Reviews

Saturday Smalls — June 1st, 2019

June 1, 2019

This week’s mini review round-up includes the following:

  1. adult horror short story collection
  2. NA contemporary novel
  3. adult classic horror short story
  4. YA contemporary novel


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Seven Slightly Sadistic Stories by Jeremiah Cress

TITLE: Seven Slightly Sadistic Stories
AUTHOR: Jeremiah Cress
GENRE: Horror
AGE RANGE: Adult

SYNOPSIS:
This book focuses on real-world threats like serial killers, psychotic madmen, online predators and more. With a mixture of dark humor and creepy storytelling, this collection of bloody and disturbing tales is both entertaining and downright chilling. Each story, with its creepy tone and terrifying set of events, exposes a real and terrifying fact; that no one is ever safe.

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From the reviews I read on Amazon claiming that this book was so terribly messed up and disgustingly brutal, I expected a lot more than I got, frankly, which isn’t the author’s fault — after all, the title is Seven SLIGHTLY Sadistic Stories, and “slightly sadistic” sums it up pretty well. It made it hard to appreciate things as much when they were simply so much milder than I expected them to be. I went into this hoping for a roaring, bloody slasher mess, and that’s not what this is. Then again, if you’re more sensitive to violence in horror than I am, this might definitely be more stomach-turning for you!

Altogether, I was a little bored by many of the stories and found them a little bit predictable, but I have to give the author major credit for the final story, “Zen”. It took me a moment to realize what was happening there, and once I caught on, I thought it was an awesome writing choice to bring things full-circle!

3stars

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The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

TITLE: The Foxhole Court
AUTHOR: Nora Sakavic
GENRE: Contemporary
AGE RANGE: NA

SYNOPSIS:
Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher. Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed. But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team.

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DNF @ 40%

I know a lot of my friends are going to be really disappointed to see this update, and I’m sorry for that, but I honestly cannot force myself through another page of this book. I hate the writing and characters so much. Everyone told me the first book was a chore but the rest of the series was worthwhile, but I’m finding myself skim-reading because every time I try to focus on the story, I get miserably bored or downright annoyed at how much I dislike every single character in it.

I’m sorry, y’all. I honestly tried to like the box with the horrible corndogs-in-sauce cover, but… I can’t do it. 🤷‍♀️

1star

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TITLE: The Yellow Wallpaper
AUTHOR: Charlotte Perkins Gilman
GENRE: Horror/Classic
AGE RANGE: Adult

SYNOPSIS:
Based on the author’s own experiences, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is the chilling tale of a woman driven to the brink of insanity by the ‘rest cure’ prescribed after the birth of her child. Isolated in a crumbling colonial mansion, in a room with bars on the windows, the tortuous pattern of the yellow wallpaper winds its way into the recesses of her mind.

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WOW. What a read! I can’t believe I’ve been a horror fan my entire life and have never picked up this little short story until today, but it’s definitely an instant favorite. It’s mostly tragic and sad, sure, but there were moments that gave me absolute chills, and that ending stopped me right in my tracks. Amazing. No wonder this is such a widely beloved classic!

5stars

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Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi

TITLE: Tell Me How You Really Feel
AUTHOR: Aminah Mae Safi
GENRE: Contemporary
AGE RANGE: YA

SYNOPSIS:
Sana Khan is a cheerleader and a straight A student. She’s the classic (somewhat obnoxious) overachiever determined to win. Rachel Recht is a wannabe director who’s obsessed with movies and ready to make her own masterpiece. As she’s casting her senior film project, she knows she’s found the perfect lead – Sana. There’s only one problem. Rachel hates Sana. Rachel was the first girl Sana ever asked out, but Rachel thought it was a cruel prank and has detested Sana ever since.

