Five Book Reading Wrap-Up for October 2022 With Link to YouTube
Join me for my five-book reading wrap-up!
Here is my Youtube Video
(There is an Amazon link to each book. If you are interested in more information, click on the link. I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on the link and buy anything at all, I get a percentage of the sale at no cost to you…thanks:-)
Shirley Jackson’s beloved gothic tale of a peculiar girl named Merricat and her family’s dark secret
Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate.
“”I’m going to put death in all their food and watch them die.”
My Thoughts After I Read the Book
I looked at the cover of this book, and for some reason, I thought it would be a ghost story. This could be because the illustrations have the characters looking a bit ghostly on the front of the book. But that is not the case. It is not a ghost story. It is more about some very dysfunctional family dynamics. I would have to add also mental illness and isolation, with hints of murder and suspicion of the outside world.
I did enjoy the book. I kept waiting for a ghost to introduce themselves, but it was not a ghost story. I found the book darkly sad. It is well-written and descriptive. I felt like I knew the characters in all their oddness. Good Book. I bought it for my library.
There is a movie. I enjoyed the movie.
The 5-star and 1-star reviews I found on Good Reads.
5 Star Review-“What a creepy story! My first Shirley Jackson book and I was really impressed by the way she held my attention from the first page.I enjoyed the dark tone of the book. In general, it was very unsettling but I didn’t want to stop reading it.”
1 Star Review-“Plotless, pointless and a whole lot of weird.”
Me-I must say I agree more with the 5-star review. I really enjoyed this book, and it has stuck with me. I forget many books, but this one, for some reason, I remember.
Thriller, Science Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Audio Book
4.29 stars on Goodreads out of 5stars
I give this book3/5
The Amazon link is below. Just click the photo.
Overview From Good Reads
Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets Howard Bowditch, a recluse with a big dog in a big house at the top of a big hill. In the backyard is a locked shed from which strange sounds emerge, as if some creature is trying to escape. When Mr. Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie the house, a massive amount of gold, a cassette tape telling a story that is impossible to believe, and a responsibility far too massive for a boy to shoulder.
Because within the shed is a portal to another world—one whose denizens are in peril and whose monstrous leaders may destroy their own world, and ours. In this parallel universe, where two moons race across the sky, and the grand towers of a sprawling palace pierce the clouds, there are exiled princesses and princes who suffer horrific punishments; there are dungeons; there are games in which men and women must fight each other to the death for the amusement of the “Fair One.” And there is a magic sundial that can turn back time.
“When there is love, scars are as pretty as dimples.”
My Thoughts After Reading the Book
This is a very long book. I listened to it on Audible. It is a 24-hour listen. And yes, I did listen to the entire book. I loved the beginning. The narrator did a fantastic job; I loved his voice.
It starts off by telling us about Charlie’s life. His mom was killed in a horrible accident, his dad, in his grief over losing his wife, turns to drink, and Charlie seems to be doing his best to hold things together. Charlie has a few regrets about some things he has done and wants to make amends. One day he hears a dog crying out as if for help, and he responds, and that is when he meets Mr. Bowditch. From there, Charlie’s life is dramatically changed.
I enjoyed the book’s first part about Charle, Mr. Bowditch, and the dog. This part held my attention, and I wanted to know more. Once we entered the parallel world, I slowly began to lose interest. As much as I loved the voice of the main narrator, I hated the voice of the other narrator, and these were the points I nearly turned it off.
I enjoyed parts of the parallel world, but it just became a bit long, and I lost interest.
Here is the book trailer, but it does not really tell you anything about the book.
I do think it would make a good movie.
5-star and 1-star reviews I found on Goodreads.
5-Star Review-“Fairy Tale was King’s love story to dogs and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see what would happen to Radar, the elderly German Shepherd.
The two halves of this book could have been two different books. The first half was in the real world and the 2nd half was fantastical. But I loved every character, as I usually do, but none more than Charlie and Radar. (Not the evil characters obviously.)
The book did slow down once the 2nd part hit, and I did get easily distracted a few times, but without even knowing when, I got to a point where I couldn’t put Fairy Tale down.”
1-Star Review-“Excellent start. The friendship between Charlie and Mr Bowditch was a joy to read. But then Charlie went down the well…and the story went down the drain.. I found it boring and lost touch with the story…”
Me-I do agree with both. Like the 5-star review, I loved the dog named Radar and the first half of the book. As the 1-star review said, it was an excellent start, but when he left the world as we know it, I lost interest.
by Felix Blackwell
Thriller, Fiction, Paranormal, Horror, Fantasy
3.97 stars on Goodreads out of 5 stars
I gave this book a 3.5/5
Click the photo below to go to Amazon
Book overview as found on GoodReads
A romantic cabin getaway doesn’t go exactly as planned.
High up on the windswept cliffs of Pale Peak, Faye and Felix celebrate their new engagement. But soon, a chorus of ghastly noises erupts from the nearby woods: the screams of animals, the cries of children, and the mad babble of a hundred mournful voices. A dark figure looms near the windows in the dead of night, whispering to Faye. As the weather turns deadly, Felix discovers that his terrified fiancée isn’t just mumbling in her sleep – she’s whispering back.
“With her eyes still closed, she looked right into my face, and said, “Tell the man in the hall…he needs to leave.”
My Thoughts After Reading the Book
The beginning of this book sucked me in. It was scary and suspenseful. I thought the part about the parrot and what occurred with him set up the book to be a 5-star read, but I felt it lost its way as it proceeded.
