Posted in Fantasy, Horror

Dark Flowers

Hello bloggers! It’s been a while since I’ve finished a book that I felt the need to review. My reading has also vastly slowed since beginning graduate school, so please bear with me!


Goodreads Synopsis: Life at St. Agatha’s School for Girls is anything but a fairytale. With ratty blankets and a torturous device called the box, it’s not hard to understand Eliza’s desperation to escape. When the timing is right, Eliza manages to run away with her best friend Millie, heading through the Louisiana swamps to the town on the other side. But the swamps may be even more dangerous than the orphanage. Silver and black fairies invite the girls to experience a world where they can have it all, but Eliza doesn’t trust the sparkling beauty. When Millie suddenly becomes violent and attacks another girl, Eliza knows something awful is about to happen. She will do anything to protect Millie but once Eliza remembers her own terrible secret, it is impossible to forget. The fairies’ songs call to Eliza and its getting harder and harder to pretend it’s all in her head.

I selected this book from NetGalley because I knew I needed to read at least 1 creepy book for the Halloween season. This book definitely satisfied that need. Per NetGalley, I cannot quote or spoil this book, so I will give a list of features in this book that remind me of other series, and allow you, the reader, to the determine if this book will be worthy or purchase!

  1. Evil Pixies: much like the mischievous pixies from Harry Potter, but combined with the evil tendencies of acromantulas and the creepy voice of the Basilisk.
  2. Orphanages: This orphanage is Annie with quadruple the issues and an evil orphan matron that trumps Ms. Hannigan anyday. The Matron is AWFUL.
  3. Nuns: The orphanage is run by nuns. While the nuns, well one nun in particular, is actually nice, nuns in general get a bad rep from horror movies.
  4. Swamps: Every good creepy movie or book has a person that disappears into the swamp, right?
  5. Asylum: Belle Rose is a wonderful Asylum where the main characters get placed in hopes of curing their maladies, but of course, treatment never goes as planned, does it?

I am going to stop here, or I may actually spoil this amazing book. PLEASE read it and discuss your thoughts with me!

SIKE! As an oversight on my part, I did not realize that this book was published some time back and I AM, in fact, allowed to spoil!

OKAY SO. Eliza’s evil mother dumped her on the side of the road-CRUEL- and she is subsequently adopted by evil fairies that demand a human sacrifice every 2 years. Here’s the catch. They wipe her memory every time she gives them a sacrifice so she feels no guilt and cannot tell anyone her evil deeds.

Eliza lives in an orphanage and she has 1 friend, Millie. Eliza and Millie decide to run away from the orphanage together and Millie finds the fairies in the woods. Too bad Eliza doesn’t remember them and Millie falls in love with them. Millie escapes to the fairies and eventually harms another child at the orphanage because the fairies told her too.

Crazy, right?

THEN Millie and Eliza both end up in a mental institution and Millie is diagnosed with Schizphrenia as a result of her belief in the fairies.

Ultimately, they both escape the psych ward, and Millie ends up as a sacrifice, but what I find so interesting is Eliza’s inability to leave the fairies behind and live a normal life.

She chooses to go back to them time and time again and kills her friends. Why can’t she break free or find some form of “cure”, or just kill the fairies? It certainly wouldn’t make such an interesting story line, but it’s certainly a thought!

Posted in Dystopian, Fantasy, Horror

Wayward Children (1-4)

Goodreads Synopses:

Every Heart a Doorway:

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost

Down Among the Sticks and Bones:

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

Beneath the Sugar Sky:

When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.)

If she can’t find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests…

A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do.

Warning: May contain nuts

In an Absent Dream:

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she’s found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well

My (very positive) Thoughts:

Alright ya’ll. Here we go. Seanan McGuire. Where do I begin? These books are incredibly short, yet so thorough in their completion that it is very hard for me to find a true complaint about them.

Each tale connects to the first book by giving the back stories of the favorites mentioned from the first, and it explains how they all came to Eleanor’s home for Wayward Children.

Children that are unloved, unwanted, or simply don’t fit, have the capability to find doors to the land where they truly belong. Some lands are nonsense, others are logic, some evil, some kind. Not every land is sunshine and rainbows, some are underworlds with dancing skeletons, but every child finds their true home in a twisted reality.

Jack and Jill by far have my favorite back story. They live in a twisted land of werewolves and vampire, where Dracula, Vanhelsing, and Dr. Frankenstein come to life, yet they thrive.

I am not inclined to spoil these books. They are SUCH SHORT READS. SO JUST READ THEM AND BE ENTHRALLED ALREADY.