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Top 5: Books to read for Halloween

Top 5: Books to read for Halloween!

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Hello All

Happy spooktastic season! I am a lover of Halloween and all it entails. All the scares, jumps and almost pee your pants scary moments. Movies for the visual effects are obvious favourites during this season but I have been sufficiently spooked by a good book or two! Here I offer your 5 eerie reads that are hopeful to triggers all those fears in one’s mind! As always if you have any other bloodcurdling freaky reads I would love to hear from you!!!! So sit back, relax and enjoy these top 5 reads for Halloween!!! -(insert evil laugh from tales of the crypt keeper)

  1. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay Goodreads 3.80

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First on the list is a ghost/ paranormal story! A Head Full of Ghosts follows a family in England as they try and navigate through their daughter’s mental health problems. The Barretts’ s 14 year old daughter faces schizophrenia issues and as per usual in these types of horror stories modern medicine fails her. The family turns to a Catholic priest for an exorcism. Sounds like the Exorcist right. The novel does stray in the storyline as the Barrett family allows a film crew to make a reality TV show of the exorcism. For the viewers what is real and what is fake TV? Fast forward 15 years and the sister if the ill daughter now does an all tell interview where the truth comes out!!!

  1. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving Goodreads 3.72

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A classic gothic tale that has been made into many movies and TV shows. This novel follows the main character of Ichabod Crane who is an outsider in a Dutcvh settlement called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is known to be a haunted settlement. The most famous of their stories is that the ghost of a headless horseman, a previous Hessian soldier who lost his head in a canon accident rides around the area. Ichabod is a superstitious school teacher pining after the local Van Tessal daughter, as many other men are. One day at a party he gets turned down by Katrina. While riding home he encounters the headless horsemans who chases after him. The horseman then throws the severed head at Ichabod. The next morning Ichabod disappears. Is this a mystery of did the local man Brom scare him away?

  1. Caroline by Neil Gaiman Goodreads 4.05

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The famous author of American Gods brings to you this frightening dark fantasy novel. Caroline moves into a new complex of houses. She has neighbours all around her except there is an empty complex on the other side of her’s. She finds a bricked up door in between her complex and the empty one – strange dadada! She finds the new place very boring and decided to go and meet the neighbours. Mr. Babo has a circus full and mice and passes on a message from them, Caroline is warned not to go through the brick door. Don’t you love the crazy eccentric neighbours! After this ominous message of course the door would be open. Caroline goes through and finds the ‘Other world” which is exactly like hers but way more interesting. There is the Other Mother and Other Father that pepper her with love and affection- one weird thing- they have black buttons for eyes!!! This story takes a dark and spooky turn when the Other Mother turns out to be evil!

  1. Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe Goodreads 4.23

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One of Poe’s most famous short stories the tell-tale heart is sure to ensue nightmarish thoughts. It is told by an unknown narrator who is trying to convince the reader that he is in fact sane. Then he goes on to describe the murder her committed of this old man. He goes into great detail regarding the murder and reveals that he kid the body under the floorboard of his house. Of course this ‘sane’ person starts to go off his rocker. Whether it be from guilt or actual insanity the narrator think that he/she hears the beating heart of the old man under his floorboards- all over a period of time. Such a great and macabre short story it is sure to give you all the goose pimply feelings that accompany Halloween.

  1. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz Goodreads 4.06

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This has been made into a movie released August 9th of this year. I haven’t read then but have heard great things! They are a collection of 3 books consist of around 30 short stories. These stories have an urban legend Brothers Grimm feel. The stories are made to scare children and are said to be violent, habe controversial content and are sick and repulsive!! What more could you ask for in a Halloween book? Some short stories include: Old Woman All Skin and Bones, The Haunted House, Alligators, The BLack Dog, Deadman’s Brain.

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So what do you all think of my creepy picks? For those of you that read them what do you think of the scare factors? I would love to hear from those of you that have read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! What did you all think of the short stories? I would love to hear any comment so please feel free to leave one below! I hope you all have a ghoulish holiday!

Happy Reading!

Happy Halloween!!

book blogger, book review, Books, books, Fiction, Literature

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

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Hello All,

I have wanted to read this novel for a really long time. I am a fan of Greek Mythology and what better way to enjoy it but in novel form!!! A bit of Greek mythology background before we get into the review. Circe is a goddess, daughter of Helios – God of the Sun and a titan. Circe was known to be a sorceress and master of potions. Moving forward we go to the book review, I LOVED it! It was such a great read I couldn’t put it down. Seeing all the other greek stories intertwined with this one made for a page turner. Madeline Miller also wrote also wrote The Song of Achilles which is on my TBR! For those of you that have read Circe what were your thoughts/feelings?

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Right off the bat we see that Circe is not like her vivacious mother or any of her siblings. She thinks her father is the light of everyone’s life and desperately wanted his attention. Throughout the beginning of her story we see her brothers and sisters leave their island leaving Crice all alone. The reader learns that if you are a God or Goddess you have a glow about your being, however Circe does not have this thus isolating her more. Her parents describe her as bird like and ugly.

Circe is on the beach one day and meets the mortal Glaucus. She became infatuated with him but the realization that he would die hit her hard. Throughout this love affair we learn that Helios and the other Titans feel belittled by the Olympians. They want to rise up against them and devise a plan to get close marrying Helios’s daughter to one of the sons of Zeus.

