The Wishing Thread//Magic Exists

The Wishing Thread//Magic ExistsThe Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen
Published by Ballantine Books on September 3rd 2013
Genres: Fiction, Magical Realism
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads

The Van Ripper women have been the talk of Tarrytown, New York, for centuries. Some say they’re angels; some say they’re crooks. In their tumbledown “Stitchery,” not far from the stomping grounds of the legendary Headless Horseman, the Van Ripper sisters—Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie—are said to knit people’s most ardent wishes into beautiful scarves and mittens, granting them health, success, or even a blossoming romance. But for the magic to work, sacrifices must be made—and no one knows that better than the Van Rippers. When the Stitchery matriarch, Mariah, dies, she leaves the yarn shop to her three nieces. Aubrey, shy and reliable, has dedicated her life to weaving spells for the community, though her sisters have long stayed away. Bitty, pragmatic and persistent, has always been skeptical of magic and wants her children to have a normal, nonmagical life. Meggie, restless and free-spirited, follows her own set of rules. Now, after Mariah’s death forces a reunion, the sisters must reassess the state of their lives even as they decide the fate of the Stitchery. But their relationships with one another—and their beliefs in magic—are put to the test. Will the threads hold?

I think this might be the first magical realism book I have ever read. I hadn’t even heard of the genre until a couple of months ago, but I didn’t really know what it was. I have to say, I’m quite a fan of the genre (yes this is based off of one book, but I’m allowed to make rash decisions!)

First off, the world building. Hm! Amazing. I loved the small town vibes that Tarrytown presented to me, the reader. I kept picturing Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls, but a little more run down and less welcoming. And The Stitchery lept off the page at me. I wanted nothing more than to explore every nook and cranny of that house.

All three of the sisters were superb. They each had their own personalities, their own set of problems, and yet everything wove together wonderfully. Aubrey grew throughout the whole book (although she annoyed me consistently near the end), Bitty became less bitchy (I did not like her at the beginning) and Meggie started to find her place in the family. It was wonderful to see such different characters come together and have to interact, especially since that sister bond is there. Or was there, before everyone left years ago.

All in all, The Wishing Thread was a cute little book that I enjoyed. There were some parts of it that were meh, but it was an entertaining read. It gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling that watching Gilmore Girls used to give me.

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Anna Dressed In Blood//Ghosts ‘N’ Stuff

Anna Dressed In Blood//Ghosts ‘N’ StuffAnna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1) by Kendare Blake
Published by Tor Teen on October 17th 2011
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
Yet she spares Cas's life.

Anna Dressed in Blood makes a great ghost story.

The plot itself is a little*shrugs*, but you get so caught up in the characters and the writing that you choose to ignore all the things you’d normally question. I mean, it’s your basic “two special people who are the only of their kind, fall in love” type of story. Mixed in with a bit of “he’s also trying to kill her”. But the writing was wonderful and the plot kept moving so it was fantastic. If someone told this story around a campfire, I’d be spooked.

Kendare Blake has mastered the art of side characters. There wasn’t one character I questioned being there, and they all flowed in and out so smoothly. I liked that you get a good understanding of Cas’ mom and the back story on his dad. Thomas and his grandfather were a hoot. I like that Carmel doesn’t turn out to be who you judge her for at first, and that Will, Chase and Mike all play their parts. It just flowed so well.

Now, Cas and Anna were interesting characters. I wasn’t IN LOVE with Cas during the entire book, but I definitely think he’s a good character. I sometimes felt he was written a little too old for 17, but I guess if you have been hunting ghosts your entire life you aren’t a normal 17 year old. The twists and turns that happen with Anna’s personality made the story. I couldn’t wait to figure out WHO she actually was and why she spared Cas’ life. It was a thrill ride the entire time.

Also, loved that it took place in Canada 😉

Have you read Anna Dressed in Blood, or its sequel Girl of Nightmares?

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Pretty Girls//Creepy but OMG

Pretty Girls//Creepy but OMGPretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Published by William Morrow on April 26th 2016
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 575
Format: Mass Market
Source: Bought
Goodreads

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

I don’t think there was a thing about Pretty Girls that I didn’t like. It started out a certain way and then went totally in the opposite direction. It was a book made of nightmares and I was 100% along for the ride.

