Readalikes: Creepy YA Reads for Halloween!

Looking for some good horror this October? The spotlight novel for this readalike is Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan. A movie adaption was also recently released starring AnnaSophia Robb. If you enjoyed the movie you will love the book as well as these other books that make perfect creepy reads for Halloween!

 

downadarkhall

Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan

Kit is forced to attend Blackwood Boarding School, an elite private school for girls while her parents are away on honeymoon. While Kit makes friends and enjoys her classes, she begins to suspect something evil is lurking in the halls of Blackwood. This is a fast-paced and creepy mystery that will keep you turning the pages constantly to find out what happens next.

 

themerciless

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

Sofia should’ve known better than to mix with the popular girls she admired for years. Sure, maybe they are set in their ways, but Sofia never imagined she would’ve walked into them performing a real-life exorcism on a classmate! She needs to escape but what if her new friends decide to turn on her? She could be next!

 

thedeadhouse

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

A mysterious fire, three deaths and one student missing. When Elmbridge High burned down, a student, Carly Johnson, disappears. Now, 25 years later a diary is discovered to be the owner of Kaytlin Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. The problem is, Carly never had a sister. Sift through psychiatric reports, police records and more, discover what really happened to Carly and the tragedy of Elmbridge High.

 

theprank

The Prank by Ashely Rae Harris

Practical jokes turned deadly. Jordan never imagined participating in pranks with the popular kids, let alone trying to discover the cause of the mysterious accidents with her crush, Charlie. This is a fast-paced paranormal story to chill you to the bone.

 

badgirlsdontdie

Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

Alexis knows she doesn’t the live picture-perfect American dream. Her constantly bickering parents and weird little sister Kasey, Alexis has figured at this point it is just how her life is. Recently though, Kasey is acting stranger than usual and almost at the same time, their own house is starting to have a mind of its own. Alexis wishes this was all a dream but if she doesn’t figure out what is wrong with her sister and their home, her whole family could be in a lot of danger!

 

asylum

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Dan enters New Hampshire College Prep planning to finally make some new friends after living most of his high school years as a social outcast. As Dan and his new friends explore their spooky summer home, they begin to realize they were chosen to attend this summer academy for a very specific reason. A creepy visual read, Asylum will keep you hooked until the very end of the story.

 

 project17

Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Six teens break into a closed down mental institution, rumoured to be the birthplace of lobotomy while they film their experiences. For Derik, it’s a chance to win a major filmmaking contest that would give him a nice chunk of cash that will prevent him from flipping burgers for many years to come. One dare turns into a nightmare and Derik begins to wonder if there are more than just them in the abandoned building.

 

wickedpedia

Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten

Cole and Gavin love editing Wikipedia pages while the dumb jocks end up failing their assignments by taking their Wikipedia edits as sources. It’s all jokes and laughs until one soccer player dies, just as Cole and Gavin edited into a Wikipedia page. They promise to never edit Wikipedia again, but somebody is still editing the website resulting in horror happening offline! To their dread, they discover someone has created a Wikipedia page about themselves, including a death date!

 

defriended

Defriended by Ruth Baron

Jason thinks he has found his dream girlfriend online named Lacey. Okay, he hasn’t exactly met her yet, but they talk all the time! The weird thing is, Lacey never agrees to meet in person. Confused, Jason turns to google to discover the ultimate shock: Lacey had died a year ago. Jason meets up with Lacey’s best friend Jenna and the two try to get down to what happened to Lacey and who Jason has been talking to online.

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Why I Hate Sephora (And Other Social Anxiety Issues)

I’m not a huge makeup person.

I don’t watch makeup tutorials on youtube, I never try new makeup looks for fun. I really don’t bother to make my eyebrows perfect. I tried to apply eyeliner a couple of times when I was fifteen and after failing every time I gave up out of frustration.

All I really care about is making sure I have the ride shade of concealer/foundation and powder that matches my pale skin and something that can cover the dark rings under my eyes. (Psst! You can check out my makeup tips for the pale here.)

I am a very basic makeup person, now that I think of it. I only learned how to apply makeup when I was eighteen. Some little girls love trying their mom’s makeup since they can walk. I was not one of those girls.

So as never being a makeup person, I never bothered to step into Sephora until I just had to check out the latest popular Naked pallet. (I did end up being the 2nd Naked pallet in the end.)

However, I can firmly say that I still hate Sephora. I don’t hate the people or the products; I Just hate the atmosphere and the anxiety I feel while I’m in the store. This is nothing to do with the friendly people who work at Sephora, I just hate it from a combination of 4 things.

  1. My Social Anxiety
  2. Being in a store full of expensive brand items
  3. Being in a store full of items I don’t really care about or know nothing about.
  4. Being in a store where multiple sales associates try to help you/buy stuff. (I don’t know if people who work at Sephora have to make a quota or not.)

I have always been an anxious and shy person. I was diagnosed with social anxiety when I was a teenager. Over the years I have been gradually working on it, and it has been getting better. While I am much better talking to strangers than I did before, some specific encounters still spike up my social anxiety. My social anxiety is heavily (if not always) the concerns of bothering/upsetting other people due to what I say and how I act. I still am very anxious when a sales associate will ask me if I need help. To generally avoid this altogether, I tend to avoid stores that sell expensive items. If the products are cheap, sales associates don’t have to try to charm their customers into buying the items vs sales associates that sell the high-end expensive stuff, if you get what I mean.

I’m always browsing but saying that makes me feel guilty. It’s a sales associate job to help their customers, so I often feel like they think poorly of me when I shoot them down for help.

