Review: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Author: Jun Asuka
Publisher: Tokyopop
Genre: NetGalley
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King, the ruler of Halloween Town and master of all things creepy and spooky. But he’s tired of his life in the shadows and longs for something new. When he accidentally stumbles upon Christmas Town, he decides this is the perfect chance to try his hand at a brand new holiday and is convinced he’ll have the world yelling “Scary Christmas”! With the young patchwork doll Sally trying to dissuade him and the evil Oogie Boogie waiting in the wings to take over Halloween Town in Jack’s absence, he’d better hurry if he wants to get his plan in place by December 25th! You’ve seen the movie, now read the manga for a new twist on an animated classic!


I’ve wanted to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas for a long time, but I haven’t yet. So when I saw the manga version, I had to read it. 

I really enjoyed the story. I love that it’s a cross between Halloween and Christmas. Though those two holidays are two months apart, they’re so connected, since as soon as Halloween is over, the shelves are filled with Christmas gifts. 

One problem I had (and I’m not sure if this will be the same in the physical copy) is the colouring. It’s in black and white, and some of the panels were so detailed that it was hard to tell what was happening. When only two colours are used, it’s difficult to distinguish between characters, so sometimes I didn’t know what was happening. Also, many of the speech bubbles didn’t have an obvious direction of who it was coming from, so I couldn’t tell who was speaking. These issues may not be as bad for someone who has watched the movie, but since I wasn’t familiar with the story before, I struggled with these visual problems. 

However, I really liked this story. I’m glad I read this manga edition!


Top Ten Tuesday – Ghost Stories

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is a Halloween freebie, so I’m going to list my favourite ghost stories. Here’s my list:

1. The Raven Boys

2. Shadowland 

3. Ghosts

4. The Turn of The Screw

5. The Shining

6. Long Way Down

7. A Christmas Carol

8. Wuthering Heights

9. Doctor Sleep

10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

(All images taken from Goodreads)

Blog Tour: Esme’s Wish

Esme's Wish tour bannerEsme's Wish cover[4]

Title: Esme’s Wish
Author: Elizabeth Foster
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Release Date: October 30, 2017
Rating: ★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

This was her last chance. Her hand twisted high in the air.

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the impulsive reaction of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother – so why can’t she?

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all…

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Purchase your copy of Esme’s Wish at


As many of you know, I love Greek mythology. So when this book started off with references to Ancient Greece, I knew I would like it. 

This story was fast paced, with Esme constantly discovering new things about her mother. There was also great tension when she discovered things that didn’t match up with her own memories of her mother.

This book reminded me of the Percy Jackson series, particularly The Lightning Thief. Esme is searching for details about her mother, just like Percy was looking for his father. 

I really liked this story. It’s very well developed. If you like YA fantasy books, this is a great one for you!

About the Author:

Elizabeth Foster read avidly as a child, but only discovered the joys of writing some years ago, when reading to her own kids reminded her of how much she missed getting lost in other worlds. Elizabeth lives in Sydney, where she can be found scribbling in cafés, indulging her love of both words and coffee. Esme’s Wish is her debut novel.

Find out more about Elizabeth at

Author Links:



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Book Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

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Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour.

Review: Gybe

Title: Gybe
Author: Kristi M. Turner
Genre: Young Adult
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Release Date: August 28, 2016
Rating: ★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Nicole is an 18-year-old, juvenile delinquent who desperately wants to take control of her life but must find a way to overcome her own self-sabotage and a judge who won’t easily let her escape her past. She keeps food on her plate and clothes on her back by stealing. It is far from the life she wants, but she has known little kindness in her life and, therefore, gives little back. When Judge Newton charges her for the first time as an adult, Nicole recognizes a separating path: She can stay on her path to destruction or she can accept the unexpected generosity of the Kutcher family, whose house she is charged with burglarizing.
Child psychologist, Cynthia Kutcher, believes she can help Nicole confront her anger and build back the self-worth she lost when her father abandoned her to a drunken uncle after her mother’s death.
Along the way to building a more valuable life, Nicole meets Keagan, an affluent young man with whom she begins an often overwhelming love affair despite the conflicts their disparate pasts bring.


I loved the beginning of this story. It was an original story, with Nicole going to prison but then finding help. It was a unique beginning but the story fell into some cliches by the end. 

I really liked Nicole. I felt attached to her right away. Having her in trouble at the beginning created sympathy for her. At first I wondered who Keagan was, since he is introduced long before he enters Nicole’s story. But I liked the clever relationships between characters. 

Halfway through the story, it skips two months ahead. It wasn’t clear what exactly happened during those two months, but a lot of changes happened in their lives. I wish they mentioned what happened then, because I kept wondering about it.

