Tag Archives: Mary Downing Hahn

Books I’ve Recently Read

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. I will try to do this more often. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently. (And yes, some of them I should have read a long time ago.)

I can’t tell you how long I waited to read this sequel to Caraval! Okay, I waited as long as everyone else had to, but after enjoying the first book in the series, I wanted more right then! And needless to say, Stephanie Garber did not disappoint with this mesmerizing tale filled with magic. Another game of Caraval must be played, avoiding a murderous heir to the throne. And there are people trapped in playing cards! Freaky! But do you finally find out who Legend really is? Well, I won’t spoil it, you’ll have to read Legendary for yourself!

The Dead Key by [Pulley, D. M.]

The Dead Key BY D. M. Pulley was a BookBub deal I decided to buy. I don’t normally read thrillers like this, but I was hoping I’d run into a ghost. (I’m not gonna tell if I did.) The author wove an interesting tale with flashbacks from 1998 to present day. Here are parts of the Blub that got me interested with the story of Iris, whom was doing a renovation study of the Cleveland Bank:

Amid strange staff disappearances and allegations of fraud, panicked investors sold Cleveland’s largest bank in the middle of the night, locking out customers and employees, and thwarting a looming federal investigation. In the confusion that followed, the keys to the vault’s safe-deposit boxes were lost. And then later in the blurb: With each haunting revelation, Iris follows the looming shadow of the past deeper into the vault—and soon realizes that the key to the mystery comes at an astonishing price.

The Witch's Boy by [Barnhill, Kelly]

The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill had healing witches, talking stones, bandits, and a boy carrying around the soul of his dead twin brother. I couldn’t wait to read the story of Ned to see how he got on with his life as he helps protect magic that bandits want to steal. A fantastic read!

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by [Black, Holly]
I have been a fan of author Holly Black for a while, so it’s no surprise I finally picked up her book The Coldest Girl In Cold TownJust look at that cover, it intrigued me from the start! The blurb sums it best: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black. So, if you LOVE stories about vampires, this is for you!

The False Prince (Ascendance Trilogy Book 1) by [Nielsen, Jennifer A.]

What would you do if someone forced you to fake being the Prince? What fun that’d be, you say? Well, what if that person said you’d die if you didn’t, so now you can’t flub anything up! Too much pressure, right? The False Prince by Jennifer A. Neilsen is full of tension, adventure, lies, and deadly truths that will keep you turning the page! I definitely recommend!

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story by [Hahn, Mary Downing]

Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn was made into a movie a few years ago (which I haven’t watched yet), so I decided I’d give it a whirl. Here is the blurb:

Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she’s made Molly and Michael’s life miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church, with a cemetery in the backyard. If that’s not bad enough, Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen and warning Molly and Michael that Helen is coming for them. Molly feels certain Heather is in some kind of danger, but every time she tries to help, Heather twists things around to get her into trouble. It seems as if things can’t get any worse.

But they do—when Helen comes. (Oooo, that sealed the deal for me!)

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by [Hahn, Mary Downing]

Is it no wonder I decided to try another Mary Downing Hahn story, Deep and Dark and Dangerous? After all, If I’m going to write ghost stories, I need to read ghost stories! I’ve decided that the author has a thing with bullies, which at times made this story unlikeable. But I had to know about the girl, the one missing from the photo. “Just before summer begins, 13-year-old Ali finds an odd photograph in the attic. She knows the two children in it are her mother, Claire, and her aunt Dulcie. But who’s the third person, the one who’s been torn out of the picture? ” Could she possibly be the girl named Teresa who drowned under mysterious circumstances, and her body was never found? You’ll have to read to find out.

The Apprentice Witch by [Nicol, James]

As Library Journal put it, there are shades of J.K. Rowling in this story! The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol begins with Arianwyn failing her witch’s assessment and is thrust to a town called Lull to work as an apprentice for six months, then retake her assessment. Of course, she’s worried she’ll fail again, but has more troubles than the test to worry about as she encounters a dangerous infestation of hexes, banished spirits, forest creatures, and her arched-rival showing up.

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel by [Bradley, Alan]

When I read The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley, I didn’t realize I was reading the 6th book of a nine book series. The story read as a standalone, so if you haven’t read the others, no worries! Though most of the narration felt old school, it was fitting considering the setting was 1951 and during the time of Winston Churchill. Flavia de Luce’s mother had been missing for ten years, but her body had recently been found in a glacier and returned home for burial. And I got delighted when Flavia gets a wild idea to resurrect her mother through some brilliant science research she reads about. (I love that she’s a science geek!) But the story is mostly about her following a trail of clues to discover who murdered her mother. An interesting tale, with some big words. LoL. Totally loved it!

What? You want to know if she resurrected her mother? Puh-lease! You know I’m not gonna tell!

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And there you have my current list of books. Hope you find one to put on your TBR. 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