Also, because I am the farthest from being a beauty guru, I know I am a massive beginner when it comes to makeup. Hell, I don’t even know how to contour my face! Don’t twelve-year-olds know how to do this nowadays?

Stepping into Sephora makes me feel like an outsider more than anything. I am constantly paranoid the people who work there and shop there are secretly judging my minimal makeup skills. Of course, I know this sounds really ridiculous but hey, gotta love anxiety, right?

The Sea Was a Fair Master

TheSeaWasaFairMaster_Cover

Author: Calvin Demmer

My Rating: 5/5

 

I prefer one-piece horror stories versus mini stories. Correction, I used to prefer one-piece horror stories. Today that thought has changed.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 short horror stories varying from murder to androids. Given the 5/5 rating, I was not just pleasantly surprised but amazed how polished and addictive the stories were.

I also tend to find including humour in horror stories to be a risky move, but the humour in these stories were executed very well and added something extra to the stories instead of it falling flat and unneeded.

My favourite stories in the collection were Restroom Finds, Letting the Dead Grow and The Guests.

This was the first book I have read by this author and I certainly will be looking into his other works. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves horror, spooky short stories or is looking for something unique in the horror genre.

And guess what?! This is a brand new book that just came out today! You can order your copy here:

Be sure to follow Calvin Demmer on twitter @CalvinDemmer and check out his website at www.calvindemmer.com

This is Not My Hat

hat

I recently finished a Readers Advisory for Children’s class in my Library Technology and Information program.

This course had a wide range of topics from ABC picture books to the Nancy Drew mystery series. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the course overall.

Looking back, my favourite book we covered in the course was Jon Klassen’s This is Not My Hat. 

It is a tale of a fish with a hat that fits him perfectly. Because this is not his hat, trouble begins to follow him.

The illustrations were entertaining but different as the colour scheme overall was not bright and cheery like a typical picture book.

While the story has a likeable protagonist, has a clear beginning, middle and end and a funny story, there is an extra element in this picture book that makes kids love this book.

While our little fish protagonist swims his way through the story, he is completely unaware of the problems lying ahead for him while at the same time the reader is fully aware of this through the illustrations and are clued into this well before the protagonist has any idea.

Kids love being “in on the joke” and this is why I think This is Not My Hat is such a hilarious and classic picture book to consider reading to any young child.

A Quiet Place

a quiet place

I haven’t been to the movies at all lately. Since school has ended for my sister and I we decided to go see a movie last night.

I honestly wasn’t expecting much from this movie. How can a movie be good when the main characters have to be silent in order to survive?

I was pleasantly surprised. For one, I think the length of the movie was just perfect. I’m not keen on 2 1/2 hour movies in theatres. This one was only about 1 1/2, and it was great. There was no lulls or pointless fluff.

Visually, it was great. Though it was quiet, it kept my interest from the very beginning to the end and I automatically fell in love with the characters.

Overall, it was a great movie, and was way better than I expected.

All Things Serial Killers – A Pathfinder

Check out my new pathfinder on serial killers!

A Serial Killers Pathfinder

Introductory Materials:

serial killer

Brogaard, Berit. “What Defines A Serial Killer?”. Psychology Today, 2017, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-superhuman-mind/201705/what-defines-serial-killer. Accessed 16 Apr 2018.

So what does define a serial killer? Check out the article to learn what characteristics are involved in defining a serial killer.

Search Terms:

When using google, try these terms:

Serial Killers  (Highly Relevant)

Serial Killings  (Highly Relevant)

Spree Murders  (Relevant)

Mass Murders   (Related)

Serial Murderers  (Main subject heading)

Subject Headings:

When choosing subject headings, consider using the following ones:

Serial murderers

Women serial murderers

Serial murderers in popular culture 

Call Numbers:

Dewey Decimal System: 364.15232

The True Crime section is mainly 364.1. However, there are many different kinds of…

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The Maddie Diaries: A Memoir

maddie.jpg

Author: Maddie Ziegler

My Rating: 2/5

 

Okay, so for the record, I am a MASSIVE Dance Moms fan. I’ve been watching the show since the very first season and have been following Maddie, McKenzie, Nia, Kendall, Chloe, Kalani and JoJo on Facebook for quite a while now.

So, I just had to buy Maddie’s new book. While purchasing this book, I was fully aware this was a memoir written by a young teenager, so I did not expect incredible life stories and experiences in this book. Instead, I was eager to read about Maddie’s perspective on rising to fame while she was on Dance Moms, as well as working with Sia.

First of all, I would like to make it clear this book is geared towards children and young teens. This is an excellent book for young girls, tweens or teens who are fans of Maddie, Dance Moms or dancing in general. Because of this, I didn’t find the content that interesting. I did like how Maddie had several chapters filled with advice to other girls her age when it comes to dealing with family, friends, school and boys. So hey, if this book was written when I was ten years old, I am sure I would’ve loved it.

Now….for the major downside:

I became quite annoyed that many of Maddie’s friends, dance teachers etc wrote short essays about her and they were sprinkled all throughout the book. Each essay felt the exact same. Every single one involved constant praise about how talented, friendly, mature and hardworking Maddie is. Um, I’m sorry, I didn’t buy this book to listen to Maddie’s BFF’s gushing about her. These essays came up frequently; and to me, they became very irritating.

I don’t know, perhaps I am just too much of a Dance Moms freak and wanted to read more about Maddie’s experiences when it came to being the center of such a popular reality tv show. Maybe it is because I am just not a dancer. I am not sure.

In the end, this memoir began with promise but ended with me being disappointed. But hey, I would still recommend this to any young girl who wants to follow their dreams.