Fortnight of Fright 2014: Short Story – “The Hole” (Michelle from Unraveling Books)

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2013

Two years ago, Alyssa (Books Take You Places) and I really bonded over our mutual love of Halloween and came up with the idea for A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT: a two-week long event celebrating everything Halloween and horror-related! We decided to bring it back again for the third annual Fortnight of Fright event, this time along with Amy (Tripping Over Books), so this event is brought to you by all of the gals from On the Same Page!

Today, Michelle from Unraveling Books wrote a short story called “The Hole”! It’s lots of fun and quick read so I hope you enjoy her Halloween short!!


“The Hole”

    “Shh, he’s coming!”
“Ow! Timmy you’re stepping on my foot!”
“Anna be quiet. We have to scare Conor this time! On the count of three. 1, 2, 3…NOW!”
Anna and Timmy threw the closet door open and yelled “BOO!”
“Really? That’s the best you two could come up with?”
“Ugh, we’re never going to be able to scare you!” exclaimed Anna.
“I know,” Conor said with a smirk. “Come on, it’s time to go to the pumpkin patch.
Timmy and Anna followed Conor downstairs to his parents’ car waiting out front.
“Alright kids, buckle up!” said Mr. Davis.

     “Ooh look at this one!” Anna yelled from across the patch. “Conor, Timmy come look!”
The boys run over and find Anna holding a pumpkin the size of her palm.
“Anna, you called us all the way over here for that?” asked Conor with disbelief.
“Look how cute it is!”
“Oh my God, I’m going back. Call us if you actually find a REAL pumpkin.”
“Yeah. I’m with him.” Timmy said and followed Conor.
After twenty minutes, the place began getting more crowded so Anna headed closer to the trees surrounding the pumpkin patch. When she got there, she noticed Timmy, too.
“Hey, any luck?”
Timmy just stared at the trees.
“Timmy?” Anna tried again.
    “Let’s go in here,” he finally said.
“Ok, hold on. Hey! Conor! Conor! Come with us!”
Conor ran over.
“What’s going on? Where are we going?”
“In here,” said Timmy.
After about five minutes, they came to a run down looking house and right there in the front were three of the largest pumpkins they had ever seen.
“Whoa! Awesome!” exclaimed Conor. “Look at these!”
The three kids ran to the pumpkins.
“Timmy, how did you know to come in here?”
“I don’t know. It just felt like I should.”
“We need to find something to cut them off their vines,” said Conor.
The three kids walked around the house and found a shed in the back. Walking in, they found all kinds of tools, including a giant pair of gardening shears.
“Perfect.” Conor grabbed the shears and they all walked back to the front of the house. Timmy picked up the first vine pulling it tight so that Conor could cut it. Once the vine was cut, the two boys started pushing the first pumpkin out of the way. But then suddenly as they were pushing the second one, a vine reached out and wrapped itself around Timmy and yanked him to the ground!
“Ahhh! Guys help! HELP!”
“Anna, grab Timmy’s hand and help me pull him!”
The ground suddenly opened up and Anna screamed and let go of Timmy’s hand.
“ANNA! GRAB TIMMY’S HAND!”
But Anna just stood there screaming as Conor’s grip loosened from the strength of the vine pulling on Timmy.
“Conor, please don’t let go!”
“I’m trying Timmy but I’m not strong enough.”
     Suddenly another vine reached out and grabbed Conor, and the hole in the ground shot out a bright light. The light was so bright that Anna covered her eyes, but when she opened them, her friends were gone.
Scared, Anna turned around to run back to the pumpkin patch, but right in front of her was the pumpkin they had cut loose earlier and this time it had a face with an evil grin.
“What in the-“
The pumpkin let out a loud roar, the wind picked up and next thing Anna knew she was flying in the air, trapped like she was in a twister. The hole opened back up and then she was thrown in the hole, joining Conor and Timmy.

    “Wow, kids those pumpkins look great! Where’d you find them?”
“It’s a secret, Mr. Davis.”
Mr. Davis laughed. “Okay, well let’s get these in the trunk and then tonight we can carve them.”
The pumpkins were loaded into the trunk and everyone piled into the car.
“Guys, how come you all look a little orange?”
“Because we used to be pumpkins but we took Conor, Timmy and Anna, sucked them into a hole in the ground and took over their bodies. We’re not even human.”
“You kids and your imagination.”


Thanks, Michelle! What a fun little story! I hope you all enjoyed it and also importantly, I hope you have a great Halloween! Thanks for making this year’s Fortnight of Fright just as great!

Book and a Beverage [79] – Becky from Blogs of a Bookaholic

 

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!

