Author Archives: Patricia @ Lady with Books

3 More Things To Do For Halloween In Saint Louis, Missouri

The Saint Louis, Missouri area has some of the greatest haunted houses and screamparks in the US and they only get better every year. If you’re in the mood for some frights and aren’t too chicken, I suggest you visit the following.

The Darkness

The Darkness Saint Louis, MO

The Darkness is located downtown St Louis just a few blocks from the St Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium and Ball Park Village in historic Soulard.  The Darkness features zombie laser tag, outdoor scream zone, Silo-X haunted house, Monster Museum, and The Darkness haunted house.  Next door to The Darkness is St Louis Escape with four different escape rooms in one location.

I suggest you buy tickets online to save time or else you have to wait in two lines, instead of just one. Fast passes are also available for an extra fee and you will be able to skip the lines entirely.

Tickets are $25. Fast passes are $6 more. The zombie laser tag or Silo-X haunted house are also $5 more. Tickets can be bought here. It’s located right next to the Soulard Farmers Market off of Highway 44. Open during weeknights 7:30 to 10pm and Friday and Saturday nights 6:45 to 12:15pm until Halloween. Plus the first Friday and Saturday of November 7 to 11pm.

1525 South 8th Street
St. Louis, MO 63104

border2The Abyss

The Abyss Haunted House

If you’ve ever been to Saint Louis and are even remotely interested in our haunted history, you’ve heard of Lemp. The Lemp family were beer makers, at one time the biggest in the U.S. But a series of family disasters and then prohibition saw the Lemp family and their brewery decline. By 1950, four Lemp descendants had killed themselves, three of whom perished inside the gloomy Lemp family mansion in St. Louis.

The Abyss is held in the limestone caves under the brewery, not the family mansion. You are forced to confront your fear of the dark, where you don’t know what is lurking around any corner. It is damp and cold down there, so if you have medical breathing problems, this is probably not for you. Wear flat tennis shoes. I’ve had a friend wrench their ankle down there because she was wearing espadrilles with heels. Enter at your own risk. If you chicken out, scream “William Lemp” and they’ll escort you out.

Are you ready to travel over a 100 feet underground in subterranean caves and tunnels?

Tickets are $25. Fast passes $6 more. Tickets can be bought here.

You can also buy a combo ticket for both The Darkness and The Abyss for $43.95. You can use the tickets the same night or different nights.

The Abyss Haunted House is located inside the old Lemp Brewery Complex.  The Abyss is off South Broadway just 2 miles from The Darkness Haunted House.

3500 Lemp Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63118

lempmansion

For a real ghost experience, I suggest booking dinner and a room at the Lemp Mansion Restaurant and B&B. The mansion is actually where you have the best chance to see the Lemp ghosts, including the Lavender Lady and the Monkey Faced Boy up on the third floor attic. The Lemp men who committed suicide in the mansion are also said to wander around. Reservations suggested, especially in October. Most Monday nights year round at 7:00pm there are tours, $25.00 per person.

3322 DeMenil Place
St. Louis, Missouri 63118
PHONE: (314) 664-8024

border2Creeypworld

creepyworld

If you are willing to drive a bit outside Saint Louis, then there is Creepyworld in Fenton, 20 minutes from downtown on highway 141. Creepyworld is 13 attractions in one. There is Raven’s Manor, Krampus; A Christmas Horror Story, Silo-X, Hornbuckel Pig Farm and Corn Maze, Dolly Madelyn’s Mansion, Whispering Woods Cemetery, Carnivorous in 3D, The Dark Zone, Trick r’ Treat Haunted Hayride, The Evil Dread, Supermax; Riot at Rikers, Quarantine; World War Zombie, and Saint Lucifer’s Hospital plus the Hollywood Pumpkin Display and the worlds only all dead Zombie Band. (I think I named all of them. Trying to find a complete list was a pain in the butt.) No matter what tickles your haunted house fancy, Creepyworld will have something to fit. There is a lot going on at this screampark.

