Strangeathon Wrap Up!

Strangeathon Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW (21)
I recently participated in a spooky Halloween readathon called Strangeathon. The challenge was to read fourteen books in two weeks which I didn’t manage at all because I was working on passing my theory driving test (I passed!) I did manage a fair few of the challenges though so I thought I would do a quick wrap up post. I’m not really going to talk about the books because I talked about most of them in my October wrap up so if you want to know more you can take a little look here!
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Challenge #2 – Thriller Killer: Read a thrilling book

I picked up a little penguin classic of Shirley Jackson’s The Missing Girl and two other tales. These were thrilling unsettling tales that I absolutely flew through and I enjoyed them. Overall rating for this one was 3/5 stars.

Challenge #3 – Halloween Icon: Read a book with something iconic to Halloween on the cover
For this I read Strange Ink by Gary Kemble. It has a skeleton on the cover and it was dark and gripping and a really well done thriller. You can take a look at my full review for it here! I gave it 4/5 stars.

Untitled design (18)Challenge #6 – Horror Monster: Read a book with a creature that is often the villain
For this I read The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein as Frankenstein’s Monster is often a horror monster. I absolutely loved this book and it was one of my favourites of last months reading. I gave it 5/5 stars.

Challenge #8 – Tales From the Grave: Read a short story collection
For this I picked up some classic Edgar Allan Poe tales in The Murders In the Rue Morgue. These three tales are seen as the forerunner to well known detective stories by the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle. They were really fascinating and I gave them 3/5 stars.
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Challenge #9 – Setting Fun: Read a book with a spooky location

For this challenge I completed Strange Places by Katherine Arden which was a spooky fun ghost story that I completely adored. It’s set on a haunted farm which I thought was a pretty spooky location and I gave it 5/5 stars.

Challenge #10 – Blood Red: Read a book with a red or orange cover
I had originally planned to read Last Time I Lied but I ended up reading Spellbound by Cate Tiernan which has an orangey/red cover. I’ve really been enjoying revisiting this fun witchy series and gave it 5/5 stars.

Untitled design (70)Challenge #11 – Darkness Within: Read a book in darker conditions that normal
I picked up Bram Stoker’s Dracula for this because I haven’t read it in so long. I ended up reading it on the Kindle and pretty much only read a few chapters in bed each night in the dark so that definitely counted as darker conditions than normal.

Challenge #12 – Striking Title: Read a book based purely on the title
Without a doubt I had to read The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton. The title really drew my eye and I was really excited to read this witchy tale. I enjoyed it but I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I’d hoped so I only gave this 3/5 stars.

Untitled design (22)Challenge #14 – The F-Up: Read a book that has nothing to do with Halloween
I ended up reading Sleeper: Red Storm by J. D. Fennell for this as I had a blog tour review coming up for it. I really enjoyed this action packed spy thriller and it had nothing Halloweeny about it so it fit the bill really well and I gave it 4/5 stars.

So I completed nine out of the fourteen challenges and I’m pretty pleased with that! Did you participate in any readathons in October? If you did what did you read?

Predicting Five Star Reads!

Predicting Five Star Reads!

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Today I thought I would try something a little different and make a list of books I think are going to be five star reads. I thought it would be interesting because after I’ve read them I can make a comparison post and see if I was right! So here goes with ten books I’m predicting to be five star reads:

Untitled design (62)1. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
This has been on my TBR for SO LONG and I don’t even know why. I love Leigh Bardugo but for some reason I haven’t read Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom yet. It baffles me because I know I’m going to love them. I’m hoping this post will definitely force me to read this duology, and I would especially love to get to them before King of Scars comes out in January.
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2. Muse of Nightmares – Laini Taylor

I definitely think I’m going to give Muse of Nightmares five stars. Strange the Dreamer was on a whole other level of five star reads so I have no doubt that this is going to be just as full of magic and that beautiful writing that pulls you into the city of Weep.
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3. Vengeful – V. E. Schwab

V.E. Schwab is definitely my favourite author of 2018. Prior to this year I hadn’t read any of her books. I’ve since read City of Ghosts, Vicious, Warm Up and I just recently started The Dark Vault. I loved all of them so so much and I’ve seen so many people saying Vengeful is a brilliant read.

