Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

Review: JINXED by Thommy Hutson

JINXED is all the adolescent-themed Horror of the 80's and 90's, wrapped up and honed to a finely-tuned perfection. Did I love it? Did i ever! It wouldn't turn me loose until the end--which rendered me speechless--and even then, I can't stop remembering. The plot is remindful of Agatha Christie's  AND THEN THERE WERE NONE--if Ms. Christie had written while on steroids. Set on an island some not inconsiderable distance from Seattle, in an extremely expensive, exclusive, performing arts academy, with urban legend, interpersonal drama, and a sociopathic Dean, JINXED is unstoppably riveting and a great joy to read.
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I enjoyed this book very much. I will definitely be reading more of this author's books. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Netgalley.
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I think this book had great potential but wasn't fully executed properly. the writing fell short for me, I felt like it didn't flow as easily as I expected it too. 
and as far as the story itself went, it wasn't really memorable
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Chilling little addition to Hutson's library of evil little books, and I loved it!  The premise was unique, and plot development was superbly paced.  Dialog and tension kept me glued to my Kindle, and I was so disappointed when I reached the end... I wanted it to go on for a lot longer!  Highly recommended.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher/author for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

The synopsis of this book pulled me in and it did not disappoint. It is a murder mystery and has some dark moments. 

We start our with a group of seniors in an elite high school that have to be the best in what they do. We get a past story of the death on the schools campus. 

Now fast forward years ahead and a new group of kids that are in that same spotlight. Lanya is at the center of all this. She has a new boyfriend Max that is constantly fighting off her old boyfriend because everytime she turns around her ex - Dillon is there. Then the deaths start happened. At first they think suicide but the friends quickly learn that this is not the case. They have to figure out what is going on.

I would highly recommend this read.
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Jealous boyfriend, check. Good girl what won't have sex, check. Creepy ex-boyfriend, check. A cast of disposable supporting characters, check. A creepy masked man with a knife, Check. A mysterious secret past, check. This book reminds me a lot of the teen slasher movies that I watched when I was younger. Even though I prefer reading more unique storylines and plots, I absolutely loved this book. It made me feel really nostalgic for that feeling of watching a bubbly blonde screaming through the hallways, wondering if she was going to make it. I love that this is a book version of that. You don't know who is next or what will happen next. With plenty of suspicious characters, this book keeps you guessing.
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This book sounded so good, I really wanted to love it. Yet, that wasn't the case. This story is very detailed, so if you are squeamish in the least I wouldn't recommend it. I also had problems with the characters. I felt like they were all bad, and no one was really a 'hero'.
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Summary taken from Publishers Weekly: In this trilogy opener, a ruthless killer stalks the students of an elite performing arts school on a secluded island and ties each of their murders to a superstition. Layna Curtis, a scholarship student who never knew her parents, is at the heart of the deaths, as the killer picks off her friends one by one in increasingly gruesome ways. When Layna discovers that the events might be tied to the mystery surrounding her long-dead mother, she realizes that she's the final, ultimate target, and she must do whatever it takes to stay alive. Hutson, who's written extensively on films such as Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, creates a gore-filled, coincidence-heavy throwback to the classic teen slasher flick genre. A "gotcha!" ending sets things up for the next installment. Graphically detailed descriptions of people burning to death or being hacked to pieces make it clear that this work of horror isn't for the faint of heart. Ages 12–up. 

The title of the play is JINXED! A person that is believed to bring bad luck or a condition or period of bad luck that appears to be causing a specific person or things bad luck. But, in this case it appears that the jinx or bad luck is targeted at everyone in this school. Forewarning, that this is a very gore filled book with graphic descriptions of the murders and deaths. If thats you're 'cup of tea' then by all means read this, adults may want to flip through for sensitive children. Jinxed really likes jump scares, which are something that don’t work at all on page. The killer in this novel has a habit of just popping up behind people. The overall pacing of the novel still felt a little off. Getting tiny pieces of the picture as Layna discovers them leaves some questions like what was the play about and what the manuscript says in it's entirety. 

The characterisation wasn't not likeable, just written to be horrible human beings. Crosby was self-serving, Nancy was acid-tongued, all sniped or resented the others.
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I wanted to like this book. The story idea was great and I really enjoyed the idea. You can tell that the author is screenplay writer though because the book tends to read more like something that should be adapted to the screen - very little is left to the imagination. At least I prefer my books to leave things that way. People who are squeamish shouldn’t read, because he definitely goes into details. 

Also my spoiler comment: there’s no way in hell she would have ever been left alone in that dressing room without security or someone else after the hell she went through and knowing he was still out there. No way.
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I found this book is not to my taste.  It is very well written by a talented writer.  However I found it difficult to get into and was unfortunatly not able to finish it.
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3.5 Stars!

