Review | My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

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Title | My Best Friend’s Exorcism
Author | Grady Hendrix
Pages | 336
Series | None
Publisher | Quirk Books
Release Date | May 2016
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act . . . different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

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Okay, so this book review has been a long time coming. I seriously mean that – when I finished reading Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism, I had planned to review it the day after – when the book was fresh in my mind and completely new to me. But it has serious taken me over SEVEN months to catch my thoughts about this book. Despite all the variables that have put me off, I think it’s finally time I sat down and put out a review. I think the one way to describe the book is: spell-binding.

“I love you, Gretchen Lang. You are my reflection and my shadow and I will not let you go. We are bound together forever and ever! Until Halley’s Comet comes around again. I love you dearly and I love you queerly and no demon is bigger than this!”

This book was completely out of my comfort zone from the get-go. Very rarely will I pick up an adult fiction book. I’m of average intelligence, but sometimes the writing style in adult fiction tends to be too complex for my little mind to comprehend. And when I was given this book, I assumed that it was young adult. So the complexity of the book made it a challenging read, but I was happy by the time I got through it and to the end. While it wasn’t something I wasn’t pleased with in the book, it would be unjust to penalise the author for it as I was reading something totally out of my comfort zone. And in all honesty, the sophisticated, in depth writing style was incredibly impressive – so hats off to Mr Hendrix there.

“Corn dogs,” the exorcist said, “are all the proof I need that there is a God.” 

Also, the book was definitely a lot darker than I expected, as it falls into the horror genre. Horror is something I avoid like the plague – it is not my style and I hate to be freaked out. My Best Friend’s Exorcism definitely has its moments where I debated doing a Joey Tribbiani and hiding it in the freezer. But as I had a digital edition, I couldn’t stick my kindle in the freezer. The plot however, is incredibly strong. Maybe it’s because I avoid the style, but it was completely and utterly original. I hadn’t seen that kind of plot anywhere else – not really in movies or anything either. Again, something I will point out is that the setting was the 1980s – something I was not around for so I didn’t exactly understand a few odd references here and there.

“By the power of Phil Collins, I rebuke you!” she said. “By the power of Phil Collins, who knows that you coming back to me is against all odds, in his name I command you to leave this servant of Genesis alone.” 

Of course it is only fair to give a mention to the fabulous cover that encases the brilliant novel too. It was admittedly (although I make no secret of it) one of the main things that drew me to the book in the beginning. Yet at the same time it was something that I used to mistake the book for young adult fiction too. However, the moody attitude of the novel and sense of isolation is tied together perfectly on the front cover. Whoever designed it did a wonderful job.

Brother Lemon and Abby looked at each other, eyes gleaming in the shadows, and then he stood up. Rummaging in one of his duffle bags, he pulled out an athletic cup and slid it down the front of his pants. He caught Abby staring.

“First place they go for,” he explained. He adjusted himself and picked up a well worn bible.”

I am glad that I read to the end to discover what happened to Abby and Gretchen. I was impressed with how their friendship withstood the novel. It was an all-around amazing read. The story definitely has a stellar ending, and I would more than likely recommend the book to someone who it would suit. If I overlook the fact that this was not in my comfort zone, the book earns a fabulous four stars. Perhaps I shall give Grady Hendrix’s further works a read when I’m feeling brave, because I was quite impressed with this one.

4 Stars

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Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Flavia @ Flavia The Bibliophile says “I highly recommend this book to those who like the 1980s, who like to read about the power of friendship, and those who are intrigued by the prospect of a book which mixes the spooky with the hilarious!”

Jackie @ Never Imitate says “I had expected to enjoy this story more than I did. ”

Yvette @ Book Worlder says “I don’t see myself rereading this one, demons just aren’t my thing.”

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Usually a book goes through several cover changes in its lifetime. Most variation depends on the publishing location. My Best Friend’s Exorcism is available in the following cover formats.

Cover 01 | 2017 Re-Design

Designed to fit in the eighties themes in the book, the cover looks authentic and fabulous.

Cover 02 | 2016 Original

Original cover that caught my attention really easily!

 

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Grady Hendrix

Grady Hendrix

Grady Hendrix is the author of the novels Horrorstör, the only book you’ll ever need about a haunted Scandinavian furniture superstore, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which is like Beaches meets The Exorcist, only it’s set in the Eighties.

