Book Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Hi Readers

This is a book I read for Spookathon and is actually the first horror book I have ever completed. I really enjoyed reading this and here’s why.

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Published: May 13th 2014 by Ecco

Genre: Horror

Source: Library

Page Length: 262

Goodreads Avg. Rating: 3.98

My Rating: 70/100 ****

Synopsis:

It started with people going crazy, killing themselves and those around them. The news says it’s something outside. Something so horrifying that just looking at it will tear your mind apart. Now, windows are boarded up, blind folds are the #1 accessory, and our main characters hasn’t looked outside in five years.

The main character is telling us two stories. The first is when the ‘sightings’ start occurring. Basically the beginning of the end of the world. When she’s just found out she’s pregnant. The other is 5 years later, when she decides she and her two 4 year old children are going on a journey to find safety, which means going outside. 

Review:

As I said, this is the first ‘horror’ novel I have completed, not because I found the others too scary. This is the only one that has kept my interest. This book made me not want to put it down, and when I had to, I felt myself itching to read more. It was addictive. 

This book genuinely scared me because the whole concept is a living nightmare. To be scared of the unknown, to have your doubts as to actually what it is you’re scared of because anyone who’s seen it just loses their mind. It kept me on the edge, I felt my heart pounding while reading it. This book as intense moments. 

However, I will say I was slightly disappointed with the ending. I was looking forward to an explanation as to what the creature that was so horrifying it drove people to madness actually was. It felt like the writer was being lazy but I also get that we’re left in the dark like the characters. 

I also really love this concept and I do feel like he could do so much more with it. It doesn’t look like he’s going to do any more sequels but, yeah, this book did leave me wanting and expecting more. 

Also, the characters were just all right. There wasn’t really much too them and it was definitely plot driven. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing they just don’t have much depth. For these reasons I’m probably not going to pick up any of Malerman’s other books, unless he decides to write a sequel to this.

I did really enjoy reading this book and highly recommend it if you’re looking for a creepy read. 

Let me know if you’ve read this book and your thoughts on it. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

A Month of Reading: October 2017

Hi Readers

This month I reached 100 total books I have read so far this year! I have never read 100 books in one year and the fact that there’s still two months to go is crazy. The amount of readathons I’ve taken part in this month definitely helped with that.

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Exit West by Mohsin Hamid – 60/100 ***

This was shortlisted for the Manbooker and the premise really intrigued me. This is basically sci-fi meets refugee crisis. A young couple meet in a country at war and when mysterious rumours start arising of doors that will take you to a safe country, they start searching for one.

This book explores life as a refugee and while I appreciate it I do feel more could have been done with it.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt – 65/100 ***

A group of students studying the classics, misfits and outsiders, they discover a new way of thinking and living. This book I was so sure I would love, so sure that I put it into my predictions post. I ended up just feeling so meh about it.

It’s not a bad book by any means. It just wasn’t for me. I didn’t relate or even remotely like any of the characters, it lost my interest and I just finished it thinking ‘Why do I care?’

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – 62/100 ***

I decided to reread this for ReadathonByZoe because I want to reread the whole Shatter Me trilogy before the first in the ‘companion’ trilogy is released next year. I just think this trilogy is fun and I really like the writing. 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – 53/100 ***

This was the first book I read for Spookathon and after years of trying to get through this I finally did. This follows a little boy who sneaks out of the house while his family is being murdered. He walks towards the graveyard and the ghosts there allow him to stay as it is the only way to keep him safe from the man who murdered his family. 

This book was okay, it just didn’t really amaze me. I just don’t think middle grade books are for me. 

Bird Box by Josh Malerman – 70/100 ****

Another book I read for Spookathon. I loved this. This is set in a world where something is outside. Something so terrifying that when you look at it, it breaks your mind and drives you to kill yourself and those around you. I will be posting a full review of this soon. 

