Category Archives: Ghosts

NetGalley Review: Salvage by Duncan Ralston

Forsaken Publishing To Be Published Nov. 10, 2015 Kindle 304 pages
Forsaken Publishing
To Be Published Nov. 10, 2015
Kindle 304 pages

Thirty years earlier Peace Falls was flooded to build a dam leaving ruins under Chapel Lake. A pastor and his parishioners have strangely disappeared, leaving a town divided and haunted.

Owen Saddler is a loner; not very close to his mother and hates his Step-Father. All he has is his little sister, Lori. When she mysteriously drowns at the “haunted” waters of Chapel Lake he decides to follow in her footsteps and discover the truth. 

This was a creepy book. But it was good despite some issues.

It is slightly hard for me to rate the characters within this book because for the most part I have no idea why the author describes Owen as a loner, mama’s boy for most of the book. Owen it in very easily with people and although he was feeling some type of way about life he wasn’t as depressing as described, even when he was by himself.

I liked Owen not as a accelerator of the story but as average guy; because to be perfectly honest he isn’t spectacular and the events that happen to him when they do happen are lack luster. The tension you feel through the entire book isn’t fixed by amazing dramatic scenes if nothing else you wish for more . . . I wished for.

As for the other characters .  .  . there wasn’t enough about them for me to feel that if they were missing from the book I would be upset. Even the “romance” didn’t add anything or make Owen more human.

The book was slow and this was because of the lack luster drama scenes. Do not get me wrong it was creepy and almost scary but there wasn’t enough to give this book a higher rating.

However, the author Ralston, can write. Although it took me a while, I finished the book and I liked it. He was able to pull me into the tension, give me goosebumps and make me semi content with the ending.

Overall I did like the book despite the issues I had.

3 Pickles

NetGalley Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Bloomsbury USA Childrens Published Sept. 1, 2015 240 Pages
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published Sept. 1, 2015
240 Pages

Pram Bellamy can speak to ghosts. She lives with her aunts and doesn’t have any friends except for Felix, who is a ghost.  When Pram is forced to attend school, she meets a boy named Clarence, who like her has lost his mother.

Clarence wants to say good bye to his mother so with Pram they go to meet Lady Savant, a spiritualist for help. But Lady Savant isn’t exactly who she claims to be and takes a dangerous interest in Pram and her ability.

Wonderful, wonderful read! Perfect for middle schoolers or young adults that do not want fluff of romance and extra nonsense.

Pram is a straight forward character. There isn’t any real depth to her other than her ability to see ghost and the death of her mother. Surprisingly enough when she ask a question she gets an answer without any run around. It made for a uncomplicated situations for about half of the book. I was actually worried there wouldn’t be much going on.

However when Lady Savant the story takes for a creepy turn. I loved it. Lady Savant provides the complex character that I wanted from Pram. She is twisted and although at one point Pram feels bad for her, I don’t not even the slightest bit. By time I finished the book I got the feeling that this book wouldn’t be the last time we hear from Lady Savant. The ending didn’t seem easy but a bit too easy for the character.

As stated before the book is designed for middle schoolers because it doesn’t contain a romance or backstabbing or any of the other usual stuff you see in paranormal YA books. The pace was great but the lack of personality from Pram did make the book seem slower. When things got bad I was hoping from some intensity from Pram and it didn’t really come at all.

Overall I unexpectedly fell for this book. I impatiently look forward to book two.

4 Pickles


Manga Review: Bizenghast, Volume 1 (Bizenghast #1) by M. Alice LeGrow

Tokyo Pop Published Aug. 9, 2005 184 Pages
Tokyo Pop
Published Aug. 9, 2005
184 Pages

A forgotten town named Bizenghast gets an expected visitor when a sad young girl moves to the town. Here she discovers a collection of lost souls looking for a way to end their nightmare. It is up to her to set them free or else she will likely join them. 

I always passed this book when it was suggested to me on goodreads. I got tired of seeing it and decided to pick it up. To say the least it is a lackluster read.

This young girl is just a sad individual that walks around as if she knows nothing in this world. She is scared of everything and has no issue crying about it. Her friend on the other hand does everything for her. . .  because if she doesn’t complete the missions she will dye a horrible death for all eternity.

It actually is quite sad.

What I liked about this manga is the idea that there are souls, good and bad, who are trying to get out of their circumstances. I liked the mystery surrounding them; it reminds me a bit of like clue because they have to find items or find certain aspects of the dream in order for them to succeed. I thought that was really cool and I wish the author played more on that.

