Halversham by RS Anthony

Halversham by RS Anthony
Publisher: Self
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (184 Pages)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Age Recommendation: 12+
Review by: Sorrel

With his mother dead and his father jetting off on yet another business trip, fifteen-year-old Andy Monaghan can’t stand the thought of spending summer alone in the city. Instead, he seeks a few weeks of solace in the place his mother loved the most: the rural town of Halversham where his father was raised.

No sooner does Andy arrive in Halversham than he hears of strange incidents occurring in town, including a few too close for comfort. Before long, Andy is reluctantly reeled into a chain of events that quickly darken the rose-colored glasses he’s been wearing for his mother’s beloved country getaway.

Finding out who’s responsible for Halversham’s many tragedies becomes Andy’s main priority. As he reconnects with his father’s family and dives deeper into the mysteries surrounding the town, he finds that even his own may not be safe from trouble. Is he willing to risk everything to uncover the truth of Halversham’s dark secrets, and protect the people he loves?

This is a twisted mystery.

A suspenseful story, Halversham kept me on my toes wanting to know more about everyone. The climax definitely surprised me. Right up to the end, I had no idea who was doing the killing or what made the small town of Halversham, well, Halversham.

When Andy’s mother died, he wanted to know more about the town that she loved so much; Halversham had the added mystery as to why his father left, never to return to it. What Andy finds out, and keeps finding out, continues to shock him. That was understandable. This was some strange and deadly occurrences.

This story was just the right length. While I am a mystery reader, I’m not much of a suspense fan. I almost gave up but actually glad that I didn’t, While I’m not one for over the top suspenseful stories, this is a book I would definitely recommend for younger kids who enjoy suspense or mystery.

The Silent End by Samuel Sattin

The Silent End by Samuel Sattin
The Silent End by Samuel Sattin
Publisher: Ragnarok Publications
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (391 Pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Sorrel

In a mist-soaked town in the Pacific Northwest three teenagers find themselves pitted against an unearthly menace that dwells beneath the foundations of their high school…

Eberstark is an outcast and he’s tired of pretending everything is fine. His mother disappeared almost a year ago after a long battle with depression. His father is conducting experiments and running around town in the middle of night with a mysterious man known only as The Hat, ranting to Eberstark about beasts no one else can see.

Then on Halloween night, Eberstark, alongside his only friends Lexi and Gus, discovers something in the woods to challenge his father’s apparent insanity: a wounded monster. Rather than stir the town into a frenzy, the three friends hide the creature and are pulled into a web of conspiracy, dream-logic, and death. Faced down by living trucks, mirror-dwelling psychopaths, and hellish entities who lurk behind friendly faces, Eberstark, Lexi, and Gus find themselves battling to save not just themselves, but the soul of their quiet little town.

Typical school life offset by strange occurrences that mystifies these friends.

I don’t read as much YA as I used to since it has been difficult for me to find a book that I like. However, this was definitely one I liked!

This book is about friendship and how strong it can become. This book showed me that it doesn’t matter how different you are from each other, you can still become friends. The book starts out with two best friends (Eberstark and Gus) and a ‘maybe’ friend (Lexi ).

When Lexi finds a monster its near death, there starts a mystery that had me scratching my head trying to decide where it is going to go from there. What outrageous thing was going to happen next? The parts that seemed outrageous made sense in the end.

This is first and foremost a young adult horror. Truly, the fright factor is pretty intense. But it’s more than that. It’s realistic for today’s youth. Nothing is glossed over. It kept my interest and I wanted to read more and more of the book.

One thing I loved about this book was that the characters are very different from each other. For example, Gus was the brains while Lexi becomes the muscle within the group. The dialogue is well written and easy to follow.

The end was surprising. I truly couldn’t have guessed that it would end the way, but it did. And it was good. Easy recommend for YA readers looking for something fresh and scary.

That Acari Girl by F. Jay Vai

That Acari Girl

That Acari Girl by F. Jay Vai
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense, Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 265 pgs
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat level: sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Sorrel

At the vast country estate of the wealthy Le Fay family, Sophia is running out of time. If she doesn’t uncover the truth by the end summer, she will lose everything she loves. The old blind woman had warned her, Sophia knows something is coming. But the Le Fay children, who are forced to spend every summer at the estate, have closed ranks and are too scared to help. They say the darkness in the woods that steals children is only a fairytale, but Sophia has seen it with her own eyes. She has seen the footprints on their bedroom floor, and she has seen the shadows between the trees watching her little brother Max.

