Book Review · Books

Haunted: Ghost Stories To Chill Your Blood

Haunted: Ghost Stories To Chill Your Blood

★★★

Thank you the publisher, Andersen Press, for sending me a copy of Haunted: Ghost Stories to Chill Your Blood. Also thanks to Kaleidoscopic Tours and LoveReading4Kids, for the opportunity to be part of the buzz for this book. 

I am also hosting a giveaway for residents in the UK – for a chance to win a copy of this book head over to my Instagram:

Haunted is a collection of short ghost stories, written by multiple authors. The authors are the following: Joseph Delaney, Susan Cooper, Mal Peet, Jamila Gavin, Eleanor Updale, Derek Landy, Robin Jarvis, Sam Llewellyn, Matt Haig, Philip Reeve and Berlie Doherty.

It is incredible that these amazing children’s authors gathered together. They managed to create stories that kept me in a good cozy spooky mood for a while, giving me unexpected chills from time to time. It was a perfect Halloween read, and I am so glad I got the chance to read it! Even the author’s biographies in the end were a bit spooky. Below you will see a breakdown of my opinions for every story, in case you want to know more. My rating is the average rating of all stories combined. I had to hold back on some information for some, to prevent spoilers. There are no spoilers in the next section, but if you’re planning to read the book, I would suggest you dive into it blindly. That way, you’ll get the full experience!

1. The Castle Ghosts by Joseph Delaney – ★★★★

When a young man starts a night shift at a castle full of prisoners, he has no clue of what’s about to happen. The castle is scary at night, and there are stories that it’s haunted as well. Then, unexpected things begin to happen. I enjoyed this story. It was engrossing and intense, but slightly too short to my liking. I liked the haunted vibe though, as well as the incredible ending. 

2. The Caretakers by Susan Cooper – ★★★★

A beautifully written spooky story about a family that travels to Devon for a vacation. Anna doesn’t really get along with her brother James. And James has issues of his own, one of them being a complete disregard of social clues and people’s feelings. It was a bit slow at the beginning, but the amazing ending made up for it. I really enjoyed the love Anna has for her brother, even though he may not be able to see that. 

3. Good Boy by Mal Peet – ★★★

Katie Callan has a recurring nightmare of a dog walking towards her. She has had this dream since she was a child. When she grows up and moves into another city, a dangerous situation will finally reveal why she has had this dream all along. I liked the story, but it didn’t intrigue me or spook me like the others did. 

4. The Blood Line by Jamila Gavin – ★★★★★

This was so far my favorite story. It is longer than the others and it contains family drama with a spooky element of ghosts having unfinished business. I liked Freddie a lot as well. 

5. The Ghost in the Machine by Eleanor Updale – ★★★★

This story was cool and unexpected. It was also a modern day one, where the ghost is in electronic form. I really liked that idea. The creativity and the way how it worked were put together very nicely. I just didn’t feel the spookiness. 

6. Songs the Dead Sing by Derek Landy – ★★★★

A ghost story that was also heartwarming. Well, that’s a first. I enjoyed this one a lot. Maybe because it had a detective vibe, as well as intensity throughout the way. The ending made me smile. 

7. The Beach Hut by Robin Jarvis – ★★★★★

Bram is staying at his aunt Pat’s cabins during the summer with his mum and his older sister. He doesn’t have any friends and his sister ignores him. Then one day, he decides to spend the night in the beach hut. But little does he know – the hut is already occupied. But a girl who is a ghost. This story is another favorite of mine. I loved that it was set in the summer. We usually associate scary stories with autumn, or cold weather, and this was a nice change to remind us that ghosts can appear in any season. I loved Bram and could relate to him a lot. He was a brave soul, who loved adventure and didn’t have many friends. I also loved the ghost story and how it ended. The plot twist was very unpredictable and I loved it so much!

8. The Praying Down of Vaughan Darkness by Sam llewellyn – ★★★★★

Another great story, this one written in the form of a diary. Connecting events of the past and the present – I really enjoyed the ending. It was very intriguing, and the story telling was spot on. I wanted to know a bit more about the ghost in the end. 

