The Ex Hex

I like how my job is the only one with any real threat of danger,” Gwyn said, but off Vivi’s look, she lifted her hands in defeat. “Okay, okay, Operation Soothe the Muggles, I’m on it.”

Nine years ago, Vivi Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would do. Bubble baths, crying, vodka, weepy music, and a curse on the terrible boyfriend and while Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way but with only an orchard hayride scented candle on hand, she isn’t too worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day. That is until Rhys Pennhallow, descendant of the town’s ancestors breaker of hearts, and just annoyingly gorgeous as he was always was returns to Groves Glen, Georgia. But when strange things begin happening whenever Rhys is around, Vivi realizes that her ex-hex may not have been so harmless at all.

This book was so much fun!!! I absolutely loved every minute of it. I had originally picked this for a readathon I’m in and wasn’t going to read until closer to the end of the month but changed my mind when another friend started reading it. It really reminds me of Bewitched and I think that’s part of the reason why I loved it so much. Bewitched was one of my favorite shows when I was little. But, Rhys and Vivi were my favorite part of the book. I really enjoyed the dynamics within their relationship and growth throughout the book. The aftermath of the break up was handled well with exploring the different emotions that both Rhys and Vivi were experiencing especially with being reunited with each other after nine years. Vivi and Rhys were very fun and interesting characters and I like how different yet similar they were.

Overall, this was a super fun and entertaining read with a strong plot and interesting characters so check it out!

Halloween Fiend

“But no matter where I ran to or how loud I played the music, I could still hear a low chuckling coming from the thing on our front step.”

The town of Sering isn’t as quiet and quiant town as people think it is as every it’s haunted every night by creature that the town ironically refers to as Halloween. Once the sun sets each day, Halloween comes to collect it’s prize: a small live offering from each house and the residents don’t want to take any chances and find themselves facing Halloween’s wrath. But, the nightmare of residing in Strang is nothing compared to the yearly ritual Halloween demands of the residents on All Hallows Eve.

This is the first novel that I’ve read by C.V. Hunt and I have to say it was pretty good, I wished it was a little longer but other than that the book was pretty great. The book is fun and Hunt is able to captivate the readers with creating an atmosphere that oozes desperation while writing tersely and had you hooked from the first page. One of the biggest things that I loved about the book was imagining Halloween as a menace to society cause that is such an interesting and unique way to look at it. With some Halloween books, they can be quite predictable of how things are gonna go but that wasn’t the case here. Hunt does a really good job of fleshing out the plot in a way that isn’t predictable or overdone. But, this was an entertaining, spooky, and fun tale so check it out if you want!

middle Grade ROund Up: Halloween

So, since I have read quite few middle grade Halloween books I’m reading this month I decided to group them together in one post cause the reviews won’t be that long. I’ll be doing three in a post each week and that should be good enough! They’re cute books and I do this every year cause it’s fun to go back to childhood with spooky reads and some of them have actually been quite good.

The story follows Luke and Lizzy Morris and their family as they arrive at Horrorland where terror becomes a reality at every turn. But, Luke and Lizzy don’t believe the rumors and think it’s just to entice people to visit the park. But when mysterious things began to happen, Luke and Lizzy find themselves coming face to face with the frightening realization that the rumors are true.

It’s been so long since I’ve read goosebumps so when I was planning my TBR for this month’s readathon, I wanted to see about revisiting these books. When I was young I was so into Goosebumps and Fear Street, I read them any chance I could so this was a fun trip down memory lane. It did make me laugh thinking about things that occurred in this book and how my younger self was so shocked with what I had read. But, it was still a fun read.

Claire has absolutely zero interest in the paranormal. She’s a scientist and she can’t think of anything worse than helping her dad on one of his Chicago themed ghost bus tours. She thinks she’s safe when she sees a young boy with sad face and dark eyes sitting in the back of the bus. But there’s something off with his presence and at the end of the bus tour, she can’t find him. She shrugs it off at first but when strange things start happening to her, she’s beginning to wonder if she’s being haunted. She needs to figure out what’s going on before it’s too late.

This is a fantastic middle grade story that blends Chicago history with spooky mystery and a fantastic friendship. Claire hasn’t had the best 7th grade as her dad’s ghost bus tour business has been embarrassing, the new girl is swooping in to steal her best friend, and she feels trapped. Even though I’m a lot older, I could feel Claire’s pain especially with losing a best friend to someone else. That’s never fun and I did find her a fun and unique character in addition the other characters and even with her dad. This is a really cute, spooky, and heartwarming tale that is bound to entertain readers of all ages.

