Book Review: Embrace the Night by Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty

Have you ever finished a book and just said AAAAHHHHHHGHGGH! Yeah. Here’s my review of Embrace the Night by Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty.

Embrace the Night

As I suspected, this book focuses more on Brooke, the third of the girls who discovered how to “cast out” from the attic of their dorm at Harvell House (for a definition of “casting out,” see my Enter the Night review). Brooke’s issues mostly have to do with her feeling like an outcast. Her mother has chosen her new husband, a very strict man with whom Brooke doesn’t get along at all, over Brooke and all her potentially embarrassing problems. Brooke’s ex-boyfriend Seth had broken up with her, only to replace her with someone his family would find more appropriate. But it’s the last straw for Brooke when she thinks that Alex and Maryanne have left her out of a big discovery. These are supposed to be her friends, her sisters, the people who accept her for who she is – and they’ve been keeping secrets.

In short, Brooke has a melt down. She goes up to the attic and casts out, leaving her physical body behind and revelling in the freedom of being in her cast form. Except it doesn’t work. She’s still really angry which, as we’ve seen before, does nothing good for her impulse control. She does the one thing that she thinks will teach Alex and Maryanne a lesson – she breaks the window.

Until now, this has been the only way for them to both cast out of their bodies and to return to their bodies. Now they are stuck in cast form with no way to get back. When they are in cast form, they can speak to one another, but no one else can hear them. To make matters worse, the whole town is up in arms about the “Hellers,” hunting down what they think are demons from hell, trying to find anything to take them down permanently.

The girls have limited resources and even fewer allies, most of which they barely trust. Plus, being in their cast form is tiring them slowly, not to mention what’s happening to their physical bodies, which grow weaker and weaker from non-use. They have to figure out a way to get back in, but how?

I love this series, I really do. It’s so so so so good. I liked reading more about Brooke’s character, since before this I really didn’t like her. She seemed very confident to the point of being cocky, but that’s mostly an act to hide how hurt and rejected she usually feels. She’s still not my favorite character, and she still does some pretty bad things, but I understand where she’s coming from more and, as a result, like her a bit better. This whole book is full of suspense and dread – they’re really in trouble now and there’s no way in sight (at least at first) to do anything about it.

I was so frustrated by the end of this book though! I thought for sure that this was a trilogy, that this would be the final conclusion. Nope! There is another book,  which is only listed on the author’s website, called Forever the Night, supposedly coming out Spring of 2014. It doesn’t show up anywhere else, not on GoodReads, not on Amazon for pre-order. I hope this book will be out soon because, holy crap, Embrace the Night ended on a cliffhanger! I need to know what happens! Now! Seriously though, this series is excellent and keeps on getting better. You should definitely give it a read.


Book Review: Enter the Night by Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty

Book one sucked me in. Book two blew my mind. Here’s my review of Enter the Night by Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty.

enter the night

It occurs to me that although I mentioned in my review of book one that these three girls discovered a special power, I never made clear what that special power was. That’s helpful.

Here’s the deal. In the attic (mentioned in my Comes the Night review), there is a large stained glass window of the Madonna. If the girls tap on the window and chant, “I want out. I want out,” their . . . . spirit? soul? something? . . . shoots through the window. Their physical body crumples to the ground (unhurt, but unconscious) and this soul can fly around and see things. They call them “casts” since that’s what the girl in the diary called them and they look just like ghosts, except completely black. Maybe I didn’t describe the power because it’s very hard to describe if you haven’t read the book.

The trouble with “casting out” is that while you are in your cast form, your stress and fears fall away. So do a lot of your inhibitions. It becomes intoxicating. Addicting. Not good.

Anyway, in book two, the story focuses more on Maryanne. She has a lot of issues, despite looking like the perfect school girl on the outside. She has been haunted by the death of her baby brother Jason, feeling guilty about his death because it happened while she was babysitting. It wasn’t her fault or anything she really did, but she feels horrible about it (as you would). In this book, he starts haunting her literally, causing her to spiral out of control and take more risks when casting out. Maryanne also decides to start dating a boy named Bryce, which should be fine, except that he is the grandson of one of the “Heller Hunters,” people in the town who had seen the cast of Connie Harvell years ago and declared her a creature of Hell that needed to be destroyed. Bryce is feverishly following in his grandfather’s footsteps, but Maryanne desperately wants to trust him. Yeah, you can see this going bad, can’t you.

I really, really like this series. I loved book one and book two is just as good, if not better. I like how we’re getting to know another character better and it leads me to believe that book three will be concentrating more on Brooke, the third roommate. I will say that this book ended with the three girls in one heck of a predicament, an excellent cliffhanger. Which of course means that I bought and started book three, Embrace the Night, immediately. 🙂

Have you ever read any of these books, or any other books by these authors? I’m so glad I found them!

Book Review: Comes the Night by Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty

I found this book by pure chance. It was a free deal off of Amazon. I knew nothing about the story, nothing about the authors. I got it because the cover was pretty and I liked the title. And because it was free. I like free. 🙂 Here’s my review of Comes the Night by Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty.

comes the night

This story continues the grand tradition of YA novels set in boarding schools. This time we’re in Canada, although Streep Academy is no Hogwarts. This is a tough school full of kids who are just this side of being delinquents. Or at least most of them are.

Our main characters are three girls who become roommates at Streep’s Harvell House. Each girl has a serious problem that she’s keeping secret.Brooke has a stepfather who rules her house like a dictator. Maryanne is haunted by the death of her baby brother. Alex was raped in the attic of Harvell House when she returned from vacation early. It’s Alex who discovers the diary of Connie Harvell, a troubled young girl from generations ago who lived and died at Harvell House. From the diary, Alex (and soon Maryanne and Brooke) discover a secret power hidden in that attic, a power that will separate them from the rest of their classmates.

I really, really enjoyed this book, so much so that I immediately turned around and bought the next two on Amazon. I liked how the two stories were connected – the modern-day roommates and Connie. This story focused a bit more on Alex, so I’m hoping we get more about Brooke and Maryanne in the next books. I really like all four girls as characters. They are very well written.

The story is complex and deep (very serious subject matter), but there are still touches of humor throughout to keep it from getting too heavy. You can’t help but cheer for these girls and want to find out what they’re hiding. As I said, this was an excellent book and I can’t wait to read the next one.

Teaser Tuesday for April 8th

Teaser Tuesday New

Greetings and Happy Tuesday everyone! Sorry for being absent last week, but I was traveling the country visiting family. Back to work now, which means more fun blogging!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Here’s how to play:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Yeah, the pajama party part would be great.

The exhumation of the angry corps part? Not so much.

Comes the Night by Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty

I got this book a while back when it was offered as a free ebook, mostly because I thought the cover was pretty. It’s really good so far!

Please leave your teasers in comments!