Life has been insane for the last month and a half. I am getting close to the end of my fall quarter at school so I have been nonstop busy with homework, papers, and projects. Then I spent most of November sick with a bad case of bronchitis (got checked and it was not COVID) so I haven’t had much energy to write up the reviews of the books I read in October and Novemeber. I decided for these two months, I am just going to list off the books I have read and what I rated them as; no reviews this time. That being said; if you want to know my opinion about any of the books on this list, feel free to send me a message on here or on my instagram, @staceyrz! My normal book review setup suddenly came back in December!
Here are the books I read in October and November!
Market Ghost Stories by Mercedes Yaeger
Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
Tales of the Slayer by Doranna Durgin
Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
Burned to a Crisp by K.A. Miltimore
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Kill Switch by Penelope Douglas
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd Jones
Tomie by Junji Ito
The Ravenous by Amy Lukavics
The Whisper Man by Alex North
Crave by Tracy Wolf
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers
The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan
Malevolent by Jana Deleon
Rival by Penelope Douglas
Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Falling Away by Penelope Douglas
Aflame by Penelope Douglas
Witch: Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic
Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
Battle Ground by Jim Butcher
Christmas Eve by Jim Butcher
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Inside the Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Ian Nathan
Conclave by Penelope Douglas
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout
The Fires of Vengeance by Evan Winter
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Nightfall by Penelope Douglas
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L Armentrout
This gothic horror thriller is set in 1950s Mexico in an isolated mansion where a family’s secrets might be ready to explode. Noemi is a gorgeous, independent socialite who travels to the Mexican countryside after receiving a disturbing and unsettling letter from her cousin who was recently married. Moreno-Garcia created a beautifully creepy atmosphere that pulls you in and you won’t be able to put this book down.
The Shadows by Alex North
The Shadows is a psychological thriller filled with lucid dreams and ritualistic murder thatfollows Paul who is coming back to his hometown after many years because his mother is dying and once back, weird and possibly supernatural events start occurring. These events are very similar to what happened 25 years ago to Paul and his friends. This book follows two different timelines, both revolving around Paul. Creepy, suspenseful, and dark, perfect for the fall season.
Eight Perfect Murder by Peter Swanson
Here is another psychological suspenseful thriller full of mystery and twists. Malcolm is a mystery book lover who runs a bookstore and a blog. After writing a blog post about “eight perfect murders” from mystery books, several murders start happening in the area that might be connected to this list he created. Malcolm along with an FBI agent work together to find out who is using this list to hurt people.
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Mystery girl moves to the middle of nowhere, Nebraska and she starts dating the strange, loner boy. Then a bunch of murders start happening to the students at the high school. Who is doing this and why. It was a quick and fun mystery story.
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
The last thriller to talk about is Home Before Dark and wow, was this great thriller. Maggie and her family experienced a haunting in their Vermont home 25 years ago although Maggie was too young to remember most of these events. Her father ended up writing a book about their experience and her family was met with skepticism. Now as an adult, she doesn’t believe in ghosts or the words in her father’s book so since she inherits the “haunted” home in Vermont, she doesn’t think twice about going to renovate the house in order to sell it. Strange and unnerving events start occurring at the house and Maggie has to come to terms that what her father wrote might be in fact true.
This was a novella for The Reckoners series. It was a fun, entertaining story that added more backstory to this world. I wish I could have known and read this book between Steelheart and Firefight because it would have added some hints to the mystery behind the Epic’s weaknesses.
The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson
The Emperor’s Soul was another novella by Brandon Sanderson connected to Elantris. It is insane to me how good Brandon Sanderson’s world building can be in a novella under 200 pages. The heroine of this novella was incredible, intelligent and I just loved her. I would say you could read this novella without reading Elantris because although they are in the same world, they are two separate stories.
Secret History by Brandon Sanderson
Now let’s talk about Secret History. This is a novella connected with the Mistborn series, specifically Mistborn era one. I can’t really say much about this book because it would result in spoilers BUT I will say that if you missed reading about the incredible characters in Mistborn era one, read this book because some of them are back. I got literal chills while reading Secret History, being back in this world with some of my favorite fantasy characters was just so nice.
Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi
John Scalzi is one of those authors that I always enjoy reading their work. Science fiction books are sometimes hard for me to get into but Scalzi’s writing and characters help me enjoy his sci-fi worlds. Agent to the Stars was another great read from Scalzi for me. The main character is a celebrity agent who is fairly successful so his boss decides to assign him a new client. This client just happens to be an alien whose alien race wants to make themselves known to humanity. This book is full of witty and smartass conversations that make you love the characters.
Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
Okay so Where Dreams Descend was a fun book and the promo for this book was so accurate. I kept hearing that this story was a combination of Moulin Rouge, Greatest Showman, and a bit of Phantom of the Opera and if you know me at all, I am a musical theater lover! Everything I heard about this book made me so excited! There was magic, romance, a circus, dark pasts and intrigue; all of these things together make for a great book, in my opinion! Side note: I heard a lot of people comparing Where Dreams Descend to Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but I disagree. I honestly didn’t like Night Circus, the idea was cool but I don’t like the flowery writing in that book at all. So if you are like me, dislike Night Circus, don’t let that dislike stop you from reading this book.
Hideaway by Penelope Douglas
Okay we are on book two of Devil’s Night and man, this series is SO GREAT! Penelope Douglas is my favorite Romance writer for sure! The main characters from the first book in the series, Corrupt, are in this book as well but the MCs we follow are now Kai Mori and Banks. Michael and Rika are trying to move on from the events of Corrupt but Kai and Banks are still very much invested in the mysteries that resulted from Corrupt.
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Returning to Riordan’s book worlds has been so much fun. He just never disappoints me at all. I loved how this book connects the Roman gods to the Greek ones we have come to know. Some of my favorite characters from the Percy Jackson series are back again in this series but we do have new teenagers that we are following mainly. I can’t wait to continue with this series!
The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski
This is the second full-length novel in the Witcher series and it was just okay. I wish I was more in love with this series but it is just not my favorite. I know I will continue this series eventually but honestly right now, it will not be my priority.
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
This was a hard book for me to read honestly. It is a heartbreaking story about several Latino immigrant families trying to make it in the United States. The main family we follow is the Riveras from Mexico who came to the US after their daughter Maribel had an almost fatal accident and they came here to get her help. The book ends sadly and there is definitely not a happy ending for the characters but I liked that because life is hard, not always happy.
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Probably the best book I read in the month of September. I can’t believe I waited so long to read this series. Sarah J Maas has easily become one of my favorite authors especially when I want a fantasy romance book. So ACOMAF is the second book in A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Feyre is about to have a life changing moment but Rhysand had a different plan. Several things are revealed during this book and that is why I have to read the third book in October for sure; I need to know what happens!
Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie
Oh Joe Abercrombie, you definitely know how to write a grimdark world so well! I would definitely consider him my favorite grimdark author for sure! This is the final book in the First Law trilogy and it didn’t let me down at all! Just like the last two books in this series, all the characters continue to surprise me and one of them more than the others! I can’t wait to read the series that follows this world but years later especially after the events in Last Argument of Kings because wow, I did not see that ending coming.
Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin
This is the sequel to Serpent and Dove and it follows the events of our favorite characters from the first book after they escaped near death. The MCs are on a quest to find allies against Lou’s mother and just protective against her and the church that is also after them. The romance between Lou and Reid continues to grow even though it would be easier to not be together. The cliffhanger at the end of this book was incredible and intense! I can’t believe I have to wait now to see what ends up happening with all of these characters!
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
This was a decently good book. It made me think of a fairytale where the princess is cursed and a charming guy wants to save her. I like how this fairytale was reimagined. There were several twists and I loved the different creatures that are found in this book. The book had strong Middle Eastern tones which I loved because I am trying to read more books that are not based around English history.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
This classic horror book is another haunted house story but that is okay because it was still good. I had watched the Netflix TV show LOOSELY based on this book so I thought I had an idea of what to expect but the book is so different from the book. I liked both though in the end. If you are looking for a classic horror book that is creepy and crazy, check this one out.
Wayward Witch by Zoraida Cordova
I am so happy that this book is out and I can continue reading about these amazing characters in this incredible world that Zoraida Cordova has created. Wayward Witch is the third installment in the Brooklyn Brujas series and it did not disappoint me at all. We follow the youngest sister in the Mortiz family on an adventure to save a fairy realm and in the process, repair her family back in the human world. People! Please read this series and anything by Cordova, you won’t be disappointed!
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
Book one of the Book of the Ancestor series and it has been recommended to me by several people, so I was excited to finally start this series. We follow Nona, a young girl who has had a difficult life, who is now training at the Convent of Sweet Mercy where young girls like her train to be assassins. I liked the magic system and the writing. I will definitely continue this series eventually.
