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Winning this contest isn’t that great.

18459190What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.(Synopsis taken from Goodreads)

This book felt like reading a horror movie. You know: lots of characters that are just there to be killed off, a setting that feels “not quite right” right from the beginning, stuff like that.

While there are six POVs, our main narrator is Ivy. When Ivy was little, she heard her parents be murdered in the next room over. She called the police, dropped the phone, and the murderer came into her bedroom, only fleeing when he heard the police sirens. This has haunted her nightmares ever since, and she can’t bring herself to watch any horror movie of any kind.

So why did she enter a contest to meet one of the most famous horror directors and writers in the world?  Because she was hoping, even if only a tiny bit, that someone else knowing her nightmares would help them stop. Naturally, she gets picked, and finds herself in a house with five other horror-obsessed teenagers and no idea why she even agreed to do this.

It takes about half the book to actually get up to the horror part. The first half is more setting the tone and style of the story, so there’s a bit to get through, and it feels like it drags slightly. And yes, it is a bit cliché, with both plot and characters, but I only realized that AFTER I finished the book and went to write the review.

Now, I was also reading this book at like eleven at night, so it could have seemed significantly more creepy to me since I was in the pitch black and pretty much brain dead from exhaustion. But once the horror element kicks in, it really kicks in. I was all jumpy for a good ten minutes after finishing it, and since I thought this was a stand-alone novel (it’s not), I was pretty ticked off about the ending.

So, this is what I would call “light” horror. Something that makes you excited and jumpy, but not something that makes you scared to sleep. Plus, the cover is gorgeous. That’s what first caught my eye.

ThreeStarsIt is currently bugging me that I can’t remember when the next book is coming out (or if it’s already out), and I’m pretty sure I’ll remember as soon as I post this. Meanwhile, I finished up my Bookshelf, which is where I store all the books that I’ve ever reviewed on this blog. It took a little while to find all of them, but it’s worth it.

Also, yesterday was Ari @ Beautifully Flawed Photo’s birthday, so stop by and say hi (and tell her I sent you). I have won Camp NaNoWriMo (whoop whoop), and I hit 15,000 words just as I realized that I am attempting to write a novel that I don’t want to write. And since I don’t want to write it…it’s horrible. So, Rabid is on hold, my contemporary novel is being outlined (and I’m trying to decide if I want to wait until November and NaNoWriMo to start it), and I’m considering starting to outline an urban fantasy novel that will be horribly fun to write and spectacularly bloody if I decide I do want to write it. We shall see.

So, what’s new with your novels? Any good ideas? How do you feel about horror? And I know it’s a bit early, but are you planning on doing NaNoWriMo?

Happy Monday,

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