Finished Reading: Chain of Gold

What It’s About: Cordelia Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, a warrior trained since childhood to battle demons. When her father is accused of a terrible crime, she and her brother travel to London in hopes of preventing the family’s ruin. Cordelia’s mother wants to marry her off, but Cordelia is determined to be a hero rather than a bride. Soon Cordelia encounters childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale and is drawn into their world of glittering ballrooms, secret assignations, and supernatural salons, where vampires and warlocks mingle with mermaids and magicians. All the while, she must hide her secret love for James, who is sworn to marry someone else.

But Cordelia’s new life is blown apart when a shocking series of demon attacks devastate London. These monsters are nothing like those Shadowhunters have fought before—these demons walk in daylight, strike down the unwary with incurable poison, and seem impossible to kill. London is immediately quarantined. Trapped in the city, Cordelia and her friends discover that their own connection to a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers—and forced a brutal choice that will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero.

Here I am…582 pages later. I’m going to start out by getting to the point and saying I did not like this book.

I picked up this book because it seemed full of promise. Early 1900s setting, magic, badass female lead coming into her own, demons, and a possible unrequited/requited love. These are all things I would enjoy when they are done well.

My first major issue was that I went into this book thinking the book would be from Cordelia Carstair’s point-of-view only and it wasn’t. The description on the back really makes it think it will be though. The book became more about everyone else, especially, the men in her world than it was about her. Let’s be real with one another here. This book is mainly about James Herondale. That was incredibly disappointing.

My next issue is that there are too many characters. I could hardly keep track of all of them and their family connections. I felt like I needed a family tree of each character to refer back to. It also did not help that I could not tell anyone apart since they sounded exactly the same. No one sounded unique enough to stand out. Why? Because so many of them were underdeveloped.

Which brings me to my next problem – the nicknames. I know this is a very small detail and a bit nitpicky but it really hurt my reading experience. If the nickname is not the preferred name of the character that you will be using over all other names, do not even introduce it. All it did was confuse me.

Also, the fact that there were so many red flags about the villain and the bad things going on that none of the adults seemed to notice was incredible. For a society that prides itself on being protectors and watchful, they lacked common sense or any sort of intuition. It was infuriating.

I have not read any of the other books in the Shadowhunters universe besides City of Bones and now this one. I feel like you can’t just jump into any of the later series novels. You really require that prior knowledge and I think it must be hard for even dedicated readers to remember the established lore that Cassandra Clare has tried to build up. If this novel felt like a mess with all of its details then I assume that the other books that came before or that follow will be much of the same.

Currently Reading: Chain of Gold

What It’s About: Cordelia Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, a warrior trained since childhood to battle demons. When her father is accused of a terrible crime, she and her brother travel to London in hopes of preventing the family’s ruin. Cordelia’s mother wants to marry her off, but Cordelia is determined to be a hero rather than a bride. Soon Cordelia encounters childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale and is drawn into their world of glittering ballrooms, secret assignations, and supernatural salons, where vampires and warlocks mingle with mermaids and magicians. All the while, she must hide her secret love for James, who is sworn to marry someone else.

But Cordelia’s new life is blown apart when a shocking series of demon attacks devastate London. These monsters are nothing like those Shadowhunters have fought before—these demons walk in daylight, strike down the unwary with incurable poison, and seem impossible to kill. London is immediately quarantined. Trapped in the city, Cordelia and her friends discover that their own connection to a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers—and forced a brutal choice that will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero.

Hi and hello. Here we are with another check-in on what I am reading at the moment. I am going to start out by saying that I have not read one of Cassandra Clare’s novels since City of Bones. I also read that novel ahead of the film so I could know the story before it was adapted. Did I like that book? Not really. I did not even pick up the 2nd book in the series.

But I really decided to give the author another chance and the description of this book really caught me. Demon hunting, heartbreak, a female lead, and all with a historical setting. Okay, I’ll give it a shot. Authors can change! Time has passed!

I find myself 200 pages in and I am having some opinions so far. I will keep them to myself until I finish reading this book. I realize this novel is over 500 pages long but I will work hard to see you soon with my final thoughts.

Shelf Sightings: My First Manga Series

Hello and bonjour! In this Shelf Sightings post, I will take you to someplace a little more personal – to my shelf. And I will share with you the first manga series I ever bought and collected and still own. The pages are very yellow now but there are no creases or rips or folds. I really loved it when I was younger and I remember it fondly now.


Title: Wish, Vol. 01
Written and Illustrated by: CLAMP

What It’s About: Walking home from work one day, handsome young doctor Shuichiro notices an adorable little thing trapped in a tree…not a cat, but an angel, Kohaku. In gratitude for rescuing it, Kohaku offers to grant Shuichiro a wish–but to the angel’s surprise, Shuichiro says no thanks…everything in his life is great! But little Kohaku isn’t going to give up that easily, and moves in with Shuichiro. Soon they’re joined by the demons Koryuu and Kokuyo, and the household becomes an earthly haven for love that”s been lost–and a sanctuary for love that can’t be run away from…

I am an absolute sucker for beautiful artwork and CLAMP was the first all-female mangaka group that I encountered that really delivered on this. The scenes they create with flowers and beautiful detail work – it’s still stunning as I flip through the pages of this manga.

I don’t know how to explain it but the sweetness of this story really captured my heart when I was a teenager. Kohaku is just so adorable whether in their chibi or adult form and their discovery of their feelings for Shuichiro – goodness, lovely. And while now, it may not resonate with me in the same strong way, I still enjoy it and reread it.

My copies are from back in 2002, but this manga was re-released in 2019 by a new publisher with a new translation in an omnibus (4 volumes in 1 book so it is delightfully chunky). You can still go out and find it in stores if you’re curious or borrow it from your library if they have acquired it.

On a Theme: Kicking Off October with Young Adult Thrillers

Hello and bonjour!

It’s not really spooky season without some mysteries and some thrillers. The need to know what happens next coupled with the excitement of being shocked by an unforeseen twist in the story always makes for a good reading time. I wanted to gather some novels like that here in this On a Theme post for those readers looking for those types of stories as the days become much shorter and the nights get colder.

So clear your schedule, make a nice cup of hot chocolate, grab a comfy blanket, and settle in because you won’t be getting much sleep. It’s reading time.


Title: Ace of Spades
Written by: Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

What It’s About: All you need to know is . . . I’m here to divide and conquer. Like all great tyrants do. -Aces

When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.

Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.

As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?

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Title: The Ivies
Written by: Alexa Donne

What It’s About: Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly.


Title: A Lesson in Vengeance
Written by: Victoria Lee

What It’s About: The history of Dalloway School lives in the bones it was built on. Five violent deaths in the first ten years of its existence. Sometimes you can still smell the blood on the air.

It wasn’t until Felicity enrolled that she fell in love with the dark. And now she’s back to finish her senior year after the tragic death of her girlfriend. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of the five Dalloway students who died there—girls some say were witches.

It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no.

Dalloway’s occult lore is everywhere, and the new girl won’t let Felicity forget it. But when the past begins to invade on the present, Felicity needs to decide where she stands. The soil under her feet is bloody with Dalloway’s history. But so is the present. Is it Dalloway—or is it her?


Title: The Murder Game
Written by: Carrie Doyle

What It’s About: What if your roommate is a murderer? Or what if he’s being framed and only you can save him?

Luke Chase made history as a child when he escaped a kidnapping. Now, all he wants is to be a normal teenager. So when he sneaks out to the woods one night to drink with friends and flirt with the new British girl at school, he’s excited to feel some freedom.

Except the next morning, one of their teachers is found murdered-in the exact same spot where they had been partying. Soon, Luke’s roommate and best friend Oscar is the #1 suspect.

As the evidence and list of suspects builds, Luke attempts to use his famous survival skills to find the killer and clear Oscar’s name. But as Luke gets closer to the truth, the killer is getting closer to Luke.


Title: People Like Us
Written by: Dana Mele

What It’s About: Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple. The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened.


Title: Don’t Breathe A Word
Written by: Jordyn Taylor

What It’s About:

Eva has never felt like she belonged . . . not in her own family or with her friends in New York City, and certainly not at a fancy boarding school like Hardwick Preparatory Academy. So, when she is invited to join the Fives, an elite secret society, she jumps at the opportunity to finally be a part of something.

But what if the Fives are about more than just having the best parties and receiving special privileges from the school? What if they are also responsible for keeping some of Hardwick’s biggest secrets buried?


There is only one reason why Connie would volunteer to be one of the six students to participate in testing Hardwick’s nuclear fallout shelter: Craig Allenby. While the thought of nuclear war sends her into a panic, she can’t pass up the opportunity to spend four days locked in with the school’s golden boy.

However, Connie and the other students quickly discover that there is more to this “test” than they previously thought. As they are forced to follow an escalating series of commands, Connie realizes that one wrong move could have dangerous consequences.

