Blogging · Books · Fiction · Young Adult

Currently Reading (and 200 followers!)

Now that I’ve finished reading The Night Gardener it’s time to move on to the next book for the Halloween read-a-thon!

haunted-house

For the second challenge I’m going to be reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. This one has been on my TBR list for a while now (like so many others). This felt like a good opportunity to finally pull it off the shelf. Hopefully it’s as creepy as the cover makes it out to be.

9460487

~~~

I would also like to mention that I’ve recently reached 200 followers on Once Upon a Spine. In comparison to how many followers some of you have this isn’t a huge number, but it’s more than I imagined getting when I started blogging at the beginning of the year.

I just want to say THANK YOU to all of you who read my posts and leave me comments. I really enjoy blogging, but of course it wouldn’t be the same without all of you! You guys are so awesome. 🙂

 

Adult · Books · Favorites · Fiction · Middle Grade · Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Fall Covers/Themes

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is another fun one: Ten Books with Fall Covers/Themes. Since I am obsessed with all things Halloween at the moment, all I can say in response to this week’s theme is YAY.

Don’t worry, there is nothing pertaining to pumpkin spice anything on this list.

Top Ten Books with Fall Covers/Themes

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Cemeteries are one of my favorite places to visit this time of year.

To Kill a Mockingburd by Harper Lee – I confess that I dislike this book, but the cover of this particular version feels very Fall-y to me with with colors and the tree.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackon – Creepy family and a black cat. Perfect for a Halloween read!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling – The colors on this one reminds me of the leaves changing from green to orange to brown. (Obviously, the themes of the series itself are perfectly suited for Fall reading.)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving – I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory.

The Books of Elsewhere series by Jaqueline West – The series is an appropriate one as most of it takes place during Fall and around Halloween. Pus, magic, talking cats, witches, people trapped in paintings…

The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass – I actually know nothing about this book, but I’ve seen it pop up on the blogosphere and the cover is appropriate.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – I love the creepy covers on these books.

Dracula by Bram Stoker – There’s no such thing as October without vampires.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield – This one is a cozy, gothic-mystery to curl up with in the evenings.

Book Reviews · Books · Fiction · Middle Grade · Mystery

Book Review: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

18405537

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Orphans Molly and Pip have been through some rough times. When they show up at the strange Windsor manor they are hopeful that their lives are about to get easier, but instead they only get weirder. Neither the house nor the family are what they seem. The family is pale and sickly, there’s a giant tree coming out of the house, and there’s a man roaming the halls at night. Molly can’t figure out exactly what’s going on, but she knows that if she can’t figure it out soon she and her brother will be the next to fall victim to the sinister ways of the Night Gardener. 

I really enjoyed this book. I definitely would have been creeped out by this one when I was a kid. It felt like something that belonged on the pages of Grimm’s or Poe’s tales.

Molly and Pip were good protagonists. Neither of them were the “hero” type or the “chosen one,” which I appreciated. Despite the young ages of the two, Molly and Pip struggled with some very adult problems (poverty, losing their parents, disability, etc.) and, as a result, interjected some real wisdom into the story.

The tree and the night gardener were spooky and weird. I liked the way the way the “monsters” and the house were all tied together.

Overall, this one gets a thumbs up from me. The story is good, the characters are great, and it was a fun read. The only potential problem a young reader might have with this is understanding the Irish dialect.

~~~

That’s one book down for the Halloween read-a-thon. On to the next one!

Books · Fiction · Middle Grade · Mystery

It’s Halloween Read-a-thon Time!

halloween-readathon

Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews is back with another Halloween read-a-thon. As I wasn’t active in the blog world during this time last year, you can rest assured that I am partaking this year.

There are multiple challenges to try, but unfortunately I won’t have the time to complete all of them. (You know, there’s that whole full-time job thing. *eyeroll*) I’m going to try my best to do at least a couple of them, just for fun.

