Book Review: In the Devil’s Dreams By Troy A. Scott

While visiting his mother at her secluded Waldport cabin, an English teacher is awoken in the night by screams. Something gigantic is heaving itself against the rickety front door, relentlessly pounding and scratching–and shrieking his name. The hideous creature seems to know everything about the man, and takes special interest in his wife’s deteriorating health.

On the other side of the world, a bleary-eyed detective works late, desperate to avoid the recurring dream of his fiancee’s murder. But when a bloodied child stumbles into the Pine Rest Police Department and collapses, the detective finds himself facing off against his worst nightmare.

In the Devil’s Dreams is the story of three broken people and the boy who links them. The lives and nightmares of the characters are elegantly interwoven, and the story is revealed through multiple points of view.

I enjoyed this book that was based off the author’s nightmares he had when visiting his mother’s home. It left me wondering: how much was imagination, and how much was real-life events? Dun, dun, dun…

It was cool that the book also had illustrations. It helped the suspense come alive. The main character promised his mom he’d never enter the woods alone. Once he reaches her home, he saw a monster named Gorleth, who reminded him of his wife. His depressed, suicidial wife. So he ran away into the woods. A ghostly figure, reminding him of his wife, haunted him. He ended up joining forces with a cabbie, who was running away from something too. It was cool how each character’s journey eventually crossed paths.

My favorite lines: 1) “I feel like we’ve been apart a thousand years,” he said. “But I promise you, I won’t lose you again.” 2) “And it was dark. God help me, it was dark.” 3) “He knew her. The monster knew my wife.” 4) “Approaching the brink of a panic attack, I staggered away from the scene like a drunk.” 5) “I can smell you,” he growled. “You can’t hide.”

I loved the author’s voice. He had a great writing style, but after awhile all the characters’ first person accounts sounded exactly the same, like they all had the same voice. 

My favorite character was the cabbie. He seemed to know some of the answers, regarding the woods. Those woods were spooky! The author did a great job of capturing the characters’ fears. Those monsters and ghosts were relentless!

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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Book Review: Playmates By Jess C. Scott

***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

ABOUT THE SERIES:

A psychological thriller about a brother sister serial killing team–and their slow descent into amoral mayhem.

Follow the Wilde twins in a twisted tale of love and loyalty…

GENRE: Psychological Thriller

***

Book 1 PLAYMATES:

As kids, Tania and Trevor’s unsupervised play time offers a lifeline to sanity amidst the chaos of family dysfunction. When danger threatens Tania, Trevor isn’t willing to stand by and watch his sister get hurt. The instinct for survival is only rivaled by the killer instincts the Wilde siblings encourage in each other. Instincts that turn into a deadly game igniting their first taste for blood.

Book #1 in The Wilde Twins trilogy.

18212105I enjoyed this book. Meet Trevor and Tania, a set of twins who were doomed from the start. Talk about dysfunctional parents! Each twin had a first person point-of-view account, my favorite type of stories to read. My favorite line: “Do the crime, do the time…”

I respected the author’s edginess. She wasn’t afraid to tackle taboo subjects. I can’t really explain; otherwise, I’d be posting spoilers. Those kids, especially Tania, went through hell and back, and this was only between the ages of 9-13! I cringed through a lot of the book because Jess C. Scott did an excellent job of showing rather than telling. She painted a vivid picture in my head, and I really felt for Trevor and Tania.

I really loved the twists and turns throughout the story. Their mother was a piece of work. I cheered when she died. Was their dad a saint? Did he look out for their best interests? Or was he an evil monster? You’ll have to read to find out.

It was a nice build up to the twin’s first kill. I had chills down my spine through most of the book. And that cliffhanger! Talk about mind-blowing!

Normally, I’m not into series, preferring standalone novels, but I have to check out the next book to see what happens with Tania and Trevor’s journey as teenagers.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Deep In the Meadows By Lisa M. Cronkhite

Bianca “Bee” Thompson’s brother, Jimmy has been dead for ten months, yet she still feels his presence lingering. And one question haunts her: Was Jimmy’s death an accident?

Probing into the events on the night of Jimmy’s death, Bee hears strange voices. The voices lead her to a blood-splattered room, a terrifying threat, and a deadly trap. Is Bee on the trail of her brother’s murderer, or is she entangled in a totally different and much more diabolical plot?

20972854I loved this book. The opening scene really caught my attention. There was some foreshadowing that something was wrong with Jimmy. If only he had a chance to speak with Bee…The story was written in Bee’s first point-of-view. I liked getting inside of her head because she had suspicions about her brother’s death. Readers were part of finding out the mystery alongside Bee. The author did a great job with red herrings–I was really shocked with the ending!

