Blogtober Day Fourteen: If You Liked This, Then Read That

Hello, lovelies! I have had some great fun doing the ‘if you liked this book, then try that one’ in the past. So, no big surprise, here I am to do it again today. Today’s comparisons are all going to be recommendations for spooky season. Hopefully, you’ve read some of these so that you can try the books I’d recommend next.

If you liked Sadie by Courtney Summers, you will probably like The Night Swim by Megan Goldin. Sadie follows a young girl named Sadie who is bent on finding her sisters killer and bringing him to justice. While we’re following that story from Sadie’s point of view, we’re listening to West’s podcast which is trying to find the truth about what ultimately happened to Sadie. The Night Swim follows Rachel who has a well known true crime podcast. For her third season, she will be covering an on going court case, a rape trial. While she’s in this small town, she’s approached via letters by someone who grew up there. Her sister was murdered in that town years and years ago, but it was ruled an accidental drowning. I think these stories are comparable because of the podcast element (I did the audiobooks for both of these and would recommend that you do too). Both books also cover some really heavy topics like murder, sexual assault, and rape.

If you liked Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, then you should try The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James. Home Before Dark is the story of Maggie alternating between the past and the present. Her father has died and she’s learned that she now owns Baneberry Hall (the house her family fled when she was a child). Her father wrote a non-fiction book about their time at Baneberry Hall (the book is what we get in the past parts of the story). There are so many secrets and deceptions about this book that Maggie’s determined to go back to Baneberry Hall and finally get to the truth for herself. The Sun Down Motel follows Carly, in present day, and Viv, in 1982. Viv went missing and was never found, this is something that her niece, Carly has fixated on. We follow Carly as she follows in her Aunt Viv’s path, coming to the town of Fell, working nights at the Sun Down Motel, trying to solve a mystery. Both of these books have the element of ‘is it ghosts or is there a logical explanation’ which is apparently a horror/mystery trope that I really like. Both stories also give us alternating chapters from the past and the present, with the present reflecting events that happened in the past. If you like spooky murder houses (or motels) you’ll probably like these books.

If you liked They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman, you might like How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao. They Wish They Were Us takes place at an expensive prep school with a “secret” society that everyone knows about. Jill’s best friend died in their Freshman year. Now she’s a senior and it’s her turn to be in charge in this secret group. She’s vowed that she will do things differently. But she’s starting to suspect that her best friends killer might actually be innocent and if he is, then who actually killed her best friend? How We Fall Apart also takes place in an elite prep school. Nancy’s best friend goes missing, and later is found dead. Nancy’s friend group each have secrets, so when an anonymous person named “The Proctor” starts revealing these secrets, the friends band together to try to uncover The Proctor’s identity. The common element for these books is exclusive prep schools and murder. They were both relatively fast paced stories who’s twists I did not guess.

If you liked Small Favors by Erin A. Craig, you will probably like Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth. Small Favors goes through the seasons of a year. And over this year, strange things are happening in the small town she lives in. They’re surrounded by a forest that has legends of being filled with monsters. It’s been years since anyone has seen these monsters, but they might be returning. People are dying and things are getting weirder as the seasons are changing. This book was just full of weirdness in the best way. Plain Bad Heroines follows a few different time periods, but all taking place in the same place: a creepy house/school. This house might actually be cursed. Murder and mystery are what this house is all about and unraveling what’s real and what isn’t is absolutely the appeal of the story. Both of these books follow creepy, atmospheric settings where people are dying and the reason why is unclear.

If you liked Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw, then you should try Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. Winterwood is about a magical (maybe even haunted) forest. Nora and the women in her family have a special connection with this forest. When a boy survives his time in the forest, Nora needs to find out what really happened. Wild Beauty is about a lush garden estate that is cared for by the Nomeolvides family. They all have flower magic. But their curse is that the men they love always leave them. Until one day, the gardens give them a boy instead of taking one. Both of these stories involve magical nature. They also involve boys mysteriously appearing from the flowers and the forest. I think the biggest difference is that Wild Beauty is a story that feels like spring and Winterwood is a fall/winter story. Both are magical and mysterious.

