Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

24 Sep 2011

Title: The Name of the Star
Series: Shades of London #1
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Harper Collins Aus.
Release Date: 1st October 2011
Source: 
From publisher via Netgalley (Thank you!)
Format: Ebook
Goodreads Synopisis:

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.



My Thoughts:

I’m quite ashamed to admit that I’d never heard of the name Jack the Ripper before, let alone knew what he was famous for. I’m actually a fan of crime fiction (and real crime) especially the whole mystery surrounding the perpetrators, so I’m glad Maureen Johnson introduced me to a new true crime story which I’ll be sure to research very soon.

 The Name of the Star was a mediocre read for me; I enjoyed it but it did not leave a lasting impression on me. The premise was fantastic (like I said, I love crime) however, the characters were vague and the writing style was just…average. I’ve never read any of Maureen Johnson’s books before but I have certainly seen her books around so naturally I was expecting a magnificent read, but The Name of the Star didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

I genuinely enjoyed reading about Jack the Ripper and as much as his murders grossed me out, I found it highly fascinating.(I mean, a serial killer who actually mutilates and cuts open his victims? I’ve only ever read about those!)  In The Name of the Star, women have winded up dead and murdered in almost the same way as the victims of Jack the Ripper over a century ago. There’s frenzy and fear in the country as the ‘new’ Jack the Ripper is believed to be back. I liked how Maureen Johnson was able to effectively link the history of Jack the Ripper with this modern day crime, creating fear yet excitement among the public.

The characters were…decent but weren’t exceptional or memorable. There were like a blur to me and easily forgotten; it wasn’t that the characters lacked depth or personality but they just didn’t leave an impression on me. I guess my favourite characters would have to be the minor ones – Boo (what an awesome name!) and Alistair, both whom were more interesting than the other characters. There was also the typical up-herself ‘it’ girl who instantly became the MC’s rival/enemy and usually readers (or at least me) would detest the enemy as well, but in this case, I personally found no reason to hate the girl. There wasn’t anything wrong with her; sure, she was a bit naggy and academically competitive but that was all. It definitely didn’t seem enough reason for everyone to hate her.

The writing style was another factor that caused me to lose interest in the novel. At times, I was so bored, I had to switch to another book and put this one on hold indefinitely. Like the characters, there was nothing wrong with the writing; it just wasn’t striking in any way. Even during the climax, the writing remained the same;it wasn’t intense or gripping and I didn’t feel compelled to read more.
Without being too spoilery, I should mention that I didn’t find the villain’s reason for attacking the victims legit. I wasn’t content with the explanation; I mean one must have an incredibly plausible explanation for committing such brutal crimes, right? ( No, wait, no one has the right to kill people, but I’ll make an exception here..)Yet the whole purpose behind the killings was so ordinary that murdering so many people was just plain unnecessary. But  I was still intrigued by the whole mystery surrounding the killer so this wasn’t a huge issue for me.

Overall, I found The Name of the Star a pleasant read but marred by a weak writing style. I may not have liked this as much I as wanted, but I’m looking forward to the second book. Hopefully I’ll like it better than The Name of the Star. 



Rating: 3 stars
Quotes: 
"He's asking me out by asking me to ask you?" 


"I go completely mental too. Period fever. It's the worst."

Blog Tour: Mammon by J.B Thomas - Guest Post

23 Sep 2011

Welcome back to the Mammon Blog Tour, stop 4, day 2! Enjoying it so far? Haha, I hope so :) You can check out my interview with Joe here and also my review of Mammon here
Today, JB will give us an insight into Music and Mammon! 

~Music and Mammon~
Like many writers, I like to listen to music while writing. I’ve definitely made mental associations between characters and songs. I’ve developed something of a playlist, which I’m happy to share with you today.

