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: ★★★★

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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?

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: ★★★★★

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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?

Review: This Town Is Not All Right (This Town Is Not All Right #1)

Title: This Town Is Not All Right (This Town Is Not All Right #1)
Author: M.K. Krys
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Horror
Publisher: Penguin Workshop
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 11, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Driftwood Harbor may seem like an ordinarily boring, small New England town, but there’s something extremely strange and downright creepy happening within town limits.

Twins Beacon and Everleigh McCullough are moving from their home in sunny L.A. to Driftwood Harbor, a rainy fishing village in New England. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s something strange about this town and the mysterious group of too-perfect students called The Gold Stars. After Everleigh is recruited into their ranks, Beacon must uncover Driftwood Harbor’s frightening secret before he loses his sister forever.

This Town Is Not All Right is the middle-grade horror debut from M.K. Kyrs (YA author Michelle Krys). Be prepared for a thrilling page-turner with a major mystery because the residents of Driftwood Harbor will do whatever it takes to keep their dark secrets from rising to the surface.

Review:

Teenage twins Beacon and Everleigh McCullough move from LA to a small New England town with their dad a year after the death of their older brother. They are all looking for a fresh start. Beacon notices immediately that people in the town are acting strangely. Soon after they start school, Everleigh becomes friends with the Gold Stars, an elite group. Her personality changes and she becomes a much more positive person, like the rest of the strange people in town. Beacon is scared of losing his sister, so he has to hunt for the secrets hidden beneath this town.

This was an incredibly fast-paced story. I love stories with a spooky atmosphere. This small town was so creepy and it had a history of a UFO landing. Since the story was fast-paced, it didn’t take long to find out what was happening.

The ending of this story was so intense. I love it when the plans keep changing and you can’t tell who’s on what side. I was holding my breath for the last couple of chapters, and I was shocked until the last page. I’m so glad I don’t have to wait a long time to read the sequel, because it was just published this week.

This Town Is Not Okay is a fast-paced young adult thriller!

What to read next:

This Town Is a Nightmare by M.K. Krys

Whispering Pines by Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski

Other books in the series:

  • This Town Is a Nightmare

Have you read This Town Is Not All Right? What did you think of it?

Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1)

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1)
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Horror
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

Review:

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose is a lord’s daughter in Victorian London. She secretly helps her uncle with forensic science in his laboratory. When a string of corpses seem to be connected to the same serial killer, Audrey and her uncle’s assistant Thomas Cresswell begin their own investigation into the identity of Jack the Ripper. Their hunt for the infamous killer leads them to someone close to Audrey’s inner circle.

I’m fascinated with the story of Jack the Ripper. I think one of the reasons I’m so fascinated by it is that the murders were never solved. They suddenly stopped, which ended his reign of terror. No one knows the true identity of Jack the Ripper, so it will probably always be a mystery. This story gives a plausible ending to that mystery.

Fairly early in the story, I figured out who was committing the murders, but I didn’t know the motive that person had. It made sense in the end, and I still found it suspenseful until the last page. There were some gruesome murders described, which were tough to read at times. However, I think this story is worth it!

Stalking Jack the Ripper was so amazing. I’m so glad that I have the next book that I can read soon!

What to read next:

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Other books in the series:

  • Hunting Prince Dracula
  • Escaping from Houdini
  • Capturing the Devil

Have you read Stalking Jack the Ripper? What did you think of it?

Review: The Taking of Jake Livingston

Title: The Taking of Jake Livingston
Author: Ryan Douglass
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Fantasy, LGBT
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Get Out meets Danielle Vega in this YA horror where survival is not a guarantee.

Jake Livingston is one of the only Black kids at St. Clair Prep, one of the others being his infinitely more popular older brother. It’s hard enough fitting in but to make matters worse and definitely more complicated, Jake can see the dead. In fact he sees the dead around him all the time. Most are harmless. Stuck in their death loops as they relive their deaths over and over again, they don’t interact often with people. But then Jake meets Sawyer. A troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school last year before taking his own life. Now a powerful, vengeful ghost, he has plans for his afterlife–plans that include Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about ghosts and the rules to life itself go out the window as Sawyer begins haunting him and bodies turn up in his neighborhood. High school soon becomes a survival game–one Jake is not sure he’s going to win.

Review:

Jake Livingston feels like an outsider because he’s one of the only Black kids at St. Clair Prep and he’s not as popular as his older brother. Jake can also see dead people. He sees the way people died on a loop in the place where they died. Teens start dying in mysterious ways, and they were all connected to a school shooting in a different high school. Jake meets Sawyer, the ghost of the school shooter who is taking revenge on the survivors of the shooting. Jake has to figure out a way to stop Sawyer before he takes over Jake’s life next.

At first glance, this was a horror story with gruesome deaths. However, Jake’s story had a lot of layers. Jake felt like an outsider at school because of his race and his ability to see ghosts. At home he also felt like an outsider because he didn’t think his family would accept that he was gay. After a while, I realized that Jake and Sawyer had a lot in common. They had both been abused by their family, and were headed on a similar path. It was up to Jake to decide if he had the same ending as Sawyer or not.

There were quite a few disturbing scenes in this book. Jake witnessed many deaths on a loop. There was a school shooting as well as a suicide. There was also an attempted rape and child abuse. These are potentially triggering scenes but they were brief.

The Taking of Jake Livingston is a creepy horror story!

Thank you Penguin Teen for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Love and Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford

Have you read The Taking of Jake Livingston? What did you think of it?

Review: You’re So Dead

Title: You’re So Dead
Author: Ash Parsons
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Thriller
Publisher: Philomel Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 15, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A hilarious Agatha Christie-inspired YA thriller-comedy about three best friends who sneak into an influencers-only festival event (gone wrong), only to discover a killer is in their midst–and they have to uncover the truth and solve the mystery before it’s too late. Perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and Truly Devious . 

Plum Winter has always come in second to her sister, the unbelievably cool, famous influencer Peach Winter. And when Peach is invited to an all-expenses paid trip to a luxurious art and music festival for influencers on a private island in the Caribbean, Plum decides it’s finally her time to shine. So she intercepts the invite–and asks her two best friends Antonia and Marlowe to come along to the fest with her. It’ll be a spring break they’ll never forget.

But when Plum and her friends get to the island, it’s not anything like it seemed in the invite. The island is run-down, creepy, and there doesn’t even seem to be a festival–it’s just seven other quasi-celebrities and influencers, and none of the glitz and glamor she expected. Then people start to die…

Plum and her friends soon realize that someone has lured each of them to the “festival” to kill them. Someone has a vendetta against every person on the island–and no one is supposed to leave the island alive. So, together, Plum, Antonia, and Marlowe will do whatever it takes to unravel the mystery of the killer, and fight to save themselves and as many influencers as they can, before it’s too late.

Review:

When Plum Winters finds an exclusive invitation to an influencer festival addressed to her older sister, she has to go. Plum arranges for her two best friends to travel with her to the Pyre Festival to spend spring break with celebrities and influencers. But when they arrive, the festival isn’t what they expected. There are only seven other minor influencers there at the rundown villa on a private island. Then, people start to die. They realize that they’ve been lured to the fake festival in a revenge plot. Plum and the other people on the island have to figure out who is out to get them before they’re killed next.

This was a fun horror twist on a classic murder mystery party. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is one of my favourite books. In that book, the seemingly unrelated people who were invited to a private island are slowly killed one by one over a weekend. This story has a similar plot, though it had different twists. The obvious horror tropes used also made it a funny thriller.

Even though this story was quite dramatic and had some cheesy horror moments, there was an underlying message about cyber bullying. All of the influencers had done something to the killer, but they didn’t know what they did. When everything was revealed at the end, it all made sense. The original plan that the killer had wasn’t obvious at first, but when I thought back to the rest of the story after I knew who it was, it made sense. It’s important to be thoughtful in your actions, because even something that doesn’t seem like bullying or that it’s harming someone else, could leave lasting effects.

You’re So Dead is a funny horror mystery!

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

What to read next:

Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Have you read You’re So Dead? What did you think of it?

Review: Mexican Gothic

Title: Mexican Gothic
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Publisher: Random House
Source: Purchased
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . .

From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a novel set in glamorous 1950s Mexico. 

After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find – her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. 

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom. 

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. 

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

Review:

Noemí is a socialite who lives with her father in Mexico in the 1950s. Her father receives a letter from her cousin one day, which sounds frantic. Her cousin, Catalina, recently married a mysterious man, and she sounds mentally unwell in this letter. Noemí travels to the isolated town where Catalina lives to get some help for her cousin. However, there are strange things happening in Catalina’s home. The extended family who lives there has strict rules, and a dark history, that Noemí has to discover to save her cousin.

This was a unique story. I’ve seen mixed reviews of this book, with people either loving or hating it. Unfortunately, this story didn’t work for me. I was expecting a twisted horror story, but the suspenseful horror wasn’t consistent throughout the book.

It’s difficult to talk about this book without spoiling it. There were strange familial relationships that influenced the horror scenes. There were also some disturbing scenes of sexual assaults. The beginning of the story didn’t introduce what was going to happen. The first chapter started some interesting storylines about Noemí’s character, but the story followed her cousin’s new married life, rather than Noemí’s life.

This was a strange book that didn’t work for me, but other readers have enjoyed it.

What to read next:

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Have you read Mexican Gothic? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Whispering Pines

Title: Whispering Pines
Author: Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski
Genre: Middle Grade, Horror, Science Fiction
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A young boy and girl who must protect their small town from otherworldly forces threatening to destroy it.

Rae’s father vanished without a trace—and Rae knows what happened to him. But no one believes her when she says that her father didn’t run off, that he was actually taken. Now, a year of therapy later, Rae’s mother decides they need a fresh start, and so they move to a new town in the hope that life can return to normal.

The problem is, there is nothing normal about the town of Whispering Pines.

