Tag Archives: ghosts

Manga Review: Tasogare Otome × Amnesia by Maybe

Kaze Manga Published 2014
Kaze Manga
Published 2014

A young woman was left to died in the old building at the Academy for Sincere Teachings. Niiya Teiichi, a freshman, gets lost in that building and sees this young woman’s ghost. The two join together to find the truth about her death and past. 

*Review of the entire series. 

This manga was fantastic. If you do not mind some ecchi, then don’t read this. The plot. the pace, the mystery and the horror all moved together perfectly in each book.

I liked how the romance wasn’t over done nor was it completely obvious. It could have went either way and I appreciated that sort of “suspense.” Niiya was a character I didn’t think to like. He stayed true to himself and what he wanted and nothing stopped him from that. There was a love triangle… well other people were interested in Niiya but it was one sided. Perfect.

The artwork was great. There was horror not graphic, not bloody but certain images did provide the horror. What I really did love about this book is it was a huge game of telephone. Not everything was what it seemed, not everything was a lie. It was a great blend of what the babbling of high school students can and cannot do.

I can go on and on about this series but it would give a lot away. Overall, unforgettable story.

5 Pickles

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.

NetGalley Review: My Daylight Monster (Mary Hades #0.5) by Sarah Dalton

Createspace Published Oct. 2013 124 Pages
Published Oct. 2013
124 Pages

Mary is going through a difficult time (to say the least). Her psychiatrist has just advised her that staying at a psychiatric unit for a short time could be the cure she is looking for. Highly unlikely for Mary but when she meets the other patients she begins to have hope that is until everyone begins dying at an alarming rate.

Mary knows that there is something deeper going on and she is the only person to stop it . . . that is if she can deal with her own monsters.

Firstly, this cover is pretty but extremely misleading to the story (it should be a lot darker). But anyway, this was a good novella.

It was perfect in the sense of length and information. What I mean by information is back-story.  By the end of the book I knew Mary and her issues. I was satisfied with her development and slight growth.

Mary in the beginning was hard for me to like because there was no understand at all to what her problem was.  Even reading it I still can’t see why she was in the psychiatric center anyway because there was truly nothing wrong. But despite that I did appreciate the underlying point to Mary’s story. Yes, there is a lesson at the end and it was a really good one in regards to mental health (which seems to be a constant topic lately).

What I really enjoyed about this book was the flow. Dalton has a good sense of time in which she doesn’t allow the back-story to become the complete story, therefore not causing a dull and boring scenery.

Because this book is a novella, it was a quick read and a good start to an interesting series,

Overall, 3.5 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.

NetGalley Review: Insanity by Susan Vaught

Bloomsbury USA Childrens   Published Feb. 18, 2014                384 Pages
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published Feb. 18, 2014
384 Pages


*I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. *

Never, Kentucky is a small town that is place for ghosts and humans that cannot find peace. 18 year old Forest, fresh out of foster care is working the graveyard shift at Lincoln Hospital, which is a mental institute.  

Forest took the job in hopes of saving money for college and getting out of Kentucky. But fate has other ideas for her when she sees a patient’s dead husband being chased by supposedly a devil agent named Levi. 

Caught in a situation Forest never thought she would be in, she must find information about her heritage and look at the bigger picture in life. 

This book isn’t just about Forest. It is actually told from the point of view of 3 other teenagers. The author did a horrible job of transitioning these point of views and for a big part of the book I was lost.  Vaught abruptly ended Forest’s story to talk about another one and it was bad. Most of the beginning of the book you only know about Forest and the agent. Even in the summary the focus is Forest and not the other teens.

I wasn’t able to finish the book. But I did read half way through before anyone decides to kill me.

However, I did enjoy some parts that I read. I liked Forest and was completely into her story. She was motivated, wasn’t hung up on the past (until it bit her in the butt) and she was realistic. I also liked the fact that she wasn’t a rebel or a jerk. She was a nice girl.

I didn’t like Levi. He didn’t really do anything for me to like him. He was a jerk who actually liked Forest, so when he began being nice to her I just threw some shade at him and called it a day. He wasn’t well rounded.

The book was boring and dull. In the opening you see Levi being killed but then for the next 6 chapters nothing weird or crazy happens to Forest minus the seeing ghosts. The story tries to come off creepy but it doesn’t ever really reach there. Overall the book (what I read) gets 1 Pickle I didn’t have huge expectations for this book but I still was hugely disappointed.

Book Review: Hereafter (Hereafer, #1) by Tara Hudson

         Harper Teen   Published Jan. 1, 2011             404 Pages
Harper Teen
Published Jan. 1, 2011
404 Pages

Amelia knows that she is dead. She also knows that she drowned. But Amelia does not know anything from her past life. When a boy name Joshua falls into the river, Amelia rescues him by willing him to live at this point her whole non living existence changes. However, things aren’t easy for the two as they get closer. Dark forces are after Amelia and the ring leader Eli wants Amelia badly.

I thought the concept of this book was interesting however it is just not my thing. A ghost falling in love with a human is really nothing new. However, in these books there is a light at the end of the tunnel; some way the two can be together on the same playing field so to speak. With this book I did not see no end. Amelia has been roaming for years with no intention of finding out is there something more or can she find out who she is. It isn’t until she saves Joshua’s life that all of a sudden she needs things now. No she does not have a desire to live at any point in the book. She just needs Joshua and the dark forces are stopping her from being with Joshua . . . also his Grandmother who thinks she is evil.

The author wrote the story well in the beginning but Amelia was just too one dimensional. After she meets Joshua she has this spunk, this fight that you would have never guessed she had before. It felt like it came out of no where. I guess you can say that it was a sign of her becoming more like her old self once she met Joshua but I wasn’t too okay with that route.

