Thrilling and Chilling


I’m a fan of murder mysteries, so it was only a slight deviation from my normal book pattern when I picked up Slasher Girls and Monster Boys. And boy was I glad that I did.

So apparently the stories in SGAMB were written by some of the greatest YA horror writers, all together in one place. Normally, I don’t read horror, but I think I might start after reading this book. I was absolutely blown away by the quality and the plotlines of these stories.

Not that they all have much in common. Some end in a way that leave you guessing, in fact, most do, but that’s about all they share. Each and every story was different, but they all were intense and dark, just what I like. They promised me, and I quote “terrifying tales and psychological thrillers”, and they delivered.

I must admit, after I read the first story, The Birds of Azalea Street, I didn’t expect much. I didn’t find it that entertaining; I didn’t even completely understand it. There was a neighborhood pervert suspected by only the teenage girls who were his targets. There were birds, and a girl, and that’s all I really could figure out. I wasn’t left wondering what happened next, I was left wondering what had just happened.

In The Forest Dark and Deep was tantalizing. After I figured out that the patchworked time skips were in fact intentional, I really began to enjoy it. The end was nothing like I had imagined. A word of warning, after reading this story, you’ll never be able to look at Alice in Wonderland, especially the White Rabbit, the same way again.

My two personal favorites were The Dark, Scary Parts and All and Stitches. Let’s just say, the devil has feelings too. And Stitches? Pretty much guaranteed to put you off kiwis, fruit sorbet, and especially gingerbread for life.

If you want to read about WWI France, teen stars gone wrong, closets, Appalachian folk tales, or anything in between, you’ll find it here. And if you love to read dark, disturbing stories about impossible, awful things that happen to people who both do and don’t deserve them, you’ll find them here. Do yourself a favor. Read Slasher Girls and Monster Boys.


How To Write A Best-Selling Novel According To The Internet

I have long dreamed of writing a successful, popular novel. (Haven’t we all?) So, just like many people in the rest of the world do to find information, I turned to Google. I know Google is the best search engine for me. After all, I did once take that Bing vs. Google test. You can find everything there. For instance, if you wanted to know how to build an atomic bomb, you could find that on Google. Seriously. Look up “How to build a bomb”. First result. They say “With a few parts from a hardware store and some know-how, it is possible to build a weapon of mass destruction. Well, as long as you can find a few pounds of plutonium on Ebay to fuel it.” I quote.

It turns out that many, many people have written, read, and contemplated what makes a book successful. The general consensus seems to be that as everyone appears to have a different view of success, everyone has a different idea on what makes books successful. They will also have different ideas on how to gauge the success of a book. Then, they will also have different ways to read the numbers, and interpret the numbers, well, I think you get it. Everyone has tried, and, as it seems, ultimately  failed, to explain the factors of a book’s success.

When I looked this up, apparently scientists had found the secret to writing a best selling novel, with an 84% success rate! (At least, accorrding to I must admit, I checked it out. See? Now you don’t have to do any of the work! Anyway, if you are just dreaming about writing the next bestseller, make sure to include lots of ands, buts, nouns, adjectives, as well as words with “thought processes”, such as remembered. Be sure to avoid too many verbs and verbs.

Another website claims that it’s all in the publicity. And when they say publicity, they really mean it. This is taking it to the next level. According to The Altantic, you can’t just write a story. You literally have to become a story. Bringing to mind the saying, there’s no bad publicity, this site suggests gaining, then losing 100+ pounds, or give away 5,000 or something of your books. (It worked for one author, apparently.) Those are the less shocking ones. If you really want to bring out the crazy, the guys at the Atlantic suggest this. It’s delicious. You have to read it word for word. “Find a cure for—oh, for heaven’s sake, do we have to do everything? You, the author, can do at least identify potentially curable diseases for yourself.” Why not? Hey, you wrote a book. Surely you can also cure cancer or something! That’s not even the craziest they have to offer. If you really want to get “out there”, they suggest getting arrested. Seriously. They are confident you can get arrested. After all, “if every prison buys your book, it will be a bestseller!”

