OwlCrate Unboxing – September 2020

Wow, my September crate was super delayed in the post (thanks COVID…) but at least it has finally arrived. And I am really excited to show you what was inside!

Before I get into the meat of it, let’s talk a little about where this exciting box of mystery came from. OwlCrate is a monthly subscription service that caters to fans of young adult literature. Each box costs around £38 and is guaranteed to contain a hardbacked book, usually autographed and with an exclusive cover. In addition to this, the crate also contains 3-5 other items, all picked to match a set theme. As Halloween is fast approaching, the theme this time was ‘A Glorious Haunting’. Read on to find out what I though though, be warned, massive spoilers and photos lie beyond this point…

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Point Horror 31-35

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments in the series. You can read my reviews of these novels by clicking the links below:

1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25 | 26-30

It’s time for another retrospective look back at the Point Horror series. Yay!

In case you haven’t read my previous reviews, Point Horror was a horror anthology series that was at peak popularity during the 90s. The series was aimed at teenage girls and ran for over 100 novels which were written by popular horror writers of the time including R.L. Stine and L.J. Smith. As there isn’t really much by way of continuity in this series, I’m reviewing them in the order that they are listed on Wikipedia. Be warned, this is more a retrospective discussion so there will be massive spoilers for the books in question.

In The Train (written by Diane Hoh), Hannah and her friends are excited to be on a cross-country train trip from Chicago to San Francisco, but that is before they learn that they are sharing the train with a coffin. The coffin belongs to Frog – a fellow student who recently passed away – and one who each of them were responsible for doing nasty things to. When each of them are attacked, it becomes clear that someone is out for revenge. But Frog is really dead, isn’t he?

In The Waitress (written by Sinclair Smith), Paula has just accepted a waitressing job at a local diner, but things aren’t going well. Not only did she lie about her experience to get the job but weird things have started happening. What initially seem like harmless pranks grow increasingly sinister. Paula soon discovers that she can’t trust her colleagues, but why are they hurting customers and why are they trying to make it look like it’s Paula’s fault?

In The Window (written by Carol Ellis), Jody is nervous about going on the skiing trip as she doesn’t really know anyone. When she sprains her ankle on the slopes, she finds herself feeling more isolated than ever. With nothing better to do, she spends her time looking out of the window of her cabin. It is then that she sees the murder. Although Jody doesn’t see enough to identify the killer, is it possible that the killer has seen her?

In Camp Fear (written by Carol Ellis), Rachel is excited to start her summer job as a camp councillor but first there is a lot of work to be done. She and her new friends need to clear trails, clean cabins and generally get everything ready before the kids arrive. But then the pranks start happening, each corresponding with a fear held by one of her fellow councillors. It soon becomes clear that each of the victims shares a secret. Something terrible happened at the camp seven years before, and now someone wants revenge.

In Dream Date (written by Sinclair Smith), Katie is seventeen years old and desperate to find the perfect guy. Much to her surprise, it’s not long before he comes to her in her dreams. Heath is handsome and rebellious, but it quickly becomes clear that he’s also possessive and controlling. Katie soon finds that she’s sleeping more and more. What will happen to her when she gets to the point when she can no longer wake up?

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Point Horror 25-30

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments in this series. You can read my reviews of these novels by clicking the links below:

1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25

It’s time for another retrospective look at Point Horror. Yay! In case you’re not in the know, Point Horror was a massively successful anthology series that hit its peak in the 1990s. There are a lot of novels in this series (and even some debate as to which Point titles count as being part of it) so I’m currently reviewing these novels in the order that they are listed on Wikipedia. Oh, and this is a retrospective so be warned that there will be massive spoilers for the novels in question….

Anyhow, let’s take a look at the next five books!

In The Fever (written by Diane Hoh), Duffy wakes to find herself in hospital suffering from a mysterious fever. While she was asleep, she is sure that she overheard a murder taking place in her room but has no idea who is guilty. Now she is certain that someone is trying to silence her before her memory can return. But how will she convince people that she is in danger when everyone believes that she is still delirious?

In The Hitchhiker (written by R.L. Stine), Christina and Terri are on their way home from Spring Break when they decide to pick up a hitchhiker. Christina thinks that James is charming but Terri is less than convinced. He seems evasive about where he is heading and news reports have been warning about an elderly driver who was recently beaten to death. Is Terri paranoid or is there more to James than meets the eye?

