#BookReview: The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton


Receiving books free in exchange for reviews will never sway the outcome of my reviews. All my reviews are own my personal thoughts and opinions whether they for review or bought. While I may feel a certain way, others may feel differently. So sit back and relax and check out my thoughts on this book. Don't forget to share your thoughts (no spoilers) on the books or reviews on this blog in comments.
Title: The Price Guide to the Occult
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Published: 6th Sept 2018
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA, Magical Realism
Shelfability: Borrow/Acquire
From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting tale of magic and murder.

When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Instead, guilt and fear led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona invoked the privileges of a witch; she cursed them. But such a spell always comes with a terrible price, and in punishing the island's residents, Rona also bound her family ever tighter to them.

Fast-forward to the present day and all Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. And she has reason to hope that she may have escaped the thorny side-effects of the family matriach's curse. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. The author – Nor’s own mother – seems capable of performing magic that should be far beyond her capabilities. And such magic always requires a sacrifice.

A storm is coming. It's coming for Nor

I rarely request a physical copy book for review because I struggle to read print (I blame getting old lol). However, after reading the blurb and seeing the cover I knew I had to have it. The Price Guide to the Occult is on the slightly darker side of YA and  is a great Halloween read.

Nora is an eighth generation Blackburn daughter. Descendant of Rona Blackburn. The witch who cursed future generations of Blackburns by taking their magic and only allowing each daughter one "burden".  Nora wants nothing more than to escape the family curse. She wants to go through live invisible.  However, things are about to change which a book falls into her lap and the author is her estranged mother. Soon Nora is force to accept her burden as she may be only one who can save her family and friends from something dark and twisted.

I really wanted to love this. I do love a good darker read. Especially one that involves witches and creepy island settings and this has both. Sadly, I just couldn't love it. That's not to say I didn't like it. I did. I enjoyed the Prologue and the last 80 pages or so. The rest for me was just too slow. I am not a fan of slow burning books. I need to a book to really grip me and keep me gripped. I actually found my mind wandering with this. At parts I was actually bored because I felt like nothing was really happening.  Usually I give up on books after 50 pages but I was determined to stick it out because I liked the characters and wanted to know what happened next and by the end I was left wanting more.

Nora likes to blend in and not stand out. Always wearing black she doesn't like attention. But her best friend Savvy was like a fireball of colour. She was a character I wanted to know. One of those people who it's hard not to noticed with her every changing hair colour and electric energy. Nora and Savvy has two complete opposites but their friendship works because they are so different. So many of characters in this story are unique and interesting making the reader want know more about them. However, some you can easily forget and I think were only there to fill paper.

Apart from the magical element to the story, the author also touches upon a subject that is very real and needs to be talked about. Self harm and mental health. I don't want to go into details because it will spoil some parts of the story but I am giving you a trigger warning right now. The author also has a list in the back of the book of websites etc that can help people.

The Price Guide of the Occult may be a slow burner but if you are looking for a good read that has witches, curses and is a little darker than your usual YA fiction then give this one a try.


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#BookReview: Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge


Receiving books free in exchange for reviews will never sway the outcome of my reviews. All my reviews are own my personal thoughts and opinions whether they for review or bought. While I may feel a certain way, others may feel differently. So sit back and relax and check out my thoughts on this book. Don't forget to share your thoughts (no spoilers) on the books or reviews on this blog in comments.
Title: Dreaming Darkly
Format: ebook
Pages: 368
Published:9th April 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: YA, Gothic, Thriller
Shelfability:  Borrow
Ivy Bloodgood’s mother is dead, and she should probably be sad about it. But she isn’t. Myra Bloodgood was a manipulative personality who never told the truth—about where she came from, who Ivy’s father was, or why they were living their lives on the run.

Now that Ivy has been sent to the family estate on Darkhaven, an island off the New England coast, she is forced to reckon with her mother’s past. Ivy can tell right away there are long-held family secrets buried within these walls, but when she wakes up from one of her nightmares covered in someone else’s blood, Ivy fears that whatever demons her mother battled while she was alive have come to roost in her own mind.

Scared that she can no longer trust what she sees, Ivy seeks the help of a boy who thinks her episodes are connected to the sordid history of Darkhaven—but what they don’t know might kill them both.

I grabbed this from Edelweiss because the cover caught my eye. When reading the blurb I thought it sounded like my kind of read. I love a good dark and gothic story. The darker the better if I am being honest. And while this did have that dark elements and the gothic setting the story itself just fell fall for me.