Coraline by Neil Gaiman – 23/100 **

This I read for Deweys and, like Graveyard Book, I just didn’t get much out of this. I watched the movie the other day and I do think it works a lot better as a movie but it just didn’t amaze me.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – 80/100 ****

Wow. This book. I went into this expecting to hate it, thinking I already knew the story of Frankenstein. I was wrong on both accounts. I thoroughly enjoyed this and actually really want to reread this so I can annotate and mark my favourite quotes.

Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land – 76/100 ****

This was my third and final read for Deweys and I loved it. This follows the daughter of a serial killer who has just turned her mum into the police. She starts a new life with a new family and a new name, but her past is still following her. I will post a full review for this soon. 

Poison Study and Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder – 81/100

I’m finally getting through this series and I’m really loving it. I’ve had it on my TBR for about 4 years now and, to be honest, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long. I’m loving this series and, once I’ve finished the third book, will do a trilogy review. 

The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde – 85/100 ****

This book blew my mind. Every single sentence was a work of art, I wanted to tab all of it. I never thought I would be a fan of Oscar Wilde but I now want to read everything he’s ever wrote. 

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey – 43/100 ***

There’s no doubt this is an interesting perspective on a zombie apocolypse. To read it from a zombie’s POV, who is a child and still has the use of her mind, there was something really unsettling about it. However, I just found it felt like it was going nowhere at times and I wasn’t really invested in it.

DNF’s:

It by Stephen King 
Night Film by Natasha Perrl 

So that’s everything I read during the month of October. Let me know what your favourite book of the month was. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

NaNoWriMo and Non-Fiction November

Hi Readers

So first, NaNoWriMo. 

I told myself last year that I wouldn’t do this again. I’ve attempted it three times now and I’m no good at it. I always fail. And last year I had a mini-meltdown over it and haven’t written anything since. 

But then the tweets start appearing. I see the excitement, the community. And I remembered a goal I still haven’t completed. To write a full length novel that I am proud of. 

I have ideas all the time. I jot down plots, characters, things I want to write about, things I want to say. But when it comes to putting it into a full length novel I get scared. I feel vulnerable and lose all confidence in it.

So this year I am going to do NaNoWriMo. But I am going to be doing it casually. I have no goals. No plans. Just writing something after the year I’ve had will be an achievement for me.


Also this month ‘Non-fiction November’ is happening. It’s run by Olive and Gemma and it’s aim is to get people reading more non-fiction than they normally would. 

I very rarely read non-fiction just because I never make it a priority to. In my 2017 reading goals, one of them was to read 5 non-fiction books and I’ve actually already read four, so I only need to read 1 more. But I want to try and get to a few. 

I don’t know what I’m going to read for this yet or how many books I’m going to try and read. I’ve got a lot of stuff I want to do this month so if I just read one non-fiction this month I’ll count that as a success. 

Let me know if you plan on doing either of these things too!

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Halloween Book Tag

Hi Readers

Halloween is fast approaching, time for a Halloween themed book tag.

1.Carving Pumpkins: What Book Would You Carve Up and Light On Fire?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Every time someone says they love that play I’m just like, how? (p.s I don’t condone book burning.)

2. Trick or Treat: What Character Is A Trick and What Character Is A Treat?

Trick: There’s a certain person in Warcross I want to use for this but if I use the name it may spoil it for you. If you’ve read it, you know.

Treat: Jane Eyre. She is a brilliant character. 

3. Candy Corn: What Book Is Always Sweet?

For this I will have to say Anne of Green Gables. I’m not really a fan of sweet stuff, which may be why I just couldn’t finish this book. 

4, Ghosts: What Character Would You Love To Visit You As A Ghost?

I’m good with having no ghosts visit me, no matter who’s it is. 

5. Costumes: What Character Would You Like To Be For A Day?

I’m going to be boring and say Hermione Granger. I just want to go to Hogwarts. 

6. Wizards and Witches: What Is Your Favourite Harry Potter Moment?

“Not my daughter you bitch.”

7. Blood and Gore: What Book Was So Creepy That You Had To Take A Break From It?

Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I actually had to stop reading this at night because I knew it would give me nightmares. 

