Month: October 2019

October 2019 Wrap Up

Happy end of October!!

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful month! I know October was a busy but enjoyable month for me! October is also one of my most favourite months of the year. I love the start of fall, spooky Halloween things, and cozy sweaters 🙂

This month was a bit of a struggle for me to get reading done. It felt like I was always busy and didn’t have as much free time. However, I still managed to get through a few books so that’s all I can ask for.

My October Reads

Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The House Without A Key – Marin Montgomery

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Case For Jamie – Brittany Cavallaro

Review to come 🙂

October Book Reviews

The Last Of August – Brittany Cavallaro

Rebel – Amy Tintera

Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

The Traitor And The Tunnel – Y.S. Lee

The House Without A Key – Marin Montgomery

My Most Popular Posts

Monthly Picks: October 2019

10 Spooky Books For Halloween

My Favourite Bookish Posts For October

Favourite Autumnal Book Covers by Holly Reads A Lot

I love a good book cover and especially with a theme!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Give Different Ratings To by The Bibliophagist

I thought this was a fun idea!

Book Recommendations For The Practical Witch by Two Book Thieves

I cant get enough of witches, especially during the month of October! I love how it kept the witchy theme going by posting about non-fictional witches!!

The Grace Year review by Bionic Book Worm

I have been wanting to read this book for awhile and I am always reading reviews on it. I loved her review, it was so well written!

Spooktacular Reads by Book Lover Jo

I thought this was such a fun post! It is a post about children’s books for Halloween and they are super cute

Well that is all folks! See ya October, hello November 🙂

I want to know everyone’s fav part of October!! What went well for you? What were your favourite books of the month?

As always, thanks for stopping by and being a part of my bookish life 🥰

Review: The House Without A Key – Marin Montgomery

Hello everyone 🙂

I am SO excited to share my review of this book with you all. A few reasons why! First off, this is my first ever ARC that I received from an author!!! I feel like I just made a large step in my bookish blogging life. I am hoping to get more and I’m looking forward to what comes next. Second, this book was awesome and I loved it. I feel like I could write so passionately about this one. It made me feel a lot of feels haha. So here we go……


Synopsis

When 17-year-old Maddy Pruitt vanishes from her sleepy town, word on the street is that she ran away. The daughter of an abusive alcoholic with a quick temper, she had every reason to leave in search of something better, and everyone who knew Maddy knew the type of company she kept wasn’t always ideal.

But when a second 17-year-old girl from a local, affluent family turns up missing shortly after Maddy’s disappearance, the circumstances become suspicious. Even though the girls are perfect strangers from opposite sides of town, attended separate schools, and traveled in different social circles, it turns out they have more in common than anyone could have imagined.
With the clock ticking, those closest to the girls lead a frantic search, uncovering secrets, lies, and a web of deceit that might have the girls paying an ultimate price…if they don’t find them in time.

My Thoughts

Wow this story took me on such a crazy wild ride! I was overall very impressed!

This story is about two girls (Madeline & Allegra) who seemingly have nothing in common and zero ties to each other. They get kidnapped and taken to a house where they live with other girls who are apart of a sex trafficking ring. This is obviously horrible and made my stomach turn at times just thinking about these poor young ladies (and also the girls it really happens to everyday).

It bothered me how long it took the parents to do something about their missing kids!!! Brian, Madeline’s father, didn’t care about her on a good day… after she goes missing he is a mix of annoyed that the police are bugging him and maybe worried? I couldn’t tell at first. Allegra’s mother is worried sick when she doesn’t come home which is good, seems like a normal mom (however she takes awhile to contact anyone about it). Meanwhile, her rich daddy just doesn’t care or show any interest in helping find her.

Aside from the parents annoying me throughout the story (Allegra’s parents seemed more worried about what the press would say about their family than their daughter being missing…..) – I was taken on this rollercoaster of twists and turns. I was trying to come up with my own theories about who was the bad guy and who was involved and then each time my theory was wrong! Towards the end everything unravels and WOW I loved it!!!

My favourite character in the whole book was Detective Devon Delaney! He was just the perfect character for me. He was smart, witty, caring. He was also like the only rational adult in the book and seemed to be the only one who really cared that the girls were missing! He was rough around the edges at times and appeared to be a good cop. I also liked that he wasn’t perfect. His emotions got the best of him, his past was messy and came back to get him but he was able to get through it!

