October Wrap Up

In October I read some really good spooky reads along with a few most anticipated reads like “It Starts With Us” By Colleen Hoover. I am overall extremely happy with everything I read last month and I can’t wait to share all my thoughts.


Reading Stats

Number of Books: 8

Total Pages: 2,452

Average Rating: 4.69

Most Common Format: Physical Books

Most Common Genre: Romance

Mood: Mysterious

Physical Books

“Hidden Pictures” By Jason Rekulak

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves this new job. She lives in the Maxwell’s pool house, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.

As the days pass, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister, and his stick figures steadily evolve into more detailed, complex, and lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect these are glimpses of an unsolved murder from long ago, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force lingering in the forest behind the Maxwell’s house.

With help from a handsome landscaper and an eccentric neighbor, Mallory sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy—while coming to terms with a tragedy in her own past—before it’s too late. 

Synopsis From GoodReads

“Every Heart A Doorway” By Seanan McGuire

Rating: 4 out of 5.

No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Synopsis From GoodReads

“The Sun Down Motel” By Simone St. James

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

Synopsis From GoodReads


Graphic Novels

“PumpkinHeads” By Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really loved this graphic novel. It was extremely cute, both in writing and the art.

Only go into this book if you are prepared to be hungry! It talks so much about some yummy fall themed treats and I just wish I could have ate them along side the characters.

“MoonCakes” By Wendy Xu

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I bought this mostly for the cover, if I am being completely honest. It is super cute and Halloween themed so it felt like a great book to pick up for spooky season.

I thought it was a pretty cute read and I can totally see myself picking this up to re read each year. If you like witches and werewolves, then I know you will enjoy this one!


Audio

“The Perfect Child” By Lucinda Berry

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.

Hannah knows that Janie is manipulating Christopher and isolating him from her, despite Hannah’s attempts to bring them all together. But as Janie’s behavior threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.

Synopsis From GoodReads

“It Ends With Us” By Colleen Hoover

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was actually a reread for me in preparation for the release of “It Starts With Us”. This was my all time favorite book and now I can say it is my all time favorite series!

I can’t get enough of Atlas and Lily and I will forever be rooting for them.

“It Starts With Us” By Colleen Hoover

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Lily and her ex-husband, Ryle, have just settled into a civil coparenting rhythm when she suddenly bumps into her first love, Atlas, again. After nearly two years separated, she is elated that for once, time is on their side, and she immediately says yes when Atlas asks her on a date.

But her excitement is quickly hampered by the knowledge that, though they are no longer married, Ryle is still very much a part of her life—and Atlas Corrigan is the one man he will hate being in his ex-wife and daughter’s life.

Synopsis from Goodreads


DNF

“Lord Of The Fly Fest” By Goldy Moldavsky

I don’t DNF Often, so I am quite upset I had to do this. When reading this short review please keep in mind that this is my opinion and I can only speak for myself. Please read this book if you are still interested.

Honestly the cover is so gorgeous that when the writing and characters didn’t live up to that level I had to put it down. I read about 70 pages and just couldn’t read anymore.


Favorite Quotes

“What are you talking about? We can’t just give her back—we’re her parents. Her parents, Hannah. Whether you like it or not, that’s what we signed on for.” His body shook as he tried to control his anger. “You can’t just give your kids away when it’s rough.” “You can if your kid is a monster.”

Lucinda Berry, The Perfect Child

“She crawled up on my lap and whispered in her sweet voice, “I like hurting people. Do you?”

Lucinda Berry, The Perfect Child

“Thank you for being the most comforting part of my life right now. Thank you for always being the beacon I need every time I feel lost. Whether you mean to shine on me or not. I am grateful for you. I’ve missed you. I absolutely should have kissed you.”

Colleen Hoover, It Starts with Us

“My choice helped me realize that sometimes the hardest decisions a person can make will most likely lead to the best outcomes.”

Colleen Hoover, It Starts with Us

“I think it’s instructive to be awake in the middle of the night every once in a while. To really see what you’re missing while you’re usually sleeping.”

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

“She was a story, not an epilogue.”

Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway

“I’m grateful to the judge who sent me to rehab instead of prison.”

Jason Rekulak, Hidden Pictures

QOTD: What Format do you like to read books in?

Book Review: “The Sun Down Motel” By Simone St. James

This book was my Book Clubs pick for the month of October and I don’t think we could have picked a better book for the spooky season! I know a lot of my book Club peeps were busy this month so not many of us were able to finish but that is perfectly fine because we are friends first before a Book Club. Over all I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to tell you my thoughts.

“For the odd girls, the nerdy girls, and the murderinos. This one is yours.”

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

About The Book

Author: Simone St. James

Publisher: Berkley

Published Date: February 18th, 2020

Page Count: 327 Pages

Main Genres: Mystery, Horror, Thriller

GoodReads Rating. 4.03

Format: Physical Book

“I think it’s instructive to be awake in the middle of the night every once in a while. To really see what you’re missing while you’re usually sleeping.”

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

Synopsis

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

Synopsis From GoodReads

“I’m the one you didn’t kill,”

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review

This book started a bit slow to me and took maybe 150 pages to really get into. But by the time I met that 150 page mark I was hooked and did not want to put it down!

At the beginning of this book everything just felt too perfect, like she was out of money and had no where to stay but then she finds a rich roommate, like what? Why was it so perfect? That kind of story telling really gets under my skin. But honestly you forget about how perfect this book started after a little while and just get sucked into the atmosphere of The Sun Down Motel and the story of all the missing girls. You really want to help them figure out the truth!

I did really enjoy all of the characters in this book, and there were many. They all played a pretty important part in this book and really made the story. Carly made some really good friendships which was a really cute part that I enjoyed a lot, I was afraid she wouldn’t know anyone and be doing all this research on her own.

If you are looking for a paranormal book that actually gives you chills, I highly recommend picking up this book.

“The person who could be truly alone, in the company of no one but oneself and one’s own thoughts—that person was stronger than anyone else. More ready. More prepared.”

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

QOTD: What are some good paranormal books?

Book Review: “It Starts With Us” By Colleen Hoover

“It Ends With Us” Is my all time favorite book so when I heard she was releasing a sequel in Atlas’s perspective I immediately pre ordered the book. Actually, I ordered two copies to be exact, Apparently I was more excited for this boo than I knew. Even though I ordered two copies of this book I ended up listening to it on audio while I was working because I needed to know what happened! Lets get down to my thoughts.

“I can draw a seedling with two tiny branches. Yours and mine. We’ll be on our own brand-new, tiny family tree—one that starts with us.”

Colleen Hoover, It Starts with Us

About The Book

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publisher: Atria Books

Published Date: October 18th, 2022

Page Count: 336 Pages

Main Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

GoodReads Rating: 4,25

Format: Audio

“She’s my person, and I am hers, and that’s something I’ve known since the first week we met.”

Colleen Hoover, It Starts with Us

Synopsis

Lily and her ex-husband, Ryle, have just settled into a civil coparenting rhythm when she suddenly bumps into her first love, Atlas, again. After nearly two years separated, she is elated that for once, time is on their side, and she immediately says yes when Atlas asks her on a date.

But her excitement is quickly hampered by the knowledge that, though they are no longer married, Ryle is still very much a part of her life—and Atlas Corrigan is the one man he will hate being in his ex-wife and daughter’s life.

Synopsis from Goodreads

“My choice helped me realize that sometimes the hardest decisions a person can make will most likely lead to the best outcomes.”

Colleen Hoover, It Starts with Us

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review

Atlas and Lily have my whole heart! This book was everything that I hoped it would be plus more! These are my comfort books.

I am happy I chose to listen to this on audio because having the dual perspectives with a cast really adds to the perfection of this book. With that said, I am already wanting to reread this but with the physical copy. I just can’t get enough of their story!

This book showed a lot of character development of all the characters, I think everyone in this book really grew up from the first one. This was something that made me love this book just slightly more than the first one.

I am so happy we got more of Atlas! Getting to know him better and all the things he really had to go through to get to where he is today just made me love him more.

These books will be my favorite romance reads for the rest of my life, I am calling it now! I will forever recommend these to everyone I come across. Please pick these up and send me your thoughts!

“Thank you for being the most comforting part of my life right now. Thank you for always being the beacon I need every time I feel lost. Whether you mean to shine on me or not. I am grateful for you. I’ve missed you. I absolutely should have kissed you.”

Colleen Hoover, It Starts with Us

QOTD: I need a book that will make me cry, send me some recs.

Book Review: “The Perfect Child” By Lucinda Berry

October has been such a great reading month for me! I have had many four and five star reads and this one was no different! I had heard nothing but good reviews for this book so I went in with High expectations and it really did live up to the hype.

“Parenting a traumatized child is horribly difficult. Most of them suffer from severe attachment issues, and mothers are usually the targets of their rage. It can get pretty awful.”

Lucinda Berry, The Perfect Child

About The Book

Author: Lucinda Berry

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Published Date: March 1st, 2019

Page Count: 371 Pages

Main Genres: Thriller, Fiction, Horror

GoodReads Rating: 4.10

Format: Audio

“She crawled up on my lap and whispered in her sweet voice, “I like hurting people. Do you?”

Lucinda Berry, The Perfect Child

Synopsis

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.

Hannah knows that Janie is manipulating Christopher and isolating him from her, despite Hannah’s attempts to bring them all together. But as Janie’s behavior threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.