His fiction has appeared in Lightspeed MagazineStrange HorizonsPseudopod, and The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination. He is one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival and his nonfiction has appeared in VarietySlatePlayboyTime Out New YorkThe New York Sun, and The Village Voice.

contact-details

Email: childishlypassionate@gmail.com
Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate

 

Blog Tour | Love in the Friendzone by Molly E. Lee

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Title | Love in the Friend Zone
Author | Molly E. Lee
Pages | 200
Series | Grad Night #1
Publisher | Entangled Teen
Release Date | August 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

The only thing worse than not being able to tell your best friend you’re head over heels in love with him? Having to smile and nod when he enlists your help to ensnare the girl of his dreams.

Braylen didn’t even want to go to Lennon Pryor’s epic graduation-night party, but when Fynn begs her to be his “wingwoman,” she can’t deny him. Talking up her BFF—how he’s magic behind a camera, with a killer sense of humor and eyelashes that frame the most gorgeous blue eyes in the history of forever—is easy. Supporting his efforts to woo someone so completely wrong for him? Not so much.

Fynn knows that grad night is his last shot before leaving for college to find true love. And thanks to Bray, he gets his chance with the beautiful Katy Evans. But over the course of the coolest party of their high school careers, he starts to see that perhaps what he really wants has been in front of him all along. Bray’s been his best friend since kindergarten, though, and he’d rather have her in his life as a friend than not at all.

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Where should I start with this review? Entangled fiction tends to be simplified romance that is cute and sweet. They’re great to pass time, and better to help you get over book hangovers. Love in the Friend Zone, although a Entangled fiction story, completely smashed my stereotype. Molly E. Lee has written such a fabulous tale of romance that I cannot stop thinking about. And I finished the book a week ago!

“That sounds either super Prince Charming-y of you or borderline rapey.”

Love in the Friend Zone is story of a girl who is in love with her best friend, but is all secretive about it. It’s got the whole cliche ‘everybody knows but you two’ element, but it was tasteful. The main thing I loved about the book was that it was a story of a single day, spread out over 300 pages. Normally, this kind of thing just doesn’t slide with me. It can get boring, and I can literally want to shoot myself. Not once did that I get that feeling with this book though. NOT ONCE! Instead, the books pacing and tone was so perfectly executed the novel sort of just drifted by. Once second I’m sitting down with my kindle, the next I’m cursing because I’ve spent four hours fixated to a screen. It didn’t get boring at all. It didn’t feel overly-simplified and the plot was really cute to follow.

There were times when I thought of Zoey as the most intelligent girl I knew, and then there were time I wanted to strangle her for making everyone else’s problems look so easy to fix.

This was one of the latter times.

The characters were adorable. I’m not going to lie; I did expect there to be this awkward-as-hell love triangle going on for a while. If there is one thing I hate in a romance novel, it’s a love triangle. Simply not got the time for them. But Braylen and Fynn were simply two cute for words. While the characters were quite two-dimensional, merely as they didn’t have to face much more than relationship issues, they were quite charming. I appreciated Braylen’s love of Fynn, but her need to preserve her friendship and ensure her best friend’s happiness. I mean, who wouldn’t? I’ve been there and I’m sure many other millions of girls have. Fynn was also incredibly adorable, but I constantly wanted to beat him around the head with the book and tell him to man up. 

My reading has been few and far between recently with a list of family issues myself, but this was perhaps the easiest book I’ve read this year. The flow and movement of the plot, the characterisation and the flawless writing from Molly E. Lee have definitely made this one of my favourite romance books. I think I’ve just gained a story I can come back to during a book hangover.

Clearly the universe is sending me a million signs not to explain things to him.

Perhaps my only grievance with the book is that I live in the United Kingdom. This book was simply amazing, but to add it to my physical collection would be a costly task – as the prices here would be between £15 and £20 for a paperback edition, not including shipping. However, this will not affect the scoring of Love in the Friend Zone as that is an issue for the publisher and not the author. However, if you are able to get your hands on a physical copy; go ahead and do it! This book deserves to be read, and the author definitely deserves massive support. I’m giving Love in the Friend Zone a high five snowflakes for simply peeking up my summer and making me feel the burn to read again. Thanks Molly E. Lee!

