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Library Books Haul! Vol. 1

Ever since I was little, there's no better feeling in the world than leaving the library with a big stack of books. Knowing that I'll get to jump into a story or adventure every time I open and read a book is still such a thrill and a great way to escape the mundane lives we all lead. So I have decided to start sharing my haul from the library!

On each LBH, I'll be sharing my picks from the library, whether I read it or returned it, a little description/my thoughts about the book (I'll try to keep it brief and won't try to spoil a lot about the plot so you can make your own assessments if you decide to read the book! I hate it when reviews or blurbs are too spoil-y!), and my rating of each book (a sort of take on the "blank out of 5 star" reviews, but with a comical reference from each of the individual books that no one but me will probably understand). It'll be a fun way to share what I'm reading you all of you and give my thoughts on what I'm reading now without having to write a full review (unless I want to write a review on a book, obviously).

So here is the very first volume of That Weird Girl Life's Library Books Haul! Enjoy and happy reading!

The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

Harlequin Teen
Read or Returned? Read
My Thoughts: If the name Amy Lukavics sounds familiar to you, then that make sense, since the last book review I wrote was about her first book, Daughters Unto Devils, which I loved. So I was very, very, VERY excited to read The Women in the Walls. And about a fourth of the way through, that excitement started to wane. And then around the halfway point it was lukewarm. And when I finally finished the book, I knew in my heart of hearts, that this book wasn't what I was hoping it would have been. It was a mix of a haunted house novel (ghostly voices, scratching coming from inside the walls of the family mansion), New England WASP-ish/country club family drama (more like lack thereof), a very confusing unexplained history of witches that didn't seem to make any sense (but the reader is just expected to go with it and not question it at all). Basically, to me, at least, it didn't work. At all. While the writing was good, the story just didn't flow and I literally felt nothing for any of the characters. And I was never that unnerved or scared even when the so-called "women in the walls" first made their so called creepy debut. The only part of the book I really liked was the death of a certain character at the end of the book, which I thought was an especially gory and inventive way to die. I am pretty disappointed at Lukavics' sophomore effort, but I just keep reminding myself of how good Daughters Unto Devils was and that makes me feel a little better.
My Rating: 2 out of 5 random loose teeth in a jar to use in some sort of ritual that we're never really that sure about (I had some real issues with this book, haha)

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Read or Returned? Read
My Thoughts: So I may have first found this book on Goodreads and was drawn in by the cover. You shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but sometimes I do, what can I say? I like pretty or interesting book covers! It had pretty decent reviews so I decided to give it a shot. And honestly, I'm so glad that I did. It's a great mix of genres: horror, psychological thriller, mystery with added elements like familial drama and surrealism. And oh boy, was it surreal! You had no idea what was real or just a figment of the main character's imagination and it kept me on the edge of my seat (er, couch) the entire time. A malevolent forest, a Slenderman-like figure called the Creeper Man, and an aunt who's more than just a little unhinged all adds up into a book with so much macabre and horrifying imagery, I couldn't put it down because it was all rushing towards a heartbreaking and intense reveal that I most definitely did NOT see coming (which are the best, by the way. Who wants to see a twist coming?). For that, I feel like I have to give this book a very, very good rating, just because of the big twist towards the end. Oh, and for the fact that it was well written (from different characters' points of views, from different points of time, writing styles, and you know, the story itself, of course) and there were such incredibly real and heart-wrenching moments that made me tear up. How often does a horror novel make you cry from real human emotions, and not from utter terror? (Though to be fair I do like horror novels that make you almost cry from being so scary. Those are fun too!)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Creeper Men (which is a terrifying thought, by the way)

