Sunday, 28 June 2020

Harrow Lake review

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker - she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she's swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she's never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father's most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map - and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there's someone - or something - stalking Lola's every move.

The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola's got secrets of her own. And if she can't find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her...

That blurb ticks off everything I want from a book, and Harrow Lake is just as good as it sounds. I'm on a constant quest for YA horror and this is one of the best I've read. I rarely read a book in 24 hours these days, but I devoured Harrow Lake

The suffocating small town setting is captured to disturbing detail. There are so many superb, dark set pieces and creepy supporting characters that really immerse you in the story.

Reading this book feels like watching a great horror film! There's tangible suspense, scares that really got under my skin and a mystery that I couldn't predict at all. The pop culture references fit well and reminded me of favourite horror movies, like Scream.

It's so rare to find a book that evokes visceral fear and Harrow Lake is definitely one that will stay with me. It's definitely a new favourite and I can't wait until my preorder arrives on 9th July. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Fall Out blog tour – guest post

For Cal, coming out is explosive, but that is nothing compared to the fallout from his family, friends and foes. When events in Cal’s life reach critical, he is shaken to his core. Can he rely on his loved ones to help avoid meltdown?

I've heard brilliant things about Fall Out! I'm thrilled to join the blog tour with a very personal post from the author about experiences that inspired the book. 

When I came out to my mam, it didn’t go down very well. She locked herself in her bedroom and cried for two days straight. The walls were paper thin so I could hear everything. I later learned that she was worried about me, about how much harder things would be in a world that can be so unaccepting.

When I came to write Fall Out, I knew the “coming out” scene would be where it all kicked off. I thought to myself, what’s the worst thing that could happen when Cal comes out? I don’t want to spoil it, but I imagined my mam in the kitchen and the worst possible scenario I could imagine. The result was a bit of dark humour that reader have told me works quite well.

Initially, Fall Out was centred around the disaster dates that Cal went on but when I really thought about what I wanted the story to say, it became so much more and that’s when I remembered how badly I was bullied at school. School life was never easy. The boys at my school called me “gay”, using the word like a grenade, before I knew what it meant to be gay. It’s hard to ignore how different you feel when people punch you and trip you up when you leave the classroom, and worse still, you have to hide the cuts and bruises from my mother in case it made things worse. I felt backed into a corner with no one to turn to.

The physical abuse wasn’t the worst part though. It was the names that really cut deep, that made me feel like I was nothing, like I was an abomination. From the age of eleven, I knew I was different, but I didn’t know what that meant. The other boys called me a “faggot”, called me “gay”, like I was a disease to be caught if people ever got too close. I never had any friends though, no one to get close to. You’d have to be made of steel not to let the words get to you. I couldn’t understand what made me different to the other boys. We all looked the same, all bled the same, and yet, I was the one being punched and slagged off in the school yard.

I took all of the pain and fear from those memories and injected it into Cal’s story. I wanted it to be hard to read at certain points and to feel Cal’s pain, because that’s the kind of pain that so many LGBT+ youths feel at school. Isolated. Friendless. Hopeless. No one to turn to. No one to talk to. It was important to use my own experiences – both good and bad – to tell the most impactful story I could. When readers pick up Fall Out, I want them to feel. As an author, that’s the most important thing for me.

About C. G. Moore:

C. G. is a freelance editor and marketer who has written for GCN Magazine, and many more. He runs the #YAtakeover, an online festival dedicated to bringing readers and writers together. He has hosted physical and online events as part of Litfest, and the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals. When C. G. is not reading or writing, he can be found wrapped up in aerial silks, baking or getting lost in nature with his sassy Jack Russell, Ruby. He has previously lecturered on the MA in Publishing program at the University of Central Lancashire where he shares his love of the written word. You can find out more about his debut, Fall Out, on Goodreads or pre-order from Amazon.

Thanks so much for sharing, Chris! Fall Out will be released on 18th June and you can follow the other tour stops using the banner below.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Burn by Patrick Ness – review

An all-consuming story of revenge, redemption and dragons from the twice Carnegie Medal-winner Patrick Ness.

“On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957, Sarah Dewhurst waited with her father in the parking lot of the Chevron Gas Station for the dragon he’d hired to help on the farm.” This dragon, Kazimir, has more to him than meets the eye. Sarah can’t help but be curious about him, an animal who supposedly doesn’t have a soul but is seemingly intent on keeping her safe from the brutal attentions of Deputy Sheriff Emmett Kelby. Kazimir knows something she doesn’t. He has arrived at the farm because of a prophecy. A prophecy that involves a deadly assassin, a cult of dragon worshippers, two FBI agents – and somehow, Sarah Dewhurst herself. 

From the bestselling author of the Chaos Walking trilogy comes a heart-stopping story of fanaticism, hope, bravery and impossible second chances, set in a world on the very brink of its own destruction.

Patrick Ness is an insta-buy author for me. His books are different from any other author’s, with inventive plots that always take me by surprise and characters that feel real.

This book plunges you straight into 1950s America. It’s so evocative of the time and place and somehow the introduction of dragons fits into the world really well!

Another thing I liked about this book is how the different characters’ story lines are woven together. I loved how fleshed out the characters are and how their qualities are revealed and developed as the book goes on.

The book draws on different genres to create a tense plot. I find it hard to put down Patrick Ness’s books and I forced myself to savour this one and make it last.

I was excited to read Patrick Ness’s take on dragons from the moment I heard about Burn and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s another brilliantly original, memorable book.

If you liked the sound of this book, try Release or The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.

Thank you to Walker Books for the review copy!