5 starsbranch and berry

 

Molly E. Lee

Molly writes New Adult and Young Adult Contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.

website | twitter

 

contact-details

Email: childishlypassionate@gmail.com
Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate

Review | The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount

Title | The Way It Hurts
Author | Patty Blount
Pages | 352
Publisher | Sourcebooks
Series | None
Release Date | August 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there’s only one way to set things right…

Music is Elijah’s life. His band plays loud and hard, and he’ll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he’d rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town…until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother’s. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program―and being the star in her high school musical isn’t going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can’t take his eyes off of Kristen’s performance, and his swooning face is captured on camera and posted with an out-of-context comment. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don’t stay online…they follow them into real life. 

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The name Patty Blount is a name synonymous with some of the best young adult fiction available – novels such as TMI and Some Boys. While these books had me absolutely hooked and willing to read on, her latest fictional piece – The Way It Hurts – sadly did not. Although the plot did seem pretty solid, the pacing and the execution of the novel seemed too slow and drawn out for me. Because of this, I only read up to page 179, regrettably making it part of my DNF (did not finish) shelf.

Music was peace to me – sanity in all the chaos Anna caused.

The book itself has a pretty strong story to it – girl needs boy, boy needs girl, sexual chemistry and boom! Together by the finish. However, as I stated before, the execution of such a story seemed far to drawn out for me. Whether it was such to establish narratives from both Elijah and Kristen, I’m not entirely sure. But something about it just didn’t work for me. The plot does seem like a few books I have read previously, and while I’m sure that The Way It Hurts is an entirely original piece of fiction, I could just not shake off the boredom.

“You know, Richard, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.”

“Of course, Mother. I was merely catering to my audience, as you taught me.”

Two characters I did absolutely adore from what I read, were Elijah and Etta. As soon as Etta was introduced, I fell in love with her brutal honesty and unwitting charm. She had some serious personality for a fictional character, and I saw one of my closest friends in her phrases and mannerisms. Patty Blount brilliants portrays her fabulously privileged character through her behaviour in the story. In reality, it would have been a hard task not to fall in love with Etta.

As for Elijah, the situation with his disabled sister Anna really broke my heart. It was adorable to read how he used music to communicate when she could not. The bathtub scene at the start was something I absolutely loved, and his desire to protect his younger sister was admirable. In all the rush of being Elijah, the Rock Star, he didn’t forget his sister. Instead she was his motivation.

She smiled brightly. “And now I know I am far too self-absorbed to love any man more than I love myself.”

Despite only reaching page 179 before calling it quits on the book, this has in no way coloured my opinion of the author or her books. Writing is an incredibly hard thing to do, and the fact she has already blessed the YA world with so many stories is wonderful. Although I could not personally read the rest of The Way It Hurts, that does not mean to say that anyone else should be discouraged from reading it.

Finally, he shook his head. “No. You’ll sing for them.” He wiggled his phone at me.

Perhaps in the future I can attempt to re-read the story and find it more to my taste. Yet at this current moment in time, I cannot. I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. The Way It Hurts will only receive one star from me.

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+ Patty Blount +

Patty Blount grew up quiet and a bit invisible in Queens, NY, but found her voice in books. Today, she writes smart and strong characters willing to fight for what’s right. She’s the award-winning author of edgy, realistic, gut-wrenching contemporary and young adult romance. Still a bit introverted, she gets lost often, eats way too much chocolate, and tends to develop mad, passionate crushes on fictional characters. Let’s be real; Patty’s not nearly as cool as her characters, but she is a solid supporter of women’s rights and loves delivering school presentations.

contact-details

Email: childishlypassionate@gmail.com
Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate

Review | The Border by Steve Schafer

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Title | The Border
Author | Steve Shafer
Pages | 198
Publisher | Sourcebooks FIRE
Series | None
Release Date | September 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

One moment changed their lives forever.

A band plays, glasses clink, and four teens sneak into the Mexican desert, the hum of celebration receding behind them.

Crack. Crack. Crack.

Not fireworks―gunshots. The music stops. And Pato, Arbo, Marcos, and Gladys are powerless as the lives they once knew are taken from them.

Then they are seen by the gunmen. They run. Except they have nowhere to go. The narcos responsible for their families’ murders have put out a reward for the teens’ capture. Staying in Mexico is certain death, but attempting to cross the border through an unforgiving desert may be as deadly as the secrets they are trying to escape…

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Honest and harrowing, The Border by Steve Schafer is a painful reality for many Mexicans. Before reading this novel, I was completely oblivious to the dealings of Mexican gangs such as La Frontera, so it’s pretty safe to admit that this book not only moved me emotionally but it was also pretty eye-opening. The author has touched on a subject that you tend not to see: which only highlight’s its relevance in today’s society.

