Random Musings by Frodosco

Randomness

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver: Frodo’s Review

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Summary From GoodreadsVanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

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There are books that you fall in love with because of the world, the author’s creativity, or the relationships that are forged both inside of the story and between you and the characters within. Then there are books that you connect with because they feel like yours, stories that seem like the author’s intended audience was you and you alone. The latter was my experience with Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver, and it made me both love the book, and reflect a lot on my life. With that said, I clearly have a bias here, but if you don’t mind then read on.

First, I should expand on my connection with the story of Vanishing Girls. This is the first blog post since October 2014, and there is good reason for that. On January 11th of this year I attempted suicide, and my mode of choice was to crash my vehicle into a tree at high speed. I hadn’t felt like blogging again until reading this book, and while Nick and Dara weren’t involved in the car accident because of a suicide attempt, the results were similar.

Scars, both emotional and physical. Major life changes in behavior, friendships, and overall lifestyle. Overwhelming guilt.

Now that you have an idea of why I connected with the story and characters so much (if you want more on my life just hit me up via Twitter and such) let’s get into the review.

Lauren Oliver’s writing is as wonderful as ever. I became a fan of hers after reading Liesl & Po, an adorable MG read, and Vanishing Girls is even better. The story flows extremely well, despite the confusion of the characters within, and transitioning between the POV of the sisters is seamless. Everything concerning the sisters, the accident, their warped family and relationships was fascinating, with just enough edge to keep it from becoming too sappy. However, I will admit that while I understand why the hunt for Madeline Snow was included (spoilers!) it did feel forced, and her character never really adds much to the book.

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The characters are what makes or breaks this book in my opinion. You have to feel for Dara and her physical injuries, struggles to return to her usual self, and her black sheep role in her discombobulated family. There needs to be sympathy for Nick’s guilt and emotional struggles over the crash, her frayed relationship with Dara when they were so close before, and her drive to find out the truth to fill the gaps in her memory and the resulting world around her.

Vanishing Girls utilizes the sisters so well, equally showing off the issues and negativity between them after the accident (the usual way sisters are represented in YA), and the positively cute development of their close friendship prior to it (something rare in YA). There should be more books that have sisters who actually like each other in YA, that are also main characters, at least in my opinion. It’s a relationship that doesn’t seem to be tapped enough.

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There is also the trio of friends/relationships dynamic with Nick, Dara, and their best friend Parker. All three were really good friends growing up until Dara and Parker became a bit more. That played a major role in Nick and Parker’s relationship, as well as Dara and Nick’s due to Nick feeling like a third wheel. It’s awkward, and the book doesn’t try to hide that, instead exploring each pairing (as well as the atmosphere when all three are together) with plenty of love and care.

In addition, Vanishing Girls explores all kinds of issues, something I really applaud Oliver for, and a big reason why I think the book is worth the read for any teen or young adult. Divorce, step parents and siblings, PTSD, depression, guilt, DID, drinking, drugs, and a plethora of other issues are explored and in just the right amount of detail. Best of all, Oliver manages to do all of that without saying anything that might trigger problems for those suffering from or dealing with those same issues. There is an art in doing that, and I really appreciated that she pulled it off.

Finally, the setting does a lot of the work in the fun department, making lighter situations to balance the deeper parts of the book. Nick is forced into a job at the local amusement park FanLand. It’s old, the employees are bizarre as one would expect, and best of all Parker is there for all the nostalgic feels. FanLand is a diversion from all the shitty things happening to Nick, and it’s one that she and the reader need every so often, plus metaphors, so many metaphors. I loved how Oliver brought it to life.

a metaphor

Overall Vanishing Girls was an excellent read, even if it was pretty dark at times, and while my bias is real, I don’t think it is clouding my judgement. I loved this book so much that it made me blog again. I HAD to share my thoughts on it, and a book that powerful is worth reading. Yes, I’m late to the party (the book came out in March), but hopefully I’m only fashionably so. It’s been fun. Thanks as always for reading.