Untitled design (63)4. And I Darken – Kiersten White
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is one of my all time favourite books and so when I saw someone talking about Kiersten White’s And I Darken I pretty much ordered a copy immediately. For some reason I still haven’t read it yet but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a five star read. I read The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein last month and it was a five star read, so I have high expectations.

Untitled design (67)5. An Ember In the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir
I think I’ve been living under a rock because I’m the only person that hasn’t read this series yet. I own this book and A Torch Against the night and I’ve read so many rave reviews and seen so many booktube videos of people gushing about how amazing this book is that I have no doubt I’m going to absolutely love it.

Untitled design (68)6. The Court of Broken Knives – Anna Smith Spark
I recently went to an event with Anna Smith Spark, Cameron Johnston and Anna Stephens and Anna talked about this series and she also read an extract that sounded amazing. It sounded like the perfect high action fantasy series and that is definitely up my alley.

Untitled design (28)7. Sea Witch – Sara Henning
I have tentatively put this on the list because I know it has received some mixed reviews but from the premise it sounds like a five star read. I know it is a retelling of The Little Mermaid fairytale but from the point of view of the Sea Witch. It has a gorgeous cover and it sounds like a really atmospheric read so I’m hopefully going to pick this one up soon.

Untitled design (64)8. Illuminae – Jay Kristoff and Ami Kaufman
This is another one that I swore I was going to get to in 2018. I have a month and a bit left but it’s fairly likely I won’t get around to it in that time. I am also interested in listening to this on audiobook because I’ve heard many people say the audiobooks are perfect for this because it’s told with lots of different formats like interviews and letters and things. I think it sounds like a really phenomenal read and if I don’t read it in 2018 it is the highest priority for next year.

Untitled design (66)9. Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake
I love dark fantasy series and this is one that I have been meaning to read for a while. I know Two Dark Reigns came out fairly recently so I’m hoping that maybe I can binge read the series at some point soon. Again I’ve seen quite a few people rave about this and it sounds really intriguing.

Untitled design (65)10. The Girl King – Mimi Yu
This is a recent addition to my TBR that I got at YALC and honestly I’m so excited to read it. The cover is just gorgeous and the tagline is This is coming out in January of next year and honestly I am just so excited to read it. “Two sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor in this sweeping tale of ambition, sacrifice and betrayal. All hail the Girl King.” This is coming out in January of next year and honestly I am just so excited to read it.

So those are the books I’m predicting will be five star reads. What are some books you think will be five star reads for you? And if you’ve read any of these let me know what you rated them!!

 

October Wrap Up!

October Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW (17)
October is one of my favourite reading months. So many spooky books come out and it’s dark and cold outside and all I want to do is huddle under a blanket with my cat and a good book. Somehow in the month of October I managed to read sixteen books and one short story – I’m not even sure how that happened. I participated in a readathon which I think really helped and also quite a few of theses were on the shorter side. I’m going to keep it brief about each book because quite a few of them have featured in readathon wrap up posts or have full review posts up already.

Untitled design (59)1. A Blade So Black – L. L. McKinney
This Alice in Wonderland retelling was quick paced, action packed and so much fun. I raced through it and it’s definitely one of my favourite Alice retellings that I’ve ever encountered. I participated in the blog tour for this and you can check out my extract from the book here. (Rating: 4/5 stars)
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2. The Woods Vol 1 – James Tynion IV
This is the first instalment in a graphic novel series about a school that disappears into another realm. Full of strange monsters and dark and creepy sequences I thought this was an interesting start, although it didn’t grip me as much as I hoped that it would. (Rating: 3.5/5 stars)
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3. The Wicked Deep – Shea Earnshaw
This was the biggest surprise of my October reading. I adored this book. Dark and creepy, this story was so atmospheric and unfolded in such a clever way. It was the perfect Halloween read and it is definitely going on my favourites list. (Rating: 5/5 stars)
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4. Vicious – Victoria Schwab
I finally read Vicious and it was so amazing. Victoria Schwab is pretty much the Queen of books, everything I’ve read by her is magnificent and it just makes me want to read everything that she’s ever written. (Rating: 5/5 stars)