Separated by sixty years, Eva and Connie’s stories become inextricably intertwined as Eva unravels the mystery of how six students went into the fallout shelter all those years ago . . . but only five came out.


Title: How We Fall Apart
Written by: Katie Zhao

What It’s About: Nancy Luo is shocked when her former best friend, Jamie Ruan, top-ranked junior at Sinclair Prep, goes missing, and then is found dead. Nancy is even more shocked when word starts to spread that she and her friends–Krystal, Akil, and Alexander–are the prime suspects, thanks to “the Proctor,” someone anonymously incriminating them via the school’s social media app.

They all used to be Jamie’s closest friends, and she knew each of their deepest, darkest secrets. Now, somehow the Proctor knows them, too. The four must uncover the true killer before The Proctor exposes more than they can bear and costs them more than they can afford, like Nancy’s full scholarship. Soon, Nancy suspects that her friends may be keeping secrets from her, too.

Katie Zhao’s YA debut is an edge-of-your-seat drama set in the pressure-cooker world of academics and image at Sinclair Prep, where the past threatens the future these teens have carefully crafted for themselves.


Title: Have You Seen Me?
Written by: Alexandrea Weis


Lindsey Gillett is missing.

And she’s not the first girl at Waverly Prep to vanish without a trace.

To help cope with the tragedy, new history teacher Aubrey LeRoux organizes a small student investigation team. But when the members start turning up dead across campus, Aubrey suspects there’s more going on than anyone is willing to admit.

The murdered students all had something in common with Lindsey. They shared a secret. And what they uncovered could threaten the future of the historic school.

At Waverly Prep, someone wants to keep the past buried—along with anyone who gets in their way.


Title: Even If We Break
Written by: Marieke Nijkamp

What It’s About: FIVE friends go to a cabin.
FOUR of them are hiding secrets.
THREE years of history bind them.
TWO are doomed from the start.
ONE person wants to end this.

Five friends take a trip to a cabin. It’s supposed to be one last getaway before going their separate ways-a chance to say goodbye to each other, and to the game they’ve been playing for the past three years. But they’re all dealing with their own demons, and they”re all hiding secrets.

And as they start to play the murder mystery game that brought them together in the first place, the lines between the game and reality blend, with deadly consequences. Someone knows their secrets. Someone wants to make them pay. Soon, it’s a race against time before it’s game over-forever.

Are you ready to play?


Title: I Killed Zoe Spanos
Written by: Kit Frick

What It’s About: When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected—and that she knows what happened to her.

Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?


Title: The Cousins
Written by: Karen M. McManus

What It’s About: Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over–and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

Note: Karen M. McManus has a new msytery/ thriller coming out November 30th, 2021. It’s titled, “You’ll Be the Death of Me“. If you’re a fan, check it out.


Title: They’ll Never Catch Us
Written by: Jessica Goodman

What It’s About: Stella and Ellie Steckler are only a year apart, but their different personalities make their relationship complicated. Stella is single-minded, driven, and she keeps to herself. Cross-country running is her life and she won’t let anything get in the way of being the best. Her sister Ellie is a talented runner too, but she also lets herself have fun. She has friends. She goes to parties. She has a life off the course.

The sisters do have one thing in common, though: the new girl, Mila Keene. Both Stecklers’ lives are upended when Mila comes to town. At first, Ellie and Stella view the new star athlete as a threat. But soon Ellie can’t help but be drawn to her warm, charming personality. After her best friend moved away and her first boyfriend betrayed her, Ellie’s been looking for a friend to share her secrets. Stella finds herself noticing the ways she and Mila are similar. Mila is smart and strong–she’s someone Stella can finally connect with. As the two get closer, Stella becomes something she vowed she’d never be: distracted.

With regionals approaching and college scouts taking notice, the pressure is on. Each girl has their future on the line and they won’t let friendships get in their way. But then, suddenly, Mila goes out on a training run and never returns. No one knows what happened, but all eyes are on the Steckler sisters.

Note: This is the second novel by Jessica Goodman so don’t forget to check out their first novel, They Wish They Were Us.


Title: Lies Like Poison
Written by: Chelsea Pitcher

What It’s About: Poppy, Lily, and Belladonna would do anything to protect their best friend, Raven. So when they discovered he was suffering abuse at the hands of his stepmother, they came up with a lethal plan: petals of poppy, belladonna, and lily in her evening tea so she’d never be able to hurt Raven again. But someone got cold feet, the plot faded to a secret of the past, and the group fell apart.

Three years later, on the eve of Raven’s seventeenth birthday, his stepmother turns up dead. But it’s only belladonna found in her tea, and it’s only Belladonna who’s carted off to jail. Desperate for help, Belle reaches out to her estranged friends to prove her innocence. They answer the call, but no one is prepared for what comes next.

Now, everyone has something to lose and something equally dangerous to hide. And when the tangled web of secrets and betrayal is finally unwound, what lies at its heart will change the group forever.

Note: Check out the other novel by Chelsea Pitcher, This Lie Will Kill You.


Title: That Weekend
Written by: Kara Thomas


It was supposed to be the perfect prom weekend getaway. But it’s clear something terrible happened when Claire wakes up alone and bloodied on a hiking trail with no memory of the past forty-eight hours.

Now everyone wants answers–most of all, Claire. She remembers Friday night, but after that . . . nothing. And now Kat and Jesse–her best friends–are missing.

What happened on the mountain? And where are Kat and Jesse? Claire knows the answers are buried somewhere in her memory. But as she’s learning, everyone has secrets–even her best friends. And she’s pretty sure she”s not going to like what she remembers.

Note: Kara Thomas has two other thrillers to check out so don’t sleep on them, The Cheerleaders and The Darkest Corners.


Title: I Know You Remember
Written by: Jennifer Donaldson

What It’s About: Zahra Gaines is missing.

After three long years away, Ruthie Hayden arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to this devastating news. Zahra was Ruthie’s best friend–the only person who ever really understood her–and she vows to do whatever it takes to find her.

Zahra vanished from a party just days before Ruthie’s return, but the more people she talks to, the more she realizes that the Zahra she knew disappeared long before that fateful night. Gone is the whimsical, artistic girl who loved books and knew Ruthie’s every secret. In her place is an athlete, a partier, a girl with secrets of her own. Darker still are the rumors that something happened to Zahra while Ruthie was gone, something that changed her forever…

As Ruthie desperately tries to piece together the truth, she falls deeper and deeper into her friend”s new world, circling closer to a dangerous revelation about what happened to Zahra in the days before her disappearance–one that might be better off buried.

Note: If you like this novel, Jennifer Donaldson has another YA thriller to offer, Lies You Never Told Me.


Title: 14 Ways to Die
Written by: Vincent Ralph

What It’s About: A decade ago, Jess lost her mother to the Magpie Man, an infamous serial killer who is still at large and planning to kill again. Now, She’s going to use her new platform as the star of a YouTube reality series to catch him. That is, if he doesn’t catch her first.

Jess’s online show means that everyone is talking about her mother’s murder case. But fame comes with its downsides. The whole world is watching her every move. And it’s hard to know who she can trust.

Could the Magpie Man be lurking closer to her than she thought? Is he watching her right now?

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Title: Spin
Written by: Lamar Giles

What It’s About: When rising star Paris Secord (aka DJ ParSec) is found dead on her turntables, it sends the local music scene reeling. No one is feeling that grief more than her shunned pre-fame best friend, Kya, and ParSec’s chief groupie, Fuse — two sworn enemies who happened to be the ones who discovered her body.The police have few leads, and when the trail quickly turns cold, the authorities don’t seem to be pushing too hard to investigate further. But nobody counted on Paris’s deeply loyal fans, ParSec Nation, or the outrage that would drive Fuse and Kya to work together. As ParSec Nation takes to social media and the streets in their crusade for justice, Fuse and Kya start digging into Paris’s past, stumbling across a deadly secret. With new info comes new motives. New suspects. And a fandom that will stop at nothing in their obsessive quest for answers, not even murder…

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Title: Prom House
Written by: Chelsea Mueller

What It’s About: A KILLER AFTERPARTY . . .

When Kylie walks into the gorgeous beach house, it’s a dream come true. She still can’t believe she talked her parents into letting her spend the weekend down the shore with her boyfriend, Liam, after prom. Kylie, Liam, and their friends have rented the most amazing party house—and it’s all theirs. Prom was awesome, but this is going to be even better.

Except there’s a little problem. A violent storm hits the beach and the power goes out—with no sign that it’s coming back anytime soon. Roughing it with candles and camping lanterns isn’t the vibe they were going for, but everyone wants to make the most of it. Until people start disappearing . . . and turning up dead. Kylie is terrified. Is somebody’s prom date a killer?

