Spookathon TBR

Hi Geeks & Ghouls! I hope you are all having a wonderful October and getting all your spooky, eerie Halloweenie vibes in; I know I am! Today I wanted to go over my TBR for Spookathon. For those of you who do not know what Spookathon is, it is 1-week readathon, hosted by Kayla @Booksandlala, as well as Peter from @Peterlikesbooks and Shannon @Bookerly – you can find all of their channels on BookTube (aka YouTube), so go check them out! The dates for this year are October 15th to October 21st, there are five challenges and one group book. Click the link to the right to see Kayla’s announcement video >>> Spookathon Announcement >>> Without further ado, let’s get into the challenges, and hence, my overly ambitious TBR:

  1. Read a Thriller: For this I am choosing, Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage. This is an Adult Thriller that was released in July and I believe it revolves around a woman who thinks her young daughter is possessed. Who doesn’t love a story with a creepy kid in it, am I right? I really don’t want to know too much about this going in but I have heard some pretty good feedback on it. I have the hardcover of this which is 304 pages.
  2. Read a Book with Purple on the Cover: For this I am going to use the group book which is, Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft, edited by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe. This is a new YA anthology that includes stories from 15 different YA authors where the heroines are witchy in some way. It is diverse and involves a number of different sub-genres like historical fiction, scifi, contemporary, etc. This sounds really fun but it’s a chunker. I have the hardcover of this and it comes in at a whopping 405 pages.
  3. Read a Book Not Set in Our Time Period: For this I am finally getting to a book that has been on my ‘to be read’ list since 2016 and that is, Stalking Jack the Ripper, by Kerri Maniscalco. This is the first book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. There are currently three books out in the series and I have all three so really would like to start this. This is a historical fiction YA story that follows a girl named, Audrey, who wants to study forensic medicine and I guess is apparently going to try to solve the Jack the Ripper case? I don’t know if that last bit is true or not but makes sense based on the title, I would say. I love forensic science and the Jack the Ripper case is one that I have had interest in for a number of years so this seems like it would be right up my alley. This is part of the James Patterson Imprint and will be my first book to read of their releases. I have the hardcover of this as well which comes in at 326 pages.
  4. Read a Book with a Spooky Word in the Title: For this I have chosen, The Wicked Deep, by Shea Ernshaw. I bought this book when it was released in March and have been specifically saving it for this month. This is about a small town called, Sparrow, that is cursed since two centuries before they hanged three sisters for witchcraft. Apparently every summer these sisters return and lure boys of the town into the local harbor where they ultimately drown. You would think these parents would keep their boys locked up in summer but anyway, regardless of absentee parenting, I am really excited to FINALLY be getting to this. This gives me strong Hocus Pocus vibes and I live for that! I have the hardcover version for this book, which also happens to be my favorite book cover of the year, and it comes in at 308 pages.
  5. Read a Book with Pictures: For this I decided to go with a graphic novel because I should be able to read it in one sitting and I have a lot of pages to get through already. The graphic novel I chose is, Locke & Key, Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodrigues. I love the artwork in this. I have had it for a while and I think October is the perfect time to get to it. This takes place in the fictional town of Lovecraft, Massachusetts and involves a haunted mansion of some sort which I am all about. This one is 168 pages long.

So, that is it! That is my official Spookathon TBR. Will I actually get to and finish all of these books in a week? Probably not but I am always up for a challenge. Also, I am a major mood reader so the books on this may ultimately get swapped out. I am hoping I can find at least one of these on audiobook, that would certainly help, as I always listen to audiobooks when walking my dog (which I do a lot) and commuting. My current page count for this would be 1,511 pages for the week, so 215 pages a day approximately. That’s heavy. I probably read on average 100-150 pages a day so this would be a big, big push. We’ll see!

Leave me a comment below if you are planning to participate in Spookathon. What is on your TBR for the month? Have you read any of these books, do you want to read any of these books? I want to know! You can comment here or contact me through any of my ‘contact me’ links to the right!

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Publication Date: August 20, 2013

4.5 STARS!!!

Okay, it’s best if I get this out of the way immediately: this book is a total mindf*ck. There, I said it. I know that may be an uncomfortable proclamation for some but there it is. This is the best way for me to describe this book.
It is really good…like, really, really good. So creative, dark, gripping, it wraps you up in this world of Cordova and has you second guessing even yourself. Who is Cordova? In this story Cordova is an uber-famous film director; mysterious and untouchable – he is the shadow that looms over this entire book.

Our protagonist, Scott McGrath, is a fallen from grace investigative reporter who becomes fixated on investigating the apparent suicide of Cordova’s daughter Ashley. Through the course of his investigation he becomes involved with two young people, Nora and Hopper, who aide him in his investigation. The story incorporates mixed media sources such as past magazine interviews and articles, online forum posts, etc., which makes you feel as though you too are part of the investigation.

The entire book blends the line between fantasy and reality and the idea of what your mind can come to accept as truth even without definitive proof. I don’t even know if I am making sense right now but this book will do that to you!

I listened to this book on audio and the narrator was absolutely perfect. His voice was Scott McGrath. The dialogue was so smart, I laughed out loud, I exclaimed curses when really scary stuff went down – I must have looked mad driving my car down the highway. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a dark story steeped in occultism and mystery. My rating of 4.5 versus 5-stars is because the ending didn’t quite work for me. I don’t want to say I was disappointed with the ending, I just wish certain elements of it had gone differently. Overall, this is a fabulous examination of the human psyche and a sick, spooky read!

