Light the candles and shut the door, The Wrong Train is a deliciously creepy and scarily good collection of scary stories, complete with terrifying illustrations from Dave Shelton. Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, R.L. Stine, and Emily Carroll.
Imagine you've just managed to catch your train and you realize it's the wrong one. You'd be annoyed of course, but not scared . . . Yet.
Imagine you get off the wrong train at the next station hoping to catch one back the way you came. But the station is empty. Again, you'd be annoyed, but not scared . . . Yet.
Imagine someone comes to the station, a stranger who starts to tell you stories to help pass the time. But these aren't any old stories--they're nightmares that come with a price to pay. And you want them to stop.
Scared yet? You will be.
While I typically don’t read a lot in terms of short stories, every now and again a short story collection comes along that really grabs my attention. This is often the case when it comes to horror – so when … Continue reading
Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother, Levi, and high hopes. Levi has just survived a suicide attempt and months in the psych ward—he’s ready for a dose of the wider world. Unlike their helicopter mom and the doctors who hover over Levi, Keira doesn’t think Levi’s certifiable. He’s just . . . quirky. Always has been.
Those quirks quickly begin to spoil the trip. Keira wants to traipse all over Europe; Levi barely wants to leave their grubby hotel room. She wants to dine on the world’s cuisine; he only wants fast food. Levi is one giant temper tantrum, and Keira’s ready to pull out her own hair.
She finally finds the adventure she craves in Gable, a hot Scottish bass player, but while Keira flirts in the Paris Catacombs, Levi’s mental health breaks. He disappears from their hotel room and Keira realizes, too late, that her brother is sicker than she was willing to believe. To bring him home safe, Keira must tear down the wall that Levi’s sickness and her own guilt have built between them.
Maybe in Paris was the kind of book that had a really strong premise, and I expected a lot from it. As a book that features a character on the Autism spectrum, I really hoped for the best here, because … Continue reading
Esther is one of the Special Ones: four young spiritual guides who live in a remote farmhouse under the protection of a mysterious cult leader. He watches them around the clock, ready to punish them if they forget who they are—and all the while, broadcasting their lives to eager followers on the outside. Esther knows that if she stops being Special, he will “renew” her. Nobody knows what happens to the Special Ones who are taken away from the farm for renewal, but Esther fears the worst. Like an actor caught up in an endless play, she must keep up the performance if she wants to survive long enough to escape.
The Special Ones was one of those really interesting (and incredibly creepy) sounding books that almost completely slipped under the radar for me, but once I heard about it, I knew it was the kind of book that I really … Continue reading
What if a machine could bring back the ones we love? From New York Times bestseller Lauren DeStefano comes a captivating middle grade of loss, love and hope.
In this beautiful and poignant novel, acclaimed author Lauren DeStefano tells a story of love and loss, and what it means to say goodbye.
When Emmaline Beaumont's father started building the ghost machine, she didn't expect it to bring her mother back from the dead. But by locking himself in the basement to toil away at his hopes, Monsieur Beaumont has become obsessed with the contraption and neglected the living, and Emmaline is tired of feeling forgotten.
Nothing good has come from building the ghost machine, and Emmaline decides that the only way to bring her father back will be to make the ghost machine work…or destroy it forever.
The Girl with the Ghost Machine is an interesting story about a grieving girl who lost her mother to illness, and who is afraid she is losing her father to a machine that he is trying to build to bring … Continue reading
Sixteen-year-old Rosie Wolf is sure when you die, you go straight to Paradise, until she wakes to discover she has died in an accident and that Paradise isn’t what she thought it would be.
Rosie Wolf was sure that when her dad died, he went to Paradise. After all, isn’t that where everyone went? But when Rosie wakes up in a strange hospital bed and finds out that she’s died in an accident, she learns things aren’t always what you think they will be.
Now her father feels further away than ever, and Rosie is left to deal with the Grim Reaper, who isn’t a man in a black cloak, but a beautiful woman with a bad attitude. The Grim Reaper tells Rosie that before she can move on to Paradise, she has to go back down to Earth and collect three souls. But Rosie quickly realizes it’s not so simple.
