Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place – he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their ghostly teachings–such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.
Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?
It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.
First off, before I start this review, I gotta acknowledge the day, so…
Happy Halloween to everybody!! 🎃👻🐈⬛🕸️💀🦇
This book was a nice little story to read right before Halloween. (Which is what I did.) It’s spooky, yet so very wholesome.
I’ve only read a couple of Neil Gaiman novels, but out of the two I read (this and Neverwhere) I’ve liked. He has such a weird brain and I love the campy ideas in these books.
Without further ado, let’s move on to the review proper.
Bod said, ‘I want to see life. I want to hold it in my hands. I want to leave a footprint on the sand of a desert island. I want to play football with people. I want,’ he said, and then he paused and he thought. ‘I want everything.’
• The characters ▼
I love all the characters. Nobody “Bod” Owens is such a cute little protagonist. I loved reading about all the hijinks and mischief that he got up to throughout the novel. It was great to watch all of his character development as he grew up.
The ghosts in the graveyard were the best part of the novel. I loved all of their weird personalities, and the way they interacted with one another. And they were all super defined as characters.
• The story ▼
This book is heavily inspired by The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, hence the title. So, as a huge fan of The Jungle Book novel and 1967 animated movie, of course I was gonna like the plot here.
I also really like ghost stories, so this was just a recipe for a book I’d enjoy. And I loved the parallels of the themes that the two share. There’s definitely a similarity between the spirit (*cough*) of both books.
We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.
• The atmosphere ▼
The atmosphere in The Graveyard Book is impeccable. Regardless of my feelings on the way that Gaiman writes, he skillfully weaves an excellent, mildly spooky ambience.
• The artwork ▼
The pictures within add so much to the story itself. Dave McKean does such a great job. I especially like the sketchy looking aspect to them, and how they set the tone for each of the chapters.
• The writing style ▼
This one is just a personal preference. I’m not the biggest fan of Gaiman’s writing style and prose. It’s not bad, not at all, I’m just don’t really care for the way that he writes.
I do like the way he writes dialogue, however. Gaiman’s dialogue is pretty good.
‘You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.’
All in all, I really enjoyed The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It’s a quick and easy, mildly spooky read that’s great for all ages. It’s a nice and wholesome little ghost story with a bit of mystery plot floating in the background.
I definitely recommend this to fans of Gaiman’s other works, as well as those who enjoy a nice ghost story that isn’t really that scary. I think fans of The Jungle Book will also really like it. It’s a perfect read for the Halloween season.
Thank you so much for reading, and have a spooktackular day/night!
It’s that time of year again – the time of year where I recommend books for the season! My recommendations of autumn books of 2023! It’s the middle of October, so that means I’m gonna recommend some spooky books and/or just some books with fall vibes in general. There are a bunch of them, after all.
I also understand that, once again, it’s a bit late for this kind of post. But! I hadn’t read a couple of books on this list until the last week or so, so I wanted to actually read them before doing this post. So, sorry it’s kinda later in the month again, but I had a decent reason this time, lol.
Now, I know that I usually do these things in lists of five. The thing is though, I’ve just read too many graphic novels in the last year or so that are just too perfect for this post. So, there’s seven recs here. Deal with it, lol.
Ichabod Crane, a schoolteacher, came to Tarry Town in the glen of Sleepy Hollow to ply his trade in educating young minds. He was a gullible and excitable fellow, often so terrified by locals’ stories of ghosts that he would hurry through the woods on his way home, singing to keep from hysterics.
Until late one night, he finds that maybe they’re not just stories. What is that dark, menacing figure riding behind him on a horse? And what does it have in its hands? And why wasn’t schoolteacher Crane ever seen in Sleepy Hollow again?
I couldn’t help but to start with a classic. Sleepy Hollow has been one of my favorite spooky stories for many years. And though it’s been quite some time since I’ve last read it, I know that it still holds up even now.
If you enjoy unsettling oldies, dullahans, and just a good book for Halloween, give this one a try if you haven’t already. It’s still fantastic.
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
Despite some of my annoyances with this series, the Shades of Magic trilogy remains one of my favorite adult fantasy series. I love, love, love these books.
Though this trilogy might not have the strongest of fall vibes, I think the books are great for the season anyway. Cuz I read them in the fall and I was feeling the cozy, magical vibes. And if your not interested in this trilogy, I think that all of Schwab’s books have some autumnal atmospheres.