Circe went to ask her grandmother to help with this problem, asking her about the herbs that Zeus knew about that have magical properties. This made her grandmother afraid- what would be able to make a titan afraid? She goes on the hunt for these herbs which the blood of God’s grew after a battle. Crice finds them and is able to use these to make Glaucus a God.

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This backfires and he chases after another nymph. To get back at the nymph Circe turns her into an evil sea creature – not meaning to she just wanted to make her ugly. The Oymlpians get word of Circe powers and find this punishable. Zeus banishes Circe to an isolated island and he sends unruly daughters to the island for Circe to look after.

Not all was lost to Circe though. On this island she came into herself and harnessed/ developed her powers. She was able to be herself with no fear of repercussions. She was able to summon creates and create illusions.

Down the storyline her sister sent for her from Crete to help deliver her baby. Circe’s journey there was full of hardships, particularly when Circe meets the sea monster whom she was responsible for turning turning. When Circe arrives at Crete she learns that her sister’s baby is a Minatar hungry for flesh. Her and Daedalus built a maze under the city to cage the creature. This Minatar was used as intimidation to other cities. We get to see a nice crossover as Daedalus the famous and his son Icarus is an unfortunate story. Daedlaus built his wings out of wax so he could fly but Lcarus flew too close to the sun, melting the wax and plummeting to his death- a short version.

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In the next part of Circe’s story men come to her island and try to take it from her. She kills all 20 men using her magic. She is a strong independent Goddess! Enter Odysseus and as prophesied she took a potion colly Moly so when Circe went to harm the other men he was not harmed. They were able to strike a friendship in a way and became lovers. Circe was fascinated with Odysseus and his stories of one disaster he witnessed after another. He stayed on the island for a year hoping to find peace but alas it was not his fate. He must travel back home and cross the island where Helios keeps his forbidden cows.

After he leaves we find that that Circe is pregnant with his son Telegonus! He was born a difficult child always screaming. She was not lonely again. We learn that Athena sought to harm Telegonus but she could not kill the baby outright so she sent many toils his way. Circe protected her island with the spells she taught herself!

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Telegonus grew restless on this island and seeks to leave. He would rather live one day and die by Athena’s wrath than live a life lonely on the island. She goes and asks the old sea god for poison from his stingray to save her son- she self sacrifices and gets it. She put the venom on a blade and Telegonus was to use it against any God he may encounter. He travels to see his father but his father taught him a thief and runs into this blade- killing him. Athena’s prophecy of Telegonus is true, he kills her greatest love Odysseus.

Odysseus’s wife and son come to the island with Telegonus. Circe could not figure out why they would want to come to this island and stay with her but she learns that Athena will come for her son. Penelopy hoped she could keep her son Telemachus safe on Circe’s protected island with the beasts she commands to protect them.

Athena breaks through and does come her Telemachus but it is Telegonus that goes with her to become a great hero. He gets what he wants but breaks Circe’s heart in the process. Circe ends up with Telemachus on the island and she becomes mortal in the end to stay with him, but taking the same flowers she made Glaucus immortal.

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So what do you think? I left out quite a lot of details as Miller’s book was packed full to the spine with details. I found this such a great read and loved the crossover stories. Was this a great book for those who love Greek Mythology. If not I would love to hear your reasons. I am hoping this may be turned into a movie? Please feel free to leave any comments below! Would you pick up another book by Miller?

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Happy Reading!!!!

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Top 5: Horror Novels

Top 5: Horror Novels

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Hello All,

Happy October and happy horror month for those who love everything spooky and Halloween! Fall is my favourite time of year for so many reasons! I am a huge horror buff whether it be movies, T.V. or books, hence my favourite author is Stephen King. Now looking forward into this post I have decided to make a top 5 horror novel blog excluding King novels. Now I know for all of us King and Horror go hand in hand but if I included his books they would just take over and this would turn into another Stephen King favs- see my post on April 29 for my top 5 King books!. I have chosen novels that are also in the horror genre and also scared the bejeebers out of me. All of the following books promise to give the reader all the palpitations and scares of any good horror story! Enjoy!!

  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelly Goodreads 3.78

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A super popular classic fiction novel Frankenstein was published in 1818!!! This story has been redone so many times in the cinema and theater it’s mind boggling. This thriller/horror novel follows main character Victor Frankenstien who is studying to become a doctor. He becomes obsessed with the meaning of life and death, more specifically the giving/origin of life. He decides to construct his own human being and give it life!!!! Totally disgusted in the monster he made he abandons the creature. Faceing extreme loneliness, betrayal, rejection and burning questions of why he was created the creature then goes on a blood soaked revenge. Haunting Victor’s entire future the struggle of deep emotions and life questions is the center to this novel. This novel and its concepts were way before its time!

  1. World War Z but Max Brooks

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World War Z was made popular in current society by Brad Pitt’s movie adaptation. P.S. novel is completely different than the movie. This story is an oral history of the zombie war in 2006- haha, hence the name. It follows main character Max Brooks… yep… who works for the United Nations. He journeys all over the world to get first hand experiences of survivors. The zombies in the novel are your typical slow moving flesh hungry undead. The POV however is what gives this novel a unique twist. Most zombie apocalypse books – even the movie- are focused on fighting the plague while this novel is told through stories and survival.

  1. The Exorcist by William Blatty Goodreads 4.16

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There should be a common theme popping up. Every book on this list has been made into a super famous movie! Being one of the scariest movies of all time this books does not disappoint! It was inspired by a true story of child possession in 1949 Blatty. The Exorcist was published in 1971!. Another oldie but goodie! The only difference that I found was the demon in the book was more touched on and discussed which gives the novel a way more scary feel! The descriptive language Blatty has almost outshines the visual effects of the movie. This a great read for all you satanic/ demonic groupies out there!

4, Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin Goodreads 3.99

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Here is another great Satanic cult horror novel for you! And yet again another great movie was made based on this book. Levin published this in 1967 and who knew it would develop such a great following. Not only was a movie made but more recently a TV show as well! A young married couple in New York rents an apartment. Guy is an actor and Rosemary wanted to start a family. They seem to have the perfect relationship. When they meet their eccentric and bizarre neighbours things start to change. Guy’s career picks up with some big acting parts and Rosemary gets pregnant, however this is not a normal pregnancy. Is Rosemary being paranoid or is there a more sinister plot a foot? What an awesome suspense/horror read with a crazy ending!

5. Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice Goodreads 3.99

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Literary genius Anne Rice is the queen of witches, vampires and all things creatures! One of her more famous books, also a famous movie is such a thrilling and spooky read. Interview With a Vampire is full of scares, goore and of course vampires. It is the tale of Louis and follows him from being mortal to his immortal life as a vampire. He was turned by the blackhearted Lestate. Louis goes from historical city to historical city trying to come to terms with his new life. Having some spark of humanity and morals still in him this is a hard change. From meeting Claudia to seeing that there are many vampires throughout this world Louis’s tale is sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in fear!!!

So who has read any of these and what did you all think? Do you have any horror books that are your favourite? I would love to hear from all you bookish ghouls out there! Stay tuned for my top 5 books to read for Halloween post coming in a few weeks!!!

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Happy Spooky Reading!!!!!!!

book blogger, book review, Books, books, Fiction, inspiration, Literature

Book Review: By Chance Alone by Max Eisen

Book Review: By Chance Alone by Max Eisen

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Hello All,

If you have been following my blog you know that I have mentioned this book in my top 5 memoir books! I just recently started to enjoy reading WW2 books so I thought why not give this one a try. Man am I glad that I did! It was so emotional and eye opening! This personal perception of concentration camps was shocking and I found as I read more I was more and more shocked. I was utterly appalled at the sheer disrespect for human life. I know we have all studied the Holocaust in school and maybe some school went into more depth than mine. I guess I never really thought too much about the people affected just that it was a tragic point in human history. Well this book clearly changed my view and I am very glad that Max was brave enough to share his story with the world!!!

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By Chance Alone started off with the prologue of Max in present day going to Poland with his Toronto students to participate in the March of the Living. He goes back to Auschwitz and the barracks where he was held as well as Auschwitz II where the crematoriums were . What would that even feel like? He knows this is where he lost his family to a horrible death. What a brave man.

Now the story starts and we see Max’s childhood in Czech. He lived in a Catholic dominate village but most of the shops were run by the Jewish families. His grandfather taught him a great deal but of course like any little boy he had a rebellious streak. We see just how tight nit his family was with his extended family as well. The summer of 38 was when the Nazis invasion started. Britain and France at this point signed rights away to Hitler to avoid a war. March 1939 the Nazis troops invaded Czech and Max and his family find themselves thrust into a fascists system.

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1941 hit and Jewish males 18-45 were taken to labour camps. Max’s family is finally torn apart by the war. In the 5th year of the war 1944 we see that the Hungarian Jewish people did not know about the death camps. His grandfather said no to the ferester because it was passover – how their lives might have been different if he had just yes. Max was finally taken to the concentration camps. After being taken from his mother and sister he along with his father and uncle got tattooed and put on their uniforms. These made them feel like nothing as all of them were the same – all in order to control a vast number of people.

Throughout the weeks there Max’s father learned of the fate of his wife, 3 young children and his parents. Max was sent to Auschwitz 1 the bigger of the camps. There he saw the falling ashes coming out of the crematoriums. He realized it was human ashes from the extermination. The manual labour he faced here was astonishing. At this time he was the only living member left of his family as his father and uncle were sent to the chambers.

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During one of his laborious days he suffered a devastating blow to his head that in reality saved him. Up until now his father would send him scraps of food so Max was completely by himself. Dr. Orzesko saved his life by giving him a job in the surgery ward, not having to go back to the labour fields. Max saw all sorts of crazy heroic things here. One day a Polish woman was brought in and an abortion was preformed but Dr. O said she needed an appendectomy. Some humanity left in the world.

The next horrific journey for Max was the death march. Max describes 10 days of humiliating, degrading and cruelty of the Nazis. They had no food, minimal clothing and many died. Once again out of the camps Max was saved by the small kindness of others, Misha giving him a job.

At this time, after everything was over Max was still left in limbo in Marienbad . This allowed the survivors a safe place to heal both physically and emotionally – as much as they can.

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Now in Prague Max and his new friends tried to find forged passports to make to move to Canada. They got caught and sent Max to jail. At this point it’s hard to believe that this could really happen to someone who survived the Holocaust. How insane is life. After all this only to end up in jail most people would give up, not Max.

He got out and on his way to the American camp he had to pass through the area he had 5 years ago as a Jewish prisoner. He made it to Canada and got married, had a successful job. The resilience and determination to live that Max showed us through is memoir is a true triumph for humanity. Even through all the adversity Max was able to have a happy life.

At the end of the book he recalls the Nuremberg Trials and specifically a Nazis soldier he personally remembered. They amount of brain washing these soldiers had is sickening. Even after being caught and knowing how the world reacted to their actions this soldier did not accept his part in the killing of many. He simply said he was following orders.