 

Review: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Happy Saturday bookish loves!  Today I finally feel ready to discuss NOS4A2. I finished NOS4A2, by Joe Hill, almost a week ago and still do not think that I have a truly cogent way of explaining my love for this book. However, one of my 2018 book goals is to review every book I finish so here we go….
This book was so unique, so dark and amusing, so full of references to King works, so replete with character and world development, I find myself still pondering it days after completion. Halfway through I ordered a copy for my sister and had it sent to her because I just needed to share this with someone. This book tests the line between the world around us and the world we create with our minds.
Our villain, Charles Talent Manx (the III, I believe), is a vampire of sorts and so devilishly charming that he almost fooled me into developing a soft spot for him. He was all kinds of evil and powerful and wonderfully creative.
Next comes Victoria McQueen – Vic is our heroine. She was powerful in her own right – using her powers to ‘find’ things that had been lost – losing a little of herself every time she used her gift. The loving, yet apprehensive mother of Bruce Wayne Carmody, Vic’s strength (both mental and physical) are pushed to the limits numerous times during the story, all on account of Manx. Unfortunately, her little Wayne feels the pull of Christmasland and we watch his soul go on one hell of a dangerous ride!
Then we have our minor characters, who were so well drawn and complete – my favorites, Maggie & Lou, were so important to this story and in my opinion, two of the most likable people in the action. Both misfits, they were real, engaging, loyal and brave.
This book is long, really long, but worth the ride if you put in the time. I may read it again next year around Christmas – making it a sort of tradition. After all, once you go to Christmasland, you never want to leave!

Review: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill is another one of my 5-star reads from this year.  I finished up with this one in September and was once again blown away by Hill’s talent. I had previously read his novel, Horns, which has since been turned into a movie starring Harry Potter…..I mean, Daniel Radcliffe. For those of you who have never heard of Hill, he is the richly talented son of my favorite writer, Stephen King. Is writing genetic? Possibly.

In this one, we meet Judas Coyne, an aging rock star who has a penchant for younger women and collecting obscure, macabre items. This odd hobby (the item collection, not the younger women) brings him to buy a dead man’s suit and thus it begins – a gritty ghost story that grabs you from the very first chapter. I could not put this one down once I started. Joe Hill is such a fantastic writer – he writes with such persuasion and conviction that you find yourself believing what the narrator is telling you, no matter how dark. You can dive right into this one and never look up if you allow yourself. This was so creative and fast-paced and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute!

As a side note, I am currently reading Hill’s novel, NOS4A2 (which is a wonderful Christmas time read), and it is proving to be my favorite of his works thus far!!  If you like dark, you have to read Hill!

Mr. Mercedes – Where it all begins….

No doubt if you follow me on Instagram you are aware that The Bill Hodges Trilogy by Stephen King holds a very special place in my heart.  As I have never reviewed the books here on my blog, I figured I would start at the beginning with a quick review for Mr. Mercedes.

The first book of the Bill Hodges Trilogy, Mr. Mercedes, is a fast-paced crime thriller with the most dangerous villain I have read in a while. Brady Hartsfield is smart, deranged and so easy to hate. Along with his truly vile mother, Deborah, these two will leave your stomach churning. Brady is so creative in his wickedness it isn’t surprising it takes three books to tell his tale.

This book sets up the rest of the trilogy well and does a splendid job introducing us to our humble hero, Retired Detective Kermit William ‘Bill’ Hodges, who along with his neighborhood friend, teenager Jerome Robinson, work diligently to nab the ‘Mr. Mercedes’ killer. Closer to the end, we are introduced to Holly Gibney, the emotionally damaged cousin of Bill’s short-term girlfriend, Janey. Holly, throughout the course of the series, turns into one of my favorite characters – loyal, intelligent and snarky, Holly often provides a bit of humor and insight into the stressful, violence filled storylines. Jerome, as well, is quite humorous and him and Holly’s personalities play off each other quite well. Although different from the vast majority of King’s works, I am so in love with this trilogy that I rave about it often. The books are tied together in such an odd, yet seamless way, that it is nothing short of brilliant. King definitely knocked this one out of the park – the series gets better and better and is one-hell of a thrilling ride!

Review: The Wicked by James Newman

The Wicked. Oh how I love you! (I mean, look at this cover!) I finished this book yesterday and enjoyed it so much.  It is like nothing I have read in a very long time.

I received this book through my Nocturnal Readers Box subscription and I am so glad they included this. This book is true horror – the entire book teemed with the classic feels of 1980s horror. I grew up loving all things horror – watching movies like The Gate, Fright Night and Halloween over and over again, in addition to reading anything in the genre I could get my hands on.

In this one we have the classic tale of evil taking over and almost completely annihilating a small town- the pace of this book is very fast moving and the imagery is solid and disturbing.  Some of the deaths scenes….damn, that Moloch is harsh!  In the beginning I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the main characters, as they are very different from myself, but I did grow attached to them and ultimately was really rooting for them to survive the bloodbath. My favorite character was this older gentleman named George who was really just a smart-ole’ battleax (these types of characters always tended to be my favorites in old horror movies as well). They provide a bit of humor and a sense of comfort, being older, and that they always know how to tackle a situation.

If you are looking for a true horror read, I would definitely recommend you check out this book, you will not be disappointed! *One aside, there are some strong sexual elements in the story so if you are a more ‘sensitive’ reader to that type of situation, you may wish to steer clear.