I have mentioned before that I usually avoid reading anything scary, but I took the plunge last month and decided to read some spooky books. Now before you congratulate me on my bravado, I have to be honest here. Although I stepped out of my comfort zone, I didn’t read anything that would give me nightmares or give my vivid imagination ideas that would scare me later. So instead, I took the classic route, focusing on some beloved, classic spooky reads only. Maybe next year, I’ll have the courage to read something that will have me in a cocoon of covers while clutching my Bible for dear life. So now, with all that out of the way, here are the books I read last month!
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
It is widely known that Carmilla is the early works of vampire fiction predating Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I immediately noticed a few characteristic similarities between Carmilla and Dracula. I enjoyed reading this book immensely, but shockingly, it was probably the scariest book I read in October. The book opens with Laura, who narrates her experiences with Carmilla’s female vampire, later revealed to be Mircalla, Countess Karnstein. As Laura’s health declines, she slowly begins to discover disturbing facts about Carmilla and realizes she must act quickly before it’s too late. This book gave me all the spooky vibes I was looking for. The chemistry between Carmilla and Laura was not only fun to read, but it was interesting to compare Carmilla’s attraction to Laura to Dracula’s obsession and infatuation with his partners.
A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson
Holy macaroni, this book was fantastic! I loved everything about this book, but what stood out the most for me was the writing. I wasn’t surprised when I found out that S.T. Gibson is a poet because she utilized just about every poetic element one can think of in this book. While Bram Stoker provided nameless companions for Dracula, Gibson gave them a voice. In this reimagining of Dracula’s brides, Constanta struggles to recall intimate details about her former life. However, there’s one thing she remembers with complete clarity: the night she met Him. But when Dracula draws a cunning aristocrat and a starving artist into his web of passion and deceit, Constanta realizes that her beloved is capable of terrible things. I can’t stop thinking about this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a strong female protagonist with loads of badass quotes to send to your exes!
Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie
My very first time reading Agatha Christie and possibly my last. Outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare, Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. This story begins with preparing for a Halloween party where 13-year-old Joyce Reynolds witnesses a murder. When the party ends, Joyce is found dead, having been drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. Ariadne Oliver, attending the party while visiting her friend Judith Butler, calls on Hercule Poirot to investigate the murder and Joyce’s claim. While it lacked a spooky atmosphere, overall, it was a fun read. Yet, I don’t believe I’ll read anything else from this author since I found out about some books she published that wasn’t too kind about minorities.
“You must come with me, loving me, to death; or else hate me, and still come with me.” – Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
I take no pleasure in writing a bad review because I want to show my appreciation to authors whether or not the story is good. However, I also want to be honest with my experiences. Although this book isn’t a spooky read, I decided to read it, given all the hype surrounding it. Unfortunately, I was disappointed again. This is the second Colleen Hoover book I read, and I wasn’t impressed. I enjoyed a few things about this book, but overall, I was annoyed by the characters and the writing.
The Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo
Man, this was another disappointment. Again, the synopsis of this story was fascinating, but it completely missed the mark. The storyline of a girl promising her dying father to preserve her culture and identity by marrying within her culture only to have that oath tested when she falls for a tall, handsome, but white guy captured my interest. Yet, the character was annoying, the dialogue was boring, and the writing was loaded with cliche phrases. While I may not have had an enjoyable experience with this novel, I do believe this author has the potential to produce something great.
All in all, I am proud of myself for taking a tiny step towards facing my fears when it comes to reading spooky books. I had a fantastic time with some of my October selections, and I can’t wait to share next month’s reading experience with you all. Also, be sure to check out my new YouTube channel, where I gush about my October wrap-up and other videos!