These are the books that I’ve chosen for comparison and recommendation today. Have you read any of these? Would you agree or disagree with any of my comparisons? Are there any books that you would recommend with the books I’ve chosen? Let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

GoodReads Summary:
Be careful of the dark, dark wood…
Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.
Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.
But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.
For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.
WinterwoodReview:
After completely loving Ernshaw’s first novel, I knew that Winterwood would be on my anticipated releases list for 2019. It was everything I wanted from it. Sort of opposite from her first novel in the sense of seasons and types of paranormal.
Winterwood follows the story of Nora, a forest witch, as she finds a boy in her woods. There is a mystery surrounding him (which was so well done), and Nora is trying to find the truth. I was so drawn into the story, into Nora and her family’s history. I liked Nora right away. She was happy with her life. Magic and forest and seclusion. She was strong and independent and I thought that was shown to the reader very well.
Then she finds Oliver in the woods and her life begins to change. Oliver is one of the boys that is living in the camp for troubled boys. He was mysterious. Filled with secrets that I could never really tell what he actually knew or didn’t. I wanted to like Oliver because Nora liked him but I never really trusted him. The only thing that I didn’t like about this book was that Nora and Oliver’s relationship was a little weird. She loved this boy that she barely knew and that seemed a bit suspect to me. Though I was really happy with the ending.
Overall, I loved this book jst like I did her first novel. It was atmospheric and mysterious as hell. The writing and the story drew me in and made me want to live in this world. I adored the little in-between chapter bits about Nora’s ancestors. I loved the way the story unfolded and I will absolutely be looking forward to Ernshaw’s next release.

Quotes:

“Because I am more darkness than girl. More winter shadow than August sunlight.”

“She’s not weak, she’s not frail or breakable or scared of much. She is the storm that tears away roofs and knocks over trees.”

“I’m certain that love can be a wound, deep and saw-toothed and filled with salt. But sometimes it’s worth it.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Halloween/Creepy Freebie. I’m going to make a list that I think is fitting for the spooky season.

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1. The Diviners by Libba Bray – All the spooky feels. Listening to this on audiobook gave me some serious chills.
2. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer – Weird, creepy and spooky all in one. I made the mistake of reading this at night and had some weiiiird dreams that night.
3. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – This definitely wasn’t one of my favorites I’ve read lately but it’s definitely got the creepy Halloween vibes.
4. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw – Accused witches coming back from the dead and drowning boys every summer, spooky season approved.
5. Uprooted by Naomi Novik – Magic isn’t always spooky but The Wood definitely adds a creep factor to this surprisingly dark story.
6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman – The not knowing makes this story a little spooky. Mr. Wednesday only lets us (and Shadow) know what he wants us to know when he wants us to know it.
7. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – The mystery factor is what makes this book spooky. That and the crazy ass monsters that Tea has under her control.
8. The Devouring by Simon Holt – This series is seriously spooky. An excellent read for the Halloween season.
9. Secret of McKinley Mansion by K.F. Breene – I actually had to watch a Disney movie after I finished this book. I made the mistake of reading it before bed and I was seriously creeped out.
10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I’m not finished with this series, but the first book is pretty spooky. Especially after learning what we did about Noah.

What books are you going to be reading this Halloween?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

I Heart Characters!

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so you and others can blog hop and share the character love.

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This weeks topic is Plagued by Ghosts (A character who IS a ghost or can see and/or interacts with the spiritual realm.)

Amanda

Okay so who here has read The Wicked Deep. our main character sees ghosts. Penny is sort of an outsider in her town. She lives on the island with the lighthouse and takes a little boat to the mainland everyday for school and everything. While I didn’t absolutely love Penny, she was definitely intriguing in this book. A great book for spooky season if you’re looking for something to read this Halloween!