Personally, I think the best advice comes from Forbes. That is, write a series, and keep your charcter alive. That’s kinda important.

P.S. If you really want to read the articles, links are below.



The Wild Nerd Yonder And A New Frontier

First things first, I would like to apolagoize for leaving LibraryLassie for so long. There’s no excuse. But I’m back, and better that ever. (Hopefully). I’m also thinking about starting up a music blog. But don’t worry. I am not going to neglect my first and best blog, this guy right here. I’m also making a change. Ish. As I get older, I am getting less interesed in younger children’s books, and now I really prefer teen books. So, I thought I should warn you. Some of these books are most definitly not approbrate for younger children. So, be warned.

Like this one. I love it. It’s called Into The Wild Nerd Yonder, and it’s HILARIOUS. It’s all about a girl named Jessie. She’s a sophmore in high school, and is best friends with two girls named Bizza and Char. She really looks up to her protective older brother Barrett, who is a member of the punk rock band the Clodhoppers. She also happens to have a crush on the drummer, Van. She also sews her own skirts, and has a different one for each day of the year.

She has to deal with the forces of peer pressure, when Bizza and Char decide to be something else. They had always been sorta-groupies. They followed the Clodhoppers everywhere. But at the beginnign of 10th grade, they go full on punk. Shave their heads, boots, black makeup punk. And now Jessie has to choose between her old freinds and a group of nerds who play Dungeons and Dragons. This is a great coming of age book about finding yourself and being who you truly are. I highly reccommend it. Just remember, it’s very funny, but only because it’s innapropriate for younger kids. Check it out sometime. Or give it as a middle school graduation present.

Unraveling The Mysteries Of Dystopian Fiction

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few years, you have probably noticed the growing trend in dystopian novels. It’s pretty hard to ignore. Most of these names will probably be familiar. Some are oldies. Most are recent. Hunger Games. The Giver. Divergent. Matched. Legend. Crewel. The Circle. The Time Machine. The Maze Runner. The list goes on and on. Dystopian fiction really well written, and I myself sometimes pick one up. But a question I often find myself asking is “Why do we choose to portray humankind in such a manner?”

In dystopian novels, humankind as we know it has been totally and utterly disfigured. In most novels there was either a great environmental disaster, a nuclear apocalypse, or a great war between man. The underlying message in many dystopian novels is often “Humankind is flawed, but through great trial, effort, and a few hundred years, we can always fix things. Er, change things for the better. Well, what we and a bunch of other people think is better.”

So, why do we even like it? Dystopian fiction, for the most part, views us, humans as we are now, are fundamentally flawed. Our emotions bring us down. Our government and its leaders suck. We should all only be able to see the color grey. (Which, surprisingly, comes up a lot). It basically insults us, our thoughts, ideas, and dreams. Yet, it is one of the most popular genres. How does this even make sense?

I mean, if you’re going to take the time to imagine a whole future world, could it maybe look more like this?

C’mon, people! Let’s see some rainbow roads!

But nooooooooo, dystopian worlds have to be colorless and everyone can only see grey. No red, green, purple, that kind of stuff. GREY.

At least someone’s getting it straight.

Also, what is up with the use of computer chips? How about a stylish bracelet or ring? Maybe a belt? STOP WHIPING PEOPLE’S MEMORIES. THAT IS SOOOOO OVERDONE. IT NEEDS TO STOP. NOW.

So next time you go out and write a dystopian novel, please take the time to think about what I said. Dystopia, you are in for a major change.

The Secret Tree: Why Is It So Hard To Share A Secret?

It’s true. We all have secrets. Secrets are things that we don’t want to tell other people because we would either be really embarrassed, or we might hurt someone. But the truth is, once someone knows your secret, you feel a heck of a lot better. But we can’t tell anyone, because someone might get hurt or we would be really embarrassed. I call this the Secret Paradox.

