Creepy Reads for Halloween

Right now, I’m reading a contemporary. It’s a really enjoyable contemporary and I’m liking it a lot, but I’m pretty sure it means I’m skipping out on reading something spooky or scary tomorrow night.

That being said, I know a lot of books that would be perfect to curl up with instead for Halloween, and I thought it would be fun to share them so that maybe you can enjoy some of them for me. I’ve got an extremely varied selection today but hopefully you’ll find something that piques your interest!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. This book is my favourite. The entire series is so incredibly creepy that it’s perfect for this time of year, but I’d recommend it really at any time. With mental asylums, paranormal activity and trauma-induced amnesia, this book is perfect to spook yourself with this Halloween.

This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher. I read a lot of high-school thriller novels and this is a good example. Although not the scariest book I’ve ever read, this is an easy read in a creepy, rigged house, following a group of students who played a part in another person’s death; I’d say that’s scary enough.

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by Various Authors. This collection is creepy. It’s made up of fourteen stories from fourteen incredible horror and thriller authors (including my favourite author ever- Marie Lu) and, although they obviously aren’t perfect, there’s definitely a scary story for everyone in there.

Beneath The World, A Sea by Chris Beckett. This book is definitely an acquired taste. It isn’t scary in the traditional way of ghosts and monsters and murders (although there definitely is death); this story takes place on a unique island where the creepy inhabitants drive you to insanity the minute you get too close. It’s not creepy so much as it’s unnerving, so if you’re looking for something a little different and you’re tired of the Halloween gimmicks, this is the one.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. This is the most traditional Halloween read on my list. With an unlikely romance between a murderous ghost and a ghost hunter, this book has everything a YA horror book needs. If I was going to re-read any book this spooky season, this would definitely be the one I’d choose.

Those are my top five choices for reads this Halloween! Let me know what you think of the books on my list and feel free to comment some spooky and creepy recommendations of your own; I’m happy to keep spooky season going all year round so I’d love to check some out.

Happy Halloween everyone!


(Thank you, Odyssey Books, for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)

Written from an omniscient perspective, The Way Home predominantly follows Aeneas, the newly-appointed leader of the Trojans, and his remaining companions on their journey to a new land after the fall of Troy. There are various other perspectives scattered throughout the book, including those of the Greek enemy, of other Trojans, and even of the Goddesses that play a part in the unfolding of the story. These viewpoints paint a vivid picture of everything that happened in the aftermath of the Greek victory in the Trojan War and ensure that the reader does not need to fill in any gaps or guess what was happening in other areas to lead the story at any given time.

I really enjoyed this book. Initially, when I realised just how deeply the story dives into Greek mythology, I was concerned that The Way Home may be too confusing or heavy a read for me. This was only a problem for the first few chapters when I had little idea of the story’s context but, honestly, settling into the world within a story is generally that difficult in any novel, particularly in fantasy or historical fiction. After that point, it didn’t take me long to understand the areas of mythology that the author had woven into the story and I rapidly became invested in Aeneas’ story in a way that I didn’t know I could.

This book is definitely more complicated than the books that I normally read for pleasure, but I found that to be a refreshing change from the easy, contemporary books that I’ve been reading of late. Julian Barr (who has a PHD in Classics) clearly knows Greek mythology and history to an extraordinary level, but does an impressive job of writing this book just technically enough that it’s informative and fascinating, whilst also being understandable for people with limited knowledge of the subject. Whether you have an in-depth understanding of the Trojan War, or no awareness of it all, I feel as though this could be an enjoyable read.

The most impressive part of the writing was how well the story transitioned between a colonial war and a war between the Twelve Gods of Greek Mythology. Barr manages to make the transition between the perspectives so readable and so captivating that, even with the various underlying stories and leaps between chapters to other areas, I didn’t find myself being removed from the action at all. It didn’t feel as though the characters were being pushed into tense situations just to create action either, which is something I’ve seen a lot in books that follow a single journey. All fights and complications seemed to have a real purpose that drove the story along, and I found that that made the whole novel incredibly gripping.

In case you hadn’t guessed, I would recommend this book for all readers; however, it would be particularly suitable for readers of historical fiction, fantasy or adventure novels. I’m already excited to delve further into Barr’s interpretation of such a fascinating story, and am sure that any other reader would be the same after The Way Home.