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So for those of you who like reading about the strength of the human spirit Max’s story is for you. The amount of bravery not only to endure what he went through but to be able to remember it and tell the whole world is mind blowing. I hope that by sharing this review it will inspire more people to want to pick up Max’s story and continue the sharing.

I did leave out quite a lot of details. Max just went through so much I tried to pick out as many main details that people could link to history as possible. There are so many extra in his book I did not want to ruin it for future readers. If anyone else has read this book I would love to hear how it affected you! Please leave a comment below!! Thank you Max for being brave and sharing your story!!

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Happy Reading!!!!!

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Book Review: The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz

Book Review: The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz

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The Lost Night has not gotten a lot of hype around the bookish community. This was a friend’s recommendation and I must say I didn’t hate it. It was not the most mind blowing book in the world but it was an enjoyable read. Andrea Bartz was an unknown author for me to read and to be honest I don’t know if I would read anything else from her. She was originally a journalist and co-author of a book called Stuff Hipsters Hate. Her other fiction novel is the Herd and its sounds meh.

The story starts off as a self narrator Edie reveals that she is not the happy go lucky socialite everyone thinks she is. It’s a diary style entry that also tells us she is not very connected with her friend Lindsay anymore. Then bam Edie is dead, thought to be a suicide!. Fast forward to present day. Lindsay and Sarah- a friend from Edie days, reconnect around the time of Edie’s death anniversary. Lindsay finds out that Sarah didn’t think Edie’s death was a suicide. She found Edie in her underwear which was very strange to her as Edie was always put together. She also found a gin drink in her right hand however she was left handed.

This sparks Lindsay to feel nostalgic and she starts to read over all her old emails from Edie. The reader notices the power difference between the two in the friendship. Turns out Lindsay was actually going to ‘break up’ with Edie. Edie was overbearing and bossy. Lindsay then found her flip cam and watched everyone bad mouthing Edie the night she died! Alex- Edie’s ex boyfriend at the time was also vocal about his dislike for Edie. Doubt seems to be creeping up as to who was responsible for Edie’s death.

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Greg- another friend from the group- point of view comes through. He met Edie by chance and became instantly infatuated with her over Craig’s list. Greg thought that Lindsay was a creepy brunette roommate. At this point the reader is starting to get suspicious of so many people in Edie’s death, especially Lindsay. We find out that Lindsay grew up in a right wing family very comfortable with guns. The gun that killed Edie belonged to another friend from the group Kevin and was easily accessible.

We find out that Edie had a miscarriage and Kevin was the one who took her to the hospital. She was dating Alex at the time and cheated on him with Lloyd, whom Lindsay liked. Linday found out about Lloyd by talking to Edie’s mother. Lindsay is being a little detective trying to find the truth of the night no one can remember. This book outlines each circle of friends have dirty secrets and brings to light the question of how well you can really know someone.

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Edie was dating this older gentleman for along time – Greg. While Lindsay was stalking him to find out what he knew about Edie’s secrets she stumbles upon Josh. He is cute and asked her out ! More detective work goes on and Lindsay thinks that Alex is being shady when he says that he was okay with his and Edie’s breakup- especially since she has seen the lost footage of everyone trash talking Edie. Is she being paranoid as everyone seems guilty of having a beef with Edie. Which beef is big enough for murder?

So the video clip where everyone was bashing Edie had some inaudible parts in a different location. Lindsay’s friend put it through filters and where they heard’ heavy senile skies’ turns into be ‘ have you seen Alex!”. So Alex was missing the night Edie died. Now as a reader my suspicion is so confused. I started off thinking it was Lindsay and now I may think it was Alex. Great writing technique!

Talking to Kevin Lindsay found out that after her miscarraige Edie confessed to him it would suck to die young because you have not truly lived. Why would she then commit suicide. Trying to find the truth Lindsay confronted Alex. He said that Edie had flunked out of the spring term and her mother found out and showed up trying to convince her daughter to come home.

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So trying to figure out Edie’s death Lindsay, Sarah and Alex are all having lunch together. Sarah thinks that Lindsay is being paranoid. Sarah says Edie was just a shitty friend and she told Sarah Lindsay’s deepest secret. The Warsaw incident was that Lindsay clawed someone’s face while she was drunk. We also see her anger come out when Lindsay goes out with Josh gets drunk and pushes him into traffic.

Teresa is Lindsays good friend and is trying to help Lindsay with all this confusion. She helps hangover Lindsay and tries to comfort her asking her to give up this wild goose chase. Lindsay finds an email on her computer sent from Edie? Teresa puts a tracker on her computer and finds out Lindsay sent it to herself. Now Lindsay is crazy and blows up at Teresa. She is pushing people away just like Edie did. We also learn from Teresa that Lindsay was a troubled child and pushed her mother down they stairs. Seems like Lindsay has a violent past. Now my suspicion is placed back on Lindsay. The author is great at redirecting the murder suspect keeping the reader intriuged.

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We are now at the climax of this book and what a twist we read. Teresa goes all psycho on Lindsay. It seems like Teresa is trying to make Lindsay paranoid and blame herself but we learn that Teresa is really Jenna – Edies old roommate!. She killed Edie because Edie dropped her from the friend group then moved out. She started dealing drugs for a local named Anthony. This is how she was able to get close again to Edie asking for forgiveness then bam shot her staging it as a suicide.