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Title: You’re So Dead
Written by: Ash Parsons

What It’s About: Plum Winter has always come in second to her sister, the unbelievably cool, famous influencer Peach Winter. And when Peach is invited to an all-expenses-paid trip to a luxurious art-and-music festival for influencers on a private island in the Caribbean, Plum decides it’s finally her time to shine. So she intercepts the invite–and asks her two best friends, Sofia and Marlowe, to come along to the fest with her. It’ll be a spring break they’ll never forget.

But when Plum and her friends get to the island, it’s not anything like it seemed in the invite. The island is run-down, creepy, and there doesn’t even seem to be a festival–it’s just seven other quasi-celebrities and influencers, and none of the glitz and glamour she expected. Then people start to die…

Plum and her friends soon realize that someone has lured each of them to the “festival” to kill them. Someone has a vendetta against every person on the island–and no one is supposed to leave alive. So, together, Plum, Sofia, and Marlowe will do whatever it takes to unravel the mystery of the killer, and fight to save themselves and as many influencers as they can, before it’s too late.


Title: You Owe Me A Murder
Written by: Eileen Cook

What It’s About: 17-year-old Kim never expected to plot a murder. But that was before her boyfriend dumped her for another girl. Now, Kim’s stuck on a class trip to London with him and his new soulmate and she can’t help wishing he was a little bit dead, even if she’d never really do that.
But when Kim meets Nicki, a stranger on the plane who’s more than willing to listen to Kim’s woes, things start to look up. Nicki’s got a great sense of humor, and when she jokes about swapping murders, Kim plays along—that is, until Kim’s ex-boyfriend mysteriously dies.
Blackmailed by Nicki to fulfill her end of the deal, Kim will have to commit a murder or take the fall for one.


Title: I Hope You’re Listening
Written by: Tom Ryan

What It’s About: In her small town, seventeen year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner is known as the girl who wasn’t taken. Ten years ago, she witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. And though she told the police everything she remembered, it wasn’t enough. Sibby was never seen again. At night, Dee deals with her guilt by becoming someone else: the Seeker, the voice behind the popular true crime podcast Radio Silent, which features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them. Nobody knows Dee’s the Seeker, and she plans to keep it that way. When another little girl goes missing, and the case is linked to Sibby’s disappearance, Dee has a chance to get answers, with the help of her virtual detectives and the intriguing new girl at school. But how much is she willing to reveal about herself in order to uncover the truth? Dee’s about to find out what’s really at stake in unraveling the mystery of the little girls who vanished.


Title: Firekeeper’s Daughter
Written by: Angeline Boulley

What It’s About: Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team.

Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.

Now, as the deceptions-and deaths-keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.


Title: All Eyes On Her
Written by: L.E. Flynn

What It’s About: You heard the story on the news. A girl and a boy went into the woods. The girl carried a picnic basket. The boy wore bright yellow running shoes. The girl found her way out, but the boy never did.

Everyone thinks they know what happened. Some say Tabby pushed him off that cliff- she didn”t even like hiking. She was jealous. She had more than her share of demons. Others think he fell accidentally-she loved Mark. She would never hurt him.even if he hurt her.

But what”s the real story? All Eyes On Her is told from everyone but Tabby herself as the people in her life string together the events that led Tabby to that cliff. Her best friend. Her sister. Her enemy. Her ex-boyfriend. Because everybody thinks they know a girl better than she knows herself.

What do you think is the truth?


Title: What We Buried
Written by: Kate A. Boorman

What It’s About: “Do you ever just want to be believed?”

Siblings Liv and Jory Brewer have grown up resenting each another. Liv-former pageant queen and reality TV star-was groomed for a life in the spotlight, while her older brother, Jory, born with a partial facial paralysis, was left in the shadows. The only thing they have in common is contempt for their parents.

Now Liv is suing her mom and dad for emancipation, and Jory views the whole thing as yet another attention-getting spectacle. But on the day of the hearing, their parents mysteriously vanish, and the siblings are forced to work together. Liv feels certain she knows where they are and suspects that Jory knows more than he’s telling.which is true.

What starts as a simple overnight road trip soon takes a turn for the dangerous and surreal. And as the duo speeds through the deserts of Nevada, brother and sister will unearth deep family secrets that force them to relive their pasts as they try to retain a grip on the present.


Title: Tell Me When You Feel Something
Written by: Vicki Grant

What It’s About: It seemed like a cool part-time program — being a “simulated” patient for med school students to practice on. But now vivacious, charismatic Viv lies in a very real coma. Cellphone footage just leads to more questions. What really happened? Other kids suspect it was not an intentional overdose — but each has a reason why they can’t tell the truth.

Through intertwining and conflicting narratives, a twisted story unfolds of trust betrayed as we sift through the seemingly innocent events leading up to the tragic night. Perhaps simulated patients aren’t the only people pretending to be something they’re not . . .

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Title: Sadie
Written by: Courtney Summers

What It’s About: When popular radio personality West McCray receives a desperate phone call from a stranger imploring him to find nineteen-year-old runaway Sadie Hunter, he’s not convinced there’s a story there; girls go missing all the time. But when it’s revealed that Sadie fled home after the brutal murder of her little sister, Mattie, West travels to the small town of Cold Creek, Colorado, to uncover what happened.

Sadie has no idea that her journey to avenge her sister will soon become the subject of a blockbuster podcast. Armed with a switchblade, Sadie follows meager clues hoping they’ll lead to the man who took Mattie’s life, because she’s determined to make him pay with his own. But as West traces her path to the darkest, most dangerous corners of big cities and small towns, a deeply unsettling mystery begins to unfold-one that’s bigger than them both. Can he find Sadie before it’s too late?

Alternating between Sadie’s unflinching voice as she hunts the killer and the podcast transcripts tracking the clues she’s left behind, Courtney Summers’ Sadie is a breathless thriller about the lengths we go to protect the ones we love and the high price we pay when we can’t. It will haunt you long after you reach the final page.

Note: Courtney Summers had a novel that came out earlier this year as well so if you want more, check out The Project.


Title: The Girl in the Headlines
Written by: Hannah Jayne

What It’s About: Andrea McNulty goes to sleep on her eighteenth birthday with a near-perfect life: she’s a high school field hockey star, a doted-upon big sister, the beloved daughter of two happy parents. But when she wakes up in a motel room the next morning, unable to remember what happened the previous night and covered in blood, Andi is a fugitive.

According to the news, Andi’s parents were brutally attacked in the middle of the night. Her father is dead, her mother is in a coma, her little brother Josh is missing-and Andi is the prime suspect. Terrified and on the run from the police, Andi teams up with Nate, the sympathetic boy working the motel’s front desk, to find the real murderer. But while the policeare getting further from the killer, the killer is getting closer to Andi-closer than she could ever have imagined.

Note: Don’t forget to check out their first novel, Truly, Madly, Deadly.


Title: The Hollow Inside
Written by: Brooke Lauren Davis

What It’s About: Seventeen-year-old Phoenix has spent much of her life drifting from town to town with her mom Nina, using their charms to swindle and steal to get by. Now they’ve made it to their ultimate destination, Mom’s hometown of Jasper Hollow. The plan: bring down Ellis Bowman, the man who ruined Nina’s life.

When Phoenix gets caught spying on Ellis, she spins a convincing story that inadvertently gives her full access to the Bowman family. As she digs deeper into their secrets (and begins to fall for daughter Melody), she finds herself entrenched in the tale of a death and a disappearance that doesn’t entirely line up with what Mom has told her.

But there’s even more to this story Phoenix doesn’t know. Who, if anyone, is telling the whole truth about what happened? Debut author Brooke Lauren Davis explores the murkiness of right and wrong, of choices and consequences, of heroes and villains, in an eerily compelling and thought-provoking small-town saga.

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Title: Room Service
Written by: Maren Stoffels

What It’s About: A fancy hotel + no parents = party time for four friends celebrating a birthday weekend. But when an uninvited party guest seeking revenge turns up, the fun quickly turns into a nightmare.


Title: The Follower
Written by: Kate Doughty

What It’s About: Instagram-famous triplets Cecily, Amber, and Rudy—the children of home renovation superstars—are ready for a perfect summer. They’ve just moved onto the site of their parents’ latest renovation project when they begin to receive spine-tingling messages from someone called The Follower. It soon becomes clear that this anonymous threat is more than a simple Internet troll, and they can’t wait to shatter the Cole family’s perfect veneer and take back what’s theirs.

The Follower examines the implications of what it is to be watched in the era of social-media fame—as well as the lies we tell and the lengths we’ll go to uphold a perfect image, when our lives depend on it.


Title: Monday’s Not Coming
Written by: Tiffany D. Jackson

What It’s About: Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.

When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

Note: If you want more thrilling goodness from Tiffany D. Jackson, check out her novel Grown.