Untitled design (58)5. Warm Up – Victoria Schwab
In the back of my edition of Vicious there was a short story entitled Warm Up, which shows another EO and his encounter with Eli. It was pretty short but I enjoyed the chance to see Eli from another perspective and of course to read more of Victoria’s writing. (Rating: 4/5 stars)
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6. Daughter of the Siren Queen – Tricia Levenseller
I absolutely loved the first book in this duology and was really excited to dive back in. This one is a bit darker than the previous book and definitely felt a lot more intense and high stakes. It was a brilliant read and I highly recommend these books. (Rating: 4/5 stars)

Untitled design (7)7. One Of Us Is Lying – Karen McManus
This YA thriller is incredibly popular so I was looking forward to picking it up and seeing what all the fuss is about. The story is quick paced and enjoyable and there were more than a few twists that I didn’t see coming. I fell the ending was a little unbelievable but it was still a really fun read. (Rating: 3.75/5 stars)

Untitled design (16)8. Small Spaces – Katherine Arden
Katherine Arden is one of my favourite authors so I was really excited to see how she writes a Middle Grade novel. Honestly I absolutely loved this. Ollie is a brilliant protagonist. The story is dark and creepy with plenty of adventure. It’s a perfect autumn read and I’m so glad I picked it up. (Rating: 5/5 stars)

Untitled design (26)9. The Price Guide to the Occult – Leslye Walton
I haven’t read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender but I know lots of people adore that book. This is the authors newest release and honestly I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting a very atmospheric magical read but I didn’t really connect with the characters and the story fell a bit flat for me. (Rating: 3/5 stars)

Untitled design (57)10. The Murders in the Rue Morgue – Edgar Allan Poe
It wouldn’t be Halloween without reading some Edgar Allan Poe! This is a set of three stories featuring Dupin, one of the earliest detectives who uses logic and reasoning to discover who did the crime. The stories were interesting and I enjoyed the big reveal of how the crime was committed but I definitely prefer his more Gothic and creepy tales. (Rating: 3/5 stars)
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11. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten White
This is my first book by Kiersten White and certainly not my last. I love Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein so to read this reimagining from the point of view of Elizabeth was just a dream. I loved the characters and I think White did a brilliant job. (Rating: 5/5 stars)

Untitled design (12)12. Strange Ink – Gary Kemble
This has got to be one of the most original concepts I’ve ever read. The story follows a man who wakes up one morning with a tattoo he has no memory of getting. He chalks it up to too much alcohol but as more and more tattoos keep appearing and he becomes wrapped up in their mystery, he discovers he’s actually part of a much bigger plot. This book was so fascinating and I couldn’t put it down. (Rating: 4/5 stars)

Untitled design (53)13. The Missing Girl – Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson is relatively new to me, I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle earlier in the year. I thought I would try my hand at some of her short stories. This little Penguin Modern Classic features three of her tales full of eeriness and that unsettling feeling. This is another one that is definitely perfect for Halloween. (Rating: 3/5 stars)

Untitled design (56)14. Spellbound – Cate Tiernan
This is the sixth instalment of the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan. I loved these books as a teenager and so I am revisiting them slowly. I love the blend of magic in these books and the sense of nostalgia reading them again. These books are pretty short and really quick so they’re perfect for reading in a single sitting. (Rating: 5/5 stars)
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15. The Last Namsara – Kirsten Ciccarelli
This is the first book in a YA fantasy featuring a whole host of magic, folklore and DRAGONS. It’s a really exciting book and I loved the blend of action and romance that this story has. (Rating: 4/5 stars)