Jenna/Teresa then befriended Lindsay to keep tabs on her- Lindsay saw everything that night but was too drunk to remember. Jenna used Lindsay’s sketchy past to keep the suspicion on Lindsay and off her. Drugged Lindsay goes to shoot Jenna and blacks out ending up in the hospital. Here is where things get really confusing for Lindsay. When she wakes up ‘Teresa’ says she had another drunken moment like Warsaw and Josh and shot Teresa by mistake. What do we believe as the reader. Is the previous event just a figment of Lindsays’ imagination or did they really happen?

Lindsay spills water on her laptop. She takes it to a Geek squad to get fixed and learned that Teresa is actually tracking her every move. She confronts Teresa about this and we learn than once again Teresa is really Jenna! Jenna is arrested and Lindsay now tries to heal from all this craziness.

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So this book was really good at confusing the reader. It made use distrust the voice of the narrator- Lindsay- by making us question the dependability of Lindsay’s perspective. By making up question the sanity of the narrator it also made us question whether she was a reliable storyteller. I really liked the twist at the end which made me even more confused and the suspension was great. What did you all think of this book. Yay or nay? Please feel free to leave comments below! I would love to hear from you!

Happy Reading!!!

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Book Review: All We Ever Wanted

Book Review: All We Ever Wanted

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Hello Readers!

This week I bring to you a book review by author Emily Giffin. This is the first book I have read by Giffin and I totally enjoyed it! A lot of fellow readers at work read her so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I found the social issues covered throughout this story very prevalent and relatable to present day. I love discovering a new author- Emily Giffin is not new but new to me! I can’t wait to read more from her!

Other book by this author: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, First Comes Love

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The story starts off following Nina and her description of how her relationships with her husband has changed. Nina’s husband has made a lot of money and they live a very lush lifestyle. Their son Finch has applied to Princeton and they actually wrote a cheque to help him get in. Second family this book follows is Lyla who goes to the same private school Finch does but she does not come from money. She is a super smart kid who received a scholarship to go there. She was raised by a single dad -Tom- who is a carpenter.

Finch and Lyla are at a party and Finch snap chatted a photo of Lyla drunk, passed out with her clothing partially off exposing a breast. Lyla is Hispanic and the caption for the photo read- Looks like she got her green card” There was a green uno card beside her.

Now in today’s social media age this is a huge issue. With the Me Too movement in full swing, what better time to read a book like this. The rest of the book follows there characters trying to figure out how to deal with the repercussions of this event on so many levels!

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When the parents of each side find how mad chaos ensues. Kirk and Nina approach this different ways. Kirk tries to throw his money around to get Finch out of trouble. Nina is more towards the moral side saying Finch should be punished. Behind this also is Nina’s experience while she was in college. She was drugged and raped so she sympathizes with Lyla. Tom is beyond furious and wants Finch expelled. Lyla tried to talk her dad out of making a big deal of this. She does not want the other kids in school to treat her different.

All these different approaches makes you wondering A) what would you do in this situation being the parent and B) Do you think all of these approaches actually happen in real life!!! It kind of makes me a bit uneasy but I believe that all these happen. I read this book back in May before the Me Too movement really took off. It just goes to show that some people in today’s society really think money and power can buy anything.

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Nina feels so guilty about what her son did she goes to apologise to Tom in person. Little does she know that Kirk bribed him to keep silent. Disgusted Nina takes Finch to apologise to Lyla in person. He then says that Polly- his ex girlfriend- took the picture and now he really wants to hang out with Lyla. Finch takes Lyla to a concert being Nina’s back. All of this covers can money really buy happiness. Nina’s son does not respect her and thinks money will solve all his problems as does Kirk.

The tangle webs we weave get deeper. It initially looked like Finch set up Lyla to win her over but now he promises to come clean with Polly and tell her to come clean about the photo. Poor Lyla is so confused but just likes the feeling that a ‘cool’ guy is into her. They all have a meeting with the principle and everything gets more confusing. Polly is saying she did not take the photo. Is Finch lying or is he telling the truth?

Nina decides to get a divorce from Kirk. She asks her top notch Lawyer best friend Julie to represent her. The end of the story Lyla finds out that it was really Finch who maliciously took the photos. He had been lying to her this whole time. She gets worried about Polly and approaches Nina. Together they go and find that Polly tried to commit suicide!!

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So it turns out that money really can’t buy happiness in Nina’s case. The epilogue is 10 years later. Lyla is a lawyer and Nina and Tom start a business together to build custom tree houses. They also open homes for abused women with some of the money. Tom and Nina do not appear to be a couple- boo I really wanted them to end up together. Lyla admits that Nina saved her life in the end. They are at an award show and Finch shows up. He finally realized his mother was right after he finds out his father gets caught up in a financial scandal.

So for those of you who have read this book about did you think. The core concepts of this book are deep and controversial! I really enjoyed how this book make me think about money, privilege and true happiness. Please feel free to leave comments below. Also I would love to hear if any of you have read other books by Emily and what are your favs!

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Happy Reading!!!!

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Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A

Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

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Better late the never I say. Yes I just recently read one of the best selling suspense books of 2018. It was worth the wait. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews but I really enjoyed this book. There were a few predictable ‘scares’ but all in all, I enjoyed the building suspense and chaos filled climax. As a lot of the books I review this was the author’s debut novel. With so many talented writers coming out the next few years seem to be a reader’s paradise!!!!

