MINI-REVIEWS: The Haunting of Tabitha Grey, Picture the Dead, The Daffodil Mystery

126. The Haunting of Tabitha Grey by Vanessa Curtis
Publication: Egmont (March 26, 2012), ebook, 304pp / ISBN 1405257210
Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal
Read: July 8, 2012
Source: Bought

Mini-Review

Yay: Ghosts! Creepy old houses with vaguely unhappy pasts. Suspense and thrills and chills. “Am I insane or is everyone else?” Hints of stuff that’s not-quite-right adding up to an unexpected ending.

Nay: Nobody but Tabitha really has a personality. She’s got a boyfriend and a best friend but they’re useless and boring.

Verdict: Despite the lackluster support cast, the story is spooky and interesting and kept me reading all the way through ’til the end. I didn’t expect the ending, though neither did it come out of left field. The ghosts were genuinely spooky though nothing along the lines of a Stephen King novel. And I liked that Tabitha was just a normal kid who had normal problems.

Rating


I liked it a lot!

127. Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin & Lisa Brown
Publication: Sourcebooks Fire (February 1, 2012), Paperback, 262pp / ISBN 1402268343
Genre: Historical Fiction with Paranormal bits
Read: July 9, 2012
Source: ALA 2012

Mini-Review

I’ve been wanting to read this book for AGES so imagine how happy I was to a) get a signed copy at ALA and b) that it turned out to be AWESOME. This is set during the Civil War, and there are ghosts and conspiracies and interesting historically-accurate bits (including early Spiritualism, one of my interests) and the art is lovely and the protagonist has a scrapbook! And she steals stuff to stick in it! That, if nothing else, would endear me to anyone. Luckily she’s got some other good points to her personality, including useful stuff like determination and an open mind.

The ending was completely surprising, but in a good way if you know what I mean. It’s both sad and happy, and I liked it a lot. The book as a whole is very good, and I’ll definitely read whatever else Adele Griffin and/or Lisa Brown write!

Rating


I liked it a lot!

128. The Daffodil Mystery by Edgar Wallace
Publication: ebook, 205pp
Genre: Mystery
Read: July 9, 2012
Source: Project Gutenburg

Mini-Review

Yay: Decent mystery. Weird balance of non-racist/racist portrayal of a Chines character (he speaks excellent English, he’s a great detective, and he solves things faster and quicker than the non-Chinese detective does. His Chinese, however, is written weirdly and he’s “inscrutable,” among other stereotypical things).

Nay: Almost everything else. “I only know two things about you but I love you and want to marry you.” “Heroines” who faint so much I’m surprised they can even function indepandently of the hero. The mystery goes on for way too long after the reveal of the solution.

Verdict: I basically hated it. The writing is the sort of thing you’d expect from Edgar Wallace (I guess?), but I was hoping for more than what we actually got. I’d read another of his mysteries just to see if it’s better than this one, but not any time soon.

Rating


Not really my thing.

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