Untitled design (54)16. The Caged Queen – Kirsten Ciccarelli
The Caged Queen is the second book in the Iskari series. This book follows a different character – one we meet briefly in The Last Namsara. This book was much more focused on politics and intrigue and I ended up loving it even more than the first book in the series. You can see my stop on the blog tour here! (Rating: 5/5 stars)

Untitled design (22)17. Sleeper: The Red Storm – J. D. Fennell
Sleeper: The Red Storm is the second in the series that features Sleeper agent Will Starling. I loved the first book in the series so I was so excited to dive back into this mixture of historical fiction and spy thriller. Bursting to the seams with action, explosions and fighting, The Red Storm is a fantastic new instalment to the series and I’m already dying to find out what happens next. You can take a look at my full review here! (Rating: 4/5 stars)

So that’s all the books I read in October! What did you read in October? And if you read any of these let me know what you thought!

Waiting on Wednesday #6: Fire and Blood – George R. R. Martin

Waiting on Wednesday #6: Fire and Blood – George R. R. Martin

BOOK REVIEW (14)

Synopsis

With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally bestselling author George R. R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire and Blood is the ultimate game of thrones, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.

Thoughts

Untitled design (50)George R. R. Martin is probably my favourite author and I love all things A Song of Ice and Fire. I’m obviously desperate to read The Winds of Winter and I know a lot of fans are annoyed about the release of Fire and Blood but I’m actually really looking forward to reading it. George R. R. Martin seems pretty excited about it and I love the idea of a history textbook about the Targaryen line. I really love my copy of The World of Ice and Fire and I think this will be in a similar vein.

I really adore George’s writing style and any new book from him is pretty much going to be a must read for me. The cover is also so stunning and I’ve always been so fascinated by Aegon the Conqueror so this is definitely right up my alley. I’ve pre-ordered this beautiful book so that I can dive in as soon as it arrives and I’m pretty sure it will be a five star read for me. Fire and Blood is publishing November 20th from Harper Voyager UK.

Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books

Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books

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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the back list books I want to read. I literally have tons of books in this category so I could probably have done a top fifty, but managed to whittle it down to 10.
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1. The Glass Spare – Lauren DeStefano

I really loved The Chemical Garden series by Lauren DeStefano so I was desperate to read this book when it came out. I bought a gorgeous hard back edition and it has been sitting on my shelf for ages waiting to be read.

Untitled design (42)2. Spindle Fire – Lexa Hillyer
Sleeping Beauty is my favourite fairy tale so I’ve always meant to read Spindle Fire and I have a beautiful signed copy that I just haven’t gotten around to reading yet. I’m hoping the winter months might be the perfect time to inspire me to read it.
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3. Forest of A Thousand Lanterns – Julie C. Dao

I got this in a FairyLoot box and have heard so many people rave about how amazing it is. It has the most beautiful cover and I love a retelling so it definitely sounds right up my alley. I definitely hope I’ll get to this one soon.

Untitled design (44)4. Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant
I bought this a few months ago in my local bookshop because it sounded like such a good creepy read. I saw quite a few people read it as part of Halloween readathons and say it was absolutely brilliant so I’m definitely putting it near the top of my TBR pile.

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5. Daughter of the Burning City – Amanda Foody

I bought Daughter of the Burning City at YALC last year because they had copies for sale slightly early. I was so eager to read it and I still haven’t gotten around to it. I read Ace of Shades and it was one of my favourite books of the year so far so I have no idea why I haven’t picked this up yet.
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6. The House of Shattered Wings – Aliette De Bodard

This is another series that has been on my TBR for quite a while and it sounds so so good. An urban fantasy with angels and war? Sign me up. It’s a series that I’ve not heard many people talk about, which is perhaps why I haven’t been so eager to pick it up but I’m definitely going to have to get around to it soon because it sounds amazing.