I’ve never read anything by Karin Slaughter, the only reason I picked up this book is because it was on the 2 for $15 rack and I really wanted Me Before You. I don’t tend to read mystery books (I don’t know why, I usually like them) so it was a good break from all the fantasy I’ve been shoveling into my brain. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly since I just fessed up to liking mysteries) I could not put it down. Karin’s writing is superb. Just superb. I accidentally left my copy at a friend’s house for two days and seriously contemplated doing the 2 hour round trip just to retrieve it. That’s how into the book I was.

Spoilers (kinda) ahead, like always. I feel like I should start warning you if there AREN’T spoilers since that’s more out of the norm.

Claire and Lydia were both interesting characters. When you finally figure out why they haven’t talked in like two decades, I understood but I was also SO sad for them both. Their lives have each taken on such different paths, and at first I disliked them both (Claire for my assumption that she was snobby and Lydia for my assumption that she wasn’t a very good person) but after Claire’s husband dies and everything starts coming out, I loved both of them. Claire I kind of wanted to shake a little, but the younger version of her. The present version of her I could see oodles of growth in and I felt myself cheering for her the whole time.

Claire’s husband we are not going to talk about. I’m glad he died. But not at the beginning, at the beginning I felt bad for him.

I think my favourite part of the plot was how the murder of their sister, Julia, wasn’t the entire focal point. It was weaved nicely in and out of the plot until close to the end where I sat there going OMG NO THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. It was well thought out and a really good addition to the mindfuck this story already was.

And because everyone else seemed to talk about it in their reviews, I will touch on the goriness. Yes, this novel does involve snuff films. If you are unaware, snuff films are “erotic movies where someone actually dies”. So, that could be touchy for you. The scenes that lead up to the actual snuffing are explained in great, gory detail. If you are sensitive to that stuff, don’t read it.

I’m already mentally a little skewed, so I didn’t mind the scenes at all 🙂

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Libary Books Cause Pressure

So a month or so back (I think, time has started to blur recently for me), I discovered the wonderfulness of the library. I haven’t been since I was a little kid. I worked up the guts to finally go and I was amazed. I walked into this old, welcoming building that was just bursting with potential.

I got my library card, walked up to the adult fiction section and perused for a bit. After about an hour of looking around, I took home 4 books. I had made myself put some back. I told myself that we would limit the amount of books we took out so I didn’t end up with 28 (the maximum) checked out books.

I have 11 checked out right now.

It’s not as high a number as it COULD be, but today I found the downside of the library: Taking out books puts pressure on you to READ THOSE BOOKS.

I have soooo many books sitting on my shelves that I’ve bought but I’m all “I have to return these other books soon so I need to read them first.” Which is a completely self made and unnecessary pressure. If it REALLY came down to it, I could just return the books and take them out later.

But there’s a little monster in my head that is going, “But what if you CAN’T?!! What if this is the only opportunity you have?! What will you do then?”

Today I have had to learn to shut that voice up. Because of that voice I’ve forced my way through 2 books that I didn’t really want to read at that moment, and that I probably would have loved under the right circumstances. But now one of them was meh and one of them I dnf’d. SO THANK YOU FOR THAT, VOICE IN MY HEAD.

Today (well tomorrow), I am taking the remainder of those books back to the library. Because they will be there at a later date if I want to pick them up. But for now, I need to pay attention to my own, boughten, taking up space in my bedroom, TBR pile. Those guys need some love too.

So, the moral of the store is: Library’s should be a fun and valuable resource for you to use. DO NOT LET IT RUN YOUR LIFE.

Today’s lesson brought to you by the letter ‘L’.

UPDATE: I took the books back to the library. But I also picked one up. It’s like I couldn’t let them all go.

YOU//I Now Have Trust Issues

YOU//I Now Have Trust IssuesYou by Caroline Kepnes
Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on September 30th 2014
Genres: Thrillers
Pages: 422
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Goodreads

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

Oh my god. Can we just…can you…just…GAH. If you do nothing, ever, for the rest of the summer (or winter, depending on which side of the planet you are on), read this book. I don’t care if you quit your job and can’t pay bills – go buy this book and read it.

I mean, I do care. That would be bad. If you can’t pay your bills, maybe go get this from the library. Or borrow from a friend. Also I am sorry you’re at a bad spot in your life.

YOU could possibly cheer you up though! (Probably not really, it might creep you out more).

I don’t even want to discuss it, I just want to hug it. So instead of telling you reasons why you SHOULD read it (you should), I’m just going to insert my Goodreads comments here. And it should be known this is one of the only books I have ever consistently updated on Goodreads in real time. I’m horrible at it.

 

You_ReadingProgress

 

Just go read it already.

Have you read YOU yet?

Have you?

Huh?!?!

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star