Bone Crier’s Moon – Kathryn Purdie
Young adult, fantasy, romance, fiction.
Ailesse had been preparing for her Rite of Passage to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers. She had collected all the different bones she needed and learned all the different songs. Now she must go to the bridge to play the flute of a song that would attract her soul mate, the man whom she is destined to love and kill. Bastien was orphaned at a young age and promised to take revenge by murdering a bone crier. Sabine doesn’t like what the Bone Criers do nor their work but she must do what is expected of her. Ailesse’s mother assigns Sabine to watch her daughter’s Rite of Passage. Ailesse gets taken by her amour, Bastien, who wants revenge by taking her hostage. Sabine makes it her mission to rescue her best friend. Ailesse makes it her mission after learning about Bastien’s intentions to free him from their bond without death involved.
I had seen this while on the booktok side of TikTok and couldn’t resist the whole enemies to lovers trope. The premise doesn’t appear to be that way but it’s flushed out throughout the novel. This was one of my favorite fantasy young adult books so far. There was a perfect amount of action and fantasy along with some romance. There was a lot of tension between all the characters from the first page until the near end of the novel. The plot moved at a graceful pace that couldn’t have been more perfect. I was just sad about the cliffhanger and I have to find out if there is a sequel to the novel because this is excellent. The world-building was great and spread out just enough that it wasn’t just a lore dump in the beginning. I hate novels that do a lore dump at the beginning of the first book is the lore dump. I loved the whole enemies-to-lovers trope that is present. I can see Bastien really going for Ailesse hence I do ship it.
The Night She Disappeared – Lisa Jewell
Mystery, thriller, fiction.
Tallulah is a single mother going through college and trying to take care of her child, Noah, with her mother. Her child’s father Zach wants to be more involved with both her and Tallulah but Tallulah wants something else. She wants to be a social worker and live with her mother without anyone judging her. After a night of Zach and Tallulah spend together, both have gone completely missing with the only person connecting them is Scarlett who provides nothing other than that they were simply friends. One year later, Sophie, an aspiring mystery novelist moves into this town alongside her boyfriend who works at the school. She finds a DIG HERE sign and decides to dig up. She digs up a ring and looks into the missing teens’ case. She turns the evidence over to the police unveiling a break in the case.
I was so thrilled that Lisa Jewell came out with another novel. I love her thriller mysteries because each one is so unique. I enjoyed the diverse characters and their interactions that felt natural. As all her novels are. Furthermore, the writing of this novel was so well done and well spun. Watching it all unfold with the past and present timeline narratives made this novel work in a very thrilling dynamic novel.
Ace of Shades – Amanda Foody
Young adult, science fiction, fantasy, fiction.
Enne Salta finds herself in Las Reynes to try to find her mother. She has the entire summer to find her before she must return to her finishing school. With only a name, Levi Glaisyer, she hunts him down. He is taken aback by this young woman and decides to help her for a cost. She makes an offer to him that he can’t refuse that would solve his problems. He takes the offer and helps her find her mother. As they are searching for her mother, she learns of her past that affects her future.
My boyfriend had read this novel and I couldn’t help but be curious as to why he would read this. After reading I slowly understood. The plot is really interesting as it slowly unfolded. The world is immersive and makes the reader get hooked once it picks up the pace. The diverse and rich characters involved were very unique. There were many plot twists and turns that I hadn’t expected at all which I love a good book that does that. However, the concept of a world that is sort of Las Vegas but different isn’t my type. Overall, I did enjoy the novel despite that and how slow the beginning was.
The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina – Zoraida Cordova
Inheritance, families, magic, fiction.
Orquidea is feeling her end coming and she invites her to her funeral as well as an inheritance to her descendants. Her magic. Those who grew up didn’t take the magic seriously and others were annoyed with it. There were a lot of secrets that the Montoyas kept from each other and all came out when the magic was handed down. There is a force that doesn’t want Montoya’s family line to have magic.