Wow I love a fun creepy murder mystery/horror story. 

Trask Academy sits on a small private Pacific Northwest Island once owned by the reclusive Cadogan Trask.   Not only were the Man and the Island itself whispered about but also the School that had that mysterious and eerie air about it.  Still the prestige seemed to draw those who sought what it seemed to offer even if it was no guarantee they’d leave the island alive. 

Trask students are being murdered and when eyes turn to Layna she must prove it’s not her behind their gruesome deaths. Discovering the truth behind everything reveals more than she bargained for and soon she discovers the truth about herself. 

Jinxed really had that feeling of a movie I’d watch on tv or Netflix when I’m in the mood for something a bit frightening and entertaining. I love those kinds of stories and don’t get them enough.  Yes they can be a bit predictable and sometimes humorous even though it may not have been meant to be. But in the end I don’t regret watching it because it was pretty enjoyable.  That’s Jinxed. 

The writing was great, wonderfully descriptive and truly attempted to pull me into the pages.  The characters were well done and in all it was easy to read.  I liked the ending and it definitely played in my head like I was watching it on the big screen (I pictured a lates 90’s Jennifer Love Hewitt from I Know What You Did Last Summer). 

Would I recommend Jinxed? Sure to those who enjoy this type of story. But if you’re not a fan of horror or gruesome murder than avoid this one please.
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A solid slasher type book that screamed 80's nostalgia/Scream universe.

The beginning was a little slow in getting started but then it picked up and I was instantly taken back to my slasher film days.  Highly reminiscent of this fact and a solid read.
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Jinxed by Thommy Hutson is a horror story that takes place in a unique high school, Trask Academy of the Performing Arts, built on a privately-owned island off the coast of Washington.  This school was created for the benefit of the gifted and talented children of the very wealthy. The remote setting is guaranteed to isolate the players in this horror mystery.

The tale opens with backstory about the death of a Trask student in 1998.  Amanda dies in a fire that destroys the theater.   Her last thought is for “the baby.”

The plot moves forward to the present where the main character, Layna, is just as mysterious as the setting.  She is not wealthy but is somehow able to attend this selective academy.  Readers meet her and a gaggle of other teens in her circle, including past and present boyfriends, a situation that creates constant conflict.  The plot keeps changing directions and will keep readers guessing until the end.   With every death, a new suspect comes into focus.

Due to an annual vacation break, only a handful of students and a few adults remain at the academy.  They become trapped on the island and unable to leave or communicate with the mainland.  Before long, danger finds them.

Though the setting makes this story a bit different, it soon turns into a mysterious blood bath.
The cast is the usual set of precocious teens.  So many are introduced at once that they are a bit hard to tell apart.   In addition, too much time is spent documenting playful banter between the students who appear to be competing to out-cute each other.  Although adults will skim past this part, young adults might very well enjoy it. 

The chosen point of view defeats what might become a more interesting story.  The narrator is a distant omniscient entity.  This extreme distance could create a disconnect between readers and characters that will make it hard to care about most of the players.    In addition, the preponderance of tell and the lack of show make the text sound like a synopsis or a screenplay.  

The author possesses superior skill with language.  Jinxed reads smoothly.  Perhaps one of the most notable elements of the text is the careful formatting that makes the text stand out among others.  Few digital novels boast the artistic embellishments that are common in print.

Jinxed will most likely find its most enthusiastic followers among young-adult readers who will be able to connect with the characters.
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Jinxed is a cross between Scream and Urban Legend. Set at a prestigious performing arts school on a private island Trask Academy is filled with its fair share of secrets and drama. The plot centers around Layna Curtis a hopeful actress and her set of friends preparing for their senior showcase, something only a select few students are invited to participate in. Layna the understudy for the popular Sydney is suddenly thrown into the position of a lifetime when Sydney is found dead from an apparent suicide. When Detective Parker arrives on the island to investigate the school quickly goes into cover up mode. With only a handful of students and faculty on the island staying behind during spring break it shouldn’t be hard to get to the bottom of the case. That is until Layna’s small group of friends starts dying one by one.

Overall, I loved the concept of the book it could very easily be adapted into a limited time television show or a movie even. The setting of Trask Academy was very interesting and very well fleshed out. I found the Layna to be slightly obnoxious, her attitude that everything was about her was incredibly overdramatic. The girl’s friends are dropping dead around her but all she cares about is nailing her showcase piece or solving the mystery of her mother. Max, Layna’s boyfriend was another character I was just waiting to see get stabbed. The alpha male territorial role he played really played into how I viewed Layna.  

I did love how each character didn’t just end up dead; we got almost everyone’s perspective when they died giving you clues to who the killer was. I had a few theories going as to who the killer was and even questioned if some characters were in fact dead. The ending was a little predictable but that might just be because I watch a lot of horror movies.
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A little too juvenile for my tastes, even for a YA story.
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If you’re a fan of Fear Street books and old school slasher movies, this story will be up your alley. This was my first time reading anything by this author and I was very impressed. The writing was solid and the plot held my attention. The story centers around an exclusive private school that is on an island. Like all creepy old schools there are all kinds of urban legends floating around. Reading this book reminded me of so many horror flicks that I love and still watch today. As the story progresses secrets are uncovered and the outcome had me surprised. The reasoning was original, sick and a little petty which I loved!!  I will definitely be checking out more books from this author.
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Nostalgic horror at its best. I am a big fan of teen slasher films. I grew up with Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, SCREAM etc. So put a group of teens in an elite performing arts school with a sinister secret on a remote island, you have me at page one. This is fun and scary--and even a bit funny with the author's dark comedy overtones. It may even be a bit gruesome to some. If you are looking for a lot of depth in a literary journey and deep character development, you won't find them in a teen slasher flick and you won't find them here. But, if you want an entertaining mystery where you wonder who will get killed off next, and "who done it," JINXED is it. And props to the best killer mask ever designed!
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Review by Sandi for Love Romance Books Blog

I was asked by the author or publisher to give an honest review of this book.
 I give this one 3.75 tiaras:  	

This book is a little bit of a horror book.  It rather reminds me of a Halloween movie.  This author is the person, who at one point wrote the Freddy Krueger character.  If you like these kinds of books then this book is a great book.
This book is a constant murder mystery and in all honesty, I had it figured out before I got to the end.
That being said, I couldn’t put it down to see if I was right.  I was constantly waiting to see, who the next victim was, what was going to happen next, and what the main character Layna was going to learn about herself.
Layna is a High School student with a group of friends at a special ELITE school for Arts  .  The school is on an island away from the rest of the world and all of its misgivings so that the students concentrate on their studies and talent.  When Spring Break comes and her best friend, the Star of the school “commits suicide”, Layna is torn because she has lost a great friend, she feels guilty because they had discussed it the night before, and now she gets to Star in the big end of the year show.
However, when murders of her friends start to occur and a detective comes to the island, things start to come to light for Layna.  She also realizes that her life has been a complete lie and her actual truths may be what is killing her friends and puts the killer after her.  To make matters worse, her friends keep fighting and splitting up when she knows they need to stay together.
When Layna finally sees the killer’s creepy mask (the mask on the cover), it makes things even creepier being that it gives the Arts new meaning.
This book has a lot of violence, gore, and if you can’t stand or don’t like that kind of book it will not be good for you.
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This review will be on beautifullybooks.blog on Saturday, March 10th!

You know that feeling, the one where you want to know what happens at the end of a book so badly that you read as fast as you can, and it's still not fast enough? That's how I felt reading the last 30% of this book. I was upset because I couldn't read and digest the words on the page quick enough. I tried really hard not to skip to the ending, but I almost didn't make it. My heart was pounding at an accelerated rate for the last parts of the story.

When I started this book, I was pretty excited, because the synopsis seemed really up my alley. I definitely liked it, but I didn't feel very immersed in the characters or story, which meant that it took me a few days to get through about 50% of the book. However, once the characters started getting into the main conflicts, and realized there actually WAS someone trying to kill them, it sped up quite a bit. The first part was just a bit slow for me, but I understand why because the author had to set a base.

I loved the way this was written. I loved the characters. I loved being able to see every person's point of view. I loved the ending and the resolution with Layna, but I have to admit I was a bit peeved at the last few paragraphs. Really?! Why would you do that to me?!

The idea of the killer going off of a play was intriguing; I hadn't really experienced reading anything like it before. I felt that the pacing was actually really nice, looking back on it. There were hints and clues throughout the book that, had I been paying better attention, I maybe could have figured out parts of it. This book redefined the word "creepy". The entire time, I felt a sense of dread, and part frustration, because why, oh why, can nobody ever stay in a group?! Why do they have to go off on their own?!

All in all, I did really enjoy this book. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to read a mystery or a thriller. I'm definitely going to send it to my friends to check out, because I can't wait to see some of their responses for it.
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Jinxed was not how I expected it to be when I read the summery. It reminded me a lot of a Teen slasher movie. I found it very predictable, even with the twist at the end. I was disappointed that there wasn't more superstition woven into the plot.
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