What I Read October 2021

by - November 02, 2021


Do you guys read books to fit the season? I'm not usually one to pay attention to stuff like that, but this year more than half of my October reading inventory is on the darker side. We've got a very dark romance, an evil sorcerer, ghost hunters, a carnival run by a soul-stealing demon, and a twisted retelling of Alice in Wonderland.

Let's get started!


Author: Emily McIntire

This was a very dark, modern retelling of Peter Pan in which the main character is Hook, if you didn't deduce that from the title. Hook is essentially a crime lord with a grudge against the man who is responsible for his parents' death, Peter Darling. When Peter's daughter, Wendy, ends up in his bar one night, Hook can't pass up the opportunity to finally get his revenge on Peter through this unsuspecting young woman. But, of course, things don't go as planned in so much as Hook falls for Wendy.


Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

After getting kicked out of Vassar College, Vivian is sent to NYC to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a crumbling theater. World War II has just begun, and the theater becomes home to an acting couple whose London home was destroyed by the Nazis. Peg's estranged husband, film-writer Billy Buell, comes to town to write a play worthy of this couple called City of Girls. Vivian, who has a knack for sewing, finds herself in the role of costume designer. Meanwhile, Vivian has been in a relationship of sorts with the leading man in the play, but things go terribly wrong and she runs away back home to escape. Soon, though, her Aunt Peg lures her back with the job of providing lunch-time entertainment to the men and women working in the Navy yard.

This book took a long time to really get going in my opinion, which is part of the reason why it took me nearly two months to read it. The other, more prevalent reason is the fact that it's essentially a 500-page letter from Vivian, the main female character, to a woman named Angela. It was disconcerting at first to have the author be seemingly talking directly to me but call me by the wrong name. Anyway, the middle was very good, but the ending felt so drawn out. Overall, it was a good story.


Author: T. Kingfisher

I was pleasantly surprised by this little stand-alone novel. It's about 15-year-old Rhea and her unwanted betrothal to the mysterious Lord Crevan, who just so happens to be a sorceror. When Crevan summons Rhea to his home before the wedding to complete a series of tasks, Rhea discovers he has six other wives all trapped within his property. Crevan has managed to corrupt his marriage contracts so that he takes something from his wives, and he's set his sights on Rhea's youth.


Author: Kathryn Nolan

This is the third book in the Bluewater Billionaires series, and it's the only one that's made me cry. Luna is the CEO of a vegan makeup company that's been caught in an animal cruelty scandal. In an effort to bounce back from the damage and reconnect with her personal values, Luna volunteers at a local non-profit dog rescue organization run by the son of the city's most-notorious biker gang. There, she finds an ally in the unlikely Beck.

This one may actually be my favorite so far. I really liked Luna's overall vibe, and Beck was surprisingly vulnerable.


Author: Jarica James

I already kind of reviewed this for the spooky book post I did last month, so instead of rewriting that, I'm just going to copy and paste: First, let me start off by saying that this was surprisingly more intense than I was prepared for, especially since I decided to read it before going to sleep. I won't say that it's scary, but it was super creepy and ghosts rank very high on my scare meter. Anyway, Brea is a successful, semi-famous ghost hunter. She, along with three other teams, are invited to a competition at a haunted hotel that was once owned a serial killer. The serial killer, whose name is Dudley by the way, along with the spirits of his victims are still on the grounds. There is a LOT of creepy ghost interaction. Think those ghost hunter shows but multiple it by 10.

This is part of a series, and I did download the second book. I'm still up in the air on if I'm brave enough to read it, though. I really liked Brea as a character, and this is definitely different from other books I've read. The next book is set in a haunted theme park.


Author: Veronica G. Henry

Liza was abandoned by her family as a young girl. Her power to communicate with animals has labeled her a freak until someone needs her help with their livestock. When a traveling carnival offers her a job, Liza sees it as a way to escape her lot in life while also hopefully finding her little sister. But something about the carnival isn't right. It's home to an ancient demon that has ties to Liza's ancestors. Too bad Liza doesn't know anything about her family or the power she's inherited.

I have mixed feelings about this book. Overall, I think the story itself is strong. However, I felt like the author left the main female character needlessly in the dark on some things. There were some confusing twists because Liza was confused. Then there's the issue of Liza herself who was, in my opinion, not a very likeable character.


Author: A. K. Koonce

Madison Torrent's life sucks. Her mom died a few months ago and her cancer's come back. Then, she's pulled through the ocean into Wanderlust where she's declared to be The One. Madison knows she's not who the people of Wanderlust have been waiting for but agrees to pretend to help unite the kingdom with Wonderland. But there's a bigger evil at play here, and Madison may be the only one who can end it.

I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this Wonderland retelling. First off, this should have been one book, not three, so if you're going to read it I recommend going ahead and downloading the boxset so it's not as noticeable. The last two books were extremely short. There was a lot of vagueness that's never really resolved, but I guess that's part of the Wonderland vibe. Also, the ending was not satisfying for me. It wasn't bad per se; it just wasn't what I was expecting or even really wanted.

P.S. I wanted to let you guys know that I decided not to finish Treasured Find, which I mentioned in my last Currently Reading post. I never thought I would say this, but there was too much sex. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the author devoted entire chapters to it. It was distracting from the actual plot line. And to make matters even worse, it was repetitive. I just couldn't keep going.

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