To use this playlist effectively, I recommend following these steps:

1)     Make sure you have a copy of Mammon. If not, why not? Okay, I’m just kidding (about the why not part…you do need to have a copy of the book).
2)     Access all of the songs listed below.
3)     Play them in the order listed, and imagine the scenario I describe. You could even read the relevant chapter.
4)     If you think there is a song that should be added to this playlist, please add a comment at the end of this guest post, including where the song fits into the story.

So, here it is: The JB Thomas Definitive, Spoiler-Free Mammon Playlist!

Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz
What a great intro song this would be in a Mammon film adaptation. The camera swoops in over the corrupt streets of Border City and then cuts to a suburban kitchen where Grace and Joe are preparing to leave for school. It follows them on the bike, then through the busy corridors of the high school, taking in the as-yet-unnoticed Jesse Tyler as he swaggers out the back entrance, on his way to sort yet another dirty deal.

ET by Katy Perry
Mammon is walking through a nightclub. He is the consummate sharp-dressed man – and everyone knows it. As he surveys the room, his eyes fall on several women, who turn, trance-like, in response to his stare. He wears a small smile – the type of smile a confident man has when he knows he can take any woman in the room home with him. He continues to walk, and as he does, the women start to get up and trail him until every female in the place is following him out the door. He’s a sexual Pied Piper.

(My best friend, Linda, found this song. She’s part of the creative think tank known as The Legion of Three.)

Run by Snow Patrol
This is the ultimate loss song. Joe and Grace are travelling through a dark, lonely night towards their new life in the South. Run has words that Mum and Dad would want their children to hear. I can’t say much more…just listen to the song and its lyrics and music will speak to you.

Carnival by Natalie Merchant
When Grace arrives at Renfield and learns about the demons, she realizes that up until now, she’s been blind. She looks at the world with new eyes, and feels hypnotized, mesmerized…by what her eyes have seen.
My Delirium by Ladyhawke
When Grace is shocked out of her body during the taser attack, this song comes to mind. What else can I say? It’s a very ‘Grace’ song.

Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap
When Ivan brings Grace a present – after her naughty visit to the city. Aw, mushy!

Human by The Killers
This is the song that should be played when Ivan dances with Grace at her birthday party – in the highly romantic way that only Ivan can!

Watercolour by Pendulum
This is the definitive Ferryman Chronicles song. It’s the type of song that expresses the fears and hopes of the small, valiant group of demon hunters – the telepath, the warrior and the Ferryman. If you’re still not convinced, look at the video!

Hope you enjoy! Please, add song ideas of your own if you like. You can also visit me at www.jbthomasmammon.blogspot.com.

Cheers!
JB

I'd like to thank JB was allowing me to be a part of this awesome blog tour! 
The next stop is with Brodie at Eleusinian Mysteries where she'll be doing a character interview as well as a post on 'Why are Russian men so hot?'. I personally can't wait to read the latter; if you've read Mammon, then you know that Ivan, (who's Russian) is smokin' hot. Hahaa. 

Blog Tour: Mammon by J.B Thomas - Character Interview

22 Sep 2011


Welcome to the fourth stop on JB Thomas's Mammon Blog Tour! I'll be interviewing Joe as part of the tour and tomorrow, there will be a guest post featuring the ultimate playlist for Mammon. Sound fun? But before you read any further, check out the first three stops with Erin at Tales of the Inner Book Fanatic, Braiden at Book Probe Reviews and Rachel at The Rest is Still Unwritten. 

Without further ado, let us welcome Joe...

Hello Joe! Thank you for joining us for an interview today!
Hey.

Would you like to start off by telling us a bit about yourself? What were you like before your life turned upside down?
Well, I’ve always been into bikes and knew I was going to open my own shop someday. Dad was close to finishing his job on the rigs and I knew he’d put some money aside to help me. But I don’t really like talking about that now.

