Sunday, 13 January 2013

Mini reviews: House on the End of the Street & Gravity

The House at the End of the Street by Lily Blake
Publisher: Atom
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
Publisher: Entangled
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.


19 comments:

  1. I'm rubbish at watching psychological thrillers, they always freak me out and play on my mind for ages afterwards! When I saw the trailer for House at the End of the Street, I was tempted, but I haven't got up the nerve yet... The book sounds interesting, and I like it when the twist isn't what you were expecting!

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  2. Glad you weren't too scare by the House at the End of the Street, Jasprit. I know I've never been the same since watching Gremlins as a little kid, haven't watched the film since, but I have got back into horror! haha.

    Still, I hope you enjoy the film and best of luck!

    Shame about Gravity because it sounds really good. I remember reading Sam's review and her having similar thoughts about it falling through in places.

    Great mini reviews! :)

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  3. I've been sort of torn whether to read Gravity. I've heard it's good, but I'm not much of a SciFi reader, either. Based in your review, I think I'd pass.

    Thanks for the great reviews!

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  4. House at the end of the Street sounds fun. I'm a horror junkie (crappy horror movies are my guilty pleasure!) so I must definitely check that one out soon!

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  5. Aww, I'm sorry Gravity was a bit of a disappointment! I shied away from it after some mixed reviews and from what you've said, I don't think I'd enjoy it too much. House at the End of the Street, though, seems to be good, especially for someone like me who, like you, is terrified by horror stories/movies. I doubt I'd ever watch the film (GOOD LUCK, JASPRIT!!), but I think I might check out the book for sure. Amazing mini-reviews, dear!(:

    P.S. - If the movie gets too scary, mute it! My friend and I have this theory that horror movies are actually only as scary as they are because of the creepy background music. ;)

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  6. I felt the same way about Gravity, it was an okay read and I'll definitely be picking up the sequel but it wasn't anything special.

    Like you I don't do horror books or movies -is a wimp- Ha! xD I'm curious about the movie though, Jennifer Lawrence is a brilliant actor! :)

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  7. I haven't read either of these books, although I liked the sound of gravity. I don't really do scary books either so think I'll steer clear of house on the end of the street! Sorry to hear that gravity fell flat in the middle a bit, I don't feel quite so jealous about not having it now! Hope your next book is better :)

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  8. Thanks for the mini-reviews! I haven't picked up Gravity but it's great to know that the last 30% seems to be quite intriguing. Maybe I'll wait till the sequel is out before getting it.

    Like you, I usually keep my distance away from horror books and movies but strangely I like the movie trailer. Maybe because it's Jennifer Lawrence LOL! Hope you'll enjoy the movie :)

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  9. I don't do horror either Jaspirit, books or movies or even ghost trains lol, I'm a read scaredy cat haha so I know I won't be picking up House at the End of the Street ever. And Gravity was one that I wasn't sure off, and so far, reviews have made me glad that I didn't request a copy. While the blurb makes is sound ok, no one seems to be really enjoying it. Great reviews girlie :)

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  10. I'm so glad you reviewed Gravity! I was excited for it (LOVE the cover), but then I heard absolutely nothing when it came out. I could have easily gone either way, and honestly it's nice to read honestly that it falls flat in spots. Sometimes it's nice to be able to cross off potential books from my TBR. :)

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  11. I hadn't heard of Gravity...sorry it fell a bit flat.

    I actually assumed House at the End of the Street was a film that they made a book for, and not the other way around? Either way, glad you enjoyed it and I hope you like the film! I actually really enjoyed it...definitely NOT what I was expecting and that's cool. I'm not big on scary films either, though.

    -Lauren

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  12. I wanted to read House for the fact that I'm interested in the film. But after reading your review, I think I'll just go ahead and rent the movie. I've looked forward to reading Gravity forever but since the reviews hasn't really been all that glowing, I think I can wait. :)

    Thanks for the great reviews, Jasprit.

    Joy

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  13. I'm excited to watch House at the End of the Street just because Jennifer Lawrence is in it. I've loved her ever since The Hunger Games! I'm glad that you ended up enjoying the book even though it took some time for the story to progress. I probably will just skip the book.
    I'm sorry Gravity didn't work out for you, Jasprit, but I completely see your point. I enjoyed it a little bit more than you did, but it wasn't the best book.
    Lovely reviews, Jasprit! :)

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  14. Gravity looks so good and I can't wait to read it! I keep wanting to read The House at the End of the Street, but never end up buying it. I don't think I'll watch the movie though since one of my best friends, who is a horror fan, couldn't stomach the film and it freaked her out too much.

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  15. You are brave, I don't think I could watch the movie, read the book yes but no to the movie. I guess it is easier to read scary stuff than watch it. Inised to love horror movies but since I grew up and had kids, no thanks. I enjoyed Gracity, I thought it lacked some detail but liked the new story line.

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  16. Oooh, I've been quite curious about the House at the End of the Street, too! I'm totally a weenie and, like you, refuse to watch/read anything scary. Yay for having the guts to read this! It definitely sounds very thrilling.

    I actually quite enjoyed Gravity, but I can also see how the romance and characters started to get annoying. I don't think I'll be picking up book two, since GRAVITY wasn't all that memorable for me. Fantastic reviews, Jasprit!

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  17. I've seen House at the End of the Street once or twice but never actually read the summary. The book sounds really scary and creepy though! As for Gravity, I've read some mixed reviews so I wasn't sure but I love the sound of the premise though ;)

    Awesome reviews, Jasprit ♥

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  18. I don't do horror, either! I am such a scaredy cat so I think HATEOTS would be too much for me, but it's great that you were able to enjoy it and that it totally surprised you!

    And I really like the cover of Gravity, but I have read mixed reviews, and I definitely trust your opinion ;)

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  19. Wow... horror! I'm definitely interested :) Twisted books are so my thing, as crazy as it may sound! Hopefully I'll get round to reading it soon :)

    I've read mixed reviews for Gravity, and while it does sound appealing, I don't think I'll be reading it anytime soon :/ Awesome reviews Jasprit!

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