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Book of Shadows

Title: Book of Shadows
Author: M. Verano
Series: Dairy of a Haunting
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 288
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Verano

Synopsis: All Melanie wants is a blank book to keep a journal of her private thoughts. One day while browsing in a used bookshop, she finds the perfect blank book—smooth black leather with strange symbols in gold embossing. But once she gets home, Melanie finds herself too intimidated by the heavy vellum pages to write her trivial thoughts on them. Her Wiccan friend Lara tells her it’s better suited to be a magical spell book, called The Book of Shadows.

Melanie doesn’t know much about that stuff, but Lara, her boyfriend Caleb, and his friend Lucas, get her started by writing their own made up spells inside the book’s tempting pages. What they didn’t expect was a new spell showing up inside the book—and in handwriting none of them recognize.

Soon they discover that the spells suggested by The Book of Shadows itself do work—but not without wreaking havoc on the lives of the four teenagers.

Review: Normally, I love this series. It’s usually this weird supernatural mix with “it’s it real or not” type vibe. This one sadly fell flat, but I’m not quite sure why. It still had a very solid supernatural feel with the black magic, but it lacked the “keeping you guessing” element. Also, I’m not sure the “diary” format really worked this time. The past two books really only dealt with one main character/one person experiencing the supernatural, but this one really has four. It generally worked okay, but did feel as if something was missing. Overall, it was a middle of the road read. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.

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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Horror, Teen

 

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Diary of a Haunting: Possession

28954050Title: Diary of a Haunting: Possession
Author: M. Verano
Series: Diary of a Haunting
Recommended for: 7th grade and up
Pages: 352
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Verano

Synopsis: All her life, Laetitia Jones has only wanted to be a star. It’s more than an ambition—somewhere deep inside, she knows that she was born for greatness.

But her path to stardom now seems to be halted by a mysterious, undiagnosed illness that’s taken over her body. Doctors don’t have a clue and most days, she’s stuck at home documenting her strange symptoms—symptoms that start with fevers and chills, but soon escalate to bizarre bodily reactions.

Laetitia’s only escape from her illness is following the news—and the race riots that are moving closer and closer to her neighborhood. But when horrific visions begin to invade her mind, even the media can’t distract her and she begins to wonder—is her illness something biological…or is it something more? Are the voices she hears and the notes she finds in her own handwriting signs of insanity…or signs of something much more sinister and demonic? Or, perhaps, signs of something benevolent…something holy even.

Laetitia has always known she’d be famous…she just didn’t know it would happen this way.

Review: This is the 2nd book in the Diary of Haunting series, although, the two books are unrelated. While I did enjoy the first one a bit more/find it more creepy, this is a fast read that I’m teens looking for light horror will like. The majority of the book is in diary (online) format, but there are some police and social worker reports thrown in as well. Much like the first one, the whole point of the book is to make you question if something paranormal is actually occurring or if it’s much more to do with circumstances/psychology.

The only thing I’m not sure I really liked was there was a police brutality story-line thrown in. I understand why it was there/how it connected to the story, but it felt completely out of place other than it’s a current event. I feel like a those story deserve a little more meat to them then what was given in this book. Other than that, while not my favorite, it was still a good read.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2016 in Horror, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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Tokyo Ghoul

23353593Title: Tokyo Ghoul
Author: Sui Ishida
Series: Tokyo Ghoul
Recommended for: 8th Grade and Up
Pages: 224
Call Number/Link:  GN Teen Tokoyo

Synopsis: Shy Ken Kaneki is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out that she’s only interested in his body—eating it, that is. When a morally questionable rescue transforms him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of Ghouls, which exists alongside our own.

Review: This one is going to appeal to the action/adventure or horror crowd. It’s a bit violent, but no worse that most other mangas that I’ve read. I’ve only read vol 1 so far, but it’s very interesting concept. Ghouls don’t care about humans other than food. They’re like how humans would view most cows/pigs/chickens, etc. They’re cute but mainly we see them as food. However, for Ken, being human first, he’s caught in a moral dilemma. Normal food loses all appeal/taste and the only thing that makes his mouth water is now humans. But how can he eat someone who was just like him?! He would rather die than do that. And if he doesn’t find a balance that he can accept, that just may happen. Of course, he’s got a lot to learn about the Ghouls as well as they aren’t what he expected. I’m interested to see where this one goes and I think the teens will latch onto and love it easily.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2015 in Graphic Novels, Teen

 

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The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Title: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
Author: Paige McKenzie
Series: Haunting of Sunshine Girl
Recommended for: 8th grade and up
Pages: 296
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction McKenzie, P

Synopsis: In that place where you’re more asleep than awake any more, I hear something else. A phrase uttered in a child’s voice, no more than a whisper: Night Night.

Something freaky’s going on with Sunshine’s new house . . . there’s the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mum believes her. Sunshine’s always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort . . .

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can’t help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this one. Okay, so it’s not a great bit of literature, but it was entertaining. It’s one of those books that is totally a bad horror flick. You know it’s bad, but you still enjoy it anyway.  It’s a bit predictable and the ending is a bit anti-climatic, but I am kind of interesting where it’ll go. It’s either going to be one of those where, like horror flicks, each book gets worse or it’s going to turn into something completely different. I’m hoping for really different, but I guess I’ll find out in the fall.

For what it’s worth, book group was pretty split on this one. They either thought like me or thought it was just okay. I think only one teen truly hated it. Most thought had it just stayed a ghost/haunting story it would have been much better than the “something more” path that it took.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Horror, Teen

 

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