Friday 21 June 2024

EARTHLINGS by Sayaka Murata

EarthlingsEarthlings by Sayaka Murata
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had this on my Paperwhite for a while and decided it was time to check it out.

Natsuki's best friend is a hedgehog plushie called Piyyut, who happens to come from the planet Popinpobopia. She doesn't get along with her family and definitely doesn't fit in, but she's convinced they're always right. The only person she gets along with is her cousin, Yuu, who she sees every summer until an incident that changes everything...

O.M.F.G. Wow. Okay. Yikes.

I found the story concept very interesting and honestly didn't know what to expect. I mean, I did kinda know about some of the trigger warnings beforehand, but not much about what happens in the book.

A LOT of it is totally shocking. And the surprises just kept coming all the way to the end of the book. Seriously. Just when I was sure about where this was going... another shock is thrown in. 😳

So much of what happens to Natsuki is really screwed-up. And quite sad. I kept getting angry while reading because all she wanted to do was behave the way adults told her she should behave, and is instead abused by people that should be looking out for her. She's also constantly judged by adults. That's right, the asshole adults in this book keep judging kids. WTF?!

The bottom line is: I really enjoyed EARTHLINGS. A lot. The writing style is lovely. The story is SO OUT THERE. The eccentricities of this tale really grabbed me. As did the social commentary of how forced conformity warps impressionable minds, and how abuse (all kinds) can fragment a mind. Not to mention what dictating how every cog should live their life fucks with your brain.

Lastly, I need to include a list of CWs: childhood trauma, sexual, mental, emotional & physical abuse, incest, gaslighting, threats, murder, delusions... I could keep going but I'll stop there, and deliberately left out one big thing because it ventures into spoiler territory.

Thursday 20 June 2024

YOU LIKE IT DARKER by Stephen King

You Like It DarkerYou Like It Darker by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love getting my hands on the latest Stephen King, and got stuck into this collection as soon as I could.

Here are my thoughts...

TWO TALENTED BASTIDS: I really like how King can present such a seemingly mundane situation featuring two very average men, and then straight-up reveal that things aren't as they first appear. Fascinating story about the bonds of friendship and the loyalty of a son to his father.

THE FIFTH STEP: Wow. Okay. Now that's how you tell an absolutely terrifying story that you don't realise is even remotely horror until you reach the shocking conclusion. 😳

WILLIE THE WEIRDO: So, I have to admit that for most of the story I was thinking: Okay, what's this really about? What's the catch? Then I hit that last sentence, and... there it was! All the clues peppered throughout suddenly flooded my brain. Great story.

DANNY COUGHLIN'S BAD DREAM: What an awesome novella! I felt so bad for Danny and that Jalbert was... Ugh. This tale takes the No good deed goes unpunished thing to a whole new level of WTFuckery. It also proves that some people are just kind-hearted, no matter what. While others love to grab their torches and pitchforks without asking questions. Fantastic story. Loved this one!

FINN: A peculiar and violent little tale about a very unlucky young chap called Finn, and the awful crap that happens to him. Also really liked that ending.

ON SLIDE INN ROAD: I really enjoyed this story about a family who goes on a road trip with the old man they all resent. Only to find out there's a lot more to Granpop! Very cool take on bravery.

RED SCREEN: This is a very short and creepy short that builds mostly via conversations and leads the reader down a confused path that becomes very clear at the end. Another good one.

THE TURBULENCE EXPERT: A short tale that reminded me of recent events about the dangers of flying. It wasn't my favourite, but interesting enough.

LAURIE: I've actually read this before but it's a nice little story about a widower and an adorable puppy, so I enjoyed it all over again.

RATTLESNAKES: Okay, so I was initially going to skip this story because I haven't read CUJO... but then thought, WTH? And when my husband reminded me, I got stuck into it. Really glad I did because this is an amazing novella about Vic Trenton. Very sad and creepy ghost story. Total nightmare fodder that I REALLY enjoyed. I also don't think it ruined CUJO for me.

THE DREAMERS: I REALLY enjoyed this trippy, scary story. Features a very interesting main character (really liked William), some bizarre and creepy experiments, plus a bit of cosmic horror. This one's a dark one and I enjoyed it a lot.

THE ANSWER MAN: This might not make much sense, because I found this story to be very well written and the concept was fascinating, but for some reason this is the only story that I didn't completely lose myself in. Could be Phil. Could be the time period. Maybe it was even the Answer Man himself. Not sure.

The funny thing about this collection is that I initially wanted to read a few stories at a time, between other books, but once I reached a certain point... I just couldn't stop.

I REALLY enjoyed this book! Stephen King is such a brilliant storyteller. Love his work.

View all my reviews

Sunday 16 June 2024

SHORT SCARES: Two Sentence Horrors Anthology edited by Lauren Carter

Short Scares: Two Sentence Horrors AnthologyShort Scares: Two Sentence Horrors Anthology by Lauren Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let me start by saying that I actually have a short scare in this very clever anthology, so I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy.

This book contains 69 very cool tales written by some great authors! And I couldn't wait to read every single one.

