Children of Chicago is dark, gut-wrenching, emotional, and highly relatable at its core. It’s an example of old folklore and fairy tales being communicated through urban legend and interpreted through new technology to cause real harm. But Children of Chicago is much more than that. It’s a look at real violence in real communities and the darkness that stretched across generations, across centuries, that causes it. And it’s about a beautiful, complicated city, which feels a lot like a stand-in for our society at large. Pelayo’s skill as a poet is very apparent in her prose. I enjoyed her style of writing, especially for this dark fairy tale retelling. I recommend it to fans of authors like Tana French and Christina Henry, shows like The Killing and The Fall, and anyone who is interested in dark secrets coming home to roost.
Sometimes the twists life throws at you make you stronger. They teach you who you truly are and what (who) is most important to you. And sometimes they also makes you really good at hunting ghosts. Karma Moon is a 12-year-old compulsive worrier and believer in all things “woo woo”. She lives in the West Village with her dad and helps him with his documentary company when she’s not hanging out with her best friend Mags. She also regularly sees her therapist, because ever since her mom left, Karma’s worries have been debilitating. But when her dad gets a call from Netflix about filming a ghost hunting documentary at a famous hotel in Colorado, she just knows everything is going to change for the better!
Dr. Jennifer Gilbert is from a wealthy privileged family, but despite her pleasing appearance and familial connections, she can’t seem to make friends. Her whole life people have distanced themselves from her, but she never quite understood why. And then there are the deaths. More than one boy or man connected to Jennifer has died in her presence. When one of these mysterious deaths catches the eye of Captain David Stavitsky (chief of homicide), it becomes clear that Jennifer is living on borrowed time. The Killing Gift is great for fans of The X-Files and quiet crime films like Zodiac. While a bit of a slow burn, it offers many intense moments and vivid descriptions that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. I have more of Wood’s work and will definitely be reading it.
A list of my favorite books read in 2020! Here’s to another delightful reading year in 2021. Read well, friends.
The Babysitters Coven series is so full of humor and adventure! I always have a good time when I’m reading them, and For Better or Cursed helped me cope with a fairly serious reading slump. Lighthearted and fun, For Better or Cursed follows Esme and Cassandra on to the next chapter of their Sitter experience. Sitters are like babysitters, but instead of babysitting children and keeping them safe, they’re babysitting the world and keeping it safe from demons. And instead of being CPR qualified, they have specialized magic powers. In the first installment of the series, Esme and Cassandra learned the truth about their birthright and their family legacies. In For Better or Cursed, they are summoned to a Sitters’ Summit, but corruption and conspiracy threaten not only the Sitterhood and Esme and Cassandra’s families, but also the entire world.
Evie has a special ability, one that gets her kicked out of Zenith Ohio and sent to the Big Apple to live with her oddball Uncle Will. For a young flapper in the 1920s, this is less of a punishment and more like a wish granted…That is until a powerful serial killer driven by the occult forces her and her ragtag found family to step up and save the world using their own paranormal gifts. This book not only kept my attention during a particularly difficult and distracting time, but it also fully delighted and entertained me. The Diviners is perfect pandemic reading!
Hunter Shea’s Misfits is a brutal, wild ride about found family and belonging. It’s incredibly entertaining, packed with frenetic energy, and will remind you what it was like to be a teen fighting against the world with just your friends as allies. That said, Misfits is not for everyone. It’s aggressive and will leave you feeling like you’re covered in mud. But it asks the questions, what lengths would you go to, and what would you sacrifice, to protect your own found family when the world seems to be literally ripping each of you apart?
When the gaping maw of the patriarchy comes for June in a painful and hurtful way, she does not hesitate to take action and fight for herself and all the women wronged by evil men.
4 Stars. Trigger warnings for death of a loved one, racial violence, murder and gore, inappropriate relationships between an adult and a minor. Holding on to her dark fantasy roots, Christina Henry delivers a brutal dose of nostalgia with her 1980s throw-back small town horror novel The Ghost Tree. Lauren is about to turn 15, […]
While When No One Is Watching is not horror in the fantastical sense, but it certainly is in the realistic sense. This s real life horror. Cole’s humor and style of writing make the book entertaining and exciting to read, but you would be wrong in thinking that When No One Is Watching isn’t making a clear statement. For people who are trying to understand more about systemic racism (as we all should be), this would be a good book to pick up followed closely by The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein. I look forward to more thrillers by Alyssa Cole!
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