Four Smiling Frodos w Background


Loop by Karen Akins: Frodo’s Review

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Summary From GoodreadsLoop

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

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I received an eBook copy of Loop from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have a fascination for everything involving time travel, whether it is in the form of a book such as with the MG/YA Pendragon series, in a tv show like Forever or Doctor Who, or a movie like Back to the Future. It doesn’t seem to matter what medium it is in, if it involves time travel even at a small level I’m going to at least be interested and willing to give it a try; that’s where Loop by Karen Akins comes in. I heard about Loop from the publisher who was looking for people to do reviews for its blog tour, and while I did not participate in that, I did request it because I was curious to see if this would be a good example of time travel, and a way of quenching my thirst for it.

Time Travel Back to the Future

The result? A bit of a mixed bag. I found the beginning of the book to be a struggle to get through, adjusting to Akins using fake curse words in place of regular ones (something I know bugs some people and in this case was a mild irritant to myself), and getting accustomed to the jargon used to describe the process of time travel itself, and everything that goes on with it.

Fake Swear Words Battlestar Gallactica

Unfortunately, even when I had immersed myself in the world, it never felt like something I could wrap my brain around, especially concerning the bits and pieces of explanations we get for how the world functions in the 23rd century. This isn’t due to lack of experience with various reasoning given in other examples of future worlds, but that Akins doesn’t do a very good job at describing it in a clear way.

Part of the issue here, and something that is the case across the board with this book (technical babble aside), is that it seems like the reader is intentionally led in circles in order to give the story a kind of mystery. In reality, all that occurred was that I was increasingly frustrated at the contradictions that started to arise, the dense main character that took forever to realize what was right in front of her face (where the reader could put the pieces together chapters before), and being left to wonder if (from a technical aspect) this world even made sense at all.

Going Around in Circles

Every time a technical bit was brought up it was almost immediately discarded and a vague response given instead. My head hurts just trying to put those last few paragraphs together to try and explain what wasn’t explained in the book, but suffice it to say that there are problems in the world building in Loop.

Then there are the characters. Bree (the MC) is dense as I mentioned before, but is also inconsistent. At times she seems lost and unsure, as well as just plain slow, and often can’t figure out what is happening around her, even when it’s pretty clear. Other times Bree plays a Sherlock-esque figure, picking up clues and hatching schemes (even if they aren’t always brilliant ones), all the while complaining about the same issues repeatedly. She had a pretty rough past, but despite that I was never able to pity her after the first couple of chapters because she is so abrasive and whiny.

Finn, the love interest, grasps things often before Bree does despite being from the 21st century, but otherwise is just an overprotective lug, and one that happens to be quite attractive seemingly just for gushing at random intervals from Bree. The supporting cast outside of them are even more cliche, from the standard BFF Mimi who is only there to be overly devoted to Bree, to one of the “villains” that is confused and used, and that eventually goes a tad nuts but still garners pity for whatever reason. Just…no.

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The part of Loop that pulls you in, however, is the past-to-future experiences, at least if you love time travel like I do. Unfortunately, while some of those aspects are pulled off well, such as with various cultural references in the 21st and 23rd centuries, much of the future elements are not well done at all. The world Bree lives in is barely discussed, the book focuses way too much on a couple modes of transportation instead of the time travel part, and the cliched joke of instant meals was used a couple times and wasn’t really funny. There is always a lot to work with in time travel books because you have such a wide range of times and locations to choose from, but that wasn’t showcased in Loop at all. The world in the 23rd century was simply bland.

Bland World

The writing and conversations that took place were decent, but it wasn’t enough to grab me, especially with the previously mentioned issues involved. A few solid jokes were made, and the sheer awkwardness of various situations were enjoyable, but there wasn’t enough chemistry between the main characters to enjoy those scenes fully. Having the inevitable future of the timeline Bree and Finn were on, something that was told almost immediately in the story, made it so there were hardly any surprises or suspense.

