Hello everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic October! Did you do anything fun? We’re allowed to dress up in a costume at work (as long as it’s work appropriate). Are you allowed to dress up at your job? I’d love to hear about how your spooky season is going! Now that Halloween is over it’s onto the turkey! But first, onto the books!
Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.
We start off following our main character Amy as she’s going to work. She’s got a lot on her mind – like thinking she’s going to get fired, trying to figure out where she’s going to get the rest of her rent money this month, and why her car is making weird noises – you know, just everyday normal adult stuff. As she gets to work she immediately starts trying to avoid her boss, Basil. But she can’t escape him for long. He’s finds her and tells her that he needs to speak to Amy and another of her coworkers, Ruth Anne as soon as possible. We they sit down together he asks them if they’d like to make some off the books extra cash that night. It’s obvious to Basil that someone is breaking in to Orsk and vandalizing the place after hours. His plan if for the three of them to stay in the building overnight to try and catch the people responsible. Amy reluctantly agrees because she needs rent money and this sounds like an easy way to make some extra cash. Little does she know that tonight may be the last night that she sees her coworkers.
Ok so this book was just so good. Even the design of the book was on point. It looked exactly like an Ikea catalog – down to the order form in the front and the product depictions throughout the book. I loved that the products started out normal and then got creepier and creepier as the book went on. I did see a few reviews saying that this book was lite-horror but I don’t think that’s the case. There are a few scenes where the characters are getting tortured and they are super graphic and detailed. If you’re not a fan of body horror then you may want to skip this one. But overall, I think this was a fantastic book and one I will be adding to my personal collection as well.
Next was another one of my favorite books from last month. The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik continues the story from her first book in this series, A Deadly Education, exactly where we left off. So the seniors are doing all they can to prepare for graduation. Alliances are made, magical items are cooked up in the shop, mana is built, and time is slowly ticking down. El is realizing more and more that she wants to save everyone somehow. So of course they come up with a hair brained scheme in order to do just that. Will they succeed? Will everyone get out? Who knows! Read this book and you’ll find out!
I absolutely loved this book. I read most of it in one sitting, I just could not put it down once it sucked me in. I cannot believe that ending though. Although, I figured it was going to end with one of them (either El or Orion) sacrificing themselves for the other one somehow. I can’t wait for the last book!! Write faster Naomi!!
Continuing on, is an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy, it’ll be out Nov. 10th) that I got from work called The Down River People by Adam Smith and Matthew Fox. Here’s the blurb from Goodreads: Myers Carpenter is a bootlegger who just inherited his family’s bar, The Flatbed. Unsure of whether or not he even wants to keep the famous speakeasy, Myers is forced to find a new booze supplier when he burns his bridges at his long time source in Mississippi. The only option he can turn to is his estranged mother, a woman he hasn’t seen since he was a young boy, now running a fishing Lodge for the wealthy; and a half sister he knew nothing about. As Myers becomes more entangled in the lives of his newfound family, he begins to learn the secrets of the Lodge and a dark cult thriving just under the surface of wealth and opulence.
I had no idea what this was about going into it. I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would. The beginning is the best section of this graphic novel. The middle is pretty good, but the ending just felt really rushed. I wish the authors would have gone into more depth about the cult and how they functioned. But I still liked this graphic novel. If you’re a fan of stories about cults or horror then check this one out, you might end up liking it.
(SPOILERS!) We start off with our MC, Becca moving to a new suburb in San Francisco. Moving not only means a new house but a new school as well. Becca is nervous that she may not fit in at her new school, but she soon befriends a group of the most popular girls in school. Marley, Amanda, and Arianna seem like the perfect group, but Becca soon finds out that they have a much deeper bond than one of friendship. During a party under the full moon Becca sees the girls turn into werewolves and eat one of the sleezy guys at the party. At first she is shocked by what she’s seen but the girls tell her that they have a system. They lure gross guys into the woods (the kind that don’t take no for an answer) and then eat them. No one knows they’re missing for a few days and the girls have already eaten the body so what could go wrong? They ask Becca to join them and become a werewolf as well. She agrees and finally feels like she belongs. The girls only have one other rule – no boyfriends. But that rule doesn’t seem to apply to their alpha, Arianna. At another party Arianna’s boyfriend (I really can’t remember his name. Bryce? Bryan? Something like that), tries to get handsy with Becca and she accidentally kills him. They can’t just eat him – he’s a popular boy and people will notice that he’s missing. So they decide to ditch him body in a creek and forget about him. That is until the police find his body. Because of all the other boys that have been disappearing, the cops think that they have a serial killer on their hands. The girls have to decide if they want to keep eating slimy boys or go back to being human again – which you can apparently do if you eat your alpha’s heart.