Grave's End by Elaine Mercado

Llewellyn Publications
Read or Returned? Read
My Thoughts: It was a typical haunted house story: family finds a home that seems too good to be true, moves in, and then strange things start happening: the family experiences sleep paralysis, strange noises, and moving shadows and glowing orbs of light dart around the walls of the house. Then these strange occurances turn ominous and frightening. But the scariest part of all? This book is supposedly true. Elaine Mercado and her first husband moved into the house with their two girls back in the 80's and stayed in the haunted house for over ten years. In the book she chronicles it from the beginning, all the way to the end when they finally get famed paranormal researcher Hans Holzer to come and investigate the seeming malevolent spirits that inhabited their house and left the family in utter terror. While Mercado may not be the best writer in the world (she's actually a nurse), this book still ended up creeping me out a bit, and though the writing is very basic and simple, she still is able to properly describe the terror the house put her through, along with the various relationship strains the house put on her, her first husband, and daughters. The last few chapters were very enlightening as she comes to term with the paranormal events of that last decade, and added a much needed burst of light and hope after all the family went through in most of the book. Sure, it wasn't the best book, but I still enjoy a good ghost story- especially a supposedly true one! This would be a great read around Halloween time or on a stormy, rainy night. Have fun sleeping after reading it though! ;)
My Rating: 3 out of 5 floating gerbil cages (or were they hamsters? Either way, poor rodents!)

Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter by Josh Gates

Gallery Books
Read or Returned? Skimmed then returned
My Thoughts: Okay, so I may have picked this book up at random. I was in the very small paranormal section that my local library has and I was desperate to read something spooky and supposedly true. I've never seen the show Destination Truth, but I have heard of it and I knew they investigated all things paranormal and monster-y, so I thought I would give it a shot. And then I learned after trying to read it, and then just skimming to the parts that I find interesting, that this is probably a book that only Destination Truth or people interested in cryptozoology and monsters would be interested in. Though Josh Gates (the author and I'm guessing host/head honcho of Destination Truth) does chronicle their time in Chernobyl, investigating an abandoned hospital very close to the center of the tragic disaster, to see if it's haunted, that's about it. And while it did seem like they had some unexplained experiences in the hospital, the scariest part of that investigation was that they were literally in a radioactive hotspot and had to wear protective suits to stop at least some of the radioactivity from harming them (and lord knows if it'll affect them later in life!). He has another chapter afterwards where he discusses if he believes in ghosts or not, and how science in theory should be helpful for paranormal research but all in all, it all boils down to who believes or not and he's not really sure if ghosts exist but he'll keep searching. Uh-huh, that's nice, Josh, but I wanted some spooky supposedly true stories! He named haunted places they had investigated, like the Suicide Forest in Japan, and the haunted doll island in Mexico, and I thought "yes! Those are the kinds of places I want you to write about!" But he didn't. Maybe he will in another book, and if so, I'd definitely read it. But this book seemed more geared towards monsters and other weird legends. And I'm not into monsters (except for Nessie. I looooove Nessie!) It was disappointing, but not unexpected. But the book was pretty well written, so if I ever got into Destination Truth and wanted to see or experience more of the behind the scenes stuff and stories from the show, I'd definitely pick up this book again. But if you're looking for true accounts of ghost hunting, this probably isn't your book.
My Rating: 2 out of 5 Loch Ness Monster sightings

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach

W.W. Norton & Company
Read or Returned? Reading now!
My Thoughts: Is this cheating? Technically I'm still reading the book, but I couldn't wait to include it on the list because I love everything Mary Roach writes! (I included her book Stiff, on my list of nonfiction books) She's a science writer who writes with a real and humorous tone and writes for the layperson aka people like me who like science but aren't as scientifically (or mathmatically) inclined like most science enthusiasts (notice that I didn't say nerd?) She makes even the most boring subject interesting. Seriously, she could write about dirt, and probably make it incredibly fascinating and funny. This time, she's writing about the science of humans at war and while I'm not really interested in the army or any sort of war, I'm guessing this book will still be as interesting as when I first read Stiff and learned all about dead bodies and their uses (please go read Stiff and everything else Mary Roach has written. You won't regret it and you'll learn so much! Also, dead bodies are really, really interesting. You wouldn't think so, but they are). Now I can't wait to finish this post so I can go back to reading Grunt! Bye!
My Rating: It's too premature to rate this book, right? How about if my rating is "I just started reading it and I'm already utterly engrossed by page 1"? That's still a pretty good rating already!

So what did you guys think of my first ever Library Books Haul? Should I continue doing it? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments!

2 comments on "Library Books Haul! Vol. 1"
  1. Great haul, seems like you read most of the books that you borrowed. It's been such a long time since I have went to the Library. I remember loving it. I should go back!

  2. Thanks so much! I do try to read most of the books I read from the library, but I've been known to return some unread because they didn't appeal to me in the long run. I love going to the library, I hope you end up going back! :)


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