This story follows, eleven year old Ollie who is trying to cope with a tragic loss and finds that books are her only solace. One of the books that Ollie finds is a mysterious and chilling tale that follows Beth and her two brothers who loved her and a peculiar deal they made with a sinister slender man who grants your timely wish for the ultimate price. Things get even more mysterious on a school trip where Ollie sees the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. On the way home, the bus breaks down and Ollie and two classmates heed the bus drivers warning to be careful and not venture into the woods.

This was actually a chilling and spooky tale which I give a lot of credit to Katherine Arden for. I would literally read anything she wrote cause her writing is so beautiful and captivating. This is debut middle grade novel and it was fantastic.This is a great introduction for middle grade readers who are looking for a spooky yet fun tale as it has everything you could want. Check it out if you want!

SteelStriker By Marie Lu

“You live life, certain it will always stay this way, until it doesn’t.”

As a striker, Talin was taught loyalty is life. Loyalty to the shield who watch your back and to the strikers that risk their lives on the battlefield, and most of all to Mara, which was once the last nation free from the Karensa Federation’s tyranny. But, Mara has fallen and it’s destruction has unleashed Talin’s worst nightmare as her friends scattered from combat and her mother has been taken hostage by the premier. Talin does the unthinkable in order to save her friends, family, and her adopted home as she betrays them to become the federation’s most deadly war machine as their newest Skyhunter. A stranger in enemy land, Talin finds herself becoming friends with Red, who knows the cruelty firsthand done by federation but he knows that this isn’t over for Mara or Talin. The link between them may be weak but it might be the only way for them to salvage their past and safeguard their future.

Well, Marie Lu did it again. I’ve been waiting for this book to come out ever since I read the first book with was a rollercoaster journey of emotions and she didn’t dissappoint with the follow up. As it was delightful, fun, emotional, and gripping until the end and I was hoping it would be because I loved the first book. There’s so much that I love about this one but what really stands out to me are the characters and the writing. The characters felt so real, raw, and alive with emotion that you could really feel what they were going through and they were all interesting and unique in their own way. I love how Marie crafts her characters and she spends a lot of time with developing them and it shows in the writing and how they are described. I really love seeing Talin and Red’s perspectives and I found their relationship interesting and real and the dynamics between them throughout the book was great.

Marie really knows how to write really great antagonists as Premier Constantine wasn’t all bad. He had a story and through Talin’s perspective it really shows that he’s human which I loved because it’s interesting to have characters like that. I like that she really does flesh them out and make them complicated because when it’s just one sided, it’s not that interesting. The side characters were just as interesting and complicated as the main characters and that’s always something that I’ve loved with her writing as she really spends time and effort making her characters complicated yet so real with emotion.

I think this was a fantastic conclusion to the series. As much as I’d love to see more, I would prefer if she didn’t write a follow up as I felt everything got wrapped up really well. So if you’re a sci-fi, adventure or fantasy fan, I think you would like this!

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Deja, I don’t want October to be over. Because October means you.”

This was a pretty fun and easy read. I’ve read a few of Rowell’s books and enjoyed them so I decided to check read this for my TBR. The story follows, Deja and Joshia who are seasonable best friends as every autumn throughout high school, they work together at the same pumpkin patch. But this time, it will be different as this is their last year working together before they graduate high school and go their separate ways. The two had different ideas for how their last shift should end but both believe that it should end with an adventure.

The characters especially Deja were fun, interesting, and relatable and I loved the relationship between Deja and Joshia as it felt real. The plot was cute and the ending was super cute and I liked how things developed throughout the story. I found the romance pretty cute and believable and I’m glad that it wasn’t rushed. Super cute and fun story so if you’re looking for a short and easy read, this is for you!

Hollow Heathens

“I fell in love anyway, and they would all laugh. They could not see her beauty. No one would believe me if I said the moon breathed life into me, that it was here, inside her, where I found myself again.”

This is the story of a young girl named Fallon who was taken away from the home she knew shortly after she was born. A home that she barely knew and a home full of strange traditions and bizarre superstitions that she would return to twenty four years later. A town that she’d heard about during restless nights under a marble moon to take care of a last living relative. In that same town was a boy named Julian, who was born centuries ago and it was one of the four Hollow Heathens, very dark creatures who put fear in the town’s people and cause them to live in fear. Fallon and Julian were told to stay away from each other but there is a gravitational pull that can’t keep them apart.