Can you describe your relationship with your sister, Grace?
It’s pretty good. She’s smart but I feel like people give her a hard time. Like that jerk-off at school, Mancini. She’s a nice person who trusts easily, but people think they can take advantage of her. And then she comes to this place and they give her a hard time. She has changed, though. Since…well, she doesn’t let people walk all over her anymore.
I’ll always be close to my sister. Now, more than ever, because she’s all I have.

Now, we know of your amazing ability to open rifts. What were your thoughts when you first realized what you could do?
What a good way to get rid of all the garden waste.

How do you feel about being a ferryman? Do you feel burdened since the Order has high hopes for you, or perhaps delighted to be able to help exterminate these demons?
Nah, I’m not burdened. They can’t really know what it’s like to be me. I’m happy to be able to do it. Utu’s had some really weird stuff happen to him. I don’t mind – as long as I can always control the gift.

You’ve encountered countless demons. Can you tell us your experiences with these Demons? How would you be able to tell them apart from ordinary humans?
They’ve got this shadow on them, and Grace feels pukey when they’re close. I don’t, which is good. They usually mouth off when we get to them, but they shut up real quick when I open a rift. Ha, ha.

Okay, I’ve been dying to ask this next question. What do you think of Grace’s relationship with Ivan? Do you feel more protective now, or do you believe Ivan will definitely take care of Grace?
Ivan’s a pretty cool dude. I suppose if there’s anyone on the planet who can protect her, it’s him. He’s hard core, really. I’m pretty happy about their relationship. But I don’t wanna know all the soppy details…

Thank you for stopping by Joe! It was fun chatting with you!
Yeah, no problem.

Thank you so much J.B Thomas for this interview!

~About the Author~
J.B. Thomas was born in Perth in 1971. Adopted at four weeks of age, she grew up in a beachside suburb with three brothers. After graduating with an Arts degree, she worked as a writer in public relations roles with government, educational and non-profit organisations. She was inspired to write The Ferryman Chronicles by speculating what life would be like if demons lived among ordinary (and not-so-ordinary) humans. J.B. Thomas lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband where she has taught high school English for the past nine years. During this time she has run creative writing clubs and produced literary anthologies of student work. She is a longtime fan of Great Danes, and when she’s not writing or reading, she watches films, walks her dog, George, and on occasion can be found playing online games. Mammon is her first novel. 

Find JB on:
Read my review of Mammon here.
Add Mammon on Goodreads.



Holidays + Giveaway :)

16 Sep 2011

GUESS WHAT? I'll be going to China for 3 weeks during the school holidays! (& yes, I'll be missing one week of school! So excited!) In fact, I'm leaving tonight, so I thought I'd just quickly post this up! I'm don't know if I'll have access to blogger/twitter/facebook etc. (I think the government blocked it all? :S) While I'm away, I think it's only fair to do a little giveaway, right? Except this time, it won't be books, it'll be bookmarks!
So, here it is:

The lovely Emily White, author of upcoming YA novel, Elemental kindly sent me these bookmarks for a giveaway! They're so pretty right? AND it's signed!
Here's the blurb from Goodreads.:

Just because seventeen-year-old Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn’t mean she should.  
But she wants to.


For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers.

Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories?

Is Ella the prophesied Destructor...or will she be the one who's destroyed?


Coming May 2012, published by Spencer Hill Press


Find the author on:

Sound interesting yeah? Well, since we all have to wait quite a while before it's released, why not enter to win a signed bookmark :)

Giveaway:
- Must be 13 years or older
- There will be 2 winners
- International (I'll get my parents to pay for postage ;P)
- Ends 7th October (when I come back)
-Being a follower is not required for this giveaway, but of course appreciated :)
- Fill out this FORM (don't worry, it's a really simple form!)

*Note: I'll also be extending my 50 followers giveaway, which will now end on 7th October as well. 