Rating: 5/5

Tips For Escaping a Reading Slump

Today’s blog post is brought to you by my complete lack of motivation to read. I’ve been getting into more and more reading slumps over the past few years and it’s about time I took control over them! My TBR is through the roof and a recent post I read on Twitter reminded me that we only have one lifetime to get through all our books (it was scarier than all the horror novels I’ve ever read). Reading slumps are an issue that I feel every reader faces, and every reader equally dreads.

While this post is as much for myself as for you, hopefully these tips will be helpful if you find yourself falling into a dreaded reading slump! Here’s all the advice I have for restarting your reading habit:

Re-read an old favourite. This is a tried and tested method by, I think, every reader ever. When you’ve tried a hundred new books but can’t seem to get into any of them, try going back to one that you love. My go-to re-reads are We Were Liars by E Lockhart, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, and Warcross by Marie Lu. Generally, reading one of these books always gets me back into reading, at least for a little while so, if you’ve got a favourite old read, it might be worth dusting off the cover and going back to it.

Set a daily reading goal. I can vouch for this one working and, if you’re not in a desperate hurry to finish any books, this is the perfect way to get back into reading. I personally hate missing targets or breaking streaks (as vouched for by my 400-day Duolingo streak…) so I set myself an attainable reading target that I have to meet every single day. Usually this is only about 20-30 pages, which is doable even when you’re struggling to get through a book- you can even go as low as 5 pages if you don’t think you can do that much! It forces you to pick up a book even when you don’t think you can, and you’ll soon find yourself saying, ‘well, maybe I’ll just read one more chapter…’

Watch Booktube. This may be questionable advice because I know that in the past when I’ve been in reading slumps, I’ve spent my days instead watching other people talking about books to try and make myself feel better. I know that you can fall down the Booktube rabbit hole and never pick up a book again, but it can also have the complete opposite effect. In the past during reading slumps, I’ve watched people talk about books and become so invested in some of the books that they’ve read that I have to start reading them straight away. Maybe it’s just new reading inspiration that you’re looking for.

Read book blogs. This is a very similar idea to the previous point. If you think bookish inspiration is what you need, there are thousands of people on the internet willing to give it to you. If you need inspiration right now, maybe my 5 best books of 2019 can help you out…

Take a break from social media. Obviously this contradicts the previous point but, if you’ve tried getting inspiration from others and it isn’t helping you, maybe it’s time to take a break! Instead of sitting on Twitter complaining about the fact that you’ve not read a book in a month (I’m definitely attacking myself here), use that time instead to pick up a book. Ditch the distractions and you’ll find that it’s much easier to fall back into a fictional world. I’ve found that forcing myself into this through ‘Downtime’ on iPhone works really well.

Buy new books. Approach this point with caution. The last thing you need when you’re unable to read is an even more intimidating TBR (trust me, I’ve been there). It’s definitely worth going to a library or visiting a bookstore, though, to see if there’s anything you feel you’d be able to read immediately and that you just have to buy. If something draws your attention that much, it might just be the book to get you out of your slump.

Tidy Up. This one is entirely personal preference, but I’ve found that it works both for studying and reading. When my house is a mess, I find it so difficult to focus! Spending a little time reorganising your bookshelves or cleaning up around the room not only tires you out enough to want to settle down with a good book, it also takes away a bunch of the distractions around you. It might be the little push you need and, however boring it may be to clean up, having a tidy reading-nook never hurts!

And those are all the tips I have for getting out of a reading slump! Let me know in the comments if any of these work for you and if you have any other tips for getting back into reading that I missed; you might just save my TBR…

25 Bookish Facts About Me

Okay, so Spookathon didn’t exactly go to plan…

I’ve been trying so hard to get back into books lately, but everything’s a little chaotic at the minute. I’m so proud of how many books I’ve read this year compared to last year, but clearly I’ve still got a little way to go until I can get back to the level of reading 5 books in 7 days. If anyone has any recommendations of books that are super easy to finish and so completely gripping that you had to finish them in a day, please let me know and help me get back on track.

So. I don’t have another book review quite yet, but I saw this tag from nearly four years ago that I thought could be pretty fun. Here’s 25 bookish facts about me:

1. I’ve kept a list on my notes app of every book I’ve read since 2013, and I have to update it the second I finish a book.

2. My favourite author of all time is Marie Lu, and when she replied to one of my tweets on my personal twitter (hi, I’m @FrankiLucy), I basically died.

3. I predominantly read YA, and the first mainstream YA book I ever read was Divergent.

4. I’ve been working on the novel I’m currently writing for nearly seven years but am so desperate to have it finished by the end of next year.