Overall, while the idea of time travel was present, and some of the issues with it (even if many are obvious) were addressed, I couldn’t enjoy Loop like I had hoped to. It isn’t a bad book, it just doesn’t excel in any category. Time travel wasn’t exciting in Loop, it was just a way of circumventing plot issues, something it didn’t do all that well anyway. The ending of the book only serves to try and confuse the reader even more, and too many issues remain unresolved, even for a book in a series. Thanks as always for reading.

Two Smiling Frodos w Background


Red Blooded by Amanda Carlson: Frodo’s Review

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Red Blooded (Jessica McClain #4)

Summary From AmazonRed Blooded

Jessica is going to Hell.

After settling a fragile truce between the vampires, werewolves and witches, the last thing Jessica wants to do is face the demons head on. But when the Prince of Hell kidnapped her brother, he set into motion a chain of events that even Jessica doesn’t have the power to stop.

Now, Jessica must go into battle again. But Hell is a whole new beast — new rules, more dangerous demons, and an entirely foreign realm. And when Jessica is dropped into the Underworld too soon, without protection or the help of her friends, she must figure out just how powerful she can be… or she will never make it out alive.

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When I got the invitation to read Red Blooded on NetGalley I jumped on the opportunity. Full Blooded, book one in the series, was the first ARC I ever received, back when I first started blogging, and I’ve been hooked ever since. So to say I was excited to see what Red Blooded had in store would be an understatement. Also, the book came out today (Sep. 9) so if you want to go get a copy you can!

Red Blooded delivered in just about every way, giving me the diverse paranormal group I’ve come to expect, and the wide array of talents and powers displayed, all in a brand new world to explore. One of my favorite things about the Jessica McClain series is that Carlson takes the standard paranormal creatures (werewolves, vampires, witches, etc.) and alters how we think about them by combining some, and giving others new traits and personalities that you might not expect. Red Blooded has all of the paranormal beings you could possibly want, and introduces plenty of new ones as Jessica makes her way through the Underworld/Hell.

Carlson’s version of the Underworld/Hell (I have to use both because she does interchangeably, tad annoying I know) is an intriguing one. She makes it feel at times more alive than you might imagine, with vivid descriptions of ever-changing colors and textures of structures and tunnels, and the vast differences of the world at night and during the day. Alternatively, it is a very structured and clean place, with seemingly identical demons roaming around in vast numbers, and at times it seems regimented and even a bit cold. The combination makes for a really interesting experience on all sensory levels.

The character list remains pretty expansive, as I was alluding to earlier, and the new additions in the book are well worth the read by themselves. I can’t get into too much detail without spoilers, but one of the new creatures Jessica meets when she arrives in Hell has a very interesting personality, and instantly had me gravitating toward them. The supporting cast is really strong as well, from the BF Rourke to the bizarre (and adorable) young oracle Maggie, the quick-witted Ray and the incredibly stubborn Vampire Queen, and all sorts of other compelling characters make it one wild ride.

My complaints for Red Blooded are ones I’ve made consistently throughout the series, so I’ll keep them short. Jessica often seems incredibly dense, the last to pick up on what’s going on, and yet it doesn’t seem like she is intentionally being portrayed as a moron, so that’s frustrating. That leads me to my other issue, which is the repetitious conversations, weird pauses for info dumps, and the amount of info dumps throughout the book that feel awkward because it is so forced, all of which seems to stem from how slow Jessica is, and it is annoying to deal with.

Overall I definitely enjoyed Red Blooded, as I have with the rest of the series. While I do have complaints, they are for things I’ve come to accept come with the better parts of the books in the series, but those issues have kept the last few books from being five stars. I would recommend the series to anyone who enjoys a wide variety of paranormal creatures in different (and usually pretty awesome) worlds. I’m looking forward to book five to see what craziness happens next! Thanks as always for reading.