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Title: When You Look Like Us
Written by: Pamela N. Harris

What It’s About: When you look like us—brown skin, brown eyes, black braids or fades—everyone else thinks you’re trouble. No one even blinks twice over a missing black girl from public housing because she must’ve brought whatever happened to her upon herself. I, Jay Murphy, can admit that, for a minute, I thought my sister Nicole just got caught up with her boyfriend—a drug dealer—and his friends. But she’s been gone too long. Nic, where are you?

If I hadn’t hung up on her that night, she would be at our house, spending time with Grandma.

If I was a better brother, she’d be finishing senior year instead of being another name on a missing persons list.

It’s time to step up, to do what the Newport News police department won’t.

Bring her home.


Title: Every Single Lie
Written by: Rachel Vincent

What It’s About: Nobody in sixteen-year-old Beckett’s life seems to be telling the whole story. Her boyfriend Jake keeps hiding texts, which could mean he’s cheating on her. Her father lied about losing his job and so much more before his shocking death. And everyone in school seems to be whispering about her and her family behind her back.

But none of that compares to the day Beckett finds the body of a newborn baby in a gym bag–Jake”s gym bag–on the floor of her high school locker room. As word leaks out, rumors that Beckett”s the mother take off like wildfire in a town all too ready to believe the worst of her.

Beckett soon finds herself facing threats and accusations both heartbreaking and dangerous. Nobody believes her side of the story, and as the police investigation unfolds, she discovers that everyone has a secret to hide and the truth could alter everything she thought she knew.

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Title: Those Who Prey
Written by: Jennifer Moffet

What It’s About: College life isn’t what Emily expected.

She expected to spend freshman year strolling through the ivy-covered campus with new friends, finally feeling like she belonged. Instead, she walks the campus alone, still not having found her place or her people so far away from home.

But then the Kingdom finds her.

The Kingdom, an exclusive on-campus group, offers everything Emily expected out of college and more: acceptance, friends, a potential boyfriend, and a chance to spend the summer on a mission trip to Italy. But the trip is not what she thought it would be. Emily and the others are stripped of their passports and money. They’re cut off from their families back home. The Kingdom’s practices become increasingly manipulative and dangerous…

And someone ends up dead.


Title: Frozen Beauty
Written by: Lexa Hillyer

What It’s About: No one knows exactly what happened to Kit in the woods that night—not even her sisters, Tessa and Lilly. All they have are a constellation of facts: icy blue lips and fingers cold to the touch, a lacy bra, an abandoned pick-up truck with keys still in the ignition.

Even though everyone is quick to jump to conclusions, Tessa is certain that her sister’s killer wasn’t Boyd, the boy next door whom they’ve all loved in their own way. Still, there are too many details that don’t add up, too many secrets tucked away in the past.

But no matter how fiercely Tessa searches for answers, at the core of that complicated night is a truth that’s heartbreakingly simple.


Title: The Good Girls
Written by: Claire Eliza Bartlett

What It’s About: The troublemaker. The overachiever. The cheer captain. The dead girl. Like every high school in America, Jefferson-Lorne High contains all of the above.

After the shocking murder of senior Emma Baines, three of her classmates are at the top of the suspect list: Claude, the notorious partier; Avery, the head cheerleader; and Gwen, the would-be valedictorian.

But appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight. As long buried secrets come to light, the clock is ticking to find Emma”s killer—before another good girl goes down.


Title: All Your Twisted Secrets
Written by: Diana Urban

What It’s About: “Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.”

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill…or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead.

As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something.

And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?


Title: This Is Why We Lie
Written by: Gabriella Lepore

What It’s About: Everyone in Gardiners Bay has a secret.

When Jenna Dallas and Adam Cole find Colleen O’Dell’s body floating off the shore of their coastal town, the community of Gardiners Bay is shaken. But even more shocking is the fact that her drowning was no accident.

Once Jenna’s best friend becomes a key suspect, Jenna starts to look for answers on her own. As she uncovers scandals inside Preston Prep School leading back to Rookwood reform school, she knows she needs Adam on her side.

As a student at Rookwood, Adam is used to getting judgmental looks, but now his friends are being investigated by the police. Adam will do whatever he can to keep them safe, even if that means trusting Jenna.

As lies unravel, the truth starts to blur. Only one thing is certain: somebody must take the fall.


Title: Broken Things
Written by: Lauren Oliver

What It’s About: It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods.

Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it.

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.

Note: Lauren Oliver is a veteran in the publishing world, so there is plenty to check out from them including their novel, Vanishing Girls.

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Title: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1)
Written by: Holly Jackson

What It’s About: Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

Note: This is a series so if you enjoy this one, there are two other novels to check out: Good Girl, Bad Blood and As Good As Dead.


Title: The Companion
Written by: Katie Alender

What It’s About: The other orphans say Margot is lucky.

Lucky to survive the horrible accident that killed her family.

Lucky to have her own room because she wakes up screaming every night.

And finally, lucky to be chosen by a prestigious family to live at their remote country estate.

But it wasn’t luck that made the Suttons rescue Margot from her bleak existence at the group home. Margot was handpicked to be a companion to their silent, mysterious daughter, Agatha. At first, helping with Agatha–and getting to know her handsome younger brother–seems much better than the group home. But soon, the isolated house begins playing tricks on Margot’s mind, making her question everything she believes about the Suttons . . . and herself.

Margot’s bad dreams may have stopped when she came to live with Agatha – but the real nightmare has just begun.


Title: There’s Someone Inside Your House
Written by: Stephanie Perkins

What It’s About: It’s been almost a year since Makani Young came to live with her grandmother and she’s still adjusting to her new life in rural Nebraska. Then, one by one, students at her high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair.

As the body count rises and the terror grows closer, can Makani survive the killer’s twisted plan?

Note: Stephanie has a companion novel to this one that just came out in August. If you enjoy this one and are looking for more then check out The Woods Are Always Watching.


Title: The Missing Season
Written by: Gillian French

What It’s About: Whenever another kid goes missing in October, the kids in the old factory town of Pender know what is really behind it: a monster out in the marshes that they call the Mumbler.

That’s what Clara’s new crew tells her when she moves to town. Bree and Sage, who take her under their wing. Spirited Trace, who has taken the lead on this year’s Halloween prank war. And magnetic Kincaid, whose devil-may-care attitude and air of mystery are impossible for Clara to resist.

Clara doesn’t actually believe in the Mumbler—not like Kinkaid does. But as Halloween gets closer and tensions build in the town, it’s hard to shake the feeling that there really is something dark and dangerous in Pender. Lurking in the shadows. Waiting to bring the stories to life.

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Title: The Female of the Species
Written by: Mindy McGinnis

What It’s About: Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.

Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence.

While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.

As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

Note: Please note that this novel does have some trigger warnings like rape and sexual violence. Mindy McGinnis also has a bunch of other novels to check out like their most recent title, The Initial Insult.

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Title: The Girls I’ve Been
Written by: Tess Sharpe

What It’s About: Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother’s protégé. But when mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.

For five years Nora’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:

#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’re all friends, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.

#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:

#3: Right after they enter bank, two guys start robbing it.

The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora’s something else entirely. They have no idea who they’re really holding hostage…

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Title: Genuine Fraud
Written by: E. Lockhart

What It’s About: Imogen lives at the Playa Grande Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. She spends her days working out in the hotel gym and telling other guests how she was forced out of Stanford.

But Imogen isn’t really Imogen. She’s Jule. And she’s on the run from something. Or someone. Which means . . . where is the real Imogen?

Rewind: Jule and Imogen are the closest of friends. Obsessed with each other, even. Imogen is an orphan, an heiress; she and Jule spend a summer together in a house on Martha’s Vineyard, sharing secrets they’d never reveal to another soul.

But that was months ago. Where is Immie now? And why is Jule using her name?

Off Script: Reading Slumps (Spoiler! They suck)

Hello and bonjour! I want to take some time and talk about one of the most annoying things to ever be a real thing – reading slumps. When you pick up a book, put it down, and can’t seem to dredge up the strength or the will to pick that book or any book up again for days, for weeks, for even months. Simply put, they’re horrible.

There is a lot of advice out there on how to break through a reading slump. Everyone has their tips and tricks. This is why I am making a list that collects them together so if and when you find yourself in the awful throes of a reading slump, you can find advice on how to move forward.

And I’m not saying to follow any one person’s advice. Absolutely not. I’m saying to take in the advice and see what you would like to try. And most importantly, don’t feel bad about it. We’re not all going to be reading all the time or reading several books in a month or a year.

My hope is that this list is helpful or at least interesting to you, reader.

The Only Way Out Is Through: On Reading Slumps
by Molly Templeton

I really like this article because it talks through the circumstances in which the reading slump happened to the writer and you get to know them as a reader before the slump hit. I think it’s important to see another person’s experience, especially when you are going through it or have gone through it. To know you’re not alone is powerful. And this article feels like someone sharing something with you rather than giving you a bullet point list of the things you need to do to kick the slump.

