Hi I absolutely did not mean to fall off the face of the earth for a little while! October is always one of my busiest months, and it hit me with a massive reading slump, which in turn made me not want to blog either. I have a backlog of books that I can’t wait to review, starting with the ones I read for the Hispanic Heritage Month readathon!
There were a few books on my TBR for this readathon that I was unable to get to. The first was Solita by Vivien Rainn. This book was released in April but was impossible for me to find anywhere in any format. I was really bummed about it because it’s a gothic paranormal romance, and I hope eventually I can find a copy of it!
The second was Jawbone by Monica Ojeda, which is a contemporary horror that drew inspiration from Lovecraft and creepypastas. I figured it was right up my alley, but I only made it about 50 pages in before putting it down. I found it really difficult to get into, and the paragraphs were long and never-ending. I might pick this up again at some point, but for now it’s on hold. The third was Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa, and honestly time just got away from me on this one and I was unable to read it in time. I will definitely be reading it soon, though!
I was able to read the rest of the books for this readathon, including Ophelia After All, which I already wrote a full review of. I’m in the middle of a full review for Together We Burn, so keep an eye out for that! I wrote mini reviews about the rest of the books below!
The Devil Takes You Home was a BOTM pick that I knew, even when choosing it, that I would have to be in the right mood to read. I forced myself to read it for this readathon, and was surprised by how urgently I read through this despite my initial hesitancy. There were some aspects that I enjoyed and others that bothered me.
I loved all the Spanglish in this book, and I appreciated that readers got a translation guide with their pick for BOTM. There were entire paragraphs and dialogues in Spanish, and sometimes there was a loose translation following it, but most of the time there wasn’t. I generally didn’t need the guide and was able to understand everything (except for some Mexican slang), but I can see how it would be jarring for someone reading it who knows no Spanish and is relying on the guide every other page.
This is an extremely dark, gory, and gruesome book. It’s not for the faint of heart. There were scenes where I was happy to set it down and forget about what I’d just read for a while. I also felt like the plot moved way too slowly for most of the book; the big action finally takes place with about 60 pages left, and it flies by way too fast with absolutely zero resolution. I was on okay terms with this book until the final chapter, but it unfortunately left me feeling extremely bitter, hence the low rating.
Genre: horror, crime
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau was a highly anticipated read for me, but it left me a little disappointed. I’ve never read HG Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau that inspired this story, so I didn’t know what I was going into, and I still can’t decide if it would have made me like this book even more or less. I did read up on the original story later, and I appreciated how much the author paid homage to the original while still making it her own.
I loved the idea of this story, but I found the pace to be almost unbearably slow, especially in the beginning. I thought this would improve the world building, but unfortunately the atmosphere just never amazed me or reeled me into it the way I hoped it would.
Thankfully the characters are what saved this book. I absolutely loved Carlota, even when she was foolish in her decisions. Her soft spot for the hybrids and her loyalty to her home were admirable. I do wish her father, the scientist, had been more present. This is a story of the daughter of a mad scientist, but he never really came off that way until the very end of the book. I hoped for a deeper dive into his psyche, because I think it could have been a lot of fun and added a lot of depth to the character, but unfortunately that wasn’t part of the story.
While this book didn’t quite live up to my expectations of it, I know it will definitely stick with me.
Genre: historical fiction, horror, science fiction
Echoes of Grace is a beautifully written, emotional book. Following the death of her mother, Grace witnesses and blames herself for her nephew’s death. As her home life crumbles around her in the present, Grace loses herself in echo-like flashbacks to a time in her life that she tried to suppress.
This book is incredibly heavy, and I found my heart aching for Grace and everything she experienced. Her grief and her struggles felt so genuinely real.
Magical realism is usually hit or miss for me, but I loved it in this book. It not only gave depth to the story as the explanation for the echo flashbacks Grace experienced throughout the book, but it also gave her a way to remain connected to her mother after her passing. It forced Grace to come to terms with what she went through in the past, and to be brave enough to share it with her family as well.
This is such a heartbreaking albeit powerful book.
Genre: young adult, magical realism
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