Nightbooks | J.A. White

Nightbooks by J.A. White published 24 July 2018

A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive. This thrilling contemporary fantasy from J. A. White, the acclaimed author of the Thickety series, brings to life the magic and craft of storytelling.

Alex’s original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he’ll run out of pages to read from and be trapped forever. He’s loved scary stories his whole life, and he knows most don’t have a happily ever after. Now that Alex is trapped in a true terrifying tale, he’s desperate for a different ending—and a way out of this twisted place.

This modern spin on the Scheherazade story is perfect for fans of Coraline and A Tale Dark and Grimm. With interwoven tips on writing with suspense, adding in plot twists, hooks, interior logic, and dealing with writer’s block, this is the ideal book for budding writers and all readers of delightfully just-dark-enough tales.

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How was it?

I’m not the target audience for this book, it’s for a middle grade audience, so I didn’t expect to be as into the story as I was. It has a lot of elements that I like in my stories, a smart and adaptable main character, magic, and a bit of a mystery.

I was right there with Alex trying to figure out how to get out of that apartment. Picking the possible clues with him, hatching a plan like I was also trapped with him. I was rooting for him.
I generally don’t like horror but this book is just creepy, whether it’s Alex’s stories to the witch or the plot itself.

The book is also a bit inceptiony in the sense that there are stories within stories, with the main one reminiscent of or connected to a famous classic story. The young writer aspect in Alex’s character is also a big draw for me it seemed very realistic to me. I loved that about him.

The characters are great, they seems and act like their age, and they make sense giving the situation they’re in. The book is a quick read but not as memorable as I would have liked. It distracts and entertain while reading it but a day later I couldn’t remember one of Alex’s stories, and I thought they were great.

Nightbooks is a bit scary like the show Grimm was and a perfect read for creative middle graders.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Nightbooks is available on The Book Depository, Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

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