Sunday, May 24, 2015

Haunted Plantations of the South by Richard Southall

Book: Haunted Plantations of the South

Author: Richard Southall

Release date (if applicable): June 7, 2015

Synopsis: Mr. Southall takes readers on a tour of the most haunted plantations of the South. Who lived there and why do they insist on staying?

My rating: 4 Stars

My opinion: I found this book to be incredibly well researched. From a history plantation perspective, it was fascinating. I just wish the author would have put more on the haunting into it. For a book on haunting, I found it to be lacking.

Other reviewers have commented on the academic feel to the book. I must state that I do agree with this assessment, but tend to like books written in that format for non-fictional works. Just note, that it does have a dry feeling to it if you like your "ghost stories" from a more "emotional"/descriptive perspective. I happen to prefer that in my fictional ghost stories.

I had an ARC, but the really weird thing I found in this book was that there were no pictures and/or maps in the book. This book screamed for both things to tie it together.

Source: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. for Netgalley

Would I recommend? : Sure. There are very few books on this topic that I don't recommend. I simply liked this one for the format the author selected.

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

Book: Those Girls

Author: Chevy Stevens

Release date (if applicable): July 7, 2015

Synopsis: To say that the Campbell sisters have had a rough life isn't enough. The death of a mother partnered with an abusive, drunken father leads to an event that will change the girls lives forever. But that is just the beginning of the horror.

My rating:  2 Stars

My opinion:
Oh my good gawd, I can't believe I am rating a Chevy Steven's book so poorly. I almost gave it one star, but quite couldn't do that either. As a fan of Ms. Stevens since she published her first book and always have my eye out for her releases, this was a really tough review for me to write. I have read every one of her books and recommend Never Knowing on a regular basis. Ms. Stevens is on my top 5 of Canadian authors when asked for recommendations.

I agree with another reviewer who made the comments in her review that the characters in this book came off as flat and, in some cases, pushed, when compared to those in her other releases. Unlike in her other books the violent occurrences were part of the story. In Those Girls, it seemed to be the focus of the story. Even at the end, I didn't feel that I knew the characters as much as I have when I walked away from the story.

One of the other things that bothered me about this book was that Ms. Stevens isn't afraid to go dark in her writing. Even at the end, they aren't tied up with nice red ribbons. This one seemed to have everything fall into place at just the right time. Anyone who has read any of her other books know that isn't how they conclude. I started to see a red ribbon trying to tie itself around my tablet.

I will say that I did find this book hard to put down. On that note, it was because I was waiting for that BAM that always comes at the end of her books. I was looking for something that made sense or was to be expected from this talent. Alas, on Those Girls, that was lacking too.

This book just didn't have the feeling of a classic Chevy Stevens book. So when I am asked will I still recommend Ms. Stevens? You bet! It will just be her books Still Missing and Never Knowing.

Now, will this have me stop eyeballing when this great author has new books coming out. Haell no, I will still be hitting the request button saying "Me, please!" and giggling when I am approved to review.

Warning: This book contains scenes of rape and violence against women/children. If you are sensitive to this type of scenery or are triggered by it. Please proceed with caution before reading.

Source: Reviewed for St. Martin's Press via Netgalley

Would I recommend? : No. Please see my notes above for detailed explanation.

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone