Books I Tell Myself I’ll Read During Halloween

Posted October 31, 2017 by Kim in top ten tuesday / 6 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Even ignoring the fact that the title is ridiculously ambitiously (after all, there’s too many books and only one Halloween a year), this idea usually only sounds good to me in theory. At the end of the day, I’m quite at peace with the fact that I’m a scaredy-cat. You’ll never catch me at a horror movie showing. (It can keep its creepy clown things far far away) Somehow despite this, I’ve amassed a small collection of books that are marketed as thriller-esque or chilling. Whenever they sit for months (ok years) unread, I tell myself that Halloween’s the time. Most of the books probably wouldn’t freak out a first grader, and it’s been years since some of them first released. It’s starting to get ridiculous, so I hope this list will give me the self-enforced pressure to start reading.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicles (#2)
Published: August 9th, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Still a fairly new series with the second book recently released, I can still recall the back and forth do-I-buy-it-do-I-not game my mind was playing with the Barnes and Noble website opened. Although I also own and haven’t read Stormdancer by the same author, there was so much praise that I just bit the bullet for Nevernight and ordered it. Whenever books have a unique format, which in this case is footnotes at the bottom of pages, I am usually more inclined to give it a chance. Plus, assassins. (My baby Killua Zoldyck is the best assassin ever okay) I have a lot of faith in Mia’s story, so I’m hoping to be met with lots of blood and very little rainbows.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (#1)
Published: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: Quirk

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

I first discovered the world of book-tube and book blogging around 2011, and it led to the inevitable realization that I was extraordinary behind on reading all the great books. I wasn’t as extensively familiar with the young adult genre, so  I picked up everything that sounded interested with little reservation. I ended up wanting it all and it was just danger danger. I was very prone to buying books on nothing but a single recommendation and little research. I’m not sure if Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the kind of book I would pick up today after pinpointing my reading preferences, but because I already have it, I’ll give it the chance it deserves. Eventually. 

Finders Keepers by Stephen King
Series: Bill Hodges (#2)
Published: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Scribner

A masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes far too far—a book about the power of storytelling, starring the same trio of unlikely and winning heroes King introduced in Mr. Mercedes

“Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.

Not since Misery has King played with the notion of a reader whose obsession with a writer gets dangerous. Finders Keepers is spectacular, heart-pounding suspense, but it is also King writing about how literature shapes a life—for good, for bad, forever.

When it comes to Stephen King, he’s everywhere. Even for someone who avoids horror like the plaque and needs a lot of nudging to even consider suspense, it’s still incredibly hard not to hear about anything Stephen King has penned. I’m well aware that Finders Keepers is a sequel to a book I do not own, but I got a hardcover at Comic-Con one year and just couldn’t give it up. If everyone knows about Stephen King, it’s a practical choice to read at least one of his books right? Can I read this without reading the first one?

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound (#1)
Published: December 10th, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

I started reading These Broken Stars a few years ago, and if my memory hasn’t been strangely altered to fail me, I enjoyed what I read. Coming off the authors signing, I had started the arc late into the night and made it to the hundred page mark before I was too tired to understand what I was reading.

It was also creeping me out. I was steps away from jumping at every sound and flinching at sudden movements, which didn’t bode well for the sound sleep I wanted to get. I followed the natural course that any sane, sleep-loving person would do: I put the book down for the night. It just happened that I never picked it back up again. I will definitely start the book again from the beginning, but this time when its bright and sunny outside and I’m not worried that something is going to go bump in the night.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Series: Anna (#1)
Published: October 17th, 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

At the same time I instinctively hope that Anna Dressed in Blood is not too horrific, I want some substantial thrills that keep me up at night. I’m not looking for books marketed as scary to be reduced to caricatures of horror novels. If I would apply the principle of caveat emptor to book-buying, I made the ultimate decision to purchase this story. I can deal with consequences of being freaked out, and hey, nothing says I can’t enjoy that adrenaline rush of being freaked out either.

