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Jessica (HDB)

I'm a bookworm of the highest caliber! If you see me, I'll probably be reading. There's nothing I love more than finding a good book, and then sharing it with the world!

Currently reading

The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes Novel)
Brittany Cavallaro
Progress: 16%
The Small Hand
Susan Hill
Summer of Night
Dan Simmons
Progress: 52%
The Dovekeepers
Alice Hoffman
Burn for Me
Ilona Andrews
Progress: 75%
Naomi Novik

Halloween Bingo - Update #1


So I've decided to use the cute little bone frame for squares that are called, and cover squares I've finished with a spider web! That means when both occur at the same time, it'll have a cute little web with a border around it. I love playing with graphics!


Squares Called But Not Read:



Squares Read But Not Called:

Gothic - Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Locked Room Mystery - The Burning Court by John Dickson Carr



I'm currently reading Summer of Night (this is a LONG one) and I'll pick a new audio book as well today!

A Wild and Unremarkable Book

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing - Jen Castleberry

That's what the title should be. It's fine, as a whole. The story is fairly solid. The characters are fairly well fleshed out. It's just that nothing really happens! There's a romance that is glossed over, a family that falls into the background, and the kind of character building that makes you wonder why they really bothered at all, since nothing happens to the characters.


There's a dragon slaying contest in this book, yes you heard me right, and it's boring. Uneventful. Unremarkable. There's a girl posing as a boy for the good of her family, and it's just swept right over.


I gave this 3 stars because it was a quick read that I did actually end up finishing. I just wouldn't read it again. In fact, I'm already starting to forget it.

Reading progress update: I've read 20%.

Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier, Sally Beauman

Reading this for the Gothic square!



So far, I've alternated between wanting to smack our little heroine, and sweep her off to safety. She is so caught up in the idea of being the woman of the house, of having Manderley as her own, that she hasn't stopped to think how odd this whole thing is. Probably the least romantic proposal I've ever heard of. Hahaha. Poor little thing.


I suspect now that she's arrived at Manderley, things are going to get eerie. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited. I hope there is much haunting.

Reading progress update: I've read 5%.

Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier, Sally Beauman

I've never read this before, so I decided to give the audio a shot! So far I love it. This book screams gothic fiction, even though I've only just started. The description of Manderley at the beginning of the book is perfection. I felt myself walking the rambling grounds, and even at this point I can feel the tension starting to build. The eyes watching from unknown sources.


I am SO excited to finish this.

Reading progress update: I've read 11%.

Summer of Night - Dan Simmons

I can already tell that this book and I are going to get along swimmingly! It's got that beautiful writing that builds up tension, and sets the story firmly in my mind. I can see The Bike Patrol out on their bikes, riding through the summer night, unaware that something terrible is headed their way. Yup, I'm already in love.


On another note, I have additionally established that this isn't going to be a book I can read at night. I've read IT 3 times now, and I still have to read it only in daylight. This book seems the same. It's got that dark undertone that is the stuff of nightmares.



Luna says, "Did you say that we get to start reading for Halloween Bingo TODAY?".


I'm so excited!


First up, Summer of Night by Dan Simmons.

The Quiet Child by John Burley

The Quiet Child: A Novel - John Burley

Compulsively readable. I know that little phrase gets thrown around a lot in the review world, but I've actually found it to be a true statement. Often I'll pick up a book, not really expecting anything specific from it, and find myself so immersed that I can't bear to stop reading. I confess, The Quiet Child fit that mark perfectly. I started reading, and suddenly I was a part of the McCray's world. Part of their crumbling, patched together, little family. I read this ravenously, and before I knew it I was done. So, as I said above, compulsively readable. That's the perfect description for this book.

What I loved, more than anything, was the small town feel of this thriller. The McCray's were a part of the quilt of their little town, albeit a part that many ignored. It made the McCray brothers, and their eventual abduction, feel all the more intimate. It was almost claustrophobic, being caught up in all the speculation and gossip that was thrown around throughout this story. It made it even harder to figure out exactly what was going on, and kept me guessing well past when I thought I knew where things were going.

I also really enjoyed the bond between brothers in this story. Danny and Sean were so close, and it really fed into the drama surrounding their disappearance. Which is actually also one of the reasons why book started to go off the rails for me after a while. Any time a young child in peril is involved in a book, and adults start acting poorly, I get angry. That's all I can say without spoilers, but trust me when I say that I wasn't happy with the parents here.

