October Wrap-up and November TBR

November is upon us and its almost Christmas!!! Yikes, I can already feel the holiday rush. Anyways, this month was pretty successful for me in terms of reading. I was able to finish eight books in October and I’m pretty darn proud of myself.

I read three of the five books that I listed on my TBR for October, two from my TBR during Spookathon and the rest are books that I just felt like reading. Here are the books I read.

I actually didn’t realize that I read eight books in October and I’m really shocked. This month’s highlight will have to be In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. I bought this book years ago and I was really surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I also really enjoyed Jackaby, so much that I went so far as to pick-up the second book. Although it didn’t impress me as much as the first, I still highly enjoyed it. No that I’m looking at my wrap-up, October was a really great month, nothing really to complain about in terms of the books I read, except for Shutter by Courtney Alameda. I wasn’t really impressed by it and high expectation of it because it has an interesting concept.

NOVEMBER TBR

I had such a great reading month in October and I hope that it would last until the end of this year. I don’t really have a set of books that I want to read by the end of this year, I just want to be able to accomplish my Goodreads challenge of 60 books (yes, I had to lower it down because of my awful reading slump in the summer). As for the other challenges, I never did keep up with them except for my TBR Challenge. More on that in December though, I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’m also going to be participating on a few readathon this month, but I will be posting a separate TBR for those.

Here are the tentative books I want to read in November:

I’ve been put off reading Magnus Chase, but its time since the last book has been released and I think this month should be the month I pick it up. I know I only have two books in this TBR, but like I said I will be participating in a few other readathons and will create separate TBR for those.

So That’s it for me this month and check back next month if I was able to accomplish my TBR. Also watch for my other TBR for this month!

 

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Top 5 Genre Benders

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This week’s topic is really interesting. Usually my books are easy to categorize, since I do read a majority of mystery and thriller novels, those books are really not that difficult to place in specific genres. This week I’m listing my Top 5 books that are genre benders, meaning books that I had a particularly difficult time placing in a specific genre.

I’m going to try to stay clear of sci-fi/fantasy novels, since I know that those two genre’s have a very thin line of differences.

Cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Yes, I know I said I will stay clear of science-fiction and fantasy, but this book really blur the lines between the two genre. Usually when you read a sci-fi/fantasy novel there is a clear winner of the genre, but with this book its a bit tougher to pick which one it would be placed in.

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson

Not really a novel, but still a genre bender. One of my favourite graphic novels to date. I’m not really much of a graphic novel, but I love this one and there really isn’t a clear definition what genre this book would land on. Action adventure? Science-Fiction? Fantasy? Fiction? who knows, don’t really care cause its an amazing series.

the-girl-in-6eThe Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre

Another amazing read for me, and another head scratcher. This novel is about a girl, Deanna, who has locked herself in an apartment because she fear the dark thoughts that dwell in her head. In order to survive, she uses the internet to her advantage. So does this book land in mystery? thriller? erotic? all three? Either way, its still a great read!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I’m adding this book because the cover is very deceiving. Before picking this book up I always thought it was a horror novel, but I was really surprised that it’s not. I should have paid more attention to the reviews, and really should have kept in mind the saying ‘never judge a book by its cover’. Still, I was bamboozled!

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Another amazing read, still haven’t finished the series, but definitely a must check-out book. Also a book that’s a bit of a genre bender. The story includes mystery and action in one, with zombies in a dystopian backdrop! What more can you ask for, definitely a must check-out novel, but also a novel that defies common genre selection.

 

 

 

 

Book Date #13

its-monday-what-are-you-reading

It’s been a couple of weeks now since I did a Book Date Monday, and since it’s technically still Monday here in Toronto, might as well post this. FYI, this meme is not created by me, but rather by The Book Date.

Last Week I Finished:

Since it’s still October, I’m still reading a lot of mystery/thriller/paranormal books. I recently just finished reading Jackaby and absolutely loved it. Also, got a quick read out of Fierce Kingdom, but more on those book in my wrap-up.

Currently Reading:

Ritter_BeastlyBones_jkt_COMP.indd

Since I really enjoyed Jackaby, and there’s technically still one more day in October, I’m trying to get to this book before the month is over.