It didn't take me long. I read the whole thing in one sitting and love the varied selection of horror stories. I had a blast reading every new and creepy story. The use of language and imagery in a two-sentence horror isn't the easiest thing to do, yet every single story captivated my attention from start to finish.

I can't pick a fave because I enjoyed all of them for different reasons. Freaky. Creepy. Scary. Clever. Sharp. And they all linger in your mind after you finish.

Also liked the illustrations by Sophie Ingley. And I want to thank Lauren for putting it all together.

You don't want to miss out on this collection of two sentence horror stories. And royalties will be donated to charity. So that's another awesome reason to grab a copy! ☺️

Friday 14 June 2024


The First Horror (99 Fear Street: The House of Evil, #1)The First Horror by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've got a bunch of Fear Street books on my Paperwhite, and love to squeeze in a few between longer stories.

Cally & Kody are fraternal twins. Their family has just moved into a shoddy house on Fear Street. An ugly, dark house that creaks a lot and will take forever to repair. It's also got a dark history and might be haunted...

I really enjoy these books SO MUCH! They ooze 90s teen horror vibes. Seriously, everything about these stories screams: it's the 1990s!! And I love that!

Plus, this book is super creepy. It's one of those haunted house stories where awful shitty things happen from the moment the family gets there, but the parents keep making excuses to stay. Even though the father has to go to the ER. And the new puppy goes missing. Plus rats seem to live in the basement... Yeah, a lot is happening but there's an excuse for everything.

Until there isn't. And the only thing left to face is the awful truth. 😮

Like I said, this is a really creepy, and even gory at times, horror tale that kept me glued to the page until the end. Can't wait to read the other two in this particular trilogy.

View all my reviews

Thursday 13 June 2024


My Roommate Is a VampireMy Roommate Is a Vampire by Jenna Levine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, I've had my eye on this book for a while and then last week, after mentioning it to my husband, it arrived! 😍 And because I've had vampires on my mind lately, I decided to get stuck into it right away.

Cassie Greenberg is an artist who desperately needs to find a new place to live. So when she stumbles on a super cheap apartment in a great neighbourhood, she can't believe her luck. That's if she can handle her eccentric new roommate, Frederick J. Fitzwilliam...

This story is SO freaking cute. It's also a super fun rom-com about a woman who falls for her vampire roommate. I mean, come on, who wouldn't?! 😅

Anyway, I really liked Cassie because she's an interesting character with as many flaws as she has potential. She might be a little lost and unsure of her future, but her tenacity to work hard on her art is awesome. I also liked Frederick because he might be an old vampire, but in so many ways, he's very vulnerable. His circumstances were unexpected and gave the story a pretty cool vampiric angle.

The cozy vibes in this book are off the charts. I enjoyed every minute I spent lost within these pages. It's an interesting story, has a great cast of characters, and it's quite sexy too.

Also, I love the cover!

Saturday 8 June 2024

Short Stories, Volume 2

Hey! How are you? What's new? This turned out to be quite a week! Yikes.

I spent all week proofreading my second short story collection. 😳

If you remember, last week I completed the first volume, so it was time to get stuck into the next one!

This actually took a bit longer to complete than the first one because it contains several longer (3k+) stories. Still, I managed to finish the Paperwhite read and made all the changes on the Word doc before the weekend. Cool.

That's 17 stories of varying lengths. All featuring a whole bunch of characters who get caught up in a lot of weird/dangerous/bizarre situations. 😈

This collection once again features a combination of brand new stories and pubbed ones. But every single tale has been revised, and in a lot of cases, totally rewritten.

This time, I especially wanted to make sure everything was finalised tonight because we've got a long weekend coming up and I want to take a nice break with my husband. Plus, I really need a mental break after spending two weeks with all those psychos and monsters. 😅

The final word count is: 50,965.

Now I have to find a home. For both...

Anyway, after putting them aside for a few months to get a bunch of editing done, I'm SO happy that I've finally finished both of them. Phew.

Have an awesome weekend! 😁

Saturday 1 June 2024

Short Stories, Volume 1

Hey! How are you today? I can't believe it's the first day of June. Yikes. 😳

What have you been up to? I've been proofreading all week.

Back in March, I spoke about revising my two short story collections. I actually got as far as reaching the proofreading stage, but then got stuck into a bunch of editing and had to put them aside for a bit.

This week, I grabbed my Paperwhite and started reading. Made all the changes. Checked the changes. Made more changes to the Word doc. Until I got to the end on Friday night. Yay!

That's 17 stories of varying lengths. All creepy and bleak horror stories featuring different characters leading strange and dark lives. But all of them find themselves in weird/bizarre situations. 😈

I really enjoyed revisiting these tales. Some are new. A few are old stories that I completely rewrote. Several have been published. But every single one has been revised/rewritten! All of them.

The final word count is: 50,928.

Now I have to find a home for the collection...

I'm taking the next two days off. Then next week, I'll get stuck into the second volume.

Have an awesome weekend! ☺️

Favorites More