October 2020 Reads

October is the time for reading spooky stories and oooooh boy do I have some reviews of spooky books for you! I read three fabulous books this month.


Number of books read: 3 📘📘📘

Print books: 3 📚📚📚

Audiobooks: 0

Kindle books: 0

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars books: 1

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 star books: 1

⭐⭐⭐ 3 star books: 1

⭐⭐ 2 star books: 0

⭐ 1 star books: 0

😍 Favorite bookThe Hollow Places

☹️ Least favorite bookThe Jumbies (still fabulous, but couldn’t quite keep up with the others I read this month)

▶️ YouTube wrap up: coming soon!

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher

the hollow places by t kingfisher book cover

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read from October 4, 2020 – October 5, 2020.

I knew this book was going to be an absolute banger before I even started it. I read The Twisted Ones a couple months ago and the first thing I did when I finished it was preorder T. Kingfisher‘s next book. And I was not disappointed.

Kara moves in with her Uncle Earl after her divorce. He runs the quirky Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities, and Taxidermy, which while a bit odd, is a safe place full of happy memories — the perfect place for Kara to get her mind off things and get a fresh start. But Kara doesn’t get the safety and comfort she imagined. Instead, she and her friend Simon (the barista from next door) stumble into what seems like an absolutely impossible and otherworldly … well … other world. It’s a world populated not by people, but by mysterious willows that seem to come alive in the moonlight and the ominous Them, who can hear your thinking and are drawn to your fear.

The Hollow Places totally met all my expectations from T. Kingfisher. I love that she has such a distinctive style and this book had so many elements of the last one I loved:

  • A plucky, down on her luck female protagonist with a freelance job
  • A setting in a small town in the Carolinas
  • A coffee shop as a place of solace
  • The heroine has to stay in a place that scares her and is owned by an elderly relative
  • The heroine is left alone in said creepy place because of her sense of duty to help out an ailing relative
  • A creepy book full of someone else’s notes
  • Dead animals coming to life
  • A ridiculously quirky but lovable sidekick

And even with all of these elements being the same, this book had a totally different feel than the last. It was not quite as scary (I think because the idea of stepping into another world through a hole in the wall is less plausible than the idea of monsters chasing you through the woods), but still definitely eerie. I probably would have read the whole thing in one day but I got spooked and had to put it down. Also, while reading I got the vibe that The Twisted Ones was inspired by folklore and The Hollow Places was inspired by science fiction and reading the author’s note at the end bore that idea out.

Overall, I loved this book just as much as I was expecting to and I can’t wait to read the next horror novel from T. Kingfisher.

Find this review on Goodreads here.

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

the jumbies by tracey baptiste book cover

3.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐💫

Read from October 9, 2020 – October 13, 2020.

Corinne is not afraid of anything. Not even the jumbies that everyone says live just out of sight in the forest and can wreak havoc on your life if you just give them the slightest opportunity. But when Corinne and a real jumbie come face to face, she decides maybe jumbies are something to be feared after all…

I think this was a delightfully creepy fantasy/horror for a middle grade audience! I liked Corinne as a spunky, fearless, self-sufficient main character and I liked her quirky assortment of friends. I wasn’t familiar with jumbies before reading this book, but from reading the author’s note in the back, I know she was inspired by the folktales and campfire stories of her youth in Trinidad. I loved the Caribbean setting and the use of these folk elements to tell a spooky (but of course ultimately satisfying) fairy tale. I think this would make a fantastic audiobook! I’d recommend this book to kids who like scary stories, especially fearless girls who like to prove to the world they’re tougher than the boys. I’d also recommend it to any scaredy cat adults who want to read a creepy story, but still want to be able to sleep at night!

Find this review on Goodreads here.

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read from October 14, 2020 – October 31, 2020.

It’s been a while since I’ve read something ~literary~ but I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. Something about the way Jackson writes is completely accessible and somehow timeless. The feeling I got while reading these stories was similar to the feeling I get when watching The Twilight Zone. There’s something so delightfully spooky about a story centered on a completely mundane scenario that’s ever so slightly off…

Of course, I don’t think any short story will ever come close to the impact of “The Lottery,” and it’s earned its rightful place in literary canon, but I’m so glad I got to experience this whole collection.

Find this review on Goodreads here.

I read some great books this month and I’d love to hear about what you read! Leave a comment down below and let me know the best book you read this month.

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