Posts Tagged ‘Bookbub’

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Audrey Rose by Frank De Felitta is a fascinating, horror-ific tale of love, loss, and … reincarnation. I’ve read it three times now and despite its very 1970s vibe, it puts me – and keeps me – under its spell each time. 

This novel impresses me on a few levels:

As a writer, I admire De Felitta’s masterful execution; he not only has a way with words but with pacing, character development, and setting – not to mention, he knows how to dig deep, to mine the emotions of his readers in ways a lot of authors either aren’t able to or don’t dare to. 

As a reader, Audrey Rose impresses me with its ability to not only keep me turning pages but to creep into my thoughts during the day (and night) when I should be focused on other things; when I’m reading this book, I resent anything that interrupts me. Not only that, this story makes me ponder the possibility of deeper things – and I’m a sucker for anything that opens the mind.   

In short, this is one of my all-time favorite novels and I recommend it to anyone with a penchant for the dramatic, the mysterious, the dark, the frightening … and even the sweet and tender.

Five full stars.

For more, visit Alistair on Bookbub

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Before White Oleander, I wouldn’t have believed I could have become so emotionally invested in a meandering coming of age epic about a 14-year-old orphan (Astrid) as she moves from home to home for one reason or another. The truth is, I only read this book because it was recommended by a friend and, as someone who will read literally anything, I knew I’d get through it without any problem – but I certainly didn’t expect to fall madly in love with it.

But I did. I was riveted from page one and couldn’t put the damned thing down.

I loved following Astrid to each of her new foster homes and watching her grow from the dysfunction and chaos around her. With each move, she meets new people, all of whom shape her in new ways – ways that ultimately help her understand her relationship with her own toxic, narcissistic mother (Ingrid), who has been imprisoned for murder hundreds of miles away.

While the plot is solid enough to stand up on its own, what really captured me here were the characters. These are real people, motivated in real ways, with all the necessary layers to make them well-rounded, dynamic, and believable. If I ever get the chance to meet Janet Fitch, I’d like to shake her hand and thank her for writing such an excellent character study.

Five full stars. I recommend White Oleander to, well, anyone who likes reading books with good plots and great characters.

For more recommendations, visit Alistair on BookBub.

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In the Cut is an edgy, fast-paced thriller chock-full of tension, sex, and mystery with an ironic and exciting ending you won’t see coming. I finished this book in one sitting and was particularly struck by the unusual use of language and grammar (so many writing “rules” were beautifully broken here – I loved it) but what really propelled me was a fascinating protagonist in search of something she didn’t even know was missing.

I’d recommend this book. It’s an interesting story, sure, but there’s more to it; layers that intrigued and so much left to the imagination, despite some graphic descriptions. Think Psycho meets Looking for Mr. Goodbar.

Well done, Ms. Moore. I think I’ll be reading more of you.

For more: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alistair-cross?list=reviews

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When literary writer Thad Beaumont’s cover is blown and the world finds out he’s been moonlighting as a crime writer under the pseudonym, George Stark, blackmail promptly ensues. Rather than caving to the blackmailer’s demands, Thad Beaumont decides to go public – and kill off George Stark himself. That’s when the pseudonym takes on a life of his own and begins an angry murderous spree …

The Dark Half exhibits King’s many artistic gifts: Excellent characters, unforgettable horror, witty dialogue, and the kind of plot that keeps you turning page after page. You can’t help but get the feeling that King was taking a little revenge of his own with this book – and that only adds to the intrigue. Writers and readers alike will love this book.

For More: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alistair-cross?list=reviews

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If you’ve ever read this book, you can see why someone said, “We must make this into a movie. Not only that, but it must star Bette Davis and Joan Crawford!” And while it definitely was an excellent movie, the book digs one layer deeper, submerging the reader (reluctantly, at times) into the minds of some seriously fascinating (and in Jane’s case, twisted) characters.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a quick read that sprinkles rather than spews its horror. It is, if nothing else, an intriguing glimpse not only into the human psyche (watching Jane’s descent into madness is one of those proverbial train wrecks you won’t be able to look away from) but also a peek into what might really be going on behind the closed doors of other quiet, seemingly peaceful houses.

As Jane and Blanche’s own next-door neighbor says, “Sometimes I wonder about the two of them over there in that big old house all alone. They don’t ever seem to do anything – or have anyone in for company. It must be awful … ”

Lady, you have no idea …

For more: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alistair-cross?list=reviews

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I didn’t mean to read The Institute so fast. I meant to make it last, but with King, that’s usually impossible. I was eager to read this book because it’s vintage King. There’s a good whiff of Firestarter in the book simply because of setting and subject matter, but the story is handled quite differently. In Firestarter, certain bad guys, like Rainbird, really stood out to me, but here, they’re more of a troop, but each is well drawn and memorable in true King style.

The kids are well-drawn as well and very easy to tell apart. What The Institute has in common with the novel, It, is simply that it features a group of kids drawn together to fight for themselves. These kids are misfits for the most part and this plays out in wonderful ways.

Our primary hero is a super-intelligent boy named Luke. When I was near the half-way point in the book I was beginning to wonder if things were going to get more interesting. (Not that it wasn’t interesting, but I wanted a change of scenery.) There’s no need to worry. There’s more. Lots more.

The book explodes into a long climax mid-way and all the details carefully planted in the first half come into play. It becomes impossible to set the book down. And it all leads to a terrific and satisfying ending. The Institute is going to make a terrific movie one day. I can’t wait to see it.

For more: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/tamara-thorne?list=reviews

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Fast, furious, and fun, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series is one of my all-time favorites. Any book in the series is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon (as long as you don’t intend to relax too much – these books are seriously action-packed) and GUILTY PLEASURES is the one that kicks it off.

Give it a shot. I bet you’ll want to read the next one … and the next after that …

For more: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alistair-cross?list=reviews