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Welcome to the book blog, featuring reviews for teens from InfoSoup librarians and users!

horror

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Title: Asylum
Author: Madeleine Roux

16-year-old Dan Crawford spends his summer at New Hampshire College Prep. The dormitory he is assigned to is none other than the infamous—converted and newly renovated--Brookline Sanitarium. Soon after his arrival at the college, Dan makes friends with Abby and Jordan, who soon find themselves exploring the abandoned, eerie hidden recesses of the Brookline. Soon after their first midnight escapade, the trio begins experiencing the supernatural. Dan receives mysterious notes and visions, Abby’s mood takes a turn for the disgruntled, and Jordan begins losing sleep over frightening nightmares. The events that unfold beg the question, did these teens choose Brookline, or did Brookline choose them?

Asylum is a great book for those that read and enjoyed Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Roux employs some really creepy found-photographs to help the reader feel a part of the story. It is a bit of a scary read, but not too scary so fans of the thriller genre may like this one as well as the horror fans and adrenaline junkies.

My Reaction: I liked this book. Ever since Rigg’s book (referenced above), I have taken an interest in books that use “found photography.” I think it is a really neat way to get a better picture of what the characters are experiencing. I also enjoyed that this book was creepy without ever crossing the line which makes it appropriate for a range of audiences. On the negative side, I thought the characters were a little bit flat and could have been better developed and there were some loose ends (i.e. strange “coincidences”) that never get fully explained. Maybe you can chalk this up to it being the first in a series, but I doubt it. The overall plot was well-done and the setting was fabulous. I might re-read this one just in case I missed something. Grades 7 and up.

Themes: Ghosts, Haunted, Insane Asylum, Sanitarium, Summer School, Prep School, Mystery, History, Friends 

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Title: The Stand
Author: Stephen King

The world ends with a tiny slip in the security of a military project. A horrible plague is loosed upon the world, wiping out 99% of its population. The survivors: an east Texan, a famous singer, a girl with a baby, and a deaf-mute along with several million others scattered across the globe rise from the ashes of civilization. They begin having dreams that bring them together. Everyone is forced to put the past behind them and prepare for the epic clash of good and evil. They must stand. I give this book six stars and I've never even given a book five stars before. It the best book I've ever read.

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Title: Karma
Author: Cathy Ostlere

First of all, adored the style of the book. It is written as a series of diary entries. Also, loved the hopeful ending which reflected the ability of love to surpass so many challenges. This book has tough content. Maya is visiting New Delhi, India, with her father. They are taking the ashes of her mother there. Her mother died tragically and Maya is coming to terms with that. She was raised in Canada so she has trepidations about this trip. They are well-founded since shortly after reaching India she discovers that she is betrothed! On top of that there is a sudden revolution and her dad is caught up in it because of his religion. Maya is separated from her dad and then witnesses a most horrific sight which leaves her dumbstruck. She is taken in by a family but treated horribly by their neighbors. Finally, she gets her voice back. And there is more important plot lines of her relationship with the son in the family, Sandeep. This is an amazing story with layer upon layer of mystification with cultural differences. I learned a lot from this book.

Fire!

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Author: Stephen King

This novel concerns a father and his daughter who run from a government agency... I rather enjoy this novel because I felt as if I was on the edge of my seat. Waiting for something to make sense. It was fear-fight ride that I never thought I would enjoy as much as I did. A excellent read after dark when everyone you know is asleep.

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Author: Gaston Leroux

Okay, so who hasn't heard of the Phantom of the Opera? It's a story about an opera house that is haunted by a man, a genius, a mad genius, a mad genius that happened to a monster, but he was quite human, though, still a monster. He has the face of "Death's head", four dark holes in his face. Two holes instead of eyes, he had no nose, and for a mouth, well...you'll have to figure that one out for your self. He also did some terrible things, including murder, kidnapping, torturing...the list goes on. It is also a story of a young girl named Christine Daae, who lost her father at a young age. Before he died he told her that when he was in heaven, he would send her the Angel of Music, and she has been visited by the angel. Then one day she comes forth on the stage and enchants every one with a voice like...an angel's. In the crowd there is a young man who recognizes her from their child-hood years. But when they meet each other again, Christine seems distant.

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Title: Lord Loss
Author: Darren Shan

 “My hand's on the door knob. My fingers won't move. I keep my ear pressed to the wood, waiting...praying. A tear trickles from my left eye it dries on my cheek from the heat. Inside the room somebody giggles. Low, throaty,sadistic. Not Mom, Dad, or Gret. There's a riplling sound followed by snaps and crunches. My hand turns. The door opens. Hell is revealed.”

Have you ever thought of demons? And if they were real or not? Have you ever felt so alone. Well, Grubbs Grady has been through Hell. First, he's been the eyewitness of the murder of his mom, dad, and sister. Two, secrets are revealed. The world is cruel, and Magic is as real as your presence.

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Bayou, Volume 1

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Author: Jeremy Love

This graphic novel collects the first 154 pages of Jeremy Love's webcomic "Bayou." Set in Mississippi in the days of Jim Crow, this is the story of Lee, a young, black girl being raised by her widowed father. When Lee's best friend, a rich white girl named Lily, is swallowed whole by an odd resident of the local bayou, Lee's father is framed for the crime. As the lynch mob begins to form, Lee races off to the swamps to gather evidence of her father's innocence. But this land has more than mundane monsters of which to be wary. Golliwogs, fairy spirits of the dead, giant talking animals, and more hinder and, sometimes, help Lee on her quest.
The art in this graphic novel does an excellent job portraying Lee and her environment. At times soft and bright, and at others dark and moody, it entices readers deeper into this eerie new landscape.
Bayou Volume 2 will not be released until January 2011, but readers wanting to continue Lee's story can find her online at http://zudacomics.com/bayou

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Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

This book was very good! It is about a vampire hunter, Sarah Vida, and a family of vampires, Nissa and Christopher, who Sarah meets at school. Instantly, Christopher and Nissa are friends with her, but the Vida laws say that no Vida should ever be around a vampire unless they are about to kill it. Sarah finds it hard to follow these rules because they are so nice, and she thinks it would be impossible to tell them what she really is. When Sarah finally does tell them what she is,she tells them that she needs help to kill Nickolas, a vampire that killed a Vida over a century ago. As Sarah later finds out, Nissa and Christopher will not let Sarah kill Nickolas, because they have a special bond with him that you will have to find out on your own, because I won't tell you! Well, anyway, Sarah goes after Nickolas one night and Christopher is there, and they almost kill Sarah, but Christopher saves her because he loves her so much. This was a really good book, and I recommend this book very strongly!