Upcoming Reads:

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I’m going to be participating on a readathon starting on November 5, but I’m trying to see if I can squeeze this book in between. Hopefully, I’ll be able to because I really want to read it!

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That’s it for me for this week’s Book Date Monday. Stay Tuned for my Wrap-up and TBR in a couple of days!

Top 5 Wednesday: Non-Horror Books that Scared Me

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I wasn’t sure if I was going to this Top 5 today since I’ve been so busy this week, but its just too good of a topic to pass.

Anyways, the title is pretty much self explanatory, so here is my Top 5 Non-horror books that scared me. I will also be excluding mystery/thriller or paranormal novels, since those books tend to send chills down some people’s spines.

these broken stars

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meghan Spooner

I really love this science fiction trilogy and it’s one of my most recommended trilogy. Technically this book is more of a Sci-fi/Romance, but in one part of the book, the story took on a creepy turn. It’s actually one of those events when you think more about it, you’re just “WTF?!?!”, but as I was reading it, it just gave me the creeps.

alive

Alive by Scott Sigler

It seems like my list will consist of Sci-fi novels. This book was actually creepy in so many levels. The fact that the majority of this novel is set in a long tunnel with nothing else around the characters, sounds a bit boring, but the creepy factor is not so much as the tunnel, its the anticipation of who they would meet in the tunnel. Afterwards, all throughout the novel, there were so many uncertain events that the group needed to face in order to survive.

illuminae

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Science Fiction again, but this book was really good. This is such a popular book and there really isn’t anything scary about the story, except for one scene, the one with the friend in the air-tight room. That scene not only cut me deep, but it also scared me out afterwards.

miss peregrine

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This trilogy didn’t actually scare me, but the way the book was marketed, you would think its horror so technically my ‘horror’ is more of the anticipation that something horrible was going to happen on the next chapter, and so on. So by the end of the book, I realize it wasn’t horror.

monster calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

This book is definitely not a horror novel, but with the stories and the graphics, it can pass for one. This book is is an amazing read and although it does give a sense of foreboding, it tells a beautiful story of letting go. Definitely a must read.

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That’s it for me for this week’s Top 5.

 

 

 

Spookathon Wrap-up

I can’t believe the week went by so fast, I feel like I just posted my TBR and now I’m writing my wrap-up. Anyways, I’m pretty happy with the books I read. I might now have read all the books that I wanted to, but I was able to read the two books that I do want to read.

Just as a re-cap here are the challenges for the readathon:

  1. Read a thriller
  2. Read a book with a spooky word in the title
  3. Read a book base on a childhood fear 
  4. Read a book with an orange cover
  5. Read a book that has a spooky setting

Out of these five challenges I was able to check off complete three of the five, and one challenges that’s up for debate.

Here are the books I read:

dark-matter

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Challenges Accomplished: 2. Read a Book with a spooky word in the title and 4. Read a book with an orange cover

Rating: 4/5

Review: This novel is more in the line of science fiction than thriller/mystery/horror, but it does have elements of that genre. I actually really enjoyed this novel and even though you eventual figure out whats going on before mid-novel, it was still interesting. The ending was especially intense, I really wasn’t sure how the author would wrap up the story. I was pleasantly surprised.

This book reminded me of the movie Sliding Doors, starring Gwyneth Paltrow. Obviously the movie lacked the sinister vibes that you get in this book. Highly enjoyed the reading experience!

the child

The Child by Fiona Barton

Challenges Accomplished: 1. Read a Thriller and 5. Read a Spooky Setting (the environment that Emma lived in was not a very pleasant one and this can relate to a ‘spooky/scary’ setting)

Rating: 3/5

Review: I was a bit disappointed in this novel because it the story basically unraveled half way through the book. All of it are guesses on my part, but eventually the story could really lead to one conclusion. I was, however, still intrigued as to why all this situations came about. I enjoyed Barton’s writing, so even if I wasn’t a fan of this novel, I might try out her other books.

I notice that when I read thrillers, I don’t really get too attached to the characters and I’m getting a bit used to the fact that I don’t, and so, this factor never really hinders my overall rating. That being said, I actually enjoyed the narrators of book and their different POV’s.

