Five Deliciously Spooky Reads for October

What do you get if you cross Bambi with a ghost? Bamboo! —Joshua T., Cheltenham

OK, let’s get one thing straight. I detest anything horror, thriller, and definitely demonic. You will never catch me watching Hereditary or reading any of Stephen King’s novels. In fact, I never really understood how most people can get scared stiff, whether it be by a book or a movie,  and yet are able to sleep peacefully without any care in the world. The last time I was forced to watch a scary movie, going to bed afterward was the worst experience of my life. I kept anything that produced light on in my room. I had two copies of my personal Bibles on each of my nightstands, and I made sure that God himself wouldn’t be able to open my closet door in the middle of the night. Alright, that was a bit much, but I’m sure you get the point. With all that, I know you’re a little confused by the title of this post. No, I am not contradicting myself. I still loathe all things scary, but I also want to muster up the courage to finally read a spooky book that is not intended for middle-graders. Though I have a feeling I might regret this idea, I’ve bravely compiled a small TBR for this month, which will only be read during daylight hours. Let’s get started!

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley —  This is a book that I think will help me dip my toes into the thriller genre without suffering a heart attack.  I am actually looking forward to reading it.
  • The Other Woman by Sandie Jones — I am playing it somewhat safe with this girl-against-girl thriller showdown. I’ve heard good things about this book, so I don’t anticipate any nightmares with this one either.
  • Lock Every Door by Riley Sager — We’re inching closer to possible paranoia anxiety with this novel. Some of my favorite Booktubers have gushed about how amazing it is. I’m not sure if I’ll have the same experience, but I know can make it to the end with this read. I think.
  • A Monster Call by Patrick Ness — OK, I’ll have to admit that I’m actually curious about this read. I’ve seen the trailer, but I never watched the film—you guys know why. However, from what I’ve read from a few reviews, this book has a bittersweet ending. I’m all for it!
  • The Turn of the Key By Ruth Ware — And finally, the mother of all evil! When I first heard about this book, I instantly made up my mind that I wasn’t going to read it, let alone even look at it when I visit my local bookstore. Yet, here I am with this thriller story in my possession. This novel will definitely put my bravado to the test for sure.

I know this TBR might not meet your standard of creepy, but I am taking a gigantic step out of my comfort zone. I will come clean and say that at times, I would come across a scary book that actually sounds so interesting, but reflecting on the consequences to follow, has helped me stay clear from reading such novels. 

Have you ever read a book outside of your comfort zone? Or what about a genre that you never thought you would enjoy? I would love to read about your experience! Remember to share it below!

Thanks for stopping by!

My September TBR

I have an embarrassing confession to make. August was not a good reading month for me. I read a total of two books — only two books! Now, before you start thinking that maybe they were two colossal novels, please don’t. That is way too kind of you. They were both under 400 pages. The first book was The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken and the second was Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott. However, I am determined to make sure I put up double digits this month — especially since I plan on reading a few thick books. Without further ado,  here’s my reading list for this month.

Continue reading “My September TBR”

A Broken Promise Book Haul

At the beginning of this year, I made a promise to myself that I would never set foot in any bookstore until I’ve conquered the mountain-like piles of  “To Be Read” (TBR) books that inhabited my bedroom floor. Had my life depended on me keeping this covenant, I would’ve been dead by now. I have habitually visited my local Barnes and Noble since then, and have walked out with what should’ve been one, but instead, five or more books. Despite the fact that: (1) I probably have too many books at this point, (2) I’m running out of space on my bookshelf, and (3) my bank account is on the verge of depletion,  I give you my “I-shouldn’t-have-bought-these-books-and-am-not-sure-when-I’ll-read-them” book haul with a teeny weeny synopsis! 

Continue reading “A Broken Promise Book Haul”

This Middle-Grade Book will have you Sleeping with a Nightlight

“I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness. . . ” –Alastor

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

12-years-old Prosperity –Prosper–, Redding is not like the rest of his famous and ambitious family members. He’s often bullied, doesn’t do well in school, and his relationship with his twin sister, Prue, is drifting even further apart. However, although his family is extremely wealthy and powerful, there’s a dark, hidden secret that is credited to the family’s fame. One of his ancestors made a deal with a demon many years ago for fame and glory in exchange for their souls. Like most contracts, the deal was broken. Now, the demon is hellbent on taking the family down. And Prosper is his first victim. 

