Tag Archives: Ghost Story

One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

One For Sorrow BookPublisher: Clarion Books
Sold By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: July 18, 2018

Okay, I’ll admit the cover drew me to this story! But look at it, soooo spooky! ONE FOR SORROW is set during World War I and the influenza epidemic of 1918, this story unravels the tale of childhood school days gone wrong. Annie is eager to make friends at her new school, but Elsie claims her as her own bestie, refusing to allow Annie to connect with other girls. After Elsie passes from influenza, her ghost returns to torment Annie for befriending others and to make sure Annie is isolated and disliked as much as she had been when alive.

While this was an easy read, Elsie didn’t become a ghost until halfway into the story. This was delayed longer than I’d anticipated, making some of the bullying redundant in order to get to the good stuff–a scary ghost! And even though the historical setting enriched the story, I felt cheated with the lack of generational terms. But make no mistake, author Mary Downing Hahn creates a realistic story of how easy it is to get swept into bullying when a child just wants to be liked. She also paints a cruel tale of how difficult it is to get out of a this horrible situation. So, if you’re looking for a darker read, this is for you!

Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Wait Till Helen Comes, which is being adapted for film. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her cat, Oscar.

***THE OFFICIAL BLURB***

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

Amazon | BN | Kobo| Google PlayGoodreads | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Target | BAM! | Audible

And check out these additional reviews:

“Hahn’s story is characteristically steeped in eerie atmosphere, and the novel’s blend of historical drama, the supernatural, and the intricacies of adolescent friendship is a gripping combination.” —PW

“Hahn is a veteran author who clearly knows her apples about writing ghost stories, as this, her latest inventive page-turner, evidences… Shivers aplenty, but also genuine emotion that will invite empathy.” — Booklist

“Another historical and chilling success.” —Kirkus

“Another solid addition to Hahn’s oeuvre, this would also make a spine-chilling pair with Cohen’s The Doll’s Eye.” —Bulletin

Author Links: Website | Facebook

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REVIEW: ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake

Oh my goodness, YES! This was my reaction when I first saw the cover of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD. (Covers are extremely important people, to evoke emotions and desire to pick the book up off the shelf!) And the blurb didn’t disappoint. I read that the main character, Cas Lowood, killed the dead. Then I wondered how he could kill someone that was, well, already dead. Which was exactly why I had to read the book!

ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD

Cas travels around the country with his “kitchen-witch mother” while killing misbehaving ghosts. His weapon of choice is a wicked anthame he inherited from his father—who was murdered by a ghost he’d attempted to kill. Cas explains he doesn’t completely understand the power of his anthame, but he believes it will only work for him. He strikes his targets down with an artistic slashing confidence as ghosts disappear so that they will never murder another living victim.

Then Cas gets a tip about Anna Korlov, a ghost murdered at the age of sixteen. She’d been on her way to a dance when someone nearly cut her head off, causing her beautiful white dress to be drenched in blood. She had been murdering anyone that stepped foot in her home since 1958. But when Cas finds himself lying helpless on her living room floor after a jerk acquaintance bashed his head with a broken board, Anna spares Cas and murders the jerk by splitting him in two gruesome parts.

For once, Cas has trouble using his anthame on a ghost, although he knows he should. He knows she’ll keep killing others, even if she won’t kill him. But let me assure you, his fascination about why she spared him does not lead to a typical love story with mushy-mushy crap. No. He still attempts to do his inherited duty and kill her, and strangely, she wants him to kill her. So, you see, I had to keep reading!

The author does a great job of describing how Cas understands he has to have a life of solitude and that he feels out of place with the living. So when he winds up with a couple of unexpected friends who help him along his journey, I was surprised. Kendare describes Cas’ life and the ghosts surrounding him with exquisite creepiness. But I won’t tell you if he murders Anna, nor will I tell you if he crosses paths with his father’s murderer. (What, you weren’t wondering about that? Riiiight.)

I recommend this book to all those who love spooky and won’t be disappointed if there’s not a lot of kissy junk. You can buy this awesome book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Have fun reading!
P.D. Pabst

 

 

SARA CROWE: Author of BONE JACK

It’s true. I’m a sucker for great cover art. I’ll pass over a book without reading the blurb if the cover doesn’t lure me to pick up the novel. With a blackened figure of a young boy wearing antlers on his head , BONE JACK by Sara Crowe made me want to know in what type of world a boy would have them on his head.  Then I read there were ghosts in this story about a stag boy and I love ghosts!

BONE JACK

Synopsis:

Ash’s dad has returned from war. But he’s far from the hero Ash was expecting. He’s close to a breakdown, lost in a world of imaginary threats. Meanwhile, Ash’s best friend Mark is grieving and has drifted away into his own nightmares. Ash’s only escape is his lonely mountain running, training to be the stag boy in the annual Stag Chase.

But dark things are stirring. Ghostly hound boys prowl the high paths, and in the shadows a wild man watches. Ash begins to wonder if the sinister stories about the Stag Chase are true. Could Mark and Dad be haunted by more than just their pasts?

The first paragraph promised danger in the pages to come and I devoured the entire book. Therefore, I reached out to the author for a little Q and A. (Read full interview.)