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DNF

I wanted SO BADLY to adore this, but these characters are… whew. I hated them both from their respective introductions and there’s no reprieve in sight. They’re both so arrogant and Rachel is legitimately a cruel-hearted bully from the first page we meet her on, and while I know a lot of readers will have fun watching the character development that I’m sure probably occurs later on in this story, I couldn’t make it through well enough to find out firsthand. 🙁

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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No Comments

  • Reply Davida Chazan June 1, 2019 at 8:07 am

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES to “The Yellow Wallpaper”! It is Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s masterpiece. I bought a print copy that came with this together with her novella “Herland” and some other short stories. All totally worth reading. Sorry about the disappointments here.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries June 3, 2019 at 9:41 pm

      Awesome, I was wondering if I should pick up more of her stories, so thank you for mentioning the other novella and stories! I’ll definitely be trying more of her work in the future.

  • Reply Sarah J. June 1, 2019 at 10:00 am

    The Yellow Wallpaper is such an interesting little read. I finally got to it a couple of months ago and I’m so happy I took a morning to read this little short story. It’s such an interesting tale. I’ve never wanted to pick up Foxhole Court but I think it’s kind of silly that you have to slug through a novel to get to the “meat” of the series. That seems like an inadequate first novel that may benefit for another round of editing and a rerelease.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries June 3, 2019 at 9:40 pm

      The Yellow Wallpaper really was incredible! I’m glad you liked it, too. And yeah, that’s actually a very valid point about the Foxhole Court series — I have some series that I didn’t love the first book in, but loved the other books, but like you said, those first books could benefit from a re-release. All of the series that immediately come to mind for me (like the Throne of Glass series, for example) would, IMO, be vastly improved by one more round of edits on those first books!

  • Reply CJR The Brit June 1, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Well…..I started The Foxhole Court and I’m only 20% in but I feel the same as you! I’m going to give it a bit more and then decide what to do! I’m so glad I read this as I was wondering what was wrong with me as I know so many people love this series!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries June 3, 2019 at 9:38 pm

      I’m sorry you weren’t enjoying it much, either! Did you end up DNFing it or did it improve any for you?

      • Reply CJR The Brit June 4, 2019 at 2:05 am

        No I DNF’d…….I just couldn’t do it. And I do hate to dnf a book!

  • Reply evelynreads1 June 1, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    I also didn’t like foxhole court.. I actually started the sequel, but DNF’ed that one after 10 pages 🙈
    (Www.evelynreads.com)

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries June 3, 2019 at 9:36 pm

      I’m so glad I’m not alone! It was AWFUL. 🙁 I really hated it so much lmao. Kudos to you for even attempting TWO books in the series!

      • Reply evelynreads1 June 4, 2019 at 12:36 am

        I felt like I had to love it hahah.. But soon realized I didn’t care if I don’t like a popular book :p

  • Reply eLPy June 1, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    Just have to comment that I like your integrity. I do recall reading your anticipation for The Foxhole Court. I also appreciate your ability to DNF, I’m still learning. 😉

  • Reply Let's Get Galactic June 2, 2019 at 12:29 am

    I love THE YELLOW WALL-PAPER so much! It’s one of my favorite short stories of all time; I read it when I was in middle school and was obsessed! I also love THE LOTTERY by Shirley Jackson!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries June 3, 2019 at 9:09 pm

      It was SO AMAZING. I honestly was completely blown away by the ending! I definitely need to read The Lottery soon, too. 😀 Thank you for reminding me that I have that on my TBR, gorgeous!

  • Reply Sunday Post — June 2nd, 2019 – howling libraries June 2, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    […] Saturday Smalls […]

  • Reply Malka @ Paper Procrastinators June 3, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    I’m sorry you had such disappointing reads! I read the first two books of the Foxhole Court series, and I have no intention of reading the third. It was a struggle to finish the second book.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 25, 2019 at 12:59 am

      I missed this somehow but thank you! Kudos to you for even making it through the first two, and your comment made me feel better about DNFing since it sounds like it doesn’t get much better lol!

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