Untitled design (46)7. Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerrie Manascalco
I had never planned on picking these books up because I wasn’t sure I was going to like them but after stumbling across a copy of the first book in the series I thought I would give them a shot because so many reviewers have given it a really high star rating. It seems like it might be quite a quick read so perhaps I’ll manage to squeeze it in this month!

Untitled design (47)8. Heir of Fire – Sarah J. Maas
This series is textbook Nicole. I read The Assassin’s Blade and the first two books in the Throne of Glass series and loved them. Kingdom of Ash just came out and somehow I’ve still only read the first two, despite buying each one as soon as it comes out. Someone please help me, I think I have a book buying problem.
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9. Traitor to the Throne – Alwyn Hamilton

I read Rebel of the Sands earlier this year and absolutely loved it so I’ve been meaning to continue the series as I couldn’t resist picking up the rest of the books in the series. I should really just spend a weekend binge reading these beauties because I know so many people love them.

Untitled design (49)10.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor
I’ve read Strange the Dreamer and I’m about to start Muse of Nightmares but I’ve never read Laini Taylor’s earlier series, despite owning all of them. I love her beautiful writing style so I’m sure I’m going to absolutely adore these, I just have to get a move on!

So these are the back list books that I really need to get around to reading. Have you read any of these? If you have what did you think? And if there’s any you think I should prioritise definitely let me know!

Birthday Book Haul!

Birthday Book Haul!

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Today I’m posting my birthday book haul. My birthday was actually in September and I got quite a few gift cards but I was holding off for a few books that were being released in October before I used them. I got some amazing books and I’m so excited to read them!

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1. Muse of Nightmares – Laini Taylor
The first book I knew I was going to pick up was Muse of Nightmares. I loved Strange the Dreamer so much and I’m super excited to dive into this. It’s massive so I’m hoping for plenty of beautiful writing and intense moments.

Untitled design (25)2. Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik
I’ve heard so many people ranting and raving about this book that I just had to pick it up. I’ve never read a book by Naomi Novik so I’m excited to dive into a new fantasy authors writing.

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3. Daughter of the Siren Queen – Tricia Levenseller
I read Daughter of the Pirate King earlier this year and absolutely fell in love with the characters. I’ve been holding off to get a paperback version of Daughter of the Siren Queen but I couldn’t resist any longer. I’ve already dived in and loved the ending to this duology.

Untitled design (26)4. The Price Guide to the Occult – Leslye Walton
I’ve never read Leslye Walton’s other book (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender) but I had heard good things about this and thought it would be the perfect Halloween read. It also has a stunning cover so I had to pick it up. I’ve since read it and thought it was okay – it wasn’t really what I was expecting and I ended up giving it three out of five stars.
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5. These Rebel Waves – Sarah Raasch
I’ve been loving sea/pirate related books lately so when I saw people getting this in their Fairyloot I had to pick it up. I’m so excited to read this because it sounds amazing. Reviews for it have been a little mixed though so I’m looking forward to seeing what I think.

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6. Sea Witch – Sarah Henning

I’ve read a few Little Mermaid retellings this year so I just had to pick up Sea Witch. This is another one that I’ve heard really amazing things about so I’m hoping I’ll be able to dive into it in October because I’m dying to find out what’s in store.

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7. A Secret History of Witches – Louisa Morgan

This is a book I didn’t know too much about but I saw it was onsale for £1 and it was about witches and that was me sold. I love a good witchy story and I think this will be perfect for reading in the winter months.
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8. Our Dark Duet – Victoria Schwab

I’ve become a bit obsessed with books by Victoria Schwab so I’m trying to complete my collection. So far this year I’ve read three of her books and I’m definitely hoping to squeeze in a few more before the end of the year!

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9. Pendragon – James Wilde

As a child I always really loved stories about King Arthur so when the publisher kindly sent me Dark Age – book two in this King Arthur series I immediately ordered Pendragon. I can’t wait to binge read these gorgeous books.

