Review for The Dead And Buried by Kim Harrington

The Dead And Buried by Kim Harrington

TITLE: The Dead And Buried
AUTHOR: Kim Harrington
PUBLICATION DATE: January 1, 2013
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Point
PAGES: 295 pages
RATING: 5 bows

Jade finally has what she’s always wanted: a nicer house in a bigger town. Her dad and stepmom has moved them from their small hometown to a bigger city with a better school system. She wonders how they can afford it since money was always what prevented this type of move before, but decides to just accept her good fortune. That is until she learns the reason they can afford it: the house was sold at a deeply discounted price due to the murder that occurred there months prior. With her little brother freaking out over a ghost in his room, she tries in vain to convince her stepmom that another move would be best, but eventually takes matters into her own hands. The only thing that will make Kayla (aka The Ghost) to leave is to find out who pushed her down those stairs. A difficult task, but Jade will do anything to protect her brother, even square off with the vicious popular crowd at school. Can she figure out who didn’t before Kayla’s patience runs out?

Can I just say creepy? Is that enough for a review. Maybe I’m a scary stuff wimp, but this gave me goosebumps every time I picked it up. Every. Single. Time. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything that gave me the willies as bad as this did. On that same note, can I also say that the original cover was so much better?

I mean, look at it! It’s so much creepier than a girl lying on a purple carpeted floor. The ARC I have actually has the original, with a big sticker covering it with the words “Revised Cover” at the bottom, I’m almost tempted to take it off, but I don’t want to damage the book. I actually liked the new cover, until I saw the old one….anyway, I’m getting off topic, aren’t I?

Jade was a character I didn’t initially love. She was a bit too standoffish in the beginning, but it was clear that it was mainly due to lack of people she comfortable around than actual antisocial tendencies. Her devotion to her brother was endearing, but mostly I loved how she was always herself. Here is a girl who we never see put up a facade to get people to like her or do stupid stunts to get attention. She is who she is and you either like it or you don’t. It was intensely refreshing to read from the eyes of a character who didn’t pander to the popular crowd. She does become entangled in their group because that’s the only way she can solve the murder, but she doesn’t go out of her way to be accepted by them.

Then we have our dear sweet Donovan. He was Kayla’s boyfriend and everyone at school believes he killed her, but one look into those sensitive eyes and anyone with a brain could tell this guy wouldn’t hurt a fly, much less kill his girlfriend. He’s sweet and artistic and adorable. Though he isn’t making my list for top ten swoon-worthy male YA characters, I can definitely see the appeal.

Kayla, the ghost, was a straight up bitch. Seriously, this girl played everyone around her for her own gain or just for the hell of it. She was cruel at times, even by her own admission, and the fact that she tormented a little boy just to push Jade into finding her killer is beyond sick. Harrington definitely knows how to write a bad guy who is bad through and through. I can sympathize with anyone who decided to push her down those stairs because the bitch had it coming. Everyone around her had motive, even her supposed best friend, so watching Jade try to unravel this particular ball of yawn was intriguing to say the least. It made it that much easier to get on Jade’s team for this impossible task.

I loved that we actually get to see parental interaction in this. I also loved that Marie straddles that line between bitch-y stepmom and geniunely caring parent. Jade’s relationship with Marie was one that really caught my attention. Though Marie has been married to Jade’s dad for many years, it seems like the two never got comfortable. I can imagine how difficult that must be, stepping into the mom role while trying not to completely overshadow or forget about the dead mother.

This has everything I was looking for and a few things I wasn’t. I knew it would be a YA murder mystery, but I wasn’t expecting the high creepiness factor. I really adored the whole thing and how engaging it is. Within the first 20 pages I was hooked and once I got past 100, I literally couldn’t put it down, binge reading until it was over. It takes a dark turn because it’s hard to avoid that when we are talking about teenage murder, but it leaves you with that hopeful feeling that everything will improve. It left me with a smile on my face, and really, what more can you ask?