Give a big welcome to Becky from Blogs of a Bookaholic!

Blogs of a Bookaholic

 

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Name & Blog Name: Hiya, my name’s Becky and I’m the enthusiastic bookworm behind Blogs of a Bookaholic.
Tell us a little about your blog! My little blog was founded in 2011. Beforehand I had become somewhat obsessed with reading Amazon reviews of books. I found them so entertaining and I though, hey, I could do that! I had always loved writing and reading so creating a blog seemed like I great way to combine the two. I was nervous at first because my grammar had never been good but I soon realised that people didn’t mind. Since then it’s become a massive part of my life and I love it. I guess what makes my blog stand out is that my reviews are quite long and detailed (I break the unofficial rules about post length smosh length) but I also think that makes me unique and shows how passionate I am about my books. :)
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!) I find it so difficult to pick out favourites, but I think Sick-Lit the New Trend? YA Books that May Harm Your Kids ‘Apparently’ comes pretty close. I wrote it in response to an article that suggested it was dangerous for teens to read books about death, cancer and mental illness and well, I felt pretty strongly about that!
Got anything special coming up we should know about? I don’t currently have anything out of the ordinary lined up. *Sad face.* I’ve just started the final year of my psychology degree (EEEEEPP SCARY) so blog shenanigans are having to take a bit of a back seat at the moment. For the near future I’ll just be posting reviews of the books I read and taking part in my own original blog features Quoting the Quill and Let’s Talk Real Life (Sadly, no Dragons were Available). But once the degree is finished, I’m hoping I can play around and get a bit more creative again. :)

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Whatcha reading? I’m currently reading Atonement by Ian McEwan but I’m not really far enough through it to say anything about it so today I’ve chosen to feature a YA book I finished recently and LOVED called Trouble by Non Pratt. It’s one of those novels that makes you want to flail your arms in excitement and shout from the rooftops!
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc) I purchased Trouble from my favourite secondhand bookshop. The shop has an agreement with a magazine that means they sometimes get rejected review copies sent to them, and as soon as I saw Trouble on the shelf I grabbed it unable to believe my luck! It was high on my wishlist, a new release and under £3, mwuhuuu.
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? Yes, Trouble is one of the best books I’ve read all year. It was hilarious, sassy and heartwarming but also a startlingly realistic depiction of teen life. I read it in two days and it left me nursing a serious book hangover that lasted weeks!
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? Trouble is a book about a 15 year old girl named Hannah who falls pregnant. This opens her up to taunting at school, the cold shoulder from her parents and best friend as well as the fear of admitting who the father is. Here enters Aaron, a new boy at school who for reasons unknown, agrees to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. It’s a fascinating hook and the answer turns out to be much more complicated than you could imagine. I’ve been shamelessly trying to get everyone I know to read it because this book deserves ALL THE PRAISE. It’s just that good! And it’s so much better than your traditional ‘teen pregnancy’ book.

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Whatcha drinking?  Tea, typical brit!
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? Usually that would be tea (which often goes cold because I get too immersed in my book), but sometimes I also drink water if I’m reading before I go to sleep.
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! That would be tea again. Sensing a pattern here? Yepp, I am fully fledged, self confessed tea addict. I go though about six big cups a day. If there was a zombie apocalypse and the tea supply line was cut, I think my survival chances would fall by 50%. I’m really that dependent on the stuff, I can’t function without it!.
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What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Ohh man, this is the question all bookworms dread! I love giving recommendations but when I’m only allowed three I start getting sweaty palms because there are SO MANY awesome books in the world. Hmm…okay. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (But who hasn’t read that, right?), Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff and The Magician’s Guild by Trudi Canavan.
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment?  Oooh, that’s a toughie! I think I’d have to pick when I blogged about Dewey’s 24-hour readathon in a kind of live blog format where I kept updating after so many hours. Staying up for 24 hours was such a challenge and I was absolutely amazed how many people kept stopping by to cheer me on with words of encouragement (I think it’s my most commented on post EVER). It’s so fun to look back on now. I love rereading my slow decent into insanity from lack of sleep and I’m still amazed that I managed the whole 24 hours!
Anything else you’d like to share? Nope, that’s it! Thanks so much for having me Brittany, this was a lot of fun.

Thanks so much, Becky! I’m so impressed with people who can stay up for the 24-hour readathon!! Reading always makes me sleepy at night so kudos to you! :D

I hope you enjoyed getting to know the Becky! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Goodreads // Bloglovin’

And don’t forget! You can participate in Book and a Beverage at any time! Got a book? Got a beverage? Just tweet or post your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #bookandabeverage and I’ll retweet or repost your photo!