“There’s nothing flashy about her, but she shines. I’ve noticed her before, though never quite like this.”

I think what impressed me most about the book is how believable the whole tale is. Days are dragged out in the book simply because the days turn into months for the characters. While the story is fiction, The Border cleverly shines a light on the fact that this is so many other people’s reality. There is no beating around the bush – this is the long, drawn out journey of those who risk their life to make a better one. And it’s utterly heart-breaking that in 2017, there are still people forced to owe their lives to coyotes who can help them cross. With a clever reference to Donald Trump’s promise of building a wall, all I could think was ‘thank God this hasn’t happened yet’. The journey seemed treacherous enough without there being a physical wall too.

How can trillions upon trillions of stars, planets, moons all appear exactly the same night after night, while my life is nothing like it was yesterday or even an hour ago.

Steve Schafer does not glamourize any of the characters in this story – he keeps them as these regular, everyday people who have to deal with a lot of bad things happening to them. Pato, Argo, Marcos and Gladys all have this air of authenticity around them, and the things that they encounter are genuine, believable events. It’s safe to say that the book is full of moments that sound disgusting and gross, but they are things that we cannot control as people. You feel for each of the characters and their way of coping with what is actually happening to them. And as the events that unfold around occur, you can’t but help sympathise for them. Even secondary characters such as Sr. Ortiz had such a way of tearing your heart apart.

Narcos,” Sr. Ortiz says in a scornful tone. “They’re not people. They’re prests. No, they’re a disease. An incurable disease we all suffer from.”

Living in the United Kingdom, we do not share borders with anything serious such as this. There is no real danger when I step foot out of my house, and I definitely do not need to be wary about someone trying to kill me at a teenage birthday party. But for Pato, this is something he has to worry about. And to think that somewhere in Mexico, this could be happening right now is absolutely terrifying. Although challenging to read at times, and after crying for a little bit, I am glad that Steve Schafer took the time to write such a wonderful piece of fiction. The themes and story plot is one that must be spoken about – because we need to realise that people are actually dying.

I’m a liability in my world. I need a new one.

When this book hits shelves in September, buy it. Read it, talk about it, make it a trend on twitter. This is something that can really speak out to people. And I cannot wait to see the impact it can make. Steve Schafer, you have earned an easy five stars.

5 stars

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Steve Schafer
+ Steve Schafer +

Steve Schafer has a Masters in International Studies from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Wharton. He grew up in Houston and has since had the privilege to live, work, volunteer, and travel internationally. The bulk of this experience has been in Latin America. Steve lives near Philadelphia with his wife and two kids.

contact-details

Email: childishlypassionate@gmail.com
Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate

Spotlight On | Upcoming Author Emma Rose!

Writing a story can be a hard thing to do, but getting the recognition that you deserve can be even harder. Launched in December 2010, online fiction website Wattpad.com has provided a reading outlet for many unheard voices around the world.

One of these, and one of the most talented voices present on the site, Emma Rose, has been pleasing over fifty-thousand readers for six years now – myself included. That’s why I was super stoked when she agreed to an interview!

Wattpad Page | Twitter | Ask.fm | Swoon Reads

Follow the kittens for links to Emma!

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So Emma, welcome to Childishly Passionate. How about we start with a small introduction from yourself?

Well of course! I’m happy to be hear! Obviously my name is Emma, I’m a twenty year old university student, and surprisingly, I’m not studying anything to do with writing. I’m actually in Honours Chemical Engineering! I love science and math (not so much now as much as I enjoyed it in high school), and even though the thought of studying English makes me squirm, I’ve always had a large passion for reading. The writing came along later, once I discovered Wattpad about six years ago!

At what age did you start to put pen to paper, and what was the reason behind your writing?

Honestly, I kind of touched on this in the previous question, but I only started writing after I discovered Wattpad. I was about fourteen or fifteen at the time, and after reading on the website for a few months, I started to realize that a lot of the writers were actually my age, and I thought, why don’t I give this a try? And I did!

Though I don’t think I’ve ever actually written anything out by hand *laughing*. I write faster when I’m typing.

You have been an active member of Wattpad since 2011, long before its popularity peaked. What was it that persuaded you to join the community?