In A Book Slump? Here’s How To Fight It, According To 9 Professional Readers
by Kerri Jarema

This article provides an interesting angle as it shows the experiences and reading habits of people who read for work – bloggers, editors, librarians, literary agents, and publicists.

I think it is reassurring to see the various reading habits, the signs of their reading slumps, and how each of them slay the reading slump dragon in different ways.

Why I’m Beginning To Embrace Reading Slumps
by Olivia Páez

There are a lot of articles providing advice, but what I appreciate about this article by Olivia Páez is that it is all about acceptance. That it is okay to be going through one, that we all have things going on, and that maybe a break isn’t such a bad thing.

How To Get Out Of A Reading Slump
by Kristin Kraves Books

For those that enjoy lists and bullet points – this one is for you. Kristin gets right down to it with the tips, including not forcing yourself to read, a change of setting, and reading in the morning. I like the comments she adds to each point too because it really helps to have the thought process behind each tip.

video by thisstoryaintover

Firstly, Jananie is an amazing content creator and I have enjoyed a lot of what she shares with the bookish community through her videos. Secondly, this video has several things that I can appreciate: timestamps for each one of her tips and advice I haven’t seen anywhere else. She suggests using a recommendation app for book suggestions, which is new for me. She also suggests picking up audiobooks but then provides 3 apps that she uses to listen to audiobooks. Examples are always good. Her TIP TEN: make sure you’re having fun is a great way to finish off the list as it also reminds people that reading is supposed to be fun and that should be your experience.

12 great books that will get you out of a reading slump 📚
video by A Clockwork Reader

Sometimes what you need is a great hype person and Hannah is that person. Her list of 12 books reflect the idea of not pressuring yourself to read but about easing yourself back into it. It’s about finding that love of reading again by picking up a magical book or a book with a unique format or a book of poetry you love or a nonfiction book with incredible storytelling.

On a Theme: YA Horror (What to Read Now that You Love the Fear Street Movies)

Horror. The spooks and chills. Some of us love them. Especially those of us who grew up with Goosebumps and the Fear Street series by R.L. Stine. The Netflix films Fear Street 1666, Fear Street 1978, and Fear Street 1994 have garnered new generations of fans.

But what do you do now? You could definitely track down some of the books still around like Betrayal, which collects the Fear Street Saga books 1-3 in a single volume. You could also check out the Fear Street Relaunch series or the Return to Fear Street series.

But why stop there? Young adult fiction has so much to offer in terms of thrills, chills, and the absolutely spooky. In this On a Theme post, I will include some horror novels along with a mix of horror graphic novels/comics.

It’s September and we all know that it’s never too early to start getting in the Halloween spirit. Let’s get spooky people!


Title: Eat Your Heart Out
Written by: Kelly deVos

What It’s About: In the next few hours, one of three things will happen.

1–We”ll be rescued (unlikely)

2–We”ll freeze to death (maybe)

3–We”ll be eaten by thin and athletic zombies (odds: excellent)

Vivian Ellenshaw is fat, but she knows she doesn’t need to lose weight, so she’s none too happy to find herself forced into a weight-loss camp’s van with her ex-best friend, Allie, a meathead jock who can barely drive, and the camp owner’s snobby son. And when they arrive at Camp Featherlite at the start of the worst blizzard in the history of Flagstaff, Arizona, it’s clear that something isn’t right.

Vee barely has a chance to meet the other members of her pod, all who seem as unhappy to be at Featherlite as she does, when a camper goes missing down by the lake. Then she spots something horrifying outside in the snow. Something…that isn’t human. Plus, the camp’s supposed “miracle cure” for obesity just seems fishy, and Vee and her fellow campers know they don’t need to be cured. Of anything.

Even worse, it’s not long before Camp Featherlite’s luxurious bungalows are totally overrun with zombies. What starts out as a mission to unravel the camp”s secrets turns into a desperate fight for survival–and not all of the Featherlite campers will make it out alive.


Title: This is Not a Ghost Story
Written by: Andrea Portes

What It’s About: I am not welcome. Somehow I know that. Something doesn’t want me here.

Daffodil Franklin has plans for a quiet summer before her freshman year at college, and luckily, she’s found the job that can give her just that: housesitting a mansion for a wealthy couple.

But as the summer progresses and shadows lengthen, Daffodil comes to realize the house is more than it appears. The spacious home seems to close in on her, and as she takes the long road into town, she feels eyes on her the entire way, and something tugging her back.

What Daffodil doesn’t yet realize is that her job comes with a steep price. The house has a long-ago grudge it needs to settle . . . and Daffodil is the key to settling it.

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Title: Burn Our Bodies Down
Written by: Rory Power

What It’s About: Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother, struggling to get along. But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she may have just found the answer: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Only, when Margot gets there, it”s not what she bargained for.

As soon as they see her face, everyone in town knows who Margot belongs to. It’s unmistakable–she’s a Nielsen. And when a mysterious girl who could be Margot’s twin is pulled from a fire, Margot realizes that her mother left Phalene for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she”s there, she might never escape.


Title: The Last Beautiful Girl
Written by: Nina Lauren

What It’s About: When Isabella Brixton is forced tomove from New York City to a tiny town, she”s not thrilled. The silver lining is the gorgeous old mansion she now calls home. As the former residence of a glamorous patron of the arts and muse who died many decades ago, the house has its quirks: whole floors are boarded up, old paintings are covered, and cell reception is nonexistent.

Isa is ready to hate her new life, but things turn around when her classmate Alexa, a skilled photographer, suggests they start an Instagram account featuring portraits of Isa inside the mansion. Wearing gowns and jewelry hidden away in the house, Isa looks perfect in the unfiltered photos-almost unnaturally so-and they quickly go viral. Soon she’s got a new best friend, a potential boyfriend, and is surrounded by a group of girls who want the photoshoots and fame for themselves. But there’s a darkness in the house, and a darkness growing in Isa, too. When girls start getting hurt, it’s clear that something-or someone-in the house is growing in power, with deadly intentions.


Title: Horrid
Written by: Katrina Leno

What It’s About: Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor”s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone . . . and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all — it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears . . .

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more . . . horrid?


Title: House of Hollow
Written by: Krystal Sutherland

What It’s About: Iris Hollow and her two older sisters are unquestionably strange. Ever since they disappeared on a suburban street in Scotland as children only to return a month a later with no memory of what happened to them, odd, eerie occurrences seem to follow in their wake. And they’re changing. First, their dark hair turned white. Then, their blue eyes slowly turned black. They have insatiable appetites yet never gain weight. People find them disturbingly intoxicating, unbearably beautiful, and inexplicably dangerous.

But now, ten years later, seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow is doing all she can to fit in and graduate high school on time–something her two famously glamourous globe-trotting older sisters, Grey and Vivi, never managed to do. But when Grey goes missing without a trace, leaving behind bizarre clues as to what might have happened, Iris and Vivi are left to trace her last few days. They aren’t the only ones looking for her though. As they brush against the supernatural they realize that the story they’ve been told about their past is unraveling and the world that returned them seemingly unharmed ten years ago, might just be calling them home.


Title: The Haunted
Written by: Danielle Vega

What It’s About: Clean slate. That’s what Hendricks Becker-O’Malley’s parents said when they moved their family to the tiny town of Drearfield, New York. Hendricks wants to lay low and forget her dark, traumatic past. Forget him. But things don’t go as planned.

Hendricks learns from new friends at school that Steele House–the fixer upper her parents are so excited about–is notorious in town. Local legend says it’s haunted. But Hendricks isn’t sure if it’s the demons of her past haunting her …or of the present. Voices whisper in her ear as she lays in bed. Doors lock on their own. And, then, one night, things take a violent turn.

With help from the mysterious boy next door, Hendricks makes it her mission to take down the ghosts . . . if they don’t take her first.


Title: Don’t Tell a Soul
Written by: Kirsten Miller

What It’s About: People say the house is cursed. It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims. In Louth, they’re called the Dead Girls.

All Bram wanted was to disappear–from her old life, her family’s past, and from the scandal that continues to haunt her. The only place left to go is Louth, the tiny town on the Hudson River where her uncle, James, has been renovating an old mansion.

But James is haunted by his own ghosts. Months earlier, his beloved wife died in a fire that people say was set by her daughter. The tragedy left James a shell of the man Bram knew–and destroyed half the house he”d so lovingly restored.

The manor is creepy, and so are the locals. The people of Louth don’t want outsiders like Bram in their town, and with each passing day she’s discovering that the rumors they spread are just as disturbing as the secrets they hide. Most frightening of all are the legends they tell about the Dead Girls. Girls whose lives were cut short in the very house Bram now calls home.

The terrifying reality is that the Dead Girls may have never left the manor. And if Bram looks too hard into the town’s haunted past, she might not either.


Title: Rules For Vanishing
Written by: Kate Alice Marshall

What It’s About: Once a year, a road appears in the forest. And at the end of it, the ghost of Lucy Gallows beckons. Lucy’s game isn’t for the faint of heart. If you win, you escape with your life. But if you lose….

