The Haunting of Sunshine Girl By Paige McKenzie Review


The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie & Alyssa. B Sheinmel

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Published: March 24th 2015 by Weinstein Books

SYNOPSIS

Based on the wildly popular YouTube channel, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl has been described as “ Gilmore Girls meets Paranormal Activity for the new media age.” YA fans new and old will learn the secrets behind Sunshine—the adorkable girl living in a haunted house—a story that is much bigger, and runs much deeper, than even the most devoted viewer can imagine…

Review

This will be short and sweet because I figure this is a book readers must experience for themselves.

It is one of the best, conventionally perfect horror stories I have read in years. I love that the girls utilized one of my favorite conventions of horror novels: making the antagonist, the sole villain or spirit of the story a house. Bringing life to the mundane. Absolute magic. Paying homage to the greats like hill house

The story transcends through time, flashes between past and present a journey through time. A story that intertwined relationships and tragedies from a hundred years ago, t0 the present.

The house is a life force and cannot be harmed. Add in some terrifying scenes, a bit of black magic…and yep, you must read it!

I unfortunately haven’t seen the YouTube channel the coincides with the story. I will definitely be checking it out! If it is true to the book, it will be fantastic.

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Don’t Stay Up Late (Fear Street Relaunch #2) by R.L Stine Review


Don’t Stay Up Late (Fear Street Relaunch #2) by R.L Stine Review

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Published: April 7th 2015 by St. Martins Griffin

SYNOPSIS

The second new book in the re-launch of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series, which sold 80 million copies around the world, making it one of the bestselling young adult series of all time.

R.L. Stine’s hugely successful young adult horror series Fear Street is back after almost 2 decades. Fear Street is a worldwide phenomenon and helped to kick off the young adult craze which is still going strong today. In the second new book in this series, Don’t Stay Up Late, Stine explores the unbridled terror of a damaged young lady sent on a doomed babysitting job.

Ever since a car accident killed her father and put Lisa and her mother into the hospital, Lisa can’t think straight. She’s plagued by nightmares and hallucinations that force her to relive the accident over and over again in vivid detail. When Lisa finds out that a neighbor is looking for a babysitter for her young son, she takes the job immediately, eager to keep busy and shake these disturbing images from her head.
But what promised to be an easy gig turns terrifying when Lisa begins to question exactly who — or what — she is babysitting.

R.L. Stine makes his triumphant return to Shadyside in the new Fear Street book Don’t Stay Up Late.

Review

This is the R.L Stine my adolescent self fell in love with. Over the top stories filled with gore, betrayal and sinister secrets.

I recently re-read some of my old collection of Fear Street novels. I revisited the evil cheerleader tales, the origins of fear street and the Halloween party gone totally wrong.

I loved Don’t Stay Up Late. The story begins with a tragic accident that claims the life of protagonists father and after a severe concussion, her sanity seems to have disappeared. To support her devastated mother, her psychiatrist recommends a babysitting job for her. A way to work back to normality and earn money so her mother and her can rebuild a new life.

She has horrific nightmares and I immediately assumed the story would be centered around the car accident, perhaps her fathers ghost? (I did not read the synopsis, I saw the cover and just dove in)

I was pleasantly surprised to find the story centred around her babysitting charge whom lives in fear street. He has a medical condition and absolutely, positively cannot stay up late…hmm…

Soon things start going bump in the night, Sarah doesn’t know if she can trust her friends, or even her own mind. Her boyfriend Nate is a horror fanatic and she finds herself questioning if he has blurred the lines of fantasy with reality.

The true minster…is absolutely epic. A great plot twist.

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Melanoma Awareness: What Are Your Chances?


Melanoma

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Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton Review


Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton

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Published: May 4th 2014

SYNOPSIS

Not many seventeen year old girls have a best friend who’s a ghost, but then Mary Hades isn’t your average teenager.

Scarred physically and mentally from a fire, her parents decide a holiday to an idyllic village in North Yorkshire will help her recover. Nestled in the middle of five moors, Mary expects to have a boring week stuck in a caravan with her parents. Little does she know, evil lurks in the campsite…

Seth Lockwood—a local fairground worker with a dark secret—might be the key to uncovering the murky history that has blighted Nettleby. But Mary is drawn to him in a way that has her questioning her judgement.

Helped by her dead best friend and a quirky gay Goth couple, Mary must stop the unusual deaths occurring in Nettleby. But can she prevent her heart from being broken?

The first in a series of dark YA novels, Mary Hades follows on from the bestselling Kindle Single ‘My Daylight Monsters’. A spine-tingling tale with romance, readers will be shocked and entertained in equal measure.

Review

A YA Brit ghost story? Yes please!

Very cool story.

