And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
Posted on Monday, October 31st, 2016 by Emily May

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn KurtagichAnd the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
on September 6th 2016
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 352
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When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt's home, it's immediately clear that the "blood manor" is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too--the questions that Silla can't ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that's appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer?

“He’s out there,” I say, turning back to the window. “Always watching. Getting stronger.”

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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke (editor)
Posted on Sunday, November 1st, 2015 by Chantal

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke (editor)Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by Stefan Bachmann, Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, A. G. Howard, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu, Jonathan Maberry, Danielle Paige, Carrie Ryan, Megan Shepherd, Nova Ren Suma, McCormick Templeman, April Genevieve Tucholke, Cat Winters
Published by Dial Books on August 18th 2015
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 400
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For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror 

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

What a fantastic anthology! Loved it. Some of the stories were phenomenal and there was only one I actively disliked. Overall, I’m very impressed with how original and strange some of these stories were. I feel like the authors really dared to do something different here. Although none of these short stories truly scared me, I still found them to be creepy and eerie. If you’re in the mood for something fitting for Halloween, definitely pick this one up.

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One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy
Posted on Saturday, October 17th, 2015 by Emily May

The Creeping by Alexandra SirowyThe Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy
Published by Simon and Schuster on August 18th 2015
Genres: Horror, Mystery & Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 400
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Romance, friendship, and dark, bone-chilling fear fill the pages of this summertime thriller in the spirit of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.
Now Stella is seventeen, and she’s over it. She’s the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it’s her small town’s ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She’s got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her.
Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work.
And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.

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One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
Posted on Saturday, August 8th, 2015 by Brandi

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon SmithLockdown (Escape From Furnace, #1) by Alexander Gordon Smith
Published by Macmillan on March 5th 2009
Genres: Action & Adventure, Friendship, Horror, Mystery & Thriller, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison.

Together with a bunch of inmates—some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers—Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world.

I think I’m going to bump this to 4.5 stars because I can’t stop thinking about it! In fact, when I went to sleep I was picturing the wheezers and literally had to remind myself that it was just a story… it’s not real, Brandi… it’s ok… you’re a big girl…. fine, just cuddle up to the mister, he’s asleep so he won’t know how big of a baby you’re being…

That was me at 1 in the morning. True story, haha. Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Days of Love and Blood by R.S. Carter
Posted on Saturday, June 27th, 2015 by JennyJen

Days of Love and Blood by R.S. CarterDays of Love and Blood by R.S. Carter
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on January 21st 2013
Pages: 252
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A post-apocalyptic zombie book for women.
 
Without the zombies.
 
Worse than zombies.
 
The Demon Virus spreads worldwide in a matter of days leaving nothing but a few uninfected people in its path along with disease-riddled survivors who possess homicidal tendencies.
 
Carson drives across the country, back to her parents’ farm, with her son Ronan to begin a new life in a post-apocalyptic world. There she discovers more uninfected people like herself and attempts to build new relationships after the devastating loss of her husband.
 
Two men distract Carson from her grief, each possessing different characteristics that she found, loved and needed in her husband. Cooper has a bad attitude but gives Carson the space she needs with his self-sufficient, independent ways. Ben panders after her but exhibits a kindness she appreciates. Neither of them embody all of which she lost in her husband’s death.
 
The need for human interaction intertwines with the daily struggle of tribulation, remorse and adjustment, revolving around the constant battles between the uninfected and the last remaining homicidal maniacs.
 
Days of Love and Blood is a story which examines the bonds created between people in times of change with an unexpected shocking end that will have you questioning your own threshold for pain.

Out of pity for how the rest of this is going to go, I’m going to start this off with a positive – the only positive.

Days of Love and Blood has an interesting take on zombies. That may not work for zombie purists, but I’m no purist. The zombs in this book aren’t your typical zombs. They’re still alive, for one, and they’re raging mad. They’re actually referred to as “homicidals” and that pretty much speaks for itself. This means you still get zombie-ish feels, what with the chasing and the killing, but it’s not really a zombie book. I like that aspect, though. The homicidals are truly that and they’re pretty scary. And that’s it. That’s the only positive.

I wish I was exaggerating.

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One Star

Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle
Posted on Monday, February 24th, 2014 by Emily May

Donners of the DeadDonners of the Dead by Karina Halle
My rating: 4 of 5 teacups

So there’s some…


Chills gripped my chest with an iron fist the moment Isaac turned his head and stared down at me. Half of his face was gone, his eyeball blasted into his face leaving a dark red and black hole of bone, brain and blood.

and a bit of…


We were a tribe of two but a tribe all the same. Two broken people looking for their place in the world and finding each other.