In The Mall (written by Ritchie Tankersley Cusick), Trish is not the biggest fan of her job at the mall but it becomes even more insufferable when she attracts a creepy customer. It’s not long before the same sinister man starts to call her at home and it becomes clear that he is watching her every move. The stranger is certain that Trish is the girl of his dreams and is willing to do anything to ensure that she is his forever…

In The Perfume (written by Caroline B. Cooney), Dove knows that she shouldn’t buy the latest trendy fragrance. Venom is a terrible name, yet she soon finds that she can’t resist. The perfume has an odd effect on her, releasing the spirit of her unborn twin from where it had been trapped within her and forcing Dove to become a passenger within her own body. Wing hates Dove for living the life that she always wanted and now wants to hurt everyone that she loves to get revenge…

In The Return of the Vampire (written by Caroline B. Cooney, also published as Evil Returns), Devnee has just moved to a new house and a new school but already feels as though she is being ignored. She hates being so plain and ordinary and therefore is quick to be tempted by the vampire’s promise of beauty and brains. Yet Devnee is slow to realise that her wish will come at a terrible price…

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OwlCrate Unboxing – August 2020

Hi everyone. First up, I would like to apologise for the lack of posts. I was starting to burn out last month so decided that it was in my best interest to take a few weeks off the blog in order to rest up and get my head back in the right place. Somewhat foolishly, I did not stop reading over this time and so now do have a fair few reviews to type up over the next couple of weeks! I will be taking things at a bit slower pace though, so might not be keeping up the two-posts-a-week that I have managed throughout lock-down.

Anyhow, that’s certainly enough about me. Today, I think it would be best to finally show you what I received in my August OwlCrate. For those of you who are new to my blog, OwlCrate is a monthly subscription service for fans of young adult books. Each box contains a hard-backed book (usually signed and with an exclusive cover) as well as 3-5 other items that have been selected to match a specific theme. The boxes are approximately £38 per month, which has so far seemed to be good value for money when you take into account the quality of the contents and the substantial weight of the box. OwlCrate guarantees that you will receive each box so long as your subscription remains active. Be wary of cancelling – they do have a long waiting list and it can take a few months to get back on it again!

The August theme was “Written in the Stars”. Be warned – there are lots of photos and massive spoilers beyond this point…

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Point Horror 21-25

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments in this series. You can read my reviews of these novels by clicking the links below:

1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20

Now that I’ve finished reviewing all of those summer reads for young readers, it’s probably a good time to take look back at the Point Horror series. In case you haven’t read any of my previous posts, Point Horror was an anthology series for young adult readers that was at its peak in the 1990s. As there are a lot of novels in this series, I’m reading them in the order that they are listed on Wikipedia. This is also a retrospective post, so be warned that there will be massive spoilers for the novels in question.

Anyhow, without further ado, let’s take a look at the next five books.

In Fatal Secrets (written by Ritchie Tankersley Cuisick), Ryan is left plagued by guilt when her sister drowns during a walk in the woods. Although Ryan feels that she could have saved her, Melissa ultimately succumbed to the frozen water. However, three weeks later, Ryan starts to see her sister everywhere. Although her family and friends think that she is crazy, Ryan is sure that her sister’s death was no accident and she hides a secret. But does it connect to the mysterious stranger who claims to be Melissa’s college friend and has asked to spend Christmas with them?

In Freeze Tag (written by Caroline B. Cooney), Meghan has always been in love with her neighbour, West. However, when they were children, their sinister neighbour Lannie made West promise he would only ever love her. Now, several years later, Lannie has claimed her prize. Meghan now must find a way to free West from her evil clutches, yet it will not be easy to do so. Lannie holds a terrible power – the ability to freeze a person with a touch. The only way to save West might be to do away with Lannie permanently…

In Hit and Run (written by R.L. Stine), Cassie has always been friends with three boys – Eddie, Winks and Scott. With their driving tests fast approaching, the group decide to sneak out at night and go for a joy ride to practice. On remote stretch of road, Eddie gets in a terrible accident and kills a man. In a panic, the group drive away and swear never to talk about it again. Yet, it’s not long until they start to receive threatening notes. Did someone witness the accident, or could their victim possibly still be alive?

In The Cemetery (written by D.E. Athkins), it’s Halloween and Cyndi gathers a group of friends at a remote cemetery to have a secret party. Although Char is not convinced it is a good idea, she is keen to use the time to get closer to mysterious newcomer, Jones. Everything seems to be going well until someone suggests a game of hide and seek, and one of the party-goers winds up dead. Everyone flees to safety, but for some reason the game does not end there. Someone is still playing and won’t stop until everyone who went to the party is dead…

In The Dead Game (written by A. Bates), Linnie, Ming and Jackson hate cheaters. All of them would be in a better position at school if they had not been sabotaged by their cheating classmates. In order to get revenge, Linnie proposes that they start playing an assassination game. Each of them would be assigned a target and have to find a way to publicly humiliate them. Yet something goes wrong and one of the targets winds up dead. Although Linnie, Ming and Jackson agree to stop playing, the hits continue to happen. Someone is still playing the game, but what will happen when they run out of names?

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This Summer on Arkham Reviews

Hi-diddly-hi Neighbour-inos!

I hope that you’re all having as good of a summer as you can under current circumstances. Now that my little season of middle grade reviews is done and dusted, it’s time to return to business as usual here on Arkham Reviews. Over the coming week, I plan to take a look at the fourth Fazbear Frights collection of short stories and also write up the next part of my Point Horror retrospective. After that, here’s an idea of what you can look forward to over the next couple of months:

Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

F.O.X.E.S by M.A. Bennett

Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

Apley Towers: The Lost Kodas by Myra King

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

The Haven by Simon Lelic

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

Deception by Teri Terry

The Last Hope by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

OwlCrate Unboxing – July 2020

Wow, my OwlCrate arrived a lot earlier than expected this month. It doesn’t seem five minutes since I told you all about the June crate! Anyhow, in case this is the first of my unboxings that you’ve read, let me tell you a bit about where all my goodies came from.