Antonia

The In The Garden Trilogy by Nora Roberts follows three women as they deal with a ghost who’s haunting their house. The ghost has a sad, twisted backstory that I completely loved.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Summary:
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow.
Two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three troubled girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into Sparrow’s harbor and pulling them under.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives, unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople will turn against one another. Penny and Bo will suspect the other of hiding secrets. And death with come swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
Bu only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo or save herself.
Review:
The Wicked Deep was brought to my attention through the book blogging world. The beautiful cover was featured on countless bookstagrams and bookish twitters because it photographs so well. Once I read the synopsis I was more than interested. Vengeful sisters and murder? Count me in.
There was a little while during the story that I wasn’t really sure where things were going. Were they going to figure out how to get rid of the Swan sisters for good? What was the end goal here? Then I found out and man I totally should have seen that plot twist coming. I’m honestly not sure how I missed it, all the clues were there.
I don’t think I have anything negative to say about The Wicked Deep. It has an incredibly unique storyline with fully developed and interesting characters that pull you in and leave you with all the feels.
Penny, our main character, is an outsider in her town. I immediately liked her because she chooses to stay on the island and care for her mother. She’s a girl that really cares about the people in her life and is loyal to no end. After learning about certain events in the book I really felt bad for Penny because someone did her real dirty and she will never even find out about it. So many secrets are being kept from her right through the ending and I just felt bad for her.
Our love interest, Bo. He’s mysterious. That typical guy from out of town who comes into town with a secret. We slowly learn more about him as Penny gets to know him. I really liked Bo. Though he was ignorant to the craziness that is the Swan Season in the town of Sparrow, he sticks it out to try to find the answers he’s looking for. He’s determined but finds himself caring for Penny and her island.
I liked the relationship between Penny and Bo. It wasn’t insta-lovey thank god. I can’t handle instalove relationships. There was definitely some infatuation on Penny’s part in the beginning. Their relationship had actual development which I liked. They were both keeping secrets but working together on the island to fix the orchard among other things gives them time to bond and talk and really get comfortable with one another. With this time spent together, they slowly start to open up and reveal their secrets to each other. I liked the pace of their relationship. It’s the same for the whole story. It’s paced nicely. The story flows well, giving us a smooth story that’s not rushed at the end to give us an ending or too slow in the beginning trying to give us all the background information we need.
Overall, I liked this book about as much as I expected to. I knew I was going to like this story just from the synopsis. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The unique storyline was one that I loved. It’s creative and unlike anything I’ve read before which is impressive because I’ve read quite a few books. The characters are relatable and real. They make you feel all the things and you can’t help but care about them. This was a fun read for sure and I’d recommend it to anyone that liked young adult books.

“Love is an enchantress—devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently rereading Air Awakens by Elise Kova on my Kindle. I’m also listening to Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel.

Antonia- I just started Water’s Wrath by Elise Kova. I’m only about a chapter into it but I’m loving this series so far.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished reading The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw. My review will be posted next week.

Antonia- I just finished Earth’s End by Elise Kova. I couldn’t wait to start the next book (Kova really knows how to keep you invested with these endings), but you can expect to see my review of this one soon.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I’ll be listening to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I’ll continue the Air Awakens Series with Fire Falling by Elise Kova on my Kindle. I think I’ll be starting Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard sometime this week too.

Antonia- Honestly, it’ll probably be Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova. I’m a little obsessed with this series and don’t think I’ll be able to help myself. I’d originally planned on reading other books in between so my reviews would be more spaced out but that obviously hasn’t happened.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? Leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

Magical Readathon – O.W.L. Exams TBR

Hi bookworms, Amanda here! I was recently scrolling through Twitter when I saw Books in the Skye share something about a readathon based on the N.E.W.T exams from the Harry Potter books. I did a little more digging and saw that I sadly missed out on the O.W.L exam readathon, hosted over on YouTube by Book Roast, that took place originally in April. I decided that I could either skip the O.W.L.s and just take whatever N.E.W.T.s I felt like doing or I could do the O.W.L. exams anyway. I have decided that I’m going to take the O.W.L. exams anyway. So I will start this challenge tomorrow, August 2nd, and I will try to complete as many exams as I can until the 29th.

owls tbr

The following grades are awarded for the overall OWLs performance:

 

Pass

Outstanding – sit and pass at least 5 OWLs
Exceeded Expectations – sit and pass at least 3 OWLs
Acceptable – sit and pass at least 2 OWLs

Fail

Poor – sit only one OWL
Dreadful – start but not finish any OWLs tasks
Troll – do not show up at your OWLs examinations

Ancient Runes – A book with a symbol on the cover

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (print book)

the wicked deep

Arithmacy – A Book with a number on the cover or in the title

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti (print book)

zeroes

Astronomy – A science fiction novel

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada (print book)

this mortal coil

Care of Magical Creatures – A book that includes magical creatures or features magical creatures on the cover

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling (print book)

hp - sorcerers stone

Charms – A fantasy novel

A Darker Shade of Magic  by V.E. Schwab (print book)

ADSOM

Defense Against the Dark Arts – A book about or with a secret society or club

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (print book)

city of bones

Divination – A book featuring prophecies 

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (ebook)

shadow of the fox

Herbology – A book with a nature-related word in the title 

Air Awakens by Elise Kova (ebook)

air awakens

History of Magic – A historical fiction novel

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (audiobook)

my lady jane

Muggle Studies – A muggle non-fiction novel

Yes Please by Amy Poehler (audiobook)

yes please

Potions – A book with or about alchemy 

Allies by Bella Forrest (ebook)

allies

Transfiguration – A book with transfiguration / shapeshifting or a book with a cat on the cover

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (audiobook)

paranormalcy

I don’t expect to read all of these books but I’m someone that does well with options so I wanted to give myself a variety of books to choose from throughout this reading challenge. I’m going to aim to read at least five of these books. Wish me luck!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.