Review: Hush-A-Bye

Title: Hush-A-Bye
Author: Jody Lee Mott
Genre: Middle Grade, Horror
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 24, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

A delightfully creepy story perfect for the middle school set! Hush-a-Bye is an old, broken doll found by Lucy and her sister in the woods. It seems to possess extraordinary powers, but will it use them for good or evil?

Like most kids with younger siblings, Lucy loves her sister Antonia, but is all too frequently annoyed with her as well. The two spend most of their time together since their mother works so hard, but without friends Lucy can’t help but feel lonely anyway. She’s always tried to ignore the bullying and teasing at school about her family being poor—it’s always best to keep her head down and do nothing.

When the girls find an old, muddy doll head in the river, Antonia claims it as her newest treasure. At night Lucy hears her talking to Hush-a-Bye—and does she hear the doll talking back? Soon, Hush-a-Bye seems to be protecting Antonia by making bad things happen to others, and it isn’t long before Lucy asks for its help against her tormentors, too. Slowly Hush-a-Bye’s influence forms a wedge between the sisters, and Antonia’s dependence on it becomes frightening. The doll has a mind of its own, and soon it will have Antonia’s as well. Can Lucy solve the mystery of Hush-a-Bye to stop its evil plans?

Review:

While seventh grader Lucy and her younger sister Antonia are exploring a river next to their trailer, they find a dirty old doll’s head. Antonia insists on bringing it home, despite Lucy warning her that they’ll get in trouble for bringing home garbage. That night, they hide the doll in the closet and Antonia starts talking to it. Then, Lucy thinks she hears the doll speak back. They name the doll’s head Hush-a-Bye after a song their mother sang to them as children. Antonia brings Hush-a-Bye to school, where she believes the doll is protecting her and doing things she tells it to do. However, Antonia begins acting differently and becomes obsessed with the doll. Lucy has to figure out how to stop Hush-a-Bye before she becomes too powerful.

This story is perfect for the spooky fall season. A doll’s head without a body can be creepy enough, but when it starts to behave on its own and control a child, it becomes even scarier. The doll was able to communicate with Antonia and Lucy, and also caused conflict between the sisters. It was such a disturbing toy.

There were some serious subjects in this story. Lucy and Antonia had an abusive father, who was mentioned but didn’t appear in the novel. Their mother moved them away from him, but she had to work constantly to make enough money for them to live. This meant that Lucy and Antonia had to look after themselves a lot, which led to them finding the possessed doll’s head. Though Lucy and Antonia had faced many tough challenges in their young lives, the ending was hopeful.

Hush-a-Bye is a creepy middle grade novel!

Thank you Viking Books for Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Hiddenseek by Nate Cernosek

Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Have you read Hush-A-Bye? What did you think of it?

Brand Rep (and Sale!) – Inked Illusions Co.

✨Brand Rep Announcement✨

I’m so excited to announce that I’m now a Brand Rep for @inkedillusions.co

Some even better news is that she’s having a sale for this long weekend! Right now, you can get 25% off storewide, $20 off lounge sets and 10% off her next bookish box! The sale is on right now and ends September 6 @ 11:59 PM.

I love her products. The apparel is well made and the bookish accessories are so adorable! I highly recommend picking up some of her merch during the sale this weekend!

Also, don’t forget to use my exclusive discount code: JEMMETT10 for 10% off!

Here’s the link to her shop!

Being a brand rep has been one of my dreams since starting bookstagram, so I’m honoured to be representing a fabulous brand like @inkedillusions.co

QOTD: Do you have any plans for this long weekend?

Review: Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights (Easy Classics)

Title: Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights (Easy Classics)
Author: Emily Brontë, Stephanie Baudet, Arianna Bellucci (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Classic
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 8, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

An illustrated adaptation of Emily Bronte’s classic – at an easy-to-read level for readers of all ages!

