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End of Year Reviews. #BookBlogger. #BookClubReads

End of Year Reviews. #BookBlogger. #BookClubReads

I have read a lot of books this year, and I didn’t get a chance to review all of them. So here is a round up of some of the books I read and my brief thoughts on them. They will probably come in multiple posts as there are a lot of unreviewed books this year!

Some I read by myself and some I read as part of my book club. Thanks to Irena for introducing me to lots of new books and genres. Irena’s links below.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Published June 30th 2020 by Del Rey

This book was a bookclub read and not really my top choice, but I was ready to try new genres. I would describe this as historical, horror fiction.

Our main character Noemi gets a letter from her cousin asking for her help. So Noemi goes to see her cousin and stays in a very old gothic building in attempt to help her cousin who seems to be quite sick and scared. The descriptions within these pages are my favourite part as you can really imagine the dampness, the creepiness and the eerie atmosphere that Noemi’s cousin lives in.

I have to say, I was hoping for more Mexican influence, but the family were English so despite being based in Mexico there wasn’t much Mexican influence in it.

I knew I was going in for a horror read, we read this as part of our October Halloween bookclub read. But the supernatural element just didn’t work for me. I was hoping there would be believable (to me) reasons for what was happening, but I just didn’t believe it.

As you can see for yourself, the cover of this book is gorgeous and that was one of the things that attracted me to the book. Sadly, this book wasn’t for me.

Cackle By Rachel Harrison.

Published October 5th 2021 by Berkley Books

This was our second Halloween read, and I liked this one so much better than Mexican Gothic. It was marketed as a horror / thriller by some reviewers. I want to be very clear on my and my co reader’s thoughts here. This is definitely not a thriller or a horror. We decided that at best it can be describe as a cosy women’s fiction with paranormal / witchy elements. It was the Halloween book that I wanted.

Annie leaves Manhattan to try to start again after her boyfriend dumped her. She is feeling low in confidence and hopes her new job, house and location will bring her more happiness. Apart from a spider infestation, her house and area seems lovely. Then Annie meets Sophie, who is super confident, super hot and super nice to Annie. One odd thing though, the other locals seem a bit scared of Sophie!

This was such a cosy, easy read. We see the character development of Annie and Sophie throughout the book. Particularly with Annie there are many pro feminism aspects as her character grows.

I love the cover of this book, despite there being a spider on it. The Author may think this book will lessen readers fear of spiders! For me it did not. I would be totally freaked out in Annie and Sophie’s houses. But whats a Halloween book without a friendly spider or 5!

I really liked this book as just an easy read with a hint of paranormal, that even me as a total non believer could enjoy. Highly recommended.

Well, thats it for today. More mini reviews to come soon as I look over all the books I’ve read this year. As I look at what I’ve read, I will consider my favourites of the year? Let me know your favourite book(s) of 2021 and perhaps I will add them to my tbr list for 2022. Happy Reading Folks.

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Posted by on December 31, 2021 in Books

 

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Book review: Spooky Halloween Reads.

Book review: Spooky Halloween Reads.

I read some great Halloween reads over the last month. The first I will tell you about is a horror book, which is entirely out of my usual comfort reading zone. But I was buddy reading it with Irena, which would make it enjoyable whatever I thought of the book. Luckily for me, I rated the book 4 out of 5 stars.

Description :

Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.

Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.

As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.

The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland.

My Thoughts:

I think this is my first proper horror book that I have read in quite a few years. I used to enjoy Stephen King books when I was a lot younger. But since then, my genre preferences stayed between thriller and womens fiction. Branching out to a horror book at Halloween seemed the perfect time to give it a go. Even better, I got to buddy read it with Irena.

So, onto House of Hollow. This book starts with three sisters who are as close as sisters can be. They have arranged to meet up as only Iris now lives at home. Vivi and Grey are out living their own lives. Grey as a famous model, and Vivi in a band. The three sisters share a bond like no other as they disappeared as children for 1 month, and when they were found unharmed except for a scar on the throats, they remembered nothing.

The mysterious things start to happen pretty much straight away in this book. Grey doesn’t turn up for their meeting so Iris and Vivi start to look for her. This leads them on a journey neither of them were expecting, and gives them answers and many more questions about their lives along the way.

The writing in House of Hollow is so descriptively amazing and really painted a picture in my mind. It was good to discuss these parts with Irena, as some parts of it really made me cringe, but Irena had different views. When I first saw the cover, I thought it was lovely, as I read on and discovered these were flowers of death, it seemed more creepy than nice. It wasn’t the traditional horror story with blood and gore, or ghosts and ghouls. This horror had mythical dark fairytale vibes, the type that is super creepy to me. While I didn’t know much about faeries at the time (I knew only that fairies were good and faeries were not so good). Irena knew quite a lot about them, so I also learnt about faeries and myths while reading the book.

The concluding chapters to House of Hollow are gripping, fast paced, earie and answered all the questions that I had built up over the read. The ending was both sad, happy, weird and so imaginative. There was an epilogue which was not really necassary and may or may not have been written with a book 2 in mind?? I’m not sure. Personally, I think House of Hollow ended and should remain ended in this way. But saying that I really did love this Author’s writing style and creative imagination. I would read Krystal Sutherland’s books again. I didn’t think I would say that before I started this book, but again my buddy reads have pulled me out of my comfort zone and found something exciting. I highly recommend House of Hollow. Thanks to Irena for suggesting the book and buddy reading it with me.

See this amazing trailer, if my review didn’t convince you to read, then this will.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2021 in Books

 

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