Perfectly Creepy Halloween Reads: My Favorite Spooky Book

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. There is nothing quite like sitting under the canopy of golden and amber leaves while drinking hot cider and reading a book that sends shivers down my spine. Because of the warmth and comfort of the autumn season, I think it is one of the best times to read some spooky books. So in honor of Halloween today, I wanted to share with you all some of my personal favorites.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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(The first book I ever read by Neil Gaiman that forever sealed my love for his writing). This book will make anyone who ever wished for a different family think twice about ever wanting to change parents.

 

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes

This book gives me the creeps with it’s traveling carnival of evil. Of course, I now attend as many traveling fairs/carnivals as I can…so clearly I liked being creeped out.

 

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

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The woods can be a dark and scary place. An elegant and stunning graphic novel filled with 5 creep-tastic tales.

 

Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

Blood and SaltGave me goosebumps and creeped me out in the best way possible. It was dark and eerie and will make you think twice about going for a walk in a corn maze.

 

Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

Daughters Unto Devils

I still can’t shake this book. Every time I even think about this book the eeriness of it starts to get under my skin and I get the heebie-jeebies all over again.

 

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

And the Trees Crept In

I am reading this book right now and I am loving it. It’s full of mental decay, darkness, and scary trees.

 

 Are you reading anything scary this Halloween season? Do you have specific favorites you enjoy re-reading around Halloween? I would love to hear all about your Halloween reads and plans. Share with me in the comments below. Wishing you all a safe and Happy Halloween!

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Middle Grade Book Review: The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel by Natasha Lowe

Middle Grade Book Review: The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel by Natasha LoweThe Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel by Natasha Lowe
Published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books on August 30th 2016
Pages: 288
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“Wild fantasy, sly satire, and sharply observed family dynamics are the hallmarks of this tasty, effervescent series (along with mouthwatering recipes); this volume’s the most delectable yet.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Mabel’s hijinks will appeal to readers of Roald Dahl’s Matilda and Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle….Mabel will inspire readers with her confident creativity; a solid secondary purchase, especially where Lowe’s previous title is popular.” —School Library Journal
“This lovely celebration of quirky individualism applauds both creativity and science.” —Booklist
Penderwicks meets Edward Eager in this charming coming of age tale about a young witch found in a flowerpot who’s on a journey to discover her roots.
The morning Nora Ratcliff finds a baby in the flowerpot on her front steps her life changes forever. She had always wanted a child, but after her husband passed away, Nora never thought she would have one, but her flowerpot child was a miracle and she decided to name her Mabel. As Mabel grew up, she showed a distinct talent for magic.
When Mabel is accepted to the prestigious witch school, Ruthersfield Academy, she excels at the magic curriculum but is constantly in trouble for experimenting and inventing her own potions. One day she is asked to write a paper on her magical roots and discovers the truth about her birth after a mean classmate blurts out what everyone seems to know except Mabel. Mabel is shocked but the revelation does explain a lot. In rebellion, Mabel changes her name to Magnolia and tries to understand why she was left in the flowerpot and who her birth family might be.
Will Mabel find the answers she’s looking for—or will she discover that families are people who love each other and look after each other and that’s most important of all.

 

The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel is the enchanting tale about being true to one’s self and celebrating all the wonderful things that make you unique. This is the story of Mabel, from being is unique. When Mabel is an infant her mother leaves her in a flowerpot at Nora’s front door. The kindhearted Nora always dreamed of one day having a child and just when she thought it would never happen Mabel appears.

One day Mabel’s toes start to tingle causing her to rise up and fly. This is when is becomes clear that Mabel is a witch. Nora is so proud of her daughter and immediately starts to look for the proper school to train Mabel. Ruthersfield Academy sounds like the perfect place for a witch in training. They both hope that things will be easier for Mabel in a new place where no one knows her exact origins.