Ivy has spent her life moving around with her mum. She never settles in one place. However, when tragedy strikes, she is forced to go live with an uncle she never knew existed. Right away she knew something was off about Darkhaven. And to help with her own demons she goes digging into her family history and uncovers and dark and twisted secrets.

Is "Meh" really a feeling? Can you describe a plot to a book as Meh? Because that is just how I felt. I went into this with high hopes because it sounded fantastic. It started out a very slow. It wasn't really gripping my interest like I hoped it would. However, I keep reading because I did quite liked Ivy and the connection she had with Doyle. Ivy is very independent and a strong character. You can see how much she is struggling throughout the story.  I think Doyle kept her from going right over the edge at times. The banter they had was quite funny and natural.

The plot was a slow one. I found myself sitting at around 70% mark wondering if something mind blowing was going to happen. And sadly for me it just didn't. Everything was rather predictable. The last part of the book was probably the only part that any sort of speed to it. But you know what was going to happen. I like a good plot twist and I saw this one a mile off which was rather disappointing.

I will say the setting of Darkhaven was amazing. I love gothic settings. The old fashion manor on the island that you can only get to by boat. It gave me the creeps which is always a good thing in a gothic story.  The back story of her family and the back story of Doyle's family was very intriguing I would have loved for that to be explored a lot more than it did.

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One of the big positives about Dreaming Darkly is how it doesn't shy away from mental health. Mental health issues still in this day and age seems to be such a stigma around it. People still don't talk about it and we need to talk about them.  The more books that deal with mental health in them of any kind the better in my opinion.

If you like books that have that gothic setting then please give this a try. Just because this wasn't my cup of tea doesn't mean it won't be yours.

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#MovieReview: Life of the Party (2018)



I am not a movie reviewer and I don't pretend to be. I will share my thoughts on a movie like I do with the books I read. If you are looking for a full in depth article than I will only disappoint you. However, if you want to know my honest thoughts then keep reading. Feel free to leave your own thoughts (no spoilers) in the comments.

Movie: Life of the Party  
Cert: 12
Studio: Warner Bros  
Release: 10 May 2018(UK)
Genre: Comedy  
Director: Ben Falcone  

When her husband suddenly dumps her, longtime dedicated housewife Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) turns regret into re-set by going back to college…landing in the same class and school as her daughter, who’s not entirely sold on the idea. Plunging headlong into the campus experience, the increasingly outspoken Deanna - now Dee Rock- embraces freedom, fun and frat boys on her own terms, finding her true self in a senior year no one ever expected. - Amazon UK


Melissa McCarthy is possibly one of my favourite actresses. She is always hilarious. Her movies are always great for a good laugh. Is Life of the Party one of her best movies? No, it’s not. It’s a little predictable, some of it is a flat but it is still a really good funny movie that can help you forget how bloody stressful life is. it’s an escape and that’s what I needed.  

Shocked when her husband decides he wants a divorce, Deanna decides it’s time to go back to college and finish her last year after dropping out the first time. Deanna enrolls in the same college as her daughter and not only does she really embrace college life, she makes friends, finds a toy boy and really finds herself after 20 years of being a stay at home mother. 

As I said this is not Melissa’s best work. Some of the jokes fall flat and you know exactly what’s going to happen. But that didn’t stop me enjoying it. Right now I have been going through some personal stuff and just needed an escape movie and Melissa’s movies are always a go to for me. Certain parts had me actually buckled with laughter. To the point I was snorting LOL. 

 
I found some of the characters a little Meh if I am honest. You have the typical mean girls, the weird loner and the cute boy. Although, I won’t lie the younger cute boy? Yeah it was cliché but a part of me was like “You go girl!!!” Because he is bloody gorgeous. And the whole situation was just comedy gold. 

 
If you are a fan of Melissa McCarthy then you need to watch it. Don’t go into it expecting too much. Take it for what it is. A silly comedy you can escape into for a while. I enjoyed it. And have got a new favourite word. Vagoogle. Once you see the movie you’ll get it. 

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#MovieReview: Spider-man Homecoming (2017)



I am not a movie reviewer and I don't pretend to be. I will share my thoughts on a movie like I do with the books I read. If you are looking for a full in depth article than I will only disappoint you. However, if you want to know my honest thoughts then keep reading. Feel free to leave your own thoughts (no spoilers) in the comments.