If you want to sign-up for Book and a Beverage, keep an eye out for sign-ups to re-open sometime in mid to late November! We’ll finally be catching up on the current schedule and I’ll be able to bring on some more people for the feature!

#bookandabeverage

 

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) – Rick Yancey

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) – Rick YanceyTitle: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey
Date Completed: October 5, 2014
Publishing Info: September 16, 2014 by Penguin
Source: Hardcover sent to me by Penguin
Genres: Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
    Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.
    Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

Review1

Last year when THE 5TH WAVE came out, I actually had no interest in an alien story but once I heard the buzz, I ran out to the store, picked up the book, and when I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I finished THE 5TH WAVE in one sitting and absolutely loved the book. I’ve been waiting a while for THE INFINITE SEA to come out and once again, Rick Yancey totally hooked me straight away. If I hadn’t had to stop for food and sleep and work, I could have easily tore through this book cover to cover like its predecessor!

What really hits me the most about these books are the characters and the action. In THE 5TH WAVE, the readers are introduced to the core set of characters and they make a sincere connection, all the while just as unsure as the characters what’s going on with this wave of invaders and how they can possibly survive. THE INFINITE SEA starts off with just a big of a bang and right away I was anxious how the opening scene would no doubt affect the entire rest of the book. The action kicks off in high gear right from the start and I really felt like it carried me through the book. I couldn’t stop turning pages and I was totally riveted.

Whereas we spent a lot of time with Cassie and Zombie in THE 5TH WAVE, THE INFINITE SEA opens up to a larger range of POVs from some of the secondary characters, now in the spotlight. Cassie, Zombie, Evan, and Sam are still very much main characters, but Rick Yancey allows us into the minds of people like Ringer (who is known to be antagonistic — and I always love being able to see inside of the mind of an opposing force) and even characters like Poundcake. I feel like there was a mixed reaction to the slight shift from Cassie and Evan’s perspectives but I really enjoyed how the new perspectives really added another layer to the overall story. The characters who were once secondary step forward and really show how much they have to offer and how much they might change the entire plot of the series so I thought it was really interesting to see how the focus started to spread further than just the initial core main characters. There are still the same POV shifts from section to section which I’ve seen some readers still struggle with a bit, but I didn’t feel like they jumped around too much. Sometimes it does take a few sentences before you’re able to pin down whose POV you’re reading , but that really wasn’t something that bothered me, personally!

Keeping true to book one, THE INFINITE SEA also has no shortages of twists, one particularly shocking one which of course, I will not divulge! I’m always impressed with the way everything sort of loops back around and all comes together. I absolutely love twists so some of the big bombs that were dropped in THE INFINTE SEA totally caught me by surprise! They really made me think and I almost feel like I need to go back to book one to see how these things are even possible! (Are they?) But there’s always book three to figure that out too, right?

THE VIEW FROM GOODREADS

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Ringer // Character Obsessions: Loyalty, independence, determination. I barely even remembered Ringer from the previous book. I’m not sure why since it seemed so many people were up in arms about her being such an antagonistic character to start focusing on… Maybe I was just too focused on Cassie/Evan/Zombie. Anyway! I actually really enjoyed her POV. She’s one tough cookie but also in a different way than Cassie. So much of Cassie’s fight to survive is also for her brother and Ringer has her people she fights for but she is also very much self-reliant. Cassie’s protection feels more caring and Ringer’s protection seems a lot more straight-forward and intense. I just really liked the new mix of POVs and really ended up enjoying hers!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Science-Fiction. I am very choosy about my science fiction and never would have picked up a series based on aliens without the glowing reviews from others but I still have tons of praise for this series from Rick Yancey! It makes me want to branch out and try some more straight-up sci-fi! Left Me Wanting More: Memory of the first book? I read the Recaptains review before I started but even still, I feel like I wasn’t remembering a whole lot. I think maybe reading in one day sort of muddled my memory because the whole book melted together. The only thing I felt a little in the dark about was the secondary characters but they characters did their job of quickly catching me up anyway!

Addiction Rating Buy it!

I’m still really enjoying this series and I also definitely want to take a look at Rick Yancey’s other books. There’s just something about his writing that TOTALLY hooks me.