I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It was a great read for spooky season (or anytime), and I would highly recommend that you check it out!
Next is a choose your own adventure graphic novel called Eighth Grade Witch by Andrew E.C. Gaska and E.L. Thomas. This book is pretty self-explanatory for what it is. We follow a new family that’s recently moved into a supposedly haunted house. After a few pages of introduction, we start to get into the pages where you have to choose which page you want to go to next. I don’t think that I got all of the endings, even with me flipping around to see what all of them were. But I really, really enjoyed this. It was really fun and very well done. The artwork was great and the attention to details especially in backgrounds was nice too. Overall, if you have a middle schooler in your life, I think they would really get a kick out of this.
Next is a graphic novel called Upgrade Soul: Collector’s Edition by Ezra Clayton Daniels. Now, we all know I’m not a sci-fi fan but boy is this graphic novel fantastic. Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
For their 45th anniversary, Hank and Molly Nonnar decide to undergo an experimental rejuvenation procedure, but their hopes for youth are dashed when the couple is faced with the results: severely disfigured yet intellectually and physically superior duplicates of themselves. Can the original Hank and Molly coexist in the same world as their clones? In Upgrade Soul, McDuffie Award-winning creator Ezra Claytan Daniels asks probing questions about what shapes our identity-Is it the capability of our minds or the physicality of our bodies? Is a newer, better version of yourself still you? This page-turning graphic novel follows the lives of Hank and Molly as they discover the harsh truth that only one version of themselves is fated to survive.
I really enjoyed this graphic novel. At first I thought it was going to be weird and sad – and it was both of those things but in a great way. I really don’t want to give anything away because I want you to experience this yourself if you end up reading it – which I would highly recommend that you do!
Lastly we have Crowded volume 2, Glitter Dystopia by Christopher Sebela. This graphic novel picks up right where the first one left off (SPOILERS FOR VOLUME ONE AND TWO AHEAD). After narrowly escaping a televised attempt on Charlie’s life at the end of volume one, Vita and Charlie decide to get out of LA and go to Las Vegas. Their goal is to find out who’s behind the Reapr campaign and why. As we go along the two ladies get closer and closer and Charlie starts to fall for Vita. They also start revealing parts of their past as they road trip to Las Vegas and we get to see a little bit of the why behind Charlie’s Reapr campaign. Once they hit Las Vegas, Charlie’s connection falls through leaving them without a place to stay except for a crappy motel. They eventually are able to uncover a little info on who started the Reapr campaign but not as much as they would have liked. Their next stop is an old friend of Vita’s, a young girl that she helped years ago. Who happens to run a cult that’s living in an abandoned missile silo. Of course, they can trust no one and she betrays them pretty much immediately. After breaking out of there they have a huge fight about Dog (their kidnapped pet dog) that Charlie left behind in the missile silo. Charlie cancels her contract with Vita and ends up with a new Dfend bodyguard. We’ll have to wait til volume three to see how that turns out though.
I really love this series. Yes, Charlie can be annoying at times but she’s supposed to be. I’m waiting patiently for a redemption arc and if there isn’t one, I will be annoyed because she really is an obnoxious character. I love Vita’s character and I can’t wait to learn more about her backstory. The little bit that we got in this volume was fantastic – I can’t believe that she was a secret service agent! I’m sure there will be more badassery in future volumes as well. Overall, this is a fun graphic novel with some dynamic characters. If you’re an action fan then give this a try.
What’s that? Another Grady Hendrix book? Why yes, I did read two of his books in the month of October. This one is We Sold Our Souls which my friend got me at our local used bookstore a few weeks ago. This book follows Kris Pulaski who was a part of the heavy metal band Durt Wurk in the 90s. After playing together for years, the band was about to take off. They were finally gaining traction and getting the attention they deserved. But their front man Terry Hunt had other ideas. Terry made a deal with the devil and sold his band mates out – literally selling their souls in order to sky rocket to success. Now twenty years later, Kris is the night manager of a Best Western and she hasn’t spoken to her band mates in years. Kris finds out what Terry did and decides that she needs to confront him. Get closure about what happened on contract night and possibly get her soul back. She reunites with her past band mates and deals with many obstacles along the nightmarish journey. Can a girl with a guitar save her soul? Or will Black Mountain win again. You’ll have to read and find out!
This was another fantastic book by Grady Hendrix. I really enjoyed these characters, especially Kris. She was a deeply flawed individual and she had a great redemption arc. Although, I’m not sure if she was really fully redeemed. After all the carnage that she left in her wake on her way to confront Terry.
That’s it for October! I hope that you all had a fun filled spooky month. I’d love to hear what’ve you’ve been reading. Anything scary or horror related? I read some fantastic horror in the last few months but I’m always on the hunt for more! Happy reading to you all and I’ll talk to you next month!