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We are introduced to the novel by the narrator who we learn is looking out her window and spying on her neighbours. She is watching the wife have an affair with the handyman in one house and a kid playing a cello in another house. The narrator (Anna Fox) talks about Ed and Olivia who seems to have left her. Anna has agoraphobia from some episode which is pinnacle in the backstory of this novel. The reader learns that before she was stuck in her house Anna was a prominent child psychologist. Now she helps out fellow agoraphobic people on a website.

Some new commotion goes on across the neighbourhood, a couple and their teenage kid move in! Enter Halloween Anna is of course at home watching her old movies. Kids start to throw eggs at her house. Anna becomes so enraged she actually tries to go outside to stop them. She becomes dizzy and disoriented from the open space causing her to have panic attacks. The new neighbor comes to the rescue. Jane Russell ushers Anna back into her house and a strange connection is made between the two.

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The next day Jane’s son comes over and brings a lavender candle from his mother. Anna makes a connection with Ethan as well. She psych senses tingle and she guesses Ethan is troubled at home, possible with an abusive father. In the next few chapters the reader gets a glimpse into Anna’s backstory. Her therapist Dr. Fieldings brings up a trip. All we get is that Anna thinks if they did not take that trip their family would still be together… bababa. We also see that through the Agora website she started to form a relationship with a user called GrannyLizzie. All key information to understanding the story’s ending.

She admits to herself that she spies on the neighbours not to be nosey but its a window for her into the world. A way for a recluse to keep in touch with what’s going on outside in the real world. I could not imagine how it would feel to be kept inside and not be able to go out and experience things. Having panic attacks myself I know the debilitating feeling so having a panic attack triggered by open spaces, horrible. We also see that she drinks a lot, I mean way too much. She mixes her meds and alcohol with she knows it is not good. I love the fact that this book opens up the foe paye regarding mental health that as a society we do not like talking about all the time.

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Jane comes over and the girls bond over booze and chess. Jane’s controlling husband comes over to see if she was at Anna’s house. Then catastrophe hits, Anna hears a scream coming from the Russell house. She sees Jane bleeding with a sharp object protruding out of her chest. All this time Anna has been drinking and mixing her pills as she usually does. Police called and no one believes a drunk recluse. Mr.Russell says that Anna has never met his wife. ‘Jane’ comes over and to the readers shock this Jane is not the same Jane that came to play chess. Is Anna delusional ? It does seem fitting to the reader because at this point we know she heavily drinks with very potent pills.

As the plot thickens Anna/s basement tenant and her get cozy, well sleep together. She goes into his room and finds a pearl earring that looks like the one Jane was wearing when they had the chess day. So much confusion is thrown into this story which makes for a great mystery read. Anna then follows not Jane into a coffee shop – leaving the comfort of her house because she is determined to find out the truth.

The plot thickens as Anna finds a picture of herself sleeping on her phone. The police still does not believe her and actually thinks she took it to look for attention. Anna has hit rock bottom. This is when we learn the true backstory of Ed and Olivia. It turns out that Anna had an affair on Ed and this northern trip was supposed to bring them together. However, Anna had driven off a cliff in a storm ultimately killing Ed and Olivia. She has such bad PTSD she developed agoraphobia. She was actually talking to Ed and Olivia’s ‘ghosts’.

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Now the climax of the book. We find out that Ethan, the innocent troubled child is severely mentally unstable. He was the one who took the picture and it was his biological mother that was stabbed – he was adopted. Wow it was a good twist. He is also GrannyLizze! There is a fight scene where Anna has to go outside in order to survive Ethan’s attacks. She ends up killing him and gets the help she needs to come to terms with her agoraphobia and PTSD. The end of the book was very hopeful as Anna was venturing out on her own terms into her garden.

So for all of you who have read Woman in the Window what did you think of the book? Yes it did have some predictability in it but there was some great twists like ‘Jane’ being Ethan’s biological mother, I did not see that one coming. What did you like and did not like about the book? It kind of reminded me of Gone Girl in some way. What other books were along these lines? I also thought it was a great mental health book. Please feel free to leave any comments below I would love to hear your thoughts!!!

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Happy Reading !!!!!

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Top 5: Must Read Classics

                                                       Top 5: Must Read Classics

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Hello All

So here is yet again another top 5. This top 5 will outline my favourite classic fiction. Classic fiction has stood the test of time for sooo many reasons. Whether the stories can be applied to present day, how beautiful the writing is or how mind blowing the stories are, classic are timeless!!! Now I know classics are not for everyone, especially the writing styles and language but if you can get through these struggles these authors are quite brilliant for their time. The following 5 books are my favourite must read classics which you may or may not enjoy, I hope you do though.

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 1847 4.11 stars on good reads
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So this book was the first classic I picked up to read for leisure outside of school requirements. It was also one of my first big reads as the book is on the longer side. The book is set up in 5 phases of the main character Jane’s life: childhood, education, time as a governess at the Thornfields hall, time at the Moor house and the reunion with Edward Rochester. So not going to get into too many details but this book is full of drama, hardships, love, rejection and personal growth. This is also one of the best known love stories of all time along with anything Jane Austin writes.

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 1868 4.06 stars are Goodreads

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Probably one of the first women coming of age novels. Story focuses around four women which each have such different distinct personalities. They go through the trials and tribulations of leaving childhood and breach into adulthood. The story’s timeline is one year, Christmas to Christmas. I could compare this story to a modern day Judy Bloom story! It outlines a totally different view due to the era it was written. Not only do these girls go through changes but they face them in a hard financial war ridden time. The girls have to face life without their father for a year! The 2 eldest then have to work in order to make ends meet. Great story!!

