It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #2 + Update On My Week-Long Absence


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted at The Book Date where bloggers look at what they’re currently reading and what’s up next in their TBR!

So, why did I disappear for a week? Well, I fell ill and didn’t feel up to blogging. That’s basically it. Not all that dramatic, but it did mean I couldn’t go and visit my boyfriend this weekend, and I missed meeting Garth Nix, my favourite author! So it was a pretty crappy week last week.

I’m back now though and determined to do a bit of blog hopping this week to catch up on what everyone has been up to.

Anyway, what have I been reading?

What I Read Last Week



As part of Lauren’s Halloween Read-A-Thon, I read and reviewed horror classic I Am Legend. Whilst it was quite different to the Will Smith film adaptation, I thought the book was actually better overall. Check out my review here!

I Am Legend: 5_star_rating_system_4_and_a_half_stars

What I’m Currently Reading



I’m still reading my second and final book for the Halloween Read-A-Thon, Dawn Kurtagich’s YA psychological horror The Dead House. It’s been a week since I started it and I’m plodding on, partly because I was ill and didn’t read for three days, and partly because I’ve been a little underwhelmed.

To put it simply, it’s just not scary enough and I think the plot is currently a little all over the place. I have about a quarter of the book left to go so I’ll have to see how it all wraps up. It’s certainly not a bad book, but there’s definitely room for improvement.

Up Next

e96ffa3fdf0fc97d549e53bdf634c3acI had actually been planning on reading V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic but I’m putting that on hold as I remembered I still have an ARC of Gilded Cage to read. I grabbed a physical copy at YALC this year and I was so excited.

The e-book is due for release this December and the paperback in January so I better get round to reading and reviewing to help you guys decide on whether you want to give it a go! I’ve heard great things from other ARC reviewers so far so I have high hopes for this book.


Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Or do you want to read them? And how has everyone’s week been? I’ve missed the book blogging community!




Halloween Read-A-Thon Review: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson


cpp-pabc-i-am-legendI Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Genre: Horror / Sci-Fi

Publisher: Gollancz (Originally published 1954)

My Rating: 5_star_rating_system_4_and_a_half_stars

Synopsis: Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth… but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville’s blood.

By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.

How long can one man survive like this?


My Review

This review is part of the Halloween Read-A-Thon hosted by Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews! If you want to find out more about what I’ll be reading, check out my sign-up post here.

I’d been wanting to read I Am Legend for quite a while after seeing the film adaptation with Will Smith a few years ago. However, I had heard that the film was very different to the novel. I really enjoyed the film so I was a little apprehensive about what could be different. Oddly, it was one of those times where I was worried the book wouldn’t be as good as the film, when normally it’s the other way around! Thankfully, whilst the book and film are very different, I still thoroughly enjoyed the novel.

The two are only really similar on a basic level. The main protagonist is a man called Robert Neville, who believes himself to most probably be the last man alive in an America ravaged by a vampiric virus. And that’s pretty much it, if I’m honest. From here on out, the two take different paths.

Whilst the vampire-zombies of the film adaptation are these vicious, naked and hairless ex-humans with no semblance of humanity left, the vampire-zombies of the novel are a little different. They still hold a basic sense of humanity (in a feral way) in that some of them can speak a few words, still wear clothes, and like to stand outside Robert Neville’s house trying to goad him out. Most notably, the women do this by prancing about naked.

Sounds a bit funny, right? This book is actually full to the brim with dark humour. I felt a lot of sympathy for Neville’s plight, and his episodes of hysteria, but he was also quite funny. As I mentioned, some of the vampires are still able to speak, albeit simple things. I say “some”, but really the only one who does is Ben Cortman, Neville’s neighbour and workmate. Every night, the vampires come to his house, and every night Ben Cortman stands there and shouts, “Come out, Neville!”

Above the noises, he heard Ben Cortman shout as he always shouted.

“Come out, Neville!”

Someday I’ll get that bastard, he thought as he took a big swallow of the bitter drink. Someday I’ll knock a stake right through his goddamn chest. I’ll make one a foot long for him, a special one with ribbons on it, the bastard.

It’s just really quite funny, but also sad and distressing at the same time. Neville is hounded every night by a man who was once his friend and is now a vampire out for his blood. It becomes a sort of pitiful running joke throughout the book that made me laugh but also made me quite sad.

Whilst there’s a lot of dark humour, underneath it all is the realisation that Neville is a lonely and tortured man. After all, this is a horror. Whilst it has its moments of comic relief(ish), it’s also terrifying, especially the opening line:

On those cloudy days, Robert Neville was never sure when sunset came, and sometimes they were in the streets before he could get back.

It was such an unsettling opening line to read. It’s simple yet effective, and that’s what Richard Matheson’s writing is all about. It’s unsettling and without flourish, the kind that gets under your skin before you know it. He doesn’t need big chase scenes or the threat of death to scare you; it’s not your typical jump-scare horror. Instead, he ramps up the tension through Neville’s mental state. Sometimes Neville is doing okay, he’s getting on with things. Other times, he’s completely falling apart and making mistakes and rash decisions. You sit there thinking ‘what are you doing?!’ and praying that he makes it back to his house before sunset. I thought his character development was really excellent and the main highlight of the book.