9. The Ghost Walk by Matt Haig – ★★★★★

The Ghost Walk is my ultimate favorite. It is also the one story that I can’t say what it’s about without spoiling anything. But it was wonderful and it was intriguing. It kept me glued to the pages until the very end. It also gave me shivers a couple of times!. If you’re only going to read one story from this book, it should be this one. 

10. The Ghost Wood by Philip Reeve – ★★★★

So adorable and sad. Especially the ending. And another story that I won’t reveal the synopsis of. It was a bit slow at the beginning and too descriptive for my taste. But the ending made up for it. 

11. The Little Ship’s Boy by Berlie Doherty – ★★★★

Jez stays in Cornwall with his uncle and aunt. And there’s a story about a haunted ship that appears during big storms. But when Jez also sees a child, asking to be saved, he needs to do something. Filled with intensity and singing sailors, this story gave me the chills. There’s also a music sheet for the song as well, and I wish I was musically educated to be able to play it. 

Purchase Links:
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Book Review · Books

After (After #1) by Anna Todd [BOOK REVIEW]

After by Anna Todd [BOOK REVIEW]

After by Anna Todd is the perfect teenage romance book.

★★★★

I know I’m late to the After party. But hey, better late than never! I started After by Anna Todd in the evening, then stayed up all night because I had to finish it. And then, I begged my teen sister for the second book. She kindly agreed to give the book to me. I hope she doesn’t change her mind just to torture me. We’ll have to see how this unravels. 

Synopsis:

Tessa is just starting college, and she’s got everything planned. In one year, her boyfriend Noah will join her as well. But then she meets her wild roommate Steph as well as the incredibly rude guy with a British accent, Hardin. And everything changes!

My Thoughts:

Tessa is a good girl and she doesn’t do parties and short dresses. And she goes to a party with Steph and something changes. She can’t look away. Harding is doing something to her and she can barely resist. But she has a boyfriend. And also, everything she has a good moment with Hardin, two bad ones follow. Hardin is toxic, and Tessa hurts him in return as well. Also, their communication has to improve. Not the mention how the whole boyfriend situation was handled. 

Honestly, I thought my opinions would be conflicting. But they’re not. I really enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to the second one. Also, I know Hardin is based on Harry Styles, but while I was reading the book, he didn’t once cross my mind. I also often have fantasies about celebrities, I just don’t happen to write them. Honestly, it’s not a big deal. 

My only worry was that teens might see Hardin’s toxic side and think that’s how a girl should be treated. But that would mean underestimating the girls out there. Even in the book, Tessa was aware Hardin’s behaviour was not okay, which is why she reacted the way she did. The facts she would return only meant that she had feelings for him. Their relationship has more issues than good parts, but in all honesty, when I think about my high school days, it was that way for me too. I didn’t handle things well. Sometimes I didn’t communicate well. I trusted people I shouldn’t have trusted. And that’s the beauty of this book. 

After by Anna Todd is the perfect teenage book.

It reminded me of my days of high school and uni. Attending parties I shouldn’t have and trusting people that didn’t deserve my trust. Handling relationships badly and having terrible ability to communicate. And this book brought all the excitement back and more. Fond and not so fond memories that reminded me that I have lived at the fullest. 

In the next book, I do hope that their relationship improves. I hope Hardin grows up and Tessa communicates to him, instead of hurting him back. Also, I hope Tessa fixes her relationship with her mother as well, even though her mother needs to work on her own biases as well. I also hope that the dramas continue as well – I really love them. 

After by Anna Todd was a very refreshing read for me, because I don’t usually read teen romance anymore. I really hope I read it sooner, and I think I should get back to this genre as well. It kept me intrigued and hooked all the way through, and I certainly recommend it. 

P.S. If you want a good boy Hardin, watch the movie instead of reading the book. But don’t expect too much. It could’ve used a more “”bad boy” looking actor as well. Sorry, Hero, it’s nothing personal. You’re just not the Hardin I imagined. 