Sara’s sister disappeared one year ago–and only Sara knows where she is. Becca went to find the ghost of Lucy Gallows and is trapped on the road that leads to her. In the sleepy town of Briar Glen, Lucy’s road is nothing more than local lore. But Sara knows it’s real, and she’s going to find it.

When Sara and her skeptical friends meet in the forest to search for Becca, the mysterious road unfurls before them. All they have to do is walk down it. But the path to Lucy is not of this world, and it has its own rules. Every mistake summons new horrors. Vengeful spirits and broken, angry creatures are waiting for them to slip, and no one is guaranteed safe passage. The only certainty is this: the road has a toll and it will be paid.

Sara knows that if she steps onto the road, she might not come back. But Becca needs her.

And Lucy is waiting.


Title: The Ravenous
Written by: Amy Lukavics

What It’s About: There’s something wrong with Rose.

From the outside, the Cane family looks like they have it all. A successful military father, a loving mother and five beautiful teenage daughters. But on the inside, life isn’t quite so idyllic: the Cane sisters can barely stand each other, their father is always away and their neglectful mother struggles with addiction and depression.

When their youngest and most beloved sister, Rose, dies in a tragic accident, Mona Cane and her sisters are devastated. And when she is brought back from the dead, they are relieved. But soon they discover that Rose must eat human flesh to survive, and when their mother abandons them, the sisters will find out just how far they’ll go to keep their family together.


Title: The Girl from the Well
Written by: Rin Chupeco

What It’s About: I am where dead children go.

Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they’re due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on.

Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen’s skin, trapped by a seriesof intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There’s just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host.


Title: Mary: The Summoning
Written by: Hillary Monahan

What It’s About: There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.” A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–before it’s too late?


Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Written by: Kendare Blake

What It’s About: Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father”s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.


Title: The Devil Makes Three
Written by: Tori Bovalino

What It’s About: When Tess and Eliot stumble upon an ancient book hidden in a secret tunnel beneath the school library, they accidentally release a devil from his book-bound prison, and he’ll stop at nothing to stay free. He’ll manipulate all the ink in the library books to do his bidding, he’ll murder in the stacks, and he’ll bleed into every inch of Tess’s life until his freedom is permanent. Forced to work together, Tess and Eliot have to find a way to re-trap the devil before he kills everyone they know and love, including, increasingly, each other. And compared to what the devil has in store for them, school stress suddenly doesn’t seem so bad after all.


Title: The Dead and the Dark
Written by: Courtney Gould

What It’s About: Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn”t normal, and all fingers point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just come to town.

Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before. But the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more than ghosts plaguing this small town. Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his ghost following her ever since. Although everyone shuns the Ortiz-Woodleys, the mysterious Logan may be the only person who can help Ashley get some answers.

When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who-or what-is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness.

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Title: The Bone Houses
Written by: Emily Lloyd-Jones

What It’s About: Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the deeply-buried truths about themselves. Equal parts classic horror novel and original fairy tale, The Bone Houses will have you spellbound from the very first page.


Title: The Fade
Written by: Demitria Lunetta

What It’s About: We don’t want to disappear. We want to be found.

Something terrible happened in her basement. Haley can feel it.

Four girls went missing several years ago, and the police never solved the case. But Haley knows the missing girls were murdered. How else can she explain the hostile presence in her house?

The ghostly girls need something from her. And unless Haley can figure out what they want . . . she might be next.


Title: Teeth in the Mist
Written by: Dawn Kurtagich

What It’s About: Before the birth of time, a monk uncovers the Devil’s Tongue and dares to speak it. The repercussions will be felt for generations…

Sixteen-year-old photography enthusiast Zoey has been fascinated by the haunted, burnt-out ruins of Medwyn Mill House for as long as she can remember–so she and her best friend, Poulton, run away from home to explore them. But are they really alone in the house? And who will know if something goes wrong?

In 1851, seventeen-year-old Roan arrives at the Mill House as a ward–one of three, all with something to hide from their new guardian. When Roan learns that she is connected to an ancient secret, she must escape the house before she is trapped forever.

1853. Hermione, a new young bride, accompanies her husband to the wilds of North Wales where he plans to build the largest water mill and mansion in the area. But rumors of unholy rituals lead to a tragic occurrence and she will need all her strength to defeat it.

Three women, centuries apart, drawn together by one Unholy Pact. A pact made by a man who, more than a thousand years later, may still be watching…


Title: White Smoke
Written by: Tiffany D. Jackson

What It’s About: Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. Her mom has accepted a new job with the Sterling Foundation that comes with a free house, one that Mari now has to share with her bratty ten-year-old stepsister, Piper.

The renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors has its . . . secrets. That’s only half the problem: household items vanish, doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there’s a foul smell seeping through the vents only Mari seems to notice. Worse: Piper keeps talking about a friend who wants Mari gone.

But “running from ghosts” is just a metaphor, right?

As the house closes in, Mari learns that the danger isn’t limited to Maple Street. Cedarville has its secrets, too. And secrets always find their way through the cracks.

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Title: What Big Teeth
Written by: Rose Szabo

What It’s About: Eleanor Zarrin has been estranged from her wild family for years. When she flees boarding school after a horrifying incident, she goes to the only place she thinks is safe: the home she left behind. But when she gets there, she struggles to fit in with her monstrous relatives, who prowl the woods around the family estate and read fortunes in the guts of birds.

Eleanor finds herself desperately trying to hold the family together-in order to save them all, Eleanor must learn to embrace her family of monsters and tame the darkness inside her.

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Title: The River Has Teeth
Written by: Erica Waters

What It’s About: When Natasha’s sister disappears, Natasha desperately turns to Della, a local girl rumored to be a witch, in the hopes that magic will bring her sister home.

But Della has her own secrets to hide. She thinks the beast who’s responsible for the disappearances is her own mother—who was turned into a terrible monster by magic gone wrong.

Natasha is angry. Della has little to lose. Both are each other’s only hope.


Title: The Taking of Jake Livingston
Written by: Ryan Douglass

What It’s About: Sixteen-year-old Jake Livingston sees dead people everywhere. But he can’t decide what’s worse: being a medium forced to watch the dead play out their last moments on a loop or being at the mercy of racist teachers as one of the few Black students at St. Clair Prep. Both are a living nightmare he wishes he could wake up from. But things at St. Clair start looking up with the arrival of another Black student—the handsome Allister—and for the first time, romance is on the horizon for Jake.

Unfortunately, life as a medium is getting worse. Though most ghosts are harmless and Jake is always happy to help them move on to the next place, Sawyer Doon wants much more from Jake. In life, Sawyer was a troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school before taking his own life. Now he’s a powerful, vengeful ghost and he has plans for Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about dead world goes out the window as Sawyer begins to haunt him. High school soon becomes a different kind of survival game—one Jake is not sure he can win.


Title: The Girls Are Never Gone
Written by: Sarah Glenn Marsh

What It’s About: Dare Chase doesn’t believe in ghosts. But as the host of Attachments, her brand-new paranormal investigation podcast, she knows to keep her doubts to herself if she wants to win over listeners.

Her first season’s subject is the Arrington Estate—a sprawling manor rumored to be haunted by the spirit of Atheleen Bell, who drowned in its lake almost thirty years ago. Dare’s more interested in investigating the suspicious circumstances of Atheleen’s death, which she thinks point to a decades-old murder, not something supernatural.

But Arrington is full of surprises. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the estate, she’ll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake…it might not be willing to let her go.


Title: Fright Night
Written by: Maren Stoffels

What It’s About: Sofia isn’t so sure about Fright Night. When she suggested it to her friends, she was only thinking of it as an excuse to get closer to Dylan. Now that it’s happening, she’s worried that spending the night in a deserted forest is a bad idea.

But it’s totally safe–there’s even a safe word if things get too intense. And they do. Sofia and her friends are forced to face their greatest fears, and suddenly? It’s too late to turn back.

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Title: The Sacrifice Box
Written by: Martin Stewart

What It’s About: In the summer of 1982, five friends discover an ancient stone box hidden deep in the woods. They seal inside of it treasured objects from their childhoods, and they make a vow:

Never come to the box alone.
Never open it after dark.
Never take back your sacrifice.

Four years later, a series of strange and terrifying events begin to unfold: mirrors inexplicably shattering, inanimate beings coming to life, otherworldly crows thirsting for blood. Someone broke the rules of the box, and now everyone has to pay.

But how much are they willing to sacrifice?


Title: Campfire
Written by: Shawn Sarles

What It’s About: Be careful what stories you tell around the campfire . . . they just might come true.

While camping in a remote location, Maddie Davenport gathers around the fire with her friends and family to tell scary stories. Caleb, the handsome young guide, shares the local legend of the ferocious Mountain Men who hunt unsuspecting campers and leave their mark by carving grisly antlers into their victims” foreheads.