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So that’s it for my Spookathon wrap-up, as  usually, I really enjoyed this readathon and I’m already counting down for next years! Thanks for hosting Lala, Shannon and Paige! You three should make another readathon so we don’t have to wait every October for the next one!

TBR Challenge #10: Paranormal

shutter

Shutter by Courney Alameda

Rating: 3/5

Why? This month’s theme is Paranormal. I actually had a totally different book planned out for this read, but for some weird reason I decided to write a review for it last week, so I had to pick a new one fast and this book was already on my bookshelf.

In this book we are taken to the last living descendant of the famous Van Helsing, yes, the one that defeated the equally famous Dracula. Micheline Van Helsing has been trained at a young age to defeat the creatures that lurk our world: ghosts, spirits, wayward souls, etc. with the help of her cameras.

During one unfortunate ghost hunt, everything that does wrong, went wrong and at the end of the night Micheline and her group of friends are not only defeated, they have been cursed with the soulchain. Now they must find out more about this curse and destroy it, or risk being exterminated by her father, Leonard Van Helsing.

Review: I was pleasantly surprised about this book. I really didn’t thing this book was going to be set in modern/present time, but it really should have clicked since they do mention ‘films and cameras’.

I enjoyed the story, it was very different from the other paranormal novels that I’ve read. Unfortunately for Alameda, I just finished read In the Shadow of Blackbirds, and that book gave me all the creeps. Having that in my head, I really couldn’t separate the two books. I guess its really unfair for Shutter because these two books have different storyline. Shutter is a lot more geared towards the action/adventure part of Paranormal where as In the Shadow of Blackbirds is historical Paranormal.

Shutter for me is mediocre. I didn’t really connect that much with the protagonist, Micheline, and at times I found her to be too whiny and naive. For a ghost hunter, who’s been trained at a young age, I feel that she made too many amateur mistakes. I admit, she had a rough 18-months, but the author didn’t really write a confused chracter, shes’s suppose to be a protagonist who is sure of herself and confident with herself. Truth be told, most of the characters in these books are a little bit too extreme, they’re too perfect, or at least the author tried to make them too perfect at the specific roles and they almost became cliche. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if she didn’t try to hard to make some of her characters really unlikable and other really likable, this is a classic evil vs good type of battle.

Like I said, the story is unique. This book reminded me a bit of the movie ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentleman’, where each character brings something different in the group and their ‘specialties’ are unique only to them. The League of Extraordinary Gentleman is one of my favorite movies, so when this vibe started, I was a bit excited and I think this concept would have been more effective if Alameda included more popular characters.

I’m not a fan of the end and for those who knows me and my book preferences, endings can make it or break it for me. I wouldn’t have minded if the ending was a tad sadder than what I’m used to, but I didn’t like who the ghost turned out to be and the reasons that the author created. I refuse to think of this as an ending to a story, it felt unfinished and I’m not really sure if the author is going to continue this story. That being said, I don’t really know if I even want to continue even if the Alameda decides to finish the story of Micheline and her friends.

 

Spookathon TBR

It’s that time of the year again, the annual Spokathon Readathon is happening from October 16-22, hosted by Books and Lala, Paige’s Page and Bookerly. Of course, I have to participate because, not only do I love mystery/thriller/horror books, I really enjoy readathons as well!

Just like last year, this year there are challenges that the hosts has created to make the the readathon a little bit more fun.

  1. Read a thriller
  2. Read a book with a spooky word in the title
  3. Read a book base on a childhood fear
  4. Read a book with an orange cover
  5. Read a book that has a spooky setting

The hosts are very chill in their challenges, so you can double up on them.

I will try to be reading three books that will incorporate all 5 challenges. I’m not 100% sure I will be able to read all three, but hey, anything can happen.

dark-matterDark Matter by Blake Crouch

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS: “Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

CHALLENGES: Book with a spooky word in the title, book with an orange cover

the childThe Child by Fiona Barton

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS: As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell.

CHALLENGES: Read a Thriller

bird box.jpg

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

CHALLENGES: Bookbase on a childhood fear, book with a spooky setting

If I have time, I do want to get my hands on the book that the three hosts will be reading for Spookathon.

stranger in the house.jpg A Stranger in the House Shari Lapena

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS: Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There’s a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions.

Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.