I have to admit – I was a little nervous about this book at first. I tend to stay away from books about ‘real life’ things. One of my fears in life is being abducted or tortured or any of the horrible things that happen to kidnapped girls and women! The author did a good job of detailing what was happening to the girls but also was not SO detailed that it made me uncomfortable. I felt a sadness for them and at points I was like “shit, this happens to people” but at no point did I need to stop reading!

This was so well written! I loved that each chapter just pulled me in even more. I could not stop reading! The character changes throughout kept the story so entertaining and I loved knowing what the different characters were thinking! The plot twists and the detective work and secrets were amazing and always kept me on my toes and wondering what could happen next! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries/thrillers!

** I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Witchy Books That Will Cast A Spell On You

Hey there Witches and Warlocks!

I know during Halloween time I am all about spooky things. Witches are seen as spooky and scary but I find them interesting and I love stories based around witches! Check out my list of witchy books 🙂

Blood Magic – Tessa Gratton

It starts off simply. Draw a circle… place a dead leaf in the center… sprinkle some salt… recite a little Latin… add a drop of blood…

Maybe that last part isn’t exactly simple. Yet somehow it feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotely right since her parents’ horrific deaths. She’s willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family—even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep … and spill some blood. The book isn’t the only recent arrival in Silla’s life. There’s Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She’s not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together, Silla realizes this may not be Nick’s first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick can’t deny their attraction. And they can’t ignore the dark presence lurking nearby—waiting to reclaim the book and all its power.


Toil And Trouble – edited by Tess Sharpe & Jessica Spotswood

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth. History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.

Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.

A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.


The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.


The Wicked Deep – Shea Ernshaw

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.


How To Hang A Witch – Adriana Mather

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.


Undead Girl Gang – Lily Anderson

Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.


Hex Hall – Rachel Hawkins

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.


Do you love witches at this time of year? Ive always found the idea of witches interesting and have always been into reading about Salem and the witch trials! I love a good YA book about witches.

Have you read any of these? Do you know any other books with witches in them?Let me know in the comments 🙂

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Book Review: The Traitor And The Tunnel – Y.S. Lee

Hello everyone 🙂

Here is my review on The Traitor And The Tunnel!


Synopsis

Queen Victoria has a problem: there’s a thief at work in Buckingham Palace. The Agency – the secret all-female detective unit – assigns quick-witted Mary Quinn to the case. Posing as a palace maid and fending off the attentions of the Prince of Wales are challenging enough, but when the prince witnesses a murder, Mary’s case becomes anything but petty.

Engineer and former flame James Easton has an assignment in the sewers, where someone is making illicit use of the tunnels. Mary will need James’s help if she’s going catch a thief, solve a murder – and avert disaster.

My Thoughts

As usual, Mary is just a strong, smart, and witty character! Out of the whole Agency series, I think this is my favorite mystery!!

Mary takes a bit of a turn this book. I found that she grew a lot and I feel like we get a really good look at her past. She has to work past some of her history and it really made me respect her a lot.

One of my fav parts of this book was James. He is back again in this book. He is just amazing in this one! I love the relationship development that happens throughout the story. The romance is just crazy in this book, so much more than the first two!! I LOVED IT. James and Mary are perfect together in my opinion. I felt that they matched well based on the first books but after this one…. I’m sure of it! I won’t give much more detail than that… just read the book; my descriptions won’t do it justice haha.

Lee did a great job again with the setting of the book. Once again we are in Victorian era England. This time Mary finds herself on a mission and is undercover in the Buckingham Palace! I was so excited to read this one. The details were so good! Readers got a great idea of where Mary was and could picture it in their heads, but also there was a tad of mystery. There were pieces that were left a little vague but then we find out about them later! As usual, Lee gives the perfect amount of information.

The action in this story was done well. My heart was racing towards the end. It felt like Mary was racing against the clock. Also, with James being involved in the action parts I felt this feeling of dread that something would happen to one of them. With the romance being so high in this one I was just crossing my fingers that they would both be okay! There were some twists and turns in there too. I thought I knew for sure who the bad guy was. About half way through I was like “yup I know this one!” and then I found out I was completely wrong. I like books that have plot twists and hidden character information! It really makes the story more entertaining.

Overall, I loved the book! It was easy to follow and I couldn’t put it down. I found it to be entertaining, cute, funny, and exciting. I loved the action and the romance. It was a great addition to the series. I’m still a huge fan of the Victorian setting and this particular book got me with the Buckingham Palace. I’m a fan of the Queen and in this story the Queen was a badass! I would definitely recommend this book!

