Hello Readers! It feels like yesterday that I was working on my September TBR. But here we are already in October! What a strange and weird year this has been. But at least it’s been a great reading year!
My TBR this month is a mixed bag thanks to a couple of ARCs I have and trying to wrap-up my Popsugar Challenge with all those random prompts that tend to get pushed until the end of the year. While part of me wishes I could spend all month reading all things fall-ish, I do have a few creepy books lined up!
I’m not going to pack my month too tightly, allowing for some much-needed mood reading. I spent last month reading several nonfiction books with more serious subject matter and my weary soul needs some fiction to get lost in. And I’m determined not to feel too guilty if I end up not reading some of these and exchanging them for other books. 😉
(Link to Goodreads synopsis through book title.)
Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell
I read The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell this time last year, and maybe it’ll become an annual fall tradition. Her books are just the right amount of mystery and creepy for me. 🙂
The author of the “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs returns with another taut and white-knuckled thriller following a group of people whose lives shockingly intersect when a young woman disappears.
Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.
In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.
Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.
Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.
With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author).
Swamp Thing: Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater
I’m a big fan of Maggie Stiefvater and I’d read anything she writes. So while Graphic Novels aren’t my usual go-to, I’m excited to read the latest offering by one of my favorite writers.
Synopsis: Twins Alec and Walker Holland have a reputation around town. One is quiet and the other is the life of any party, but they are inseparable. For their last summer before college, the two leave the city to live with their rural cousins, where they find that the swamp holds far darker depths than they could have imagined.
While Walker carves their names into the new social scene, Alec recedes into a summer school laboratory, because he brought something from home on their trip—it’s an experiment that will soon consume him. This season, both brothers must confront truths, ancient and familial, and as their lives diverge, tensions increase and dormant memories claw to the surface.
The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige
An ARC of The Ravens showed up in my subscription box from The Strand Bookstore. It sounds perfect for this time of the year!
Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches.
For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet….
When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke
I’ve had this one on my shelf for almost a year. I’m hoping to use this collection of short stories for the Popsugar prompt ‘an anthology’. I’ve saved it all year to read around Halloween.
For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror
A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.
Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.
Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors:
A. G. Howard
Nova Ren Suma
April Genevieve Tucholke
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
One of the prompts on the Popsugar Fall Challenge is: read a book that includes Black joy. I think this one will work… maybe one of you can tell me for sure. But I’ve been wanting to read this YA novel that’s been waiting on my shelf for awhile, anyway. 😉
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
My Last Continent by Midge Raymond
Another prompt on my regular Popsugar Challenge is: the first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed. My Last Continent is the one I touched. I’ve been saving it for cooler weather. If I don’t get to it this month, I’ll pick it up in November!
This unforgettable debut, set against the dramatic Antarctic landscape, is “refreshingly different, vivid and immediate. Midge Raymond has an extraordinary gift for description that puts the reader bang in the middle of its dangerous and endangered world” (M.L. Stedman, New York Times bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans).
It is only among the glacial mountains, cleaving icebergs, and frigid waters of Antarctica that Deb Gardener and Keller Sullivan feel at home. For a few blissful weeks each year they study the habits of Emperor and Adelie penguins and find solace in their work and in one another. But Antarctica, like their fleeting romance, is a fragile place, imperiled by the world to the north.
Each year, Deb and Keller play tour guide to the passengers on the small expedition ship that ferries them to their research station. But this year, when Keller fails to appear on board, Deb begins to reconsider their complicated past and the uncertainty of any future they might share. Then, shortly into the journey, Deb’s ship receives an emergency signal from The Australis, a cruise liner that has hit desperate trouble in the ice-choked waters of the Southern Ocean. Soon Deb’s role will change from researcher to rescuer; among the crew of that sinking ship, Deb learns, is Keller.
As Deb and Keller’s troubled histories collide in this “original and entirely authentic love story” (Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project), Midge Raymond takes us on an unforgettable voyage deep into the wonders of the Antarctic and the mysteries of the human heart. My Last Continent is “a sensitive exploration of how the smallest action can ripple through an ecosystem—seemingly impenetrable, but as fragile as the human heart” (The Minneapolis Star-Tribune). “Atmospheric and adventurous…The story and vivid writing will keep readers glued to the pages” (Library Journal).
Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich
I’m a little behind on the Stephanie Plum series, but they’re wonderful “palate cleansers” when I need some mindless entertainment. This one will fulfill the Popsugar prompt: A book with “20” or “twenty” in the title.
In the heart of Trenton, N.J., a killer is out to make sure someone gets his just desserts.
Larry Virgil skipped out on his latest court date after he was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler full of premium bourbon. Fortunately for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Larry is just stupid enough to attempt almost the exact same crime again. Only this time he flees the scene, leaving behind a freezer truck loaded with Bogart ice cream and a dead body—frozen solid and covered in chocolate and chopped pecans.
As fate would have it, Stephanie’s mentor and occasional employer, Ranger, needs her to go undercover at the Bogart factory to find out who’s putting their employees on ice and sabotaging the business. It’s going to be hard for Stephanie to keep her hands off all that ice cream, and even harder for her to keep her hands off Ranger. It’s also going to be hard to explain to Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, why she is spending late nights with Ranger, late nights with Lula and Randy Briggs—who are naked and afraid—and late nights keeping tabs on Grandma Mazur and her new fella. Stephanie Plum has a lot on her plate, but for a girl who claims to have “virtually no marketable skills,” these are the kinds of sweet assignments she does best.
Do we share any books on our TBRs? Have you read any of these books yet? Let me know in the comments!