The book The Secret Tree is full of the the Secret Paradox. In fact, you could maybe even say it was based on the Secret Paradox.

It all starts when Minty sees a flash in the woods and follows it. She ends up at the secret tree, a tree that is full of slips of paper with people’s secrets on them. They say things like: I put a curse on my enemy. And now it’s working. I’m betraying my best friend in a terrible way. I feel like nobody loves me except my goldfish.

Then Minty meets Raymond, a strange boy who lives in a model home on the outskirts of town. He keeps a big book of people, and he tries to match them to the secrets in the secret tree. And Minty is going to help him.

What will happen when secrets are revealed? Can we trust anyone? Most importantly, who is snooping through peoples’ houses? What a great book.

Finding A Good Book Is Hard: Once You Find It, It’s Gone

Sadly, sometimes people write books that are so bad this never happened because of their book.

It is hard to find a good book. I think we all know that. Books that your friends like may not be the same kind you like. Tht book your coworker raved about might be really bad. Worst of all, you might really want to get a book, but there are no copies left in your local bookstore or library. I admit. Some books I read, I hate. Usually I pretend I like it until about halfway through, when I stop and say: “Wow. This is a really crappy book.” But of course, whenever you start reading a book, the Novel Laws* state that you must finish it. You can’t help it.

I just read a book called GONE. That was the original reason for the post. But then I started thinking. And this is the result. So go read GONE. Then come back and finish reading this. I’ll wait. It’s cool. Well, you obviously didn’t read it. It took me a while to read it. And here you are still. I’ll look past it, but just this once. Consider yourself warned.

All book should be like this one. I want a book to hug me now.

Think back to the last time you read a really good book. Was it really, really good. What was it about? What genre? I want to read all the books I can get. But anyway, while you are thinking about that really good book, try and remember when you read it. Unless there is a surplus of really good books where you live, it was probably a while ago. See where I am going? It is hard to find a good book. So if you find one, let me know.

*The Novel Laws are an ancient set of rules created by the first authors about reading and writing books. These laws control a lot of stuff that happens in the world. Kind of like the law of gravity.

A Tangle Of Knots

The title of this book has nothing to do with the book. Really. I gave it my best shot, and I couldn’t figure out why the book was titled like it is. My only thought was that it had something to do with the man who sells knots. Who knows?

Anyway, this book is set in a land quite like Earth, except mostly everyone has a certain Talent. It might be for spitting, it might be for playing jacks. Almost everyone has one. In fact, our protagonist’s character has a talent for baking cakes. (Which I would very much like to have.)

Unfortunately, Cady (the main character) is an orphan, lives in an orphanage which is run by a woman who can find the perfect match for any orphan except for Cady. Until Cady meets Toby, a taciturn man who once was married, but then something happened, and his newborn child disappeared, and his wife died. He’s not sure he’s ready for a child, but he takes Cady anyway.

Now Cady lives in a Lost Luggage Emporium, where there are 35 matching suitcases, and a whole lot of other stuff. But there are still some mysteries in Cady’s life. Who is her mother and father? Will she win the cake-baking contest? Why is that man stealing everyone’s talents? Live your life forever plagued by mystery, or read this book and sate your curiosity!

The Defense Of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter


Thaddeus A. Ledbetter has been unfairly placed in Internal School Suspension. Nothing was his fault. He is always looking out for people’s welfare, always trying to come up with ways to improve stuff for the better of the community. It’s not his fault that, well, things happen. No one bothered to tell him this stuff. Honestly, it’s not his fault.

The fat man who got run over by a bus (only slightly) because of technical difficulties during a slug bug (known to others as punch buggy) competition, as well as the small attention span of the bus driver? NOT HIS FAULT!

The mass choking of the elderly people of a certain nursing home because Thaddeus and his Boy Scout troupe (minus leader) decided to brighten their day by feeding them oranges? No one bothered to tell Thaddeus that old people only wear their dentures during specific eating times? NOT HIS FAULT!