5. When I was in college, I met five of my best friends through books.

6. To clarify fact 5, I wore a rune necklace (I was obsessed with The Mortal Instruments) every day for nearly four years, and I made friends because people recognised it and started conversations about it all the time.

7. For my sixteenth birthday, my mum baked me a cake in the shape of a book and decorated it with Harry-Potter-themed icing.

8. I own over a thousand books and refuse to say how many of them are still unread.

9. I’ve been reviewing ARCs with ReadersFirst for nine months and recently got my first NetGalley ARC.

10. I’ve done two publishing internships and recently moved to London to find a job in publishing.

11. The most books I’ve ever read in a year is seventy.

12. I get really scared to lend books to people in case they crack the spine.

13. I volunteered in a secondhand bookshop for six months and got 50% off all books. During this time, I bought at least one book during each shift.

14. I read books on my phone, laptop and kindle but will always prefer physical copies.

15. I’m cursed when it comes to finishing books. I can sit for hours undisturbed whilst reading, but as soon as I’m one or two pages from the end, I always get interrupted somehow.

16. My favourite booktuber is JesseTheReader and I’ve been watching his videos for over four years.

17. Throughout my entire childhood, I never cried at movies but I’ve always cried so much at books. It doesn’t matter if they’re happy or sad, I will cry at anything in a book.

18. I’m scared of giving bad reviews. The one time I gave a book a two-star review on ReadersFirst, I refused to share it on any other platforms and tried my best to pick out the best parts of the book despite really hating it.

19. I used to be really good at finishing long book series’ but I’ve recently become so terrible at reading series’ all the way through.

20. I’ve been trying to make a book blog for over two years now but only just built up the courage to do it.

21. I did an EPQ on the impact of mental illness in teenagers on young adult fiction in 2015 and am so interested in books that involve portrayals of mental health issues.

22. I’m obsessed with taking Bookstagram pictures because books are beautiful, but my camera is so terrible right now that I can’t post any.

23. My favourite genres to read are fantasy, contemporary and thrillers.

24. I get so mad when people say that reading YA, manga or audiobooks ‘doesn’t count’ and have got into full arguments with people who believe that you should only read certain types of books.

25. My most anticipated upcoming release is Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. I read the first two books earlier this year and am so desperate for this one to come out.


(I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore is quite possibly the most fantastical book I have ever read. I’ve never read something that has elements of so many different types of fantasy, or so many aspects of classic fairytales and myths.

The Upside-Down World is a world built after Wonderland from Lewis Carroll’s classic tales, but this book isn’t simply a re-telling of Alice and Wonderland. Evie is a troubled young girl who is unable to find her place in the real world and, whilst camping with her so-called friends, she stumbles into an unfamiliar land.

Upon entering, she takes in the world around her and explores every corner of the Upside-Down World in an attempt to find her way back. She meets many challenges and many fantastical beings along the way.

Evie’s character is fascinating. She is a ninth-grader, so is significantly younger than the protagonists that I normally read, but she seems both intelligent and aware. She is able to navigate her surroundings much better than one would expect, and certainly has moments in which her poignant thoughts about loss and finding her place catch the reader off guard. I enjoyed learning Evie’s thoughts and following her on her journey.

I definitely recommend this book; however, I should point out that because Evie is younger than many current Young Adult protagonists, this book may be more suitable for a younger, potentially middle-grade, audience. The writing style is very easy to read and I believe that younger readers would enjoy the depths that Birgitte explores the Upside-Down World more than I did. Also, this story is much more reminiscent of the adventure books I read when I was younger than the usual Young Adult fantasy I read now so I feel it is somewhat more suitable for people aged fifteen and below.

In terms of the novel’s pacing, I found that the story did alternate between being incredibly well-paced and a little slow moving. This was not a problem for me at all as I was able to read the book in two days and often found myself rapidly turning pages to see where Evie ended up next. However, because Evie makes much of the journey alone, there is very little dialogue, which does significantly slow certain parts of the book. I still find it incredibly impressive that Birgitte Märgen was able to write a novel with so little dialogue that was still highly captivating and fast-moving, as I am much more prone to reading conversation-heavy YA, and I believe that it is perfect in terms of allowing the reader to truly escape into her imaginative world without distraction.

Overall, I’m glad I read this book and would recommend it if you’re looking for a quick, easy read. I’d also recommend it if you’ve been starved of classic fantasy, as this book has so many nods to stories from my childhood that it did make me a little nostalgic. I have enjoyed the two days I spent exploring the Upside-Down World and am unsure I will read a novel in the near future with a fantastical world that can compare.