Coincidentally, the book I am currently reading fits the bill for the following category:

costume-party

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

18405537

~~~

Are you doing any Halloween reading challenges this year? 

Books · Middle Grade

Halloween Prep, pt. 1

Keeping in the theme of all things Halloween, I’m trying to squeeze a few Halloween-ish reads into my repertoire this month. I’m still keeping it on the light side as to not overwhelm my brain at the moment, but that’s okay. I’m still finding plenty of spooky reads that fall in line with the theme of the holiday.

What I’m Currently Reading:

18405537

This one has been on my shelf for a while now, waiting for a rainy day. It’s a quick read, as it’s technically a “children’s” book, but it has kept me entertained. There’s an old, creepy house; a family with lots of secrets; and a mystery man who roams the house at night while everyone is asleep.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love dark children’s literature? I wish there had been more of it around when I was a kid.

~~~

Speaking of dark and spooky things, I’ve been getting the house ready for Halloween. Here’s a sneak peak:

I made these creepy Victorian people candle holders this past weekend. They aren’t perfect yet, but I think they turned out pretty good for a first try.

Witch’s station.

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Young Adult

Totally Should’ve Book Tag

I saw this tag over on One’s Peculiar and I don’t feel like being productive at the moment, soooo let’s talk about books. 🙂

  1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel – The Graveyard Book! I would love to read about Bod’s life after he grows up and comes back to the graveyard at some point. 2213661
  2. Totally should’ve gotten a spin-off series – The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Considering that all the books take place in the same world with inter-related stories,  but aren’t actually sequels, this one would be perfect for a spin-off series.13623012
  3. An author who should write more books –  Colleen Oakes. I’ve read her Queen of Hearts and Wendy Darling series now and I absolutely adored them both. I really look forward to whatever books she puts out in the future.
  4. A character who should’ve ended up with someone else – Elizabeth Bennet. She should have ended up with literally anyone other than Mr. Darcy because he was a douche. 1885
  5. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise  – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I’m not even a huge fan of this book, but the imagery is spectacular. I would watch it on screen for the costumes alone.9361589
  6. Totally should’ve kept the original covers – Rebel of the Sands  by Alwyn Hamilton. The original (left) was better.
  7. Totally should’ve stopped at book one – The Twilight series. Or Fifty Shades of Grey. UGH.

I don’t know who actually enjoys doing these things, so consider yourself tagged if you want to participate.

Books · Fantasy · Fiction

This is Halloween

I know I’ve already said this before, but…you guys…Halloween is coming! 😀 I’ve already started putting out decorations and have been working on my costumes since August. I’m so excited!

In honor of  this glorious and festive time of the year I feel like I need to put some Fall/Halloween themed entertainment into my repertoire this month. I’m typically not big on super scary things (because I’m a weenie), but I’ve still found plenty of books/shows over the years that appropriately fit the occasion.

These are a few of my favorites:

2213661

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – A little boy that grows up in a graveyard, raised by the ghosts that reside there. It doesn’t get more Halloween appropriate than that. (Side note: I have a slight obsession with cemeteries, especially old ones. This always feels like the perfect time of year to go traipsing among the headstones.)

cp_fwb_nightmare_20120926

The Nighmare Before Christmas (movie) – Like all of Tim Burton’s works, it’s perfectly weird. I still need to pull off a Sally costume at some point…

3

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – Magic, a castle, dark wizards, ghosts, cauldrons, a dark creepy forest, trolls, goblins…Shall I continue? Whether it’s the books or the movies, Harry Potter always feels like a good Fall binge.

stranger-things-netflix-196205-208406

Stranger Things (tv show) – I discovered this on Netflix last year and I’m super stoked that the second season will be out soon! If you’re a fan of old 80’s sci-fi, or just the 80’s era in general, you should definitely give this one a watch.

9f02bd6f5e1a1f17ee8a62794a35a107

American Horror Story (tv show) – Although it scared the daylights out of me the first time I watched it, the first season of AHS is pretty awesome and creeptastic.

Classic horror novels – Dracula, Frankenstein, Jekyll & Hyde, and anything by Poe.

~~~

Are you excited about Halloween? What are some of your favorite things to read or watch this time of year?