Book Talk

Happy Halloween!: Some Favorite Spooky Reads from 2019

Happy Halloween Y’all! I hope everyone has the plans to look forward to tonight. Whether that’s getting dressed up and going out or shutting your porch light off to watch a spooky movie.

We’re going to a Halloween party tonight and my family is dressing up as pirates this year!

I wanted to write a special little post about what spooky reads I’ve enjoyed this year, and a few from some of my Bookstagram friends. Spooky is a very broad term for this post. Anything that has fall vibes, freaked someone out, had a creepy moment or two, maybe some witches? It all goes! I wanted to give some options for all to add to your TBR! My only rule was that you had to read it in 2019, whether or not it came out then doesn’t matter!

These responses were from my friends on Instagram. I’ve included a link to their Insta’s and a little blurb about why the enjoyed this read. I’ll include my thoughts if I’ve read them!


littlelindsreadsThe Whisper Man by Alex North

“If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken. If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home. If you window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass. If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.”

Lindsay says: Just this quote alone from The Whisper Man gives me the chills! This book has just the right amount of spookiness to have you on edge while you are reading it. The alternating points of view keep the story interesting as you try to solve the case of the disappearing children. Fans of Law and Order will love this book!


bookish_tayThe Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Taylor says: I loved The Wicked Deep because it was so creepy and enjoyable. Even though parts were predictable, I was sucked into the story. Rooting for the boys, rooting for the witches at times, rooting for Penny. It was a perfect read for this time of year!

Cait says: I’ve read this one too! I definitely loved the creepy vibes it gave off. The story of the Swan sisters and the witchy vibes. Perfect for October. Find my full review here.


caro.libraryHouse of Salt & Sorrows by Erin A. Craig, Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin, and The Whisper Man by Alex North

Caroline says:

House of Salt & Sorrows: Is there anything better than a spooky fairy tale retelling? This atmospheric retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses is equal parts dark fantasy, mystery, and Gothic horror. It’s creepy and magical, and it kept me guessing until the end.

Serpent & Dove: This book has the best cast of characters! It’s a great witchy story, but also hilarious and heartfelt.

The Whisper Man: One of the best thrillers I’ve read this year! It was so well done with great pacing, a ghost story feel, and some downright chilling moments!

Cait says: I’ve read the first two of her suggestions. House of Salt & Sorrows was a buddy I read I actually did with Caroline! It was great and this book is DEFINITELY creepy. It’s a dark take on the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Full review here!

Serpent & Dove. ONE OF MY FAVS OF 2019. I usually don’t love books with witches. THIS IS THE BEST EXCEPTION. Seriously. Read it. Full review here!

This second section will include books I’ve enjoyed from this year (some might overlap).

Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Probably the best thriller I read this year. It had the creepy factor and a lot of unknowns. Some twists were easy to see, but others left me shocked.


Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

OH MY GOODNESS. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Really. Top 10 from this year. Without a doubt. I’m going to link my review again because you must get this on your TBR ASAP.


The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

This one is all about Dracula! No actual vampires, but a lot of spooky vibes as the MCs run across Romania. See my full review here!


Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalco

I’m waiting on a library hold for the very last book, but this are perfect for a good spooky time. There’s murder, romance, mystery, a great mix of YA historical fiction goodness. And of course, there’s Thomas Cresswell.

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe found a new book or two to consider for your TBR. Have you read any of these? What was one of your favorite spooky reads this year? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 528 pages
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 3rd, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

REID & LOU: NEW OTP.

In recent memory I can easily say that this was a book that actually lived up to the hype. I LOVED IT. Barely 50 pages in, I was hooked, and I wanted to savor the rest of this amazing story.

Loved this setting. Loved the writing. Love these characters.

Speaking of, REID y’all. I love how passionate he was (and rather stubborn too), but also very tender and had a big heart beneath it all. I liked the influence his religion played on all of his decisions and emotions. He stayed true to who he was, but also learned to be open and adapt to previously misleading information. He was SO CUTE and I adore him. His love scene with Lou was also unique for YA and I found it absolutely amazing and well done (and that’s all I will say on that to avoid spoilers, but you’ll understand if you’ve read it!).

Lou was a great MC too. I love how much she chooses love. Lou wanted more out of life than what she was handed and sought after those things and I applaud her for it. Her growth was immense and she learned a lot about herself too. It was so appealing to have both Reid and Lou see outside their boxes to learn and understand about one another.

Best friend alert: Ansel & Coco. OH MY GOODNESS. The side characters were fabulous! I loved this just as much as the MCs. They had a lot to offer and actually brought something to the table. Ansel was my sweet baby and I just want to love him forever okay? I beg the universe not to kill him off in the next book, I might shatter. HE WAS PERFECT. Coco was her own fiery beast that I would so be BFFs with. Easy to love, sneaky, loyal, yes yes yes. Beau was a great addition towards the end too. I’m very curious how he’ll play a part in book two.

Lots of action and intrigue in this book. The pacing kept me constantly intrigued. There was a steady flow of things happening, to slowing down a bit, and to not notice that this book was 500 pages is a stellar job all on it’s own. I enjoyed the villain immensely more than I even considered I might. They threw in some twists I didn’t see coming and were seriously, heinously evil. I will clap for that because I hate a wishy-washy bad guy.

BOOK TWO, I NEED YOU.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: strong language throughout
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs, a detailed love scene
  • Violence: magical, blood magic, physical, knives, swords, poison, paralysis via drugs, torture, arrows

Instagram || Goodreads