Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Cure For Madness Book Review

A Cure For Madness by Jodi McIsaac 



Clare Campbell has worked hard to create distance between herself and her troubled family. But when she receives news of her parents’ murder, she’s forced to return to the quiet town of Clarkeston, Maine, to arrange their funeral and take legal guardianship of her unpredictable and mentally ill brother, Wes.

While Clare struggles to come to grips with the death of her parents, a terrifying pathogen outbreak overtakes the town. She is all too familiar with the resulting symptoms, which resemble those of her brother’s schizophrenia: hallucinations, paranoia, and bizarre, even violent, behavior. Before long, the government steps in—and one agent takes a special interest in Wes. Clare must make a horrifying decision: save her brother or save the world.


After discovering that her parents were murdered Clare goes back to her home town, Clarkeston, Maine, to plan their funeral and take legal guardianship of her mentally ill brother, Wes. Soon after arriving, however, a terrifying pathogen outbreak overtakes her town, leaving the infected with symptoms similar to her brother's schizophrenia. Then when an agent of the CDC takes a special interest in Wes, Clare has to face more horrifying decisions than whether or not to move back to Seattle. 

I will be the first to admit that this book was not what I expected when I read the synopsis. I was expecting a terrifying outbreak of crazy people running around the street trying to kill each other...but that's not exactly what happens, the book, instead, follows Clare and her brother as they try to hide from the CDC and decisions that could change weather or not the outbreak spreads across the whole world. 
What I like most about the story as a whole were the characters. What they thought, felt, and said seemed incredibly real to me, like something I would actually do in their situation, there wasn't really any awkward wordings or anything. Wes was great in that he seemed pretty normal until he wasn't, making the schizophrenia believable, though he came off as such a stoner sometimes. Clare was the confused yet clear minded sister who worked through what needed to be done and faced the hard truth of the reality of what was really happening. Overall, it wasn't difficult to connect or even feel empathy for some of what they did, the characters were, for lack of a better way to say it, realistic. Also, you really wanted to know what would happen to them next and how it would end. 
“You’re ordering pizza over the Internet?” “It’s not a new thing.” “Yeah, but now the government knows what kind of pizza you like.” 
There were, however, quite a few things I had problems with. For one, the scariness of the stories concept wasn't embraced enough for me, that is, this could of have been a book with scared and disillusion people running around the place practically flipping out, but instead the worst that really happened was some rioting. The story mainly followed the main characters while they were on the run and kind of skipped over  the big picture of the outbreak, in turn, loosing much of the suspense and horror factors. I'm not saying it had to be a horror story. but I was disappointed because I thought it would be. Overall, that was my main problem with could have been scarier. The author had potential to make this either longer or a duology wherein the outbreak spread further and they were really on the run from what was happening as well as the CDC; give it more of a Walking Dead vibe. 
All in all, it was a good story that made you want to know how it ends. Not a good choice for those looking for something horror or zombie-esc, though an interesting suspense. Plus, the cover is kind of amazing. 
"But there's something powerful about embracing the worst parts of yourself, the parts you hope no one ever finds out about. to admit that you are not all light and bravery, that you are both hero and villain in your life's story." 

Okay, I have to get my feeling about the end of this book out of my system. Like WHAT?! The ending was very 50 First Dates and I don't think I like it. Plus! I really wish that the author at least said how long it had been, I mean, her hair has regrown and the government is on trial, you know it has obviously been at least a few weeks, but still it could have been even longer than that! I just wanted more from the ending, it felt almost too calm. She wakes up, the government is on trial, Wes has obviously had the same conversation with her more than once, and the outbreak has been completely dealt with. WHAT THE WHAT?! I mean, you kind of see it coming...but still. No lie, I was pretty upset with the ending, but I'll get over it. 

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

T5W: Spooky Settings

This week's T5W topic is all about spooky settings, in honor, of course, of Halloween. I'm really excited for this topic because all things spooky have a special place in my heart, after all, A Haunting, as well as a smorgasbord of other ghostly shows, was usually what was on TV in my household growing up, also Supernatural is basically the best show ever created. Anyways, let's get into some of my favorite spooky setting!