Purchase Links:
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Books · Monthly Tags

November 2020 Book Releases I’m Excited About

Hello, lovely people!
This November Book Releases post is the first post of its kind, but it was requested by so many of you.

November seems the perfect month to start this. It’s my birthday month, and usually a month where I’m excited about many things. Mostly, my birthday presents. But also winter. Usually it snows in November in Macedonia, and I am hoping it might snow in the UK as well. And also – November is just one month away from Christmas, so that makes me excited too!

But this time, we’ll talk about books. Books that are going to be published in November that I am personally excited about. I will be reading a few of these in November, so stay tuned for my updates. Let’s get to the list, shall we?

1. The Searcher by Tana French

Publishing Date: 05th November 2020
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Why I’m Excited: I haven’t read a Tana French book before, but I already have two on my shelves, and this book has been receiving a lot of hype, and it makes me wonder why people love Tana’s mysteries so much. Also, the setting of a remote Irish house in the mountains seems like a perfect setting to start a cold day wrapped it a blanket.

Synopsis:

Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a remote Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force, and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens.

But then a local kid comes looking for his help. His brother has gone missing, and no one, least of all the police, seems to care. Cal wants nothing to do with any kind of investigation, but somehow he can’t make himself walk away.

Soon Cal will discover that even in the most idyllic small town, secrets lie hidden, people aren’t always what they seem, and trouble can come calling at his door.

Our greatest living mystery writer weaves a masterful tale of breath-taking beauty and suspense, asking how we decide what’s right and wrong in a world where neither is simple, and what we risk if we fail.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

2. The Silent Stars Go By by Sally Nicholls

Publishing Date: 5th November 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
Why I’m Excited: I don’t always read historical fiction, but this synopsis captured my heart. I love emotional stories and they are my way of escapism. The cover is also beautiful, and I think this will be a truly lovely read, full with emotions!

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Margot Allan was a respectable vicar’s daughter and madly in love with her fiance Harry. But when Harry was reported Missing in Action from the Western Front, and Margot realised she was expecting his child, there was only one solution she and her family could think of in order to keep that respectability. She gave up James, her baby son, to be adopted by her parents and brought up as her younger brother.

Now two years later the whole family is gathering at the Vicarage for Christmas. It’s heartbreaking for Margot being so close to James but unable to tell him who he really is. But on top of that, Harry is also back in the village. Released from captivity in Germany and recuperated from illness, he’s come home and wants answers. Why has Margot seemingly broken off their engagement and not replied to his letters? Margot knows she owes him an explanation. But can she really tell him the truth about James?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |

3. Ready Player Two (Ready Player One #2) by Ernest Cline

Publishing Date: 24th November 2020
Genre: Science fiction, Young-Adult, Fantasy
Why I’m Excited: I loved Ready Player One and at first I was surprised there was a second book coming. Read my review of Ready Player One HERE. The first book could easily go as a standalone. But this also means there’s another opportunity to five into the virtual world Ernest Cline made, and the gamer in me screams YES!

Synopsis:

An unexpected quest. Two worlds at stake. Are you ready?

Days after Oasis founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday’s vault, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the Oasis a thousand times more wondrous, and addictive, than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle and a new quest. A last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who will kill millions to get what he wants. Wade’s life and the future of the Oasis are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.

Lovingly nostalgic and wildly original as only Ernest Cline could conceive it, Ready Player Two takes us on another imaginative, fun, action packed adventure through his beloved virtual universe, and jolts us thrillingly into the future once again.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

4. How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air #3.5) by Holly Black

Publishing Date: 24th November 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Why I’m Excited: This book is a spin-off from the Folk of the Air series. I loved the Cruel Prince so much – read my review HERE! And this is a book that features our loved/hated character Cardan, and I just cannot miss this one.

Synopsis:

Once upon a time, there was a boy with a wicked tongue.

