Hellsing by Kohta Hirano

This is one gory stinkin’ book. Like seriously, at times it’s like a never ending gore train. It follows this secret organization, Hellsing, that is led by this Lord and her vampire coworker. I know, I know. Vampires? But these are the cool ones. These don’t sparkle, aren’t good, and are pure weapons of mass destruction.

So, way cool.

Together along with others, they battle baddies and goodies who are more like baddies in a wonderful array of blood.

There are swears. Don’t remember the severity, but swears there are. And the gore is pretty gory. Like, during this one part the head vampire cuts of the top of this guys skull and drips the blood into his mouth. I mean for a manga it’s not that bad violence wise, but still. Can’t say to much on other factors as I’ve only read the first few. But I think this is a great manga for mature teens who don’t mind a little gore in their plotlines.

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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+.

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.

On The Day I Died by Candace Fleming

I saw this book in the library and was psyched to read it. It had all the elements to make a good book. It had a ghostly hitch hiker, a grave yard for teenagers, and the human character trapped until he hears the ghosts tales about the day they died. I was really excited to read this book. The beginning and 1st story were really good, and I liked them a lot. Then the stories got worse. Now I know when you have a story with ghosts it’s straight up fiction, but some of the stories were ridiculous. One story had giant insta-grow pets that ate people and a lazer gun. One had a wish granting monkey paw. They just weren’t realistic.

Also, most of these stories were retelling of other stories. I didn’t notice much, since I hadn’t read the original, but that might bug others. And, besides all the kids dying in Chicago, the stories were not connected. Sometimes it felt that the stories were purely there to fill in the pages. And at the end, it felt like it was a book just to teach you a lesson about driving too fast. The writing was okay, but this book didn’t feel like it had a plot, at all.

This book is good for 11-14, since it has some gruesomeness and gore. And is a bit creepy at times.

The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky

This book was beautiful, eloquent, and wonderful with an open ending that made me think and consider what might have happened. This book’s writing is beautiful and I was hooked by the first sentence. It left me wondering. I got this book at the library today and it’s already finished, 4 hours later. This book was shot (140 pages), but did not feel brief. It was not lacking in parts.

This book is about a class of 11 girls in Sydney, Australia in the year 1968. In the book they have a teacher who’s different from the old, stuffy teacher’s at the fancy school they go to. Their teacher takes them on trips to a close by park where they write poetry or learn from the man that works there, Morgan. They all think their teacher, Miss Renshaw loves him. One day, Morgan and Miss Renshaw take the 11 girls to a cave where Aboriginals supposedly painted on the cave walls. Miss Renshaw, like all the other times they go to the park to see Morgan, tells them not to tell anyone. They girls don’t like it in the cave, so they while Morgan and Miss Renshaw are still in there. They wait on the beach, but they don’t come out. They wait for a while before searching in the park and heading back to school.

The teacher’s find out that Miss Renshaw is missing, but the girls don’t tell the specifics, since they promised not to. They are wracked with guilt and don’t know what to do. Then One person tells. This story deals with guilt, with secrets. With what something like this does to a class of 11 girls around 10 years old. With what happens after.

I honestly really liked this book. I thought it was beautiful. This book is recommended for ages 12+, and I think it’d be good for ages 11-14. It was a very good book though.

The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki

This book is seriously awesome (in my opinion) and is by one of my favorite authors. This book, like Dan Poblocki’s others, is spooky and eerie. Other books by him include The Stone Child, The Book of Bad Things, and The Nightmarys, among others.

This book follows Neil and his older sister, Bree, as they go to stay with their two aunts for the summer after their parents split up. Neil goes exploring a decrepit insane asylum called Graylock with his new friend Wesley. His older sister Bree and Wesley’s brother Eric tag along. What they find in there haunts them and reveals secrets buried years previous.

This book is recommended for ages 10-14, and I agree (although 10-year-olds are more likely to be more spooked than older kids). This book is spooky at times and is really good in general. I recommend this book.

The Girl in the Well by Rin Chupeco

This is a great and terrifying story based on the fantastic Japanese legend of the ghost Okiku. This is a story about ghosts and demons. About past and present.

This book follows Okiku, the ghost of a murdered girl who is unable to pass on and who murders child murderers. Then Okiku meets Tarquin, a boy with mysterious tattoos covering his body. Tark had just moved to Applegate, a small town, with his father so they could be closer to his mother in the mental institute. Tark’s mother had tried to kill him a few times. Okiku protects Tark and his cousin and helps them uncover the truth behind his tattoos and his mothers past.

This book is awesome and terrifying, combining an old legend with a new story. This book is really good, and has violence, gore, scary parts, swearing, and death. I would say 14+.