Waiting On Wednesday #7

14 Sep 2011

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Title: Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1)
Author: Jessica Spotswood 
Publisher: G.P Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Expected Release Date: February 7th 2012

A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare in this spellbinding fantasy

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

*SQUEAL* Gorgeous cover, yes? Not only that, but the blurb sounds really interesting as well! I haven't read many books on witches (unless you count Harry Potter) and the other's I've read weren't that great, so I'm really excited to read this one! I'm so curious to find out what this very destructive secret is! Can't wait for this book to be released!

Book Review: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

12 Sep 2011

Title: All These Things I've Done
Series: (Birthright #1)
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 1st September 2011
Source: 
From publisher for review (Thank you!)
Format: Paperback
Goodreads Synopisis:
Sixteen year-old Anya becomes the head of a mafia family after her parents are both murdered by rival gangs. Although Anya is embrolied in the criminal world, she is determined to keep her brother and sister out of the mafia family, but her father's relatives aren't so keen to let them go. When Anya's violent ex-boyfriend is poisoned with contaminated chocolate – chocolate that is produced illegally by Anya's mafia family – she is arrested for attempted murder and sent to the notorious jail on Manhattan Island.

Eventually she is freed by the new D.A. in town, who believs she has been framed. But this D.A. is the father of Win, a boy at school to whom Anya feels irresistibly drawn, and her freedom comes with conditions. Win's father wants to be mayor, and he can't risk having his ambition jeopardised by rumours spreading that his son is seeing a member of a notorious crime family. Anya knows she risks the safety of her family by seeing Win again, but the feeling between them may be too strong to resist...



My Thoughts:

It’s 2082 and NYC is completely different. Current ‘necessities’ like COFFEE and CHOCOLATE are deemed illegal and are only sold in the black market. Instead, ALCOHOL is permitted for consumption by people of all ages- no license/proof of age required. WATER is scarce and no books have been printed in decades due to the cost of paper; all paper books have been recycled into toilet tissue and money. Even sending emails require postage fees! On a personal note, has the world gone mad?! I don’t know how I could survive living in this world, under such conditions, but this is normal, everyday life for Anya Balanchine.

The world Zevin has created in truly a shocking and miserable one, yet I can’t help but be intrigued. Chocolate and coffee are like addictive drugs for many individuals in our society today, so does that mean they will be banned in the near future? While reading ATTID, I couldn’t help but wonder: Why are coffee and chocolate banned? Why is alcohol legal? Zevin unfortunately did not provide adequate answers to these questions, but I guess the lack of world-building wasn’t a huge issue to me. There were so many other interesting aspects of the book that kept me occupied so I did not dwell too much on these unanswered questions.

I was really fascinated by Zevin’s writing style. I don’t know if a certain writing style can be completely original, but that was what if felt to me. Instead of the usual first-person narration, where readers merely see everything from the main character’s POV, Anya’s manner of narration is slightly different. At times, she directly speaks to us, which I loved since it allowed me to really connect with her character. I also loved the titles of each chapter; they summarised what would happen in each chapter, but it was written in such an amusing and original way that I just had to keep reading to find out exactly what happened, why it happened and what happened after.It was one of the main things I looked forward to while reading this book!

Anya was a brilliant protagonist. She was practical and independent, although at times I thought she was too strong for her own good. Her parents died when she was young, and she was left to take care of her bed-ridden grandmother, handicapped older brother and a much younger sister. I guess having to shoulder the responsibility of her family really toughened her up, to the point that she believed she needed to do everything herself. I really respected her determination to take care of her family, but I truly thought that at times, she could’ve just allowed someone else, whether it be family or Win (her..boyfriend, and who’s incredibly awesomeJ)or her best friend Scarlet to help her out a little. I also loved how she was fiercely loyal to her family, like nothing could even tear her away from her them, even if it meant losing the guy she loved.

Overall, All These Things I’ve Done was a realistic and compelling read with a wonderful narration and fantastic characters. I can’t wait to read the second instalment in the Birthright series!