Before he was a cruel prince or a wicked king, he was a faerie child with a heart of stone . #1 New York Times bestselling author, Holly Black reveals a deeper look into the dramatic life of Elfhame’s enigmatic high king, Cardan. This tale includes delicious details of life before The Cruel Prince, an adventure beyond The Queen of Nothing, and familiar moments from The Folk of the Air trilogy, told wholly from Cardan’s perspective.

This new installment in the Folk of the Air series is a return to the heart-racing romance, danger, humor, and drama that enchanted readers everywhere. Each chapter is paired with lavish and luminous full-color art, making this the perfect collector’s item to be enjoyed by both new audiences and old.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

5. The Awakening (The Dragon Heart Legacy #1) by Nora Roberts

Publishing Date: 24th November 2020
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Why I’m Excited: I have read a couple of books from Nora Roberts, and she never fails to impress me. I don’t recall reading fantasy books by her before, but the synopsis looks promising, and I already know I love her writing style. I am extremely excited about this one!

Synopsis:

In the realm of Talamh, a teenage warrior named Keegan emerges from a lake holding a sword—representing both power and the terrifying responsibility to protect the Fey. In another realm known as Philadelphia, a young woman has just discovered she possesses a treasure of her own…

When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious twentysomething mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father—and it’s worth nearly four million dollars.

This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, it will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home. Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies—through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny…

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

6. These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1) by Chloe Gong

Publishing Date: 17th November
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult Fantasy
Why I’m Excited: This is a Romeo and Juliet re-telling set in Shanghai, and something about this makes me eager to read it. Also – the cover is beautiful!

Synopsis:

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

7. One by One by Ruth Ware

Publishing Date: 12th November 2020
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Why I’m Excited: The setting of a rustic mountain chalet – we already established how much I love this. And then, on top of it, we have a corporate mystery – and I am so intrigued.

Synopsis:

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

8. Spellbreaker (Spellbreaker Duology #1)  by Charlie N. Holmberg  

Publishing Date: 1st November 2020
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic
Why I’m Excited: I don’t know why, but this book gives me The Night Circus vibes. There’s magic, two sides of the story, good versus evil and a possible romance. And I’m all here for it.

Synopsis:

A world of enchanted injustice needs a disenchanting woman in the newest fantasy series by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician.

The orphaned Elsie Camden learned as a girl that there were two kinds of wizards in the world: those who pay for the power to cast spells and those, like her, born with the ability to break them. But as an unlicensed magic user, her gift is a crime. Commissioned by an underground group known as the Cowls, Elsie uses her spellbreaking to push back against the aristocrats and help the common man. She always did love the tale of Robin Hood.

Elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey is one elusive spell away from his mastership when he catches Elsie breaking an enchantment. To protect her secret, Elsie strikes a bargain. She’ll help Bacchus fix unruly spells around his estate if he doesn’t turn her in. Working together, Elsie’s trust in—and fondness for—the handsome stranger grows. So does her trepidation about the rise in the murders of wizards and the theft of the spellbooks their bodies leave behind.

For a rogue spellbreaker like Elsie, there’s so much to learn about her powers, her family, the intriguing Bacchus, and the untold dangers shadowing every step of a journey she’s destined to complete. But will she uncover the mystery before it’s too late to save everything she loves?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK |Amazon US |

And there we have them – books coming out in November 2020 that I am excited about! Please note that these are my thoughts, and among these titles there are also many others coming out next month as well. These are just a few that I’m excited about, based on my preferences.

What books are you excited about? And also – what other details would you like included in the next month’s edition? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

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Book Review · Books

Devil’s Mist by Liam Moiser [BOOK REVIEW]

★★

After reading Moore Field School and the Mystery by Liam Moiser, and not liking it very much, I was a bit wary about reading this book. But this book promised a campfire and a spooky story. And with Halloween season approaching, it was the perfect time to read it. It was short and enjoyable, and it’s a great book to read during this time. Even though it contained spooky elements, Devil’s Mist wasn’t spooky and intense enough for me.