Charlotte Le Fay offers her help, but Charlotte demands a price that few are able to pay. Lachlan Le Fay says he’s on Sophia’s side, but there’s something lurking in his eyes that attracts her, and also scares her at the same time. In the highest tower of the house, Magnus Le Fay grows more and more insane, as his black magic, and his family’s secrets begin bubbling to the surface. Sophia’s uncle Victor refuses to believe her, but he comes home late at night with blood on his hands and seems loyal only to the Le Fays.

But they have underestimated Sophia Rensayer. They don’t understand that she is willing to lay everything on the line. And even if the power that burns in her blood isn’t enough, Sophia will lay her very life down knowing that she cannot afford to lose.

Warlocks, dragons, witches, secret societies and of course, magic.

That Acari Girl is a story involving Sophia and her brother Max. When their grandmother becomes sick they are sent to live with their uncle Victor. Upon arriving Sophia notices that there is a lot about their family that they don’t know. Learning these secrets will not only scare her but will cause her to lose her childhood innocence.

Sophia’s mother died right after her baby brother’s birth. Though they lived with their grandmother I found the bond beautiful and unique since Sophia not only represents a mother figure but a father figure as well to young Max. This is often the case in the real world when both parents are absent and it lent some reality to the story.

The mystery and suspense part begins straight off which is wonderful to read. However, there grammatical were mistakes that were difficult to get over. The plot line held my interest, so I took in the errors and kept reading.

This is a really nice read for any young reader since this contains minimal amount of intimacy (meaning to say there are only kisses). It’s written on a young reader’s level but could be enjoyed by older readers, too.

Chaysing Dreams by Jalpa Williby

Chaysing Trilogy Book #1: Chaysing Dreams by Jalpa Williby
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sci-Fi, Mystery
Full Length Story
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Sorrel

Life…secrecy, deceit, danger…No, no! Run, escape!

“Run!” Her inner voice is shouting. She has to run faster! She’s about to get caught! No, no! She has to get away. Please, she must escape! “Run faster!”

As long as Tess Sanoby can remember, she has always had the same nightmares, where the girl in her dreams is running for her life with an unknown force chasing her. Each time, right before the girl is caught, Tess awakens, shaken with fear and confusion. Who is the girl? What do these dreams mean?

Getting through the growing pains of high school with her best friends Jack and Kylie, and then being accepted into her dream college, Tess is excited to start her life of independence. There, she meets the mysterious trainer and mentor, Chris, and she instantly feels a strong connection with him. Unfortunately, Chris wants nothing to do with her. Although Chris continues to give her the cold shoulder, his overprotectiveness and the occasional slips of sensitivity confuse Tess. Not understanding Chris or their relationship, she is on a constant emotional roller coaster with him. Could her best friends be the stable force that she desperately needs?

Unfortunately for Tess, the more she tries to connect the missing pieces of her life, the more obscure her past and future appear to her. To make matters worse, she realizes she has fallen hard for a man who may be her worst enemy. As passion ignites between the two, she can’t help but surrender her heart and soul to him.

Tess is unexpectedly exposed to a world of secrecy, deceit, and danger, causing her to be running for her life, chased by the unknown. Can Tess escape and save not only herself, but also her loved ones? Or, will she be caught, leaving her no choice but to face her worst nightmare?

Chaysing Dreams is the ultimate love story, full of suspense, friendship, betrayal, tragedy, and sacrifice. In this epic tale, you will laugh and cry with Tess–a story full of twists and turns, keeping you guessing until the end.

An interesting twist to an everyday YA contemporary romance.  Tess is almost like any other college student. But there is one difference. This one difference will put a 360 degree spin on her life.

I have always been very particular about the Young Adult books I read.  There were things in Chaysing Dreams that I liked and disliked.

First of all I think it has a very good plot. It was really interesting to see bits and pieces add into the overall plot and enhance it.

But the story felt a little too long because not enough happened at the start.  I wasn’t getting those tidbits and clues I crave in a good mystery.  I love mysteries. But to keep me interested, I need to have answers to questions given throughout the story, not just near the end.  Also I struggled a bit with the point of view choice. The writing style and the POV didn’t mesh together as well as it could have.

However, the premise, the mystery and suspense and a touch of romance played a big part in keeping me engaged. The lead characters had a lot of chemistry and passion between them. Chris understands Tess and is willing to do anything to protect her. The love he has for her does not allow him to be away from Tess for long.  I do think this is a book that would appeal to many YA readers.