The Enemy by Charlie Higson

A mild warning before you choose to read this book: I do not recommend reading while your depressed. It doesn’t end well. Read this when your in a good mood and can handle a bunch of kids dying and surviving the zombie apocalypse where adults are the bad guys.

I liked this book, once I finally read it when I was in an okay place. I liked the dynamics, the characters I thought were well done, and I liked the setting and language use. This book takes place in London, from the point of view of kids. Yeah, it’s not too unique in the term of zombie novel/movie/show criteria, but since there’s not an excess of young adult zombie fiction that’s well done, this stands out.

It’s gloomy, dreary, just a bit gruesome and definitely violent. There’s death. Fear. Hanging on the edge of your seat tension. But I liked it. I recommend it, if you can handle the grimness. 13+ is what I’d say.

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman

I finally read this book, after being pretty horrified after watching the movie when it came out when I was younger. Well, my aunt and mother did tell me I was too young. But this book was pretty dang awesome. It’s a short, quick read but doesn’t feel lacking. And it was so good, my mother read it after me and loved it so much she wants to read more by him.

It follows a girl named Coraline and her otherworldly adventures with her other mother and what a life there would be like. Coraline, as a character, is just great. She’s imaginative, creative, and adventurous.

I would say upper middle grade for this one, maybe younger if you don’t mind spooks here and there and creepy other mothers with button eyes. Great role model for young kids though. 11+, I think. But not just for kids, mothers too enjoy this book. And, if you or your family or whoever likes this book, be sure to check out Neil Gaiman’s other sorta multi genre and age novel, The Graveyard Book.

The Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

This is a series where the writing isn’t great, but it’s occasionally entertaining. Or I thought until I read the third book and was pretty much swearing as I tried to finish it. While reading reviews of this book on Amazon after I read it, most of my thoughts after so many five star ratings were ‘Did I read a separate book or something?’

This book took place in a world with witches and monsters and ghosts. In this world, there’s a Spook, someone who deals with the disposing of these monsters. A Spook and there apprentice must be the seventh son of a seventh son, and the apprentice in this case is Tom. He trains and learns and makes mistakes and deals with the witches and stuff.

Well, it wasn’t a particularly great series. The writing wasn’t the greatest and the titles are really, really corny. And the characters seemed to be so dumb at times and occasionally, the dialogue made me want to scream. So did the characters. And to me, it just wasn’t that scary. And it just dragged at times. But, I did enjoy the second book, so maybe I will try and get through the fourth. This series also seemed a lot like another series (one I love) which is the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. That series is amazing and I recommend it for all ages, genders, and for lovers, haters, and people who haven’t even read the Last Apprentice series.

The Last Apprentice series is violent and gory at times and may or may not (okay, does) include witches who cast spells using baby’s bones. Probably best for 10+.

Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks

This book was just…wow. I am pretty much wordless. It was just so amazing. It was one of those books that you want to read fast to find out how it ends, yet you want it to go on forever. I read this book the same weekend that I read two mediocre books, and this book was a nice change to that.

In this book (this fabulous, fabulous book) Ruben’s 19-year-old older sister is raped and murdered. He senses things, and sensed it, but didn’t tell. Afterward, he and his brother Cole (also older at 17, and Ruben 14) set off to find who did it so they can bring back their sister’s body for burial. This is a powerful book that makes you think and weaves in a number of topics like murder, family, racism, violence, love, and how dangerous big business and wealthy men can be.

This book has a lot of violence (I mean, it is about a murder) and other darker things. 13/14+, I think would be best. But this is a powerful book that is amazing.

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

I read this book on my way to my grandma’s, late that night, and on the way home. Overall I kinda like this book and will probably pick up the sequel. While reading this book and looking back on it, I have mixed feelings. I have things I liked and things I didn’t like.

This book is about smart, talented in some way, high schoolers who have chosen to spend a crap ton of money to go to a college in New Hampshire for 5 weeks and take challenging classes and stuff on topics of interest. Thing is, the dorms they stay in used to be an old insane asylum. Hence the title, Asylum. Dan and his friends, Abby and Jordan, find pictures and notes and start getting pulled into the past of the place, a past which they are connected to.

