Fall Book Tag

I saw this tag–created by Bionic Book Worm–on Adventures of a Bibliophile‘s blog recently, and had to do it. I wasn’t tagged, but…I love autumn, so I’m doing it anyway.

I actually meant to post it on the equinox, but…I forgot 😛 Oh well, it’s officially fall, either way, so I’m using it for a Blogtober post. (Bonus: How cute are Bionic Book Worm’s graphics?!)


fall tag 1

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings, #1)

It feels weird to use historical fiction for something that felt fresh and new, but this was the book that popped into my head first for this one. I loved The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue so much, and it was so much fun to read. Sure, some of it was familiar I guess, but overall? It stood out and felt fresh to me.

 

 

 

fall tag 2

If We Were Villains

I am still not over the ending (or the entire book, really) of If We Were Villains and it’s been almost eighteen months since I read it. (See my review here.) I freaking loved this book so much, and it took a lot of restraint to not immediately re-read it. Now that it’s been a while, I’m strongly considering picking it up again, even if my tbr pile of books I’ve never read might kill me in retaliation 😛

 

 

fall tag 5

The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1)

Ok, I know. This isn’t the kind of thing most people would probably immediately think of when they think “warm fuzzies,” but I have reasons. The Girl From the Well (and the sequel, The Suffering) were so good and I absolutely adored Okiku and Tarquin’s relationship, and it gave me warm and fuzzy feelings, ok? Weird? Probably. But I stand by my choice. (I might or might not have teared up during The Suffering at one point…)

 

 

fall tag 6

Sweep: Volume 1 (Sweep, #1-3)
The first volume of the Sweep series books was the first one that came to mind, besides Illuminae, and I wanted to use it because I feel like this series isn’t one that’s talked about much. I still remember wanting to read these so bad when I was in middle school, but I ended up not being able to until a friend loaned them to me in my early 20s. After reading them, I went out and bought my own copies of the whole series (I actually like this omnibus editions more than the original, individual paperbacks). I tend to re-read the whole series every couple years, around this time.

 

fall tag 3

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)

This is another reason I didn’t want to use Illuminae for Bright Colors, so I didn’t have two books from the same series on here. This whole series is packed with action, but oh my gosh, Obsidio… I don’t think I breathed properly throughout the entire book. I’m still not over it, and even thinking about it makes me tense up haha.

 

 

fall tag 4

A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #4)

I am so excited for this one I might cry 😥 I wish I’d pre-ordered A Map of Days months ago, but noooo. I forgot, and now it’ll probably be spring before I can get it. I love the Peculiar Children series, and this book has been near the top of my list of most anticipated 2018 releases since it was first announced, so I’m really kicking myself for not ordering it when I had the means.

 


Since I wasn’t tagged and I don’t want to bother anyone, I’m not tagging anyone. But, if you do this tag (or if you’ve already done it!), leave a comment with your link and I’ll check it out 🙂

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September Wrap Up (Blogtober Begins!)

September was a rocky reading month for me, but I (finally) came out of a month pretty satisfied with my reading. The cursed slump was driven away, thanks to Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate.

I’m really glad I saved finishing that series for so long, because without it, I’m not sure I ever would have clawed my way out of the slump. (That’s probably overly dramatic, but it’s how I felt 😛 )

In September, I finished eleven books, four fairy tales, and one short story.

september wrap up

The Fairy Tales

(Clicking the titles takes you to my Fairy Tales Fridays post for each of them.)

The Books

  • The entire Parasol Protectorate series (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, Timeless) by Gail Carriger
  • The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
  • Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts edited by Rayne Hall
  • The Suffering by Rin Chupeco
  • Kill Creek by Scott Thomas (reviewed)
  • The Marble and Other Ghost Tales of Tennessee and Virginia by Joe Tennis
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Short Stories

“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe


I totally won at R.I.P. 13, which I talked about in my first and second update posts. Since I’ve already succeeded with Peril the First (reading 4 books), my bigger focus for R.I.P. in October is going to be Peril of the Short Story and Peril on the Screen.

Over the weekend, there was a pre-FrightFall readathon, during which I read two books (the last two on my list above).

Lastly, I think I’ve been able to mark a couple of squares for Fall Bookish Bingo, yay!


I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited for October, and I really hope I get at least as much reading done this month as I did in September.

 

How was your September?

Did you read anything great?

Are you participating in any autumn or Halloween themed book events?

Book Review: Kill Creek by Scott Thomas


Genres/Descriptors:
Horror

Why I read it: I found it on Net Galley last year (eek) and it sounded great.

Who I’d recommend it to: Honestly? Very few people.

My rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Book Depository | IndieBound

 


Goodreads Description:

At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, lies the Finch House. For years it has perched empty, abandoned, and overgrown–but soon the door will be opened for the first time in many decades. But something waits, lurking in the shadows, anxious to meet its new guests. 
When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country’s most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won’t be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt soon becomes a fight for survival–the entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.


Review:

Meh. If I had to sum up my feelings about this book in a single word, it would be, “meh.” This was honestly one of the most disappointing reads I’ve had in a while.

I’ll start with the good, though.