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10. The Wicked Deep – Shea Earnshaw
OH MY GOD THIS BOOK. I picked it up because I’d heard people say it was a good story and very atmospheric but I wasn’t prepared for how much I would love this. It was so dark and creepy and such a well written plot. It will definitely be on my favourite books of 2018 list.

Untitled design (32)11. The Last Magician – Lisa Maxwell
This is another one that I picked up kind of on a whim. I don’t know too much about it but I’ve seen a few booktubers give really rave reviews about it so I’m hoping I will really enjoy it too. I know the sequel has just come out so at least when I do get around to reading it I won’t have to wait too long to pick up book two.

Untitled design (33)12. Vengeful – V. E. Schwab
Who is surprised to see this on this list? Absolutely no one. I picked up Vicious and pretty much didn’t put it down the entire time I was reading it. It was an amazing read and has definitely solidified Victoria Schwab as one of my new favourite authors. I haven’t picked up Vengeful yet but I am going to be very very soon and I hope I love it as much as Vicious.

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13. Shiver Box Set – Maggie Stiefvater

My boyfriend also bought me a box set of the Shiver series by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve never read these but I know they’re pretty much classics of the YA genre and so many people love them. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to reading them but I’m very much looking forward to it.

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14. Delirium Box Set – Lauren Oliver

Similarly I also got a box set of the Delirium books by Lauren Oliver. I’ve actually never read any of her books despite owning a couple so hopefully having the complete set of Delirium books will push me to pick them up!

So that’s my birthday book haul! Have you read any of these, if you have let me know what you thought and if there’s any you think I should prioritise!

Recommended Reads: Halloween!

Recommended Reads: Halloween!

BOOK REVIEW (6)
Today I thought I would try something different and give a list of recommendations for the perfect books to read at Halloween. I’m going to try and do these more often, so I might do seasonal ones and holiday ones too.

Untitled design (17)1. The Silent Companions – Laura Purcell
This is without a doubt one of the scariest books I have ever read. The story follows Elsie, a young widow who has moved into her later husband’s stately manor home in the country. Without only her husband’s cousin for company she explore the house and finds a painted wooden figure – a silent companion. She feels the eyes of the painting constantly following her and with the help of an ancestral journal she finds out that the companion is a lot more than it seems. This book was dark, Gothic and terrifying, it’s definitely the perfect choice for Halloween reading.
Also Try: The Corset – Laura Purcell: Laura’s newest creepy Victorian tale. 

Untitled design (5)2. The Wicked Deep – Shea Earnshaw
This story follows the cursed town of Sparrow, in which 200 years ago three sisters were drowned because the town believed they were witches. Now each year the sisters return to possess bodies of the local teenage girls, using them to lure boys into the water and drown them. This story has so much atmosphere and a really vivid setting. It’s creepy and has lots of twists and turn. I raced through it and it’s a really well told tale.
Also Try: The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert: A dark tale about a young girl who enters a land of fairy tales created by her reclusive grandmother.

Untitled design (16)3. Small Spaces – Katherine Arden
This is a middle grade novel that is spooky, unsettling and a fun adventure tale. Ollie is going home from school when she finds a young woman trying to destroy a book in the river. Rescuing the book, she takes it home and begins to read the tale of a family and the horrors that have happened to them. The next day she goes on a school trip to a local farm where she learns that the story might not be entirely fictional… This story is so enjoyable and spine-tingling. It’s an excellent adventure story and perfect for Halloween.
Also Try: The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden: This is an adult fantasy, but incredibly atmospheric and set in a frozen Russian landscape, making it perfect to dive into on a chilly Halloween night!

