Hey there, everyone! So I aimed high and didn’t quite manage to read 16 books this month, only 13. But you know, 13 is still pretty good! With the holidays approaching, time is getting tight, and I ended up being more busy than I thought.
First off, this book is not for the faint of heart. That said, I wished I had read this book in high school. This is an intense novel, a heavy novel, dealing with child abuse and recognizing grooming behavior. Honestly, it shook me to my core, but it was well worth the read.
This was such a fun novel. I hadn’t initially realized it was a retelling of The Goose Girl, but that’s part of why I liked it so much. It took me by surprise, and our MC, Vanja, being blessed by the gods of Death and Fortune, was a fun element. The progression of the plot and the way the story developed were a lot of fun and unpredictable.
This was a gift from the publisher. I enjoyed the realism here and how it felt like a boarding school. It deals with blackface, cultural appropriation, and black fishing, which is “when White public figures, influencers, and the like do everything in their power to appear Black.” Following Kitan and Iyanu, Nigerian cousins who both have to navigate through popularity, their place at the school, and the secrets that come alive after a scandal.
This was okay. It wasn’t bad, and some of the stories were creepy. However, as it went on, some of the stories were more, hate to say it, boring. They offer a commentary on technology and how big it plays in our lives to the point that it borders control. Honestly, think of Tales from the Crypt; that is how these stories play, each one with some sort of moral to figure out.
This was…strange. It follows a plague doctor and a mermaid on their travels only to find a town reminiscent of Children of the Corn. It was alright, indeed a quick read and perfect for the Halloween season, but it was different.
I wished this novel had been linear. If the novel had been linear, I would have appreciated it more. I’m glad the author wrote this book to bring more attention to the epidemic plaguing indigenous nations. For decades, Native American women across the country have gone missing, and Medina decided to tell a story about two sisters and their estranged relationship and her will to never give up looking for her sister. It was gut-wrenching, but there were times I was confused as to when the story was taking place.
I loved this novel. I loved the Friday the 13th vibes this story gives. Bayron executed this story wonderfully with fantastic tension and character development. Honestly, I could not put this book down. It was just fantastic. And that ending, jaw-dropping.
I liked this book, but it dragged a bit. The characters used a lot of nicknames for one another, which generally I’m okay with, but I struggled to keep them straight. I struggle to connect to this novel. When reading it, I couldn’t connect and found that I had to listen to the audiobook version of this book. The ending was good, but I wanted more fluidity from the base plot. It does make you second-guess the villain throughout the story.
This was such a fantastic novel. Magic By Any Other Name follows Georgette, a girl on the run from her emotionally abusive and toxic family. She forms her own family, creating bonds with various beings, from a were-hyena to a vampire, a tree nymph, a brujo, and a Valkyrie. The fact that the story goes through all these characters’ perspectives is not a hindrance to the plot or the pacing. It establishes a stronger connection between the reader and this found family.
It’s the Nightmare Before Christmas, need I say anymore? It doesn’t include the music, but it tells the story, capturing the essence of the movie and giving it a new look through character descriptions, internal narratives, and solidifying the plot. Shepard did a fantastic job adapting the film and Tim Burton’s story into a full-fledged novel.
Curious Tides was the Barnes and Noble October YA Book Club pick. I loved the story within a story element and the unique magic system here. Everyone has a specific type of magic, depending on the moon phase they were born under. There is a secret society at the school, a ritual connected to a tale of the Tides Magic, and even a romance. I will say there is a ton of exposition and world-building for the first quarter of the book, which does make it hard to get into, but after that, the pace starts to pick up.
I. Loved. This. Book! Oh my god, The Final Girl Support Group was excellent. It brought to life all my favorite slasher films, from Nightmare to Scream and Halloween. Yes, Friday the 13 and Texas Chainsaw are also mentioned here, but my god, this was such a good book. I couldn’t put this book down; it was a quick read, and from then on, I’m a huge fan of Hendrix.
Okay, this was a good book, but it could be better. Half Sick of Shadows is a “bold feminist reimagining of the Arthurian myth.” I liked the way it tells the story of Lady Elaine, Morgana, and Gwen without villainizing them while at the same time diminishing the worth of King Arthur and Lancelot. Everyone is a hero here. I wish the transitions toward her visions were clearer because they often caught me off guard. It was a slow story, making it feel like it was dragging, even though I don’t think it did. It told the story, a story unfamiliar to most readers.
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