Spooky Forests

There are so many books, movies, and tv shows that use forests for part of their creep factor, and we all know why, they are spooky as all hell when they want to be; from low fog to dark shadows and everything in between, spine tingling shivers are inevitable in such a place. There's also the big question; what else is in the forest? From giant spiders in the Dark/Forbidden Forest on the outskirts of Hogwarts to the mysterious killer fae praying on tourists in The Darkest Part of the Forest, I think it's safe to say that the concept of being hunted is never far off the mark in whatever situation you find yourself in.
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Haunted Houses

Haunted houses are a classic when it comes to the ghostly and the mysterious, besides, it's incredibly relatable; I mean, who hasn't felt a weird breeze or had a random cold shiver while being home alone and automatically thought about ghosts. Then there are hauntings, like that of Sunshine, where ghosts experience echoes causing them to relive their deaths, which is terrifying prospect in that you can't do anything but listen to them be killed. Of course, there are also those, like in Woman in Black, where the ghost is just bad-sh*t-crazy and wants to kill people because her child was taken away from her...yeah, those are the ones that creep me out the most, where there is nothing you can really do to stop it.

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Another cult classic in the horror genre; abandoned asylum settings are the ones that creep me out the most because all you can think about are the crazy off kilter people that lived and died there. Plus, stories like The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether where the crazy people basically take over and start running the place make me question everything. On that note, don't even get me started on the mind blowing craziness that is Shutter Island, now that was a movie (I never read the book, though I want to) that really messes with you, I don't think I will ever be able to go into an "institution" of the likes ever, regardless of the reason. Plus, if you want your socks knocked off, watch Grave Encounters, now that is an asylum movie that will make you question everything in life, and you have to watch both of them in a row to get the real affect...let me just tell you, I will never watch those movies again, I practically died the first time I watched them.

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I feel like post apocalypse is something that a lot of spooky stories play off of these days; from zombie outbreaks to natural disasters and everything in between, it's a common setting. Of course there are the popular franchises; The Walking Dead, Resident Evil, The Hunger Games, etc. that we all know and love, than there are some smaller side ones that I feel like don't get enough love; All the Beautiful People and The Girl with All the Gifts, to name a few. Now, you may be thinking, post-apocalypse doesn't necessarily have to include zombies, I know, I just prefer it over natural disaster based ones, e.g. Life As We Knew It, in my opinion they're just the better of the two. Also, when it comes to zombies, I like ones that have a twist to it, like a beauty complex or child zombiehood, I'm not really a classic Dawn of the Dead kind of person, besides, the whole concept of zombies being able to run is too ridiculous for me.  

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Serial Killers

Okay, I know I said these were in no particular order, but this one is probably my favorite; I am a fan of serial killers to say the least. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I approve of the whole murdering thing, it's just, if I'm going to follow something along those lines than I would prefer them to be serial killers. There is of course the classic Hannibal Lecter, whose name you may have heard from Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon, whom is one of my favorites. (I also just finished watching season 1 of Hannibal and I want to cry, it's just so good). There's also Dexter, who is another love of mine, I will say though, that even though I have read Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the show is so much better in my eyes. But it's not just the serial killer thing that I want, I want the story, whether it be rage, psychopathic tendencies, sociopaths, or even the simple "urge", regardless, I need something more than mindless killing. To name one, the SAW movies are definitely on my list of favorites; there is a story, gore, depth, and just so much to it, I feel like it can be such an underrated series. I think one of the main reasons that serial killers are my favorite is because they are the most realistic, if something is too ridiculous to me than I just don't find it frightening at all. I need something that could actually happen and with serial killers, that is usually delivered. 

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So what are your favorite spooky settings? Also, what spooky thing can you imagine in the forest? Let me know! 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fall Activities Book Tag

Fall Activities Book Tag (originally created by Dreaming Through Literature)
Today I decided to participate in another book tag, mostly because it's been awhile, but also because I just really enjoy doing these. So lets get into it!

A book on your TBR that looks so delicious that you can't wait to take a bit out of it. 


Something about the little comments on the cover and everything just make me love the look of this book, plus the story sounds like it's going to be a fun read, I can't wait to devour this one.
A book that's so much fun to get lost in.


As I have said before and I will probably say again, this series as a whole is just so much fun! Sherlock Holmes and the supernatural; I can't get enough of this.
A book that scared you silly.


So I haven't actually finished this yet, but it has been giving me a lot of chills so far. The fact that it takes the whole zombie genre but twists it with different mental illnesses really makes it seem incredibly realistic and slightly terrifying. 
The latest book you picked up (purchased).


I have been wanting this book for so long and now that there's another one I got to jump on this ASAP. Besides the whole motorcycle and wolf thing on the cover is kind of awesome.
A book that is lyrically beautiful.


This book is such a beautifully tragic story as a whole, just the fact that it takes place from the deaths perspective is lyrically something else.
A book you didn't like and wouldn't mind carving up. 


I was so disappointed with this book. Bianca pretty much made all her circumstances worse for herself and she needed someone to knock some sense into her. 
A book that was a highly enjoyable romp.