Synopsis From GoodReads

“What are you talking about? We can’t just give her back—we’re her parents. Her parents, Hannah. Whether you like it or not, that’s what we signed on for.” His body shook as he tried to control his anger. “You can’t just give your kids away when it’s rough.” “You can if your kid is a monster.”

Lucinda Berry, The Perfect Child

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review

If you are going to read this book I highly recommend the audio book! I loved the cast of voices they had and it just made the book really come to life!

Before diving head first into this book like I did, I really recommend checking out the trigger warnings. If things about child abuse, domestic abuse, animal abuse and death happen to be triggers for you then I highly suggest not picking this one up. When reading this book I found myself comparing it to “The Push” by Ashley Audrain which I believe I also gave five stars. So if you liked one of the above maybe try the other!

This book made me cry and a lot of that is due to the specific trigger warnings I mentioned above. The author describes these situations in ways that really get to you which is great writing! This really added to the suspense of the book and overall horror element. This is probably the most unsettling book I have read in quite some time.

“It never crossed anyone’s mind that someone else might be in trouble. I wished it would’ve. Maybe then things would’ve ended differently.”

Lucinda Berry, The Perfect Child

QOTD: Give me a recommendation such as “If you liked this book then you will love this one”.

Book Review: “Every Heart a Doorway” By Seanan McGuire

I have had this book on my radar for probably 6 months and I can’t believe it took me that long to finally pick it up! It is such a short book that I devoured it in one sitting and spoiler alert, I loved every moment of it!

“Their love wanted to fix her, and refused to see that she wasn’t broken.”

Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway

About The Book

Author: Seanan McGuire

Publisher: Tor

Published Date: April 5th, 2016

Page Count: 173 Pages

Main Genres: Fantasy, YA, Fiction

GoodReads Rating: 3.82

“She was a story, not an epilogue.”

Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway

Synopsis

No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Synopsis From GoodReads

“We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.”

Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review

Like most books, I really didn’t know much of anything about it before I started to read it. I had no clue that it was as short as it was or that it had a bit of a mystery tied into it. All I knew is that a few booktubers said it would be a nice cozy read about kids who found doors to other worlds but couldn’t go back, But it was about so much more than just that.

This book had some really good themes about acceptance and honestly some of the conversations were tough to listen to but much needed. I truly loved this cozy YA Fantasy with a mix of mystery. If you are looking for those in a book make sure to check this one out!

“You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.”

Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway

QOTD: What is a good Cozy Mystery?

Book Review: “Hidden Pictures” By Jason Rekulak

This book has been read by everyone under the sun, Ok maybe not really, but it does feel like it. I have seen it everywhere with raving reviews so I was extremely excited to finally get my own copy and devour this book and what better time than the beginning of spooky season?!

“hardest things about recovery is coming to terms with the fact that you can’t trust your brain”

Jason Rekulak, Hidden Pictures

About The Book

Author: Jason Rekulak

Publisher: FlatIron Books

Published Date: May 10th, 2022

Page Count: 373 Pages

Main Genres: Horror, Thriller, Mystery

GoodReads Rating: 4.25

“I’m grateful to the judge who sent me to rehab instead of prison.”

Jason Rekulak, Hidden Pictures

Synopsis

Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves this new job. She lives in the Maxwell’s pool house, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.

As the days pass, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister, and his stick figures steadily evolve into more detailed, complex, and lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect these are glimpses of an unsolved murder from long ago, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force lingering in the forest behind the Maxwell’s house.

With help from a handsome landscaper and an eccentric neighbor, Mallory sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy—while coming to terms with a tragedy in her own past—before it’s too late. 

“seemed so epic. But I mentioned the challenges to Adrian’s mother and she gave me some good advice. She said I shouldn’t try to write a book, I should just sit down at my laptop and tell the story, one sentence at a time, using the same language I’d use to tell a friend over coffee. She said it was okay not to sound like J. K. Rowling. It was fine if I sounded like Mallory Quinn from Philadelphia.”

Jason Rekulak, Hidden Pictures

Synopsis From GoodReads


Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review

This book was everything I hoped for plus so much more!

I used to be a nanny so while I was reading this book I was imagining this happening to me and how I would have handled the situation, and I don’t think I would have made it out of this house alive.

I really loved that this book had pictures because without them I don’t think it would have been as scary as it was. The pictures just really helped you see that something was really weird with this situation. I think I stared at each picture for a good five minutes a piece just to get a real good look at what was going on.

The one thing I want to shout out is that this wasn’t as predictable as most thrillers I have read and I really appreciated that. I think this book is probably the scariest thing I have read in my whole two years of being on bookstagram and I am so glad I was able to finally read this one! I highly Recommend it!

“I see her every night,” Teddy says. “She sleeps under my bed so I can hear her singing.”

Jason Rekulak, Hidden Pictures

QOTD: What is the scariest book you have read?