To complicate matters, Rosie meets Kyle, a boy who is different than anyone she’s ever known. He’s cute, smart, and funny. Rosie’s been warned to stay away from the living, but she doesn’t want to. What will happen if she doesn’t?
As far as one of a kind, completely original books go, Reaper is probably one of top ones that I have read over the years. It was unexpected, and not at all like how I thought it was going to … Continue reading
Sixteen-year-old Delaney Delgado knows miracles aren’t real—if they were, her kid sister wouldn’t be dead. So when the image of baby Jesus appears on a Babybel cheese wheel, she’s not buying the idea that God’s got a dairy obsession. Soon, religious signs begin turning up all over Del’s hometown, tiny Clemency, Texas. Overnight, news vans fill the streets and religious pilgrims start searching for God in the discount aisle of the grocery store.
Hell-bent on proving the so-called miracles are fake, Del convinces her best friend, Gabe, to help her find the truth. While Gabe’s willing to play detective, as a preacher’s son he’s more interested in finding evidence that supports the miracles. But when the whole town becomes caught up in religious fervor and even the late-night talk show hosts have stopped laughing and started to believe, finding the truth might cause more trouble than Del can handle. This novel is neither pro nor anti-religion, and will appeal to fans of contemporary YA novels that explore deep themes with an element of humor. The voice and characters are funny, strong, and full of heart. This is a book for anyone who loved Saved
With a title like Cheesus Was Here and a cover that matches perfectly, this book is one of those books that I couldn’t help but want to read. The entire book – cover, synopsis, and title – all sound like … Continue reading
Sloan is a hunter.
So she shouldn’t be afraid of anything. But ever since her mom left the family and she lost hearing in one ear in a blizzard, it’s been hard to talk to people, and near-impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her dad or big sister within eyesight — it makes her too scared to be on her own.
When they leave her home alone for what should only be two nights, she’s already panicked. Then the snow starts falling and doesn’t stop. One of her neighbors is hurt in an accident. And the few people still left in Rusic need to make it to the river and the boat that’s tied there — their only way to get to a doctor from their isolated Alaska town.
But the woods are icy cold, and the wolves are hungry. Sloan and her group are running out of food, out of energy, and out of time. That’s when the wolves start hunting them . . .
The first time I heard about this book and saw that stunning cover, I fell in love. It seemed like such a great story, full of adventure, friendship, and, of course, wolves. A survival story for middle grade readers? Yes! … Continue reading
Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre retold against the backdrop of San Francisco's most fabulous—and dangerous—elites.
After losing her parents in a tragic accident, surfer girl Janie Mason trades the sunny beaches of Hawaii for the cold fog of San Francisco and new guardians—the Rochesters—she’s never even met. Janie feels hopelessly out of place in their world of Napa weekends, fancy cotillions, and chauffeurs. The only person she can relate to is Daniel, a fellow surfer. Meeting him makes Janie feel like things might be looking up.
Still, something isn’t right in the Rochester mansion. There are noises—screams—coming from the attic that everyone else claims they can’t hear. Then John, the black sheep of the family, returns after getting kicked out of yet another boarding school. Soon Janie finds herself torn between devil-may-care John and fiercely loyal Daniel. Just when she thinks her life can’t get any more complicated, she learns the truth about why the Rochesters took her in. They want something from Janie, and she’s about to see just how far they’ll go to get it.
Unearthly Things is a real treat for those looking for YA horror that isn’t too terrifying, yet relies a lot on thrilling concepts to tell an amazing story. For those who aren’t too into horror, but every now and again … Continue reading
Gem has never known what it is to have security. She’s never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table, and definitely not their father, whose intermittent presence is the only thing worse than his frequent absence. Even as Gem and Dixie have grown apart, they’ve always had each other.
When their dad returns home for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie—on their own in Seattle and beyond. But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she’s tried so hard to keep.
Gem & Dixie is a wonderful book about the power of sisterhood and what it means to take care of those who are closest to you, even if that isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. Gem has been … Continue reading
In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail
, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.
Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.
Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.
And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.
This book was perfectly timed with the weather here to be the beginning of summer contemporary romance that I absolutely wanted to read. I’m not really a big spring/summer fan, but this book felt like it took those summer blues … Continue reading