Dreams of God and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (#3)
Published: April 8th, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.

When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited – not in love, but in a tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.

But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?

The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion as – from the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond – humans, chimaera, and seraphim strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

Years have gone by and I remain two books into this series. The only thing I really remember from Daughter of Smoke and Bone is that Laini Taylor is a damn good writer and Brimstone is a damn good character that I wanted to see more of. I’ll have to make my way back to the first book in this series armed with a pen in hand and sticky tabs at my side so that I can remember what Laini’s books are about without the risk of forgetting again. Until then, I am on a strict self-imposed ban that dictates that I am not allowed to look at Strange the Dreamer before I’ve read her backlog.

Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 1
Series: Tokyo Ghoul (#1)
Published: June 16th, 2015
Publisher: Viz Media LLC

Shy Ken Kaneki is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out that she’s only interested in his body—eating it, that is. When a morally questionable rescue transforms him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of Ghouls, which exists alongside our own.

The first couple episodes of the Tokyo Ghoul anime were pretty entertaining. It’s a series I planned to keep watching and eventually supplement the experience with the remaining manga content, so I was happy when Viz Media announced the North America manga license. I also follow my share of anime/manga reviewers who have read the entirety of Tokyo Ghoul and are invested in Tokyo Ghoul: Re. It’s my fault for watching some of their recent reviews, but I am so completely confused by whats going on in the current storyline, it’s unnecessarily influencing my desire to start volume one. For what its worth, the content is still fascinating and Ken Kaneki seems like a character with good depth.

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Published: December 13th, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night…

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway – a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Circuses are, by nature, rich as backdrops for imaginative and magically tales. They can also serve as a place for self-discovery, as it did in That Time I Joined the Circus. Among titles like Caravel or Water for ElephantsThe Night Circus remains the one that seems most beloved among its readers. I’d be lying if I said you couldn’t sell the book to me on the atmosphere, imagery, or just that cover alone. I’d also be lying if I said The Night Circus doesn’t look like a daunting read.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy (#1)
Published: September 11th, 2012
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met… a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

When I was a child, I could have sworn that I had invented the word kami all by myself to use as a username for whatever website caught my interest. Then came the discovery that, yes, there is a world of anime beyond Inuyasha and Naruto. Eventually, my little ears caught wind of a word that the voice actors were repeating. Somehow, it sounded oddly like kami. The  word in Japanese translates into God, and now whenever I see the word kami in books, I feel inclined to pick it up. Kamichama Karin was one of the cutest discovery I made as a child.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer (#1)
Published: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

I read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer when it first released and I adored it. It was also back when finishing a book in a day wasn’t impossible. Nowadays, give me no less than a month to finish an average sized book. With the upcoming release of The Beckoning of Noah Shaw, I’d like to take the time to re-read the first book in the original trilogy and see if I’d like to continue this series I’ve neglected for too long.

Are you a fan of horror novels? Is there a book that screams I’m a good Halloween read to you? (*looks warily at my Edgar Allan Poe Collection*)

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6 responses to “Books I Tell Myself I’ll Read During Halloween

  1. Jo

    I liked The Night Circus but not as much as everyone else seemed to, and I couldn’t get through Nevernight. Miss Peregrine’s sounds great. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is on my TBR and I still have to get through Days of Blood and Starlight before I can read Dreams of Gods and Monsters!
    Jo recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #131My Profile

    • Kim

      I’d really like to see where I fall on the spectrum of enjoyment of The Night Circus, and I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed it 🙂 I can see why Nevernight isn’t a book for everybody after reading a page of it, but I’m hoping that I love it. Especially because I already bought the sequel, whoops.

      Happy reading! Especially when it comes to Days of Blood and Starlight, because those books are humongous.
      Kim recently posted…Books I Tell Myself I’ll Read During HalloweenMy Profile

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