Welcome to yAdult Review, a space where two girls review novels from across the genres, from YA and MG, to fantasy and sci-fi, to historical fiction and mystery, with a sprinkling of non-fiction too. We hope you enjoy your stay here as much as we enjoy ours.

Tag Archives: genre: paranormal

25467698The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: ALAMW2016
Rating: starstarblank_starblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken – Goodreads

Review:

I struggled with this book. According to goodreads, The Love That Split the World took me over a week to read this book, for most this is probably normal, but for someone who reads a book in about 3 days, this is very unusual and for as long as it took, I did note a lot of passages. Which would usually lead one to believe I enjoyed the book.

And I did? I don’t know to be honest. Months later I’m still confused about my feelings on this book. I found the Native American aspect to be inappropriately used and not needed. I feel that Henry could have made a better story if she would have stopped bringing up the Native American aspect, particularly because it was not used well, at all. There was also instalove and comments about how the other was just so pretty. For Henry’s debut book I feel like she tried too hard and threw too many things into this novel. From info dumping to mentions something once and never again it just…didn’t work.

Here’s the thing, I wanted to enjoy this book. I did. I even thought I was going to enjoy it until I sat on the story and realized the problematic aspects of the book bothered me too much. (Of course, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy problematic things. I do. I love many problematic things, unfortunately this was not a book that worked for me.)


keeperThe Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Point
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…

Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females—an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.

But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped.

And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.

Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.

But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.

From master of suspense Katie Alender comes a riveting tale of twisted memories and betrayals, and the meaning of madness. – Goodreads

Review:
So we begin this book knowing that Delia, the main character and narrator, is no longer among the living. She inherits a creepy house from her great aunt, and it is almost immediately apparent that the place is haunted. And with a nickname like Hysteria Hall, why wouldn’t it be? Hysteria was a common word used for women in Freud’s time, and a lot of the time, women diagnosed as “hysterical” were just women with too many opinions, as Delia’s mother says (she holds a degree in women’s studies and is pretty awesome). The circumstances of Delia’s death are awful, and watching her parents and sister react to it is even worse. It’s heartbreaking and wrenching; grief is a terrible, destructive thing. Alender did a great job of capturing that fact.

Delia has a hard time letting go. She is angry and she is scared and she won’t be told that she can’t go home again. The other ghosts–Florence and Eliza and Theo–keep trying to tell her that the past is best left there, but she won’t listen. She lets her rage consume her. She can’t let go. Things start to happen, things that are inexplicable even to a ghost. Delia is warned that things are not always as they seem.

I read this in a day. I loved it. I admit, I am a sucker for a ghost story, and this was a perfect one. Alender really weaves a great tale here, and there are twists and turns throughout. Totally worth reading (but maybe not if you’re looking for some Christmas cheer…)


8475505Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1) by Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Putman Juvenile
Source: Personal Copy/Audio from library
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.– Goodreads

Review:

I didn’t know I could relate to a character as much as I did Harper. Not that I’m a Southern Belle (I’m a Yankee!) and not that my family has money (they don’t!) But Harper’s need to be perfect is something I understand. Harper is what carried me throughout Rebel Belle.

The first third of the novel I struggled with, but there became this point I was hooked and I could not put the book down. I actually got upset with myself when I left my book at home and I couldn’t read it on my lunch break. There became this moment I was addicted to the characters, the setting, everything. Harper wasn’t always the perfect character, she made a lot of mistakes, she tried her hardest and sometimes failed, but I adored her. I also enjoyed her friendship with her BFF Bee. It was a realistic friendship that made me want more. They called each other on their bullshit but they also worked at their friendship to make it better. My love of strong female friendships lives on!

What Rebel Belle is about is Harper and the fact that Harper becomes a protector to her worst enemy David who also enjoys calling Harper on her bullshit. Harper doesn’t want to be a protector. She wants to graduate High School and go to a solid college, love her boyfriend Ryan and also be perfect. It kills Harper to fail at something. Harper starts to fail at everything and fast. Nothing is worse than a perfectionist who’s life starts to fall apart. Trust me, I understand Harper with every fiber of my being.