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

WWW Wednesday – 10/23/2019

Hello my bookish friends!

Today is Wednesday which means its time for WWW Wednesday! I find that I dont read fast enough to participate every week or else it would be the same thing like multiple times a month LOL. So I try to do it once or twice a month depending on how much reading Ive done! This month Ive been slacking for sure. With moving, starting a new job, and just being so tired… I havent been on my A game at all. BUT I have just finished a book and started a new one so I figured I could post this week 🙂

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of WordsIt’s open to everyone to participate! Why not join in and let me know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m Currently Reading

The Case For Jamie – Brittany Cavallaro

I am finally on the 3rd book of the Charlotte Holmes series! I just found out there is a 4th book!!!! I am stoked about this because I am LOVING this series so much. Can’t get enough.

What I Recently Finished Reading

Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

Just finished this book! Check out my review 🙂

What I’ll Read Next

I am stuck between a few books right now! I haven’t totally decided but here are the books I am thinking about!

That’s all for today!! Help me pick my next book – have you read any of the books? Which one would you pick?

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Book Review: Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

Hey everyone 🙂

I just finished Station Eleven! I’m not sure if anyone here has read that one but I am happy I got through it and I’m here to share my review!! Check it out!


Synopsis

Set in the days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

My Thoughts

I have mixed feelings about this book…. on one hand I enjoyed it and really felt connected to the characters and the story. But on the other hand, it took me probably 60 pages to get into and even then there was a couple times I wanted to give up.

I honestly loved the story line. The idea of a flu that just wipes out 99% of the world population that then creates complete devastation and restarts civilization and society as we know it… just sends it back to the “dark ages” really. It made me think “wow what if that happened…” it really isn’t far fetched. I couldn’t even imagine!!

My heart was hurting for the characters that lost loved ones in the flu or who didn’t even know what happened to their significant others, siblings, parents, etc. It made me sad because in parts of the world, that is normal.. whether is a flu or war.. I just couldn’t go on if I didn’t know where my family was or if id ever see them again! That part of the story was very well written and wow did it ever make me sad at times haha.

There were parts of the story though that just made me sigh and I was so bored. Some descriptions were way too long. I felt that the jumping back and forth from character to character was too much for me. I was often confused about what character was being talked about or I was forgetting details from a prior chapter about the character. However, I have to say that while it was confusing, the characters perspectives were well written. I could feel what they were feeling. I felt like I was inside their head. One character, Miranda, I especially enjoyed. She reminded me of me in a way, I found I most enjoyed her chapters.

Towards the end I started to love the different chapters and felt the ending really wrapped everything up. I felt this warm fuzzy feeling inside when the book was over. It was amazing how each character grew and I liked how in the end you realize why the story was bouncing around from each character. There was a purpose of following all of these “random” people all along!

So, overall I liked it and the story was great and realistic in a lot of ways which I liked. However, it took me a bit to get into and I was unsure about it for like half the book.

My Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Author Mention – Oct 2019

Hi everyone 🙂

This month is flying by so fast!! I cant believe that its already half way through the month. I feel like if I blink it will suddenly be Christmas lol. Anyways, as usual, I hope you are all doing well. I know that everyone is busy and probably tired and now that the weather is getting pretty cold and gross, it can take a toll on you! So, please remember to take care of yourselves and do what makes you happy 🙂

I am doing another author mention this month! I decided I will do an author mention each month! That way I can look into some authors and books and make a decision of who I want to spotlight for the month! If you want to join in and spotlight some authors as well – make sure to tag me in your posts because I would LOVE to see who you pick 🙂

Octobers Author Mention is……… Ruth Ware!


Ruth Ware – I only recently discovered her… I know, I know, I’m very late to the game. I read her books “The Turn of the Key” and loved it! I started looking up her other books and realized that they look amazing as well. She has great reviews and overall everyone who I’ve talked to about her loves her!


About 🎃

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.

Books 🎃

The Woman In Cabin 10

Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

In A Dark, Dark Wood

In a dark, dark wood. Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house. Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room. But something goes wrong. Very wrong. And in the dark, dark room…. Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

The Death Of Mrs. Westaway

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.

The Lying Game

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

The Turn Of The Key

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.


I don’t know about you but I have added a couple Ruth Ware books to my TBR. I am especially interested in The Death of Mrs. Westaway!! I am going to be looking to get my hands on a copy of that one!

Enjoy your Monday everyone!!

Chat with me in the comments about your fav Ruth Ware books!

Thanks for stopping by!! 🙂