In fact, the last third of the book really threw me off. I wanted to love it, since everything leading  up to that had been so amazing, but I just couldn't get my footing. It was like everything that had been so mysterious, and so dangerous, was suddenly a big crush of last minute additions and wrap ups. My only solace was the karma that came to some of the characters, although I do believe that many of them deserved much worse.

All in all, this was a mainly solid read though. I'm not generally one to read a lot of thrillers, so it's nice to find one every now and then that really pulls me in. For making me care about these little boys, and really root for their survival, The Quiet Child gets a three-star rating from me. If only the ending had kept that feeling going, it would have been much higher. 

Is it September yet?

My first 3 bingo reads are sitting on my Kindle, mocking me. Hahaha. I know it's only 2 days away, but I want to start NOW.


I am impatient.


Fall is coming, and I have that happy feeling that comes along with it. Looking forward to sweaters, cocoa, fall veggies, warm blankets, more embroidery time and some cozy reads!



If you haven't already read this, but want to!

NOS4A2 - Joe Hill

It's $1.99 on the Harper Collins website right now!


Click right here.

Reading progress update: I've read 30%.

Jackaby - William Ritter

This is my new train audio book, and I'm quite delighted with this Sherlock-esque character who dabbles in cases regarding the supernatural. I admit, I mostly picked this because of the cover. I never bothered to read the synopsis. Now, I'm glad about that! This has been a fun adventure so far.


Also, this audio book is excellent!

Roar by Cora Carmack

Roar - Cora Carmack

Well, this book was surprisingly good! I say that only because it took me ages to get past the first few chapters. I don't know if I wasn't feeling it at first, or if the book is just slow at the beginning, but once Aurora sets off on her grand adventure things get amazing! I loved every minute after that.


To Cora Carmack, I say thank you for writing such a fierce, yet realistic woman. One who carries the scars of her past, and is strong enough to move forward. I also thank her for writing a male interest who was anything but typical. Locke is a man who understands his power, understands Aurora's hurt, and takes that all into consideration. The spark between them felt real to me, and watching it grow made me smile.


I loved this! I hope the follow up comes soon!

Yes, yes and so much yes.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzi Lee

I'll write a real review for this soon, but since I just finished it this morning I'll have to do a little more pondering before I write. Otherwise it'll just be an entire review filled with something along the lines of...




So, yeah. I'll sit for a bit and figure out what I want to write. I LOVED this book though. It was so brilliantly written, overall. The plot was great, the characters were stellar, the attention to detail in the settings was amazing. Ugh. I love Mackenzie Lee. I do. I don't care who knows it.


I need much more Monty and Percy very very soon.

Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins

So, this book had been sitting at the bottom of my TBR for just about forever. I'm rather ashamed to say that I actually received a galley of this way, WAY back when I started blogging and then it just never made it to the top of the list. I even own a paperback copy of this now, and I still ignored it. It wasn't until Hex Hall popped up on my audio book recommendations at the library that I really paid attention. Which is silly! Because I loved the Rebel Belle series by Hawkins. Still, I'm a little glad I waited. The audio was great, and this was just what I needed to listen to at the time. I had a ton of fun!

First off, I can't exactly say that Sophie Mercer's story is light. There are definitely sinister things happening at her school, and terrible fates do definitely befall some of her fellow classmates. However, I think what kept this buoyant was the fact that Sophie is just so easy to fall in love with. She's sweet, sassy, and pretty much the type of teen girl that I'd love to be friends with. Despite her situation, and the funk that it threatens to push her into, she keeps looking for the good. In other words, Sophie was real. Not overly sad, not overly excitable, just a Prodigium who really wanted to fit in and have a good school experience.

Even the "mean girls" in this book weren't over the top, which was nice. I know we all love to hate a good mean girl character, and Sophie's bullies aren't any exception to that rule. However it was nice to see that they also had some substance to them as well. I can safely say, without risk of spoilers, that I finally came to care about these girls in the end. It says a lot that I not only powered through this audio in a matter of days, but that I'm also eagerly waiting for the next book to hit my library app. I need to find out what happens next.

For keeping me smiling, and guessing, this book gets a big four stars from me. I needed something in the YA genre that wasn't full of swoon-worthy, brooding boys and this was just perfect. Highly recommended.

Reading progress update: I've read 35%.

Dreamfall - Amy Plum

This book is horribly cheesy, and yet kind of what I need to read right now. I've been listening to it on and off in between other things. Honestly, I've mostly been listening to it while doing dishes. The fact that Plum is touching on the idea of being trapped in the dream of another person is really interesting. The dreams are just... odd? This is supposed to be a horror novel I think, so some of them are really weird. Some of them are really SAD. All of them are interesting though.