The next day, the story comes true. Now Maddie and her family are lost in the deep woods — with no way out — being stalked by their worst nightmares. Because there were other, more horrifying stories told that night — and Maddie’s about to find out just how they end . . .


Title: Clown in a Cornfield
Written by: Adam Cesare

What It’s About: Quinn Maybrook and her father have moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs, to find a fresh start. But what they don’t know is that ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half.

On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.

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Title: Agony House
Written by: Cherie Priest
Illustrated by: Tara O’Connor

What It’s About: Denise Farber has just moved back to New Orleans with her mom and step-dad. They left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and have finally returned, wagering the last of their family’s money on fixing up an old, rundown house and converting it to a bed and breakfast. Nothing seems to work around the place, which doesn’t seem too weird to Denise. The unexplained noises are a little more out of the ordinary, but again, nothing too unusual. But when floors collapse, deadly objects rain down, and she hears creepy voices, it’s clear to Denise that something more sinister lurks hidden here. Answers may lie in an old comic book Denise finds concealed in the attic: the lost, final project of a famous artist who disappeared in the 1950s. Denise isn’t budging from her new home, so she must unravel the mystery-on the pages and off-if she and her family are to survive…


Title: Through the Woods
Written and written by: Emily Carroll

What It’s About: Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there…

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Title: Grimoire Noir
Written by: Vera Greentea
Illustrated by: Yana Bogatch

What It’s About: Bucky Orson is a bit gloomy, but who isn’t at fifteen?

His best friend left him to hang out with way cooler friends, his dad is the town sheriff, and wait for it-he lives in Blackwell, a town where all the girls are witches. But when his little sister is kidnapped because of her extraordinary power, Bucky has to get out of his own head and go on a strange journey to investigate the small town that gives him so much grief. And in the process he uncovers the town’s painful history and a conspiracy that will change it forever.


Title: Animus
Written and drawn by: Antoine Revoy

What It’s About: The residents of a quiet Japanese neighborhood have slowly come to realize that inauspicious, paranormal forces are at play in the most unlikely of places: the local playground. Two friends, a young boy and girl, resolve to exorcise the evil that inhabit it, including a snaggle-toothed monster.


Title: Afterlife with Archie, Vol. 1: Escape from Riverdale
Written by: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Drawn by: Francesco Francavilla

What It’s About: When Jughead’s beloved pet Hot Dog is killed in a hit and run, Jughead turns to the only person he knows who can help bring back his furry best friend—Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Using dark, forbidden magic, Sabrina is successful and Hot Dog returns to the land of the living. But he’s not the same… and soon, the darkness he brings back with him from beyond the grave begins to spread, forcing Archie, Betty, Veronica and the gang to try to escape from Riverdale!

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Title: Vampironica, Vol. 1
Written by: Greg Smallwood & Megan Smallwood
Drawn by: Greg Smallwood

What It’s About: When Veronica is bitten by a centuries-old vampire, her thirst for blood threatens to turn Riverdale into a haven for the undead. Will she put an end to the vampire threat or give in to her blood lust?


Title: Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation
Adapted by: Miles Hyman
Original story by: Shirley Jackson

What It’s About: Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” continues to thrill and unsettle readers nearly seven decades after it was first published. By turns puzzling and harrowing, “The Lottery” raises troubling questions about conformity, tradition, and the ritualized violence that may haunt even the most bucolic, peaceful village.

This graphic adaptation by Jackson’s grandson Miles Hyman allows readers to experience “The Lottery” as never before, or to discover it anew.


Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow
Written by: Mariko Tamaki
Drawn by: Natacha Bustos


After everything – and everyone – she lost to the Hellmouth, Willow is leaving Sunnydale behind for a new school that promises “to help you prioritize your true self.” But Willow soon learns that all is not as it seems, and if your true self isn’t what the school thinks it should be…well, don’t worry, they’ll help you get there. By any means necessary. Now, truly alone for the first time in her life, Willow must rely only on her instincts – and her magic – to save herself from a different kind of threat than Buffy ever prepared her to face!

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Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel
Written by: Ransom Riggs
Drawn by: Cassandra Jean

What It’s About: When Jacob Portman was a boy, his grandfather regaled him with stories of his fantastic life at Miss Peregrine’s home during the Second World War, even sharing photos of the remarkable children with whom he resided. As Jacob grew up, though, he decided that these photos were obvious fakes, simple forgeries designed to stir up his youthful imagination. Or were they…?

Following his grandfather’s death – a scene Jacob literally couldn’t believe with his own eyes – the sixteen-year-old boy embarks on a mission to disentangle fact from fiction in his grandfather’s tall tales. But even his grandfather’s elaborate yarns couldn’t prepare Jacob for the eccentricities he will discover at Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children!


Title: The Phantom Twin
Written and illustrated by: Lisa Brown

What It’s About: Isabel and Jane are the Extraordinary Peabody Sisters, conjoined twins in a traveling carnival freak show-until an ambitious surgeon tries to separate them and fails, causing Jane”s death.

Isabel has lost an arm and a leg but gained a ghostly companion: Her dead twin is now her phantom limb. Haunted, altered, and alone for the first time, can Isabel build a new life that”s truly her own?

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Title: Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1
Written by: James Tynion IV
Drawn by: Werther Dell’edera


When the children of Archer’s Peak—a sleepy town in the heart of America—begin to go missing, everything seems hopeless. Most children never return, but the ones that do have terrible stories—impossible details of terrifying creatures that live in the shadows. Their only hope of finding and eliminating the threat is the arrival of a mysterious stranger, one who believes the children and claims to be the only one who sees what they can see.

Her name is Erica Slaughter. She kills monsters. That is all she does, and she bears the cost because it must be done.

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Title: Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 1
Written and illustrated by: Sui Ishida

What It’s About: Ghouls live among us, the same as normal people in every way—except their craving for human flesh.

Ghouls live among us, the same as normal people in every way—except their craving for human flesh.

Ken Kaneki is an ordinary college student until a violent encounter turns him into the first half-human half-ghoul hybrid. Trapped between two worlds, he must survive Ghoul turf wars, learn more about Ghoul society and master his new powers.

Shy Ken Kaneki is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out that she’s only interested in his body—eating it, that is. When a morally questionable rescue transforms him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of Ghouls, which exists alongside our own.

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Title: Toilet-bound Hanako-kun Vol. 1
Written and illustrated by: Aidairo

What It’s About: “Hanako-san, Hanako-san…are you there?” At Kamome Academy, rumors abound about the school’s Seven Mysteries, one of which is Hanako-san. Said to occupy the third stall of the third floor girls’ bathroom in the old school building, Hanako-san grants any wish when summoned. Nene Yashiro, an occult-loving high school girl who dreams of romance, ventures into this haunted bathroom…but the Hanako-san she meets there is nothing like she imagined! Kamome Academy’s Hanako-san…is a boy!


Title: Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 1
Written and illustrated by: Gege Akutami

What It’s About: Yuji Itadori is resolved to save the world from cursed spirits, but he soon learns that the best way to do it is to slowly lose his humanity and become one himself!

In a world where cursed spirits feed on unsuspecting humans, fragments of the legendary and feared demon Ryomen Sukuna were lost and scattered about. Should any demon consume Sukuna’s body parts, the power they gain could destroy the world as we know it. Fortunately, there exists a mysterious school of Jujutsu Sorcerers who exist to protect the precarious existence of the living from the supernatural!

Although Yuji Itadori looks like your average teenager, his immense physical strength is something to behold! Every sports club wants him to join, but Itadori would rather hang out with the school outcasts in the Occult Research Club. One day, the club manages to get their hands on a sealed cursed object. Little do they know the terror they’ll unleash when they break the seal…

Never Have I Ever Book Tag

Hello and bonjour, everyone! I was tagged for this book tag by Belle over at This Belle Reads Too, which was so nice of them to do. It was originally created by Madame Writer and even though they are taking a break from blogging, you can still check out their past posts and ongoing videos on their youtube channel.

I don’t believe I have ever been tagged before so this is new for me. I usually just pick one up and do it. I’m going to try and get this thing done in a timely manner as I tend to get distracted or just plain forget.

Let’s jump in!

  • Link back to original creator: Madame Writer
  • Link back to the person who tagged you or the blog where you first saw this tag.
  • Answer all prompts.
  • Add one more prompt of your own.
  • Tag at least 5 people.
  • Don’t lie.
  • Have fun!


Never. I tend to research books and make sure they’re not titles in the middle of a series. You need that first or second book context to understand the whole story and character development.

Prompt 2: Never Have I Ever…burned a book

Never. Either recycle your books, sell them online, or donate them. Considering how book burning has been done throughout history to keep people from knowledge and stories that would help them grow, burning a book because you hated an ending is problematic.

So I will admit that I have wanted to aggressively donate a book I really didn’t enjoy.