Untitled design (18)4. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten White
This year marks 200 years since Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. If you’ve read the book or are looking for something a bit more accessible to start off, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is the perfect choice. Told from the point of view of one of the few female characters in the story, the book is fast paced, dark and disturbing. It’s a truly excellent retelling and a brilliant Halloween book.
Also Try: And I Darken – Kiersten White: This is the author’s series of Vlad the Imapaler (Dracula) retellings, but reimagined as a woman.

Untitled design (13)5. City of Ghosts – V. E. Schwab
V. E. Schwab’s first middle grade book is the perfect addition to your Halloween reading. The story follows Cassidy, a young girl who can see ghosts. When her parents are asked to create a TV series about ghosts they travel to Edinburgh to begin filming. Here Cassidy meets all kinds of ghosts and not all of them are friendly. This story has such a stunning setting in Edinburgh and is all kinds of dark and creepy.
Also Try: Vicious – V. E. Schwab: A dark and gritty story of two best friends turned enemies who try to make themselves superhuman and the death and destruction that follows.

Untitled design (14)6. We Have Always Lived In The Castle – Shirley Jackson
No creepy book list would be complete without a mention of a Shirley Jackson book. Merricat and her sister Constance live with their Uncle Julian in a grand estate home. Several years ago four of the Blackwood family were poisoned with arsenic and died. While acquitted for the murders, the family are still the talk of the villagers. When a distant relative comes to visit, the future becomes fraught with danger. What will happen to the sisters, and will the truth of the murders come out? Shirley Jackson has a way of making stories so dark and intense and this is a perfect unsettling tale.
Also Try: The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson: This story follows four people who come to stay at Hill House looking for spooky phenomenon and the horror that awaits them inside. It is not also a super scary Netflix series too!

Untitled design (19)7. Dark Matter – Michelle Paver
This story is so spine tingling and eerie! I’ve read it a few times and it’s still as creepy as it was the first time I read it. The story is told in a series of journal entries from a young man who is part of an expedition to the icy baren wilderness of the Arctic. As things start to go wrong and his companions are forced to leave, our narrator Jack is left along in this freezing land, but is he really alone, or something watching him? I couldn’t put this down and it’s definitely one my favourite books of all time.
Also Try: Thin Air – Michelle Paver: A story in the similar vein about an expedition up a mountain in which things start to go wrong. It’s not as good as Dark Matter but it’s still an excellent creepy tale.

Untitled design (15)8. Wytches – Scott Snyder
This is the first volume in a series of graphic novels by Scott Snyder. This story is haunting with some really stunning artwork. I read it for the first time earlier this year and really wish I’d kept it for closer to October. This story follows witches (obviously) but not the kind that you think you know. Hiding in the woods, these witches are ancient, and they’re hungry.
Also Try: The Woods – James Tynion: The story of a school with 500+ students and staff that mysteriously disappear. Where could they have gone? And what’s waiting for them when they get there?

Untitled design (20)9. See What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt
This book isn’t so much scary as it is atmospheric and disturbing. A fictionalised account of Lizzie Borden, a young woman accused of murdering her mother and father with an axe. The story is told in a very visceral way and it is a really impressive debut novel. “Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.”
Also Try: The Witch Finder’s Sister – Beth Underdown: A historical fictional novel about a young man who accused women of witchcraft. 

Untitled design (21)10. The Willows – Algernon Blackwood
During my English degree we did a class on the fantastic and elements of a story that make you feel unsettled even if there’s nothing these. Tasked to find a book and write an essay on this, I found and read The Willows. This book really frightened me, partly because you never really see or find out what’s going on. In the vein of H.P. Lovecraft the story follows two friends camping by the Danube river when they are forced to pause their trip. During their stay something in the environment starts stalking their every move and the two companions aren’t sure they will make it out alive. This short tale is one of my absolute favourites and if you like haunting creepy books that you can absolutely fly though, definitely try this.
Also Try: Anything by H. P. Lovecraft: His stories are dark, eerie and definitely unsettling.

So that’s my top list of Halloween recommendations. If you’ve read any of these let me know what you thought and if you have any good recommendations for me then definitely comment below!