There were some proofreading errors in the story, such as the continuous misspelling of the word “chick.” But I enjoyed this story. There were some clever twists, which made the story unpredictable and exciting. 

Blog Tour: Carry Me Home

Title: Carry Me Home
Author: Jessica Therrien
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Rating: ★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.

They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.

But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world. 

Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.

Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival. 


This book was not at all what I expected, but I really enjoyed it!

This story was an intense rollercoaster at times. There were a lot of serious situations, involving drugs and gangs. These things were even more scary since the story is told from multiple first person perspectives so we get the firsthand account of what was happening. 

I liked how the stories of the two sisters were often conflicting. One would be in a gang fight, while the other was out camping among the wildflowers. These dueling images highlighted the different lifestyles of the sisters and created great tension. 

I didn’t think that the cover of the book suits the story. The light blues and pinks make it appear to be a softer plot than it is. It was actually quite dramatic. I think the cover should have been darker to reflect the story. 

Also, I think the father’s role was forgotten for much of the book. I would have liked to see what happened to him later in the story, rather than them just moving away and forgetting about him. 

I really liked this story. I recommend this book for a thrilling read, that’s reminiscent of the summer. 

About the Author:

Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release. Her trilogy has been translated and sold through major publishers around the world, such as Editions AdA (Canada), EditionsMilan (France), and SharpPoint Press (China).

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica is the author of a kid’s picture book called, The Loneliest Whale. Her award-winning stories can also be found in a published anthology of flash fiction.

Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two young sons. She is working on an a YA suspense thriller series and a middle grade fantasy series.

Author Links:

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Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour. 

Review: Long Way Down

Title: Long Way Down
Author: Jason Reynolds
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

A cannon. A strap.

A piece. A biscuit.

A burner. A heater.

A chopper. A gat.

A hammer

A tool

for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator. 


This is such an amazing book. 

It’s an incredibly moving story. It reminded me of other popular books right now, where the main character has to deal with the aftermath of his brother being shot and killed. 

The story is written in verse, which is unique. It made the book a quick read. Some of the phrases were just so beautiful and moving. I loved the lyrical style of writing. 

This is a story about the never ending cycle of revenge. When does it end? 

The ending gave me chills. It was so good! I highly recommend this moving story!

Release Celebration: Rage of The Dragon King


Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for

Rage of the Dragon King by J. Keller Ford

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


Happy Book Birthday, Jenny!



David and Charlotte paid their dues. They traveled to another realm, battled the Dragon King, recovered the all important magic key to the mage tunnels, and found the heir to the throne of Hirth, as promised. Now it’s time to go home. There’s just one problem: the powerful crystals needed to activate the tunnels have been stolen…and David’s parents have mysteriously disappeared along with them. Guess who’s not going home to Havendale anytime soon.

Eric Hamden, squire extraordinaire, survived the poisonous knick of a shadowmorth’s blade, rescued the king of Hirth from the bowels of the dragon’s lair, and confronted a heartbreaking betrayal that nearly got him killed. Still reeling from the news, Eric sets his sights on a daring rescue only to wind up in a prison of his own with David and Charlotte at his side. But rescues come in strange ways, and before they know it, the three end up in David’s hometown of Havendale…and Eric gets a quick schooling in Modern Life 101. He’d rather fight a dragon.

With secrets, lies and betrayals meeting them at every turn, David, Charlotte and Eric soon discover that Havendale isn’t the sanctuary they’d hoped for. Even their best-laid plans can’t prepare them for the danger that stalks them. This time, no amount of magic or prayers can save them. War has been declared, and in the final battle, someone must make the ultimate sacrifice. Let the battle begin.

Rage of the Dragon King (The Chronicles of Fallhollow #2)
by J. Keller Ford
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N |TBD | iBooks





J. (Jenny) Keller Ford is a scribbler of speculative fiction and YA tales. As an Army brat, she traveled the world and wandered the halls of some of Germany’s most extraordinary castles in hopes of finding snarky dragons, chivalrous knights, and wondrous magic to permeate her imagination. What she found remains etched in her topsy-turvy mind and oozes out in sweeping tales of courage, sacrifice, honor and everlasting love.

When not torturing her keyboard or trying to silence the voices in her head, Jenny spends time collecting seashells, bowling, screaming on roller coasters and traveling. She is a mom to four magnificent and noble offspring and currently lives in paradise on the west coast of Florida with a menagerie of royal pets, and her own quirky knight who was brave enough to marry her.

Published works include The Passing of Millie Hudson, a paranormal short story that can be found in READING GLASSES. IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING is her debut novel and the first installment in the Chronicles of Fallhollow Trilogy. Book 2 in the series is slated for Fall 2016.