Funny story – it was my younger sister who showed me the website at the time, and she is not the biggest reader. Actually, she more or less hates it. A few of her friends had been reading a few bigger stories on the platform (The Kissing Booth, Nothing Left To Lose, etc.) and she found one of the stories interesting. To this day, Nothing Left To Lose is the only story she’s ever read on Wattpad. 

Anyways, even though her interested died, mine instantly peaked. I went through hundreds of stories and enjoyed them all, and I just never left.

Who inspires you the most and why? This does not have to be anyone famous.

There actually isn’t one particular person who inspires me. I simply aspire to be one of the people who work hard for what they’ve got. Anyone who has had to tough it out and climb their way to the top – that’s who inspires me.

Oh, and of course, my favourite authors too!

You’ve been granted with the title of Wattpad Star, a massive achievement and sign of talent on the website. How did you feel when your books began to develop popularity and more readers?

I became a Wattpad Star after I had finished writing Defending Parker, and if you look at the stories that precede that, that’s where all the reads are. That being said, I took it as a sign that I was doing something right. People enjoyed what I was writing, and even though I’ve never changed a story plot based on readers being unhappy or causing an uproar, I get a sense of validation that I can write, and I can write well. (But I also know there’s always more to learn!)

What book, if any, has been your favourite to write so far? Are there any characters that you have fallen in love with more than others?

My favourite story to write is the one I’m currently working on – Cloak and Dagger, just because it’s so different than anything I’ve ever written before. It makes it fun and exciting, and with every chapter I’m having to jump out of my comfort zone and know that I have to work harder to get the vision I have in my head into words on a screen. 

Character-wise however, Katie Reynolds and Dean Adams from In Case Of Heartbreak were so amazing to write. Dean is basically the epitome of what I need in a boyfriend and Katie is such a strong, selfless, and smart woman that I loved writing the dynamic between the two of them. It was hard to finish that novel knowing I’d have to let them go.

Every budding author must face some struggles. What has been your biggest challenge to date?

The biggest challenge, I think, is starting over with a new story. So many readers on Wattpad only follow a writer for the duration of one story and then move on, not thinking to look at their other stories. This is mind-boggling to me, because as both a reader and a writer, I fall in love with not just the characters, but with the way a story is written. If I like a writer’s style, I’ll always look at their other works (both on and off Wattpad). 

Yes, there are the readers like me who will follow a writer they love with whatever they decide to write, but I find on Wattpad, especially when writer’s decide to change it up a bit, they’re not willing to take the risk and read something new.

What advice would you give to someone who was hoping to follow in your footsteps?

It doesn’t happen overnight. You could get lucky, but writing is a skill, and just like all skills, you have to perfect it. You’ll fail, and that’s okay, because the next time you fail, you’ll fail better. 

Never give up if writing is something you want to do!

Harry Potter, Peeta Mellark and Edward Cullen – snog, marry, avoid?

(I’m going to first, shamelessly admit that I didn’t read the Hunger Games or Twilight books, and only saw the movies!)

But besides that fact… snog Peeta, marry Harry, and avoid Edward.

(But if Draco Malfoy was on this list… it’d be a different story)

What is your favourite book and why? Would you suggest this book to other readers?

I fell in love with Jennifer L. Armentrout’s new adult books recently (as well as a whole lot of sports romance stories that I’m going to keeping to myself), but the Wait For You series is one I’ve honestly re-read already, and I just read it for the first time in April! All of them are amazing and I’d absolutely recommend!

On a side note however, any novels by Morgan Matson, Kasie West, Marissa Meyer, Colleen Hoover, and Scarlett Cole are amazing as well!

I’m aware that you have previously submitted a manuscript to Swoon Reads. What are your hopes for after Wattpad, or where would you like your writing to go next?

I have, and I think that was my first step into seeing if my works (the more recent ones) could be turned into something worthy of publication. It’s every writer’s dream to have a physical copy of their story in their hands and see it resting proudly in the window of a book store, so that’s the top goal.

Smaller steps along the way however, include bettering my writing, learning from my friends and fellow writers, researching the industry, and simply giving it everything I’ve got.

What is your favourite quote and who is it by?

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

Finally, I would like to thank you for taking part in this interview. Are there any questions you would like to ask me?

And I do… how did you get into blogging? This blog has wonderful content and such a beautiful aesthetic that I’m wondering how long it took you to get everything to look and feel just right?

Thank you Emma. Blogging was an accident – an output for me to ramble on about the books I liked. I posted my first review in December 2015, out of boredom, and found myself being invited to London events months later.