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(Click the cover to see my review!)

        unremembered       the adoration of jenna fox

Top Ten Tuesday – October 28, 2014: Top Ten Characters Who I Would Totally Want To Be For Halloween

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
October 28, 2014

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic: Top Ten Characters Who I Would Totally Want To Be For Halloween

This is a totally awesome topic. There are so many characters I would LOVE to dress up as for Halloween but 1) I have no Halloween parties and 2) most likely the attendees wouldn’t even know who half of my choices are because they are not cool enough to be as big of readers are we are (high fives!)… So for the mean time, I will just get all these ideas in my head and pretend like I have the means to put these costumes together! :D

As for my choices, I also sought out pictures that weren’t just Halloween-store, cheapie costumes. As popular as they are, I’m always a fan of the homemade costumes and I LOVE what people come up for cosplaying too! (And seriously. What’s up with the sexy Hermione costume…?)

Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass)

Image Source: cosplayisland.co.uk

Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)

  Image Source: Teen.com

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

Image Source: I’m really not sure because the link led to Amazon…? But the Pinterest caption just said SDCC 2013!

Vin (Mistborn)

Image Source: Pinterest (actual blog was removed)

Ismae/Sybella/Annith (His Fair Assassin)

Image Source: Tumblr

Alina Starkov (The Grisha Trilogy)

Image Source: Pinterest (Macmillan Kids)

Cinder/Scarlet/Cress (The Lunar Chronicles)

Image source: (I could only find the link from Pinterest to this photo)

Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series)

Image Source: Maggie’s Corner (blog) 

Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy)

Image Source: Deviant Art

Princess Buttercup (The Princess Bride)

Image Source: Pixgood.com

Image Source: Coolest Homemade Costumes


Well, as fun as these costumes would be, I am not dressing up this year! Someday all of us book nerds will get together and dress up as our favorite characters and what a fun party that will be!
So what do you think? Which costume is your favorite? Which character would YOU dress up as for Halloween?

 

Fortnight of Fright 2014: Guest Post from Author Bethany Griffin!

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2013

Two years ago, Alyssa (Books Take You Places) and I really bonded over our mutual love of Halloween and came up with the idea for A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT: a two-week long event celebrating everything Halloween and horror-related! We decided to bring it back again for the third annual Fortnight of Fright event, this time along with Amy (Tripping Over Books), so this event is brought to you by all of the gals from On the Same Page!

Today, I am SO excited to welcome author Bethany Griffin to the blog! I asked her to participate in A Fortnight of Fright and she graciously accepted, offering up a guest post for all the readers today! I read her most recent book, THE FALL, as one of my Halloween reads this year so I’m especially excited to read more about it in today’s guest post!


How Setting is Like a Character in The Fall

I’m going to begin by saying that I hope that most (all?) of my settings are developed enough to be characters within the stories, but in The Fall since the setting is a haunted house, it’s a little easier to consider it a character, and even to give it some personality and a will of its own.

I tend to layer my stories in that I lay out the bare bones of plot and dialogue first, and then add in details and description, and then delete what isn’t necessary, layer in more, delete, etc. until I’m happy with what’s on the page, so I’d say in the Fall, about 25-30% of what’s on the page was original to the story, and the rest was added as I worked back through the story over multiple drafts.

So, in The Fall, the house has intent—it wants the Usher line to continue, though it eventually drives every Usher mad. It wants to control Madeline. At times we believe it enjoys her adoration, at times it seems directly antagonistic towards her, particularly when she doesn’t do as it wants. The house is more parent to Madeline than both of her actual parents combined.

The following scene is from Madeline’s 15th year, when she’s starting to investigate everything, furtively looking for ways to subvert the will of the house.

My feet make no sound as I slip from my bedroom into the corridor. Cassandra follows. I thought I heard Roderick in the corridor, but he is very obviously in his room. Even from here, I can hear the sounds of his breathing. Roderick’s door isn’t fully closed. Though he ignores the power of the house, he knows instinctively not to be trapped inside any of the rooms. I brush my hand against his door as I pass, pulling away quickly so the house can’t urge me to go in.
 The moon shines through the window at the end of the hallway, nebulous and green. Forgetting to be watchful, forgetting fear, I approach…
A black curtain billows in my face. Silk slides against steel as the curtain unravels from the rod, pushing me to the thick carpet that muffled my footsteps moments ago. The cloth molds to my face, pressing into my mouth as I gasp, trying to draw enough air to scream.

 We see the house through Madeline’s eyes, so the reader should get her sense of the house as an entity, and though they may question Madeline’s perceptions, it’s impossible not to see the house as a sort of looming presence.


Another BIG thank you to Bethany Griffin for that great guest post! One of my favorite things about the book was how much the house was really a part of it so it was so great to get a bit more insight on that too! I highly recommend THE FALL for one of your creepy Halloween reads this year too!

