Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Recommendations #23

This is a special edition of Weekend Recommendations! Normally, Weekend Recommendations consists of my randomly picking two books I liked (or loved), and fangirling about them. But because Halloween is just a week away, I thought it would be fun to do a special Halloween Weekend Recommendations! So I've pulled in three of my book buddies to help me out. They've each listed two books they think are great Halloween reads. Check it out! And if you would like to see their reviews on Goodreads, click on the book titles!

Hazel's Halloween Recommendations:

Author: by Rick Yancey
Genre: historical fiction/horror
Rating: 3 out of 5

Why Hazel Liked It:

This is more of a good Halloween read, set in Victorian era New England. We're introduced to young Will Henry, who is an assistant to the monstrumologist, Dr. Pellinore - a monster hunter and scientist. This is the kind of book I dare people to read in the middle of the night when you're the only one awake, because it WILL scare you. The monsters are really monsters and incredibly dangerous. While not the best book I've ever read, I loved the dark Gothic feel and the characters were enjoyable, and I'd definitely recommend it as a Halloween read. As long as you don't mind a lot of gore, you'll enjoy it!

Title: The Wild
Author: Christopher Golden & Tim Lebbon
Genre: historical fiction/paranormal/horror/adventure
Rating: 4 out of 5

Why Hazel Liked It:

While not typically what I would call a Halloween read (it's best to read in the middle of winter), The Wild is a chilling adventure in the classic style with horror thrown into the mix. Jack London is the protagonist and the premise of the series is that these are his 'secret adventures' that inspired his own writings in real life. This book is very strange, but in a good way, and will have you on the edge of your seat with bated breath. It mixes in the true terror of the Yukon, as well as the legend of the Wendigo, and some Russian folklore, too. It's a very unique read, and I promise you won't know where it will lead you. I'd recommend it to anyone who wanted more of a scary adventure than your typical ghost story.

Katherine's Halloween Recommendations:

Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: paranormal
Rating: 4 out of 5

Why Katherine Liked It:

This is a great twist on the classic ghost story. A likable male protagonist and an awesome premises completes this fantastic tale of ghost and ghost hunters. A great Halloween read that you should definitely not read with the lights out!!

Author: Megan Shepherd
Genre: historical fiction/paranormal/classic retelling
Rating: 4 out of 5

Why Katherine Liked It:

While I've not read the original story that inspired this retelling, I thoroughly enjoyed this. I absolutely loved the complex world-building the Author did, and Juliet, the main female protagonist, is not your typical shrinking violet. She can kick some serious butt! Combine that with the mysterious setting and a murder mystery and you have a perfect Halloween read!

Kel's Halloween Recommendations

Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: fantasy/supernatural
Rating: 4 out of 5

Why Kel Likes It:

Following the murder of his family, Nobody "Bod" Owens is taken in and raised by a graveyard full of ghosts. It's not safe outside, so he grows up inside its boundaries, though the graveyard has its own dangers. By bits, then bounds, the outside world breaks into Bod's life and it will take all his courage and knowledge, of the living and the dead, to stay alive.

I loved Gaiman's take on the ghost world and, in particular, his development of Bod's character. The plot is good, but the characters are what really make this story shine.

Title: Howl's Moving Castle
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Genre: fantasy/comedy
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why Kel Liked It:

Witches, warlocks, fire demons, curses, and lots and lots of humor! Halloween is all about fun and, as one of my all time favorite books, Howl's Moving Castle is just that. Sensible Sophie has been magicked into an old woman who finds herself keeping house for the cowardly wizard Howl. Magic tricks and treats abound as Howl and Sophie struggle to survive the Witch of the Waste and each other. This is lighthearted, magical fantasy at its best. I dare you to read this book and come away not smiling.

The Reading Hedgehog's Halloween Recommendations

Author: Chris Priestley
Genre: historical fiction/supernatural/mystery
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why I Liked It:

Everyone can agree that Edgar Allen Poe is the father - and the master - of Gothic thrillers. Chris Priestley has taken a page from Poe's book in writing this novel. Ideal for Poe fans, this scary story would make Poe proud in its writing style and sheer creepiness. I loved the setting, the characters, the plot, and the end. I'm not scared easily, and this book gave me goosebumps. If this were ever turned into a movie, it's too bad they couldn't resurrect Vincent Price to play the protagonist's guardian!

Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Genre: historical fantasy/horror/mystery
Rating: 2 out of 5

Why I Liked It:

I personally was not a big fan of this particular book. The writing is beautiful, and the characters are all interesting and believable (though I wasn't able to attach to any of them). But it is purely demonic, and I'm not a fan of demonic. That said, for those Readers who don't mind demonic imagery, this is most definitely the perfect Halloween read. It's been a long time since I've read a book that disturbed me so much (in both a bad and good way). I couldn't sleep with the lights off, I was so freaked out, and if you're looking for a hardcore Halloween read, this is the one for you!


  1. I'm going to have to add "Anna Dressed in Blood" to my Fall TR list as well, that sounds cool. I've also wanted to read "The Graveyard Book" for a while too. Thanks for setting this up, Mara, I enjoyed choosing the recs and seeing what other people had =)

    1. I've wanted to read THE GRAVEYARD BOOK for a while as well. Thanks for contributing! I may do this more often for Weekend Recommendations, especially for holiday months.


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