a moment here. Both Cal and Maven are stunning and crush-worthy in their own way. I blushed more than once. But, there’s really only one thing for me to say. I love Cal. He’s always thinking and from every angle, even though Mare thinks otherwise. He cares so much and it makes him a cautious person, which is understandable. I love this and how it matches to Mare’s boldness and her willingness to do what others can’t (More to come about this in Glass Sword review. Promise.). I totally ship Mal or Care or Mcare or whichever their ship name is. I like them together. Such an epic team, if not a heartbreaking one too.

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Coming from the slums to the rich royalty, there was such a strong dynamic. There’s a darkness in both places. Each class struggles. The Reds because they live under the boots of Silvers. Silvers because they’re looking over their shoulder because they don’t trust each other at all and could kill each other for status. It’s really intense!

I also loved how the rebellion of the Scarlet Guard was born! Everything about it is so intricate! Like watching a plant poke up from soil and sprout and grow and spread. The rebellion just grew and grew and I was so enthralled! And this, because the war that has been waged for decades has finally broken the Reds.

Even in the beginning, The Scarlet Guard changed everything! Characters, places, the tone of the story. From this book, from the second Mare joins the rebellion, nothing will be the same. She’ll never be that same sixteen-year-old that just steals stuff. And I can’t get enough. For the guard!

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The world of Reds and Silvers rich and dark. While it glimmers like gems, there’s a dread and depression and fear around every corner. I could almost taste it. So well done both in the Stilts and in the summer palace of the Silvers. Each place also made me feel really uneasy and unsafe, which is pretty impressive. I wouldn’t want to be caught dead in either place, yet Mare and her princes are.

 

Overall

Such an awesome book! I’m hooked! The supernatural abilities aren’t unique, but the way they’re written makes them unique! The writing makes them as fantastical as fairies and gods. It’s beautiful and scary and I’m so enchanted. Such a surprising book that left me on the edge of my seat wondering, who’s not making it out of this? I couldn’t get enough, honestly. A fresh and stunning book. And honestly? What I imagine to be GOT in the far future when the dragons die and Westeros evolves into something so much more.

 

Quotables:

“The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars/ And they are no longer kind.” (Mare, p. 11)

“You are pretending to be raised Red, but you’re Silver by blood. You are no Red in the head, Silver in the heart.” (p. 95)

“We will rise. Red as the dawn.” (Will to Mare, p. 164)

“It’s our nature. We destroy. It’s the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall.” (p. 227)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? I’d Come For You by Nickelback.

 

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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