Tickets are $25. Fast passes are $6. The Trick r’ Treat Haunted Hayride is an additional $5 for some reason. Tickets can be bought here. I suggest buying tickets online or you’ll be waiting in two long lines. They are open every evening for the rest of October, during the week 7:30 to 10pm and Friday and Saturday nights 6:30 to 12:15pm. Halloween night 7 to 11:30pm.

1400 S Old Highway 141
Saint Louis/Fenton, Missouri, 63026

Have a fun and scary Halloween everybody!

Thank you for reading!

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3 Things To Do For Halloween in Saint Louis, Missouri

We’ve got a little over a week until Halloween. I hope you’ve at least started on your costume. In the Saint Louis, Missouri area, there are ton of things to do for Halloween. I’ve listed 3 here but there are a lot more.

Great GO! Saint Louis Halloween Race

Great GO! St. Louis Halloween Race

October 22, 2017

7:00AM : 5K Start
7:30AM: 10K / Half Marathon Start
9:30AM: Fun Run Start
Trick-or-Treat Village: 7AM-11AM

This year we have added some extra Halloween fun starting with the Trick-or-Treat 5K! The 5K course will be lined with not only your usual water stops but also candy stops for you to trick or treat along the way! The 10K and half marathon courses have some added adventure this year as well! As you run through downtown St. Louis you will have to watch out for the Zombie Zone and you might even see the Ghostbusters in action!

The fun doesn’t end when the race is over! Get your  top of the line finisher’s medal, and head over to the Trick-or-Treat Village to fill up on candy and treats from local business and organizations. For the over-21 crowd, Michelob Ultra will be on site to help you enjoy a post race brew.

I do believe you have to register before the day of the race.Info packet pick up runs Friday and Saturday, October 20-21 at the GO! St. Louis office from 10am to 6pm.

GO! St. Louis office
300 Hunter Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63124

If you wish to participate, better hurry.

borderswishBoo at the Zoo

Boo at the Zoo Halloween 2017

Bring your little ghouls and goblins for a non-scary, kid-friendly Halloween experience. Children are encouraged to wear costumes. Children 12 and under will receive a treat bag upon exiting. Boo at the Zoo Nights is not a trick-or-treating experience.

Nightly, October 17–30, 2017
*5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

$6 for Zoo members (ages 2+)
$7 for non-members (ages 2+)
Free for children under 2
$1 discount for children 2 to 12 in costume with on-site ticket purchase

The Zoo is decorated for Halloween in a kid friendly manner. The is a pumpkin patch where kids can pick and then paint a pumpkin. ($5 fee) There are game locations, picture locations, and educational activities. New this year is also a Halloween-themed circus act. The 30-minute act features jaw-dropping juggling, stilt walking, amazing magic and more on stage at the Sea Lion Show Arena. (No animals in the circus show.)

borderswishGrant’s Farm Halloween Nights

Grant's Farm Saint Louis, MO

Runs Thursday thru Sunday for the rest of October. October 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29.

Get into the Halloween spirit with some spooky fun and celebrate with the animals at Grant’s Farm. Enjoy Halloween-themed shows, a DJ in the Bauernhof courtyard, lights, decorations and dark Deer Park rides.Guests are encouraged to bring flashlights to search for animals during the dark Deer Park rides.

6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Early arrival is recommended. Arrive as close to 5:30PM as possible! Halloween Nights at Grant’s Farm are very popular (especially on Friday and Saturday nights) and unfortunately even though we move guests on trams as fast as we can, cars can drive in faster. So arrive early, or try to visit us on a Thursday or Sunday night when the crowds are less!

10501 Gravois Road
St. LouisMO 63123
Parking is $20 per car. Walk-ups are $5 per person.

Thank you for reading!

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My Top 10 Not So Scary Halloween Movies

Top 10 Not So Scary Haloween Movies

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Even over Christmas. When October rolls around, I get an itch to watch some good old, spooky movies to get in the mood. But I’m also a chicken. I don’t like blood and gore but I have a love for cute Halloween movies. So, grab a cup of pumpkin spice coffee as I list my top 10 not so scary Halloween movies. (Guaranteed to NOT give you nightmares.)