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Review: Unqualified

Title: Unqualified
Author: Anna Faris
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Dutton
Source: Goodreads Giveaway
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Anna Faris has advice for you. And it’s great advice, because she’s been through it all, and she wants to tell you what she’s learned. Her comic memoir and first book, Unqualified, will share Anna’s candid, sympathetic, and entertaining stories of love lost and won. Part memoir, part humorous, unflinching advice from her hit podcast Anna Faris Is Unqualified, the book will reveal Anna’s unique take on how to navigate the bizarre, chaotic, and worthwhile adventure of finding love.

Hilarious, authentic, and actually useful, Unqualified is the book Anna’s fans have been waiting for. 


Anna Faris will always be “that girl who had Monica and Chandler’s babies” to me. She’s so funny! I was so excited when I won the giveaway for her book. 

I liked her stories. All her stories of boyfriends and relationships were quite funny. She seems really down to earth and real, which was nice to read about. 

The book got off to a rough start, with Anna (and Chris in his foreword) saying over and over that she doesn’t know how to write a book. That was frustrating, because if you don’t know how/don’t want to, just don’t do it! But it improved greatly from there. 

One major problem with this book is her relationship with Chris Pratt. In August, they announced they are getting divorced. However, she references her happy marriage many times throughout the book. This really took away a lot of her credibility. If they had waited a few months to announce the divorce, it would have made this book much better (and it would have benefited him as well because he wrote the foreword to the book). I heard that she has revised the book for the final edition so that it commented on her divorce, but my ARC didn’t have these changes. 

Other than that, I enjoyed this book. Even if you aren’t looking for relationship advice, this was a fun memoir to read. 

Cover Reveal: Dear Rachel Maddow 

Today Adrienne Kisner and Rockstar Book
Tours are revealing the cover and an exclusive excerpt for DEAR RACHEL MADDOW,
which releases June 5, 2018! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win an
On to the reveal! 

Title: DEAR
Author: Adrienne Kisner
Pub. Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Formats: Hardcover,
Pages: 400
Find it: AmazonB&NTBDGoodreads
Sixteen-year-old Brynn Harper’s life has
one steadying force—Rachel Maddow. She watches her daily, and after writing to
Rachel for a school project—and actually getting a response—Brynn starts
drafting emails to Rachel but never sending them. It’s an outlet; Brynn tells
Rachel about breaking up with Sarah, her first serious girlfriend, about her
beloved brother Nick’s death, her passive mother and even worse stepfather,
about how she’s stuck in remedial courses at school and is considering dropping

But then Brynn is confronted with a moral dilemma. She learns that one student
representative will be allowed to have a voice among teachers and
administrators in the selection of a new school superintendent. Sarah, along
with Brynn’s arch-nemesis John, believe only honors students worthy of the
selection committee seat. Brynn knows they are more interested in power and
perks. Brynn feels all students deserve a voice. When she runs for the position
the knives are out and her brother’s memory and her new crush Michaela are
shamed. Brynn asks herself: What would Rachel Maddow do? 

