Nightbooks by J.A. White

Imprisoned by Natacha, a witch, in a New York apartment, Alex must tell her a new scary story every night in order to stay alive.

This dark middle grade read is perfect for rnightbookseaders looking for that creep factor.  Just listen to these chapter titles: “A Pair of Red Eyes”, “What Grows with No Light”, and “The Other Prisoner”. Many times, Nightbooks has been compared to Grimm’s Fairytales and Neil Gaiman stories. I’d have to agree; it definitely reminded me of a Hansel and Gretel retelling. In this book, the main character Alex (a fan of all things scary) gets trapped in a witch’s magical apartment and must read chilling stories to stay alive. These short stories (in Alex’s handwriting) were a neat addition, and were totally frightening! I still think about the short story about Mr.Boots, a boot-wearing revengeful teddy bear that kidnaps a baby. In the end, I liked the message of being true to yourself, even if it does make you a bit of an outsider.

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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Three sisters, drowned as witches in Sparrow, Oregon, in the 1800s, return each summer for revenge but Penny, seventeen, is determined to stop them to save the boy she loves.

It’s been a while since I’ve been compelled to pick up a young adult book. Although I’ve been really into adult psychological thrillers, this captivating stand-alone book kept showing up on my radar. It also doesn’t hurt that it has a gorgeous cover and Netflix recently required the rights.

wicked

Ernshaw does a fantastic job at setting up the atmospheric tale set in Sparrow, Oregon. The story continually flashes from present day, back to 1823, but I found myself equally invested in both (a rare feat!)

On the down side, I did not enjoy the romance aspect between Penny and Bo. Their insta-love connection felt far-fetched as they had little chemistry. Luckily, the multiple plot mysteries kept me engaged from start to finish (even if I figured out the biggest plot twist early!) Overall, a solid read. Be prepared to be bewitched by the Swan sisters’ chilling tale of murder and revenge.

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