3. 1984 by George Orwell 1949 4.17 Stars on Goodreads

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This is one of the first dystopian novels published, way before Hunger Game times! It touches on the social issues such as the government’s reach into people’s everyday lives, repression, and how the government wants to control thoughts so no one has an original idea. George Orwell was a brilliant author with crazy insight for his time. It is set in an imagined future where civilization was damaged beyond repair by civil unrest. The leader Big Brother- the government- tries to control any individuality and the main character wants to be an individual. Great read for anyone not yet into classical fiction.

4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 1846 3.84 Stars on Goodreads

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This is a newer classic read for me. My friends all have differing opinions on this book. I thought it was kind of similar to other tragic forbidden love story books of its era. However it is still an easier classical fiction read and makes my top 5 list. Main character falls in love with a difficult and rude man who does not initially love her back or shows he loves her. Heathcliff, the poor mannered gentleman, allows Lockwood to stay at this house after seeing the ghost of his lost love Catherine. He falls ill and the love story is told by the housekeeper. Catherine loves Heahtcliff but it would have degraded her to marry him. Heathcliff overhears this conversation and runs away from the manner. She ends up marrying someone else and is unhappy. The story unfolds with a whole slew of debauchery, betrayal, revenge and mixed matched relationships.

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin 1813 4.25 stars on Goodreads

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This story follows 5 daughters of Mr. Bennet. He is trying to get at least one of them married off so they may inherit his house and estate as he has no sons. It follows Elizabeth Bennet and her love story. It outlines the issues of marrying for love or for wealth which surprisingly is still in the spotlight today. The story has it all, love, betrayal, loss and humor. A read all around read for anyone to enjoy. From balls to cottages the settings in this British novel are great! All you could want from a book set in this era!!!!

What are some of your favorite classic fiction. What makes you apprehensive to read them. The old language is something to get used to but the stories stand the test of time!!! Please feel free to comment on your favourites below. Or did you not like one of the ones I listed? I would love to hear why.

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Happy Reading!!!!!

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Book Review: The Silence By Tim Lebbon

Book Review: The Silence By Tim Lebbon

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This is a creature feature apocalyptic book which is right up my alley! I first saw this on netflix as a movie – based on a book as always! I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie. Spoiler alert the book is better than the movie as most books to movies adaptations are. Interesting fact about Tim Lebbon he wrote a novel that connects the movie Alien to Aliens starring Riddley! Can’t wait to read that one! Other popular books by this author include : The Edge and Coldbrook! I went into this book with no expectations just what I saw on the netflix preview. I was quite surprised by the story even with the common theme of prehistoric creatures taking over the world. Lebbon puts a great twist on a timeless theme.

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So this story starts off with a news broadcast of a discovery in an uncharted cave system. The main family watching this discovery includes Ally who we find out is deaf. Throughout the story we learn that she was not born deaf but was in a car accident with her grandparents who died. She had to learn a totally new way of life. Ally showed resilience that will play a key factor in the family surviving throughout the story. The other members include a brother Jade, father Huw and mother Kelly, and Lynne Kelly’s mother. As they watch the horror of the new discovery unfold on the TV they see creatures from the dark rip apart everything on the screen. They soon realise it is not a stunt or prank but a real life episode.

Thinking they are safe as this cave system is all the way in Moldova they don’t take it so seriously in the beginning. However as time goes on they see that these reptilian creatures called Vesps hunt by sound and are spreading quickly over the continent. Lebbon really plays into the social media aspect here. It is interesting to think of how connected we are today and how if this really happened the speed in which we would all receive live data. We would be way more prepared to anticipate the ‘end of the world’ than say 20 years ago.

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They also learn a lot of life saving information from others posting on social media, not so much the news. People post on Facebook and Twitter that Vesps hunt by sound, they lay eggs in the dead and this is how they spread which are both vital points for the family surviving the Vesp Plague. They decide along with Huw’s friend Glenn to move across the country side to where there is no noise, away from the cities. Live feeds show mass hysteria in the cities, fighting, looting, and people killing each other over supplies. This is a typical apocalyptic scene which I totally believe would happen in real life. It would start off as an every man for themselves attitude. What so you all think? Would humanity help out each other or have the cut throat survival attitude?

We see humanity break down as a man attempts to steal the family’s car and points a gun at Ally. This in turn forces Huw to steal a car in order to get to their destination. The suspense is building at this point as they are nowhere close to their destination and Ally is keeping track of where the Vesps are on social media. The time crunch is on!

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As the pressure to get to safety sets in because Vesps are now in London a horrible turn of events happens. Glen rolls his SUV pinning him in. Moral dilemmas set as Huw and his family decide not to leave him even though the Vesps are almost upon them. They barricade Glen in the best they can and take shelter in their SUV. Ally gives her family a prep talk 101 on how to be silent, her forte now. Her experiences help them understand what to anticipate and how they are going to feel now being able to verbally communicate. As the Vesps descend upon them their dog Otis, who is Ally’s helper, starts to bark. Vesps swarm their SUV and try to break in. Glen can hear the commotion and in a shear act of selflessness he starts shooting his gun to attract the Vesps to him. This is the ultimate sacrifice that restores the readers faith in humanity for a while. Otis however keeps barking and Huw has to make the hard decision to kill their beloved family pet to save themselves. Turn on the tears! At this point they need to draw the Vesps away. Huw blows up Glen’s SUV and the family hightails it for the forest.