Rating: 4.5 stars!
Quotes:

 First Lines:
"THE NIGHT BEFORE MY JUNIOR YEAR - I was sixteen, barely - Gable Arsley said he wanted to sleep with me. Not in the distant or semi-distant future either. Right then.
Admittedly, my taste in boys wasn't so great. I was attracted to the sort who weren't in the habit of asking permission to do anything. 




Blog Tour: The Rising Moon -Guest Post & Giveaway

11 Sep 2011


Hey everyone :) Today's my stop for The Risng Moon blog tour! I have asked Nilsa Rodriguez to share the inspiration behind her novel, The Rising Moon. After Nilsa's guest post, there will be an ebook giveaway for one lucky winner!


I've always been fascinated by the legend of the Lobison. I wanted to write a story around this legend that originated in Central and South America, and is believed in to this very day. Fans of the paranormal genre,especially those who enjoy werewolves, know the usual stories or history about werewolves, but not so much about the Lobison's who are werewolves by birthright. Their history and legend, is one I hope the readers will enjoy.
The Rising Moon takes place on a horse ranch in Lander, WY. Angelia (Lia) is an orphaned girl who always knew she was different. Having lost her parents when she was four, Lia grew up not knowing who she was.
The story follows Lia's discovery about her family's past and about who she truly is… the reincarnation of the immortal werewolf.
I've been asked, "Why write about reincarnation?" Well the idea of having the power to reincarnate and relive your life, as if having a second chance is fascinating. If you were destined to repeat your previous life,
live, and die as you once did because that was fate's plan, then what would happen if you came back and changed it? Will fate's plan change or remain the same? Hmm…it was something to think and write about.
The Rising Moon includes many paranormal elements such as, witches, shape shifters, werewolves and vampires. Mix all those elements with a story of self discovery, action, romance and you have The Rising Moon.

~About the Author~
Being an author is quite literally a dream come true for a girl who spent most of her childhood moment escaping to far-away lands and wondering into enchanted forests through the many books she's read growing up and still enjoy to this very day.
Having had studied  Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design and Early Childhood Education at PennFoster College her love for writing has always remained close to heart. So with honor Nilsa received her literary diploma from The Institute for Children Literature in 2009. 
Born and raised in New Jersey, Nilsa Rodriguez now lives in sunny Florida with her husband and son where you can find her writing well into the night on her next novel.

Find Nilsa at:
Find The Rising Moon on Goodreads

~Giveaway~
Nilsa has kindly offered one ebook copy of The Rising Moon to give away! 
  • Simply fill out this FORM
  • Giveaway is international 
  • Ends 21st September.
  • Winners will be announced on Nilsa's facebook page. 

~Twitter Party~

There will be a twitter party as part of the blog tour on 12th September (TOMORROW!) at 9pm EST. (It's also the release day for The Rising Moon)
Use the hashtag : #TheRisingMoonNovel
Nilsa will also be giving out awesome prizes who those who participate!










~Other Activities~
Not only do you have the chance to win an ebook copy of the book, you can also gain entry to win the grand prize! Grand prize includes swag (dream catchers - exact replica of the one in the book, mirrors, sticker, bookmarks) and a signed paperback! To enter, comment on one or more of the blog tour stops. Each comment is worth one entry! 

The next tour stop is at http://www.angelsdemonsandvampires.com/ on the 13th! Look out for a guest post and review :)

In My Mailbox #7

10 Sep 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, which allows bloggers to share what books they've borrowed, received in the mail or bought in the past week.




Bought:
Fateful by Claudia Gray
I'm not a fan of Claudia Gray's Evernight series, but I have a feeling I'll like Fateful! Werewolves + Titanic = my thing :) Plus I couldn't resist the shiny cover!

