Tuesday, September 01, 2020

The Collected

Alexander, K.R. The Collected
September 1st 2020 by Scholastic Inc.
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Even though she doesn't remember the travails of her older sister, Josie, in The Collector five years ago, Anna does have a vague awareness that dolls act differently when she is around them. While her friends play with dolls, Anna has noticed that with her, the dolls play back. When their grandmother dies, both girls leave the city with their mother to clean out their grandmother's house. Right away, it is apparent that their grandmother's descent into dementia was rapid; she had broken dishes and scrawled over every surface she could find. Anna is missing her grandmother terribly, because she feels that she is the only person who really understood her, and was sympathetic about Anna's odd relationship with dolls. Josie is beside herself, and just wants to leave. She keeps reminding Anna of the rules their grandmother had: No dolls, don't open the windows, and don't go into the woods. Anna thinks this is a bit ridiculous and doesn't understand why her sister is so insistent. As the family works to clean out the house, strange things begin to happen. Anna has visions of dolls appearing, attacking her, and calling her name, but doesn't take any of it too seriously. When she finds a hidden room in the house where her grandmother left notes for her, she starts to feel that perhaps this is an issue that only she can put to rest. Will Anna, with Josie's help, be able to defeat the force that has wielded such power over her family?
Strengths: This creepy cover will immediately appeal to readers who like creepy doll books like Bell's Frozen Charlotte, and the fact that it is a sequel will guarantee that readers will pick it up. This was definitely creepy, and had the added element of a mystery that needed to be solved.
Weaknesses: I liked the first book, but this was rather repetitive. This author has been writing a lot of really fantastic horror books lately, but this one just felt a bit rushed.
What I really think: Will probably purchase, but was vaguely disappointed.

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Simpson, Dana. Virtual Unicorn Experience
September 1st 2020 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
E ARC provided by the publisher

Out today! Always a good time. The first time I read one of these, I thought it would be awful and twee, but they are anything but. This is book number twelve. I need to make sure I'm not missing recent volumes, available in prebind from Follett.


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