I went from being fairly bored with this book to wanting to pick up the second in the series Miss Mayhem right away. I always take that as a good sign.

AUDIOBOOK SIDE NOTE: As someone who listens to a lot of audiobooks, I’m starting to feel like they are all narrated by the same three people. I feel this way about YA movies also. They all star the same three people. These all star the same three people. Am I expecting too much to have a bit of change? I’m not saying they aren’t good narrators, they are. But they are all starting to mush together.


20613491Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy #1) by Josephine Angelini
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Source: ALA 2014
Rating: starstarblank_starblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected. – Goodreads

Review:

Oh Lily, I wanted to like you. I sympathized with you so much, until I realized how much of a Mary Sue you were and then I just wanted you off my page. The first two chapters of Trial By Fire when Lily is in present day Salem dragged for me so much to the point I debated DNF. While the book picked up when Lily entered New Salem, I found the whole book to be slow and not of much excitement to me.

What was of excitement for me, was Rowan. Rowan was snarky and didn’t really have time for Lily, but was also fiercely protective of Lily because he knew how Lily’s counterpart, Lillian, in New Salem really was. While I found Angelini’s writing to be strong, I also was bored throughout Trial by Fire, besides Rowan, I didn’t care about…anything.

17235026

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Release Date: June 6, 2014
Publisher: Orbit
Source: Audio from library
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.” Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.– Goodreads

Review:

This book is one of those that is impossible to review. Because to talk about it gives anything away, but I will admit that the audio was amazing and made me want to keep listening to it. I went into this book knowing nothing about it because all of my friends wanted me to be surprised and I’m glad. Because the layers that Carey creates throughout this novel, I was honestly shocked until the very last moment.

22693178A Dangerous Place (Maisie Dobbs #11) by Jacqueline Winspear
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Harper
Source: ALAMW 2015
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Maisie Dobbs returns in a powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy: a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gilbraltar leads the investigator into a web of lies, deceit and danger

Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability—and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now, all she wants is the peace she believes she might find by returning to India. But her sojourn in the hills of Darjeeling is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England; her aging father Frankie Dobbs is not getting any younger.

But on a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she isn’t ready to return. Against the wishes of the captain who warns her, “You will be alone in a most dangerous place,” she disembarks in Gibraltar. Though she is on her own, Maisie is far from alone: the British garrison town is teeming with refugees fleeing a brutal civil war across the border in Spain.

Yet the danger is very real. Days after Maisie’s arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar’s Sephardic Jewish community, Sebastian Babayoff, is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case, drawing the attention of the British Secret Service. Under the suspicious eye of a British agent, Maisie is pulled deeper into political intrigue on “the Rock”—arguably Britain’s most important strategic territory—and renews an uneasy acquaintance in the process. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is, for her, an equally dangerous place, but in quite a different way – Goodreads

Review:

I have never hidden the fact that I adore Maisie Dobbs and this book is no different. What I didn’t adore was the fact in the first 5% of the book I was almost in tears because so much sadness happened to Maisie and I really, really, really, just want Maisie to be happy. But throughout this book, Maisie does learn to be happy. Or a new version of happy. My heart still hurts of course.

22557272The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Audio from Library
Rating: starstarblank_starblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut. – Goodreads

Review:

My friend warned me when I started this novel. She told me I would have problems with it, but to stick it out til the end, so I did, because I trust her. But this was a very hard book for me to read. I couldn’t get into any of the characters. Everyone was the worst. I had problems finding that one thing that made me love the story. However, I will admit that Hawkins knows how to write a mystery. I was holding on til the very, very end in shock of what had happened.


16030470Horrorstor: A Novel by Grady Hendrix
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Quirk Books
Source: Library
Rating: starstarblank_starblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds—clearly, someone or something is up to no good. To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift—and they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new twenty-first century economy.

A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), Horrorstör comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories. We promise you’ve never seen anything quite like it! – Goodreads

Review:

Hello. My name is Ashley and I love me some IKEA. I have hearts in my eyes for IKEA and nothing made me more excited than when IKEA moved into town 30 minutes from my house. Thank you college town for welcoming them in with open arms. I love the organization and the catalog, and well, seriously hearts in my eyes for them. I’m not saying that Orsk is IKEA, I wouldn’t say that at all. Because that would be wrong. And IKEA is mentioned in Horrorstor.