I liked that the horror was actually horror and delivered real chills. Something I have been lusting for since I last read an Andrew Pyper book! (If you haven’t read any of his work, I insist you check out The Damned)

This book is best read at bedtime, I promise it will send chills up your spine and make you question if you locked your doors!

Our protagonist lives in a nightmare. Her best friend is a ghost, she may or may not be mentally sick. Where she travels death follows. Her life is hell, literally.

This was a very dark story.There is an abundance of sadness, angst and a perpetual feeling of fear.

The world crafted is so fantastical and vivid.

The entire family are prominent characters in the novel, which is a rarity in the YA genre. Often we just read about the protagonist and their love interests/friends, it was refreshing to read about a real family dynamic.  The comedic relief her parents supply is just so very real and authentic. Parents are embarrassing. We love them, but yep, they love embarrassing us. This humour works wonders on pushing the story through some of it’s very dark and gritty parts.

This is one I will definitely pull out again in the season of spooks!

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The Truth About Us By Janet Gurtler Review


The Truth About Us by Janet Gurtler

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Published: April 7th 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

SYNOPSIS

A powerful and gripping contemporary YA from the author of I’m Not Her that’s “Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult.”-Booklist

The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up.

She’s made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she’s paying for it. Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

The truth is she wishes she was the care-free party-girl everyone thinks she is.

She pretends it’s all fine. That her “perfect” family is fine. But it’s not. And no one notices the lie…until she meets Flynn. He’s the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens.

The truth is that Jess is falling apart – and no one seems to care.

But Flynn is the definition of “the wrong side of the tracks.” When Jess’s parents look at him they only see the differences-not how much they need each other. They don’t get that the person who shouldn’t fit in your world… might just be the one to make you feel like you belong.

Review

I was introduced to Janet Gurtler’s writing a few years ago after the loss of a friendship left me with a massive broken heart. A friend directed me to Gurtler’s work suggesting that it would bring me comfort and let me know that ‘I’m not alone’ in my experience.

Gurtler’s books and her narrative voice have a way of speaking directly to the reader and bringing a sense of calm, direction and peace to heartbreaking situations that we all ultimately endure at some point.

Janet Gurtler has quickly made her way to the top of my list of contemporary writers. This book certainly didn’t disappoint.

The Truth About Us is set in such a vivid and realistic world, paired with characters with fully developed identities and dilemmas. I didn’t connect with the protagonist at all. Which really, isn’t such a bad thing. She was flawed, and unapologetically human. Despite not connecting with her, her deep rooted flaws made her story more emotionally charged and in a sense, more moving.

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Melanoma Awareness: Malignant Melanoma Facts


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To The Stars: Autobiography of George Takei Review


To The Stars: Autobiography of George Takei

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Published: March 10th 2015

SYNOPSIS

Best known as Mr. Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise™ and captain of the Starship Excelsior, George Takei is beloved by millions as part of the command team that has taken audiences to new vistas of adventure in Star Trek®—the unprecedented television and feature film phenomenon.

From the program’s birth in the changing world of the 1960s and death at the hands of the network to its rebirth in the hearts and minds of loyal fans, the Star Trek story has blazed its own path into our recent cultural history, leading to a series of blockbuster feature films and three new versions of Star Trek for television.

The Star Trek story is one of boundless hope and crushing disappointment, wrenching rivalries and incredible achievements. It is also the story of how, after nearly thirty years, the cast of characters from a unique but poorly rated television show have come to be known to millions of Americans and people around the world as family.

For George Takei, the Star Trek adventure is intertwined with his personal odyssey through adversity in which four-year-old George and his family were forced by the United States government into internment camps during World War II.

Star Trek means much more to George Takei than an extraordinary career that has spanned thirty years. For an American whose ideals faced such a severe test, Star Trek represents a shining embodiment of the American Dream—the promise of an optimistic future in which people from all over the world contribute to a common destiny.

Review

Takei is one of pop cultures most beloved icons. I had high expectations and my expectations were met with flying colours. George Takei is a lovely man and wherever he goes, laughter follows. This is a must-read for any fan.

Takei discusses his life, which wasn’t always filled with laughter and Star Trek references. Even when discussing his trials and tribulations (as a child he was interred in a WWII Japanese-American Prison camp) his upbeat attitude remains consistent.

He illustrates his deep concerns for the equality of all people and his lifelong focus on advancing the cause of Japanese Americans. He is so much more than just a joyful pop culture figure. This is a man to be worshipped for all the right reasons–integrity, pursuit of justice for all walks of life and such a joyful, wonderful attitude.

As expected, he offers behind-the-scenes stories from Star Trek. These tales are delivered with a refreshing approach: no badmouthing fellow cast members, no drama or trash talk, instead just offering up true accounts for fans to enjoy.

Thank you Netgalley, this was a delightful read that I am sure I will indulge in again :)

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