If you want to check out my review for THE FALL, you can do that here!
Review: The Fall by Bethany Griffin

Fortnight of Fright 2014: Book Recommendations (Ellen from Quest Reviews)

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2013

Two years ago, Alyssa (Books Take You Places) and I really bonded over our mutual love of Halloween and came up with the idea for A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT: a two-week long event celebrating everything Halloween and horror-related! We decided to bring it back again for the third annual Fortnight of Fright event, this time along with Amy (Tripping Over Books), so this event is brought to you by all of the gals from On the Same Page!

Today, Ellen from Quest Reviews has a book recommendation for us — Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. Take it away, Ellen!


Fortnight of Fright 2014: Book Recommendations (Ellen from Quest Reviews)Title: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Date Completed: N/A
Publishing Info: August 30, 2011 by Macmillan
Source: Review from Ellen!
Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

    But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

If you’re a fan of YA fiction and of spooky stories, chances are very high that you’ll like Anna Dressed In Blood.  And, if you also happen to like the CW’s Supernatural, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll enjoy the book.  Cas could appear on an episode of the series without anything seeming amiss.

I read the book a little over a year ago and was delighted by its spine-tingling thrills.  The plot follows Cas, a teenage ghost-hunter, who travels from town to town with his Wiccan mother, targeting ghosts for elimination purposes.  When the book opens, Cas is preparing to move to Thunder Bay, where a tip has informed him that a ghost — Anna Dressed In Blood — violently haunts the house where she lived in the 50’s.

I think of her again. Anna. Anna Dressed in Blood. I wonder what tricks she’ll try. I wonder if she’ll be clever. Will she float? Will she laugh or scream? How will she try to kill me?

Isn’t that creepy? *shivers*

We see right away that this particular ghost hunt will be a different sort of case for Cas.  He loathes ghosts, because a spirit killed his father, but from the get-go Cas is intrigued by Anna’s story.  As a reader, I was too, to say the least.  Anna was on her way to a school dance when someone attacked her, spilling so much blood, that her garments were soaked with the stuff.  I know, I know — very gruesome.  Since then, Anna’s spirit has lived on, and she has a serious chip on her shoulder. (Understandable.) Finding himself more sympathetic to a ghost’s plight than ever before, Cas seeks to uncover he true story of what happened to Anna, instead of merely trying to exterminate her spirit.

The book is part action/adventure, part mystery — a combination that is successful.  The mood is, for the most part, sombre and serious, except for when high school dynamics get involved.  I found this aspect to be the weakness of the book.  The intended comic relief of the cast of teenage characters took away something from the story, making the book more ordinary — garden-variety YA.  For this reason, I don’t count Anna Dressed In Blood as a particularly favorite read. However, it’s a fantastic, breezy book for those looking for a spooky book to read for Halloween.


Thanks, Ellen! Great review and a perfect suggestion for Halloween! It’s one I still need to read myself! You can also see the full review on Ellen’s blog at Quest Reviews!

Fortnight of Fright 2014: Book Review – The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Sajda from Across the Words)

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2013

Two years ago, Alyssa (Books Take You Places) and I really bonded over our mutual love of Halloween and came up with the idea for A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT: a two-week long event celebrating everything Halloween and horror-related! We decided to bring it back again for the third annual Fortnight of Fright event, this time along with Amy (Tripping Over Books), so this event is brought to you by all of the gals from On the Same Page!

Today, Sajda from Across the Words is reviewing THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER! Check out her review below!


Fortnight of Fright 2014: Book Review – The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Sajda from Across the Words)Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Date Completed: See Sajda's Review!
Publishing Info: October 23, 2012 by Simon and Schuster
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.
They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

I’m super excited to be reviewing The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin for Fortnight of Fright. This was one of those books that seriously crept me out when I first read it and so, I think it’s absolutely perfect as a Halloween read. If you have not read the first book in this series, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, this review may contain a few spoilers – consider yourself forewarned!

The Evolution of Mara Dyer is an incredibly gripping and captivating sequel. The first book ends with a crazy plot twist and we find out that Jude is not actually dead. We also discover that crazy supernatural things are happening to both Mara and Noah. In this second book, Mara basically continues to lose her mind. She really wants to lead a life as a normal girl but given her deadly powers and hallucinations, it’s difficult for her to mask what’s actually happening to her. Also, she finds it very hard to trust anyone and to get people to believe her story.  I truly felt terrible for Mara; she undergoes so many struggles and everyone pretty much doubts her sanity.

The one person that Mara can count on is the immensely electrifying and swoon-worthy Noah Shaw. I absolutely love Noah as a character and I was so glad to see more of him in this sequel. He becomes an even more complex and mysterious character, which I thought just added to his attractiveness. The relationship between Mara and Noah definitely intensifies in this book but their love for each other is also tested after numerous challenges arise.