This book recently came out and I was intrigued by the plot. I loved this novel and the cultural lore that was present in this as well as magic. I love novels that have lore and mythical explanations that help understand the novel’s plot more. This also had an interesting family dynamic that is intriguing and satisfying to see the bonds get stronger despite the weak bond at the beginning. The transformation of the Montoyas from the first chapter to the last was certainly so paced that nothing felt rushed. Some flashbacks helped the story along. All in all, this novel was beautifully and magically written.
Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Mystery, thriller, fiction
Neomi heads to the High Place to where her cousin resides with her husband due to a recent letter that her cousin sent. Out of concern, she must investigate the odd behavior that was occurring with her cousin. As she resides she is told of the strict house rules as well as the story of the household. However, the townsfolk have a different story about the High Place. A tale of the ancestor going on a murderous rage that led to a suicide afterward with only one lone survivor. Her cousin talks in hallucinogen imagery that only she sees but no one else sees. After seeking a second opinion she was given the warning to leave before things got worse. As she continues to stay she comes across some more secrets about the violence that occurs.
This was chilling in the sense that it slowly builds up. This was rather a short read but it was fantastic. I didn’t put it down and whenever I did I felt so bad. I needed to figure out what was going to happen. Then when it happened I was surprised. I was honestly hesitant about picking up this book until my boyfriend told me to just read it. He said it would be something I would like for sure and he wasn’t wrong. I did. The writing is well done and very descriptive. I felt like I stepped into the place and felt everything that the main character had felt. The characters were an interesting cast of characters for sure and the interactions felt so natural. Some mystery novels don’t have that feeling but this one did. The main character Neomi uncovering the secret and the truth was really interesting. It did take a long time because of the suspense build-up but it was rather interesting. Overall, I do love this novel. I did see this on TikTok and couldn’t pass up anymore on reading it.
Disney Chills: Fiends on the Other Side (Book 2) – Jennifer Brody writing as Vera Strange
Disney, children’s literature, villains, fiction.
Jamal always felt like a shadow, more like in his brother’s shadow. He felt very invisible. One day he receives stuff from his grandma which was just a skull necklace. A man appears and introduces himself as Dr. Facilier. Dr. Facilier wants the necklace but Jamal doesn’t want to trade that but he was willing to trade another item. Little does Jamal know that he must never make deals with the shadow man.
This was exceptionally different and very dark for a children’s book. Like the other one there were a lot of dark themes but not too dark. I wasn’t expecting the author to continue with the same level of horror as the other one but with this one. I loved that there was a reference to the movie. The other book also has references to the movie but it was more evident in this one than the other. Altogether I enjoyed this and can’t wait to find more.
We Are All The Same in the Dark – Julia Heaberlin
Mystery, thriller, fiction.
Odette is called to Wyatt’s house because of some suspicious activity. Wyatt shows her the young teenage girl he picked up who was surrounded by dandelions. The young girl has no eye and is mute. Odette thinks that this young girl is connected to the Trumanell Branson disappearance that happened a decade ago. Both cases are going to be tough as Odette’s past comes creeping up and she tries to solve the mysterious disappearance of Tru as well as the appearance of this young woman.
This novel was thrilling and kept me on my toes throughout the novel. I couldn’t stop reading and wanting to know what happened to Trumanell Branson. I was trying to predict what had happened to the young woman too. The novel was very mysterious until the very end. There was a lot of emotion built up and I loved every moment of the novel. I was disappointed by the ending. Overall the writing causes the reader to be invested by the plot and narrative from the first to the last page. I prefer this as a moderate thrill novel because there are some intense scenes but it’s nothing too drastic. A perfect novel for halloween for sure.
Disney Chills: Part of Your World (Book 1) – Jennifer Brody writing as Vera Strange
Children’s literature, Disney, villains, fiction.