I tag anyone and everyone.

Thanks for reading

Jess X

Non-Horror Books That Scare Me

Note: Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and is hosted by ThoughtsonTomes on the Goodreads Group.

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Hi Readers

This weeks T5W topic is Non-horror that scared me. I don’t typically read horror books anyway so I get most of my thrills from dystopia’s or really effed up realistic situations. 

1.More Than This – Imagine dying and then waking up to a deserted world, with a man in a black suit chasing you. My worst nightmare. 

2. A Monster Calls – Anything like this scares me because I hate the thought of losing my mum.

3. Handmaids Tale – I think we can all agree this is scary situation. 

4. Between Shades of Grey – It scares me how people can and have treated people like the characters in this book. 

5. The Hunger Games – Maybe a bit unrealistic so not as scary to me but still, kids are killing each other in this. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

What I Read: Spookathon and Deweys

Hi Readers

First round of readathons have finished and they were pretty successful. I finished 6 books (DNFed 2) and I found some new favourites.

I was able to complete all of the challenges for Spookathon. Here are the books I read before deweys started:

Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: 47/100 ***

This was the first book I finished and I read it for the Spooky setting challenge. I liked it and I’m glad I finally read it, Neil Gaiman books just don’t do much for me. I wonder if I should read more of his adult fiction.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman: 70/100 ****

This book finally broke the 3 star curse that seems to have befallen on me lately. I really loved this book. I read it for the childhood fear book (kind of accidentally). My childhood fear was the dark and the concept of this is that there’s this unknown monster outside that, when you see it, it makes you crazy and draws you to kill yourself and those around you. If you want to go outside you have to be blind-folded.

I will do a full review of this soon, but I really recommend this if your looking for a creepy read.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K.Rowling & Jim Kay

I really struggled finding a book with orange on the cover because my planned book (lord of the flies) was a fail. The ‘body’ of this book is orange so that counts, right? This is probably the most creepy of all the HP books. For me. I don’t like snakes or spiders. 


I was actually able to read more for Deweys than Spookathon. Seeing as they overlapped the books I read also met the spookathon challenges.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: 80/100 ****

I was so not expecting to like this, but it was wonderful. Honestly so shocked. This completed the spooky word challenge.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman 35/100 **

Maybe I would have appreciated this more as a child but it just didn’t do anything for me. I still haven’t watched the movie and I definitely want to do that.

Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land 76/100 ****

Yes guys, I read three 4 star books in one week. Exciting times. This was so eerie and unsettling but in a really subtle way and without saying too much, it’s really shocking. This is another I want to do a full review for. This completed the challenge ‘read a thriller.’

Books I DNFed and don’t want to talk about: It by Stephen King and Night Film by Marisha Pessl. I just didn’t care about either and reading them felt like a waste of time. 

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So I think these two readathons were a success. I really enjoyed the books I read and would highly recommend Bird Box, Frankenstein and Good Me, Bad Me for this halloween.

Now, time for the #AutumnReadathon which I’m doing very casually but am excited for some of the books coming up. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

P.S. The Taylor Swift ‘…Ready For It?’ trailer came out while I was writing this so if there are mistakes it’s because I’m currently freaking out. 

Spookathon: Day 5 Update and Deweys!

Hi Readers

Day 5 went alright, although Cosy Reading Night didn’t go as planned. I didn’t finish Chamber of Secrets before it started so I ended up spending the evening finishing that, which I did. As always, great book. 

Now Deweys is starting in just 3 hours and I’m sticking to my TBR for the most part. I still plan on reading Coraline and Night Film but I’m going to start it off by reading Frankenstein and I’d like to hopefully end it with Uprooted by Naomi Novik. 

I’m going to try and read for the full 24 hours as it’s the special 10 year anniversary. Although a nap may be needed at some point, we’ll see. 

I’ll be updating on twitter all the time so follow me on there if you’re taking part and we can cheer each other on! I am very excited for it to begin. 

Thanks for reading

Jess X