What I read in October, what I thought and how to know if the book is for you! // dreams-etc.com

Note – The book title links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something by clicking on that link I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All thoughts and opinions on all of the books listed are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting Dreams, etc.!

I read nine books last month. Nine! I don’t think I’ve even read nine books in two months recently, so I was totally amazed as I added books to my list and watched that number rise. I also read some books that I really enjoyed, so of course, I had to share them with you. If I already reviewed a book on the blog, I linked to that review in this post, but all nine books are listed below in the order that I read them.

1 // Fracture by Megan Miranda

Delaney spends eleven minutes trapped underwater with no oxygen. She’s rushed to the hospital and given a bad prognosis, but when she wakes up she’s fine, but soon discovers that she’s able to tell when someone is about to die.

This is the second book I’ve read by Megan Miranda and I really enjoyed it. I already reviewed it, so I’ll direct you there if you’d like to know more of my thoughts on the book. There’s a sequel to this, which sounds even better, so I’m excited to read that soon!

2 // The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

When Imogene’s father–a bestselling medical mystery novelist–goes missing, she decides to put her sleuthing skills to work to track down the mother she never knew in hopes of finding her father.

I listened to this on audiobook and I sometimes had trouble returning to the book. I’m not sure if it was the audiobook format for this one or if the story fell a little flat for me at the beginning. I enjoyed it and I wanted to know what would happen, but it wasn’t a page-turner. Once I reached the end, that changed, and I was spent quite a bit of time listening to it one night to finish it.

Read this if:
>> You like coming-of-age novels.
>> You enjoy teenage sleuths. [She’s not quite Veronica Mars, but I think VM fans will enjoy that part of it. I did. :)]
>> You’re willing to read a slower book at the beginning, to reach a beautiful end.

3 // The Bone Tree by Greg Iles

The second in the Natchez Burning trilogy, this continues the story of Penn, whose father has just been accused of murdering a nurse he worked with in the past.

There’s a lot more to it than that, but I have a full review for this. Just know, even though it’s a long book, it’s a page turner, totally worth the read, and might make it on my list of fave reads for the year.

4 // The Girl in the Castle by Santa Montefiore

I already reviewed this one, but to sum up: I had mixed feelings and wasn’t sure I really liked it. However, my mom has since read the book and after she finished it she read it a second time to take a closer look at one of the characters. This is why I always want people to know that if a book sounds really good to you, but receives a mixed review from me (or someone else) you should still take a look at it. Not everyone will like every book, so you might enjoy a book that I didn’t, and I might enjoy a book that you don’t.

Earlier this week I finished Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older. This is the third book of his that I’ve read this year and it might be my favorite of the three. The book follows Sierra, who sees a mural crying real tears and learns that she’s a Shadowshaper: she can put ancestral spirits into paintings. If you haven’t read any of Older’s books yet, I highly recommend checking them out. You’ll meet characters that you’ll love sharing stories that you can’t put down. I also had a chance to meet the author last weekend and he was so nice! (Also, if you check out his Bone Street Rumba series, you might want to listen to the audiobooks. He narrates them and did a fantastic job!) #yalit #urbanfantasy #danieljoseolder

A photo posted by Crystal // Dreams, etc. (@crystalbrutlag) on

5 // Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

When Sierra sees a painted mural cry, she discovers that she’s part of a line of Shadowshapers: people who can infuse art, music and stories with their ancestral spirits.

I discovered Older’s books this year and have loved all of the ones that I’ve read! (I also had the chance to meet him in October and he’s the nicest guy!) I think this is my favorite of his books so far in terms of story. (If you’re looking for the experience, my favorite is definitely listening to Half-Resurrection Blues on audiobook, which Older narrates.)

As an artist, I think that’s what really drew me to this book over his other’s in terms of the story. I loved the role that art played. It especially caught my attention, since I also developed a fascination with street art this year while in Bogota. So basically, it brought a lot of loves together in a way that really caught my attention. I listened to this one as well and I spent some extra time cleaning just so that I could listen.

Read this if:
>> You like stories with art and family secrets.
>> You want to read a story where the setting really comes to life.
>> You like paranormal stories.
>> You’re looking for a book with diverse characters.

6 // Death Sentence by Alexander Gordon Smith

This is the third in a series about a teen named Alex, a thief who’s falsely accused the murder of his best friend and sent to serve his time in Furnace, a prison buried deep within the earth.

I can’t say too much about this one, since it is the third in a series, but I really enjoyed this one, even though it took me forever to read it. (Sorry PJ!) I actually started reading this series with a coworker, who wasn’t sure what I was getting him into when he picked up the first one. However, he has since finished the series and I’m still making my way through. I think this one starts to answer some questions about the world, but I wasn’t frustrated that it took three books to start getting some of these answers. This series is just a ride that you should definitely take.

Read this if:
>> You’re in the mood to start a new series.
>> You’re ready for some action in your books.
>> You think the story sounds cool.

7 // Sweet Madness by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

I love historical fiction that’s told from the POV of a character that can sometimes be left out of the story–or not highlighted. It always provides a fresh and unique perspective. I thought Bridget was the perfect character to narrate the story because of the insight she was able to provide. I wasn’t sure how Leaver and Currie would choose to end the novel. (If you don’t know who Lizzie Borden is, she was accused of murdering her father and stepmother, but was eventually found not guilty. The case was well known and no one else was ever tried for the murders.) I thought this book was so well-done. There were just enough eerie moments and there was a level of uneasy tension throughout the entire book, but it didn’t overwhelm the story.

Read this if:
>> You’re a fan of historical fiction.
>> You’re looking for an eerie novel that isn’t too over-the-top.

8 // The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris

Norris examines how the daily “mundane” tasks in life, like dishes and laundry, can become a spiritual practice.

I read this to satisfy “Q” in the ABC Reads challenge, so you can check out my most recent update for my thoughts on the book.

9 // The Uninvited by Cat Winters

Set in the midst of WWI and the flu epidemic, Ivy has the gift–or curse, depending on how you look at it–that her family has: she receives visits from the Uninvited, the ghosts of loved ones who have passed that foretell a coming death.

I read this to satisfy “U” in the ABC Reads challenge and also reviewed it in my most recent update.

What have you been reading?

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