Four Smiling Frodos w Background


Top Ten Book Characters That Would Be Sitting At My Lunch Table

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I’ll be talking about a bunch of my favorite characters in books to make up my ultimate lunch table! I’ll say a bit about each one and why I love them so much. Let’s get into it!

Croak 1. Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter) – This was the easiest one for me because you always want your bookish crush at the table, even though this is from back when the books were still coming out for me. I love her personality in the later books and she can cast a quick bat bogey hex on anyone causing trouble.

 2. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) – I’m sticking with the Harry Potter theme because Hermione is a must for all bookish conversations. She might take it a bit to the extreme though.

 3. Lex (Croak) – Lex has a fantastic sense of humor and would keep the sarcasm meter high at the table. She also wouldn’t be afraid to tell it like it is which could lead to some pretty interesting conversations.

 4. Globcow (Attic Clowns) – Globcow might freak people out a bit at first, but he’s such a funny little guy that I can’t help but want to include him. Keep an eye on your feet!

 5. Nero (The Infects) – Nero is a bit of an oddball, but he’s another hilarious person to add to the group (I’m big on keeping the mood happy, have you noticed?) and he is my go-to if a zombie apocalypse goes down.

Lady thief 6. Anna (Anna) – Every lunch table needs a ghost, and Anna is my favorite ghost in literary history. She’s a bit hard to get to know, but a sweetheart once you do. She could use a few more friends too.

 7. Colin Singleton (An Abundance of Katherines) – It’s always good to have a genius at the table, and Colin definitely fits the bill. He has a pretty good sharp sense of humor going for him too, but really I just need him to help the rest of us with our homework. Sorry Colin.

 8. Scarlet (Scarlet) – I need someone with a bit of an edge to them, enter Scarlet. She’s a badass, and even with her soft center (at least when it comes to Robin) I think she’d keep us safe in a fight, food or otherwise.

 9 & 10. Pippin and Merry (Lord of the Rings) – Nope, I didn’t pick Frodo or Sam! However, I had to go with characters from my favorite book series, and since this is more of a college-age group (in the perfect world in my head anyway) we need some people that can bring the party, and the fun liquids. Pippin and Merry know how to have a great time, and they do like their pints!

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There are so many other amazing bookish people that I would love to have at my table, but these ten would definitely form my core group. Were any of these characters ones you chose or would want at your table? Who did you pick? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Me That I MUST Read

TotallyRandomTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I’ll be talking about all of the books that it seems like I’m constantly being told to read! I’ll let you know whether I plan to or if I don’t think I’ll give in to the hype. Let’s get into it!

Everneath by Brodi Ashton 1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Oh my yes, this has been one of those books that everyone seems to love and endorse. I actually own The Book Thief already, but I just haven’t felt compelled to read it yet. It’ll happen eventually I swear. o_o

 2. Everneath by Brodi Ashton – This is really covering the whole Everneath series, but it’s another where the recommendations are pretty constant. It’s also another book I own, along with Everbound, so I’ll read it, I just haven’t got to it just yet.

 3. Defiance by C.J. Redwine – I wouldn’t say that the recs for Defiance (the trilogy more than book 1) are as frequent, but the ones who have done so REALLY liked it. Deliverance is the one I’ve heard most about lately since it comes out this month, but seeing as I don’t own book one, I doubt I’ll ever try the series out. Oh well.

 4. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi – Don’t kill me! I own book one, I’ll try to read it soon-ish, because the love for this book and the series is crazypants. *succumbs to the pressure*

ToG 5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – Everyone loves this and I don’t own it right now and aaaaah. This is a series I genuinely want to get into, but it will have to wait for now. *continues pining for it*

 6. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – Most of the recommendation pressure for this one comes from Nikki of Fiction Freak, but she’s not the only one. Unfortunately for her I don’t plan on picking this one up, the premise just doesn’t grab me. =/

 7. The Program by Suzanne Young – Another Nikki rec, but another one I don’t think I’ll read. I probably should as it sounds pretty interesting, but by the time I have funds for it I’ll have forgotten. Alas.