Many years ago, a young homeless boy was taken in at Wuthering Heights. Older now, Heathcliff is set on revenge, and destroying everybody around him.
And there is a lonely ghost roaming the moors, who is determined to be reunited with her lover …

About The Complete Brontë Sisters Children’s Collection
From the haunted Yorkshire moors to the towering battlements of Thornfield Hall, experience the Bronte sisters’ famous stories of love, self-discovery and family feuds. Adapted and illustrated for children aged 7+.

Review:

This children’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights tells the tragic love story of Catherine and Heathcliff. Heathcliff was brought to Wuthering Heights as a child, after Mr. Earnshaw found him on the streets. Cathy and Heathcliff quickly became friends and fell in love. However, many things drew them apart. Now, years later, Heathcliff is devastated by Catherine’s untimely death and is waiting for the day that he can join her again.

This was a great, condensed version of Wuthering Heights. When I first read the original in high school, I had a difficult time figuring it out. I’ve read it many times since then, and I know the story very well. This simpler version could help modern readers, either adults or children, to understand the story.

I liked the illustrations that went along with the story. The only part that I found inconsistent with the original story was that Heathcliff had the same skin colour as the other characters. Multiple times throughout the story he is described as having dark skin, so I wish this was depicted in the illustrations of the story.

This Wuthering Heights adaptation is a great way to learn this classic story.

Thank you Sweet Cherry Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre by Stephanie Baudet, Arianna Bellucci

Anne Brontë: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Stephanie Baudet, Arianna Bellucci

Other books in the series:

  • Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre
  • Anne Brontë: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Have you read Wuthering Heights? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – September 2

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Broken Wish (The Mirror #1) by Julie C. Dao.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898.png

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and strange powers that she will do anything to hide. She knows the warnings about what happens to witches in their small village of Hanau. She’s heard the terrible things people say about the Witch of the North Woods, and the malicious hunts that follow.

But when Elva accidentally witnesses a devastating vision of the future, she decides she has to do everything she can to prevent it. Tapping into her powers for the first time, Elva discovers a magical mirror and its owner-none other than the Witch of the North Woods herself. As Elva learns more about her burgeoning magic, and the lines between hero and villain start to blur, she must find a way to right past wrongs before it’s too late.

The Mirror: Broken Wish marks the first book in an innovative four-book fairy-tale series written by Julie C. Dao, Dhonielle Clayton, Jennifer Cervantes, and L. L. McKinney, following one family over several generations, and the curse that plagues it.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2)

Title: Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Horror
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine… and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Review:

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell travel to Romania to compete for a place at the school of forensic science at Bran Castle. The castle was home to Vlad the Impaler, a legendary vampire. On their trip to Romania, a body is discovered on the train, impaled with a stake. Then, other murders start happening, with all signs pointing to a vampire murderer. Audrey can’t help but investigate these murders, which bring back the memories of her investigation of Jack the Ripper.

A Romanian castle was the perfect setting for this vampire themed novel. The history of the castle was important to the story. There were also descendants of Vlad present which added to the historical elements and the long family feuds.

There were some very creepy scenes. I actually didn’t find the autopsies and murders to be the most gruesome parts. A couple of scenes had bat and spider attacks, and I found those much more disturbing. However, these creepy scenes were worth it for the surprising ending!

Hunting Prince Dracula is such a creepy read. I can’t wait to read the next one!

What to read next:

Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Other books in the series:

Have you read Hunting Prince Dracula? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – September 1

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson. The expected publication date is September 14, 2021.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898.png

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Haunting of Hill House meets Get Out in this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story from New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson!

Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. Her mom has accepted a new job with the Sterling Foundation that comes with a free house, one that Mari now has to share with her bratty ten-year-old stepsister, Piper.

The renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors has its . . . secrets. That’s only half the problem: household items vanish, doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there’s a foul smell seeping through the vents only Mari seems to notice. Worse: Piper keeps talking about a friend who wants Mari gone.

But “running from ghosts” is just a metaphor, right?

As the house closes in, Mari learns that the danger isn’t limited to Maple Street. Cedarville has its secrets, too. And secrets always find their way through the cracks.

What books are you waiting on this week?