Sunday, October 28, 2018

review: all is not forgotten by wendy walker

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After Jenny is brutally raped during a high school party, her parents consent to giving her a (fictional) drug that causes her to forget the details of the crime. While the police search for the rapist, Jenny begins therapy. All is Not Forgotten is told entirely from the perspective of Jenny's therapist. It's an odd choice. He is a very dry, pompous man who does nothing to make any of characters sympathetic. The therapist's narration also goes off into a number of tangents (he wonders if his son was at the party, relates stories of other patients, and establishes that the boss of Jenny's father isn't a good guy) that are wholly uninteresting and only serve to make it so the reveal of who raped Jenny isn't entirely out of nowhere.
Review copy provided by the publisher, St. Martin's Griffin.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

review: ghost town by jason hawes and grant wilson

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After writing a book about his own paranormal experience, ghost tracker Trevor is one of the authors participating in a conference during the Dead Days festival in "the most haunted town in America." Amber and Drew (now a couple) are scheduled to present as well. Shortly after they arrive in town, a woman is killed in what appears to be a paranormal event. Soon the trio are investigating a number of deaths related to the Dark Lady.

Ghost Town is substantially better than Ghost Trackers, but it does suffer from too many characters sharing their perspective. The numerous perspectives from secondary characters made the narrative disjointed. And while the hunt for the Dark Lady was interesting, Ghost Town did not pay off in the end.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Gallery Books.

Friday, October 5, 2018

review: born scared by kevin brooks

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Elliot has been scared his entire life. The only people who don't absolutely terrify him are his mother, her sister, and his doctor. His doctor prescribed pills, but Elliot is still housebound. Even though the pills don't seem to do him much good, Elliot is obsessed with them so it makes sense that the pills would be the catalyst for everything that happens to Elliot on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, Kevin Brooks doesn't quite create an understandable sense of Elliot's fear. There's a lot of Elliot worrying about things and conversing with his imaginary friend/twin sister who died at birth, but the anxiety he's experiencing never creates tension. Although he does eventually face something horrible (as Brooks weaves in the alternating plot which was a bit of a distraction), the ending leaves much to be desired with no real explanation as to what happened.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Candlewick.