The Shadows by Alex North

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved the creepy characters in this story. Alex North does a great job of describing his characters and really allowing the reader to imagine each person. He makes them feel real, like they are coming right off the pages and being brought to life!

How I Felt:

The Shadows takes the reader into a story that starts 25 years ago when two teens were part of a murder. While one boy was captured, Charlie Crabtree escaped, disappearing without a trace. Now, Paul Adams, who was linked to the original crime, must return to his hometown to help care for his elderly mother. His mother keeps saying things about the murders…she seems to know more than Paul thought. When a copycat killer starts bringing up the past, Paul must face his past and question everything, and everyone.

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Devolution by Max Brooks

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved the choices the author made to tell this story! It’s written like an actual journalistic investigation into an incident. The audio version was amazing because a cast of narrators was used to differentiate between the characters, and it was wonderful!

How I Felt:

Devolution is “A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre”. A small group of people that have chosen to live secluded from society become trapped when Mount Rainier erupts leaving their escape paths covered in lava. I thought this was going to more about their need to run from the eruption, but that isn’t it at all. They are pretty much safe in their homes with the lava flows going down the other side of the mountain. The real danger lurks in the forest around them!

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Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The twists and turns that this book took me on were insane! I had absolutely NO idea what was going on, no guesses as to what the truth was. It was an amazing ride, and I loved it!!

My Synopsis:

Maggie’s father wrote a book that has haunted her every day of her life. As a young girl, her family bought Baneberry Hall, a secluded estate with a tragic history. Maggie doesn’t remember anything about their less-than-a-month stay in the home. All of her memories are from the non-fiction book, House of Horrors, written by her father. Maggie knows that everything in the book is a lie, but her parents will never discuss it.

When her father passes away, Maggie is shocked to learn that her father still owned the house, and she is now the owner of Baneberry Hall. Determined to understand what really happened during their stay in the home, Maggie moves in.

She is adamant that the ghost stories, snakes, and gruesome history were all a figment of her father’s imagination to create a best-selling book. When she arrives though, the things from her father’s book begin to seem less like a story and more like a foretelling of things to come.

How I Felt:

This is my first Riley Sager book! I know, I know. I’m so behind the times! But – I am with you all now, he is an amazing author, and I now need to read everything he has written!

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The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires had this mixture of Steel Magnolias type characters with a vampire plot and I really enjoyed it! I think that overall, it was the southern-style ladies that saved this book for me. Their gentle, southern charm softened the horror enough that I wasn’t terrified throughout the story!

How I Felt:

I don’t do horror well. I get scared, like read with the lights on and my back to a wall creeped out super easily. I couldn’t even pick a super scary image for my “Horror” genre image above. So, let me first of all say that this book was more horror-lite than full-on horror.

While The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a story about a group of book club ladies that think there is a vampire living in the neighborhood, it is also about so much more. I was surprised by the additional pieces of this story. There is a focus on family, sacrifice, love, poor choices, and relationships. It was, all-around, a well-written story that I really enjoyed.

The story begins with an introduction of the main character, Patricia Campbell, that really gave me a good feel for who she was as a person. Patricia is supposed to lead her book club’s discussion of this month’s book, but she hasn’t read it yet. She tries and fails to discuss the book by posing questions to the group, but it turns out that most of the women also didn’t read the book. After being called out by the head of the book club, the group disbands. Patricia is invited to join a new group, but they “aren’t a book club” as the leader likes to say.

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