However, the girls at the academy aren’t friendly. Mabel believes there is more to witchery than silly spells to look pretty or following the academy’s rules. Due to Mabel’s inquisitive spirit, she often experiments with her spells and potions. Mabel also creates her own inventions (though most turn out quite disastrous). Unfortunately, her teachers and classmates are not impressed by Mabel’s forward thinking and her out of control experiments.

Luckily for Mabel things are about to change. When she discovers the SOFTW (Society of Forward-Thinking Witches, Mabel thinks she finally has found where she belongs. Determined to prove herself once and for all, she enters their contest. Will Mabel be able to control her magic and show everyone there is more to being a witch than frivolous spells and following silly rules?

The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel is completely charming. It is a perfect read for the autumn season. I have previously read Natasha Lowe’s other books and loved them. Mabel is such a strong, and passionate character. I love her wit, courage, and her tenacity. There are many amazing lessons to learn from Mabel. Young readers will learn the importance of never giving up, independent thinking, self-confidence and always staying true to who you are. This book was a delight to read. Readers young and old will appreciate Mabel’s adventurous spirit and determination.

Thank you, NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with the e-ARC of The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel in return for an honest review. 

four-half-stars

Blog Tour and Book Review: Kiss Cam by Kiara London

four-stars

Kiss CamKiss Cam by Kiara London

Pub Date: October 18th, 2016

Publisher: Swoon Reads

GoodReads | AMAZON | B&N

In Kiss Cam, teen author Kiara London asks, what’s a little harmless kissing between friends?

Juniper, Jasper, and Lenny have been friends forever and co-own a vlog channel called WereVloggingHere. Their fans are huge “shippers” who believe that Juniper and Jasper are perfect for each other, and, despite warnings from friends and family, a simple Truth-or-Dare inspired kiss soon spirals out of control into a whole new world of making out and surprise kisses.

Juniper and Jasper’s relationship begins to shift. But as fan requests for different “Kiss Cam” segments keep pouring in, Juniper puts her worries aside and convinces herself that it doesn’t mean anything. After all, it’s just kissing… right?

MY REVIEW

Kiss Cam is the story of vloggers Juniper, Jasper and Lenny and their popular vlog show. The three best friends usually share tidbits about their lives and make silly videos (usually involving dares). Many of their fans are constantly “shipping” a combination of the trio into relationships. The most requested being Jasiper a combo of Juniper and Jasper. During one of their vlog sessions, a dare is suggested by a fan that involves lots of kissing between Jasper and Juniper. This dare leads to the creation of a feature on the vlog called “Kiss Cam”. Though the project is a hit, not everyone thinks it is such a good idea for Jasper and Juniper to take “just kissing” so lightly.

Soon, Juniper starts to wonder if their friendship can survive all the kissing. Yet she tries to convince herself that it’s just for fun. Jasper has been her best friend for ages and it would be weird if they became a couple. Wouldn’t it? I really like Juniper, she tries really hard to keep order and to keep things in line. However, she can’t help losing control and I think we have all been in her shoes. Jasper is witty, and a super flirt, yet he isn’t insensitive or a jerk. Lenny was probably my favorite even though his role felt underrated in the story. He is kind, dependable, and I love his eccentricities. I love how close-knit their friendship is and how comfortable they are with each other.

Reading about the different “Kiss Cam” segments made me laugh. Some of them were very absurd and others just silly. The shared kisses between Juniper and Jasper are very swoon-worthy. I really appreciate that the author did not make the relationship between Jasper and Juniper come out as “instalove” or as anything cheesy. You can tell that they have a very close bond from the start (sometimes the best way to form a real long lasting type of relationship is to start off as friends).

Kiss Cam is an entertaining, fast and enjoyable book to read. I love the characters and especially the dares. Though the book wasn’t super serious in tone, when the friendship between Jasper and Juniper started to change and threatened to be ruined I had tears in my eyes. I worried about how things would turn out for them.

One of my favorite things about Kiss Cam that I really love is the cute chapter titles. When I read the title of Chapter 12 “Ride me Like Rudolph” I laughed so much. It isn’t easy writing a book about emotions and changing dynamics in friendships but I think Kiara London did a really fantastic job. The story felt fluid and the tone light and cheery in all the right places, and more serious and somber in others.

I highly recommend Kiss Cam to any YA contemporary lover seeking something a little silliness and a fun book to read, but who also wants a story with substance and heart.

Thank you Swoon Reads and Hannah at The Irish Banana Reviews for giving me the chance to participate in this tour and get a chance to read this awesome book.

FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week 1:

 

Week 2:

four-stars

Children’s Book Review: The Fox Who Ate Books by Franziska Biermann

Children’s Book Review: The Fox Who Ate Books by Franziska BiermannThe Fox Who Ate Books by Franziska Biermann
Published by Annick Press on October 11th 2016
Genres: Children's Picture Book
Pages: 56
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Meet Mr. Fox, who loves books so much that every time he finishes one, he eats it (with a little salt and pepper, of course)! His insatiable appetite drives him to seek more and more books, until one day, he discovers the local library, where he can “devour” books to his heart’s content. Eventually, the librarian catches him “sampling” from the collection and bans him from the library.Down on his luck, the crafty Mr. Fox must find other ways to satisfy his cravings. His attempt to rob the local bookstore, however, ends badly. Arrested for stealing, Mr. Fox lands in jail, where he discovers a surprising way to satisfy his literary cravings (and become rich and famous).With its deft combination of humor and whimsy, and bright, edgy artwork, The Fox Who Ate Books is a tongue-in-cheek approach to promote a love of books and reading. The ever-inventive, wily Mr. Fox is the perfect anti-hero whose antics are guaranteed to make young readers laugh, while the play on words will delight older children.

Fox is a book lover, but he also has an insatiable appetite for eating books. The bookworm in all of us can understand what Mr. Fox is going through, and even commiserate with him. However, I think the book lover in us would be appalled with Mr. Fox for gobbling up the books and causing them physical harm.

Mr. Fox’s appetite is so ravenous that he ends up selling everything he owns to buy more books to read and eat. Once he runs out of books and money, he turns to the library and eventually the corner bookstore to subdue his hunger. Unfortunately, he does not consider the consequences of his actions at each location and ends up in quite a bit of trouble. Luckily, reading and eating all those books might have given Mr. Fox the fuel he needs to write his way out of the trouble he ends up in.

Overall I enjoyed the story. I love Mr. Fox even though he is a bit of a rascal. Mr. Fox loves everything about books, from their smell to the feel of the pages, and I can totally relate to that sentiment. I’m pretty sure most young readers will enjoy cheering for Mr. Fox to find more books to eat, and for him to cause additional mischief. The author did not shy away from using bigger and harder vocabulary words, which I approve of. This is important as it can lead to a great teaching moment for younger and older readers alike. The illustrations though vivid and bright left were not aesthetically pleasing.

Although the end resolution wasn’t handled in a way I find appropriate for younger readers, I do believe there is plenty of positive messages in this book. There are many themes that can develop into great conversations with young readers. Such as the proper care of books, following library rules and all the places where books can be found. Another great message is to consider the consequences of your actions and the importance of not being greedy. Younger readers might even be inspired to write up their own stories, just like Mr. Fox does. Whether you read it to a group or by yourself, there is plenty of humor to be found in the story.

three-half-stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Names I Would Name A Pet

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by the ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week we get a new topic for a top ten list. This week’s prompt is all about Bookish names. I have decided to share with you some of the bookish names I would name my pets.

Bailey, Poppet or Widget

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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Jane & Giffy

My Lady Jane (I’ve named the bunnies that live in my yard this) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

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Eph

The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

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Mina 

Dracula by Bram Stoker

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Luna 

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

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Bast

The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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Otis

Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner

What are some of the bookish names you would name your pets? Do you already have pets named after a character in a book you loved? Share your answers with me in the comments below and don’t forget to leave me a link to your TTT list.

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