10) The Haunted Mansion (2003)

9) Frankenweenie (2012)

8) Paranorman (2012)

7) The Addams Family (1991)

The Adams Family movie 1991

6) Coraline (2009)

5) Corpse Bride (2005)

4) Hotel Transylvania (2012)

3) Hocus Pocus (1993)

Hocus Pocus 1993

2) Practical Magic (1998)

Practical Magic

…Drum roll please! My favorite Halloween movie of all time…

1) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas

I adore Nightmare Before Christmas. I watch it every year, both for Halloween and for Christmas, I love it that much. It was the first stop motion movie I’d ever seen, the first ever done I think, and it just amazed me. I drive my coworkers nuts listening to the soundtrack too.

What’s your favorite not so scary movie to watch for Halloween?

Thank you for reading!

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The Teal Pumpkin Project

tealpumpkinproject

The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET) and launched as a national campaign by FARE in 2014. FARE thanks FACET for their ongoing partnership as we work to reach families across the country and around the world with the Teal Pumpkin Project’s messages of awareness, inclusion and community.

Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions. The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to provide non-food items in place of candy so children with food allergies can enjoy trick or treating on Halloween night like every other kid.

Click here to download signs and flyers.

Their Facebook page can be found here.

Have a safe and spooky Halloween, everybody!

Thank you for reading!

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I like kids stuff and I’ll thank you not to be a jerk about it…

(April the giraffe better have her baby soon because I’m sick of hearing about it. The live stream shows up on my Facebook feed every couple of posts and I’m about to lose my mind. It’s even on the news! Drop that baby already, April! We’re all tired of staring at your backside.)

Ok, world, listen up, if I want a row of little tiny plastic pony shaped toys in colors not found in nature on my shelf then I will have a row of little tiny plastic pony shaped toys in colors not found in nature on my shelf and you standing there with a mean grin on yourself face asking me ‘My Little Pony is for kids, why do you have those’ like my fondness for lighthearted, fantasy based entertainment somehow makes me touched in the head or less of an adult just makes you look like a jackass.

Yes, I like kids stuff and I’ll thank you not to be a jerk about it.

Princess_Luna

Princess Luna is my favorite and is the best and most awesome.
Fight me if you don’t think so.

I also have some Harry Potter Funko Pops! and minis, some Disney Dorbz, some assorted mini figures,and a good sized collection of Marvel Avengers action figures, bobble heads, and Lego sets. And the aforementioned My Little Pony toys. Other odds and ends of the literary sort. I recently bought a set of The Man from Uncle 1960’s novels. I plan to collect all 23 of them. And a Totoro plush from my Hayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli phase. There is also a tub of anime DVD’s under my bed. Some Sailor Moon stuff.

And the point is, these things make me happy. I’m drawn to entertainment that is light, colorful, fantasy based, and escapist. I need them. Without them, life is dreary and monotonous. Dreadfully boring. Pressing, and not in a good way. I need that outlet. And what right does anyone have to decide my outlet is weird or not appropriate for my age? I find your scrapbooking (or whatever) boring but I’m not picking up your glue dots or paper strips and asking you why you waste so much money on this crap. Because it’s rude and mean.

Without that outlet, I could not see myself coping. (It would be interesting, and probably helpful and enlightening, to see how many people that are fans of such child aimed entertainment as MLP, fandom, and cosplay actually have some form of mental illness (fuck! I HATE those words) and are using those child aimed entertainment and geeky pursuits as a coping mechanism.) [I HATE the words ‘mental illness’. The social connotations around them make me feel like there is something wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with me. I am not broken. There is no need to look at me with pity when I get excited about a new Funko Pop! figure, My Little Pony movie, or Ever After High special. Fuck you very much.]

It also pisses me off that there seems to be a level of interest that is acceptable and a level of interest that is not acceptable. Like a measuring stick for your crazy. “I like Star Wars. I have all the movies.” – acceptable. “I like Star Wars. I went to a Con dressed as Rey.” – unacceptable. Personally, if you don’t love something enough to let it consume you, then you are weak. Weak!