Well, that’s what the inside flap said, but I found that only Dan and Abby were all that connected to the past. Now on to the other things I didn’t like. The first hundred pages or so were rather boring, and I’m surprised I didn’t stop reading this book all together. And the book felt rather plotless until the last hundred pages or so. And like the fabulous book ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ by Ransom Riggs, this book had photographs. Unlike the other book, the photos in ‘Asylum’ were altered and changed, and I felt, unneeded. They seemed to be placed randomly or that the author was trying to hard to scare or creep out the readers by using them. I also felt that the photos were an easy way out for describing buildings and locations. Also, the romantic relationship between Abby and Dan seemed completely unnecessary. And Dan in general just didn’t seem like a likeable character at all. He was frequently jealous over nothing and hated Felix for no real reason. And the fact that Dan, Jordan, and Abby were such close friends after barely knowing each other and told each other so many deep secrets seemed really, really unlikely. I mean I have secrets I haven’t told my close friends that I’ve been friends with for years. And Jordan seemed like a really stereotypical character. And also really unlikely person as well. Last complaint (I think, I mean this is already pretty long for a few complaints) is: what college professors would want to spend their summer teaching more classes? And plus, that would cost a fortune for the college to do! I mean, teacher pay, dorms, food, lunch staff pay, janitor pay. It just doesn’t seem realistic to me. And the ending was clearly bad foreshadowing to want you to read the next book. And it would have been a much stronger book if it was in first person point of view instead of third (although I rarely say that).

Now for the good things. Lemme wrack my brain for a minute. Trust me, there are good things! I think. Well, it managed to creep me out in the first 20 pages. That’s hard to do. It was an interesting story though, and I was on edge waiting for the next time the three teens went back into the locked, creepy part of the insane asylum. And I do want to read the next book. I am not trying to convince you not to read this book, the paragraph above is just things I noticed that irritated me or didn’t make sense. I’m positive there were other good parts, it’s just that those were the parts that stood out to me.

This book had violence, mentions of past cruel treatments for patients, some deaths, some murders, and definitely creepy at times. I’d say 12+. Not a terrible book, but not amazing.

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

It has been far too long in my opinion since I have reviewed a book, so here it goes. This book is one that I had been waiting for for a while, and I finally got it on my kindle in the beginning of April. I read it and loved it.

This book is truly amazing. It makes you think, it makes you wonder, and it will creep you out. It sure creeped me out at times. This book follows Jazz, who is the son of an infamous serial killer named Billy Dent. But, Billy has been locked up for a few years. Jazz wants to live a normal life, but that’s hard since his dad has been teaching him how to kill since he was little. Now, bodies are piling up in the small town he lives in, and he’s the only one who knows how a serial killer thinks.

This book is violent. Like, really, really, really violent. There is some major gore at parts. There is also mentions of, well, serial killy stuff, like cutting people up, mentions of rape, and other stuff. I recommend for older teens. But this book is amazing, and I do think people should read it. Apparently, there’s a T.V. series being made but it doesn’t look that good since they made Jazz a girl (which I find weird). But this book is amazing!

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

At times I think of this book and love. Other times I hate it. Mostly, my feelings are of strong dislike.

This book is about Violet White. She lives in a small town with only her twin brother in a giant house. Her parents are touring Europe and wasting the last of the money. When Violet runs out, she rents the guest house. River West rents it out, then mysterious things start happening in the small town.

First, for the things I liked. The writing was pretty good, and I loved the details of the mansion the White’s live in. That is where the pro’s end and the con’s begin. Let’s start with the way the characters were described. Violet’s twin, Luke, is described as a mean, sexist, bully. That is told at the beginning and not really mentioned that much in the rest. The only way Sunshine Black, Violet’s only friend or neighbor, is described is as a slut. Every time she is described or thought about. Then, there is Violet’s character. The story is written from her point of view, which is very immature at times. Whenever her brother and Sunshine are flirting, Violet stops it. Violet is also supposed to be very smart, and this is shown by constant quotes from books and poems. Violet also lives in the past by sleeping in her dead grandmother’s room, wearing her clothes, and reading her letters.

There is also pretty much no plot until the last hundred pages. And towards the end, it felt like the author was running out of ideas, and started making everyone related to someone. And then added brand new brothers of River West. None of the characters were that good or changed. To be honest, River’s younger brother Neely was the most interesting character. Then there is the issue of how even though River is a killer who doesn’t even think what he does is wrong, Violet still loves him. And the fact that when he comes to read the guest house, she doesn’t ask for any references or identification. And soon after, she starts sleeping next to him. And kissing him.

This book has violence, gore, and some romance. I would say 14/15+, if you wish to read this.