Michelle Hodkin is quite spectacular at creating very chilling and haunting scenes. She includes some terrifying moments involving stalkers, creepy dolls, and psycho asylum patients. Despite the frightening nature of the book, Hodkin is also pretty great at offering much-needed comic relief (I love the banter between Jaime and Mara – they’re so witty together).

In this second book, we receive some answers but are also left with a ton of questions. Everything is incredibly mysterious and you’ll be left trying to figure out what could possibly be behind all of the disturbing occurrences Mara has to face. This book ends with a massive cliff-hanger; I’m so happy that I didn’t get around to reading it until this month because I have no idea how people lived with that ending for over two years! The ending is incredibly surprising and will pretty much leave you in agony.

If you haven’t read this book yet, you’re in luck because the third and last book in this series, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, is coming out on November 4 so there isn’t too long to wait! I was actually able to snag a copy of the third book early and just read it last week; it is absolutely chilling and I physically shuddered while reading some parts. If you’re looking for a mind-blowing and haunting paranormal series, this is definitely one that you will want to read!


Thanks, Sajda! I can’t wait to read this series. I’ve heard so many good things about it and I’m going in as blind as possible! Now I just need to pick these books up!

Fortnight of Fright 2014: Book Recommendations + Quiz (Caroline from The Attic)

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2013

Two years ago, Alyssa (Books Take You Places) and I really bonded over our mutual love of Halloween and came up with the idea for A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT: a two-week long event celebrating everything Halloween and horror-related! We decided to bring it back again for the third annual Fortnight of Fright event, this time along with Amy (Tripping Over Books), so this event is brought to you by all of the gals from On the Same Page!

Today we have Caroline from The Attic bringing you some Halloween book recommendations, but not just any old recs! Find the best Halloween read for you with her awesome quiz! Don’t delay — check out the graphic below!!


Having trouble figuring out what to read for Halloween? No worries! This handy-dandy quiz should help you out!

halloween quiz

The books:

Sadly, I could not fit every book into the quiz. But if you want even more Halloween bookish recommendations, check out this infographic from Epic Reads. Some books were on the quiz, some just missed the cut, and some are brand new!

What is your All Hallows Read?


A big thanks to Caroline for these fantastic Halloween recommendations! I just love the infographic/quiz (you know I do) and it’s just the thing to help people choose their next spooky read!

Book and a Beverage [78] – Hawwa from It Was Lovely Reading You

 

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!

Give a big welcome to Hawwa from It Was Lovely Reading You!

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Name & Blog Name: Sawubona! My name is Hawwa, I recently turned sixteen years old [not young: old, and tired, and craving sleep] and I blog over at It Was Lovely Reading You. And no, unfortunately I don’t speak Zulu. I wish I did though.
Tell us a little about your blog! It Was Lovely Reading You was created one cold winter day just about two years ago out of boredom, and the idea that I could share my creative writing on an internet platform [although how I thought that would ever work when I don’t even show it to my family is a mystery still unsolved]. After six months of having three followers: an anonymous profile which creeped me out because I wanted to know who was reading the rants and raves of a teenager about life…my aunt, and – erm, myself… [In my defense it was encouragement. Two followers is, pitiful. Three is – maybe not so bad?!] I stumbled across a book blog. Cue fireworks and rainbows as I realized people shared opinions on books online, and I was not the only teenager obsessed with reading, nicknamed a ‘book vulture’ and craving more more more books all the time. The rest is history –
Oh, but what does my blog offer? Giveaways, book reviews, book photography, book graphics, bookish illustrations and more. I am a very visual and creative person so I try to break up the few reviews that I do with eye-catching and inspiring posts that are extremely fun to make, and to stare at: [I hope?]
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!) Firstly, I just changed the word spelt ‘favorite’ to ‘favourite’ because I am British and live in the land of rain and Harry Potter. Hence the change from alien American spelling to good ol’ English. Heh. But, back to the question at hand, as I trawl through my blog archive I can honestly say I don’t know. Each post is special to me in some way otherwise it would never see the light of day – Ah, found some. I enjoyed both writing, and reading the responses to my A Sea of Pages [The Novel Idea(s)] post I did, which actually turned into a tag after a few people decided to join in with moaning talking about their writing life. I also loved my Harry Potter: Bookish // V.II graphic-filled post I did, because who ever gets tired of Harry Potter + Art? And finally I liked my Keri Smith Collection post because I actually shared some of my art, and didn’t die of shame.
Got anything special coming up we should know about? Sadly: no. I started college a month ago and am currently drowning in homework, exams looming on the horizon and stress. So nothing extremely exciting is going to be happening in the coming future until maybe the winter holidays, just regular posting; however some of the posts coming up I am rather proud of!