Everyone has their coping mechanisms. Just because mine doesn’t involve stinking cigarettes, booze, or whatever sex filled murder TV show is currently occupying the evening time slots does not mean I’m immature or mentally deficient. Apparently, your coping mechanisms are only acceptable if you are killing yourself faster every time you use them. If a show or movie meets a certain standard; interesting plot, engaging characters, detailed world building, then the kid or adult status we label things with is just stupid. And there are bad kids TV shows, don’t get me wrong.  Teen Titans was awesome. Teen Titans Go! makes me want to stab someone.

And don’t even start with me about girl verses boy TV shows. I will cut you.

harry-potterAnd everyone loves Harry Potter. I don’t care who you are or how old you are. You love Harry Potter. You’ve seen the movies, you’ve read the books, and you are a fan of a child aimed story about magic and wizardery. You’ve taken the online “What House Am I?” quiz.  I know you have. (I’m a Ravenclaw, by the way.) So don’t pretend you are the most adulty adult to ever adult in the world of adults because your pants are on fire. You love Harry Potter. If I want to put on a robe I made and take a wand to a midnight showing of Harry Potter whatever part, then that is my level of love for Harry Potter and you can keep your scorn and obnoxious false superiority to yourself.

So, next time you feel the need to make a comment on my Tardis keychain or pick up and fondle my Pikachu plush like it’s something exotic and new, know that you are a jerk and can shove it where the sun don’t shine. Your stuck up ‘adult’ judgment just makes you an ass. I love my toys and figures and dolls and DVD’s and Netflix queue filled with cartoons and fantasy shows and I have better things to do than pander to your stagnate idea of how an adult should act. I have an evil wizard to defeat with my lightsaber. So nah.

Thank you for reading!

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Am I still a blogger? The Mysterious Ability to Focus and Maintain Motivation

BLOGGERBLOG

If one does not blog,

Is one still a blogger?

It’s been, yikes, four months since there has been any activity on this blog. I haven’t been reading. I got Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter for the October Owl Crate box and I was trying to read it but just couldn’t focus enough. I think it’s still sitting on a shelf, book mark half way through. I’ve gotten a couple of books since then that I haven’t even opened. Some of them look really interesting but it doesn’t seem to help.

This happens sometimes. You might call it depression or ADHD or whatever you like. But I go through periods where my brain just does not want to function correctly. Other times I read a book in a couple of days and it’s no problem. Then there are the times where it’s a struggle to even watch TV because I can’t focus or have any desire to pay attention or care at all that I’m missing something that I might at other times really enjoy. I can almost never finish TV show seasons because of this. I just can’t stick with it. Movies are a little better. Shorter timeframe, really. But a Netflix movie could languish in my possession for a couple months or more before I can dredge up the desire to watch it. Even then I might pause it and wander off a couple of times to do the dishes or tidy up or annoy the cat.

Then there are the things I obsess over. Like fandom. I read fanfiction. Adore it, really. Once I have an interest in a fandom, that’s it. It rules to the exclusion of all else. A little over a year ago I loved the Avengers Steve/Tony ship. My love for the Avengers was total, all encompassing. I devoured fanfic and fanart for Avengers like my life depended on it. I could read fanfic all day and all night long. It was hard to stop but I had no trouble focusing.

Then I saw the new Man from Uncle movie, which lead to discovering the Man from Uncle TV show from the 60’s and the lovely, beautiful ship of Illya/Napoleon. I was hooked. Now I devour fanfic and fanart for the Man from Uncle fandom. Which really sucks because it’s a substantially smaller fandom than Avengers was. I’ve already gone through the Archive of Our Own fanfics and now I’m desperately looking for more to read.

But now I have no interest for Avengers. Just Man from Uncle. My brain is fucked up.

I can read and read and read fanfic but I can’t do the same for original books. I don’t understand why, either.

I also try to write in my chosen fandom but that’s another thing I can’t focus on. I obsess over Man from Uncle but it’s a struggle to focus and complete fanfic ideas. I have a lot of started ideas but very rarely complete anything to post. You would think my ability to obsess over a fandom would carry over to writing fanfic for it but my motivation kind of trickles away.