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The family comes across a farmhouse. The occupant tried to ward off the ‘intruders’ and ends up attracting Vesps and dying. Everyone finds shelter and safety in the house since the first broadcast of the cave discovery. Huw and Ally try and go to town to find supplies. Two major things happen while they are on their trip. 1. They find out the eggs do not hatch until they are stimulated by noise 2. They find out when it rains the rain disoriented the Vesps giving them a chance to get away. They are slowly finding the Vesp’s weaknesses which gives the reader hope they may defeat their enemy!

On the way back to the farm Huw and Ally meet a different kind of enemy: The Reverend. It is one of the themes in the post apocalyptic stories, the crazy religious cult who justifies what happened as a matter of judgement day. Huw and Ally see first hand the lengths the Reverend will go to survive, he cut his own tongue out!!!! The Reverend now wants Ally so she can teach them sign language, which is the best way to communicate in the silence!!! Huw of course says no and they go on their merry way.

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As night falls the Reverend attacks and throws ringing cell phones into the farmhouse. I thought this was a brilliant crisis causing event! How well thought out of Lebbon. Mayhem ensues as Vesps get in and each family member tries to fight them off. During the chaos the cult followers steal Ally away. Lynn, the reader having learned she has end stage cancer, also self sacrifices and tackles the attackers, screams and sends them all to their death to save Ally. The story ends with the family being on the road again to find their quiet place- haha . Winter is coming and hope is restored that the cold weather will kill off the Vesps.

The Silent was in some ways your typical creature feature but with a modern twist of silence and social media. I really enjoyed this book. Now the movie – meh. It was good, some deviations from the book. Not my most favourite book to movie adaptation but not the worst either. Have any of you read it? What are your thoughts? If you would like me to do a top 5 fav apocalyptic books please let me know!! Please feel free to leave any comments below !

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Happy Reading!!!!!!!

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Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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So there was a lot of hype around this book in 2017. I was a bit late to read this as it is now 2019 lol. Better late than never I guess. I found this book a bit slow at times but all in all I really liked the story. This book is a trilogy called the Winternight trilogy. It incorporates mythical folk tales into reality. The tale follows Vasya a wild child who’s stepmother and local priest want to rid their town of her ‘devilish’ ways all the while the winter King a frost demon has his eyes on her. It has a lot of terms I did not understand. Arden was smart and added a glossary of terms to help the reader discover the magical Russian folklore background.

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The story opens with Vasya’s nanny Dunya telling the tale of the winter king who brings death. The tale is told to children to scare them into behaving….. Or is it. Maria, Vasy’s mother was the daughter of the Grand Prince of Moscow. Pyotr Vasya’s father is a lord on the outskirts of the forest a long way from Moscow. Maria died in childbirth leaving Vasya motherless and free to roam wherever as she grows up.

Vasya spends all of her time in the forest talking to the folklore forest nymphs and fairies. These creatures are said to protect the houses of the people who worships them and leave food out for them. The Domovoi is the oven creature who helps protect the house. She comes across a weird tree one day and meets the elicude Frost King who saves her life.

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Her father who is worried that she is growing up wild decides it is time to remarry. He travels to Moscow to find a wife who ends up being the Grand Prince’s daughter. Anna also see these mythical creatures just like Vasya can. They set out on the long track home. Sasha, Vasya’s brother meets a priest in the city and asks to stay but Pyotr says no.

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Once back in their village Anna does not fit into the hard labours life. The only time she feels safe from seeing the ‘demons’ is in the church. The sightings have gotten worse since coming to the forest so Anna becomes estranged from the villagers and her new family. She seeks solace with the new priest Konstantin that has come to look over the village. The priest sees Vasya as unclean or evil as she spends so much time in the woods. He thinks he hears ‘God’ talking to him one night. This voice tells him that the villagers have lost their way and he needs to instill fear and doubt. The voice says their worship of the chyerti is wrong and to discipline this villagers in the way of God. Spoiler alert here the voice is really the brother of the Frost King. He is an evil one eyed bear that wants to take over the earth in darkness.

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Here the book picks up and the story unravels faster. I found the first part of the book a bit slower but necessary to set up the last part. Pyotr tried to wed Vasya to Kyril – a very brute and ‘manly’ villager. He is cruel to his horses. Vasya knows this because she can read the horses as she was taught by one of the cheryti. He finds Vasya’s behaviours hard to deal with and calls off the wedding. As the reader I would have hated to see Arden marry Vasya off and chain her up in a house.

So the 3rd part of the book is the battle between Vasya and the Bear devil. We see that the people of the village grow to hate and blame Vasya for all the people dying. Really it is their lack of believe and offerings to the Cheryti that allow the Devil to come into their homes. Finally the frost king saves Vasya from the Bear and brings her to his frost home. An aside- why are there a lot of frost kings and beings in fantasy novels. We see the frost ‘white walkers’ in the Game of Thrones books.

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In the end Vasya fights the bear Devil, known as Medved. We other cheryti originally follow Medved but Vasya was able to persuade them to follow her as she has been nice to them. Konstantin brings Anna to the forest as bait because Medved needs a ‘seer’ to be killed to free him. In the end Vasya’s father dies offering his life to save his daughter. At the end she leaves the village, be able to drive Konstantin off first. The villagers still think she is a witch and Vasya does not want to make trouble for her brother who is now taking over the village. The last scene was very interesting as she goes back to the frost Kings home and he lets her in.

All in all I really enjoyed this book. I have never read anything like it so it was nice to read out of my comfort zone. What did you think of this book? Like or dislike? Feel free to leave a comment below> I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Reading Everyone!!