October Fright 2017: Legends and Myths and Fiends, Oh My!

Happy October everyone! October Fright is a month-long feature on my blog where I put together a variety of Halloween-themed posts. I love reading about different kinds of villains and I think that the horror genre has so much to offer in terms of unique baddies. For this post, I’m listing legends, myths, and other fiends that I would like to read more books about.

1. Witches

Yes, okay, witches are pretty common, but I love witches. I want to read about good witches and bad witches, ones that eat people’s hearts and others that heal them. I can’t get enough of this horror icon. If anyone mentions that a book or show features a witch, my ears immediately perk up.

2. Nightmares

I’ve only read one book that features a nightmare and it’s a creature I’d love to know more about. Anything that involves dreams or sleep makes for a good horror setting in my opinion. Some describe them as demons and come on, demons and dreams? Is there a more perfect combination?

3. Chupacabra

This is a widely-known legend, but why don’t we have any books with chupacabras? I think it would be a really interesting myth to explore. I need a book about a team of researches trying to debunk this myth only to be proven wrong.

4. Changelings

I love when books characterize fae as dark and sinister. And is there anything more sinister than replacing a newborn baby with a fairy changeling? I’ve read a couple of books with changelings in them and definitely prefer it when it’s used as a horror element.

5. Pied Piper

I think this might be the creepiest fairy tale villain. The story goes that a town is plague by rats, but this pied piper shows up promising he can rid the town of said rats for a price. The price it turns out are the children of the town and he ends up leading them off a cliff. There are just so many possibilities in my head for this one. Also, I do not know where this gif is from, but it looks terrifying.

6. La Llorona

Talk about a story that will keep children up at night. This ghost wanders near bodies of water, searching for her children whom she drowned. La Llorona has appeared in a few books I’ve read, but I’m hoping for one that’s pure horror.

What mythical creature would you like to see written more about? I’d love to hear any book recommendations you have based on the legends above. Let’s discuss in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Fierce Females I’d Share a Meal With

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books (Does a character eat something you’d love? Or maybe the book takes place in a bakery/restaurant that makes yummy things? You could also talk about 10 of your favorite cookbooks if you don’t read foody books.).” I struggled mightily with this week’s topic. Does this ever happen to you when you see a TTT topic and you completely draw a blank? So this week, I’m going to totally cheat and list a few fierce females that I wouldn’t mind sharing a meal with. As you can tell from the list, I might have a death wish? It could possibly be my last meal? I might die happy regardless? Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. Shahrzad from The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

2. Gauri from A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

3. Yael from Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin

4. Ada and Corinne by Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

5. Lada from And I Darken by Kiersten White

6. Xifeng from Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

7. Inej and Nina from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

8. Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

9. Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

10. Ismae from Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Would you share a meal with any of these characters? Which fierce female would you like to bond over brunch? Let me know in the comments and be sure leave a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

ARC Review: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Title: Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Series: N/A
Pages: 224
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 17th 2017
*I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway which does not influence my review*

      “Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.
      Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.
      Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

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Nic Stone’s Dear Martin is an ardent and poignant story that challenges its readers at every turn. Justyce McAllister has a bright future ahead of him. His life isn’t perfect, but at Braselton Preparatory Academy, it feels like he has the opportunity to become anything he wishes. But to the cop that puts him in handcuffs the night he’s trying to do a good deed, Justyce is just another black kid up to no good. The encounter shakes him to his core.  He begins to reevalutae his own views about the world around him and it becomes nearly impossible for him to ignore the racism he witnesses. Taking pen to paper, Justyce begins writing letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a way to cope with the growing tension inside him.

For such a small novel, Stone’s debut packs quite the punch. Using different styles of writing, Stone catapults readers into Justyce’s world. In his letters, he is both honest and earnest, and his anger and confusion are palpable. Justyce opens up about becoming the person he wants to be in a world that takes one look at him and decides it already knows everything about him. A few chapters are written like scenes out of a play where the dialogue takes center stage. Stone employs this method most notably during scenes from Justyce’s Societal Evolution class in order to replicate the fast-paced discussions between students in this debate-like setting. Most of Justyce’s classmates are a frustrating bunch to listen to. They throw out racist comments casually without batting an eyelash. Their view of racism in America is a familiar one in which racism isn’t something that happens anymore. Any time they are called out on it, they default to the “you’re being too sensitive” excuses.  They are unable to accept that they themselves could possibly be racist despite people pointing out their remarks are offensive. It’s important to note that Stone chooses a cop with a Latinx name as the one who racially profiles Justyce at the beginning of the novel. So many discussions revolve around race relations between black and white people, but racism as an idea in the U.S. permeates every population. Anti-blackness is very much an issue in the Latinx community and should come under scrutiny.