Well this was quite the treat. As usual, I’m trash for fantasy and this has actually been a good month for me fantasy wise as last month wasn’t so great. But, this was pretty great and I’m excited for the next book as the premise is close to other books that I’ve read but I’m trash for fantasy so I loved all of it. The characters were interesting and complex and I did enjoy that the sex scenes very well written because sometimes with fantasy it’s either too much or not enough. Julian and Fallon had great chemistry and I did love their banter with each other and it felt like the relationship developed normally instead of being too rushed or not enough. But that writing is what I really loved as it was very beautifully written and there were times where I actually felt like I was in the story. I’m a sucker for world building so I can’t say I’m surprised with myself with choosing the writing as the best part of the book. But, it was beautifully written world-building and I feel as though it really helps drive the story because when it’s poor world-building, it can make it difficult to follow. But if you’re looking for an adult fantasy novel that brings in the paranormal, monsters, witches etc., then this is it for you.

NightBOOKS by J.A. White

“And now I realize—so what if I write scary stories? I might hurt someone with nouns and adjectives, but I would never hurt someone for real.”

While Alex’s hair raising stories are enough to keep Natacha, the witch who has imprisoned him. Alex has been imprisoned by Natacha and must tell her scary tell every night in order to survive. He needs to come up with a plan that will get out of Natacha’s clutches but time is running and he knows that if he doesn’t come up with a plan soon, he will be facing a more dangerous fate than he thought.

This was actually a very entertaining, suspenseful, and I highly enjoyed the plot twists throughout the book. I’m currently participating in a readathon so I decided to look through and find some middle grade halloween books and this was one of the books that seemed interesting to me. This might be written for Middle Grade but it really didn’t feel that way as I was hooked from beginning to end. Even though Alex is very young, it’s hard not to like him and feel for him in the situation. He was a very interesting protagonist and his vivid imagination and love for Horror made me like him even more. I felt like all the characters were likable in some way so that really helped and I didn’t feel bored for a minute. The way things developed throughout the story kept me on pins and needles if he was going to make it out of their alive. This book is a real treat so if you like ghost stories and are fans of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Coraline then this book is for you!

The Saturday Night Ghost CLub

“Reality never changes. Only our recollections of it do. Whenever a moment passes, we pass along with it into the realm of memory. And in that realm, geometries change. Contours shift, shades lighten, objectivities dissolve. Memory becomes what we need it to be.”

Growing up in Niagara Falls in the 80’s, a seedy but magical haunted place where Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, an eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts. The summer that Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of new siblings in town and so Calvin decides to innate them into The Saturday Night Ghost Club. But as the summer goes on, what started out as a seemingly lighthearted project may ultimately uncover more than it’s members imagined.

What a cute and heartwarming read from beginning to end!! I really enjoyed this book, found it super cute and enjoyable and felt like the stories were perfect. I wasn’t anticipating enjoying it so much but I literally couldn’t put it down, it was fun and super easy to get through. The writing was probably my favorite aspect of the book as it was beautifully written and captivating. The plot was fun and reminded me of Scooby Doo as the kids in the town investigate mysterious happenings in the town and get in trouble along the way. Secondly, the characters are lovable and I really enjoyed the relationship between Jake and his uncle Calvin. They’re very close and you could feel that with the way the dialogue was written and everyone wants a cool uncle who’s into ghost stories, urban legends, and who also owns an oddities store where you can find so many interesting things. But, if you’re thinking that this is a horror book, you’ll be a little disappointed as it’s very light on the horror but still is very entertaining.

Overall, a very fun and easy read with a heartwarming message.

October TBR

Wow! I can’t believe October is here, this is my favorite month so I am super excited for it! I have some good reads for this month and I can’t wait to share them with you.

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
Genre: Adult

Halloween Fiend by C.V. Hunt
Genre: Novella

Lady Killer by Joelle Jones & Jamie Rich
Genre: Fiction

Mina and The Undead by Amy McCaw
Genre: Horror

Nightbooks by J.A. White
Genre: Horror

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: LGBT

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
Genre: Thriller

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
Genre: Middle Grade

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
Genre: Horror

Steelstriker by Marie Lu
Genre: Sci-Fi

The Witch’s Hand by Nathan Page & Drew Shannon
Genre: Graphic Novels