Quick Review: The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

I’m not one for creepy books but I fell in love with the cover and thought I’d give it a shot. I’m glad I did. Silly me didn’t read the synopsis beforehand though, and thought it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Boy, was I wrong. SO WRONG.

I have no idea what to say this book. It was creepy and weird and oddly addicting. I couldn’t put it down and yet I had no idea what I was reading. I did, but I didn’t, ya know? Who wouldn’t like to read about soul eaters and beasts?

Very creeptastic YA that I’m sure all your teens will love. In fact, I described the first few chapters to mine and they both wanted to read it. Goofy kids. They’re excited to be scared and I’m over her hoping I can sleep without hearing any singing.

My daughter just finished reading it this week and absolutely loved it. She’s all about the creep factor. She now wants more books like this. When I told this to Paternelle, she said that she’s working on another dark fairy tale now. Another book!! Much squealing happened when I read that. So now I’m on the hunt to find books that meet up with these creepy standards that TBiaA has set, as I wait for her next book. Wish me luck!


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Review: Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

PerdidoHard to rate this one. I loved the story. I hated the main character of Isaac. I found him flat, boring, and a coward. However, Garuda is the one that I spent the entire book wondering about. I so wish this story had been told through his eyes. Garuda is one of the most complex characters I have encountered in a book. His story begged to be told. His voice demanded to be heard. If only Isaac had been the one in the background instead of Garuda…my entire thoughts about the book would be completely changed. Even with the shocking ending, I still love Garuda. Now THERE is a character worthy of his own entire book. I found myself only reading the parts of the book to reach the end of a part to just hear Garuda’s thoughts. Every moment I spent bored by Isaac was triple rewarded when I reached a part that I could hear Garuda’s thoughts. If Mieville had written as he did when Garuda spoke it would have been an all time favourite book…as it was, I’m just glad it’s over…

The ending of the book, which some would say, should have changed my opinion of Garuda and of Isaac did nothing but make me 100% sure….Garuda is a deep, multi layered character….Isaac is a f*cking pillock….that is all……

After reading this book I have no doubt at all that Mieville deserves all the recognition he has received for being a brilliant writer that no one else can match…based both on his voice, storytelling skills and originality….however, after reading this book I also have no doubt that he is just as deserving to all the criticism he has received as well…I don’t think I have every read such a brilliant book that was also made up of so much rubbish….

Until next time….

Urania xx

Buy it now Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Review: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

6065182Sarah Waters is known primarily for her erotic Victorian era fiction, however, she takes a detour in her latest (well, latest being 2009) offering. Waters employs the classic first person narrative in the form of Dr Faraday – the ever so sensible and stiff upper lipped family doctor – and this lures the reader into a sense of trust and comfort whilst they get ready to “listen” to the story.

Set in 1947, two years after the war has ended, and a time in which the country was in the midst of economic recovery and social reform, The Little Strangers tells the tale of a grand house that was once the epicenter of social royalty in the early 1900’s.   Throughout the years, the house and indeed the owners, have crumbled into financial despair.  Without giving too much away, let’s just say things aren’t necessarily what they seem at Hundreds Hall.

As mentioned previously, Waters is known and celebrated for her Victorian era erotic fiction.  As shown in this novel, Waters has proved she is not just a one trick pony; the characters are what drive this novel, and Waters is exceptional at bringing them to life.  A great percentage of the novel is devoted to build up, and making the reader care for the characters.  It takes a bit of getting used to as readers are used to instant gratification in most of today’s novels.  Waters has stylized her writing and pace to match those of Henry James, Wilkie Collins and Emily Bronte.  Through this choice in style, it allows the reader to better imagine the world of 1947.  In fact, Waters is so accurate, that I believe this is the first book that I’ve read, since Enid Blyton, that doesn’t have any swearing, violence, or sex.   It is a good old fashioned ghost story, told in a way that will feel authentic, and yet ageless.

At over 500 pages in length, this is not a quick Halloween night read.  This novel is to be savoured and devoured.  The Little Stranger is an intelligent, scary, atmospheric, and slow (in a good way) read.  Well worth the read if you are looking for something different this Halloween!   Just try not to scream too loudly if you hear a floorboard creak!

Buy it here:

The Little Stranger

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

11958033 The premise of this book seemed interesting to me – suspenseful, horror-ish YA book. The book description seemed very Scream like to me, a movie which I loved and have seen a dozen times at least.

Best friends Minnie and Meg get a secret invitation to a private party on an island. When they get there they realize that there were a total of 10 people invited to this party – from different school and from different cliques in those schools. From the beginning it’s obvious things are not quite okay between the best friends who are both interested in the same guy – T.J. He’s at the party and that makes Meg nervous.

When the party gets going and a movie is put in the party takes a quick turn to the twisted when a bizarre video plays and Vengeance is Mine scrolls across the screen. From there things get much, much worse. Out of nowhere one of the teens die and a huge storm hits. Things are crazy and scary – the girls have no idea who to trust.

While this book deals with a scary topic and is a young adult book I did not get either of these feelings from this book. There were a few twists and turns that were unexpected but none that were scary in any sense. The relationship between the two friends also seemed a little young younger than the young adult books that I read. I would suggest this to maybe a 10-13 year old who likes a little darker books. There was not a ton of gore. Overall just not a book for me.

2 stars.



Review: Red Hill, by Jamie McGuire

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Let me start out by saying two things. First, I love Jamie McGuire’s writing. Beautiful Disaster has been in my top 5 books, since I read it. Absolutely LOVED that book! And second, and the most important, I hate zombie books. I really do. Hate, hate, hate. Can you see my dilemma? I wasn’t sure I wanted to read Red Hill, when she first told the world about it. But I kept going back to my first point, I really do like her writing. What’s a girl to do?? I was gonna wait til October 1st, when it comes out, and see what others said first. I don’t like gore, so I needed a warning. But then I was approved for an ARC, so that basically made my decision for me. I started it the very day it showed up. And I’m so glad I did.

It starts out on the cusp of a total world outbreak. You see glimpses of Scarlet and her two daughters, Daniel and his daughter Zoe and Miranda with her sister and both their boyfriends.

When the world finally ends, you watch them all travel to get to Red Hill. They meet all different kinds of people. The way everyone seemed to help each other, was very reassuring. If any world collapse happened, I’d hope people would be like this. It was quite a bumpy ride. I totally loved figuring out how their lives all intertwined. At one point, I chastised myself when I realized who a character was, in the big picture.

It was written from many POVs, but it wasn’t confusing. That was probably why I missed characters until they’re basically slapping me in the face. I love how all the character intertwined with each other. At one point I was cheering for one who showed up in the end. I thought this person was dead. I was sure of it. So glad I was wrong.

I wondered how Ms. McGuire would be able to swing a love story in the midst of zombies, without it being like Warm Bodies: A Novel. But she succeeded. The story spans over several months, which is the right amount of time for love to blossom.

And plenty of time for loss also. I did find myself tearing up at a few places, cuz I was attached to these characters. I was crossing my fingers that pain wouldn’t touch them. But, life is pain, and no is immune to it.

Let me just say, the pain that Scarlet was going through, I don’t know how she did it. I doubt I’d be able to stand like her.

The gore wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It’s there, and it’s descriptive, but I’m just glad I was reading it and not watching it. I don’t think I could have handled seeing some of those on the big screen.

All in all, this was a good book. I’m glad I took a chance and read it. Who knew zombies and love went so well together.

I received this ARC for an honest review.


Buy it now Red Hill