OwlCrate is a subscription service for fans of Young Adult novels. Each month, they send out a carefully curated box which contains 3-5 items, all selected to match a specific theme. In addition to this, each box is guaranteed to contain a hard-backed book, usually signed by the author and with a unique cover. The boxes are priced at around £38, which seems very reasonable due to the high quality goodies that they contain. So long as your subscription remains active, you are guaranteed to receive every box. Be wary of cancelling though – they do have a long waiting list and it can be a pain to get back on again!

Anyhow, this month’s theme is “Date With Destiny”. Be warned – there are lots of photos and massive spoilers beyond this point…

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OwlCrate Unboxing – June 2020

As predicted, the June OwlCrate finally graced my doorstep this week. Hooray! At least that gave me plenty of time to sample all of its contents before writing up this review.

For those of you who haven’t seen any of my previous posts, OwlCrate is a monthly subscription service for fans of Young Adult novels. The boxes are usually dispatched around the 20th of each month and contain 3-5 items which are carefully selected to match a theme. Each box is also guaranteed to contain one brand new hardback, which is usually autographed and with an exclusive cover. Each box costs around £38 to ship to the United Kingdom and, so far, I do feel that they have all been great value for money.

OwlCrate guarantees that you will receive each box so long as your subscription remains active. I would strongly recommend thinking very carefully before you cancel, as the service is very popular and boxes tend to sell out quickly. I made this mistake last summer and it took me a few months to get back on the list again…

Anyhow, the theme this month is “All the World’s a Stage”. Be warned – there are a lot of photos and major spoilers for the box’s contents beyond this point…

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The Summer of Middle Grade 2020

Hi everyone! I hope that you’re keeping safe and well!

As I’m taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo over this month, I found myself hankering to read something a little lighter. Due to this, it’s the perfect time to announce this year’s Summer of Middle Grade event! As I had a great time reviewing a selection of great summer reads for young readers last year, I thought it would be fun to do the same again!

Here is what to look forward to over the next few weeks. There will probably be another Owlcrate unboxing as well, if my June box turns up promptly!

The Vanishing Trick by Jenni Spangler

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski

The Highland Falcon Thief by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman

The Impossible Boy by Ben Brooks

School for Nobodies by Susie Bower

Uki and the Outcasts by Kieran Larwood

Point Horror 16-20

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments of this series. You can read my reviews of these novels here:

1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15

It’s time to take another look at the Point Horror series. Hooray! In case this is the first of my posts that you have read, Point Horror was a young adult anthology series that was published between 1991 and 2014. As this is intended to be more of a retrospective look at the series, please do bear in mind that this post contains massive spoilers for the books in question.

In The Cheerleader (written by Caroline B. Cooney), Althea has always dreamed of being popular but no one in school seems to notice her. However, that is before she first encounters the vampire. The mysterious creature promises that it has the power to grant her deepest desires, but in return Althea has to provide it with a victim. While the vampire is true to his word, it’s not long before Althea realises that his hunger is endless. Does she have the strength to stop him, even if it means losing her newfound popularity?

In The Girlfriend (written by R.L. Stine), Scotty and Lora have always been a couple yet, when Lora is out of town, this doesn’t stop Scotty from going out on a date with Shannon. Scotty justifies this slip by rationalising that nothing really happened, but now Shannon seems convinced that they are a couple. She won’t stop calling him, and turns violent when Scotty tries to turn her down gently. How can he find a way to make Shannon stop, and what will Scotty do if Lora finds out about his mistake?

In The Invitation (written by Diane Hoh), only the most popular kids are invited to the wild parties at Cass’s mansion. When Sarah and her friends all receive invitations, Sarah is sure that it’s some kind of mistake. After all, they barely know Cass. When they arrive at the party, they discover the horrible truth. They aren’t intended to be guests – they are to be some kind of sick party game for the other revellers. However, things quickly grow nasty as someone else uses Cass’s game as an excuse to target Sarah and her friends. Can Sarah free all of them before they fall victim to the killer’s cruel traps?

In The Snowman (written by R.L. Stine), Heather has undergone years of abuse at the hands of her cruel uncle. Not only does he control all of her money, but he is constantly trying to ruin all of her relationships. When Heather meets Snowman, she is immediately blown off her feet. He is attractive, charming and seems to be unfazed by her Uncle Jack. For a while, everything seems to be perfect, but then Heather sees Snowman for who he really is. How can she manage to break her ties with Snowman, when he has the power to ensure that she is implicated in a murder?

In Beach House (written by R.L. Stine), the beach was once the scene of a horrible spree of murders. It all began when Maria was supposedly devoured by sharks, but after that her friends were all targeted one by one by the evil Buddy. However, 40 years later, it all seems to be happening again. When Ashley’s friends, Lynn and Kip, both vanish, she realises that that something sinister is going on. But how does this connect to the mysterious, abandoned beach house?

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