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennet
I am so glad that Foundryside was the last book I read this month because wow, it was so good!! The writing style reminded me of my favorite author, Brandon Sanderson, and the humor was very much a mix of Sanderson and Jim Butcher (in my opinion, anyways). Sancia, the main character, is a thief who has unique abilities that make her a great thief. She ends up stealing an ancient item that ends up putting her in the middle of a political, action packed situation. All the characters were incredible and there is not one that I hated even the villain. The twist in the end was amazing and I did not see that coming at all, which I love when that happens.
This is the fourth book in the Percy Jackson series and it was the perfect way to start the month. When I was younger, I never got this far into the series but I am so glad I finally am getting around to it. The idea of a labyrinth always stresses me out because I don’t like enclosed spaces but this book handled it in such a way that I could definitely handle it. Yet again, I am impressed by Riordan’s world building.
The Merciless IV: Last Rites by Danielle Vega
Genre: Young adult fantasy
I finally finished the Merciless series! When the description of a book is literally “Mean Girls meets the Exorcist”, I just knew I was going to love this series. It had the right amount of horror and bitchy teenage behavior.
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young adult fiction/Thriller
For some reason, I have been loving mystery type books so the synopsis for this book just sounded perfect. Mystery girl moves to the middle of nowhere, Nebraska and she starts dating the strange, loner boy. Then a bunch of murders start happening to the students at the high school. Who is doing this and why. It was a quick and fun mystery story.
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Genre: Juvie/Middle grade fantasy
Okay guys! I did it, I made it to the last Percy Jackson book and wow, did it not disappoint me at all. Everything was wrapped up beautifully and we see a great redemption arc, which I always enjoy reading. I highly recommend reading this series and I can’t wait to get more Rick Riordian books in the future.
As Old As Time by Liz Braswell
Genre: Young adult fantasy
Now, this is my FAVORITE book that I read in the month of March. I absolutely love Beauty and the Beast and this book is literally a retelling where Belle’s mom was actually the enchantress that cursed the young prince. You get to learn so much about Belle’s parents before Belle was born and the world surrounding Belle’s little village and the Beast’s kingdom. Absolutely incredible book and if you love the original Beauty and the Beast, I think you will fall in love with this story.
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Young adult fantasy
This is the final book in the Red Queen series and just like every other book in the series, it was good but not incredible. I gave the whole series a 4 star because it was a good concept, interesting world, but the main character was just not my favorite. A Lot of her chances, even at the end, just made me frustrated with her. Would still recommend it but it is just not one of my favorite young adult series.
Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
I ended up really enjoying Eight Perfect Murders and before I started it, I knew I would either really hate it or really love it. The reason I knew that is because when I read mysteries, there have been several times when I guessed the twist and the stories start to bore me. But when I read a mystery like this one, where I didn’t guess the twist and there are multiple surprises throughout the whole thing, that is when I am truly happy with a mystery book.
A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
A Memory of Light was tied with my favorite book of the month. This book was the conclusion to the Wheel of Time series and it was everything I wanted it to. I was completely satisfied with this ending and I don’t always say that about other series I have read. The last 400 pages were insane and full of action. Everyone that likes fantasy at all should read this series.
Music to My Years: A Mixtape-Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up by Cristela Alonzo
I have been wanting to read this book for a long time and I was not disappointed. I have been a fan of Cristela Alonzo since I watched her show, Cristela. It was the first time I had watched a show and felt connected and represented as a Hispanic woman who loves nerd stuff. Cristela is a brilliant woman whose story is just inspiring and super encouraging.
The Haunting of Ashburn by Darcy Coates
This was an enjoyable horror book but it was not as scary as I wanted it to be. After all the other horror stories I have read and movies I have watched, this book was a little predictable. I would still recommend this book, especially to those that get easily scared.
Reflection by Elizabeth Lim
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Reflection is a retelling of Disney’s Mulan and unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. I had high hopes after reading the retelling of Beauty and the Beast from the same series and that book was SO good. It made my expectations grow very high. Luckily for this story the last 50 pages were pretty good, otherwise it would have received only two stars instead of the three I gave it.
Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary/Romance/LGBT
Now this book was a perfect way to end the month of March! I picked it up on a whim while working through Barnes and Noble and wow, am I happy I grabbed it! The main tagline for this book compares it to Grease, Clueless, and Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda so I just knew I was going to love it. All the characters but especially Ollie (main character) were so lovable and real that you could not help but wish them the best! I highly recommend it!