Thank you to the author, Liam Moiser and LibraryThing, for sending a copy of this book my way, in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis:

Rosie, Rosie’s father and Rosie’s friend Jenny go on a camping trip. When the dad tells the girls a spooky story about a missing girl, they don’t believe it too much. But their curiosity gets the better of them, and they head towards the lake to find the old house and the lake surrounded by mist. And then they realise – this story is probably true.

My Thoughts of Devil’s Mist:

Devil’s Mist started really good. It had a very spooky atmosphere, where the campfire and the telling of a scary story sets the pace. The mystery behind this missing girl in the story and the two curious friends looking for answers. But this is where the spooky atmosphere stops.

They come back to the city and a very intriguing plot twist takes place that puts Rosie in danger, as she uncovers more secrets that are connecting the past with the present. After this, the delivery and execution of this book was poor.

It was really intriguing to learn more about the mystery of the disappearance of Lucy. And to my disappointment, this was revealed early in the book, and we continued with Rosie’s storyline instead. I really enjoyed the camping trip setting. The lake, the mist and the abandoned house. But this setting only featured at the beginning, while the rest of the action mostly happens in the city.

I also feel like James’s character was not needed at all in this book.

I couldn’t care less about what happens to him. It seemed like his role was added more out of convenience than anything else. Jenny could have been a way more suitable alternative, and I would have actually cared about that part of the book then.

The curse and its story was intriguing, and I liked that part. It was introduced to us in a very peculiar way though. It was still intriguing, nevertheless.

Even though it contains spooky elements, Devil’s Mist wasn’t spooky and intense enough for me. However, I do think that younger audiences might enjoy it more, as I assume this is who it was written for in the first place. It is, however, an entertaining short story with mysterious and fantastical elements, and can be a good Halloween choice.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK

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Book Review · Books

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett [BOOK REVIEW]

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett [BOOK REVIEW]

★★★

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett is a book I won through ReadersFirst, published by Corvus. And to be honest, Beneath the World, A Sea wouldn’t have been my first choice, because I don’t often go outside my comfort zone. I am so glad I did though, because I really enjoyed this book a lot!

Synopsis:

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett is a story told mainly by Ben, the policeman. The story is also told from other people’s points of view as well, all connecting to Ben in one way or the other. 

A number of people go on a journey to Submundo Delta, all with different missions and plans in mind. During this trip, they have to go through a place called Nus, where no one can remember their duration of their stay there. 

In Submundo Delta, the people that live there are called Mundinos. However, there are also creatures that live in the forest, called duendes. And the duendes want to get closer to the Mundinos, which results in them getting killed vigorously. 

Ben is sent there to investigate why the local people are killing the duendes. During his investigation, he meets different people and gets a chance to have some weird encounters with the duendes themselves. 

My Thoughts of Beneath the World, A Sea:

Beneath the World, A Sea is very philosophical and deep science fiction, and definitely not for everyone. It touches on many topics, but mostly the topic of self-discovery. Who are we? Who are we really? How do we get to be the person we actually are? Are we hiding any hidden intentions? Are we just performing a play and not letting people see behind the curtain? What if there is a place we can truly be ourselves? And we don’t remember it after? Would we be murderers, or samaritans? 

This book will make you wonder, all while maintaining the story and introducing interesting characters. Ben is trying to discover who he really is, Hyacinth seems to somehow know everything he’s about to experience, Rico has a relationship with the duendes like no one else, Jael is extremely smart but chose to do something else with her life, Justine had her heart broken and never had the courage to leave… Beneath the World, A Sea is a unique experience with fantastical elements in it. It is also very well written, with intriguing plot twists and a very unexpected ending. I especially loved the intrigue that involved a certain diary. It kept me hooked until the very end. 

Even though a very unique and niche book that won’t appeal to all, I warmly recommend it, as I think this is the perfect book to get you out of your comfort zone and take you on a unique adventure.

Purchase Links:
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