Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
The spooky reviews just keep on rolling in! I've had Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake on my TBR for SO long, and like some of my previous spooky reads I decided this needed to be a priority this Halloween season. First off, the text of this book is printed in burgundy ink, which is SO awesome and unique. It was dark enough to still be easy to read, but that different element really stood out to me.

This story follows Cas, a ghosthunter who in his father's footsteps dedicates his life to killing those who are already dead. This is how he meets Anna, a murderous ghost who has a passion for brutally killing anyone who sets foot inside her house. But Cas notices right away that Anna is different, almost human in her emotions, so he sets out to free her spirit from whatever curse is turning her evil. Throughout the story Cas also opens himself up to friendship, something he has never done, and he and his newfound posse band together to not only save Anna, but also themselves.

I really enjoyed this story, and am excited to read the next one, Girl of Nightmares. I thought all the characters were well developed and likable, and the story itself was very fast moving. You can tell that Blake did a lot of research on different types of witchcraft as well. I did think it was a little overly gruesome for YA, but the morbid side in me appreciated this. I did knock off a star because some plot points just didn't connect for me, but overall it was still a pretty great Halloween read!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
I have been meaning to read this book for so long, and this Halloween season I finally made it a priority to pick up this collection of stories! Slasher Girls and Monster Boys is an anthology of 14 scary short stories written by well-known YA authors and compiled by April Genevieve Tucholke. I don't read a lot of short story anthologies, but I should, since they are perfect for pausing and coming back to. Whenever I had to take a break, it was easy to find a place to do so.

I really thought this book was all over the place. Some stories were fantastic, while others were just bland. I especially liked In The Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan, Emmeline by Cat Winters, and Hide-And-Seek by Megan Shepherd. Sleepless by Jay Kristoff is disturbing, in a perverted way, as is The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma. The rest were unfortunately not that memorable. Other authors that contributed to this anthology are: Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, Danielle Paige, April Genevieve Tucholke (who also compiled these stories), Jonathan Maberry, Stefan Bachmann, McCormick Templeman, AG Howard, and Kendare Blake.

I will say that some of the elements in a few of these stories are a little sexual for the lower age of YA readers, and that this book borders more on older YA/New Adult. The stories aren't really gruesome and many are more psychological than actually scary. I was hoping for nightmares, but was sorely disappointed, but then again I am 27 (so a little older than the target audience). I really do admire many of the authors that contributed, but I have to say that short stories (at least scary ones) just might not be their thing.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
My lovely blog readers, I'm back! Sorry for the hiatus, but I had my wedding and honeymoon to celebrate! Lucky for you, I read some fantastic books while I was away that I will be posting reviews for in the coming week. The first of these is Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I actually started reading this as a free digital sampler on my flight home from the honeymoon, and loved it so much I bought the physical copy in the airport during my layover to finish during the second leg of the flight. 

This book follows Samantha, a teenage girl who loves her life, her popular friends, and her boyfriend. She has everything she wants, but a tragic accident forces Sam to face reality and acknowledge the fact that she hasn't been the nicest person in the past in order to finally find peace. You see, Sam is killed in a car accident, but she is forced to relive her last day over and over again until she can make things right.

I really enjoyed this book. It was fast moving and a very quick read. I loved Sam's character, and her friends Ally, Lindsey, and Elody as well. I thought the character development was great and so was the plot, and I loved all the details (I actually ordered a large hazelnut coffee with no sugar and extra cream with a sesame bagel from Dunkin Donuts this morning, if you get my reference!). I really enjoyed seeing how Sam relived her last day over and over, changing into a different person every day. I was a little disappointed with the ending and it was somewhat predictable, hence knocking off a star.

I absolutely have to watch this movie now to see if it lives up to the book. This is the first Lauren Oliver book I've read, but I now have tons more on my TBR!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

October 2017 TBR

Halloween season is finally here, which means it's extra important to pick up some spooky reads! This month is interesting, because I'm getting married in 5 days (!!!) and will be on my honeymoon, so I'll have more time than usual to curl up with a book (only this time it will be on the beach instead of on my couch!). Here's what I'm planning to tackle this month:
  • Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke
  • Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
  • The Merciless II by Danielle Vega
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo
  • A Midsummer Night's Scream by RL Stine
  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  • Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
Do you have any more spooky recommendations for me? I'm down for spooky books all year round of course, but October is just the perfect time!

Goodbye, Good Girl by Renee Blossom

Thanks Renee for my signed copy!
I love contemporaries, especially ones with a character I can identify with, and this book was no exception. Goodbye, Good Girl by Renee Blossom follows Kandace, a girl on a quest to both mentally find herself and physically find her father. Along the way she discovers an adventure she never thought she would be part of, and found everything she was looking for in the process. 

I absolutely ADORED this book. It had so many unique elements: coming of age mixed with travel mixed with family drama mixed with a little raunchiness mixed with a thriller. I loved Autumn/Kandace's character and identified so much with her myself. Constantly struggling to make things work and letting other people dictate her life, I loved seeing her grow and change as the story went on, with her ultimately getting to the point where she determined her own future. I also think April was a great friend for her, and wish I had an April in my life myself! Who knew a chance encounter at a bus stop could lead to a friendship like that?

My only complaint was the Kyle story line, it really seemed kind of pointless after the first few chapters, and I think he was an unnecessary addition to the story. Overall I really really enjoyed this book and am so glad I had the chance to read it! This is Blossom's first novel, and I'm so excited to see what else is in store from this author.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Goodbye, Good Girl by Renee Blossom releases TODAY so be sure to pick it up!

Thanks so much to Renee, Netgalley, and Revolve for both a digital ARC and a signed copy.

September 2017 Wrap Up

So September was a very good book month! I read a good mix of both older and new/upcoming books, totaling 7 books for the month of September. Here are my reads and how I rated them!
Reviews for all of these books have already been completed and posted, so be sure to check them out if you're interested in more detail!