book

Whatcha reading? The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins. I actually just finished it so I am in that uncertain place hovering between two fictional worlds. I feel rather like a ghost in limbo right now to be honest. A ghost with a torn heart though because whatdidIjustreadandcanIhavethenextbookNOWplease.
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc) I was given it by a lovely human being with a book shaped heart. It’s a mystery who gave them their heart though – maybe Dorothy found it?
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? Because: whatdidIjustreadandcanIhavethenextbookNOWplease.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? WARNING: Do not read this book if you are just recovering from a case of book feels syndrome. I fear you may not survive. If you are fully recovered – go on ahead. But tread carefully.

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Whatcha drinking?  Nothing right now, I have a bottle of water in front of me but it’s too far away to reach…
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? Mint tea, or a fruit smoothie, I am partial to both. [Not at the same time obviously]
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! UM UM UM UM UM UM a milkshake/smoothie.
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What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Top three. Can you hear theincredulity in my voice? I’m obviously going to cheat because what self-respecting book lover wouldn’t. I usually recommend to everyoneCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern,  If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell; and finally, even though this is aimed at middle-grade, I feel like anyone could read and enjoy it: theRuby Redfort series by Lauren Child
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment?  I’m not a majorly successful blogger in that I am not a popular/well-known blog but I GET TO DO COOL STUFF TOO OK. Okay? Okay….I nearly fell on the floor when I was allowed to interview one of my favourite authors ever [sadly not face to face]: Laini Taylor. I was extremely proud when I had my first ever article published on the Guardian website, and finally, when I realised I was quoted in a book [I suddenly saw my blog name in the front inside cover of Siege by Sarah Mussi when I was flicking through the new paperback in my local bookshop and danced around everywhere. Thankfully I was the only one there – although that saddens me a little].
Anything else you’d like to share? Don’t ask me why I know these things [and they’re probably all false information I haven’t had the energy to work out are lies] but did you know Dr. Seuss coined the word ‘nerd’ in his 1950 book ‘If I Ran the Zoo’? Oh and a bibliokleptomaniac is someone who steals books – Liesel, Rudy got it all wrong – sorry to disappoint you but your nickname isn’t sophisticated enough..*sobs in a corner*…

Thanks so much, Hawwa! Very excellent recs and I cannot wait to finally get into the Mara Dyer series! I’ve been meaning to for a long time!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know the Hawwa! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Pinterest // Tumblr // Bloglovin’

And don’t forget! You can participate in Book and a Beverage at any time! Got a book? Got a beverage? Just tweet or post your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #bookandabeverage and I’ll retweet or repost your photo!

If you want to sign-up for Book and a Beverage, keep an eye out for sign-ups to re-open sometime in mid to late November! We’ll finally be catching up on the current schedule and I’ll be able to bring on some more people for the feature!

#bookandabeverage

 

Fortnight of Fright 2014: Favorite Halloween TV Episodes (Stephanie from Her Reviews of Books, Movies, and Everything)

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2013

Two years ago, Alyssa (Books Take You Places) and I really bonded over our mutual love of Halloween and came up with the idea for A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT: a two-week long event celebrating everything Halloween and horror-related! We decided to bring it back again for the third annual Fortnight of Fright event, this time along with Amy (Tripping Over Books), so this event is brought to you by all of the gals from On the Same Page!

Today we have Stephanie from Her Reviews of Books, Movies, and Everything talking about all of her favorite TV episodes with a Halloween theme! You guys are in for a treat because some of these are my favorites too and ones I try to watch every Halloween!


STEPHANIE’S FAVORITE HALLOWEEN TV EPISODES

Hello everyone! I’m Stephanie and I blog over at Her Reviews of Books, Movies, and Everything.

If I am not reading or spending time with my family, then I probably am watching TV. I love watching TV shows. I have been known to binge watch entire series, rewatch series repeatedly (like Veronica Mars/Gilmore Girls/Friends…) and I like to watch holiday episodes around the given holiday.

I don’t really do horror that much. I get scared pretty easily. (To the point that I sometimes get picked on because of how scared I can get even from TV shows or movies). So I don’t watch a whole bunch of scary TV Shows. So I am going to share some of my favorite Halloween Episodes that are primarily Comedy related.

Friends: The One With The Halloween Party

I love them dressed up in their Halloween costumes! Seriously, I love the costumes that Ross, Joey and Chandler wore the most! This episode makes me laugh every time I watch it.

friendsFriends – The One With The Halloween Party Photo Source

 

The Big Bang Theory

This show has three Halloween episodes and I enjoy watching them all.

