review, 1 star

Suicide forest; Island of the dolls: review

 

Title: Suicide Forest / Island of the dolls

Series: World’s scariest place 1 / 4

Author: Jeremy Bates

Pages: 549 / 492

Trigger warnings: suicide, death, blood, s** scenes, violence, murder, guns, swear words

Genre: horror, thriller, adult, suspense

Goodreads rating: 3.68 / 3.96

My rating: 1.5 / 1

Synopsys:

Just outside of Tokyo lies Aokigahara, a vast forest and one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in Japan…and also the most infamous spot to commit suicide in the world. Legend has it that the spirits of those many suicides are still roaming, haunting deep in the ancient woods.
When bad weather prevents a group of friends from climbing neighbouring Mt. Fuji, they decide to spend the night camping in Aokigahara. But they get more than they bargained for when one of them is found hanged in the morning–and they realize there might be some truth to the legends after all.

Deep within an ancient Aztec canal system on the outskirts of Mexico City lies Isla de las Munecas…a reportedly haunted island infested with thousands of decrepit dolls.
While there to film a television documentary, several friends discover a brutal murder. Soon fear and paranoia turn them against one another – even as the unknown killer stalks them throughout the longest night of their lives.

 

Review:

(Please be aware that these books are located in real places of Earth, and this review contain spoilers)

From the beginning, it was Island of the dolls who ignite my interest, but when I saw that was the fourth book in a series, I decided to begin with the first one, Suicide Forest. In fact, all these books are standalone, so you can read it in which order you prefer.

Suicide forest is located at Aokigahara, Japan, at the base of Mt. Fuji. It’s a popular tourist area, but it’s well known because a hundred people per year come here to commit suicide.

The book began like most of the horror movies out there: a group of American teachers decide to climb Mt. Fuji with a couple of Japanese friends, but the weather isn’t good for climbing, so they decided to go camping in Aokigahara. Have you seen horror movies? Are you aware that is a sort of scheme? You know, the first one who died, the most beautiful girl in the group who survive, etc…

Suicide forest is full of WTF?? moments: for example, decide to go camping for a night with 3 half bottles of water for 7 people. Yes, that’s a great decision. Half an hour in the forest and they’ve already finished the water. I will love to sleep in a sleeping bag where people come to die, surrounded by an ocean of trees and corpses.

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Why I combined these two reviews in one post? Simply because Island of the dolls has exactly the same plot as Suicide Forest.

The situations, the cycle of the events, are exactly the same. Even the stupidest decisions of the two groups are nearly the same, but Island is located in Mexico.

The problem with Island of the dolls is also that the dolls… are pretty inexistent. It would be set in Los Angeles or London, and it will be the same. A group of friends visit the Island but they had to spend the night on it, and they begin to die one by one. A group of friends decide to spend the night in Aokigahara and they begin to die one by one.

I know that most of the horror books/movies had this plot, but here even the events had the same timing, like the author wrote only one plot and then just changed the location. It’s frustrating.

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The group of main characters are disrespectful of local legends and the local culture. They don’t respect the dead or the “supernatural” forces that could be in those places, and they always, always don’t understand a single word spoken in the language of the country where they are living. Embarrassing.

A special note for the unnecessary s*x scenes in both books: maybe it’s only me, but these two locations aren’t the most romantic or turn on places to do these things, and only because these are adult books it doesn’t mean you need to throw certain scenes like that.

The “villains” of both stories are similar too; the ending no, fortunately.

Last comment: you can watch the Ghost Adventures Special Episode about the Island of the dolls. If you have a phobia of the dolls, it’s one of their scariest adventures.

The World’s scariest places series is composed by:

Suicide Forest (Japan)

The Catacombs (France)

Helltown (U.S.A.)

Island of the dolls (Mexico)

Mountain of the dead (Russia)

 

blog award, meme

The Real Neat Blog Award

Hello readers!

I was nominated by Chapter Malliumpkin for this award, a way to highlight blogger that need more attention.

So thank you so much for the nomination! ❤ I truly appreciate it! Please go and check her blog, read her answers and be sure to follow!