My favorite line was: “I know he’s gone, but my mind plays tricks on me.” Or did it? Bee’s brother, Jimmy, haunted her. I felt really bad for the family as a whole. The dad was trying to stay in denial while the mom was really hurting. She was depressed and needed help. It was sad that Bee couldn’t go to anyone for support; those family scenes were full of drama and emotion. She tried her best friend, Ryan, but he was preoccupied with his new girlfriend. Bee finally broke down and discussed things with her guidance counselor.

Lisa M. Cronkhite has a brilliant talent with characterization. The people in her story were three-dimensional. Even though the story was written in first-person, I felt like I really got to know all the characters. The bullies–I really hated. The good guys–I really liked. Some people even  surprised me. I had rooted for Bee and Ryan to start a relationship. But could she find someone better? Are the good guys really decent human beings? Or is something dark lurking inside of them? You’ll have to read to find out.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: The Manuscript By Micah Ackerman

A disgruntled writer tired of rejection after rejection of his manuscript takes a literary agent hostage in her hotel room. He forces her to read his book, which may describe her own fate in terrifying detail. Is he a vicious, sadistic killer? Or simply a writer with a vivid imagination pushed too far? This dark psychological horror story is reminiscent of early Stephen King or Clive Barker.

51qczeUTznL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_I loved this book. Cassie, a literary agent, met a creepy writer, Morgan, in the elevator after a writer’s conference. Later, he kidnapped her in the suite room.

My favorite lines: 1) “Can I tell you a little about my book?” It was the dreaded words that Cassie had been praying wouldn’t slip from the stranger’s lips. 2) “I may have lost my freedom, but not my dignity.” 3) “It’s not horror. It’s instructional. Just keep reading.”

As a reader, I really respected Cassie. She could have given up when that lunatic broke into her room, but she was a fighter. She was a strong female in survivor mode. The author had a brilliant talent of slowly building up the suspense. I had chills down my spine from the psychological element. Crazy people exist in real life. What happened to Cassie could happen in real life. The author did great of keeping the terror going, just from conversation alone.

Eventually, the readers notice that Luke from the manuscript could possibly be Morgan. Luke was physically abused by his mom and was bit by a dog. Right away, I figured there was a twist to that. The more Cassie had to read the manuscript out loud, the more I knew Morgan was unhinged.

Bates Motel is one of my favorite TV shows, so I loved the shout-out. It added to the creepy factor.

This is one of the first books I’ve read by Micah Ackerman, and I’m definitely a fan.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: The Smiley Killer By Julia Derek

***I received a free book in exchange for a review***

Seventeen-year-old Riley has been fascinated with crime investigation since she discovered CSI on TV. So, when it’s announced a serial killer is loose in the city, hell-bent on killing girls like Riley’s little sister, Riley’s on full alert. Not even Mark, the super hot college boy pursuing her, can get her mind off the case.

A victim found near the research lab where Riley’s friend Alyssa volunteers makes Riley think she’s found a lead: The killer’s signature—sad smileys—appears in the lab, so it seems the killer could be someone working there. Riley alerts Alyssa and the two notify the NYPD. But the police dismiss their claims.

Convinced she’s onto something, Riley embarks on her own investigation together with Alyssa. When another victim is found near the lab, it seems they’re close to finding the killer. Problem is, their prime suspect is a scientist’s younger brother—who happens to be Mark…

21570121I loved this book. The opening sentence “It took four dead girls for the NYPD to admit they had a serial killer on their hands” had me hooked right away. The story was written through Riley’s first person point of view. I admired her relationships with the other characters. She and her little sister, Cass, had a cute and entertaining back and forth dialogue. Even though the serial killer was hunting girls Cass’s age, she still held her ground that she should be able to go anywhere she wanted to go unchaperoned. I enjoyed Riley and Alyssa’s friendship. They were both busy (different priorities in life) but still managed to find time for one another. It took me back to my high school years, when it’s close to graduation and knowing my friends would be going to different colleges than me.

I appreciated that Riley acted like Harriet the Spy (my favorite spy of all time). She didn’t wait for clues to come to her; she actively sought out her own clues and came up with her own conclusions. I thought it was shady how Alyssa kept trying to get her to stop snooping. Was Alyssa sincere? Or up to something? is what I kept thinking throughout the story. The security guard who helped them seemed fun. He was really nice.

I liked the tension of Riley’s crush, Mark, being a suspect. Those scenes had me on the edge of my seat because I thought he could be the killer as well. I had four suspects, so the author did an amazing job of providing red herrings. The girls thought The Smiley Killer worked in Alyssa’s lab.