The only reason I deducted half a star for this book is that I would have liked it to be a little longer. It’s quite a short book and didn’t take me long to read, and there were a few more questions I wanted answers to. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A quick yet effective read. If you enjoyed the film, then I urge you to read the book; I think the premise is handled more effectively in the novel, and with more subtlety. And if you’re a big fan of all things zombie like I am, then read this! It’s well known that I Am Legend is the precursor to the modern zombie craze.


Have you read I Am Legend? Or seen the film? Did you enjoy it/them? Let me know in the comments below!


The Sunday Post #17


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer in which book bloggers recap their week and look at what’s to come.


I’ve missed a few Sunday Posts recently but I’m back to update you all! I’ve been working and sorting out my life, looking at what I want to do career-wise. Of course, I want to be a published author someday, and I’m getting closer to finishing my book with only ten chapters left to go! (And then the inevitable editing). However, I need to do something in the mean time in case I never manage to get published, so I’m thinking of training to be a secondary school English teacher. I’ll just have to see how it goes.

However, I did discover recently that I am one of the shortlisted authors for the HG Wells Short Story Competition in the 21 and under category which is so amazing! My story will be published and I’ll be finding out who won at an awards ceremony in November. Even if I don’t win, I’ll still be over the moon that I’ve been shortlisted. I haven’t had anything published or won any writing competitions since I was 16 and it’s just so great to get back into it and for my work to still be doing well!

Anyway, enough about me. Here are the posts from this week:


This week, I finished Six of Crows and I adored it, especially Nina, one of my favourite characters I’ve come across in a while, and the Peaky Blinders feel to Kaz and the criminal underworld.

Now I’m onto my books for the Halloween Read-A-Thon and I just started I Am Legend today. I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s quite different from the film, but I expected that. There’s something more sinister about the zombie-ish vampires in the book, which I didn’t quite think was possible.

After that, I’m onto my second book of the Halloween Read-A-Thon, which is YA psychological horror The Dead House. I’ve heard mostly good things about it so fingers crossed!

In terms of my blog, I’m having a bit of writers block with my posts, I think because I’ve just been worrying about my career path. Hopefully I’ll be able to overcome that soon so bear with me!


This week, one of my favourite bands Kings of Leon released their 7th album and I’m loving it. They’ve definitely gone back to their roots here, which is great because I really love their earlier stuff before they got big, especially Because of the Times. However, they still have that polished, anthemic quality of their later work, so there’s something for everyone here in WALLS. The main single ‘Waste A Moment’ is of course great, but I’m really loving songs like ‘Find Me’, ‘Over’, ‘Eyes On You’ and ‘Wild’. Basically, I just love the whole album. Check it out below:


Halloween Read-A-Thon


Hello and welcome to my TBR for Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews‘ Halloween Read-A-Thon! I am super excited to join in with this because I love all things horror and Halloween. If you want to find out more about this challenge, then check out the announcement post.

However, I will only be partaking in two of the challenges because:

  1. I only have two horror books at the moment in my TBR and I can’t afford more because I am a poor graduate with student debt.
  2. Halloween is my Dad’s birthday and I don’t think he’d appreciate it if I ignored him because of books, so I’m not going to overload myself with challenges.

Anyway, here are the two challenges I’m taking part in and the books I’ll be reading:


cpp-pabc-i-am-legendRobert Neville is the last living man on Earth… but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville’s blood.

By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.

How long can one man survive like this?

This one is pretty obvious, right? Look at that cover. It’s terrifying. I actually got this book as part of my subscription with The Willoughby Book Club and it was such a great choice from them because I love the film adaptation with Will Smith and I’ve been eager to read the book. Now I’m finally getting round to it! Time to find out just how horrifying this book really is…


22396591Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High School burned down. The blaze killed three and injured twenty, and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. For two decades, little was revealed about what became known as the Johnson Incident.

Until now.

A diary has been found in the ruins of the school. In this diary, Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s twin, tells of the strange and disturbing sequence of events leading to the incident.

But Kaitlyn doesn’t exist. She never has.

I wasn’t too sure whether to include this book in the ‘Urban Legends’ category or the ‘Haunted House’ category. I couldn’t find out whether this book is a psychological horror or paranormal horror. However, I think that’s the whole point of the book. So, I’m including it in the ‘Urban Legends’ category because I think it falls more into that one.

I got this book at YALC and was lucky enough to get Dawn Kurtagich to sign it which was pretty exciting. I’m really excited to get started with this one as I’ve heard it’s very creepy.



So, there you have it, my Halloween Read-A-Thon TBR! Have you read any of these books? Are you participating in the Read-A-Thon? Let me know in the comments below! And thanks to Lauren for organising this!