A sparkling, witchy reimagining of Pride and Prejudice, told from the perspective of the troublesome and—according to her—much-maligned youngest Bennet sister, Lydia.
In this exuberant reimagining of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Lydia Bennet puts pen to paper to relate the real events and aftermath of the classic story from her own perspective. Some facts are well known: Mrs. Bennet suffers from her nerves; Mr. Bennet suffers from Mrs. Bennet, and all five daughters suffer from an estate that is entailed only to male heirs.
But Lydia also suffers from entirely different concerns: her best-loved sister Kitty is really a barn cat, and Wickham is every bit as wicked as the world believes him to be, but what else would you expect from a demon? And if you think Mr. Darcy was uptight about dancing etiquette, wait till you see how he reacts to witchcraft. Most of all, Lydia has yet to learn that when you’re a witch, promises have power…
Full of enchantment, intrigue, danger, and boundless magic, The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch, has all the irreverent wit, strength, and romance of Pride and Prejudice—while offering a highly unexpected redemption for the wildest Bennet sister.
The first new book on this list! The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch is a novel completely drenched in fall vibes. You’d be hard pressed to find a better book to read during October, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Not only does this book appeal to those who crave that cozy autumn atmosphere, but it’s also an excellent historical fantasy novel. It’s also a magical retelling of Pride and Prejudice, so Austen fans have a huge chance of loving it too.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead.
There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more.
But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.
A deliciously dark masterwork by bestselling author Neil Gaiman, with illustrations by award-winning Dave McKean.
Yet another book that it’s been quite some time since I’ve read. Regardless, I still adore it. Anything that Gaiman writes is wonderful in it’s own way, even if I don’t always enjoy it myself. I definitely liked this one though.
This one isn’t admittedly all that scary, as it’s targeted toward middle-grade as well, but it’s still a solid book. Yet another one I’d like to read again this year before Halloween if I can find the time. For those who like The Jungle Book, ghost stories, and found family, give this a shot.
All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.
The disturbing Mr. Hyde is making his repugnant presence known in late 19th Century London. But punishment for his vile acts are always parried by the good, and well-respected, Dr. Jekyll. Soon, the secret relationship between the two men will be revealed.
A classic that continues to be referenced today, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will forever be locked in literary history.
This is by far my absolute favorite creepy classic. Something about it – just the way it’s written – and especially the intriguing dichotomy between Jekyll and Hyde just has absolutely loving this novel.
If you’ve ever had any interest at all in this book, definitely read it. And also, if you like webcomics and graphic novels check out The Glass Scientists by S.H. Cotugno. It’s a brilliant and imaginative retelling, and I love it.
Two twins, one prophecy, and a whole lot of hijinks. From WEBTOON, the #1 digital comic platform, comes a fantastical story about twin siblings Dani and Dorian who have missed the bus to magic school and scramble to find a mentor to teach them before their parents find out. Perfect for fans of THE OKAY WITCH and the 5 Worlds series.
When Dani and Dorian missed the bus to magic school, they never thought they’d wind up declared traitors to their own kind! Now, thanks to a series of mishaps, they are being chased by powerful magic families seeking the prophesied King of Witches and royals searching for missing princes.
But they aren’t alone. With a local troublemaker, a princess, and a teacher who can see the future on their side, they might just be able to clear their names…but can they heal their torn kingdom?
Based on the beloved webcomic from WEBTOON, Hooky is in stunning print format for the first time with exclusive new content sure to please fans new and old.
This is one of the things I read recently. Review incoming – very soon. Hooky was such a cute, Ghibli-esque, Halloween themed story. I love the art, the characters, and the setting and story. It’s all so wonderful.
For fans of cozy Halloween and graphic novels, this is one for you. If you just like good art in general though, and are looking for autumn vibes, then also check this out.
A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.
Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.
One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.
Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.
There’s nothing more cozy than Mooncakes. It is the ultimate cottage core, fall graphic novel. With baking. And books. And witches and werewolves.
This is a sweet little story that tugged at my heart while I read it. And it has gorgeous artwork! And good queer rep if you’re into that. Definitely look into it regardless.
What books have you been reading this fall? Have any of them had any autumn or spooky vibes? Do we share any of the same favorites?