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Review for The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

TITLE: The Murmurings
AUTHOR: Carly Anne West
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster
PAGES: 384 pages
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 4 stars

Sophie David’s life is far from normal. A nonexistent father, an alcoholic mother, and a dead sister, she’s pretty much alone these days. So when she starts hearing the same noises and seeing the same things that made her mother have her sister committed, she decides to buckle down and refuses to tell anyone. But soon the voices refuse to be ignored and Sophie is in a world of danger that Nell (her sister) died to protect her from.

I quite enjoyed this novel. The tension/romance between Evan and Sophie was adorable, the storyline was just intriguing enough to keep me guess, and the spine tingling creep factor that I loved in Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake was also pretty prevalent. Sophie is a stubborn girl just trying to make it through. After Nell’s death, her mom falls apart, quits working and drinks all day. Most days, she doesn’t even speak to Sophie and yet Sophie still gets up every morning and goes to school even though she knows her mom wouldn’t notice if she didn’t.

I was a little suspicious of Evan at first. He seemed to show up at perfect time to go with Sophie to the psychiatric facility and seemed altogether too nice and accepting. But after a few chapters, I learned to trust him. He’s got his own demons chasing him and he’s just looking for someone to help him figure it all out, just like Sophie.

The thing I really enjoyed about this was the creepiness. YA doesn’t have many novels that can send chills down your spine (or if it does, I haven’t read many) and though I normally avoid horror movies, I am somewhat attracted to it in writing. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but there it is. My only real complaint about this novel was that it was a mite too predictable. I didn’t see all of it coming, but I did know ****SPOILER****that Adam was the insider, that he was observing Nell for Dr. Creepy, that Deb was Nell’s friend “MM” while in the facility, and so on.****END SPOILER****

I think that anyone who enjoyed Anna Dressed In Blood will also enjoy this. It’s a really enjoyable and fun read!

Review for Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake

Girl Of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

TITLE: Girl Of Nightmares
SERIES: Anna #2
AUTHOR: Kendare Blake
PAGES: 239 pages
FORMAT: Hardback
RATING: 4 stars

Let me just go ahead and apologize now because I know this review is going to come out weird…and probably shorter than I usually write. I don’t know what’s up with me lately, just not in a reviewing mood I guess.

Girl of Nightmares picks up six months after the events of Anna Dressed In Blood. Cas can’t seem to let Anna go and then she starts showing up and haunting him. He has to watch as she is tortured and there isn’t anything he can do about it. For a while he thinks he is going insane because he knows Anna is on the otherside, wherever that may be, and she can’t possibly be back in his world. But the athame doesn’t lie and when it detects her as well, Cas becomes determined to find Anna and bring her back from her torturous afterlife. One that she is only in because she saved Cas, Thomas, and Carmel from the Obeahman.

When I finished Girl Of Nightmares last year, I was so epically angry that I couldn’t put it into words. The novel was perfect but the ending had me screaming at the top of my lungs. Stupid goddamn cliffhanger, why why why?!?!? So, as you can imagine, I was eager to get my hands on the sequel. My feelings upon finishing it, are an extremely watered down version of what I felt when I finished ADIB. I’m not angry, per se, just disappointed. The novel was great, Cas is a believable teenage boy and I think we all know how difficult it is to find a novel by a woman that really feels like a guy, the story is as interesting and intense as ADIB, but the ending just left something to be desired. I felt like Cas still got the short end of the stick. I knew enough to know that Kendare Blake wasn’t the type of author to just wave a magic wand and have Cas bring Anna back over, she magically turns human again and they skip off into the sunset, I knew that wasn’t going to happen, so I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t that.

All that being said, it was still a great book. I really enjoyed it and though I wasn’t satisfied with the ending, it definitely fit the storyline. If you enjoyed ADIB, you’ll definitely enjoy this one, just be prepared for the ending.