The lighting his pastor on fire, in an attempt to introduce better looking candle lighters, as well as putting his pastor out, by smothering him in the church’s sacred vestments, which are, by the way, very special, very expensive, no-no touch kind of thing. NOT HIS FAULT!

The making several people doubt their life choices, as well as causing one to realize his life was meaningless. All he did was ask a couple questions. NOT HIS FAULT!

And the True Emergency Drill? Well, let’s just say fire+tornado+killer bees+ old people= a whole lot of freaking out. Just goes to show how unprepared the school is for a true emergency. AGAIN, NOT HIS FAULT.

Free Thaddeus. Read his defense. Take sides. Learn the truth.

The Fancy Part Where I Attempt To Explain The Title Of The Book

Notice Thaddeus’s last name? Ledbetter. Led Better. As in, Thaddeus thinks the school should be led by someone better. Cool, isn’t it?

Author’s Names and Ramblings

If I were you, I wouldn’t read the first two paragraphs. They are dreadfully pointless and boring. Take my advice and don’t read the rest, either.

Did you notice the Author’s Name? (By the way, I feel that certain words should always be capitalized because they are important. I also feel that all of my blog posts should contain at least one set of parentheses, but not too many, or ones that are too long, because then you can kind of get off topic. I do that all the time. Like now.)

But anyway, getting off topic, well, not anymore. Finally! So, the author’s name is N. E. Bode. Which can be pronounced like Anybody. See where I’m going? Pretty cool, right? Only problem is the author doesn’t get any recognition. It also takes a lot of work to find out the author’s true name. But you usually can. Except for Lemony Snicket. That guy is a master of secrecy. (Never mind, I just googled him. The Internet is cruel.)

Getting back to the book. Fern lives with the Drudgers. The Drudgers are boring. Fern is exciting. The Drudgers enjoy boring, banal things that no one in their right mind would enjoy. They collect flyers and cans of clothing starch (is there any other kind?) Fern is the exact opposite. Messy, loud, everything the Drudgers aren’t and wish to rid the world of.

Luckily for both Fern and the Drudgers, a nurse, a man, and a boy soon show up at their doorstep, and they discover that Fern is actually the daughter of the man (called the Bone), and the boy (Howard), is the Drudgers’ son. So the two families  decide to swap children for a month to see if what the Bone says is true. And then things just get crazier and crazier.

Tate’s Bake Shop: Why It Should Be Your Favorite Cookbook

Mmmmmm, broiled books

I need to tell you all something. I am slightly trying to turn this blog, this BOOK BLOG, into a COOKING BLOG. Do you understand the implications? I know what you are thinking “Egads! This blogger has gone crazy! And just when I was beginning to understand what the heck she was talking about!” Not to fear, I have a plan that makes perfect sense. I am going to review cookbooks!

And the first cookbook I will review is The Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook.

Doesn’t it look delicious?

Unfortunately, I cannot share the delicious recipes these books contain. (Copyright infringement) But I can tell you which cookbooks are good and which are not so good.

I have tried quite a few recipes from this book, and they all turned out great. Like  it says in that book-openy-part-thing, you know, its not the forward, something else… I give up. Anyhoo, it say “I can’t promise you’ll like all the recipes, but I can guarantee they will work.” No lie. She speaks the truth. Recently, I got this cookbook for christmas and I love it. I’ve been making a bunch of the muffin recipes, and added my own personal touch.

These are the multigrain muffins. I dusted them with cinnamon sugar befor e putting them in the oven. I also put some cinnamon in the applesauce.

These are the multigrain muffins. I dusted them with cinnamon sugar befor e putting them in the oven. I also put some cinnamon in the applesauce.

This recipe isn’t popular with picky kids.

These are the blueberry muffins. I replaced half of the blueberries with raspberries. Everyone loves this.

These are the blueberry muffins. I replaced half of the blueberries with raspberries. Everyone loves this.

Warning: this recipe contains four sticks of butter!

All these recipes are fabulous, so you should really take a look at this book. You won’t regret it!

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