I also loved the Gothic style of drawing. In the beginning it was hard to decipher the time period because only the girl and her friend wear these type of clothing but I got it.

But overall I read to Volume 2 and plan on reading #3. My issue with this book is it doesn’t bring enough to the table for me to fall in love with. The main character is what really knocks this book down and she is pretty much the same way in volume 2.

2.5 Pickles

Quick Five© With Kim Liggett

Courtesy of Kim Liggett
Courtesy of Kim Liggett

Name: Kim Liggett

Who is Kim?  Love of music and all things creative

Books: Blood & Salt (To Be Published September 22, 2015), The Last Harvest (Still Under Production)

Buy:  Barnes & Noble, Amazon

You got to love a author with a colorful background. You can almost bet that whatever they write will be the most amazing read you have had in a long time. Take author Kim Liggett, a former musician and actress who decided to keep her love of creativity by starting businesses and by writing a book (that has nothing to do with music).  I for one, look forward to Ms. Liggett’s new chapter. You should too.

You have businesses in the arts as well as music, why decide to write a Young Adult novel?

I’ve always been involved in the arts, one way or another. I just see this as an extension of my interests. I will always create, whether it’s books, businesses, or music…or maybe a beautiful garden someday. The future’s wide open.

 G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015 352 Pages
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015
352 Pages

Your book “Blood and Salt” is being described as Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the corn. How accurate is that statement? Why did you choose to write a romantic horror?

I’d say it’s extremely accurate. A lot of people probably think it’s some kind of gimmick comp, but it’s pretty dead-on. I’m dyslexic, so reading was hard. It had to be pretty damn compelling to get me to finish a book—I gravitated toward the naughtier bits of horror and romance novels to get me through.

What do you want readers to get out of reading your novels?

I hope they’re swept up. I hope there’s enough interest to keep even the most reluctant reader flipping the pages until the very end. Because the end is so worth it. ; )

How has the current popularity in Young Adult novels influenced your writing? If there is any influence at all?

I love the pacing of YA novels. I find that aspect really addictive. I’m a new writer—I can still read a book for sheer pleasure without analyzing the prose. I’m grateful for that—because above all else, I consider myself a fan of the genre.

Finally… who were the biggest rock bands you sang backup for in the 80s’ ( I’m dying to know)?

Haha! Blast from the past. Duran Duran, The Eurythmics, Eddie Money…I did a lot of studio work and some touring in the mid to late 80’s. It was a crazy way to grow up—to be a teen. And yes, someday, that will work its way into a book. : )

Twitter: @kim_liggett


NetGalley Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie & Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Weinstein Books To Be Published March 24, 2015 304 Pages
Weinstein Books
To Be Published March 24, 2015
304 Pages

This book is based on the popular YouTube Chanel, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Sunshine  has moved from everything she has ever known to a town where it is always cold and raining in hopes that the new position her mom has been offered will bring even more happiness to the perfect family.

But Sunshine discovers that the house she now calls home already has an tenant.

I have never seen or heard of the YouTube series. So when I picked up this read, I literately knew nothing about it.

This book started off well enough. I was into stayed up late to get to halfway of the book. The relationship between Sunshine and her mom is really cute. It is a perfect balance of mother and daughter relationship, friendship and respect.

Sunshine is a curious girl but when things get too hot she backs off but in this case of a haunting she really can’t. Halfway through the book a wall is hit. Sunshine’s mixed emotions about everything including her own strength gets in the way a lot after the halfway mark. Also nothing goes on. Nothing happens after the first huge haunting it was as if the ghost was tired and just didn’t feel up to it.

This stalemate goes on for a while. However, I do give the authors credit for unpredictability. When certain revelations are realized, it wasn’t foreshadowed. The fact that the authors hinted at something but then completely went the other way was great. I appreciated that.

But the ending was bad. Cliff hangers are okay if they are done right. Bring forth a new piece of information at the last page isn’t a proper ending. It is frustrating to the read and a amateur move.

The ending, the stalemate and Sunshine were aspects of this book that was hard for me to let go. I am hoping for character development in the next book.

2.5 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Mary Hades (Mary Hades #1) by Sarah Dalton

CreateSpace Published May 4, 2014 286 Pages
Published May 4, 2014
286 Pages

Before you read this review, look here.

When her parent’s decide to go on a holiday, Mary wasn’t too upset. After being scarred physically and mentally, Mary is ready for a break. Expecting a boring week with her ghost of a best friend, Mary is unaware of the evil that is waiting.