And if course, thank you to everyone so much for reading, and I hope that you have an awesome day/night!
GENRES: Fantasy, Historical, Graphic Novel, YA, Fiction
RELEASE DATE: 3 October 2023
The gothic worlds of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, and more collide in this graphic novel series about buried secrets, mad science, and misunderstood monsters. For fans of stylish reimaginings like Lore Olympus and gaslamp fantasies like The Night Circus!
London isn’t the safest place for mad scientists these days. After that whole ordeal with Frankenstein, angry mobs have gotten awfully good at hunting down monsters and wiping out anything they don’t understand. In fact, if it weren’t for one extraordinary young man, every out-of-the-box thinker would have been locked up . . . or worse.
That young man is none other than Dr. Henry Jekyll. He believes mad scientists would thrive if they could just fix their public image, which is why he founded the Society for Arcane Sciences, a place where like-minded eccentrics could come together to defy the laws of nature in peace.
But everything changes when a mysterious stranger arrives, bent on taking the Society in a radical new direction. With everyone turning against him, Jekyll’s life starts to spiral out of control, shattering all his carefully laid plans and threatening to expose his darkest secret—one that could destroy everything he has built from the inside out.
Volume One collects Chapters 1-7 of this thrilling, humorous, beloved webcomic, which is available in print for the first time ever. It also features a brand-new side story, a behind-the-scenes look at artwork, and more exclusive bonus content!
“I am Dr. Henry Jekyll. At your service.”
I’m not going to mince words: I love this comic. I discovered it a couple of months ago via some text interview online somewhere (I can’t remember where), and immediately fell in love.
I’ve always loved Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ever since I first read it a few years ago, and to see it reimagined in such a colorful and fantastic way was beautiful. Sage Cotugno does such a wonderful job retelling this tale, and you can tell how much they love the source material, and how much love they put into the comic.
The characters ▼
Dr. Henry Jekyll is, of course, our protagonist. He’s kind and polite, and the idealized gentleman. But of course, he’s hiding a dark secret.
Mr. Edward Hyde is that secret. He’s everything that Jekyll wants to hide (*cough*) about himself – everything that he’s ashamed of. So, Hyde is rude, unashamed, and a free spirit who likes to go out and do debauchery nightly.
There are other characters here too, of course, but seeing as I love basically all of them, this post skins never end if I talked about them. I will say that I loved Cotugno’s interpretation of Robert Lanyon, and their new characters of Rachel Pidgely and Jasper Kaylock. They’re all very good characters.
The story ▼
The skeleton of the comic is the original Strange Case, but all the embellishments and additional characters and plot is new. I love all the changes and stuff that has mostly stayed the same, and just Cotugno’s interpretation in general.
I also really like the setting. It’s pretty much the same kind of setting as in the novella, but the vibrant and varied colors of the art and designs really make the gaslamp fantasy aesthetic pop.
The art ▼
The art is gorgeous, but that’s usually to be expected with a comic. I personally just really like Sage Cotugno’s art style. It really appealed to me. I love the character designs, and the 19th century London aesthetic.
The colors were all vibrant and beautiful. They were awesome in the original webcomic, and they translated really well to the physical version. They’re just as bright and striking as they are digitally.
The waiting game ▼
I pretty much absolutely love this webcomic, and this bound book version of the first third of the story. Because of this, it’s really hard to think of something I don’t like about it.
The only thing that I can think of that is even mildly irritating about this webcomic, is that it only releases weekly. As such, it’s gonna take a few more years until it’s finished. And we’re all going to have to wait to see how the rest of the story unfolds. But yeah, that’s honestly the only thing that I can think of that bothers me about The Glass Scientists.
Before I close off this post, I just want to let everyone know that this is just the first of three physical releases of an ongoing webcomic. So if you end up liking The Glass Scientists: Volume One, or you’re interested in it but not sure if you want to commit monetarily yet, you can check out the webcomic here.
Anyway, I’ve already gushed about this graphic novel more than enough. It’s very obvious that I really enjoyed it. I definitely recommend it to people who like fantasy and sci-fi and graphic novels, but also to those who really like the original Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Anyway, as always, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have an amazing day/night!
Book Description: Paraffin, Vermont is home to the Grosholtz Candle Factory. There, seventeen year old Poppy finds something unsettling: a room filled with dozens of startlingly lifelike wax sculptures. Later, she’s shocked when one of the figures – a teenage boy who doesn’t seem to know what he is – jumps naked and screaming out of the trunk of her car. Poppy wants to return him to the factory, but before she can, a fire destroys the mysterious workshop.
With the help of the wax boy, who answers to the name Dud, Poppy tries to find out who was behind the fire. Along the way she discovers that some of the townspeople are starting to look a little… waxy. Can they extinguish the evil plot?
Star Rating: 🕯️🕯️🕯️🕯️- 4 / 5 candles!
The town of Paraffin smelled of rot…
…Annnd lots of other stuff. But we’d be here all day if I described everything that Wax’s setting smelled like.
(Just kidding, lol. It was a seriously long opening paragraph, though.)
Wax, written by Gina Damico, was a delightful little read that ended up being a pick-me-up after a bit of a reading slump.
The novel takes place during a lovely November in Paraffin, Vermont. (Not a real town in Vermont, apparently, but it is a real type of wax. Get it?)
Our protagonist is the bullheaded and sassy Poppy Palladino 🌺🎭, a control freak, theater kid, who’s currently dealing with the fallout of an embarrassing incident that happened on love TV.
It was her one true love, and you don’t throw away your one true love over something as silly as profound emotional scarring.
(Fair Warning: Just gonna be a little upfront about the tone. Despite being very humorous, this is definitely a bit of a horror story. There’s a little body horror in this, actually, even if it’s mostly wax sculptures that look like people. But if you can’t stand any type of horror at all, then this might not be for you.)
Concerning the rest of the characters of the book, I thought they were all pretty great. I loved Poppy’s artsy, health nut, yoga teacher parents, even if they were a little comically oblivious at times. I also loved her best friend Jill; she’s the type of girl anyone would’ve wanted to be on their side in highschool: loyal, brave, and sassy.
The best character in the book though, was, by far, Dud 🕯️😇. Our dueteragonist here is a total sweetheart, and deserves to be protected at all cost. He’s just so innocent and loveable, and his origins as a living candle sculpture made him all the more interesting. I loved watching him develop his personality and build an identity. His relationship with Poppy was the absolute best part of the novel, as well; I adored how they made each other their best selves just by interacting with one another.
The antagonists were the weakest part of the book. Their concept was interesting, but I found their motives to be a bit weak. They were pretty funny, even if they acted pretty cliche. I still kinda liked them though.
The plot was pretty fun, too. I loved the intrigue that sort of floated in the background at first, but then gradually started to encompass the entire story as it went on. There was a kind of irritating expository element to the story, however. I think it was meant to gel with the satirical tone of the novel, but I just found it to be an annoying storyteller mechanic. Like, sometimes the plot would just pause for a second until it was time for this element to appear again. It does work extremely well in one instance, though, but I can’t talk about it because [SPOILERS].
And the ending – Oh My God! – that ending!! Definitely my favorite part of the book and more than worth the read to get there! My heart was pounding in my throat, and I was actually in tears!
All in all, I really enjoyed Wax. If you like creepy stuff and scented candles, then this book might be for you. It’s also an excellent fall read, being set in November, as well as having a mildly unsettling (but also humorous) tone. Paired with pumpkin or cinnamon spice candles, with a latte or some hot chocolate, underneath a cozy blanket.
Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful day/night!
People think that ghosts only come out at night, or on Halloween, when the world is dark and the walls are thin. But the truth is, ghosts are everywhere.
Series: City of Ghosts
Length: 304 pages
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Book Description:Everyone has a ghost story. Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn’t like to think about it!) she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead… and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost. So things are already pretty strange. But they’re about to get much stranger.
When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her “gift,” she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil – and herself.
And she’ll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – 4.5 out of 5 stars!
This was a perfect October read! Especially just before Halloween. I haven’t read a ghost story in quite a while, and this kind of hit the spot. Sure, it’s technically in that awkward spot between middle-grade and YA, but who cares? Especially from an author I love.
(If you didn’t know, “Victoria Schwab” is actually another name that V.E. Schwab uses for some of her books. She uses “V.E.” for her adult novels, and “Victoria” for her YA stuff.)
City of Ghosts centers around Cassidy Blake, a girl who gains the ability to see spirits after (nearly) drowning, as well as a new ghostly best friend named Jacob.
He looks up at the word ghost and clears his throat. “I prefer the phrase ‘corporeally challenged.'”
Jacob was a wonderful character. Funny, smart, and protective of his best friend. He brought some levity and personality to the story that Cass’s narration lacked.
Not that Cassidy was a boring narrator. Not at all. Schwab wrote the preteen-girl-with-a-secret trope very well. The problem is just that though – average preteen girls aren’t usually the most interesting of people. I can say this confidently from previous, personal experience. Being an average, preteen girl, that is. But because Schwab encapsulates Cass’s identity as a preteen girl who sees ghosts in a great way, I think she wrote a pretty relatable character for middle and high school aged kids.
(I have to stop typing “average, preteen girl,” or else I’m going to scream.)
Addressing the other characters… Cass’s parents were fun. Her dad was the no-nonsense, nerdy, history professor type, and her mom was the dreamer, who believed in spirits and such. Their family dynamic was great, and it was nice to see some actually nice to see some actual parenting in a YA book for once. Like, they actually noticed that their daughter would run off and disappear, and they grounded her for it. Thank you!
Lara Jane Chowdhury was also a welcome surprise. Like Cassidy, she can also see spirits and cross the Veil and back. Unlike Cass, she actually knows what she’s doing. Lara is crucial in that she finally gives Cass an actual character motivation, instead of just floundering around with her spirit powers.
I also loved how Lara took everything seriously and was super no-nonsense, a foil to the more creative Cass, as well as the more easygoing Jacob. She was the straight man of the trio, for sure.
I really adored the friendships here, too. Jacob and Cassidy’s was so, so perfect. You could tell that they were really important to one another. Adding Lara to the dynamic was fantastic as well. I love how much she grew to care about Cass, and how far she was willing to go for the newbie.
And there was no romance! (Spoilers?) It feels like there’s romance in everything nowadays, even middle-grade fiction, so it was a welcome surprise for me, as someone who’s growing tired of it a little. Like, why can’t they just be friends? Not that I’m against it or anything – I actually really like it most of the time! I just enjoy reading books every once in a while that focus on other types of relationships, other than romance.
Nothing happens until it happens, and then it’s already happening.
I love love LOVED Schwab’s descriptions of Edinburgh. They all felt so life-like and real. You can tell she did a ton of research, and that she’d travelled there before. I know she’s been to a bunch of places in Europe, and that she actually lived in the UK for some time, and it shows. I almost felt like I was there, walking around Scotland with Cass and Jacob.
If I had to pick one thing that I didn’t like, though, it would have to be the antagonist. I felt like they were kind of a weak villain. Their motivation checked out, I just wasn’t really into them. I guess you can look at them as someone whose empathy has eroded away over many years, and who has been acting out of desperation. It felt a little forced, to me. But, they did work as intended, so I guess I’ll give them that.
All in all, I really liked the book and recommend it to anyone, regardless of age. If this book sounds like your thing, then I hope you pick it up and enjoy it!
Thanks for tuning in, and have a wonderful day/night!
So, I realize that this is slightly late for a post recommending creepy books for October – being that it already is October – but it’s still spooky month, so I thought I could get away with it!
Plus, these are definitely some darker novels – some of them are straight up horror books – so I thought that I’d post this anyway, even though Halloween is only a week and a half away now. So here ya go!
Blurb: In the spring of 1998, Koichi Sakakibara transfers to Yomiyama North Middle School. In class, he develops a sense of unease as he notices that the people around him act like they’re walking on eggshells, and students and teachers alike seem frightened. As a chain of horrific deaths begin to unfold around him, he comes to discover that he has been placed in the cursed Class 3 in which the student body head count is always one more than expected. Class 3 is haunted by a vengeful spirit responsible for gruesome deaths in an effort to satisfy its spite. To stop the vicious cycle gripping his new school, Koichi decides to get to the bottom of the curse, but is he prepared for the horror that lies ahead…?
Brief Review: Look, I know all the weeb alarms are going off cuz I put this one first, but I only did it because I really, really like it, and I want to get more eyes on it. (Actually, I really like all of these books – but we’re not talking about them right now!) I will warn you, some of this book gets a little graphic, so if you can’t handle reading about some gore, you might want to steer clear of this one. Also, it’s already been adapted – as a manga and an anime – so if you can’t trust my word yet, trust the word of the thousands of people that made it popular enough to get an adaptation.
Blurb: In an alternative fantasy world where some men are made from clockwork parts and carriages are steam powered, Alasdair Finch, a young mechanic, does the unthinkable after his brother dies: he uses clockwork pieces to bring Oliver back from the dead.
But the resurrection does not go as planned and Oliver returns more monster than man. Even worse, the novel Frankenstein is published and the townsfolk are determined to find the real-life doctor and his monster. With few places to turn to for help, the dangers may ultimately bring the brothers together – or ruin them forever.
Brief Review: In some ways, this one might just be my favorite on the list. (In some ways!) It was a really fast-paced read for me – I powered through it in like three hours one evening – and it pretty much has great everything. Great plot, great writing, great characters – it’s got the works people! Lee just has a way with words. (In this book at least. I haven’t actually read any of her other novels, but they have excellent reviews, so take that as you will.) It’s a brilliant Frankenstein retelling, and there are a few surprisingly real people characterized her. (Shhh, no spoilers!)
Blurb: 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 step-mother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is a descendent 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 Descendents. And guess who their ancestors were?
If dealing with that wasn’t enough, Sam 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 Descendents 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.
Brief Review: Out of all the recs on this list, I must confess that this one may be my least favorite. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed it quite a bit! But it just didn’t really click with me that well. And hey, if the summary looked great to you, then feel free to give this one a shot! It also has a sequel as well, if you really, really like it. It’s been compared to Mean Girls, so if you enjoyed that movie and YA is your thing, definitely look it up.
Synopsis: Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
Brief Review: So, um, I put one of the paranormal romance books that spawned from the Twilight craze on this list. Yeah…
I have a confession: I don’t know if this book (or its sequels) still hold up. I haven’t read this since the early 2010s. But it was one of my guilty pleasures back then, and I actually reread it a few times, and I don’t do that often. I gotta really like a book. And hey, it spawned three sequels and a sequel series, as well as a movie. A crappy movie, but a movie nonetheless. So that’s gotta count for something, right?
Blurb: Mackie Doyle is The Replacement – left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. He had been raised among us. But he is not one of us. Now, he must face the dark creatures of the slag heaps from which he came and find his rightful place – in our world or theirs.
Brief Review: So, this is a minimalist summary compared to the others, huh? But, sometimes short and succinct is the way to go, cuz this little plot synopsis kind of tells you all you need to know. This is a fun and dark little read that has an interesting portrayal of a certain creature that has taken over YA in the last several years. (I probably don’t need to tell you what it is – you totally already know, lol.) Anyway, if this looks interesting to you, go on and give it a shot.
Blurb: Holland and Niles Perry are identical thirteen-year-old twins. They are close, close enough, almost, to read each others thoughts, but they couldn’t be more different. Holland is bold and mischievous, a bad influence, while Niles is kind and eager to please, the sort of boy who makes parents proud. The Perrys live in the bucolic New England town their family settled centuries ago, and as it happens, the extended clan has gathered at the ancestral farm this summer to mourn the death of the twins’ father in a most unfortunate accident. Mrs. Perry still hasn’t recovered from the shock of her husband’s most gruesome end and stays sequestered in her room, leaving her sons to roam free. As the summer goes on though, and Holland’s pranks become increasingly sinister, Niles finds he can no longer make excuses for his brother’s actions.
Brief Review: So, this book… I absolutely adore this book! It’s a bit of an oldie, compared to the rest of the recs on this list, but it deserves it as much as the rest; perhaps more-so. Thomas Tryon is an acclaimed author of the 20th century and has written for several genres, including horror, contemporary fiction, fantasy, and even western. This book haunted my summer several years ago, and it could haunt your October this year if you give it a try. The prose is awesome, the characters well-developed, and the plot twists are juicy and unexpected.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t recommend Tryon’s other well-known work Harvest Home, even as just an honerable mention. This is the novel that inspired Stephen King’s Children of the Corn, and I don’t believe it needs any other introduction than that! I highly recommend you check that one out as well – it’s just as good, if not even better than The Other.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of this very long blog post. Here’s a virtual cookie! These are all the book recommendations I’ve got for you today. Toon in next time for a book review, probably.
Anyway, thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful day/night!