I wish facial expressions and/or body language would have been used more to emphasize the characters’ dialogue. It would have been cool to see them express their concerns, anger, confusion, sympathy, etc. in that way. I enjoyed the cliffhanger. Maybe there could be  a sequel?

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author and book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: My Daylight Monsters By Sarah Dalton

I always thought my demons came out in the day, rather than at night. I’ve never been scared of the dark. I’ve only ever been scared of real things: getting ill, having injections, physical pain… death. Those are my monsters, not ghosts or vampires or whatever else can hide under your bed at night.

I was wrong.

The dark makes everything worse.

When Mary’s psychiatrist advises a short stay at a psychiatric unit, her worst nightmares are confirmed. How can she get better in a place that fills her with dread? When she meets the other patients, she begins to gather some hope, until she realises that the death toll in the hospital is rising without explanation. Something sinister stalks the corridors and maybe she is the only one who can stop it…

Mary has to confront the Things that she sees if they are to stand a chance. But will she survive a confrontation with death itself?

18626145I loved this 15 chapter book. It was told through Mary’s first person point of view. At 17 years old, she witnessed Anita die in a fire. Mary had to leave, otherwise she would’ve died too. I’m sure she felt awful, and I felt bad that she had to live with survivor’s guilt. This tidbit made me instantly care for her.

Mary was committed to a psych ward. There were interesting people there–Johnny, Lacey, Mo, and the doctors. It was cool that Mary had her guard up at first, then everyone started bonding with her. From this, she found out that Johnny had died. He’s a ghost. In fact, many patients next door ended up dead. I loved that the patients banded together to solve the mystery.

My favorite lines: 1) “Scary Mary. That’s what they started calling me–after the incident.” 2) The shuffling stops. Somehow, silence is worse. 3) “You’re betting on deaths?” I blurt out. “Isn’t that a bit…morbid?” 4) I don’t know anything about these subjects, and when I try to offer any kind of opinion, it’s so matter-of-fact and abrupt that I wonder about my tact and social skills. 5) You could say that it’s weird. That I’m weird. Because I don’t believe in ghosts, but I believe in what I see. I see some strange things.

Sarah Dalton was great with the setting details. I could see the places and people vividly. This story was pretty suspenseful; I even jumped out of my seat in some scenes–when they sneak upstairs and a scary story is told, when Mary is locked in a room for an extended period of time, and when readers found out that the creepy killer knows Mary figured out everything and begins stalking, threatening her.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Please Don’t Laugh At My Funeral By Kole McRae

Steve is going to kill himself in 30 days.

Steve Campbell is depressed to the point of suicide. He’s lost his job, the love of his life and soon he’ll be forced out of his own home. With nothing left to lose he decides to set an expiration date on his body, hoping it will force him to seize the day like he’d always been told to do.

Each chapter in this novel is one day in Steve’s life. They follow the antics he pursues in a desperate grab at finding some kind of meaning to his life. He takes all kinds of illegal drugs, hires prostitutes, jumps across train cars, blackmails his old boss and more.

18741464I loved this book. My favorite lines: 1) “Dude,” Frank said. “You’re homeless, you can do anything right now. Absolutely anything, no repercussions.” Frank smiled. 2) Waking up, Steve felt something he hadn’t woken up to in a while: He felt happy. 3) “I like that: no name, no story. Just her. Fuck it, let’s get that watch!” Leroy said. 4) “If you’re breaking up with me, I have to let you know, I didn’t even realize we were dating.”

Meet Steve. He planned to kill himself in 30 days. He met his new roommate, Frank, who brought LeRoy into the mix to try and get Steve out of his funk. Even though Steve was the main character, the author did a fabulous job of creating colorful characters. I ended up caring for everyone and loving their fun adventure. They ended up getting into crazy things and often times the two guys ended up calling Steve “self-centered jerk.” I loved their back and forth. In fact, the dialogue and conversations were the favorite part of the book for me.

Even though Steve was the sad one, he seemed calmer and more mature than Frank and LeRoy. They seemed more reckless, making me believe that there could be a twist of maybe Steve lives but Frank ends up dying. Or maybe even LeRoy.

I hoped that the story would have a happy ending. I was really rooting for Steve to change his mind. Things started to look good–he met a girl named Nat. I jumped out of my seat when readers found out she was the body in the morgue.

Poor Steve. He lost the girl of his dreams. His mom had died, and his brother had committed suicide. One of his friends overdosed. No wonder he was giving up.

If you want to know if Steve lived or followed through with his plan, you’ll have to read to find out.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby