rawndiggity's review against another edition

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This book will have you laughing your ass off and then crying your eyes out on multiple occasions. Bob Ford and Matt Hayward pull no punches in this tale of a man looking to start over after a stretch in prison, fighting to leave his own personal demons behind him. Unfortunately, there are worse things out there.

I'm quite familiar with Bob Ford's work, but Matt Hayward is still a relatively new voice to me. However, their styles mesh so well, I'd be hard pressed to correctly guess who wrote what.

Both a hilarious and heartbreaking read, I hope this isn't the last collaboration between these two fine authors.

paulataua's review

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I’m pretty new to reading in this area and just beginning to realize what I like and don’t like. And I didn’t much like this. The writing was good, but I like my strangeness nesting in a predictable normality. That is what grabs me. Once the tree that locks earth to sky is gone and everything becomes unpredictable, then that unpredictability has less effect on me. I am also not much taken by a sort of boyish humor that accompanies the story. Strange how so many reviewers I respect and even follow here loved it.

christinastrupp's review against another edition

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emotional medium-paced


rock_n_reads's review

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A Penny For Your Thoughts was my first read from both authors, and it certainly won't be my last. If there is another collaboration between Hayward and Ford, I'll gladly read it. This was a fun read! The premise of the story was great. I thought the characters were entertaining, and I loved the dialogue. Not only were there horrific moments, but there was humor scattered throughout the entire story, which I loved! I can't count how many times I laughed out loud while reading this. The authors did a great job writing a suspenseful tale with humor and heart. Overall, a unique tale that left me interested in more from both authors!

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the authors and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

turnthedamnpage's review

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What a great spin on a classic tale. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story from Bob Ford and Matt Hayward. As I was reading, I forgot that I was reading something blended from the minds of two separate authors because it came together so well at every turn.

I thought Ford and Hayward did an excellent job bringing our characters to life. Kenny was easily my favorite character in this story. He kept our friend Joe on his toes and in the real world when Joe may rather keep his head higher than one ought to.

Though the jar offered a mixed emotion, I was looking forward to seeing what the next thought would be every time!

To keep it short and sweet, this is a must read that I have and will continue to recommend to everyone!

bandaloop's review

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Sometimes we are handed events, and other times we choose them. Both come with a price, whether immediate or served cold, and the final bill is usually stuffed with interest, hidden fees, and flat-out robbery of the highway kind. A wheat penny for any wish you want? Who could resist? However, the old adage "be careful what you wish for" is taken to the extreme in this book-in the best possible ways. Remember: there is always a price.

Nestled between the main story of a jar of wishes wrapped around pennies, ready to be granted as soon as the papers are opened, is the story of addiction in its many forms, as well as secrets. Family secrets, neighborhood secrets, cosmic secrets. This novel weaves a thread of addiction to recovery, with the temptations, backsliding, and revelations that comes with it. Some secrets aren't revealed, just as they aren't in life. Some aren't meant to be.

We come away with the knowledge that shortcuts are not a replacement for hard work. Things we thought we wanted, things which would make our lives better, tend to be more of a hindrance or an outright nightmare.

Robert Ford and Matt Hayward managed to put together a tight, focused, and often hilarious piece of work (the double d boobs through line had me cackling each time), especially considering they live an ocean apart. The dialogue is real: staggered, broken sentences--in order words, it reads as if eavesdropping on a conversation.

The authors' voices meld into one, unlike other collaborations where it's easy to distinguish who wrote what. This comes as no surprise to me. Anything Robert Ford writes is brilliant, and I've been a die-hard Hayward fan since his short story collection "Brain Dead Blues".

Be prepared for long nights of little sleep, laughter, tears, chills, and warmth. And remember: Donuts are love.

curiosityboughtthebook's review

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Robert Ford and Matt Hayward knock it out of the park with this witty, funny and creative horror novel.

Joe is fresh out of prison, living with his dad and trying to avoid getting incarcerated again. One day, he takes a hike along the trails, and finds a jar filled with notes. All these notes have a penny stuck to them, and seem to be someone's long forgotten wishes. He doesn't seem too alarmed when the first few wishes come true. Yet, soon he wonders what the real price for these trifle wishes is going to be.

This book is awesome. The authors sure have a knack for developing characters and making them come to life. While Joe seems like a bad guy at first, you will soon come to love him and root for him. His ex girlfriend is another story all together. I don't find myself having this kind of contempt for a fictional character often.

Within 292 pages, the authors managed to tell a fleshed out story with a wide array of characters and settings. It's quite funny, but it's also the type of horror I enjoy. I'm definitely looking forward to more material from these two amazing writers! I just saw there's another book coming out in this series, and I can't wait!

4 out of 5 stars!

spookyoctopusreads's review

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This book seriously had so much packed into the almost 300 pages. I didn't know what to expect going into this, but it had been recommended to me by some friends in the #bookstagram community, so I knew I had to give it a go. Matthew Hayward and Robert Ford are well-established names in the horror community, so the only thing I expected with this book was an enjoyable, wild ride, and it certainly delivered!

I don't want to get too much into the plot, but I did really enjoy the realistic and relateable characters. Joe was just a real as they come. As an ex-con trying to do right after his release from prison, Joe was both a likable character and one that everyone can root for, despite his unsavory past. I absolutely adored the relationship between Joe and his father. The character development in this book was incredible.

When Joe finds a jar full of pennies with handwritten wishes taped to each one, he decides to take the jar home with him. What he finds is that wishes can come true, but at what extent? What if there is something sinister lurking behind the wishes? What if each wish is more than a wish, but an exchange that comes a debt that must be paid?

Reading this book brought to mind the familiar cliche, "Be careful what you wish for." The authors' take on this familiar adage was dark, unique, and gripping. The way these two authors worked together to weave this somewhat cautionary tale was just phenomenal and seamless.

4.5 rounded up to 5 stars for me! I really loved this book, I just thought there were some portions that slowed down a little for me, and I had to push myself to continue. This book runs the gamut of emotions from gut-wrenching horror, edge-of-your-seat anxiety, laugh our loud hilarity, and such deep and heartbreaking sadness. I think it's difficult for a "horror" book to play on so many emotions and explore human nature at such a depth as this one did.

**Thank you to Poltergeist Press for providing me with a copy of this book to read/review.**

mrfrank's review

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Robert Ford and Matt Hayward take the adage, "Be careful what you wish for," and twist it into, "Be careful what someone else has wished for." Thus the premise for A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS goes. This is a killer angle for an eerie horror tale and is executed beautifully by two skilled writers.

The opening chapters grab you and pull you into the backwoods Pennsylvania town of Lowback and drag you through the seedier parts that exists just out of view from the everyday townsfolk. That's where the dark and excitement collide. The story twists and turns as it tries to find the dark answers to darker questions. The plot always has you on your toes and gets darker and more supernatural as you go. The ending is a near gut-punch that caps the whole story off the only way it could be told.

Oh! Also, the paperback is honest-to-goodness mass market size so you can stick it in your back pocket and keep it close to your sexy ass at all times!

This is a no-brainer of a book considering Robert Ford and Matt Hayward are a logical dream team. You get the exact type of classic horror you would expect to read from these two talented writers. What they have left in their wake is an unforgettable town that seemingly has more tales to give up. Let's hope Ford and Hayward visit Lowback again real soon.

onetrackmind77's review

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Great story with an interesting premise. I loved the characters, but there were still a lot of loose ends that I wanted to follow up on. Give me more from this story...the second book in the series is due out later this year, but I'm ready to dive into it now.