Horrorstor takes place in Ohio, and we follow Amy. An employee at Orsk, who is over everything. She’s had enough and while she is there to work, she doesn’t love her job. She does it because it’s a paycheck. One day, her boss, Basil, asks her to work a shift off the clock, paid in cash, to see what’s going on at night. Because something is going on.

With use of interesting characters, Hendrix, makes the reader feel like they are in Orsk with it. You become annoyed at a handful of characters because your personality clashes with them. I honestly felt like I was dropped in the store, working with Amy, and also annoyed because my coworkers are here for very different reasons than me.

The store begins to play with everyone’s mind and Orsk is not the place they thought it was at night. They encounter horrors, that for good reason, they never expected. The store begins to trick people. It is constantly a scripted experience and at night that experience changes. Amy views everyone as a coworker, not a friend, so when she has the chance to escape, that is exactly what she does. However, Amy has changed. The store has changed her. It forced her to face things she never wanted her to face, but it also made her see her coworkers in a different light. One she did not want to acknowledge, at all.

There was nothing overly wrong with this book per say, it was just not a book that excited me the same way other books have lately. I also have little to no interest in re-reading it. Which is also telling.


In a weird turn of event, I started to DNF books this year. Because of that, I am going to do a round up this month, because maybe you read one and enjoyed one and could tell me WHAT DID I MISSSS?!

17182499Illusive (Illusive #1) by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Edelweiss

Reason: DNF at page 121.

I was bored and stopped caring. While the tagline had me excited, the actual book did not. I would think of coming back to the book; however, right now, I was bored out of my mind and had no interest in continuing on.

 

 

 

 

 

20518922Starry Night by Isabel Gillies
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Publisher

Reason: DNF at page 111.

The writing never worked for me and that made it hard for me to get into the story. I have no problems admitting that I would have bought this book based on the cover, but man did the story bore me. Gillies created realistic characters who acted like teenagers but that also made me hate them because she had them talk in phrases that no teenager uses. By page 111 I had to put the book down and move on. Old Ashley would have continued on, but I no longer could. I then skimmed to the end and continued to hate my life because seriously that was the ending? NO. NO. NO.

(I understand the ending fits with the story and what Gillies may have been trying to prove, but I was not in the mood for it. Not one bit.)

18306593

The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith
Release Date:  April 30th 2013 
Publisher: Mullholland Books
Source: Library

I wanted to enjoy this book. I enjoy mysteries. The story sounded good to me. But after listening to 3/15 tracks I was bored out of my mind and didn’t even care to try and catch up.


18459190Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: ALAMW2014
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run – Goodreads

Review:

I have been a fan of Laurie Faria Stolarz from the moment my bff put her books into my hands. They are not my typical light fluffy reads, but I still adore them. That also isn’t meant to be as negative as it sounds! Promise! They just are not my usual reads, but it is good for me to spread my reader wings!

I was thrilled when I got a chance to read Welcome to the Dark House, as someone who watches a lot of Criminal Minds this sounded right up my alley. While this book had a lot going for it, what didn’t work, in my opinion was the fact there were so many points of view. The author makes it work for the story to a point, but after about 30% of the novel, I started to get confused about who’s mind I was in and what they were bringing to the story. Ivy and Parker were the clear stand out to Welcome to the Dark House and the book could have gotten away being just from their views.

I wanted more from them, less from the other four. There is more to Ivy that I want to know. About her family, her past and while Welcome to the Dark House touches upon it there so, so, so much more that Stolarz could have delved into that she seemed to skip over to concentrate more on the six characters as a whole, sadly to me however, it didn’t work. It wasn’t nearly fleshed out as it could be. A lot of questions I asked that never got answered (and maybe they will be in book two?) As much as I make it sound like this book was wrong, there was a lot of good going for it. Stolarz knows how to write realistic teens who you may not relate to, but you know. She also knows how to write to the point you are gripping the book and you need to know what happened next. I was intrigued, even when I was annoyed, I was intrigued. I cannot wait to see what comes next.