Book Review | The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook

hanging girl cover.jpgDuring Skye’s senior year of high school, a fellow classmate is kidnapped. After popular Paige goes missing, no one suspects tarot card reader Skye could be involved, which makes her the perfect choice of accomplice. Skye’s role is to feed tips to the police under the guise that she’s having visions about the crime. Problems arise when Paige doesn’t stick to their plans and Skye realizes she is in over her head.

As a young adult suspense mystery, The Hanging Girl is successful. The story is easy to follow and has enough plot twists to keep the reader guessing until the very end. Chapter breaks are frequent enough and the book’s length is appropriate. That said, the characters are difficult, in that they are rather unlikable, and the narrator is self-deprecating. Similes are overused and the writing style, at times, is a challenge. Readers who enjoy a book for its story that can overlook the stylistic annoyances will have a winner here. Check it out from a library near you!

I received an advance reading copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating.

*Fans of The Hanging Girl, may be interested in The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault (2017).

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Book Review | The Clairvoyants by Karen Brown

clairvoyants karen brown.jpgAfter growing up on the Connecticut coast, Martha moves to Ithaca to further her photography skills at Cornell. Before long, she is joined by her younger sister, Del, and they fall in with a group of gals from the neighboring town of Milton. Martha’s curiosity regarding the disappearance of one Milton girl grows after she sees the girl’s spirit outside her apartment. After thinking she’s found love, Martha is at a loss when she finds out she’s been courting the missing girl’s beau.

The Clairvoyants is an enjoyable and thought provoking read. Brown’s writing is clear, offering a plot that’s easy to get involved in. Though I didn’t particularly like any of the novel’s characters, their stories were interesting and kept me constantly engaged. The supernatural aspect of the plot, while ever-present, is not overdone. This book would appeal to fans of gothic or women’s fiction. Check it out from a library near you!

I received an advance reader’s edition of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway.

*If you’ve enjoyed reading The Clairvoyants, you may be interested in An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman (2014).

Book Review | Joyland by Stephen King

book cover Joyland by Stephen KingIt’s been almost a month since I read Joyland. I was looking for an easy read, a paperback to take on the plane and this fit the bill. I’ve read quite a few of Stephen King’s books, 28 to be exact, and this was at the very bottom of my enjoyment list. While the writing was decent, the tension, build-up, and plot in general were lacking. The characters are underdeveloped and fairly flat. It took more than half the book for the actual crux of the story to become apparent.

Just in case you’re still interested… Joyland tells the story of a college kid who takes a summer job at an amusement park. He’s heart broken after his girlfriend splits on him so he throws his all into being a carny and befriends a few other summer employees who board at the same house. The fortune teller senses an ill omen for the kid and things shift course when the three of them check out the haunted ride where years before a young lady was murdered. He saves a choking girl while dressed like a dog and then meets a little boy who can hear thoughts and see spirits. Have you figured out the plot yet? This book is probably on the shelf at a library near you. For a much better, but completely different read by King, try Desperation.