by Thomas Fahy Published by Simon and Schuster
on August 11th 2009 Genres: Death & Dying
, Horror & Ghost Stories
, Social Issues
, Social Themes
, Young Adult Pages:
SOMEONE ELSE WILL DIE SOON she tells herself.
SOMEONE ELSE WILL DIE AND I WILL BE RESPONSIBLE.
A few days after the first time you
walk in your sleep, you kill someone.
That's how the end begins.
Emma Montgomery has been having gruesome nightmares. Even worse, when she wakes up, she isn't where she was when she fell asleep. And she's not the only one. One by one the students of Saint Opportuna High start having nightmares, and sleepwalking. And the next morning one of their classmates turns up dead. Something is making them kill in their sleep. Emma and her friends need to band together, to keep themselves awake until they can figure out what's behind the murders-before anyone else dies.
It seems to me that YA horror books are either good (original or using tropes in new ways) or bad (stuffed with clichés like a Thanksgiving turkey). It’s difficult to find books that go beyond the low budget horror films kind of suck. Sleepless was not one of those books. It just wasn’t very good.
The New Orleans backstory where the starting point of all that ensues was not fleshed out enough. I wasn’t comfortable with the fact that it was right after hurricane Katrina and the whole cliché of evil Voodoo magic was brought up. It just came across cheap and disrespectful.
As for the characters, I disliked them all. Didn’t care about who died or who lived. *shrug* The romance was highly annoying. Jake and Emma..I could have crawled into this book just to murder them both.
Jake is your typical pothead and drug dealer. He’s failing out of high school. No direction whatsoever in life besides wanting to sleep with the pretty Emma. And Emma likes him too. I don’t understand why but 99% of the time she’s thinking about him. Everybody else is dying but who cares, right? He admits he thinks he killed a girl on the beach, considering he woke up with sand all in his clothes and bed..but does this bother her? Nope.
Teens are dying under mysterious circumstances and this is her train of thought:
“Why won’t he touch me like that? Emma keeps asking herself.”
Not only that but she had some petty reasons to hate another girl. The list was things like big breasts, blonde hair and blue eyes, perfect body, and “putting the moves on Jake Hardale.”
… I know girls can be petty to the point of childishness..but in all my days of disliking someone, it was not because of their breast size or hair color. Emma retracts some of this once she gets to know the other girl a little more, but it’s painfully obvious that a dude is trying to write girls and it just didn’t work. The only character with any real depth is Jake, even then it’s not much besides getting high and hoping to bang Emma.
If you’re looking for a good horror book to read, this is not it. So underwhelming from beginning to end.
The Girl from the Well
by Rin Chupeco Published by Sourcebooks Fire
on August 5th 2014 Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories
, Young Adult Pages:
You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.
A dead girl walks the streets.
She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.
And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.
Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out.
The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as "Dexter" meets "The Grudge", based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.
The Girl from the Well is primarily about a spirit named Okiku who wanders the world to free the spirits of murdered children, while also killing those responsible for their deaths. She soon comes across Tark, a teen who has troubles of his own with a nasty spirit trapped within him. The scariest part of this book was the creepy, gut-wrenching feeling of dread when you see innocent, unsupervised children and know that someone out there could be watching and waiting to steal them away to satisfy their sick twistedness. There are a few other slightly creepy scenes involving the spirit Okiku and the malicious spirit within Tark, but for the most part the creep factor is hindered by its predictability.
Despite being really similar to many other horror movies and books related to Japanese ghosts, The Girl from the Well remains fun and quick to read for anyone who has a taste for this kind of horror and easy to read style. Some sentences in the book are written into separate lines (if I’m explaining it correctly). I found it to be a little off-putting at times, however it did grow on me towards the end.
An example of this is:
Overall, I liked The Girl from the Well enough to seek out the sequel The Suffering.
by Hillary Monahan Published by Disney Electronic Content
on September 2nd 2014 Genres: General
, Horror & Ghost Stories
, Legends, Myths, Fables
, Young Adult Pages:
There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her. Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go. A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror. Once is not enough, though--at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary's wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered. A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary--and Jess--before it's too late?
Believe it or not, I lost real sleep from reading Mary: The Summoning. Usually, it’s only movies or even those creepy word of mouth tales that do that to me. Perhaps it was because I was up really late, staying in an unfamiliar bedroom where there were so many shiny surfaces that Mary could have crawled through to mercilessly drag me into the other side. The fear and paranoia was real. So maybe read this book during the daylight hours.
We’ve all heard some version of the Bloody Mary legend and some of us may have played the summoning game at some point in our lives (although I’m too superstitious to mess with things like that). Mary: The Summoning gives us more of a background behind the mysterious entity known as Bloody Mary. What starts off as a seemingly innocent idea turns into something more sinister and dangerous. One girl is marked, the others in danger. How do you stop something from another world that’s out for blood?
The sequel Mary: Unleashed is coming out this fall. And I’m waiting impatiently.
Diary of a Haunting
by M. Verano Published by Simon Pulse
on August 25th 2015 Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories
, Mysteries & Detective Stories
, New Experience
, Social Issues
, Young Adult Pages:
In the tradition of Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project, an American teen recounts the strange events that occur after she moves into a new—and very haunted—home with her family in this chilling diary that features photos and images of what she experienced.Letters, photographs, and a journal…all left behind in the harrowing aftermath. Following her parents’ high-profile divorce, Paige and her brother are forced to move to Idaho with their mother, and Paige doesn’t have very high hopes for her new life. The small town they’ve moved to is nothing compared to the life she left behind in LA. And the situation is made even worse by the drafty old mansion they’ve rented that’s filled with spiders and plenty of other pests that Paige can’t even bear to imagine. Pretty soon, strange things start to happen around the house—one can of ravioli becomes a dozen, unreadable words start appearing on the walls, and Paige’s little brother begins roaming the house late at night. And there’s something not right about the downstairs neighbor who seems to know a lot more than he’s letting on. Things only get creepier when she learns about the cult that conducted experimental rituals in the house almost one hundred years earlier. The more Paige investigates, the clearer it all becomes: there’s something in the house, and whatever it is…and it won’t be backing down without a fight.
Diary of a Haunting is written completely in online entries by a teenage girl, and it’s very convincing with teen speak and internet slag, so it was just like finding a real diary and reading through the sometimes rather awkward entries. Paige happens to experience really creepy events in the house she had just recently moved to due to her parents’ divorce. Her mother and brother also live with her, although Paige and her brother are the ones experiencing most/worst of the creepiness. Her mother ignores basically everything that happens and is annoyingly the ‘la la la there’s only positive energy!’ types.
At the end I was like, “Why? What? Huh?” Things were just so confusing and I didn’t quite understand why. What was it about Paige that had the house active? And the source of all that was happening, what was the point? I have too many questions. Although, despite being totally confused, the ending was creepy.
Spiders and flies, they’re mentioned a lot. In fact, they’re probably the freakiest things mentioned in the book. I might be a little paranoid about having those ugly things crawling all over my face at night, so there’s that.
If you like very quick reads and love reading diary formats (I know I do), try this.