Tag Archives: Supernatural

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (Review by Anika F. ’21)

Cemetery BoysCemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking for an emotional young adult story with paranormal elements, Cemetery Boys is the perfect book for you. Cemetery Boys follows a teenaged transgender male named Yadriel who is trying to prove his identity to his family. After a string of murders, Yadriel decides to summon a ghost with his brujo powers, but ends up summoning the wrong spirit.

The strong points of the book include (but are not limited to) the characters and the culture. When I initially read that the ghost summoned would be the “high school bad boy,” I was convinced that I would not like the character. However, as I read more and more, I found Julian’s personality to be so much more than the synopsis gives him credit for: He is loyal, brave, and accepting while also being funny and sarcastic. Similarly, I found Yadriel’s character to be a delight to follow. His journey with identity is so wonderfully done; you can see his struggles and successes as he proves to his family that he truly is a brujo. Latinx culture is also seamlessly mixed with the story. There are some beautiful scenes about Día de los Muertos, where Yadriel is able to communicate with his ancestors who have passed on. In particular, this book thrives when discussing the intersection of Yadriel’s gender identity and his cultural background.

My main complaint with this book has to do with the predictability of the plot. In essence, the story is a murder mystery where a few men end up dead. I guessed the murderer at around page 50 and was not surprised at all by the ending. My second plot critique does involve some spoilers, but to keep it vague: I like when decisions have consequences. Some of these characters seemed to make tough calls, but not face adequate repercussions.

Do I think these criticisms break the book? Absolutely not. Cemetery Boys is much deeper than the plot. Rather than being about a murder-mystery, this story is about love, identity, and family. And in those aspects, this book truly shines. –Review by Anika F. ’21

For those who enjoyed this book, Anika has recommended Felix Ever After for you to check out!

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Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer (Review by Anika F. ’21)

Midnight Sun (Twilight, #1.5)Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Midnight Sun has been long-awaited for many Twihards. Honestly, the original series is pretty mediocre, but I wanted to see what the hype was about with this new release. And I was pleasantly surprised?

what was good
1) Bella: her personality is so much more interesting, and I loved learning about her
2) more backstory on the Cullens
3) Edward’s perspective: it was fascinating going through Edward (and by proxy, everyone else’s) thoughts
4) ALICE CULLEN: do I need to say more?

what was bad
1) unjustified creepy stalking
2) unjustified over-protectiveness
3) extensive repetition and redundancy: this book could have been like 400 pages if an editor had stepped in

Overall, I can’t decide if this is worse than the original or better. I think that this one paints the romance in a better light since Bella actually has a personality. On the other hand, this narrative went on and on for 25 whole hours while the original is MUCH shorter. But, hey, I felt 12 again and that’s the most I can ask from a vampire romance book about a creepy, stalker dude. -Review by Anika F. ’21

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Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (review by Fiona W. ’21)

NeverwhereNeverwhere by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Richard Mayhew is an average young man who lives in modern-day London with an average life and and average job. One day, he finds a ragged and bloodied girl dying on the side of the road that nobody seems to notice but him. He takes it upon himself to help her and learns that two assassins are chasing her, and a whole city resides underneath London that he never even knew about.

As I have been a fan of many of Neil Gaiman’s books, I hoped this book would not disappoint. And it didn’t. The character development of all the main characters was unique and fulfilling. The imagery of each scene made me feel like I was right alongside Richard. And the ending still had me in tears.

Gaiman mentions in the introduction that while he is not one to write a sequel, he would love to revisit the world of this book again one day. (And I hope he does, too). As someone who dislikes fantasy novels, this book changed my mind about the genre and I hope it may impact you, dear reader, as well. – Fiona W. ‘21

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Inamorata by Megan Chance (review by Linus L. ’18)

InamorataInamorata by Megan Chance
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of many novels by Megan Chance, Inamorata depicts the incestuous love between Joseph Hannigan, a skilled artist, and his sister Sophie and their search for a better future. Told in 19th century Venice, the story gracefully flows through the tale of the siblings’ search for fame, unaware of the darkness that takes on the form of Odilé, a powerful succubus. Chance dexterously intertwines imagery and irony to fully capture the attention of the reader, constructing ethereal images of the Italian landscape. A powerful book with an interesting plot, Inamorata’s ending twist blows the expectations of the reader out of the water. I thoroughly enjoyed imagining the scenes of the novel with the aid of its skillfully woven language, and I slowly became further enraptured by the plotline. However, I was somewhat startled by the hinted incest in the beginning of the story. While the author does introduce it with grace, the concept does require a warning for readers who would be uncomfortable with such content. – Linus L. ’18