This book was undoubtedly an homage to the big names of horror, probably both classic and modern. As someone who really likes horror, both on the page and on the screen, I could appreciate that.

At times, it was clear that Scott Thomas is capable of writing very well, and potentially delivering some scares, so I’m not writing him off just yet.

This book would probably make a great movie, and I’m thinking I would like the movie version more.

That’s pretty much all I actually liked about this book, and I feel weird about giving it such a low rating because it seems to be well-loved, in general.

The first 30% or so are seriously over-written. The remainder of the book is a little better, but I stand by what I said once (when I was only about halfway through it): it could probably lose 100 pages and nothing about the story would change. With horror, or any other spooky-ish book, I tend to call this “Stephen King Syndrome.” So if you like how wordy King can be, you probably won’t be bothered by that aspect. One additional note about it, though, is that some things were repeated way too often. Certain phrases, or recounting the same memory or whatever. Eventually, I just started skimming and skipping over pages.

Nothing really happens until close to the halfway point. Then, I finally had hope of reading a truly creepy story, but it lost steam really quickly. I don’t want to say much about what happened, so I don’t spoil anything for someone planning to read this, but there was a shift in the type of horror around 70% and I just rolled my eyes and thought, “Of course.” I’d seen it coming, but had hoped it wasn’t going to go there.

Two things frustrated me most about this book.

The first was the one (main) female character. At first, I thought I was going to like her. And eventually I did, but less in a, “Wow, this guy wrote a decent female character, hurrah!” kind of way, and more in the way that I wish I could take her away from him and give her to a woman author. The creepiest thing about this book was how T.C. Moore was written at times, and if she could come to life and speak for herself, I’m guessing she would verbally rip Thomas a new one. Or maybe even literally do it. I get it. She’s a tough, badass bitch, in a field dominated by men. I. GET. IT. I have no issues with unlikable female characters (I want more of them!). I have no issues with crass female characters. But Moore was just so over the top she became unbelievable, which is really disappointing because if Thomas had just dialed it back a bit (and maybe not mentioned her breasts and underwear and how she has a “pagan ritual”–which I have other issues with–of writing naked) it would have been much better to read about her.

The second thing was the lack of explanation. I still have no clue what caused the things that happened in the book. We’re given some vague ideas, but nothing is really settled and actually explained. I guess that’s supposed to make it creepier, but it just irritates me. And then there were the vines. I won’t elaborate on that part.

None of the characters really stood out to me. It’s like they should have had more depth, but just didn’t. I honestly can barely even remember their names already, even though (as I’m typing this) I just finished the book a half hour ago. I think the idea for them was to make them almost like archetypes of big-name horror authors, without actually making them into those authors. But that didn’t quite work for me, in the end, and so I never really cared about any of them. I just wanted the book to end so I could move on.

I feel like this book should have been a better experience for me, but I spent almost all of it bored and/or skimming over all the repetitive bits so I could finally finish it. wanted to like it, but it was just…fine. Not really good, not horrible, just fine. I saw the ending coming from pretty much the beginning, and it was also just fine. Nothing new or surprising there.

Would I recommend it? Not really. But, if you love Stephen King, maybe Dean Koontz, and others like them, you might like this more than I did.

 

I received a free copy for review from Net Galley

T5W: Books For My Younger Self

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

September 12th: Books For My Younger Self
— This was recommended as a topic on twitter and I love it! Books that you wish your younger self would have read to learn a life lesson, get more self confidence, open your eyes to a new perspective, etc.

I almost didn’t do this one because there were so many books I could have picked (and my power and internet keep going out which complicated things).


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27 Hours by Tristina Wright– This one is the one book I would choose above all others to present to my younger self. Teenage me probably would have cried as much as adult me did to see us represented in a book.

 

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Basic Witches
by Jaya Saxena & Jess Zimmerman– This one is way less serious, but oh wow do I wish a book like this had been around for younger me. Maybe I would have figured some stuff out about myself and my beliefs sooner, instead of wasting so much time on things that had been pushed on me but never quite felt right.

 

All the Bright Places
All the Bright Places
by Jennifer Niven– I know this is one of those books that’s now criticized a lot, but my opinion hasn’t really changed. I wish teenage me had had this book. Finch has been one of the only characters with a mental illness that I’ve read about and related to. Teenage me probably would have felt a lot less crazy if I’d had this book back then.

 

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)
Vampire Academy 
by Richelle Mead– This one is just fun, nothing deep or serious about it and why I wish I’d read it when I was younger. I’ve always loved vampires, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to read this one because I didn’t have access to it when it was new, and by the time I did, Twilight was around and I just assumed the VA books were going to be similar to those :/ Oops.

 

When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon– This one also isn’t on the list for any huge reason, it was just super cute and fun. I’m not a big fan of a lot of contemporary books, especially the cuter ones, but I think if I’d encountered this book sooner, that would be different.

Fall Bookish Bingo Sign Up

I utterly failed with Summer, so I didn’t even both posting my card (I’m not sure I even got one space, honestly). And, with the reading slump bs, I considered not signing up for the fall round, but I just can’t stay away! I love Bookish Bingo (hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews), so I have to do it, even if I fail again.