Shelly wants to be popular for once and be a faster swimmer. Unfortunately when her parents split she had to go to a new school and join a new swim team. Just wanting to fit in and not be called ‘fish girl’. Her wish is to swim faster so that she can prove to her peers that she can be popular. Shelly finds a nautilus that takes her to this lair where an entity shows itself. Ursula, the sea witch, proposes a deal with Shelly. Shelly could become the fastest swimmer if she signs the contract and allows Ursula to call in a favor at any time. After twenty-four hours of contemplation, Shelly signs the deal. Unaware of the ramifications of her wish and the favor. It is too late to back out now…
One of my favorite Disney Villains is Ursula. She is clever and very smart with her deals as well as executing her plans. In this book, she knows what she wants and knows what Shelly wants. The deal that was made was ultimately evil and brilliant. Not only that but to make deals with Ursula one has to be hyper-specific in which Shelly wasn’t. The writing of this novel was so immersive and vivid. This novel is perfect for young readers who want to read a spooky story and are Disney fans. This is also great for all ages really but the demographic for this was geared towards children. I believe this book can be found at local Targets in the children’s section or the Halloween part of the book section. There are more books in the series that have different Disney villains incorporated.
Mother May I – Joshilyn Jackson
Mystery, thriller, fiction.
An old battered woman was standing outside of Bree’s window looking in. Bree thought she was seeing stuff but her husband also saw. Next thing she knows is that her son was taken and gets a mysterious phone call. She is given instructions to roofie Spencer at a party or else she won’t see her son. She’s also warned to never involve her husband nor the police. Bree does that precisely and after doing the deed, the Mother gives her another instruction. In order to get her son back she must trade her husband. Bree asks the help of her best friend and former cop to assist her with getting her son back. While throughout this cat and mouse chase, Bree realized that the man whom she married and had three kids with was not who she thought this man was.
This was a little haunting and chilling. I was expecting more but it was not a lot of thrill. Just a mild thrill and mystery. However, it was nothing that I’ve read before. I hadn’t expected the book to go in a certain route. This novel goes over the crucial topic of college parties and how some women get raped due to them being all drugged up. When a woman is not sober she can’t give consent and that is what happened here in the novel. Consent should be between two sober adults. Bree’s reaction to her husband’s past was perfectly normal that she wanted him to make things right with the woman whom he had taken advantage of and ruined her for life. What was uncalled for was the kidnapping of a newborn child. This novel was a little hard to read towards the end and overall the writing was great.
What Once Was Mine – Liz Braswell
Rapunzel, retelling, young adult, fiction.
Rapunzel’s mother drank a potion to save her life and it was what they thought was the sundrop flower. When Rapunzel was born she had silver hair that was proven deadly. The King and Queen had to face a decision that all new parents would fear is giving up their child or sending their child away. The Queen made it her quest to find a caregiver for Rapunzel and found Mother Gothel who promised to care for Rapunzel. Mother Gothel had other plans that led to Rapunzel being afraid of her hair’s powers. Rapunzel asked Mother Gothel if she could leave the tower to see the floating lanterns that happen every year on a specific date that correlated to her birthday and was told a firm no. She can’t have Rapunzel kill another person like what she had done to her parents long ago. She asks her mother to go get her something and when the coast is clear Rapunzel leaves the tower out of curiosity of what this strange man left behind to find a crown of some sort. Rapunzel goes on a quest to find someone to take her to the floating lights and has a prize for whomever. She finds Flynn Rider and Gina, both outlaws in trouble, and agrees to help Rapunzel. Along the way Rapunzel finds out the truth about her origin and the reality of her origin.
I’m a huge fan of Tangled and this twisted tale was by far the best presentation of the story being twisted. Rapunzel has magical hair that destroys or rather takes the life of whoever touches it. This blew my mind because I wasn’t expecting Gina to be included into the mix. Overall I enjoyed the characters in this form too. The plot was intriguing and kept me always on my toes. What I loved a lot about this novel was the way that it felt like The Princess Bride storytelling of someone sitting down and telling this story to someone young and in need of a good story. This story was being told by a man named Brendan to his twin sister Daniella who loves Tangled a lot and often requested to rewatch the movie. I nearly cried throughout this novel as well as laughing and going ‘aw’ a lot. This was utterly sweet and I highly recommend that one go get this novel to read. I couldn’t help but to savor this novel so I finished it within a week. I didn’t want to rush reading it because of how well it was written.