Publication date: August 1st 2012
My rating: 3 stars
Seeking a fresh start, newly divorced Sarah and her daughter Elissa find the house of their dreams in a small, upscale, rural town. But when startling and unexplainable events begin to happen, Sarah and Elissa learn the town is in the shadows of a chilling secret. Years earlier, in the house next door, a daughter killed her parents in their beds, and disappeared - leaving only a brother, Ryan, as the sole survivor. Against Sarah's wishes, Elissa begins a relationship with the reclusive Ryan - and the closer they get, the deeper they're all pulled into a mystery more dangerous than they ever imagined.
I normally don’t do the horror genre; films or books, gory themed ones I can cope with but the ones that mess with your head? I’m the first one out of the room. I blame it all on my cousin who insisted on us all watching a Stephen King film when we were younger late at night. Of course me being the youngest I didn’t want to be known as a chicken for the rest of my life, so I forced myself to watch it, occasionally having a peek through my fingers. Although I acted all brave I was a quivering mess afterwards and for weeks later always replaying the most horrifying scenes in my head over and over again. So from then I’d sworn off scary films especially the psychological thrillers, but as soon as I saw the trailer to House at the end of the Street I actually felt compelled into watching it. But another of my pet peeves is that I always have to read the book before watching the film, otherwise I can’t get back to reading the book. So I decided to block my nerves and give this book a try.
To be honest House at the end of the Street was a lot different to what I was expecting. It did take a while for things to get moving, but half way through things did start to kick off. Elissa’s mum abruptly makes Elissa move in the middle of the school year, she has to drop her friends for what her mum claims is the perfect house. When Elissa arrives she realises they’ve got a good deal for what they’re paying and her mum ensures her that she’ll be around more so that they can spend quality time together, but once again Elissa’s mum fails to keep her promises. Then there’s the creepy rumours surrounding the house next door, everyone warns her to stay away from Ryan, that he’s not right in the head, but Elissa sees something different in him no one else can.
This book was definitely twisted, I went in having a hunch with what would happen, but boy was I off the mark. This book sure provided some jaw dropping moments. House at the end of the Street was a book that even a scaredy cat like myself could deal with, It has some great twists, but does take a while before getting to the nitty gritty. I’ll definitely be watching the film now. Wish me luck.
Gravity by Melissa West
Publication date: 30th October 2012
My rating: 3 stars
In the future, only one rule will matter:
Don’t. Ever. Peek.
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed—arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.
Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know—especially an alien spy, like Jackson.
Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war...
Gravity had the promise and potential to provide a fired-up action packed read, but unfortunately fell flat in a lot of places. Ari has always known she’s going to go to great places; she’s legally born to be a commander and has been training nearly all her life to get there. Her life’s been practically set up for her, she will marry best friend and the president’s son Law and through her training the end is within her sights. But things come crashing down around her, when she soon discovers things aren’t as what they seem in her little planned out life.
Gravity started out great with an interesting premise about Ari’s world being shared by two different species; Ancients and human, but the ancients aren’t obviously identifiable amongst humans, they have certain characteristics which may make them stand out from the rest but again ancients aren't normally the ones who want to stand out from amongst the crowd. The ancients first became in this world through mutual agreement, but now they’re clashing over what they’re doing here and it looks clear that there is no other way around but this is through a war.
You would think that Ari would know whose side she’s on but after the curveball her classmate Jackson’s delivers, she’s not so sure. With her delving and learning more about the ancients, it looks like the people clearly on the wrong side here are her own.
Not being a huge sci-fan I did find this story fascinating, learning about the ancients and waiting for Ari to make her decision, would she stand by her parents who had brought her up into this world or the ancients who were deemed the enemy? The pace was great too, but did fall quite flat in the middle that I found my attention wavering quite a lot. Also the romance which emerged which I was all for at the beginning, kind of fizzled out in my eyes after a while. I’m all for a cute romance, but the way one of the characters started behaving really began to get on my nerves. I’m glad the last 30% of the book did manage to capture my attention again, but by that point I’m not sure if it was enough to encourage me in picking up the next book.