Movie: Spider-Man: Homecoming
Cert: 12
Studio: Marvel Studios/Sony
Release: 5th July 2017
Genre:  Action, Superhero, Sci-Fi
Directors: Jon Watts

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened. - Amazon UK




OK I am not going to sit here and say I know anything about the Marvel world. I have never once read a comic so I have no clue if these movie is anything like the comic book storylines. However, as a movie I am admit it was one of my favourite Spider-Man movies.

I never liked the Toby Maguire movies. There I said it. I just don't like them. My Son though? Spider-Man is his favourite superhero and has been since watching those Toby Maguire ones. So those will always be his favourite ones. Me? I thought Andrew Garfield ones where much better. I thought they were funnier and had much better storylines.

Now we have another face for Spider-Man. Tom Holland. I think he has made a great Spider-Man. And this adaptation was  much better than the originals, on par with the Amazing Spider-Man movies. But so much funnier. Both my son and I were in stitches laughing.

We both found the movie really exciting and action packed. Peter is only 15 in this one so sometimes when he thinks he is trying to make things better he ends up messing up and making it worse because he is so young. But he tries. He looks up Tony Stark like a sort of father figure. And just wants to work with Tony/Iron Man.

One of the main differences I noticed between this one and the other Spider-Man movies was the love interest. Yes there is one slightly but unlike the other it's not a massive part of the storyline as such.

And one other thing. Aunt May? She got young and hot!!! Lol. Even my son was like "That's Aunt May? But she's YOUNG"

If you like the Marvel World thing you need watch this if you haven't already. I will suggest watching Civil war first as that's when we are introduced to this new Spider-Man. I still haven't watch that movie yet and i wish I had just to get see if we get more background our New Spider-Man.


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#BookReview: The Chateau by Tiffany Reisz


Receiving books free in exchange for reviews will never sway the outcome of my reviews. All my reviews are own my personal thoughts and opinions whether they for review or bought. While I may feel a certain way, others may feel differently. So sit back and relax and check out my thoughts on this book. Don't forget to share your thoughts (no spoilers) on the books or reviews on this blog in comments.

Title: The Chateau (Original Sinners #9)
Format: ebook
Pages: 320
Published: 26th Sept 2017
Publisher: 8th Circle Press
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Erotic Thriller
Shelfability:  Covet
As the Jack-of-All-Wicked-Trades for a secretive French military intelligence agency, 24-year-old Lieutenant Kingsley Boissonneault has done it all—spied, lied, and killed under orders. But his latest assignment is quite out of the ordinary. His commanding officer's nephew has disappeared inside a sex cult, and Kingsley has been tasked with bringing him home to safety.

The cult’s holy book is Story of O, the infamous French novel of extreme sado-masochism. Their château is a looking-glass world where women reign and men are their willing slaves. Or are they willing? It’s Kingsley’s mission to find out.

Once inside the château, however, Kingsley quickly falls under the erotic spell cast by the enigmatic Madame, a woman of wisdom, power, and beauty. She offers Kingsley the one thing he’s always wanted. But the price? Giving up forever the only person he’s ever loved

The Chateau By Tiffany Reisz is a stand alone erotic thriller set in the Original Sinner world. Personally I think you’d enjoy it more if have already read the previous books and fallen in love with Kingsley. Here we get to see young Kingsley sent on a mission into a “cult” where he meets Madame the woman in charge in The Chateau, who takes her inspiration from The Story of O. The Chateau is a house where the women rule and men serve. I have never read The Story of O but I think I need to.


We get to meet some new characters such as the Madame. She is such an interesting character. A sadist and a brutal one. But not in a physical sense. She is fascinating. We also get some old characters. Søren’s presence is all through the story. Even when he’s not there. He is still there.

Tiffany has yet again created an amazing story with out of this world characters. She took us into Kingsley’s past and made me fall in love with him all over again. I swear she is the reason I’m single. No man can compare to a King or a God. She also had me in floods of tears which I was not expecting. And I wish I could quote the part that made me cry. But it would be a spoiler!! Just go read it. 


*Originally reviewed on my instagram which is why the review itself is rather short I also haven't reviewed books 5 to 8 in the series but just know that these books are my favourite books series of all time. I love them so much I have not one but two tattoos. The 8th Circle and Fleur de Lis. The Keys to the Kingdom.



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