Whenever I hear the word 'romp' I immediately think of the ridiculousness that is this book; always a favorite. 
A sweet book to curl up under the covers with.


All fairy-tale retelling are prime under the covers books but this one especially for me; it's sweet, easy to read, and a great story in general. I will admit it's been some years since I've read this but I used to absolutely love it, so I should probably reread this actually...
A book that reminds you of your childhood. 


I'm sure most people will put Harry Potter for this but I mean, it's like the ultimate series. The first two specifically remind me of my childhood though. No shame, I was an HP character for Halloween once...or twice, but I feel like everyone has at some point.
Your favorite spooky read. 


I will never talk about this book or series enough, LOVE IT! It's creepy, mysterious and actually kind of witty too. Such a great Halloween read for anyone looking for suggestions *wink-wink*
A book with an eclectic cast of characters.


All the characters in this book are crazy in their own way...enough said.

Let me know what your answer would be! Also, have you ever dressed up as a Harry Potter character for Halloween? Let's discuss. :)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Reading Update: The One Where I Have No Self-Control

Hello, my name is Rachael, and I have no self control when it comes to reading. *Hi, Rachael*
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There are two different kind of people when it comes to book worms: the kind that picks up a single book and immerses themselves in it from start to finish, and than there are the kind that can't help but pick up book after book until they are reading way more at one time than they probably should...I am the latter. Don't get me wrong, it, more often than not, has nothing to do with the book not being good, for me it wholly has to do with the fact that I want to reach for the unknown. I could be in the middle an amazing book but pick up another one half way through because I want to meet new characters, imagine new settings, and just to know what the book is about in general. Yes, I acknowledge this isn't always the best way to go about things because it can lead to confusion and just me never finishing a certain book, I feel bad about it...but...I also don't? I mean, please tell me I'm not the only one who does this. *sigh*
But as much as I acknowledge there's a better way to go about my reading habits, I also really REALLY don't like be judged for it. Like, excuse me, you do your thing and I'll do mine, it's not like I'm hurting anyone. It's like when someone makes a comment that I read too much or had too much coffee that day...HAHA I can never have too much coffee *evil grin*. Still though, to put it into terms that they may better understand, 'hop off'. ('Cause that's appropriate, right?)

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Anyways, while we are on the topic of what I am currently reading (or not reading, depending on how you look at it), why don't I share with you what I have picked up in the last week or two. 


  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) by J.K. Rowling - Of course this everything I was expecting from a Harry Potter book. Love. Love. Love.
  • A Cure for Madness by Jodi McIsaac - One chapter in and I have a feeling this could be a good and creepy read. 
  • Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic (The Dowser #1) by Meghan Ciana Doidge - I don't even know how I feel about this yet. 
  • Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion] by Edgar Allan Poe and M.S. Corely - Edgar Allan Poe is always great but I'm a little disappointed with the "in motion" part so far. 

Let me know if any of you have this 'problem' and what you're currently reading. Besides, I'm just a nosy person in general and like to know what people are reading regardless. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Some Of My Favorite Halloween and Fall Reads

It's only two weeks until Halloween and I'm already getting super pumped. I love seeing fall and Halloween decorations everywhere, and it's a holiday. Holidays are the best. Anyways, I felt like it was about time that I shared some of my favorite spooky season reads with you guys! As well as some that I really want to pick up asap! I hope you enjoy.

My Favorites 

  • All the Beautiful People (A Dread Novel) by Jonathan Yanez 
    I actually just did I review on this last week so I wont go into to much detail here, but this books is definitely a great spook season read! It's got zombies, a classic, as well as a look into peoples psyche and inner demons. Like, what? It's a little crazy when you first look at it but it really grows on you. Plus the kick-ass/creepy zombie fight scenes leave you wanting more. 
  • Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven & Other Tales: A Graphic Novel by Edgar Allen Poe 
    This is a classic! This book includes; The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, The Black Cat, and The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether. All of which are insanely creepy, I mean, I don't think I will ever be able to look at a one-eyes cat or a raven the same ever again. *Chills*
  • Crane (The Legends Saga #1) by Stacey Rourke 
    I have raved about this book so much, and I can't help myself. I mean, it's a headless horseman retelling and it is AMAZING. Definitly another great spook season read, it delves into what really happened to Ichabod Crane all those years ago, witches, and the curse of the headless horseman rising again...the question is, who will the first victim be? 
  • The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey 
    Another zombie book that really mess you up. No lie, after reading this you may never look at zombie books the same way ever again. It really messes with your trust on such a classic concept. 
  • Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter #1) by Jeff Lindsay 
    I just had to add a crime thriller on this list, and Dexter is basically my favorite serial killer of all time. I will say I like the show better than the book (*whimpers* Please don't kill me, I know it's blasphemy to say such things but it's true) but the book is different than the show so you really get two stories in one. *thumbs-up?*
  • The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl #1) by Paige McKenzie 
    Ghost stories! I feel like ghost stories are so underrated and they are one of my favorite spooky reads kind of books. And I have to say that the beginning of this story definitely nailed the spook factor. It was creepy, and realistic and ugh, just so haunting; I need more. BRING ON THE GHOSTS!!!
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #1) by Ransom Riggs 
    I'm sure most of you have read this book by now, but I couldn't not put it on here. Ransom Riggs nails the whole; pas meets present. sketchy people, and circus freaks kind of theme and I loved it. Plus the creatures literally make my cringe, I couldn't ask for more. 
  • The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill 
    Susan Hill needs more love. She is the author of The Woman in Black which is one of my favorite ghost movies. The Man in the Picture is one of those books that are great for this season! It's got questionable paintings, Venetian carnivals (you know, the one with the masks) and eerie secrets. SO GOOD. 