No one knows this better than Caden. He’s lived in Whispering Pines his entire life, and he’s seen more than his fair share of weird—starting with his own family, as the town is the perfect home base for his mother’s ghost hunting business.

When several kids go missing and then show up like zombies with their eyes removed, many locals brush it off. Just another day in Whispering Pines. But Caden has a dark secret, one that may explain why someone is stealing eyes. And Rae, who knows how it feels to not be believed, may be just the person Caden needs to help him put things right.

Review:

Rae’s father disappeared after making a disturbing discovery at his job. Her mother moved her and her older sister across the country to a small town called Whispering Pines after her father’s disappearance. Whispering Pines is a strange town that has people who walk goats, and a rule at the school that you can’t walk around with garlic around your neck. Rae moves in across the street from Caden, whose family has a ghost hunting business. Caden’s brother also disappeared, during a ghost hunting mission. Now more students are disappearing, and the ones who return are missing their eyes. Rae and Caden investigate what is happening in their town, before they disappear too.

This story reminded me a lot of Stranger Things. There is a large science laboratory in the town. One of the men who works there, Patrick, always seems to show up just when something goes wrong in the town. There seemed to be something supernatural happening, as well as some science experiments gone wrong.

I loved the quirky town of Whispering Pines. This setting was a character itself. It was named after the woods, that make a whispering sound in the wind. There were odd rules for the town, such as no wearing garlic. It was known for people walking their goats, which was also odd. These elements were strange but also funny.

I was so surprised at the ending. The epilogue started a new storyline for the next book, which sounds even more exciting than this one. I’m going to have a hard time waiting for the next book!

Thank you Margaret K. McElderry Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Last Pick by Jason Walz

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

About the authors:

Heidi Lang managed to stumble upon the two best jobs in the world: writing for kids and walking dogs. If she’s not out on the trails surrounded by wagging tails and puppy kisses, she’s probably hunched over her laptop working on her next book. She lives in northern California with her husband and two adventure-loving dogs, and she is the coauthor of the Mystic Cooking Chronicles and Whispering Pines. Find her on Twitter @HidLang, or visit the website she shares with her writing partner at HeidiandKatiWrite.com.

Kati Bartkowski was originally drawn to illustration before she got swept up in the world of words. Nowadays she’s a fan of creating fantastical creatures and feisty heroines in both mediums. If she’s not reading, writing, or drawing, she’s probably chasing after her high energy little girl. She lives in northern California and is the coauthor of the Mystic Cooking Chronicles and Whispering Pines. Find her on Twitter @KTBartkowski, or visit the website she shares with her writing partner at HeidiandKatiWrite.com.

Blog tour schedule:

Have you read Whispering Pines? What did you think of it?

Review: Horrid

Title: Horrid
Author: Katrina Leno
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Thriller, Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Owlcrate box
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?

Review:

After Jane’s father dies, Jane and her mother, Ruth, move across the country to Ruth’s family home in the small town of Bells Hollow. The house has been abandoned since Ruth’s mother died years ago. There is a lot of mystery that surrounds the house, which is avoided by everyone in town. Jane quickly gets settled in her new life, but then she starts hearing things in the house. There are things hidden behind the locked doors, which holds a dark family secret.

I loved the mystery elements of this story. Jane loves Agatha Christie novels, and some were mentioned in the story. These were ones that I had never read, but clues in those stories also tied into the mystery in this book.

The house was quite creepy. Many parts of this story weren’t realistic, so that made the story a little less scary. For example, the roses in the garden continued to grow after being chopped down, which seemed fantastical and took away some of the fear of the house. However, the mystery behind the house was slowly unraveled, which made me keep reading.

The only problem I had with this book is that I had a lot of questions at the end. There were a few loose ends that I would love to know the answers to. At the same time, this adds to the mystery of the story, since some parts are left unsolved.

This was an exciting fantasy and horror novel.

What to read next:

Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

Have you read Horrid? What did you think of it?

Review: The Bone Houses

Title: The Bone Houses
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy, Horror
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Owlcrate box
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

Review:

Ryn lives with her siblings after the death of her parents, continuing her father’s job as gravedigger. Her father went into the forest one day to investigate the “bone houses,” dead bodies that would rise and attack anyone who entered the forest, and he never came back. Now, the bone houses are entering the town. Ryn saves Ellis, a mapmaker from the kingdom, from a bone house attack. When the bone houses become more aggressive, Ryn and Ellis venture into the forest to figure out how to save her town and her family.

This was a creepy zombie story. I liked that it was historical fiction, so it was removed from our world. From the names that were used, it seemed to be a Welsh setting. I don’t usually like zombie stories, because they can seem forced and fake. Since this story had historical aspects, the bone house zombies could be more realistic.

This story also had some really emotional parts at the end. There were some twists that surprised me, and they were heart wrenching too. Even though there were some heart breaking parts, I really liked the ending.

This is a great spooky historical story.

What to read next:

Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Have you read The Bone Houses? What did you think of it?