The Louisiana bayou is a place that holds a lot of fascination. All the animals and the mystery of the swamp. There is so much that we don’t know about the swamp. But if you are one of the lucky few to live deep in the swamp there is a chance that you will have heard about the supernatural creatures that live deep in the swamp.
Synopsis: A young swamp witch has to fight off a very specific monster.
What I liked: Eldredge’s writing is perfect for the age demographic the book is aimed at. The story was charming and creepy. It was just spooky enough for the age the book is marketed for. The illustrations are also super charming. The pacing for the story was perfect. I really enjoyed my adventure with Evangeline.
What I didn’t like: Their isn’t anything that I didn’t like.
Star Rating: 4 Stars
My thoughts: I really wish that books like this had been around when I was a kid. It was just the right amount of spooky. I love that many of the middle-grade books have girls as heroines. From Ages 11 – 13 girls begin to change. They start to lost the self confidence and that spark that they have during childhood. This is one of the main reasons that books where the girl is the heroine at that age is really important. Girls need to understand that they are strong and they can still have adventures even when teenage hood is knocking on the door. We are so much more than workers and family members. Just my opinion…..I think as girls grow older they are discouraged from using their imaginations. Unless, it is for playing house, playing mommy or for romantic type things. I really hope there is another book about Evangeline.
I am not a big fan of best of lists. Personally, every list is subjective and everyone has different tastes. The best of lists tend to rile everyone up because someone didn’t name such and such book. In my opinion, it would seem it is down the amount of books that people try to put in these lists. So when I saw my friend Emily post a top 19 of 2019. I thought I could probably do that.
This year I read some amazing books. There are so many that I really enjoyed but this list are books that really hit me in the feels or books that I really loved. They are in no specific order.
In this stack we have:
Little Paranoias by Sonora Taylor
Choking Back the Devil by Donna Lynch
The Girl Aquarium by Jen Campbell
Wonderland Edited by Marie O’Reagan and Paul Kane
The Girl in Red by Christina Henry
Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen
Sing Your Sadness Deep by Laura Mauro
Violet by Scott Thomas
Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson
The Apocalyptic Mannequin by Stephanie M. Wytovich
New Music for Old Rituals by Tracy Fahey
Hex Life edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering
Yes, that is only 12 but here are the books that I loved that I had checked out from my friendly neighborhood library.
Bunny by Mona Awad
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Now You’re One of Us by Asa Nonami
The rest are series that I loved and read this year.
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
Dead Voices by Katherine Arden
City Of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
This was an extremely hard list to make. There were so many things that I loved to read this year. So this list could go on and on. But these are the books that really stole my heart.
I wanted to thank all the authors and the publishers I worked with this year. All the work that goes into writing and creating these amazing little worlds between pretty covers astounds me. A big thank you to Pima County Library!! Thank you for not yelling at me when I turn things in late!!
I have an amazing team that I work with everyday to promote women horror authors. Big thank you to The Ladies Of Horror Fiction. You all make the days and frustrations so much more tolerable.
I have really enjoyed some of Holly Black’s other books. She has a flair for the fantastical that I really enjoy. When I was going through my libraries MG horror category this popped up. I was talking to Jen about it and she told me that she thought I would love it. She wasn’t wrong.
Synopsis: Three friends go on a adventure lead by a ghost.
Things I liked: I loved the idea of these three friends which are growing up going on that one last adventure. MG is that awkward age between being a teenager and child. Black dealt with this wonderfully in the story. It was more of a coming of age story wrapped around a ghost story. The pacing of the story was perfect. The characters where very well written. The awkwardness of the changes the characters were going through were dealt with so well. The story was ended very well.
Things I didn’t like: I would have liked for this to be a series.
Star Rating: 4 stars
My Thoughts: I wish MG horror books I have been reading, were around when I was a kid. There are some wonderful themes of friendship and the changes that you go through as you grow up. I really enjoyed this story. I wish that this was a series but I enjoyed the way Black tied the story up. I enjoy Black’s writing but this is a book that I would recommend for anyone with a spooky loving child.
Anyone who has read my blog knows that I love Katherine Arden’s writing style. Her adult books and now her middle grade horror totally has my heart all locked up. I couldn’t wait to read the second spooky adventure for the Vermot trio. I am always a little afraid to read the second book in any series….especially after how much I loved Small Spaces. But this one sure didn’t disappoint. This is also my second choice for the LOHFReadathon after my first choice and I didn’t necessarily get along I was stoked that I saved this one for the readathon.
Synopsis: The trio of Ollie, Brian and Coco are back with a thrilling adventure to defeat a specific someone.
What I liked: What is there not to like about this story. I love the entire message that Arden has throughout this series. The friendship between the main characters is pivotal. They never leave anyone behind and always have each other’s backs. What I really enjoyed was that this book really focused on Coco whereas the first book was focused on Ollie. As Always Arden’s writing is amazing and the story moves with the perfect pacing. Arden writes with such fluidity and ease, that reading her books is super easy and very enjoyable. It is spooky enough that this can be a Halloween or Winter read for the middle grade set.
What I didn’t like: NOTHING
Star Rating: 5 Stars
My Thoughts: I am loving this series. It is really making me happy. The feeling through the entire story is Winter, fires and hot chocolate. The atmosphere in the story was cold, it is the perfect winter time book with a little spooky thrown in. So this winter bundle up in a blanket with some hot chocolate and read this lovely horror tale.
I have not been a big middle grade or YA reader; even when I was in middle grade I was looking at other things to read. Some of the ladies of the LOHF have been enjoying middle grade and YA horror. So I wanted to make sure to give it a try myself. I have loved Arden’s other books so naturally I turned to Small Spaces as an introduction to middle grade horror.
Synopsis: A girl who has had a rough year steals a book and then weird stuff starts happening.
What I liked: I like Arden’s writing style generally. She makes the story very accessible for younger readers which I really appreciated. I really enjoyed how the story was setup. The pacing was good through the story and the characters were well fleshed out. I enjoyed the subject matter of the story and it would lend itself well to be read aloud. The story within the story was really well done as well.
What I didn’t like: There wasn’t anything in particular that I didn’t like about the book.
Star Rating: 4.5 Stars
My Thoughts: I believe that this is going to be a series and the second book is going to be coming out this year? Honestly, it was a book that I would have loved to read as a 7th grader. Many of the feelings and emotions that the main character are going through are relatable. The creep factor is there for children and there is a major Halloween vibe through the story which I really loved. It made me think of apple cider doughnuts, hot chocolate and pumpkins. Yes I miss fall….alot.