The Middle Earth Paradigm
This episode is fun to watch because it is in the first season of the show. And the guys get invited to Penny’s Halloween party. I love the costumes that they were and I get a kick out of them trying to socialize with others. 

bbtThe Big Bang Theory-The Middle Earth Paradigm Photo Source

The Good Guy Fluctuation
This episode is fun to watch because the guys are all playing pranks trying to scare each other. 

bbt2The Big Bang Theory – The Good Guy Fluctuation Photo Source

The Holographic Excitation
And I love this episode because of the detail in the costumes that they wear. I also like that they are all going to a Halloween party at a comic book store. (So cool!)

bbt3The Big Bang Theory – The Holographic Excitation Photo Source

Boy Meets World

And Then There Was Shawn
Growing up I loved this episode. But back then, it definitely scared me at times. I love that I was able to laugh but still get chills watching it. I am no longer find the episode scary, but I do find parts of it to be funny. And I LOVE watching it still at Halloween time!

bmwBoy Meets World – And Then There Was Shawn Photo Source

How I Met Your Mother

This show also has three Halloween Episodes:

The Slutty Pumpkin // Canning Randy // The Slutty Pumpkin Returns

I love all three of these episodes! And I think my favorite thing from all of them have to be the costumes that Marshall and Lily wear as well as ALL the costumes that Barney wears. This show really makes me laugh. Out of the three, I think that The Slutty Pumpkin is my favorite, but I think that all three are worth a watch.

himymHow I Met Your Mother – The Slutty Pumpkin Photo Source

New Girl

I love this show, very much. And so far there have been two Halloween episodes.

Halloween
I like this episode because it is funny. Jess gets a job working in a Haunted House. And I really enjoyed getting to see the characters all dressed up.

ngNew Girl – Halloween Photo Source

Keaton
This episode is funny also. Jess throws a Halloween Party. I love that Jess dresses up as Joey Ramona Quimby. So funny. And I also love how they try to cheer up Schmidt. This isn’t an episode to make you scared, but one rather to make you laugh and remember why Halloween Parties can be fun with a bunch of friends.

ng2New Girl – Keaton Photo Source

 And before I go, I wanted to share a list of some TV shows that I think you could watch pretty much any of the episodes to get in the Halloween Spirit.

 Supernatural

superSupernatural Photo Source

If you don’t know what Supernatural is about: There are two brothers and they travel around hunting Demons, Ghosts, Vampires, Shapeshifters, etc. I am behind on the show (like season seven and they are now on season ten). But I think this is a great show to get a little spooked by (or if you are me, really spooked by!) The first couple of seasons are by far my favorite, but I still enjoy watching the show. Love me some Dean…and Sam. I think currently the episode that has scared me the most is: Bloody Mary. (Season One, Episode Five) Sure, I have been scared by other episodes of this show, but that one…I still don’t rewatch it, I usually skip it.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I love this show. This show is older, it was originally on the air from 1997 to 2003. It is about a girl that slays Vampires. But there are other things in the show too. Demons and such. It can also be funny at times and I really like the cast. I think this was the show that made me interested in reading Paranormal books.

buffyBuffy The Vampire Slayer Photo Source

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

I remember watching this show when I was younger and it scared me a lot. I also remember that there were stories on cassette tapes and we used to listen to them in my BFF’s Mom’s van when she would drive us places. Currently, you can watch the episodes via Amazon Prime.

areyouAre You Afraid of the Dark Photo Source

 American Horror Story

I DON’T watch this one AT ALL. I have heard that it can be scary and have been told by several people that I won’t like it much. But if scary/horror is your thing and you haven’t seen this show…you should probably check it out! I know a lot of people like it. And who knows, maybe someday I will give in and try watching an episode.

americanAmerican Horror Story Photo Source

After typing all this up, I have realized that I REALLY LOVE seeing the costumes that the characters wear! I find them funny and sometimes really original (Ross and Jess for example.) And I love the fun aspects of Halloween more than getting scared.

Thank you so much Brittany and On The Same Page for letting me visit for A Fortnight of Fright and share my favorite Halloween TV Show episodes with you! And I hope you all have a Happy Halloween!


A big thanks to Stephanie for sharing her favorite TV shows! They’re also some of mine too. I always love Friends and I can’t believe they had so many Thanksgiving episodes and only one Halloween episode! Boy Meets World will ALWAYS be one of my favorites. That episode is my favorite of that whole show! And I always love the ones from How I Met Your Mother and New Girl! Thanks, Stephanie!