I have two Avenger fanfics that I started posting and now I fear I’ll never finish them because my interest has moved on. I’ve sworn to never post anything that wasn’t already done because of this. Those two fanfics will probably languish forever.

Does anybody else experience this? Can you just obsess over something, absolutely adore it, but not be able to focus on other things? Or lose interest and motivation on projects? It’s not like I don’t have time to read books or write. I have loads of time. Just no follow through on projects. Is it ADHD? Depression? Hormonal? Anybody have any advice?

Thank you for reading!

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Book Review: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

heroine-complex-by-sarah-kuhnHeroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
Published: July 5th 2016 by DAW
Format: Paper Book
Length: 378 pages
Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Superheroes, Comical, Paranormal, Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Amazon

Being a superheroine is hard. Working for one is even harder.

Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. She’s great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss’s epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants.

Unfortunately, she’s not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea.

But everything changes when Evie’s forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest comes out: she has powers, too. Now it’s up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda’s increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right… or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.

Adult books but not erotica. Supposed to be ages 18 and over but I’ve known mature teens to be fine with adult books. Adult books have mature situations, maybe non-graphic sex, and are not meant for young kids.

If you want something fun to read, then Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn is right up your alley. This book is entertaining and packed full of action. The characters kick-ass and are incredibly diverse. It was a pleasure to see characters that break out of the mold, especially for superheroines. These girls were not secondary characters or love interests to the main male character. I loved the focus on female relationships, either between sisters or best friends. I did have a bit of a problem with Aveda/Annie’s behavior through the first and middle sections of the book. Her attitude made me want to reach in and slap her. Thankfully, she progresses and realizes how she is treating Evie and her other friends is unacceptable. I also adored Evie. Everything from her quirkiness to her fire power made me love her. She was an extremely likable character.

Heroine Complex can also be a little cartoonish and a tad drawn out. It felt like a Saturday morning cartoon, full of color and silly but a little jarring to read. Especially since this is an adult book, not YA. This is accomplished by dropping a fair amount of sexual situations into the plot and some nice cursing. Neither which I had a problem with. If anything, it made the characters more believable. It was just out of place with the tone of the writing. The ending also felt drawn out. Kind of like a ridiculous comic book situation that you have to roll your eyes at. It’s campy and outlandish but so much fun. As long as you don’t take the book too seriously and are looking for something comical, Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn is a good pick.

Thank you for reading!

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Book Releases October 2016

Current Book Releases

October 2016

spare-and-found-parts-by-sarah-maria-griffinSpare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin
Publication: October 4th

Nell Crane has always been an outsider. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs everyone now uses. But Nell is the only one whose mechanical piece is on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. As her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary idea when she has none of her own?

Then she finds a mannequin hand while salvaging on the beach—the first boy’s hand she’s ever held—and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.

last-seen-leaving-by-caleb-roehrigLast Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
Publication: October 4th

Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

when-the-moon-was-ours-by-anna-marie-mclemoreWhen the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
Publication: October 4th

When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

beast-by-brie-spanglerBeast by Brie Spangler
Publication: October 11th

A witty, wise, and heart-wrenching novel that will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan.

Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.

Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?

a-darkly-beating-heart-by-lindsay-smithA Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith
Publication: October 25th

A time-travel story that alternates between modern day and 19th century Japan as one girl confronts the darkness lurking in her soul.

No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own.

glitter-by-aprilynne-pikeGlitter by Aprilynne Pike
Publication: October 25th

Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.

When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.

Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.

But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

arch book merlin

So many fantastic books coming out in October. I could have gone on but these are the more popular books coming out next month. Just in time for a Halloween Read-a-thon!

Thank you for reading!

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Book Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

thissavagesongbyvictoriaschwabThis Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Published: July 5th 2016 by Greenwillow Books
Format: Paper Book
Length: 427 pages
Genre: Dystopia, Supernatural, Horror, Urban Fantasy
Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads | Amazon

There’s no such thing as safe.