The Rules:

real-neat-blog-award

Display the Award Logo.

Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.

Answer the questions of the one who nominated you.

Nominate some bloggers.

Ask them seven questions.

Questions by Malliumpkin:

What was the biggest influence for you starting your blog?

This is funny: I decided to open this blog because, when I reviewed English books in Italian, on my Italian blog, all the authors keep saying to me that they (reasonably) doesn’t understand Italian. I was incredibly sad. I naively thought that my work will help to spread the love for these books even in my country, and that they will be happy to know that their work is loved all over the world. Most of my Italian readers don’t read English books, so I decided to try and open an English Blog. I thought it will help me to better write in English too. Now that I have it, I’ve learned that authors don’t like to read reviews, even if they are positive.

What is your favourite season?

Fall/Autumn without a doubt. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to suffer extreme heat or extreme cold. So I usually suffer during summer, thanks to mosquitoes too, and during winter, even if I like winter more than summer. Because there aren’t mosquitoes in winter!

Also, there’s something special when all the leaves turn red and yellow. I love autumn.

If you could only live in one place for the rest of your life, where would it be and why?

This is easy: Whitby, UK. I will say the UK in general, I spend most of my holidays here, I love the food, the bookshops, the landscapes, but my gothic (and Dracula’s obsessed) heart belongs to Whitby.

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Here’s a photo I take this summer. Yes, it was August.

 What are the three items that are most precious to you?

My copy of The ocean at the end of the lane signed by Neil Gaiman; my pendant inspired by The Raven by Poe; the photos of my pets that are no longer with me.

What are your two biggest accomplishments for 2019 that you’re proud of?

I’m proud of how many followers I have gained this year on this blog and I’m proud of my new diploma that I received after finishing one of the online course I follow.

If you could have any mythical creatures as a pet, what would it be and why?

I would say a dragon, because, you know…is a dragon! But I fell in love with the Thunderbird from Fantastic beasts.

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What is one thing you wish to accomplish before the end of 2019?

I just want to live like that, without more drama. It will be fantastic.

My Questions:

What’s the best book you’ve read in 2019 so far?

What is one thing you wish to accomplish before the end of 2019? (it was a really good question)

If you celebrate/enjoy Christmas, what’s your favourite Christmas song?

What book you wish to receive this Christmas?

If you can change one thing about your blog (graphic, title, etc…) what will be?

What are you relation with social networks like Facebook or Instagram?

Favourite hot beverage to drink during winter?

My nominations:

Eternity Books

Feed the crime

Foxes and Fairy Tales

Mani’s Book Corner

If you don’t like doing tags/awards, feel free to ignore my tag.

And that’s all!

5 star, meme, wrap up

Wrap Up: October 2019

Hello readers!

October is finished (buhuuu) so have a look of what I have read during this month: I’ve read a total of 10 books in October, but I DNFed 2 of them. I decided to include in this post also the books that I read in Italian.

5 stars:

 

Constable & Toop is a great middle grade with gothic aspects and a cover that, frankly, creeps me out. That ghost behind the boy… isn’t beautiful the perspective?

The Carnelian Crow, the fourth book in the Stoker and Holmes series, the best steampunk /historical fiction series out there, and it’s so underrated.

4 stars:

Mirror mirror is a short story about a haunted mirror… and it’s really scary, mostly because resemble a true story, and it’s written so well.

Last year I’ve read The clockwork alchemist and the two main characters were so cute that I decided to read all the series of The Thief’s apprentice , fortunately it was included in Kindle Unlimited.

3 stars:

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My first paranormal cozy mystery is Greensmith Girls: funny and easy to read, but a little unbelievable.

2 stars:

The Gadgeteer is a steampunk with a strong protagonist and her pet fox… but for me, it wasn’t love at first sight. It’s excessively long and sometimes boring, but I really like the costume of the girl on the cover.

L’eroe perduto (The Lost hero). Here I am, giving 2 stars to a Rick Riordan’s book. I’m just missing Percy so much.