 8. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff – I owned this and the sequel, but now I don’t and I didn’t read it… and I’m an idiot. Five star ratings from most of my trusted book reviewers have me berating myself constantly, but I’ll fix this soon I hope. >.>

 9. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – I’ve seen Sweet Evil on Book Outlet, on bargains on Amazon, and in my Twitter feed, but I just can’t get excited about it. I’ve even had this in my cart a few times, but my final thought before buying is always “eh, nevermind” and I don’t know why. Just not for me I guess.

10. Everything by Jennifer L. Armentrout – No, that isn’t a book title, but I hear about Armentrout on a daily basis. The Lux series is the one I see the most buzz about, but regardless of what it is I’ve never gravitated toward her work. Maybe that will change someday, but I doubt it.

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There are so many great books out there, and I do love hearing recommendations for new ones, but I sadly can’t own/read them all. Were any of these books ones you have been recommended, and if so did you read them already, or did you pass? What are your ten most rec’d books? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read

TotallyRandomTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I will give you a glimpse into the part of my print TBR that I’m not so sure about anymore. I won’t be doing eBooks because that list would go on WAY too long for a TTT. I’ll let you know why I’m unsure about the books and whether or not I’ll read them anyway. Let’s get into it!

Tersias 1. Tersias the Oracle by G.P. Taylor – I wanted to start with an easy one, and what is easier to explain than a pure cover buy? I got this one at a Half Price Books sale for a dollar, not knowing anything about it, and later found out it was book two in a duology. It still sounds interesting, but I won’t be rushing out to get book one anytime soon, so it’ll sit for a while.

 2. Icons by Margaret Stohl – I’m pretty sure I won this in a giveaway, and now it has been sitting on my shelf for about a year. Some of the bloggers I know, and especially one I really trust in Nikki Wang of Fiction Freak, gave it a rating between meh and ew, so that isn’t helping either.

 3. The Snow Garden by Christopher Rice – Another bargain buy, The Snow Garden is an adult mystery/thriller, something I just don’t read much anymore. I’ll probably read it eventually, but only if/when my TBR is running really low.

 4. Midwinter Blood by Mons Kallentoft – This is another giveaway win, and if memory serves one I accidentally entered into (thinking it was a different one) by mistake. Similar to TSG, Midwinter Blood is an adult mystery, and just not a book that’s grabbing me right now, but maybe I’ll get around to it.

 5. Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon – I bought this one as part of a buying spree I was doing when I first discovered Book Outlet. It was cheap, seemed kinda interesting, and I had seen it in a few hauls at the time so I picked it up. Someday, maybe? Idk.

The Golem and the Jinni 6. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick – Oh boy… this was another in that Book Outlet buy, and within a day of purchasing it I saw Christina from A Reader of Fictions say how ridiculous and awful it was and ugh. It might be one I have to read for myself just so I can share in other people’s pain.

 7. Devilish by Maureen Johnson – I hate to say anything bad about Maureen because I love her on Twitter and YouTube, and I bought Devilish and Suite Scarlett because I thought her personality would translate. Well, Scarlett was good but not what I thought it’d be, and Devilish seems possibly even more fluffy and I just don’t know if I can read it. o_o Maybe I’ll just stick with the Shades of London series.

 8. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker – Here is one that I actually started reading and had to put down. I think I made it through maybe 50 to 75 pages or so, but it was moving so slowly that I just couldn’t get into it. I’ve heard great things, notably from Kimberly from Caffeinated Book Reviewer, so I’ll give it a go at a later date.

 9. Graceling by Kristin Cashore – This is one of the rare cases where there is so much hype and blogger love that I’ve avoided starting it. I grabbed it when I was browsing in a bookstore, and it has been sitting on my shelf for ages, but I’m also not sure I’m ready to dive into a fantasy series. I’ll try eventually, but not anytime soon.

 10. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – I enjoyed Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code so when I saw this one on sale at Target I grabbed it. However, I have to be in the mood for that kind of story these days, and it just hasn’t hit me yet. I’ll read it, but your guess is as good as mine as to when.

