Fortnight of Fright: Review The Book of Bad Things by Dan Poblocki


Hi friends! Welcome to week two of Fortnight of Fright! This week we will be sharing a few reviews of creeptastic books with you, and a guest post by Cat Winters!! Make sure you check out what we had last week, A guest post by Dan Poblocki, Eldritch Black, some awesome bloggers AND a giveaway! Also don’t forgot to check out what Amy and Brittany have for you on their blogs!

Title: The Book of Bad Things

Author: Dan Poblocki

Publishing Information:  August 26, 2014 by Scholastic Press

Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 256 pages

Source: Obtained an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Recommended For: Readers looking for a horror novel that is just the right amount of horrific, fans of Anna Dressed in Blood and Cat Winters

Related Posts: The Ghost of Graylock Review and The Bad Place Guest Post by Dan Poblocki

One kid’s trash is another kid’s terror in this spooky supernatural mystery.

When Cassidy Bean leaves New York to spend the summer upstate, she’s disappointed to find that Whitechapel is not the quiet, pleasant suburb she remembers. Ursula Chambers, the strange old hermit at the end of the cul-de-sac, has passed away under mysterious circumstances. And the townspeople are shocked to discover that Ursula was a hoarder: Her farmhouse is teeming with stacks of newspapers, piles of furniture, mounds of antique dolls and taxidermy animals.

Cassidy watches as the people of Whitechapel descend upon Ursula’s farmhouse, claiming her abandoned treasures for their own. She listens as rumors spread that Ursula’s vengeful ghost is stalking the town with a warning from beyond the grave. And when Cassidy resolves to uncover the truth behind the strangeness, she learns there are more bad things in the world than she ever suspected. . . .

Cassidy was a wonderful main character, it was easy to love her and I can’t tell you how much I adore how real Dan Poblocki’s characters feel. Cassidy certainly doesn’t have it easy in New York, and I really felt for her and the way that she needs this escape to Joey’s house and family. Joey is dealing with some issues of his own, most importantly the loss of his dog, and the belief that his neighbor Ursula Chambers isn’t all that she seems. Joey’s next door neighbor, Ping, was incredibly refreshing and fun, I loved the way these three interacted with one another and stood together to face down the “bad things” in the neighborhood. Probably my favorite part of the novel was the addition of Hal and his antics, I enjoyed his character thoroughly. Continue reading

On the Same Page: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Title: The Goose Girl

Author: Shannon Hale

Publishing Information:  May 13th 2005 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling, Adventure

Series Information: First in The Books of Bayern series

Format: Hardcover, 400 pages

Source: Gifted for my personal library from Amy

Recommended For: Fans of Jessica Day George, Patricia C. Wrede, strong heroines, and sweet romances

Related Reviews: Brittany’s Review and Amy’s Post on Quotes

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt’s guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani’s journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her.

Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny. Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can become queen of the people she has made her own.

This was Amy’s choice for our On the Same Page feature, and a few years ago she even bought it for me (before we were best friends) when she had me for Secret Santa! So it is no question that she LOVES this book, and therefore I knew that I would love it as well. Well, friends, love it I did. I adored Ani and her strength, but I also loved that she was unsure about herself and her abilities. She was very real to me, and I love it when that happens. I could honestly go on and on about this book, but as we try and change it up for our On the Same Page posts I thought I would share a read alike guide with you instead of a traditional review!

So, if you liked The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, try…


Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George – While it may sound that this is just another dragon inspired fairy tale employing all of the familiar themes, I promise that it is more involved than that, and though reminiscent of other tales it is uniquely sweet and promising. This novel comes highly recommended for those of you looking for a sweet story about a girl, her dragon, and their successful attempts to save a kingdom.



Entwined by Heather Dixon – This story follows Azalea and her sisters, they live with their mother and father and their favorite thing in the world is to dance. Unfortunately, their mother dies giving birth to their youngest sister and the palace goes under a period of mourning, in which no dancing is allowed. Azalea finds out some information regarding the secret passages in their castle and they discover a magical wood beyond their castle that contains a dancing glen, taken care of by a man who only goes by the name Keeper. Then, evil comes to the castle and there is an epic battle and all of these love pairings come about in a non-obvious way and it was so sweet and refreshing from the immediate I-have-to-have-you-now that comes in most YA romance novels. Also? I cried. This alone makes me like this book because it was so unexpected. The relationship between the girls and their father is even better than the romantic relationships in the book, which is rare and beautiful.

Continue reading

Review: Night of Cake & Puppets and Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

Title: Night of Cake & Puppets

Author: Laini Taylor

Publishing Information: November 26th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Series Information: novella 2.5 in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy

Format: ebook, 89 pages

Source: Purchased for my personal library

Recommended For: Readers looking for a deeper look into Zuzana and Mik’s relationship as well as the closeness between Zuzana and Karou in Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Related Reviews: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone 1), Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone 2)

In lieu of a traditional review, I am going to write a mini review for Night of Cake & Puppets and Dreams of Gods & Monsters because at this point I almost think it is silly to go in depth about the conclusion to a well known series. Bottom line is, if you haven’t read this series yet – get on it. Immediately.

“I want to do mysterious and improbable things alongside a fierce and beautiful girl who looks like a doll brought to life by a sorcerer.”