Despite the evil, Mary is drawn to local boy Seth Lockwood, who is hiding a dark secret that can ruin not only her trust but the entire small town. Determined  to find the truth about Seth and the evil lurking in this community, Mary enlists the help of a goth couple and her best friend in order to make things right.

If you read my review on the prequel of this book then you know I am decent fan of this series. The author can tell a really good story but the ending needs work.

I like Mary and the fact that she isn’t a brat and she has a realistic relationship with her parents. I like her honesty and despite the paranormal aspect of her life I enjoy how realistic it is. The flow of the story was perfect; I was sitting at the edge of my seat for most of the book and I was really into the story.

What I didn’t like (before the ending hit) was the judgement made towards Seth. (Slight Spoiler) People react differently to things and no one knows what their reaction will be until they are in that situation. I felt that the whole attack on him was too much of a focus and just sad.

I also felt that the mystery wasn’t much of a mystery at all. Because it was done so early in the book, it took away a lot of the story. However, the author was able to still keep me in.

Now the ending. . . . Predictable . . . like seeing the ending two chapters before it even happens. This pisses me off because the book was pretty good and the ending was just slack. This has nothing to do what I expected because what I expected was the typical in a YA novel; Mary & Seth begin a long distant relationship  or some kind of relationship considering she risked her life for him.

Overall, I recommend this book because the potential is huge in this series. But that ending . . . hope to never see it again.

2.8 Pickles.

Impatiently Waiting For: A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Bloomsbury USA Childrens To Be Published Sept. 1, 2015 240 Pages
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
To Be Published Sept. 1, 2015
240 Pages


Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

Book Review: Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Weidenfeld & Nicolson  Re-Published Sept. 26, 2013 299 Pages
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Re-Published Sept. 26, 2013
299 Pages

15-year-old, Oscar Drai has vanished from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona for seven days and nights. The year was 1980.

Before his disappearance, Oscar meets Marina and her father Germán Blau, a portrait painter. Marina, full of mystery, “takes Oscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month.”

There they see a woman dressed in all black holding a rose on a grave marked by a black butterfly. Curious, Marina and Oscar follow this woman not realizing that they are stepping into dangerous mystery.

This would be the first book I read by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I wasn’t too impressed with this book.

Oscar and Marina lack a spark in their personality. Both of them have a huge mystery surrounding them. The author explains Marina’s story and I am satisfied but even when things are explained I didn’t feel as if I knew Marina. Oscar has no back-story. You know nothing about his parents or why he is far from home.

I also didn’t like the “mystery” or the “creepiness” of this novel. It wasn’t done with much passion and it lacked interest. I wasn’t interested in the woman or the unknown symbol. It felt that Oscar and Marina was only interested because it gave nosy kids something to do.

However, despite this what I really loved about this book was the details (shocking right?). It was beautiful the way the author describe the scenery, the history and the culture. This was what kept me into the book.  If the author gave more time and detail into character development, I would have fell head over heels in love with this book.

Overall, I was expecting something better.

2 Pickles.

NetGalley Review: Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter

Algonquin Young Readers Published Sept. 16, 2014 299 Pages
Algonquin Young Readers
Published Sept. 16, 2014
299 Pages

It is 1892 in New Fiddleham, New England and Abigail Rook, fresh off the boat,is looking for a job. In this job search she meets R.F. Jackaby, an investigator of with the ability to see the supernatural.

Abigail, who notices details in the ordinary is accepted as an assistant for Jackaby and embarks on a case to look for a serial killer. The police believe it is an ordinary man, however Jackaby knows it is something more.

This book is a play on Sherlock Holmes. So when I first began reading it I was very excited but then that excitement dulled down.

The reason the excitement dulled down was because it was too much like Sherlock Holmes. Yes, the supernatural spin to it does change things but Jackaby is Sherlock. This bothered me. It showed a lack of originality. Did I like Jackaby? Yes. But he wasn’t his own person.

I thought Abigail was played down way too much. She wasn’t as quick on her feet as I expected her to be; considering the fact her father was an adventurer and although she wasn’t apart of that she yearned for that type of life.

However, despite this, I really enjoyed the story and how it developed. The author was very good at keeping the story going. It did slow a considerable amount; as if the author wasn’t sure how to continue it but it was a good read. No points though for trying to show a romantic side though.

Overall, I would recommend it.

3 Pickles