Yes, it is creepy, and there is something in the woods, but as the book continued, I lost a bit of interest and fear. Overall a good book and worth the read.
Book Trailer or Movie
I could not find a trailer, but it sounds like it may be made into a movie.
I think it would be a great movie.
A Five and One Star Review as Found on Good Reads
Five Star Review-I freaking LOVED this! One of the scariest horror novels I’ve ever read — I legit slept with the lights on. This has MAJOR something is watching you from the woods vibes, and you can make out a shape but you can’t exactly see it. It’s terrifying. I was so impressed by it, it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time and I was so genuinely creeped out.
One Star Review-So the prologue started off with a bang! It was probably one of the best openings to a horror I’ve read in a while. It gripped my attention straight away, it was creepy af. But then, as the story progresses, it just went downhill. For a novel that’s meant to be descriptive, I think it was descriptive in the wrong parts. I also think voices outside or knocks on the door from something otherworldly can only be scary for so long until it becomes too repetitive. Some of the things Felix does made me cringe so bad.
Me-I gave this book a 3.5-star rating, so I am in the middle and agree with both reviews. As the one-star reviewer said, the book started with a bang, but then things went downhill it was still a good book.
by Lindsay Currie
Middle Grade, Mystery, Paranormal, Fantasy
3.97 stars on GoodReads out of 5 stars.
I gave this one 4/5 stars.
Amazon Link Below, just click on the photo…
Description as Found on GoodReads,
A ghost story about a malevolent spirit, an unlucky girl, and a haunting mystery that will tie the two together.
Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She’s a scientist, which is why she can’t think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she’s made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There’s something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour… he’s gone.
Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad’s ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her.
Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something…and Claire needs to find out what before it’s too late.
I don’t have a favorite quote.
My Thoughts After Reading the Book
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and looked forward to reading it every evening. It is a spooky middle-grade ghost story with a touch of history thrown in. I enjoyed the protagonist’s family and her interactions with her family, her school friends, and of course, the ghost.
The book trailer explains it all.
I could not find anything on a movie.
A Five Star and A-One Star Review as Found on GoodReads
The Five Star Review– Full of warmth and charm — and a few spooky moments for middle-graders — Scritch Scratch is a wonderful example of a children’s book done right. Author Lindsay Currie is mindful of the age of her audience, and captures the awkwardness of it to perfection. As much a light tale of friendship and change and the importance of family as it is a ghost tale which evolves into a mystery, the further into the story the reader gets, the more fun it becomes.
The One-Star Review-my favorite part about this book was when i finished it
Me-I completely agree with the 5-star review.
“After We Were Stolen”
by Brooke Beyfuss
Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Cults
3.92 out of 5 stars on Good Reads
I give this book 5/5
Click on the photo below to go to amazon.
Book Description found on GoodReads.
An emotionally wrought debut novel perfect for book clubs about a girl who escapes from a cult after a deadly fire destroys her family’s compound, only to be haunted by That Night as she tries to build a new life for herself.
A fire. Her escape. And the realization her entire life has been a lie.
When nineteen-year-old Avery awakens to flames consuming her family’s remote compound, she knows it’s her only chance to escape her father’s grueling survival training, bizarre rules, and gruesome punishments. She and her brother Cole flee the grounds for the first time in their lives, suddenly homeless in a world they know nothing about. After months of hiding out, they are arrested for shoplifting and a shocking discovery is made—Avery and Cole were kidnapped fifteen years earlier, stolen by cult leaders they knew as Mom and Dad.
Cole is immediately returned to his birth family, leaving Avery alone and desperate. She is uncertain if her “parents” survived the fire and is terrified to find out. The loss of Cole and the trauma of her former life threaten to undo her, but when the police investigation reveals there may be more survivors, Avery must uncover the truth about the fire to truly be free.
Suspenseful, emotionally charged, and deeply thought-provoking, After We Were Stolen delves into the idea of family—those we’re born into and those we make—resilience, and the lengths a cult survivor will go to finally be free of her painful past. Brooke Beyfuss’s powerful debut novel sparkles with heart, grit, and extraordinary characters who will stay with you long after the last page.
I don’t have a favorite quote.
My thoughts after reading the book
I listened to the audio version of this book. The narrator was amazing. At one point in the book, she made the characters come alive, and I found myself in tears at the intensity of that moment.
I rated the book a 5 because I never lost interest. The entire book sucked me in.
This book is raw, painful, and tragic, but I could not stop listening. The characters were well-developed, and I felt as if I knew them.
I highly suggest this book but be aware it is dark and horrifying at times because it could happen and probably does somewhere in the world.
Trigger warnings for child abuse, sexual abuse, and cult-like behavior. I hate all of those things, but the book was excellent. If you can, listen to the audible version.
I could not find a book trailer or anything on a movie.
A Five and One Star Review as Found on Amazon
A Five-Star Review– After We Were Stolen by Brooke Beyfuss captured my heart and flew away with it! The story is so compelling that I read it in one night. I felt immediately connected to the main characters in Beyfuss’ writing and cared deeply about their difficult journey.
One-Star Review-Meh. This had promise but ultimately fell flat. The book never addresses the still missing cult members. Frustrating as a reader. Avery was pretty annoying as a main character. Zoe’s safe house didn’t seem so safe or secret. Many things just didn’t work for me here.
Me- You already know I agree completely with the 5-star review.
My book is on sale on Amazon. Check it out….
I would love to know what you are reading. Have you read any of the above books? Did you enjoy them? Please drop me a note in the comment box.