Exclusive Excerpt!
Folder:  Sent
Date:  September 10
Subject:  School
Dear Rachel Maddow,
I am writing to
you because of a school assignment.  It’s
a totally lame reason to be writing, but I don’t think you’ll actually read it
anyway.  This kind of thing is so sixth grade.  I am a junior in high school and I’ve been
forced to write to a “celebrity hero” by the Applied Language Arts
teacher.  (Hey Mr. Grimm!  How’s it hanging, buddy?)  I wasn’t going to do it, because my
ex-girlfriend worships you and, hello, school assignment.  But I turned on your show and Mom totally
freaked out to see me watching you. 
Apparently your liberal and leftist views don’t sit well with
her.  Mom spat out the words like she was
talking about my dad, so I knew she meant it. 
That made you my celebrity hero.
You were talking
about some guys running for congress. 
But then you said one of them was “freaking amazing.”  I don’t think news people are supposed to say
things like that.  And isn’t that
biased?  News people aren’t supposed to
be biased.  I know this because Mr. Grimm
made us watch this video about newswriting. 
Though no one else knows this about me, Rachel Maddow, I have a near
photographic memory for stuff people say. 
Their words just stick in my brain. 
So I remember what a reporter is supposed
to do. 
Anyway, thanks for
pissing off my Mom.
Brynn Harper
Folder:  Sent
Date:  September 11
Subject:  RE: School
Dear Rachel Maddow,
I am writing to
you because of a school assignment.  It’s
a totally lame reason to be writing, but I don’t think you actually read them
  This kind of thing is so
sixth grade.
  [Brynn, this is good, honest writing. 
Can you try to put a positive spin on it?] 
I am a junior in high school and I’ve
been forced [asked] to write to a
“celebrity hero” by the Applied Language Arts teacher.  (Hey Mr. Grimm!  How’s it hanging, buddy?)  [I’m doing well, thanks. 
But you can take this out.]
I wasn’t going to do it, because
my ex-girlfriend worships you and, hello, school assignment.
And Mom
totally freaked out to see me watching you. 
Apparently your liberal and leftist views still don’t sit well with
her.  Mom spat out the words like she was
talking about my Dad, so I knew she meant it. 
So that made you my celebrity hero. 
[Again, great personal touch.  But maybe too intimate for this
You were talking
about the people running for congress. 
But then you said one of them was “freaking amazing.”  And I don’t think news people are supposed to
say things like that.  And isn’t that
biased?  News people aren’t supposed to
be biased.  I know this because Mr. Grimm, my English teacher, made us watch this video
about newswriting.  Though no one else
knows this about me, Rachel Maddow, I have a photographic memory for stuff
people say.  Their words just stick in my
brain.  So I remember what a reporter is supposed to be. [You
are right, Brynn!  I didn’t know that
about you.  Shouldn’t you remember your
assignments, then?]
Anyway, thanks
for pissing off my Mom
. [There is a list of
questions I asked you to include.  Maybe
you could end with that instead.]
Brynn Harper
Folder:  Sent
Date:  September 12
Subject:  School
Assignment Again
Dear Rachel Maddow,
learned an important lesson about rough drafts. 
If you really want to send someone a letter, you should just send
it.  Do not turn it in to your English teacher first.  But Mr. Grimm (said English teacher) is the
only person I know who doesn’t think I’m hopeless, so I am trying this again
for his sake.  Though I’m sending it to
you too, to avoid further editing. 
name is Brynn Harper and I am sixteen years old.  I live with my mother and stepfather in
Westing, Pennsylvania.  I have a brother,
too.  Or, I had one, anyway.
first watched your show a couple of times in high school because my best friend
(well, okay, my girlfriend) loved you, so she kind of dragged me along with
her.  She’s not my girlfriend
anymore.  And she said she didn’t have
time to watch television anymore either, even for you.  So she dumped us both.  That gives us something in common.
had a list of questions that I was supposed to ask you, but I got most of the
answers online already.  Mr. Grimm
suggested I think of new ones.  So here
you go:
1.      When
you look at the papers on your desk and circle something, are you really
reading from them?  Don’t you read from a
teleprompter?  When you go to commercial,
you shuffle those papers, too. 
Seriously, is there anything even written on them?
2.      How
much does a person have to know to be considered a “wonk?”
3.      At
least one person laughs in the background while you are talking.  Is this on purpose?  Who is that? 
4.      Why
don’t you run for political office?
5.      Is
there ever a staff meeting when you think to yourself, “Huh, there really isn’t a lot going on in the news today.”
6.      How
many pairs of shoes do you actually own?
About Adrienne: 

I have lived my entire “adult” life in a
college dormitory working in both Residence Life and college chaplaincy.  I like the term “dormitory” better
than “residence hall.”  I went
to school for a long time so that now I get to swoop around in a fancy robe and
silly hat (like at Hogwarts).  I have an
MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts
(a place like Hogwarts).  I play both the
viola and tennis with more heart than skill. 
I love my current home in Boston but will always be a Pennsylvanian at

Website | Twitter

Giveaway Details:
2 winners will receive an ARC of DEAR

Release Celebration: The Perils of Growing Up Werewolf


It’s time to celebrate!

The Perils of Growing Up Werewolf
(Hair in all the Wrong Places 2)
by Andrew Buckley

releases in paperback today!

Grab your copy today!



Being a werewolf is no picnic. Colin’s constantly hungry, spends a ton of time shaving, and fights to keep his emotions in check to avoid turning into a giant, drooling, hairy, smelly, howling wolf. But Colin’s not the only creature hanging around the town of Elkwood. Vampires, zombies, goblins, ogres, and other questionable visitors and their various shenanigans have got everyone on edge.

Colin just wants to live a normal life, date, and get his homework done on time. But the town of Elkwood needs him. So when a secret government organization asks for his help, will he be able to control the animal inside, or will he give in to the perils of growing up werewolf?

BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | TBD



Andrew Buckley attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program. After pitching and developing several screenplay projects for film and television, he worked in marketing and public relations, before becoming a professional copy and content writer. During this time Andrew began writing his first adult novel, DEATH, THE DEVIL AND THE GOLDFISH, followed closely by his second novel, STILTSKIN. He works as an editor for Curiosity Quills Press.

Andrew also co-hosts a geek movie podcast, is working on his next novel, and has a stunning amount of other ideas. He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley, BC with three kids, one cat, one needy dog, one beautiful wife, and a multitude of characters that live comfortably inside of his mind.

Andrew is represented by Mark Gottlieb at the Trident Media Group.

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