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!
It feels good to finally be back into the swing of things when it comes to reading. While I didn’t read every book selected for the Pride Month Readathon, I was able to read four of them! I’m still slowly chugging away at my BOTM pick (The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah – a hefty first book in a trilogy based around One Thousand and One Nights), but I managed to read a total of eight books in June! I’m now at 31 out of my goal of 50 for the year, seven ahead of schedule!
I already wrote a full review of Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, and I’ll be doing smaller reviews for the other books that I finished in this readathon. I also had a bonus book that I wasn’t anticipating reading but definitely checks all the boxes of this readathon, so I’m including a review for that as well.
Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find. Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is. Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.
Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires. Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.
Genre: horror, young adult, fantasy, lgbt Rating: ★★★★★
Sawkill Girls has been on my TBR list for four(!) years, and I finally forced myself to read it for my LGBT+ reading challenge for the month of June. First, I am pleasantly surprised by the amount of gay horror books out there and will absolutely be reading more of those. Second, I’m low-key mad at myself for waiting so long to read this, because I am obsessed with it.
Summary: In the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father is executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost. But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined. When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark its doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano? Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will help her.
Genre: horror, historical fiction Rating: ★★★★★
I’ve been anxiously waiting The Hacienda for a few months now, and when it came up as an option for Book of the Month, I didn’t hesitate. It has everything I want in a story: a haunted house, a hot priest, witchcraft, gothic horror vibes, oh and it’s essentially a retelling of Rebecca in 19th-century Mexico. What’s not to love?
Summary: Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House.
At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
Genre: horror Rating: ★★★★★
I have never really been one for ghost stories. I have never believed that houses can be haunted, that they can hold onto the dead like keepsakes. Houses simply do not wear their tenants as a badge of honor, in a locket around their throat. Houses are not horrifying entities; whatever awfulness resides in the house moves with the owners. A house is simply a house. And yet.
The idea of a building holding so much history, anguish, betrayal, and anger seems impossible until you’re introduced to Hill House. The famous opening lines begin by describing the house almost as a living, breathing concept. It is not a standard, normal, or even sane thing. It’s an indescribable entity, something dangerous and horrible, its capabilities completely unknown. And of course, “whatever walked there, walked alone.”