Prompt 3: Never have I ever… READ A BOOK I KNEW I WOULD HATE

Never. I always read book descriptions and look at some of the themes or trigger warnings that may be in them. If I’m not interested in a storyline (i.e. books involving fae), I won’t pick them up or I will wait to look at reviews. I always go into a book hopeful though!

Prompt 4: Never Have I Ever…wrote a fanfiction about my favorite books

Surprisingly, I haven’t! It’s always been fanfiction about TV shows. I just get super inspired when there’s a ship I like and I want to write an AU story about them.

I won’t share which ones though. Taking that information to the grave.

Prompt 5: Never Have I Ever…loved a book when I was young and hated it when I got older

I would not say I hated them. I would say that there were books I loved as a kid that when I read them as an older reader, they didn’t resonate with me as much as they used to. They’d lost a bit of that magic that they used to have.

Prompt 6: Never Have I Ever…dressed up as one of my favorite literary characters

I thought about this one a lot. I don’t think I have ever dressed up as a character from a book. Not for Halloween or any other event that would require a costume.

Prompt 7: Never Have I Ever…hated a book by an author I love

This hasn’t happened to me yet. I think I’ve been disappointed in a book by an author I like but I haven’t outright hated any.

Prompt 8: Never Have I Ever…gone into a bookstore to buy one book and come out with many more

Oh no. THIS PROMPT CAME FOR ME. I have gone to a bookstore and planned only to buy one book but either I see a paperback of a book I want to read or they have a copy of a book that I love but don’t own yet, and I end up walking out with 2 or 3 books. I don’t do this often though. I budget for things.

Prompt 9: Never Have I Ever…read the end of a book before reading the beginning

Nope. I don’t do this.

I will admit that after I have started a book, if the book is getting overly long or I feel a bit bored with it, I check out a page or two in a future chapter just to see if I should still keep reading.

Prompt 10: Never Have I Ever…read a book without the dust cover

Yes, I have. Sometimes, the shifting of the dust cover makes it hard for me to read a book so I take it off to make things more comfortable.

Prompt 11: Never have I ever… SKIM READ NEARLY HALF A BOOK

Nope. Yikes, half the book? I don’t think I could do this and take in enough details about it to truly understand the story or its events.


Nope. I just admit it. Because people will force you to share what you liked and disliked about a book and you knowing zero about that book will become immediately apparent. Save yourself the effort and embarrassment and just be honest.

Prompt 13: Never have I ever… SAW THE MOVIE BEFORE THE BOOK

I am guilty of this. One example was for the movie adaptation of the novel The DUFF by Kody Keplinger. I watched the film first because it was on TV and I liked some of the actors in it. I then read the novel to compare them.


Never! I have favorite authors and even though I have their books, none of them are signed. I know there are events you could attend or there are book boxes that come with signed book plates, but if I am being honest – I’m okay going without those signatures. I have their books and that’s meaningful enough for me.

I’m a boring old hag, readers. Go on without me.


I have donated books I haven’t read, but I have not felt guilty about it. This question is making me start though…gosh.

There comes a time when you have to part with a book or any item you have. Sometimes you have to admit that you did not use that item. You have to let that guilt go or else you will end up keeping it, which really doesn’t help you when you’re trying to declutter.


The answer is yes. A friend once suggested a book to me and I was disappointed by the novel once I read it. I wanted to love it based on their enthusiasm alone but I couldn’t do it. The book just ended up being an ok read for me.

This is completely optional so I hope no one feels pressured to participate. If you have already done this tag, please feel free to reply to this post and link to it.

Thanks for spending some time here and checking out my post! See you again soon-ish!

Finished Reading: Two Can Keep a Secret

What It’s About: Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren”t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

This being my first contemporary mystery/thriller in YA, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I know many have been really raving about this author and her novels so I definitely went into it open-minded. However, I was a little underwhelmed with this novel. I will explain. Follow me for a minute.

I do think the mystery is good. A town where 3 girls from different generations go missing and a pattern of very little evidence or clues as to who committed each crime. That is so incredibly interesting. I just wish there had been more build-up for the 2 older cases in the story to make them feel more relevant and to create a deeper sense of danger for the present characters. The story lacked that creepy atmosphere I would expect to come with a story involving 2 cold cases.

This novel was told in alternating points of view with Ellery and Malcolm. I did not really feel the difference between their voices in this novel. They sounded the same. I think the only people who sounded different were some of the side characters like Ezra and Mia.

One nitpicky thing I will say is that Ellery’s ability to accuse people based on the tiniest of evidence is astounding. I really hope that when she becomes a criminal lawyer, she will move away from a reliance on such thin circumstantial evidence.

There was also a fade-out in this novel that I did not appreciate in the slightest. I’m glad we got an explanation of what we missed but it felt like an information dump to help tie the rest of the story together. I’m not a fan of that.

So ultimately, it was an ok read but it didn’t do enough for me as a reader to make it an amazing read. I may still check out the other novels by this author since I’m interested to see what her other stories are like.

The last line of the novel though was perfect – absolutely chilling.

2 Mini-Reviews: Poison Ivy & Starfire


Title: I Am Not Starfire
Written by: Mariko Tamaki
Illustrated by: Yoshi Yoshitani

What It’s About: Seventeen-year-old Mandy, daughter of Starfire, is NOT like her mother. Starfire is gorgeous, tall, sparkly, and a hero. Mandy is NOT a sparkly superhero. Mandy has no powers, is a kid who dyes her hair black and hates everyone but her best friend Lincoln. To Starfire, who is from another planet, Mandy seems like an alien, like some distant angry light years away moon.

And it’s possible Mandy is even more distant lately, ever since she walked out on her S.A.T.s. Which, yeah, her mom doesn”t know.

Everyone thinks Mandy needs to go to college and become whoever you become at college, but Mandy has other plans. Mandy’s big plan is that she’s going to move to France and…do whatever people do in France. But then everything changes when she gets partnered with Claire for a school project. Mandy likes Claire (even if she denies it, heartily and intensely). A lot.

How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when you don’t know what that is? How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when the only thing you’re sure of is what you’re not?

When someone from Starfire’s past arrives, Mandy must make a choice: give up before the battle has even begun, or step into the unknown and risk everything to save her mom.

I will check out anything with Mariko Tamaki’s name attached to it because she’s just that good. I’m really glad she worked on this project because I love Starfire and have since the original Teen Titans. Even now I can still hear Puffy AmiYumi singing the main theme song in the distance.

It’s a mother and daughter story – them coming to understand each other and sharing the things they have been too afraid to talk to each other about. But it is also a story about Mandy coming into her own, facing her insecurities, and getting the girl.

If you read this, please look out for Beast Boy when he’s in a panel…I cracked up each time he was a different animal. My personal favorite was the dog with the party hat, but the buffalo comes in at a close second.

I would read more about Mandy and Starfire. Are you listening Universe? Make it happen.


Title: Poison Ivy: Thorns
Written by: Kody Keplinger
Illustrated by: Sara Kipin

What It’s About: There’s something unusual about Pamela Isley–the girl who hides behind her bright red hair. The girl who won’t let anyone inside to see what’s lurking behind the curtains. The girl who goes to extreme lengths to care for a few plants. Pamela Isley doesn’t trust other people, especially men. They always want something from her that she’s not willing to give.

When cute goth girl Alice Oh comes into Pamela’s life after an accident at the local park, she makes her feel like pulling back the curtains and letting the sunshine in. But there are dark secrets deep within the Isley house. Secrets Pamela”s father has warned must remain hidden. Secrets that could turn deadly and destroy the one person who ever cared about Pamela, or as her mom preferred to call her…Ivy.

Will Pamela open herself up to the possibilities of love, or will she forever be transformed by the thorny vines of revenge?

Let me just start out by saying the art by Sara Kipin is so good. I love the lines and her art style. The colouring as well by Jeremy Lawson really fits the story and creates the perfect atmosphere.

Pamela is such a complicated character – moving through her days driven by the love for her mother and obligation as a daughter to her father. There’s a simmering rage inside her though that comes out slowly and as the consequences of her actions follow – wow. It’s interesting to see what she does. I also really loved Alice! So sweet and loyal and just everything Pamela could need.

I think the story flows really well here, and it builds to the last page where we see a hint to Pamela Isley’s future. It really was a killer ending.

Currently Reading: Two Can Keep a Secret

What It’s About: Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren”t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

This is my first real mystery/thriller in YA and also my first Karen M. McManus novel. I’m reading it. Moving from chapter to chapter. I’m just not entirely sure I’m enjoying it?

I’m interested in the mystery of Ellery’s Aunt’s disappearance and Lacey’s murder for sure. Give me more details about those cases. I’m just thinking that this book lacks a bit of atmosphere and these characters are just not Nancy Drew and her clue crew. I’m not getting a big enough sense that there’s tension and that we should be worried and scared for everyone.

I’ll keep reading though! I’m interested enough to see where everything ends up.