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The October Country by Ray Bradbury (review by Lauren L. ’17)

The October CountryThe October Country by Ray Bradbury
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The October Country is a collection of short stories in which Bradbury explores the consequences of reality as we know it brushing against a supernatural world. Each story is different – some characters respond with fear, some a determined naiveté and courage. Through them, he explores the flaws and habits of humanity in general as well as of commonplace qualities of the average person. Not every story is as enjoyable as it might be, and in some ways, the stories are too predictable, not in the unimaginative zombie apocalypse or haunted house sort of way, but in that it’s fairly obvious where the plot is going. Nevertheless, they are worth the read. Anyone who enjoys both the supernatural and horror (even if it’s not all that scary) would enjoy The October Country. – Lauren L. ’17

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The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (review by Catherine H. ’17)

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fifth and final installment in Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series fails to impress. As the demigods of the prophecy travel on the Argo II to save the world, Reyna, Nico, and Coach Hedge struggle to travel across the world to deliver the Athena Parthenos to the Greeks as a peace offering. The gods are still split into their Greek and Roman selves due to the Romans preparing to attack the Greeks at Camp Half Blood. The Earth Mother, Gaea, is close to waking and the monsters are eager to spill demigod blood to wake her. It has its funny moments, but did not leave a lasting impression on me. In fact, the ending is incredibly cliché and nothing was particularly memorable. The series has dragged on for long enough and I’m glad that it has finally come to an end. The Blood of Olympus is alright and provides a satisfactory ending, but I only recommend it to fans of Riordan’s works. – Catherine H. ’17

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City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (review by Catherine H. ’17)

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The sixth and final book of The Mortal Instruments is packed with adventure, action, betrayal, loss, and so much more. Sebastian has begun attacking Institutes and using Lilith’s Infernal Cup to turn Shadowhunters into Endarkened, stripping away their humanity and willpower. Fearing his imminent attack, the Nephilim retreat to their capital in Idris and leave the Downworld free. Vampires, Faeries, Warlocks and Werewolves are left to their own devices and chaos erupts. Clary, Jace, and their friends go searching for Sebastian and look for the best way to defeat him. I thought this book was a good conclusion to this series, and appreciate how sacrifices needed to be made in order to resolve the conflict. I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a good read. – Catherine H. ’17

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (review by Catherine H. ’17)

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ever since she was six, Blue Sargent has been told by her family of psychics that if she kisses her true love, he will die. She decided she wouldn’t fall in love, but when she’s sixteen, she meets and becomes included in a group of boys. Specifically Aglionby boys, called Raven boys. Their quest for something supernatural draws Blue in, and her knack for making supernatural occurrences stronger accelerates their pace. This book introduces us to a great variety of characters, all of them eccentric in their own way. I found that Maggie Stiefvater keeps a good pace throughout the book, picking up towards the end and leaving us at a cliffhanger. Though I originally thought I would be reading a novel filled with romance, it was surprisingly low in the romance and tragedy department. I hope to find more romance, mystery, and action in the next two books in The Raven Cycle. – Catherine H. ’17

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The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore (review by Catherine H. ’17)

The Fall of Five (Lorien Legacies, #4)The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fourth book in the Lorien Legacies series describes the events after the Garde’s unsuccessful battle with Setrákus Ra and follows their story as they regroup and try to form a coherent plan. Sam spent forever dreaming up rescue missions by the Garde and resisting Setrákus Ra’s torture sessions until he is finally rescued by two unexpected allies. John spent forever stuck, with no plans until the final member of the Garde, Five, sends a signal to them and the race begins to find Five before the Mogadorians do. Meanwhile, Ella has been having terrible nightmares and eventually ends up hurting John. The Garde try to catch up with each other and train together before the Mogadorians attack but when several people cause trouble from the inside out, the Mogadorians attack. Pittacus Lore has managed to keep the story going and provide some interesting new twists, but the constant switching of perspective can be disorienting, especially because there is usually no indication as to whose perspective we are viewing from. I would recommend this book only if you enjoyed I am Number Four. – Catherine H. ‘17

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The Shadowhunter’s Codex by Cassandra Clare (review by Catherine H. ’17)

The Shadowhunter's CodexThe Shadowhunter’s Codex by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Shadowhunter’s Codex has no particular plot, but is similar to something such as Harry Potter’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The book explains the various tidbits of Nephilim culture among other things, with amusing notes from the characters of The Mortal Instruments series. A slow, but interesting read, one can learn about the weapons and types of Shadowhunters, as well as how to survive when dealing with Downworlders. I only recommend this book to avid fans of The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices who have already finished the series. – Catherine H. ’17

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