Tag Archives: Ghosts

Books I’ve Recently Read And Enjoyed

I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed. And although Halloween has passed, I’m still in the mood for a good MG or YA ghost story, so feel free to make suggestions in the comments.

Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase

LOCKWOOD & CO. THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE: (Jonathan Stroud) I listened to the audio book of this, which had an older voice than the age of the character. This distracted me a little. And while I felt the story moved a little slow due to the writer being heavy with backstory, it was full of ghosts and young kids trying to get rid of them as their daily paid jobs, which made me think of Ghostbusters! In the end, I quite enjoyed the tale.

THE AWKWARD PATH TO GETTING LUCKY: A NOVEL: (Summer Heacock) What can I say? Sometimes I read more than MG and YA. Okay? Okay. So, this story is very adult and hysterically funny about a woman’s lady-parts gone wonky and in need of mending. She gets guidance from her friends and coworkers at a bakery! Yes, there are plenty of sweets in this story:-) But no, this isn’t an erotic novel with explicit sex. That’s for porn people. Geesh!

JACK AND THE GENIUSES: AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD: (Bill Nye) Yep, I’ve always been a science nerd. Whether it’s an invention or research for cures, I’m in! And when you throw brainiac kids in the mix doing the inventions and solving a missing case mystery, doubly better!

WONDER: (R.J. Palacio) It’s no wonder the book has been on NYT Bestselling list for two years and is being made into a movie. It has ALL THE FEELS! While this may be a story about a boy with a deformed face and will make you cry, it also makes you laugh OUT LOUD so many times! The main character seems to find the good in people most of the time and is more generous with his understanding of them than they deserve! This will tug at your heart, but you’ll be happy you read the story. I PROMISE!

THE ADVENTURER’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES: (Wade Albert White)  The author is great at making the reader laugh, which is always a win. Orphans going on a dangerous quest, constant roadblocks, and unreliable characters make this story a fantastic read in a world of science and magic. Oh, and there is a cool dragon!

SAVAGE: DRAGONRIDER LEGACY 1: (Nicole Conway) While this suggests the first book of a new tale, it is really an extention of THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES and is another great story of Maldobar and Luntharda. I thought I’d miss the character of Jaevid who had been in the previous books (Okay, I kind of did!) but Reigh is introduced and I couldn’t help but fall in love with him and his magic, which he has to adapt to practically in the same manner as Jaevid had to with his. And for those that loved THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES as much as I did, there’s a sweet surprise at the end!

And there you have a quick view into what I’ve read lately. As you can see, my heart may be black in my writing, but I enjoy a range of genres and age groups when reading. Don’t forget to leave suggestions in the comments for some spooky reads for middle grade and young adult stories. Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/Ya fiction.

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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

HORROR IN TWO SENTENCES

After seeing a writerly friend, Colin Mulhern, post a link on FB titled 20 SCARY HORROR STORIES WRITTEN in TWO SENTENCES, I thought it’d be a great exercise. But not just for me, for all my writing buddies. Click on the link above to read examples.

This caused me to be torn between two versions I wanted to write.  But I decided this could be part two of this fun practice.

Here is my first reflex:
After proclaiming his love, my boyfriend pressed the warmth of his moist lips against my face. The blood dripped from his tongue as I removed the knife from his throat.

Upon thinking further:
After proclaiming his love, my boyfriend pressed the warmth of his moist lips against my face. I licked the blood from his tongue as I withdrew the knife from his throat.

I’ve two different reasons for the killings in both examples. How do you read them? In the first, it’s self defense against an obsessive lover and unmasked serial killer. The second, the murderer is the serial killer. Now, give me your two sentence horror story. Can you rewrite it slightly to have a completely different meaning for the history behind the same story?

Ready. Set. Go!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA Fiction