1 star:

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Wicked children is not a book: is a mere excuse to promote the other books of the author. 30 pages of a list of murderous children, with links to buy her books, then two previews of other books for a total of 36 pages. I wrote to Amazon to remove this from their catalogue.

DNF:

Scary covers, right? Well, one book is full of stupid characters that make stupid decisions (The slender man), the other (morte a 666 giri) is full of typos, misogynist characters and violence against animals.

And that’s all, have you read some horror/creepy book for Halloween?

Tell me in the comments!

 

5 star, review, top5

My Top Ten Horror Movies, Top 5.

Hello readers, welcome to the second part of my personal Top Ten Horror Movies.

Here’s the post with the movies from 10 to 6, where you can find titles like The Ring or The Others.

5) The Woman in Black (2012)

The woman in black is still my favourite ghost story. I’ve read the book and it’s good as the movie, even if they are different in multiple ways. Also, can we talk about Daniel Radcliffe? It’s fantastic in this gothic/horror roles.

4) The conjuring (2013)

Could I write a Top Ten horror without mentioning The Conjuring? Even if I watched it during the afternoon, I was terrified.

Did you know that this year, the Halloween special episode of Ghost Adventures will be about the house that inspired The Conjuring?

3) The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The second movie in The Conjuring series is even more terrifying than the first.

2) The Final Destination series (2000 – 2011)

Maybe, this series isn’t exactly horror, is more splatter, but it’s still one of my favourite series of all the time. I particularly like the link that exists between the characters or the deaths, and how the last movie closes the cycle. And can I hear a wahoo for Tony Todd? (Yes, this is a Good Omens reference)

1) Krampus (2015)

Krampus is like Nightmare Before Christmas: it’s a horror movie based on Christmas, so when you can watch it? At Halloween or at Christmas? Both is good. Krampus begins like a Christmas comedy, with family drama and Christmas songs. But remember that he sees you when you’re sleeping…

And that’s the end! Have you some movie reccomendations for me?

Tell me in the comments!

 

 

 

5 star, netflix series, review, top5

My Top Ten Horror Movies, 10 to 5

Hello readers!

As Halloween approaches, I had the necessity to make my personal Top Ten of horror movies. This is the first part.

I’m a strange fan of horror: I love to watch movies, tv shows and reality tv shows like Ghost Adventures, but at the same time, it’s difficult for me to find a book or a movie that I like and that scares me, so most of the time I’m disappointed. If a movie can reach my personal Top Ten, is really the best.

I will not include classics like The Addams family or NBC, only because I want to talk about underrated/adult movies.

10) The Ring (2002)

The ring was the first horror movie I’ve watched in a movie theatre. I remember I was 15 years old, and I’ve watched it with my friend. Both of us were so terrified that we lock our VHS and video recorder in the closet for months. I’ve watched again after many years, and I fell asleep.

9) The ward (2010)

Without talking about Amber Heard, the main actress, this movie is great! I love all the plot twist!

8) The Others (2001)

 

At first, I can’t stand this movie, I don’t even remember why. Now is one of my fave, even if I know how it ends.

7) The skeleton key (2005)

What I like most about The Skeleton Key are the locations. And Kate Hudson, she’s one of my fave actresses.

6) Errementari (2018)

Errementari is a great underrated horror movie made in Spain, I watched it last year and I was immediately a fan. You can read my review here.

And that’s the first part of the post, in the next days I will post the top 5 horror movies!

Have you seen these movies? Are you a horror fan?

Tell me in the comments!

book tag, meme

The Halloween Song Book Tag

Hello readers!

I recently found this tag on Chapter Malliumpkin, but it was originally created by A beautiful chaos of books.

I loooove Halloween songs, so this is the perfect tag for me! I will include some of my favourite songs!

1. Thriller: A book that was an absolute page-turner

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Despite the ending, that I hated, The Lost History of Dreams is the perfect book for this prompt.

 2. Somebody’s watching me: A book that gave you the serious creeps

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I recently finished this short story (about 50 pages), and I’m not easily scared, but something in this book, with a cursed mirror really has given me creeps.