Borrowed:
Firelight (Firelight #1)by Sophie Jordan
I just searched this up on goodreads, and it seems to have quite a few negative reviews, but I actually like it at the moment (I'm almost half way through). It's pretty exciting reading about dragons <3 Must find more books on dragons now! 
Ultraviolet by R.J Anderson
This one sounds interesting - a girl in a mental institute after having murdered a girl at school. There seems to be a lot of mystery in this book & I love books that keep me guessing until the end! Excited to read this one!
Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins
This one's about witches. I actually don't know much about this, but I saw it on display at the library and it's a hardcover (it's so hard to find a hardcover YA novel here!) so I couldn't resist :)

Won:
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins (thanks to JESS! <3 You're awesome!)
I've already read this one & loved it!! PEETA <3 It's nice to have my very own copy sitting on my bookshelf! Now I'll have to go buy Catching Fire and Mockingjay!
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See book pack! (Thanks Bloomsbury Aus.!)
I won this after I signed up for Bloomsbury's newsletter! I also got 2 movie tickets (awesome! Must go after exams!!) and an excerpt of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller + 20% off Dymocks voucher! Haha, I feel so lucky! This one's about a girl in 19th century China and i think it's similar to Memoirs of a Geisha...at least from what I've read online. My mum's going to read this first (I actually think she's excited to read it!) haha.

Follow Friday #9 & Book Blogger Hop #6

9 Sep 2011

Follow  Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can Read!

Q.Have you ever wanted a villain to win at the end of a story? If so, which one??

Haha, I like this question! Don't get me wrong - I love the 'good guys'- but in almost every single book out  there, it's always the good that triumphs over evil. I've wanted to try a book where the villain actually wins, but I've had no luck.(Obviously) So, in Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, I really wanted the bad guys (Jake) to win so that the book would just end already. I did not care for the characters, so I would have been happier if Jake and killed all the angels. Oh and it would've been nice if the main girl had fallen for the bad guy as well, since I just could not tolerate her & Xavier's romance. Urgh. 

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy for Books

“Many of us primarily read one genre of books, with others sprinkled in. If authors stopped writing that genre, what genre would you start reading? Or would you give up reading completely if you couldn’t read that genre anymore?”

I read primarily YA, but I also read other genres - paranormal romance, adult fiction, historical fiction, crime etc. The world would be a very sad place if authors stopped writing YA :(, but I guess I'll still survive. I'll probably just start reading crime fiction again, & Jodi Picoult's books! 


Waiting for Wednesday #6

7 Sep 2011

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Author: Anna Banks
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Expected Release Date: May 22nd 2011

Emma and her friend Chloe are spending vacation in Florida. When Emma (literally) runs into a hot guy named Galen on the beach, little does she know he’s a prince of the Syrena. Galen and Emma both feel something strange – is it attraction? – and Galen suspects that Emma might well be the girl he’s heard of – a human who can communicate with fish.
What follows is a deadly scene with a shark in which Galen witnesses Emma’s gifts. He must know more about her, and follows her back to New Jersey, and high school, to find out for sure if she’s the key to saving his kingdom. Soon, Emma can’t deny her feelings for him, but can’t explain them, either – and both she and Galen must learn more about where she comes from and what her powers are before they can trust one another and their feelings.


I have a weakness for gorgeous covers, so I feel like I'll read this no matter what the book is about :) The blurb sounds interesting - a human who can communicate with fish?!?! That's pretty awesome! The rest sounds a tiny bit cliched...but I'm still going to read it! 

Book Review: Ashlyn's Radio by Wilson Doherty + Giveaway!

4 Sep 2011

Title: Ashlyn's Radio
Author: Wilson Doherty
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: July 2011
Source: From author for review (Thank you!)
Format: Ebook
Goodreads Synopsis:
When her mother is hospitalization for mental illness, Ashlyn Caverhill is crushed to be forced to go live with her grandmother in Prescott Junction, Maine. Nothing ever happens in this small, closed town. Nothing except for the ghost train that rolls through on the rusted lines on dark nights – the one the townsfolk pretend not to hear it as it comes to claim tortured souls.