 

Here’s the card for this round:


And here are some of the books I’m thinking of reading:

  • Made into a movie: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (I actually saw the movie first, years ago, and still haven’t read the book. Oops :/ )
  • Middle grade: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab (assuming I can get a copy)
  • One word title: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • History with a twist: The Terror by Dan Simmons
  • Witches: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
  • Black cover: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (I’m pretty sure my edition has a black cover, but if now, I have plenty of choices)
  • Space or stars: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  • Fall release: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab, OR A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs (if I can get one/both of them)
  • Purple cover: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  • Legend or myth: The Odyssey by Homer (I’ve been planning to re-read it for ages)
  • Pretty spine: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • Less than 300 pages: Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Anyone else participating this round?

If you  have any recs for the squares I didn’t list a book for (or even for the ones I did list a book for), please leave them in the comments!

The Wicked Deep– Review


Genres/Descriptors:
 YA; Fantasy/Paranormal

Why I read it: I had this on my list for months, anxiously awaiting release day.

Who I’d recommend it to: Ok, this book was promoted as a meeting of Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, and the Salem Witch Trials. If that sounds appealing to you, I say check it out.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (maybe 3.5 stars?)

 

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books a Million | Amazon | IndieBound


Goodreads Description:

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.


Review:

First, I just have to say how weird my acquisition of this book was. It was one of my most anticipated 2018 releases, but I’d forgotten when it was coming out. I was at a bookstore, saw it, squealed with delight, and bought it. It was only later (like, days later) that I realized I’d bought it within like 48 hours of its release. I almost never buy brand new release books. It’s like it was fate.

Anyway…

I read this in a day, and this has not been the best reading year for me (so. many. slumps.), so that’s saying something. I really enjoyed it, and thought it was a fun book, but there were a few things I didn’t love (which I’ll get to).

What I did like was the general concept. After reading it, I totally get the Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic comparison. It’s not a copy of either of those, but there are familiar elements (the three sisters, the small town thing, etc.) that reminded me of both.

The story just kind of floated along. The only way I can describe how I felt while reading it is “enchanted.” This book definitely had me under its spell, and I completely lost track of time while reading it. It’s a bit dark, spooky, and haunting without crossing over into horror, with a touch of mystery. Honestly, it read a lot like a fairytale.

It alternated between the present and the past in a way that didn’t bother me (I hate random time jumps, but this one wasn’t like that at all) and let the story unfold gradually, giving you little pieces of past and present until the end when the whole picture was revealed.

I kind of suspected a few of the twists really early in the book that turned out to be right, but I was still a little surprised by how everything eventually played out. All in all, I was pretty satisfied with the mystery aspect of the story.  

The setting for this (Sparrow) was one of my favorite parts of this book. Shea Ernshaw did such a good job creating an atmospheric place that seemed to exist just a little outside the rest of the world. 

This is kind of a spoiler, but not really, so I’m just going to say it: insta-love. I generally hate it, and I didn’t love it in this book, but I was able to just kind of roll with it. By the end of the book, I had really mixed feelings about it, but I won’t go into that because that would definitely be spoilery.

One of my biggest complaints is probably the characters. I like really getting to know the characters in a book, and I didn’t really get that with this book. Some were better developed than others, but I wanted to know more about pretty much everyone.

I can’t talk about the thing that I disliked the most about this book without giving away a lot of stuff, but (while I’d guessed it early on) some things towards the end were not my favorite.

Still, I really enjoyed this book, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more books by Ernshaw in the future, because I loved her writing.


Have you read it? What did you think?

T5W: Tropes I usually hate, done right

I almost didn’t do this one because a) I was having a really hard time coming up with more than 2, and b) I’m sick and have felt like garbage all day. But I finally feel semi-human again, and I tried.


T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

August 8: Books You Liked with Tropes You Usually Hate
–Pick some of your most hated tropes and discuss books (or other media) that actually handled that trope well

I’m not sure if these actually count/work, but my brain is still kind of going “uuuuuggggghhhh” from being sick, so I apologize if they don’t all work.

In no particular order…


Friends Who Are Secretly in Love

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee– I mean really. I usually end up rolling my eyes sooo hard at this trope (and I did a few times while reading GG, because I wanted to shake Monty and Percy), but I kind of loved it in this one. When I wasn’t ready to cry or scream, that is 😛

 

 

Insta-Love


 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor– I think this is the only book I’ve ever read with insta-love that I liked. 

 

 

 

Girl Changes Her Life After Meeting a Guy



A Darker Shade of Magic
by V.E. Schwab–
I won’t go into details about this one, but I think this counts? It was just done in a way that’s really different from most cases of this trope happening.

 

 

 

Tragic Background = Asshole Character



Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo–
All I’m going to say is “Kaz Brekker.” 

 

 

 

Strong Female Character

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff– Usually, the #StrongFemaleCharacter is a girl who’s into things that aren’t “traditionally girly,” which…Hanna kind of is. She is a badass, but she’s also the kind of badass I wouldn’t want to cross, whether she’s wearing training gear or fancy clothes.