3. Vampire: A book you hated so much it was soul-sucking i.e incredibly tedious to get through

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I chose this book only for the Vampire of the prompt, because there are a lot of books that I hated. I hated this “feminist retelling” of Dracula for the disrespect of the author against Stoker, the errors and typos, and the stupidity of Mina, the main character.

 4.I put a spell on you: A book featuring witchcraft or magic

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I’m still reading this cozy mystery ( I think is my first in this genre!) and look at the cover! So witchy, perfect for Halloween!

5. This is Halloween: Your favourite treat/ snack to eat while reading

I don’t drink or eat when I’m reading, unless I’m reading my e-reader when I’m dining alone.

6. Timewarp: “Let’s do the time warp again” What book/ or books do you like to return to at this time of year?

In fall and winter, I prefer to read horror (obviously) and classic books.

 

7. Hungry like the wolf: A book you loved so much, you devoured

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I devoured The Ugly Princess, and it makes me so sad to know that is an underrated book!

 8. The Addams Family: A book featuring a dysfunctional family

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The family of Edgar Allan Poe was dysfunctional, and The Raven’s tale shows it very well.

9. Scary monsters (and super creeps): A book genre that you are scared or intimidated to pick up

Any Russian classic, like War and Peace, or Anna Karenina, I’m sorry.

10. the twilight zone: A book with a completely different and unique premise

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Isn’t the title itself unique and original?

And we are at the end of this tag! I tag everyone who wants to do it, but now, here’s my favourite Halloween song!

5 star, netflix series, non fiction, review

Review tv series: Lore, season 1

Hello readers!

This is the perfect time of the year to post this review and to watch this show!

 

Title: Lore

Author/Producer: Aaron Mahnke, Gale Anne Hurd, Geln Morgan, Ben Silverman, etc…

Date of premiere: October 13, 2017

Total seasons: 2

Found on: Amazon Prime Video

On July 27, 2019, the series was cancelled.

My Rating: 4,5/5

Review:

I didn’t know this podcast before found it on Prime Video. I’m always interested in a good documentary, so I watched the first season, and I really liked it.

This series explores a lot of dark subjects, like the German legend of The Wolfman, or haunted toys, toys like dolls. (I’m really scared of dolls)

This must say: it’s absolutely not a series suited for children, teenagers or people easily scared, because each episode narrates a real event with real people. Each episode is a mix of animation (like the trailer you can see above), dramatisation with actors and, when possible, real photos or real videos.

That’s what makes this series really scary.

There are only 6 episodes in the first season, and my favourites are the very first one, about the mistakes of bury people alive, the fourth (spirit seance) and the last. The last one, about the haunted doll named Robert was really well done and super creepy.

Please, be also aware that each episode can talk about other things than the main subject, so there are a lot of trigger warnings like suicide, homicide, blood, death of relatives, corpses, capital execution.

The second season is focused on evil people who had lived in the past, like the Countess Bathory.

I enjoyed this series because I’ve learned a lot from it, and the narrator does a great job to introduce us to the story.

It’s perfect to watch during Halloween season…

meme, wrap up

Wrap Up: September 2019

Hello readers!

And finally, it’s October, the best time of the year, because… Halloween!!

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I’ve read a total of 11 books in September: 1 DNF (and it’s a hyped book…) and 3 books in Italian.

I’ve also finished The AtoZ reading challenge!

5 Stars:

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Do you think I’ve cried reading this little book? Yes, I’ve cried a lot. Thanks to Edelweiss for sending me an e-book copy.

3 stars:

I had great expectations from Podkin One-ear, but it was disappointing. The Male hero is glorified even if he doesn’t nothing, and his sister who is brave and wise is treated as a secondary character.

UnEnchated was my choice for the AtoZ reading challenge. I’m not a fan of retelling or modern fairy tale, but this one is funny and readable.

2 stars:

I love so much the cover of Limelight: unfortunately, the “mystery” is pretty simple and predictable. I don’t think I will continue this series.

Faraday & Frankenstein is a short story (31 pages) that sounds like a sequel to Frankenstein, but it was without meaning, pointless.