Ashlyn is skeptical about the legend … until she sees the train for herself, with its evil yet powerfully seductive conductor and the wailing of souls trapped on board. As frightened as she is at the conductor’s pull, more terror awaits when the antique radio in her grandmother’s basement comes to life. Ashlyn’s grandmother tells her the radio is a Caverhill curse, and can’t be destroyed or discarded. It keeps coming back, and it keeps broadcasting “reports” of events yet to happen. Her grandmother begs her to stay away from the radio, but Ashlyn cannot help but listen. And to her horror, it tells her she is bound to board the ghost train.

Ashlyn will need the help of her newfound friends, the troubled Rachel and the very sexy Caden, if 
she is going to get through the coming horrors with her sanity intact and her soul unclaimed!

My Thoughts:

I must admit, I haven’t read many horror books lately since I get scared really easily, but I actually genuinely enjoy horror books. It’s like, I WANT to know what happens next, but at the same time, I’m also afraid to read further because of what images I might conjure in my head. Ashlyn’s Radio literally creeped the living daylights out of me but I just couldn’t put it down because I was obsessed with finding out answers and unravelling the secrets.


The story starts off with Ashlyn being sent to live with her grandmother in Prescott Junction after her mum is hospitalised in a mental institute. Prescott Junction is no ordinary town. Everyone stays locked up in their rooms every night, pretending to not hear the ghost train that rolls through the town. Once in a while, people will wind up dead beside the train tracks, with no obvious cause of death. Ashlyn is initially sceptical about the legendary ghost train until she sees it for herself and the price people pay for accepting the ticket to board the train. Added to this, Ashlyn finds out about the Caverhill curse, and her great-grandmother’s antique radio that seems to predict the future. I found the storyline particularly intriguing. It wasn’t merely about a ghost train that rolled through town every once in a while, but there was more depth, and a reason behind the regular appearance of this train. I liked how this had more to do with souls – the train claimed tortured souls and by boarding the train, your soul would be forever stranded and lost. This was a very different and unique concept to me since I’ve never read a book that focused on trapped souls before, but I really enjoyed it!


Ashlyn was a brilliant protagonist. She was totally fearless and incredibly loyal and protective of those she loves. Throughout the entire book, she was constantly looking out for her best friend Rachel (who was definitely in need of looking after) and towards the end, she was acutally able to help Rachel turn over a new leaf. I also liked how Ashlyn became more caring, more considerate towards her grandmother. At first, she was constantly having these teenage tantrums where she would just swear, curse and scream at her grandmother, but they eventually developed a bond and mutual understanding, which was nice to see. Ashlyn was also exceptionally brave. She faced her fate head on, and was willing to sacrifice herself if it meant she could save other peoples’ lives. I wish I could possess her outstanding traits!


I should also mention that the whole radio coming to life aspect seriously creeped me out. It isn’t n every day that you read about a radio that just would not shut up. The ghost train arriving to claim souls was also both interesting and frightening, especially the conductor who handed out the tickets. I actually debated whether I should go to sleep with the lights on since I was constantly envisioning this boney, corpse-like figure with a malevolent smirk pasted on his face. Thinking about it now still makes me shudder.


Overall it was exciting, intense and downright scary. Although I wished there was a more thorough explanation on why Ashlyn’s mother was in the mental institute. Was it something to do with the Caverill Curse? Nevertheless, Ashlyn’s Radio was a very enjoyable read and I highly recommened it! 



Rating: 4 stars


Quotes:

"Sometimes Ashlyn felt  like this might be her only chance. Like she had to reach out and grab at love right now, to experience it all before the opportunity passed her by."
  
"Right now she just wanted to hug his words to her and smile" 


GIVEAWAY:
Wilson Doherty has kindly offered one ebook copy of Ashlyn's Radio for one lucky winner!

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