Halloween Bingo - The Planning Phase (Complete)

As I am cranky, exhausted, and have zero energy to do any actual work today, I'm distracting myself by planning my Halloween Bingo reading instead. That's valid, right? Honestly, this week has been hell. Complete hell. I'm hanging on by a thread, and the prospect of a quiet weekend of reading and sleeping is calling me. So let's get there faster by ignoring all things work and focusing on books!



Romantic SuspenseThe Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney

I've seen this book on many a blog that I follow and one of my friends who doesn't read much, but loves mysteries, has been waxing poetic about this. Hahaha. So I guess I will read it!


Chilling Children  - Let the Right One In  by John Ajvide Lindqvist

I've been meaning to read this for AGES. I loved the movie endlessly, and then felt guilty that I hadn't had the time to read the book. I already have this on request from the library!


GothicRebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Pretty much everyone I know has read this, and I have not. So, that shall be remedied.


Modern Masters of HorrorLittle Heaven by Nick Cutter

I've owned this book for... 5 months? It keeps staring at me. Time to dive in and probably be scared out of my wits because Nick Cutter is EVIL.


Magical RealismMidnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

This book has been suggested to me multiple times, by multiple people, so what better time to read it? I'm pretty excited!




Haunted HousesLittle Stranger  by Sarah Waters

(Thank you MR!) I can't wait to read this now! 


GhostThe Diviners  by Libba Bray

I loved this book, but it's been so long since I've read it and I can't remember the nuances. Which stinks, because I want to finish the series. So here's a chance to re-read it.


Locked Room MysteryThe Burning Court by John Dickinson Carr

According to my mystery obsessed friend, any one of Carr's books fits this square. I chose this one mainly because it involves a female murderer. Fiendish!


Terror In a Small TownSummer of Night by Dan Simmons

Look, E. loved this book and I've been wanting to read it. That's it.


In the Dark, Dark WoodThe Ritual by Adam Nevill

OMG. This looks so scary. I am SO excited.



Darkest LondonA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

As excited as I would have been to re-read Neverwhere for the umpteenth time, I think I should read this book that has been languishing on my shelf for nearly two years.


VampiresSalem's Lot by Stephen King

Time for a re-read! YAY!


MonstersThe Breaking by Daniel Greene

Daniel had me read his first zombie novel, and this is the sequel! I need to review it so, two birds, one stone, and all that.


American Horror Story The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Another book that has been sitting for ages.



Classic Noir The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammet

Since others look to be reading this and I'm intrigued!


AliensIn the After by Demitria Lunetta

Have I mentioned I have a LOT of books, waiting to be read on my shelf?


Classic HorrorPsycho by Robert Bloch

Time to visit Bates motel! Woo!


WitchesThe Witching Hour by Anne Rice

My favorite series, and I do believe that it's time for a re-read.


80's HorrorNightscape by Stephen R. George

Can we please talk about how amazing ALL 80's horror covers are? I'm in love with them. Chose this one mainly because of the cover, to be honest!



Serial/Spree KillerThere's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Yes, I know it'll be cheesy. I just think I'll need something fluffy by this point!


WerewolvesThe Wolf's Hour by Robert McCammon

Realistically I know it's very unlikely I'll get to this or finish it, but hey, it's a hope! Also has anyone noticed how woefully packed all werewolf books are into the "shifter" category. Paranormal Romance has eaten all things werewolf.


SupernaturalNeedful Things by Stephen King

Would you look at me weird if I told you I was giddy over re-reading this? This is literally my favorite King book and I couldn't even explain why.


Diverse VoicesAkata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Recommended multiple times. I'm listening.


DemonsSeed by Ania Ahlborn

I didn't love The Devil Crept In but I'm willing to give Ahlborn another shot!



So that's everything! All updated. I'm going to take it slow, and pick my way through the list. I know I took on a LOT of horror but, truth be told, I think I'm ready to get lost in that right now. Maybe my psyche needs it. 

Reading progress update: I've read 75%.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzi Lee

I hereby profess my undying love for Henry Montague, and his rakish ways! The banter and tension between him and Percy is giving me life this week, since it hasn't exactly been the best of weeks by any measure. The fact that today is Friday and that I can probably do nothing this evening but lay around and read is the only thing keeping me together.


That, and Felicity's boundless wit and venom:


“Just thinking about all that blood." I nearly shudder. "Doesn't it make you a bit squeamish?"


"Ladies haven't the luxury of being squeamish about blood," she replies, and Percy and I go fantastically red in unison. 


I do love this book though. Endlessly. I think it's destined for the favorites shelf.