Also the love between Joshua and Amelia was way too easy. She’s a ghost that falls in love with a human almost the moment that they met . . .  no complications at all.

Overall the score of this book is: 2.5 Pickles

Book Review: The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

        William Morrow   Published Aug. 6, 2013             368 Pages
William Morrow
Published Aug. 6, 2013
368 Pages

Li Lan, daughter of a genteel who went bankrupt, lives in the Chinese colonies ruled by the British. Although most of the Chinese have given up ancient customs there are a few that still practice.  For instance, the wealthy and powerful Lim family, whom have taken an interest in Li Lan and has requested she become the ghost bride for their dead son.

Li Lan is completely against this. Although she would taken care of for the rest of her life, being the bride of a ghost is complicated. When he husband to be begins haunting her and when Li Lan begins to take interest in her fiancé’s cousin, Li Lan begins to question why the Lam family wants her to be a ghost bride after all.

This was neither a good or bad read. It was interesting.

Firstly, I was surprised at the lack of details and richness in the book. It was as if the world was modern; which was weird considering the story takes place on 1893 Malaysia.  I didn’t feel inspired to know more about the culture. I didn’t see colors in my head throughout the entire book. All I saw was dull black and white.

This made the book boring. There was a lack of excitement; thrill and to be honest love. It is considered a romance but there was no romantic vibe towards it. Not even when the random romance came out of no where. Which really bothered me because for most of the book Li Lan wanted the cousin. Towards the end I though Li Lan was very selfish. There was also no depth about her character. She was plain, fickle, a bit two faced and way too gullible. I was disappointed in her from beginning to end.

The book was slow. For a woman who has the freedom to move about (her father allows her to) there wasn’t much action in finding out the secrets of her fiancé or his family. There wasn’t even a whole lot of suspense either. When things did begin to pick up it was over complicated and all I could do was stare at the wall. Sometimes simple is best and considering that the author decided to write about a ancient tradition with romance and mystery adding characters after characters on top of a fickle, boring woman is just wrong.

I really wanted to like this book. I mean look at that cover its beautiful! The author had a good idea but it wasn’t executed correctly. Overall, the book gets 6 out of 10.

Love, Pickles

Book Review: The Crossroads (Haunted Mystery #1) by Chris Grabenstein

    Random House Books for Young Readers       Published May 27, 2008            325 Pages
Random House Books for Young Readers
Published May 27, 2008
325 Pages

Zack, his dad and her stepmom Judy, are moving to his father’s hometown. After losing his not so great mother to cancer, Zack is looking forward to starting over in a new town and house. However, the moment Zack and his family enters the town, things seem a bit off.

50 years ago, a killer slammed his car into a bus killing 40 people; he himself hit a tree and died a fiery death. Now his spirit, which was trapped in the tree he slammed, is released due to a lightening storm and he plans on handling unfinished business that involves Zack and his family.

What I loved about this book was how Grabenstein made it feel as if you were breezing through the chapters. They weren’t overly long but they were full of details, twist and turns. I also loved the fact that he brought out the biggest characteristics of a small town . . . everyone knows everybody/everything.

There were a lot of turns in this book and it was done very respectfully. You didn’t feel overloaded with the information because you was able to piece things together flowingly with the story. It was perfect and it felt like a true mystery.

I also loved the fact that Judy wasn’t a mean stepmother or someone who was trying to hard. She was all for Zack. I didn’t appreciate Zack’s father; he didn’t believe Zack for anything and felt that he was always making up stories. I felt bad because Zack loved his father but also knew that his father would never understand or know the truth about him.

Overall I think this is one of the best mysteries that is perfect for everyone . This book gets 10 out of 10.

Love, Pickles.

Book Review: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

It is 1918 and the world is at war with the Germans and the Spanish

        Amulet Books  Published April 2, 2013             387 Pages
Amulet Books
Published April 2, 2013
387 Pages

Influenza is killing everyone that was shipped in the draft. Mary Shelley Black, named after the author Mary Shelley, is sent to stay with her Aunt in San Diego, California while her father awaits a trial for his crimes regarding the war.

In San Diego, Mary watches as people go to spirit photographers in search of seeing their deceased loved ones one more time. Mary doesn’t believe in ghost even though she has a photograph with one. She doesn’t begin to believe until the ghost of the boy she loves shows in one of her photographs.

Unable to shake the fact that something is completely wrong, Mary begins to ask questions to find out what really happened to her beloved.

I couldn’t stand Mary. She was a brat and for most of the book she was rude to her Aunt. She wasn’t rude to her because she was living with her but she was rude because she was rude. Mary had an odd sense of entitlement and I really have no idea where that came from.

Despite Mary, the story itself was very creative and a really good read. There wasn’t much suspense in the book; danger wasn’t lurking at every corner. However, Winters made me want to keep reading not because I wanted to crap on the book but because I wanted to know what happened to Mary’s love. Is Mary crazy? Is Stephen still alive? The author left a lot of questions in a good way. Winters wrote the book so well that I am giving her a pass on Mary.

I also enjoyed the history in the book which includes photographs from that time period.  You don’t get too much regarding the war because yes it is what causes pretty much everything but the book is not about the war. It isn’t even completely about the flu going around  the point of this book is Mary lost the man that she loves but he cannot rest and she needs to know why.

The ending of the book was enjoyable and surprisingly enough not as predictable as I suspected. There was a big decision that needed to be made and Mary didn’t take it, which I thought was very interesting.

Overall the book gets 8 out of 10. If the story poorly written then it wouldn’t have gotten the grade that got.