As for the aesthetic, I’m a perfectionist at heart. The amount of times I’ve opened Photoshop and designed multiple designs is ridiculous. I’d say that roughly it has taken a year to find the right way to post and design everything. But thank you.

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Emma Rose has ten published works of fiction on her Wattpad page, @winx1348. Each feature different characters, all telling their own stories.


Behind The Scenes | Romance

Every once and a while you meet someone who throws a wrench in your plans. A person who messes with your heart and your mind, until one day, you find yourself falling hopelessly in love.

And for Zoe Hamilton, that person was Ryan Adams.


In Case of Heartbreak | Romance, Teen Fiction

After a devastating accident, Dean Adams finds himself drawn to his classmate, and nurse-in-training, Katie Reynolds.

What he doesn’t expect to discover is that, as much as he needs her, she needs him even more.


Defending Parker | Teen Fiction

“They say that there’s two sides to every story, but which one do you believe?”

As the daughter of a lawyer, Jillian Thomas has always been one to stay on the right side of the tracks. She’s a track and field star, a whiz in the classroom, and she’s never gotten in trouble in her life. However, when Jillian’s father gets a new job, she is forced to move to a town that is still mourning over a tragedy.

When she has a run in with Parker Collins, and slowly begins to unravel the truth behind his tragedy, she’s sees what everybody else refuses to; he’s innocent.

Will she be able to help him change his fate and prove to everyone that he’s not to blame, or will she watch as he gets sent behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit?

Until I Met You
Until I Met You | Romance

For Jessalyn and her mom, moving to the small town of Avondale, California seemed like the perfect decision; they wanted the new scenery but what they really needed was a new start.

Jessalyn Hartley had always been shy and one to keep to herself, but now, as she enters her final year of high school at Crestview High, she’s more determined than ever to stay hidden in the shadows.

However, all of that may change when she crosses paths with the supposed bad boy; Cason Michaels, and figures out that maybe she just had to meet the right person to break her out of her shell.


Maybe Perfect | Romance

Sophie Campbell is a seventeen year old senior at Jackson High that also holds down a part-time job at the local coffee shop. The way Sophie sees it, there’s no need for her to have a boyfriend in high school. All the boys are immature and she’s lasted without love for 17 years so far… why not wait one more? However, when the mysterious loner at her school comes into her work on New Year’s Eve, something between them clicks.

Between crazy friends, a motorcycle and an English assignment, will they be content with just a friendship or will they realize that they might be perfect for each other as more?

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Currently in the works by Emma is a brilliant story that is completely out of her usual comfort zone. Feel free to check it out (it’s free).


Cloak and Dagger | Action

After an attack on the night of her 21st birthday, Aspen Rigby awakens within the walls of Division 27 – a clandestine organization part of a circle of central intelligence that is kept a secret from the outside world. While trying to adjust to her new life and fight off the demons of her past, she’s also faced with the shocking realization that, with a target on her back, she needs to be careful where she puts her trust, as well as how she decides to fight at a crossroads.

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So that is all I have for you today my lovelies, but please go visit Emma and leave her some love. Her writing style is simply flawless and I really hope that she makes it big time – I’d love to see a physical copy of one of her works on my bookshelf in the near future.

If you would like to suggest someone, my contact details are below. Otherwise, peace and kisses to all xo

contact-details

Email: childishlypassionate@gmail.com
Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate

Bright Spotlight | Penguin Threads

If there is one thing I am guilty of when buying a book, it is that I first examine the cover. A good book is normally (but not always) encased in a fabulous, eye-catching cover. It is the first thing you see, and will be sat pretty on a book case. So for me, the cover is the difference between one book or another in Waterstones. (In a perfect world, I would be able to afford both books. But I’m a student, and students are poor.)

Perhaps one of the biggest genres of fiction in today’s society is the classic fiction. People seem to forget that for hundreds of years, these are the stories that entertained and captured the minds of generations. But with millions of books entering circulation, there is always a good reason to avoid the classic section of the book shop.

However, the classics are now being redesigned – or that is, their front covers are. After all, pretty front covers do attract business! Today’s Bright Spotlight is focusing on the redesigning of six magical books – all under the Penguin Threads scheme.

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So what exactly is Penguin Threads?

The Penguin Threads collection were six cover redesigns commissioned by art director Paul Buckley. His aim? To create a gift-worthy collection of classics.