How to write a boring steampunk story: The shadow revolution is the perfect example. The male MC was boring, but I’ve loved to death Kate, the female sidekick. She’s amazing.

1,5 stars:

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I’ve read Suicide Forest because I was interested in the 4th book of this series, Doll Island. It’s a series based on the most haunted places in the world, but this book is full of stupid characters who made stupid decisions. I won’t read Doll Island.

DNF:

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Shame on me. I tried, but on page 60 I decided that the writing of Sawkill Girls was not for me.

 

And that was my reading month! How was yours? Have you read some of these books?

Tell me in the comments down below!

book tag, challenge, meme, wrap up

The AtoZ 2019 challenge: completed!

Hello readers!

i finally finished the A to Z reading challenge 2019 organized by Ginger Mom and company!

So let’s take a look of what I’ve read for this challenge, please be aware that some titles may be in Italian, but I wrote the original/translated title too. You can read the synopsys or the review by clicking on the title.

I hope to not offend anyone with this post: it’s just a reminder of what I’ve read and a suggestion for who wants to participate in this challenge, I’m not the kind of person who wants to show and be better than others.

 

A) All that remains, by Sue Black

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B) Bedlam, London and its mad, by Catharine Arnold

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C) A curious beginning, by Deanna Raybourn

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D) Dolly, by Susan Hill

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E) The elsewhere emporium, by Ross MacKenzie

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F) Fairy eyeglasses, by Emily Martha Sorensen

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G) The Gauntlet, by Karuna Riazi

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H) Hunting Prince Dracula, by Kerri Maniscalco

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I) Ink and Bone, by Rachel Caine

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J) Just one damned thing after another, by Jodi Taylor

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K) Karma, by Donna Augustine

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L) Lettere a Theo (Letters to Theo) by Vincent Van Gogh

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M) La moglie del califfo (The wrath & the dawn) by Renèe Ahdieh

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N) The nowhere emporium, by Ross MacKenzie

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O) Old Dark, by Michael La Ronn

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P) Il profumo (Perfume) by Patrick Suskind

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Q) Qualcosa di molto speciale ( A little something different) by Sandy hall

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R) The raven’s tale, by Cat Winters

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S) Il sogno d’argento (The silver dream) by Mallory Reaves

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T) Thornghost, by Tone Almjhell

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U) UnEnchated by Chanda Hahn

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V) Vengeance road by Erin Bowman

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W) When Dimple met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon

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X)

Y) The Yard, by Alex Grecian

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Z) Zombie boy, press start by Val O. Morris

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I didn’t found a book with the letter X, have you some suggestions?

Have you read some of this book?

Tell me in the comments down below!

book tag, challenge, meme

The ABC Book Challenge (I)

Hello! How’s everyone doing?

The challenge is to post some books that I loved and some books that are still on my TBR (please TBR, don’t hurt me), corresponding to each letter of the alphabet.

Personally, I found this challenge on A Book. A Thought. Go and check this great blog!

Please remember that maybe some books will be in Italian. I will write the English title too.

Previous Post:

The ABC Book Challenge (A)

The ABC Book Challenge (B)

The ABC Book Challenge (C)

The ABC Book Challenge (D)

The ABC Book Challenge (E)

The ABC Book Challenge (F)

The ABC Book Challenge (G)

The ABC Book Challenge (H)

Memorable books:

Inuyasha, by Rumiko Takahashi: I had to include Inuyasha to this challenge, it was one of my fave manga when I began reading it, nearly 10 years ago.

L’isola della paura (Shutter Island) by Dennis Lehane: my fave thriller of all the time, the movie is so well done, I absolutely love Di Caprio role.

Io Uccido (I kill) by Giorgio Faletti: one of the first thriller/crime books for adults I ever read. It was mindblowing.

Intervista col vampiro (Interview with the vampire) by Anne Rice: one of the best vampire book on the planet. And have you seen the movie? The costumes are fabulous.

Books on my TBR:

Come on, I know we think the same thing…

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and that’s why I added that book on my TBR.

 

Have you read some of this book? Did you know Inuyasha? Tell me in the comments!