The thing I most enjoyed in both Asylum and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the photographs. They were so interesting, and I think they definitely added to the stories. Having read them with photos, they would feel incomplete without.
ASLYUM – MADELEINE ROUX 4/5
For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it’s a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane. As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it’s no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.
- The concept was interesting, and I find anything to do with asylums intriguing anyway.
- It almost felt as though Dan was an unreliable character. I was so ready for there to be a big twist with him and his mental health.
- The characters all had their own personality and I really liked Abby and Jordan.
MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN – RANSOM RIGGS 4/5
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs. A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
- Okay so this is a weird one. Real weird. I never knew what to expect as I turned over the page, and I loved that.
- The photos definitely need a mention here. They were so fascinating! Made me want to delve into old albums and research.
- There were a lot of characters, but I felt like they each had their own personality that really stood out. No one felt forgotten, for me.
I struggled to really get into The Woman in Black, so I figured I’d read a couple of the shorter stories in the book first. I was impressed, and enjoying these has given me the push to try The Woman in Black again. It just starts really slow. Interesting fact, I just discovered that I share my birthday with Susan Hill!
THE MAN IN THE PICTURE – SUSAN HILL 5/5
An extraordinary ghost story from a modern master, published just in time for Halloween. In the apartment of Oliver’s old professor at Cambridge, there is a painting on the wall, a mysterious depiction of masked revelers at the Venice carnival. On this cold winter’s night, the old professor has decided to reveal the painting’s eerie secret. The dark art of the Venetian scene, instead of imitating life, has the power to entrap it. To stare into the painting is to play dangerously with the unseen demons it hides, and become the victim of its macabre beauty.
- Perfectly spooky and mysterious! I really liked the whole concept of the man in the picture.
- I liked that it really did feel like an old story. For me, it makes it scarier. It was actually first published in 2007, but it just had that air of old times.
- Strangely enough, it made me want to buy art…
PRINTER’S DEVIL COURT – SUSAN HILL 3/5
A mysterious manuscript lands on the desk of the step-son of the late Dr Hugh Meredith, a country doctor with a prosperous and peaceful practice in a small English town. From the written account he has left behind, however, we learn that Meredith was haunted by events that took place years before, during his training as a junior doctor near London’s Fleet Street, in a neighbourhood virtually unchanged since Dickens’s times. Living then in rented digs, Meredith gets to know two other young medics, who have been carrying out audacious and terrifying research and experiments. Now they need the help of another who must be a doctor capable of total discretion and strong nerves.
- I liked this one, but not as much as the first I read. It wasn’t really spooky at all for me.
- Interesting idea, but it felt almost incomplete.
- IT is a short story, but maybe just too short. I still liked it though!
A very successful week of Halloween reading! I enjoyed the books, and I liked reading creepy stuff for a change – I’m definitely gonna look more into ghost stories now! If you have any recommendations, send them on!