Kate Harker wants to be as ruthless as her father. After five years and six boarding schools, she’s finally going home to prove that she can be.

August Flynn wants to be human. But he isn’t. He’s a monster, one that can steal souls with a song. He’s one of the three most powerful monsters in a city overrun with them. His own father’s secret weapon.

Their city is divided.

Their city is crumbling.

Kate and August are the only two who see both sides, the only two who could do something.

But how do you decide to be a hero or a villain when it’s hard to tell which is which?

Young Adult Book Review

I’ve only read one other Victoria Schwab book several years ago. It was The Near Witch and I was very unimpressed with it. I received This Savage Song in my OwlCrate box last month and figured, since I had it, I might as well give her another try. I must say, she’s gotten better over the years. While I still found This Savage Song a bit slow at the beginning; the world building is fantastic and the writing superb. In Schwab’s dystopian world, violence spawns physical monsters as consequences. Simple violence breeds Corsai; murder breeds Malchai; while the most heinous crimes, like mass murders, breed Sunai. The best aspect of This Savage Song is the world building because in most other ways, the story is rather generic.

The city of Verity is split in two, with each side ruled by a different man. In North City is the mob boss like Hawker, giving protection to the citizens who can pay for it and keeping the monsters under his control at bay with harsh punishments. South City is run by Flynn, whose task force is barely keeping its head above water. It’s all very West and East Berlin like, with the empty Seam between the city halves acting like the Berlin Wall. Then there are the characters. I liked August but I found Kate to be your typical cookie-cutter YA tough girl who is really a mess inside. She really wasn’t interesting. August was your usual tortured emo boy but at least he had his interesting aspects. The plot is also pretty dull as well. The first half of the book is just Kate and August circling each other until Kate figures out August is a Sunai and even when the action picks up in the second half, there were no surprises. It was obvious what was going to happen and who was behind it. I felt like the whole book was just setup for the next novel, where, hopefully, more interesting things will happen. Over four hundred pages is a lot of setup, though. I kind of felt like I was wasting my time.

The novel’s saving grace is the excellent world building and the writing. I applaud Schwab’s choice to leave out any romance between Kate and August. I often find the romantic tropes between two characters detract from a story and was pleased to find it absent here. I liked the juxtaposition of the monster hierarchy. The more horrendous the violence, the more human looking the resulting monster. The Sunai looked completely human but were spawned from the worst violence. I would have enjoyed even more world building. We never learn why violence started creating physical monsters. It’s just called the Phenomenon but we’re never given details. In all, I felt like This Savage Song by Victor Schwab was good but not perfect. There were no surprises in the plot and the characters are overdone tropes but it was entertaining for the most part.

Thank you for reading!

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Book Releases September 2016

Current Book Releases

September 2016

asidescendedbyrobintalleyAs I Descended by Robin Talley
Publication: September 6th 2016 by HarperTeen

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.

thegracesbylaureeveThe Graces by Laure Eve
Publication: September 6th 2016 by Amulet Books

In The Graces, the first rule of witchcraft states that if you want something badly enough, you can get it . . . no matter who has to pay.

Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. And what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.

This fabulously addictive fantasy combines sophisticated and haunting prose with a gut-punching twist that readers will be dying to discuss. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars as well as nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 1996 movie The Craft, The Graces marks the beginning of a new wave of teen witches.

notyoursidekickbycbleeNot Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
Publication: September 8th 2016 by Duet Books

Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.

ashadowbrightandburningbyjessicacluessA Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
Publication: September 20th 2016 by Random House BFYR

I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she’s brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

vassainthenightVassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Publication: September 20th 2016 by Tor Teen

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .

Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.

threedarkcrownsbykendareblakeThree Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Publication: September 20th 2016 by HarperTeen

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

arch book merlin

A long list of new books coming out in September this year. I’m really excited to see something new from Kendare Blake. Anna Dressed in Blood was my favorite when it came out. I’m also looking forward to Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter. On a side note, all of these are up for grabs from Goodreads contests. Just click the link and it will take you to the book’s page where you can sign up for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Thank you for reading!

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