One of the major themes of the novel is who controls the narrative, how these ideas are internalized, and the consequences of bias narratives. Stone explores these ideas and pushes readers to challenge their own views. Justyce’s story eventually leads to an even more traumatic event in which someone close to him loses their life. In the days that follow, Justyce’s name is dragged through the mud. The story becomes about how the victims somehow deserved what they got instead of how the perpetrator let their own racial biases control their judgment. Dear Martin is uncomfortable, but necessary. It’s a thought-provoking and relevant novel that asks tough questions and demands the reader sit up and pay attention.

5/5

★★★★★

FLYTIP: Make Your Mark

FLYTIP is an original feature hosted by Lonna @ FLYLēF in which she generously shares free blog graphics and advice as well as taking part in related discussions. Every other Saturday, there is a different prompt that participants can take part in, so be sure to check out her site for more info. Lonna is also running a giveaway for those who participate through the end of December. This week’s topic is: FLYTIP: Make Your Mark || Bookmarks aren’t just for saving your place in a book. They are artistic expressions. Share your expression with 5-10 bookmarks.

I personally think that bookmarks are a really great way for bookworms to express themselves. Some of us don’t bother much with bookmarks and reach for whatever scrap of paper is available. Some of us have a beloved bookmark we use in every book we read. Some of us own an absurd amount and others only a handful. Below are some of the bookmarks I own.

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I always smile when an order from Book Depository arrives and not just because it means book mail. One of my favorite things about this site is that they send you a bookmark with every book purchase. I personally don’t use these bookmarks, but keep them tucked away in the books they arrive in. And they’re always so darn lovely.

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I don’t buy bookmarks, but I do make them! I fell down the rabbit hole that is bookmark crafting earlier this year and now have a box full of beads, far too much string, and stock paper to last me a lifetime. I actually find making bookmarks to be a really relaxing activity. I’ve been thinking of making a few and doing some kind of giveaway. Would you be interested?

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This is probably the prettiest bookmark I’ve ever made. I purchased a craft hole puncher and used an old book to create the effect above. I haven’t used this bookmark yet, maybe because it’s too pretty or maybe because I have hard time letting go of my trusted purple bookmark.

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Speaking of my purple bookmark. This is the one that I use every time I pick up a book. It’s a DIY bookmark that I originally made out of a gift bag. This is my third version of the bookmark. Yes, I still have a bit of gift bag left and will probably make another one when this one starts falling apart. Hoping this doesn’t make me sound too obsessive.

Do you have a favorite bookmark? Have you ever made a bookmark? Let’s discuss in the comment and leave a link to your own FLYTIP post in the comments if you participated this week.

The Friday 56: Matilda

The Friday 56The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

**Be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 post in the comments!**

“There was no doubt in Matilda’s mind that this latest display of foulness by her father deserved severe punishment, and as she sat eating her awful fried fish and fried chips and ignoring the television, her brain went to work on various possibilities.

Missed this meme last week, but now I’m back. I finally picked up Roald Dahl’s Matilda this summer and found it very charming. I still think the movie is better (it was a favorite as a child), but am glad I got a chance to read the book. Trunchbull may be more terrifying than HP’s Umbridge in my opinion. No review for this one. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

October Fright 2017: Thriller, Thriller Night

Happy October everyone! All month long I”m celebrating Halloween with some fun posts. For this post I have five thrillers that I’d highly recommend to anyone who might be interested in a novel that will keep them on the edge of their seat. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Twisted is a really good word for this book. If you enjoy unlikable characters or storylines that make you gasp, give this popular novel a try. It might make you reconsider how well you know the people in your life.

2. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – Is historical thriller a genre because it should be. In this one, the protagonist assists her uncle in trying to discover the murderer who’s been stalking the streets of London. If you like a little mystery, you’ll be racing to the end to discover the killer alongside Audrey Rose.

3. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson – This is one of the first novels I read in 2017 and I am still thinking about it. Mary’s voice pulls you in and does not let go. I’m really found of books that utilize the use of an unreliable narrator and Jackson’s debut may be the best I’ve ever seen.

4. Penpal by Dathan Auerbach – I can’t remember where I heard of this book, but I bought it on a whim and read it one October. Oh my goodness, it gave me all the tingles I usually get when watching a good scary movie. If I ever have any children, they are never having a penpal.

5. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga – Because sometimes serial killer novels are just so much fun. You’ve got a kid trying to outrun his father’s legacy by trying to catch a killer. This whole series is just one wild ride after another. Also a good reminder not to play games with serial killers.

Bonus: Five Thrillers on My TBR I Still Need to Read

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Have you read any of the thrillers I recommended? What is your favorite thriller? Have you read the thrillers currently on my TBR? I’ve love to hear your opinion in the comments.