P.S. If you’re interested in buying the book/checking out other reviews, here’s the link:
P.P.S. This was my first read of Spookathon and I’m almost on-track after the first two days! This was my read set in a spooky setting, and hopefully there will be more reviews to follow in the next week…

5 Books That Have Blown My Mind This Year

Over the past few years, I’ve been falling behind a little on my reading. Before I started university, I was averaging 70 books per year, and in the first year of my degree, I read the grand total of 20. Thankfully, I graduated this year, and I’m finding so much more time to read for fun again. It’s slow-going, but I’ve read enough to books in 2019 to have found some that have truly blown me away.

Since this blog is relatively new, I figured these books would be a good way to introduce myself! This list is so bizarre that I can’t specify a genre but, hopefully, if you’re reading this, you’ll find something you love.

Here are 5 books that have blown my mind this year:

REBEL- Marie Lu

I feel as though it may become obvious over time, but I’ll state it now: Marie Lu is my favourite author of all time. Everything she writes is incredible, and I’ve been reading her books since I first got into YA Fiction. This book is the final book in the Legend series, which everyone thought ended 6 years ago, and I am so, so glad she brought it back. Of course, I’d recommend the whole series (the first three books are very short and easy reads!) but this book was incredible. ‘Legend’ is a romantic, dystopian, action-packed adventure that begins in the Republic of America, after the collapse of the USA. The book ‘Rebel’ in particular drew me back into Day and June (and Eden)’s lives when I didn’t know I needed it. Add in scenes reminiscent of Marie Lu’s other series ‘Warcross’ and this book was everything I wanted it to be. 


Sticking to the theme of YA, ‘The Folk of The Air’ series is the story of a human girl, Jude, trying to scheme her way to success in Faerie, interspersed with a lot of romance, murder and betrayal. I don’t know why I was sceptical when I picked up ‘The Cruel Prince’ but within three days of doing so, I’d finished that and the sequel, finding time in every situation to pick up my Kindle and get back into it. Holly Black writes this new world so convincingly and so vividly that I couldn’t leave these off this list, and I would recommend these books to even the biggest disbelievers of fantasy. Also, just to fangirl for a moment- the third book in the series comes out next month! Keep an eye out for my emotional breakdown when it’s released, the story is so gripping that even months after I finished the second one, I’m still completely hooked.


Moving away from YA, this is the most adorable adult contemporary I think I’ve ever read. My level of obsession has waned over time so I’m due to re-read this soon, but when I first read this book, I remember that I couldn’t stop simultaneously grinning and crying. This story is about Tiffy and Leon, who get into a flatshare agreement because of the cost of renting, but never meet due to different working hours; she works 9-5, he works the night shift. I don’t know what more to say without spoiling it other than that this book is so cute! It’s a romance that I didn’t know I’d get so obsessed with, and the characters are so perfectly written. Even the unique writing styles for Tiffy and Leon add an extra layer to this book. If you’re struggling to get back into reading, this book is a perfect, easy read to draw you back in.


This list takes a pretty sudden dark turn at this point. You may have gathered that I don’t read a lot of horror books, but when I do, I love them. ‘Your Deepest Fear’ is about Detective Cody’s efforts to solve a police case in which an unnervingly calm widow, Sara, found her husband’s body nailed to the ground in his house. Simultaneously, Cody is being haunted, both awake and asleep, by the killer clowns that murdered his colleague and subjected him to torture, and trying to figure out how to solve his own issues. I didn’t realise when I read it that this book is part of a series, and didn’t find any issues with not knowing what came before. Of course, if this is your thing, it would definitely be worth reading them all! For me, this book was dark and terrifying and everything I was looking for at the time. David Jackson’s writing is incredible and this book is easily the best adult thriller I’ve read this year.


Aaaaaand back to YA… This book got me through a really rough day. I wasn’t hooked back into reading when I started it but I thought I’d give it a try, and I had a nightmare day of waiting around and delayed trains. By the time that nightmare day ended, I wasn’t too miserable, and I’d finished ‘Under a Dancing Star.’ It really did what it’s supposed to: transported me into another, more gripping time, and hooked me with a romance that I became incredibly invested in. This is a story inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing,’ set in 1930s Italy. I understand that you may be sceptical about this concept, but it completely works. Bea is an incredibly strong character and Ben makes for a wonderful love interest. Everything about this book was beautiful to me, and I definitely recommend you read it.


A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder- Holly Jackson

The Dinner List- Rebecca Serle

The Holiday- TM Logan