Which books were redesigned?

The Wind in the Willows, Little Women, Emma, The Wizard of Oz, Black Beauty and The Secret Garden.

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Did Paul Buckley redesign them himself?

Responsible for the redesign were two talented artists, Jillian Tamaki and Rachell Sumpter. With each artist in charge of three books, they proved to be absolutely fabulous and made the covers look wonderful. Perhaps my favourite fact is that they used real, genuine materials such as thread when making the covers. I’d honestly pay to see the original covers.

Black Beauty | Design and copyright by Jillian Tamaki.

The Wind in the Willows | Design and copyright by Rachell Sumpter.

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The Secret Garden | Design and copyright by Jillian Tamaki.

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The Wizard of Oz | Design and copyright by Rachell Sumpter.

Emma | Design and copyright by Jillian Tamaki.

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Little Women | Design and copyright by Rachell Sumpter.

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So now that you’ve all seen the wonderfully beautiful covers, I’m going to go and hint at these books a few more times as presents. I honestly feel like they’re a sound investment, and the pure talent and time that went into making these gorgeous designs deserve the recognition and money.

The Wizard of Oz              | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Penguin Random House
The Wind in the Willows| Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Penguin Random House
The Secret Garden            | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Penguin Random House
Little Women                      | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Penguin Random House
Emma                                    | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Penguin Random House
Black Beauty                       | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Penguin Random House

Also, these covers almost (but didn’t) make the cut. Still, they are just as fabulous as the ones that were selected. Personally, I would be proud to display any of these covers in my shelves.

Penguin Threads | Penguin RH
Jillian Tamaki’s Blog
Rachell Sumpter’s Blog

 

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Review | The Dollhouse Asylum by Mary Gray

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Title | The Dollhouse Asylum
Author | Mary Gray
Pages | 296
Publisher | Spencer Hill Press
Series | None
Release Date | October 2013
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields–a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus–she is thrilled to have a chance at survival.

At first, Elysian Fields,with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne’s heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world.

The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now “Persephone,” and each couple has been re-named to reflect the most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along.

If they play it right, then they’ll be safe.

But if they play it wrong, they’ll die.

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A girl and her teacher, a forbidden romance and an psychological thriller? Surely not? I stumbled across this book on Goodreads many moons ago and merely brushed it off as something completely crazy and something I would dislike from the get-go. But I was completely off the mark with that, and perhaps I should have read it sooner. The Dollhouse Asylum was a fantastic thriller, and satisfied the bookworm inside me fully.

While I would argue that Mary Gray could have done a better job of dragging the plot out, I have to admit that she did a pretty fantastic job. The idea was completely unique, and if you’re a regular here you will understand that I adore originality. Now I do have to admit that I’m not a fan of the whole dystopian, zombie-apocalypse kind of novel. But the decision to use this as a ploy for the real reasoning behind Elysian Fields was great.

The characters, although some were completely two-dimensional, played the game quite well and it was interesting to see their story unfold. Cheyenne, albeit the protagonist, was not strong enough to lead the story on her own. Whether she was completely in love with Teo or not, I would have loved to see more emotion from her. There were things the author brushed over, such as the fact that she showed no emotion over her dead mother – this was something that made her appear more fake. Luckily, her characterisation of Teo was completely spot on. Creepy? Check. Delusional? Check. Twisted? Check. Teo was literally the living embodiment of ‘psychotic’ and this really made me enjoy the story so much more!

The Dollhouse Asylum has easily been around for a few years now, so I’d advise you to go out and grab your copy as soon as! It’s creepy, it’s chilling and it’s absolutely perfect to fill your time with this summer!

4 Stars

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Don’t just take my word for it! Here are what a few other bloggers worldwide had to say about the book.

Alison @ Lost In Believing says “The Dollhouse Asylum is a fantastic debut.”

Gil @ Writer of Wrongs says “‘I’m going to grade this book on a serious originality curve, and for creeping the pants of me.

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❤ Mary Gray ❤

Mary Gray has a fascination with all things creepy. That’s why all her favorite stories usually involve panic attacks and hyperventilating. In real life, she prefers to type away on her computer, ogle over her favorite TV shows, and savor fiction. When she’s not immersed in other worlds, she and her husband get their exercise by chasing after their three children.

contact-details

Email: childishlypassionate@gmail.com
Twitter: @passionchildUK
Instagram: @childishlypassionate