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There are other books I thought about when making this list, but these are definitely at the top. What books are you unsure of? What is the book (if there is one) that you might not want to read that is the most hyped? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read Horror

TotallyRandomTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I get to gush about my favorite horror authors! I’ll let you know why I love them and why I think anyone who hasn’t experienced the horror genre would too. Let’s get into it!

Attic Clowns 1. Stephen King – Really this could be almost anything he wrote, but my personal favorite is Cell. Cell is apocalyptic horror, via a method that is incredibly believable because it is so obvious. Yet there are things from other genres present that new readers could latch on to. Love, fear, desperation, hope, Cell has it all. It’s one of my favorite books regardless of genre.

 2. Attic Clowns by Jeremy C. Shipp – With a mix of horror, bizarro, and comedy, Shipp is at his finest (in my mind) when he writes his short stories, and Attic Clowns is the best of the bunch. New horror readers would enjoy the humor, the multitude of ways that Attic Clowns makes you consider reality, and the cast of wonderful characters that Jeremy C. Shipp created, especially Globcow.

 3. Lessons (and Other Morbid Drabbles) by Michael Crane – A less philosophical and more straightforward, but equally hilarious version of Shipp’s work are Crane’s short story collections of Morbid Drabbles. For new horror readers I think that this would give them a quick and concise way of finding out if they’d be interested in the dark humor that pervades this style of horror.

The Infects 4. Pressure by Jeff Strand – Pressure takes the reader on a journey of discovery. It shows how quickly the human mind can turn into a dark and haunting place, and how that can take its toll on someone’s life. The book is about friends becoming enemies, psychological horror, with a touch of physical violence thrown in for good measure. It’s a great book to start with.

 5. The Infects by Sean Beaudoin – If you couldn’t tell already, I’m big into comedic horror, dark humor is right up my twisted alley. So, for me at least, The Infects was absolutely perfect. It’s got amazing banter, creepy zombies, and a hilarious backstory. The Infects is one of my favorite books in any genre, but for someone easing into horror this is perfect. I can’t recommend it enough!

 6. Touched by Zoe E. Whitten – Touched is a short piece, 69 pages in length, and is a quick and enjoyable read for prospective horror readers. It’s got a lot of fantasy elements for those that are more inclined to read that genre, and enough humor for comedy fans to be satiated. However, for horror junkies it’s got the gore you want, the gripping action you crave, and the fear you need.

 7. Here Be Monsters – This is another short story collection, an anthology this time by a bunch of different authors, including my favorite Jeremy C. Shipp. I read this during 2012’s Fraterfest (a Halloween/horror themed readathon) and really enjoyed it. There is a mixture of philosophical, physical, and comedic horror and it blends really well together. A quick and easy horror read.

 8. Insomnia by J.R. Johansson – All about mental breakdowns, psychosis, and nightmares/dreams, Insomnia covers a lot of my favorite elements of horror. It’s creepy, not necessarily because of what the characters are going through, but because it makes you think about what it would be like if it happened to you. There is romance in this one, so that’s a draw for some new horror readers.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer 9. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake – Some might classify this as paranormal, I’d say it is a mixture of that and horror, so I’m going to include it. The book is amazing, as is the second book Girl of Nightmares, and with its sweet romance, beautiful writing, and excellent characters it is a great read for anyone. For new horror readers Anna would be a nice way of easing into darker books.

 10. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride – Another really funny book, often utilizing sarcasm to make light of the situation, as well as being like Anna, where paranormal meets horror. Necromancers aren’t written about nearly enough, and McBride does an amazing job with this book and its sequel Necromancing the Stone. Think Twilight but badass… and well written.

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There are so many great horror books out there, and I really need to read more of them myself. If you haven’t read much, or any horror before, I highly recommend you check out the ones on this list. They are excellent. Have you read any of them? What is your chosen “Never Read ___”? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^