Continue reading “This Middle-Grade Book will have you Sleeping with a Nightlight”

Circe By Madeline Miller

I had begun to know what fear was. What could make a god afraid? I knew that answer, too. A power greater than their own.” – Circe

Circe is an immortal coming of age story about Western literature’s first female witch. Similarly to her debut novel, The Songs of Achilles, Madeline Miller once again creatively explore the second major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. Miller beautifully responds to Homer’s Odyssey by retelling the encounter between the goddess of magic and wily Odysseus after the Trojan War.

Continue reading “Circe By Madeline Miller”

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

My mom did what school didn’t. She taught me how to think.”
– Trevor Noah

Born a Crime is a personal glimpse into Trevor Noah’s life both during and after the apartheid in South Africa. It is also a story about his relationship with his stubborn, courageous, and extremely religious mother who is determined to save him from the cycle of poverty and violence.

Continue reading “Born a Crime by Trevor Noah”

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

“There was a vividness to him, even at rest, that made death and spirits seem foolish.” —Patroclus

The Song of Achilles is a retelling of Homer’s “Iliad” which portrays the epic battle between the ancient Kingdom of Troy and Sparta. Madeline Miller, the author of this novel, creatively explores one of the most important events in Greek mythology from the perspective of an often forgettable, but equally vital, player of Achilles’ glory: Patroclus.

Continue reading “The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller”

The Wicked King by Holly Black

“You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring. The first lesson is to make yourself that strong. “

It’s been five months since Jude Duarte successfully secured the royal crown of Elfhame onto Prince Cardan’s head, which in turn bounded his loyalty to her for a year and a day. However, holding on to her new power and role as seneschal to the High King is proving to be difficult when Jude learns that someone close to her means to betray her and threaten the lives of everyone she loves. With the political climate of Elfhame growing increasingly dangerous, how will Jude uncover the identity of the traitor, protect those she most dearly cares for and maintain control over The Wicked King?

Continue reading “The Wicked King by Holly Black”

Children of Blood And Bone By Tomi Adeyemi

“You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasn’t keeping us alive. It was thinking we’d never fight back.” –Zelie

Seventeen-year-old Zelie Adebola is tired of the injustices against her people. Seventeen-year-old Zelie Adebola is tired of the injustices against her people. Under the king’s rule, Majis are targeted and killed daily for merely who they are. With the help of her brother, Tzain, and an unexpected friendship with a noble girl, Zelie is determined to bring back magic to all Majis in order to fight back against all the injustices. Will Zelie be able to bring back change for her people in time or will she be killed by the king’s guard trying?

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was absolutely terrific and an emotional read for me. For one main reason, this is a West African fantasy novel. I think it’s safe to say there aren’t many books out there in this genre that focuses on black cultThis book was absolutely terrific, and an emotional read for me. I think it’s safe to say that there aren’t many books out there in this genre that focuses on black culture or history. Tomi Adeyemi did a fantastic job of presenting the Orisha mythology while weaving together an undeniable truth of African American struggles in a heart-wrenching story.

One of the many things Adeyemi does well is catching the emotions of her readers with her beautiful writing style. There are many parts in this book where the rawness of her description utterly wrecked me. Here’s an example:

” She hung from a tree like an ornament of death in the center of our mountain village . . .”

(P. 501)

Adeyemi doesn’t just write to tell a story—she writes to touch the soul. I cried, laughed, and screamed countless times while reading.

Also, Adeyemi brilliantly mirrors the condition of African Americans to that of the Majis people.

“We are the people who filled the King’s prisons, the people our kingdom turns into laborers. The people Orishans try to chase out of their features, outlawing our lineage . . .” (P. 27)

After magic disappears, Majis are targeted and killed. They are forced to live in poor conditions, and when they enter the “stocks,” or prison, it’s hard for them to leave. Today, African Americans are facing a similar plight, such as dealing with living restrictions due to gentrification within their communities and along with battling the statistics showing that the prison system is primarily filled with African Americans.

“Those stuck in the stocks toil endlessly, erecting palaces, building roads mining coal, and everything in between . . . It’s no more than a state-sentenced death sentence. An excuse to round up my people . . .” (P. 28)

It’s hard to overlook the significant message Adeyemi was sending to her readers. The hate that separates the people in this novel is the same hate we experience and give in reality today. I was entertained and educated. I was able to see how we perpetuate our negativity to justify survival and superiority. You’ll learn, if you haven’t already, why movements matter, why taking power back matters, why change is worth everything you have to give.

Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely! This is definitely my first five-star rating of this year! If you’re interested in rich history, power struggles, and fantasy, be sure to add Children of Blood and Bone to your reading list!