What I Want to Pick Up


No of any great and spooky reads that didn't make it onto the list? Let me know! I love creepy and bizarre reads and what love to get more! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

All The Beautiful People Book Review

All The Beautiful People (A Dread Novel) by Jonathan Yanez 



Taylor Hart has one job—she’s a cleaner for the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. But cleaning doesn’t mean mopping floors… 
Taylor cleans up illegal messes Lazarus Pharmaceuticals creates, making sure their atrocities are never discovered by the public. But when their latest multi-trillion-dollar drug goes terribly wrong, not even Taylor can keep the fallout in check. 
Vanidrum was supposed to be a miracle drug to drive away mankind’s inner demons—but it’s managed to achieve the opposite effect… 
Paid to look the other way, Taylor can’t ignore the spreading epidemic. Rather than cure anxiety and depression, Vanidrum has caused the very darkest part of human nature to push though to the surface. 
While infected maniacs spread the virus, Taylor and her team fight for survival… 
Forced to a secluded lab hidden in the tundra of Alaska, an elite group of scientists works to find a cure. In a world infested with violent creatures spreading humanity’s darkness, no one is safe.
It isn’t until Taylor herself falls victim to the threat that she discovers her connection to this darkness runs far deeper than she’d ever imagined. 

Can Taylor and the surviving scientists bring humanity back from the edge of extinction? Or will they be forced to watch as the darkness inside mankind consumes… 


Taylor Hart is a cleaner for Lazarus Pharmaceuticals. the biggest pharmaceutical company in the world. Her job, to clean up any illegal mess that might occur when one of their drugs has an adverse affect on someone, usually before the police or media get involved. When she has to deal with a situation involving a Mr. Jones, she immediately knows something is up, that this is different than her usual clean up. As her and her employers scramble to contain the damage that Vanidrum is causing, the world around them begins to spin out of control. Is there any hope in curing this?


Let me start off by saying that I am not a big fan of zombies, the whole eating people thing freaks me out, but this story was something more. Originally I immediately started getting a World War Z kind of feeling from this, the way the disease spread and all that. What freaked me out the most though, they could still sort of talk, though, more often than not, it was a screeching noise. The main difference between these "zombies" and your traditional, walk the earth in perpetual hunger wanting to eat anything that moves because your brain is as fried as a morning omelet, zombie, is that they have a purpose and it goes a lot deeper than taste. These people starve for perfection and want to spread "beauty" to everyone, even if that includes a little skin removal and self mutilation along the way. Because zombies just wanting to kill you wasn't creepy enough, without adding in a mood-altering drug that makes you crave perfection in yourself and everyone around you. After all, the darkness wants to spread. 

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My reaction after the first attack, and yes, Jim captures it perfectly.

Taylor Hart, the main character, is everything you expect from your lead female protagonist, she's a kick ass kind of girl who wants to complete her mission. But there's a little more to it than that, and after making some friends along the way you really get to see more sides to her hard shell exterior. Don't get me wrong, the characters are pretty much exactly what you expect in this kind of story, but the crazy twists and turn throughout the novel makes you happy to have something you know. Plus, the ending to the book is nothing like what you would expect to happen, making the story as a whole brilliant in its own way. I will admit though, it lost me a little bit at the end, but I still really enjoyed where the author went with this. Plus the fight scenes were crazy and actually pretty realistic, considering it's basically crazy zombie people trying to make you beautiful. 
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All in all if you are a fan of science fiction, zombie or dystopian books I would definitely recommend this. I just wish I had read this a little closer to Halloween.