Book Reviews Halloween Edition

Below are some spooky haunts just in time for All Hallow’s Eve.

“The Hawkweed Prophecy” by Irena Brignull

Orchard Books, 304 pages, $18.00, Nov. 25, 2016, Goodreads

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Witches abound in this story of self-discovery and sacrifice written by Brignull with beautiful detail and thoughtfulness. To read my full review click here.

Irena Brignull can be found on Instagram @irenabrignull

“The Women in the Walls” by Amy Lukavics

Harlequin Teen, 288 pages, $18.99, Sept. 2016, Goodreads

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This short horror from Amy Lukavics is sure to chill and thrill. The novel starts when our protagonist, Lucy Acosta, discovers the household cooks’ body hanging from a rope in his bedroom. From there things get creepier. Her aunt, Penelope, goes for a walk into the woods and doesn’t come back, and her cousin, Margaret, starts to hear voices in the wall. Soon Lucy starts to hear them too, and fears for her sanity. The story that unfolds is, at times creepy, dark, and upsetting.

I recommend this book for mature teens who can handle the descriptive horror aspect of the plot because if there is one thing that Lukavics is great at it’s being ornately descriptive. Some disturbing images flower from her prose and brings horror to life in the readers’ minds.

I don’t normally read horror books, but this was a treat, and I definitely recommend the short read for Halloween night.

Amy Lukavics can be found on Twitter @amylukavics and on Instagram @amy.lukavics

“Shutter” by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Disney-Hyperion, 352 pages, $17.99, Oct. 18, 2016, Goodreads

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Make no mistake this book is more about self-discovery than it is a mystery/romance. First I have to say that I owe Laurie Faria Stolarz a big thank you as she was the first YA author that I read with her debut BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series and I have read almost all of her works since. She is great with YA mystery and leaves readers guessing the entire time.

Her story about Day – named after supreme court justice Sandra Day O’Conner – and her struggle to find her identity in a setting where she’s torn between trying to impress her parents and just being herself is so relatable to young readers who could be facing similar circumstances. Let’s just hope that they don’t aid and abet a criminal while trying to find that identity because that’s what Day does. Day runs into recent juvenile detention center escapee, Julian, and hides him in her family’s barn. Julian has been arrested for the brutal death of his father after finding his mother drowned to death in an accident in their home.

Day takes it upon herself to look into Julian’s case as he swears he is innocent, and the more Day prods the more information comes to life, not just about Julian and his case, but about herself and what she wants for her life. I recommend this book for older teens who face the same identity crisis. Maybe through Day’s journey they, too, can find a way to learn more about themselves.

The only problem I have with this book is the relationship between Day and her friends and Julian are too superficial. I would have liked to have a little more; to see how these relationships relate to Day’s journey. For me, I was left with an ending where Day realizes who she is, but I wasn’t completely sure how I had gotten there. The mystery of Julian’s case could also be built up a bit more as I found that to also be a bit dry. I like a good mystery where I can sink my teeth into, and this wasn’t that for me.

With all that in mind, this read is still good for a light mystery fix, and perfect for a Halloween night if you’re too much of a scaredy-cat and need something less frightening.

Laurie Faria Stolarz can be found on Twitter @lauriestolarz and on Instagram @lauriestolarz

As always keep reading!

A.

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