Woah. That was one hell of a sexy, creepy rollercoaster. If Karina Halle set out to have us sleeping with the lights on with this latest addition to her impressive works, then she can consider it mission accomplished as far as I’m concerned. I hope you’re not too hung up on the concept of genre because Ms Halle gives traditional genre boundaries the middle finger with this… historical zombie horror western romance. Somehow, she manages to bring sexy cowboys and flesh-eating monsters to the table at the same time and make it work. I don’t know how she does it, but I couldn’t put this book down.


There was a loud, solid thunk on the porch, followed by another. The house shook slightly. I kept my eyes trained on the outside but couldn’t see anything. But I could smell it. It was blood and sweat and hay and horse and something unfathomable. A severe chill threaded down my back.

The dark, creepy, foreboding tone of this novel is set from the very start and it only gets scarier as the story wears on. It’s an historical horror re-imagining of the true story about the Donner Party – a group of American pioneers who in 1846-7 became snowbound in the Sierra Nevada and had to resort to cannibalism to survive. I love love love it when a fictional story weaves in elements of truth – it makes the paranormal/fantasy aspects seem even more real and believable. And the author certainly knows how to use language to create a sense of impending tragedy:
Autumn was at our doorstep and winter was lurking in the darkness behind it.

Then there’s that whole steamy romance that is happening alongside the horror.

He’s a broody cowboy and she’s half-native american. He’s seen the world and she’s spent her entire life in a small town, working for her uncle. An expedition into the mountains forces the unlikely pair together and they soon find out just how much their survival depends on each other. What I really love about Halle’s characters is how they’re all often just a tiny bit nasty at times. They’re all flawed, all troublemakers and rebels. No Mary Sues or whatever you want to call them. They’re fleshed out and make mistakes and say the wrong things sometimes… but they’re still likable. I think it’s really great when an author can do that. When they can take people who you maybe shouldn’t like and convince you to be on their side. It’s one of the main reasons I loved Sins & Needles, it’s one of the main reasons I loved this, and it’s also the main reason I will continue to be excited every time I see Halle has an upcoming book release.

One final haunting piece of truth:


Men are the real monsters here. They often are.

Thank you to the guys at Rock Star PR for the ARC! Please note that all quotes are taken from the advance review copy I received and may differ from the final version.


The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman
Posted on Thursday, December 12th, 2013 by Emily May

The Waking DarkThe Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman
My rating: 2 of 5 teacups

I think it’s time to admit a sad truth: me and Robin Wasserman are simply not meant for one another. It’s tragic to have to acknowledge this when most of my GR friends seem to be in the middle of some epic love affair with her books. But I had my problems with The Book of Blood and Shadow – I tried my best to love it but felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall – and even this latest venture into the world of creepy horror and general mindfuckery couldn’t convince me to join the fan club. I don’t think it’ll be easy to explain why, because I do believe Wasserman is a strong writer on many levels… but I’ll do what I can.

Things always start good between us. I open the book and find myself immediately transported into the time and place where the story finds its setting. The author is a master of atmosphere – whether it be the dark, secretive streets of Prague or a creepy little American town that is evidently plagued by something more monstrous than we can even imagine. Her writing is solid and beautifully descriptive. Her characters are complex, driven by emotions that simultaneously scare us and earn our understanding. If you’re like me, then you begin a Wasserman novel believing it’s going to wind up on your all time favourites list. And then something starts to happen. I begin to notice it about a quarter of the way in and become sure of it by the time I’ve read a third of the book.

The descriptive style that was oh-so-lovely at the beginning becomes tiring. The in-depth exploration of the characters which you thought was really clever before starts to hurt your brain. “Plot!” I feel myself screaming “Where are you?” The writing style weighs down each sentence, each paragraph, each chapter and makes the story drag. The author spends SO MUCH time creating a setting and an atmosphere before the story starts to progress. She spends so much time building a complex portrait of the characters before any answers start to be given. And some of you will love this. I know some of you already do and, believe me, I can see why. But I like my stories as much as I like my characters and writing. There’s really only so long I can go without one. I personally prefer novels that integrate character development and atmosphere building with the main plotline, not those that set it all up at the beginning and only then proceed to tell a story.

I want to stress that my feelings towards books like this portrays my own personal dislike for novels that are told in a certain way. It’s affected my enjoyment of almost universally liked books such as The Book Thief and Code Name Verity. For that reason, you should probably disregard this review if you’re a fan of really creepy, small town horror stories. Wasserman owns the creepy in this story. I truly admire her for not easing up on the grit, gore and adult themes just because she’s writing for young adults – she’s not afraid to go there and, for me, that’s a big compliment to give to any author.


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Hi! I'm Emily May but feel free to call me Emily. I'm a nerdy, book-loving Politics graduate from the North of England.

Hey there! I'm Brandi; I'm a Navy veteran, Army wife, mother, feminist and book lover! My go-to genre would have to be Urban Fantasy, but any fiction is game really.

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