Continue reading

On the Same Page: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand

Title: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

Author: Claire Legrand

Publishing Information: August 28, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Mystery, Horror

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 343 pages

Source: Purchased for my personal library

Recommended For: Reders looking for a book that doesn’t shy away from the dark and rough patches of growing up. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Adam Gidwitz, and Tim Burton.

One of the things that stuck out to me while reading The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls was the way in which Claire Legrand doesn’t shy away from the so called “dark” elements. In fact, those were my favorite parts of the novel. Legrand writes a story about a very clever and strong girl. She writes a story about the importance of learning that it’s what inside that counts and ugliness can come from within. Most importantly, she writes a story about friendship, and the importance of never giving up. With that in mind, for this month’s On the Same Page post, I am going to focus on themes in The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls that are also found in some other excellent middle grade novels so you can add some awesome read-alikes to your radar! Continue reading

Review: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Title: Rose Under Fire

Author: Elizabeth Wein

Publishing Information: September 10, 2013 by Disney Hyperion

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, World War II

Series information: A Companion to Code Name Verity

Format: Hardcover, 368 pages

Source: Obtained an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Recommended For: Fans of historical fiction, World War II, and deeply moving relationships

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

I know many readers had a hard time not comparing Rose Under Fire to Code Name Verity, and I can see why, they are companion novels after all. Personally, I worked hard to separate the two, and not for the obvious reasons. I worked to separate them because…here comes a confession: I didn’t love Code Name Verity. Code Name Verity was a gorgeous and shocking novel, but for some reason I didn’t fall in love with it as so many readers did. Perhaps it was because I felt it was too hyped, or perhaps it was the fact that I didn’t like having to drudge through 2/3 of the novel before really FEELING anything for the characters. Whatever the reason, I am glad that I was able to separate, because that made me enjoy Rose Under Fire so much more. Rose Under Fire gets to you in a much more direct way, the harrowing details of the war are spelled out for you, there isn’t much to infer, and that made me fall more deeply into the story and feel for the characters.

As stated, the novel is harrowing and raw, this will come as no surprise once you read the description. However, the intense circumstances that surround these characters are not what make it so emotional. It is the relationships built under hard pressure, and the changes in Rose that really overwhelmed me as a reader. The characters in Rose Under Fire are incredible, they are strong and willful and determined to survive. They are all vastly different, but under the circumstances they grow into a family. A real family that at times, quite literally, holds on another upright in order to survive. It was incredibly emotional to read about these characters and how they reacted to one another, as they weren’t just different, but they were treated differently at camp. Some of the prisoners were used as experimental “rabbits,” and some were on work orders to transport dead bodies around the camp. Despite their desperate circumstances, these girls bided their time and worked together to defy those that held them prisoner. They were in no way compliant, despite how they acted and carried out their different tasks.

As I mentioned above, the transformation in Rose’s character is what really got inside me. As the novel begins the reader sees Rose as a naïve girl who is excited about her inclusion in the war effort. There are many comparisons throughout the novel between Rose and the other prisoners. For example, while Rose was picnicking prior to being captured, some of the rabbits were having gruesome experiments done to their bodies that would leave them crippled for the rest of their lives. It is the naiveté that Rose has prior to entering the camp that assists in her rapid transformation. It is not surprising that Rose is a shell of herself upon escaping the camp; she has to work to perform the simplest tasks such as eating, or sleeping with a blanket. Where some of those who have escaped want to fight and tell the world their story, Rose shies away from the courts, and people in general. Rose is not the fighter that Verity or Maddie are, she is more silent in her suffering and stands apart from these characters by showing strength in other ways. Ways that may seem small in comparison, but one must remember that everyone fights their own battles in their own way and for the most part, the characters throughout the novel understand that.

A little happy tidbit: Maddie is back! I loved, LOVED reading her parts and if I am being honest the parts that made me cry the most came in the form of Maddie’s reminiscing about Verity and how she built Rose back into a functioning human, little by little. There was one particular scene after Rose escapes where Maddie is reading her writings about being in camp and Maddie is just there on the bed with Rose, with her hand on her as a warm presence and reminder that Rose is not alone that really had me tearing up. These subtle messages, especially when they are encompassing emotions from both novels really got to me.

Overall, this novel was a beautiful read and I am happy that I experienced it though it isn’t something I would read again. There were no hidden agendas and surprises as in Code Name Verity, but the horrifying details are there on the page with little to infer. The relationships are deeper and more heartfelt and familial, which made me feel deeply for these characters. Rose Under Fire is a deeply moving novel that will definitely pull a reaction out of any reader. It comes highly recommended for fans of historical fiction and deeply moving relationships.

I also have the pleasure of working with two of my very dear friends, Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide and Amy from Tripping Over Books on a new feature called Three’s Company, we will be reading the same book and then sharing our mutual thoughts with all of you! So STAY TUNED! Meanwhile, to hold you is a little sneak peek at what we have in store…go check out Brittany’s review and Amy’s review and report back!

Over at Bookalicious: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Hello, readers! I am over at Bookalicious today reviewing A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, read by Tim Curry!


The series was well, unfortunate, to be sure. However it was also intriguing and laugh out loud hilarious, I highly recommend you listen to the audiobooks if you get a chance! Head on over and let me know what you think of my review!