It has been a while, probably over a month since the last time I wrote something for this blog. There were some scheduled reviews poping up, but I personally wasn’t active anywhere except on Goodreads, and I was pretty unactive there too.
The reason for that: I feel like I never have time to just sit and in piece and silence write and read in front of my computer, except in the very late evening when I am too tired to be productive, so I choose to read instead.
Today is Halloween, and I want to bring you my three reviews for the books I read this October. Non of them was given to me in an exchange for review, but all three of them I chose along with my friends because we wanted to give them a try.
Mexican Gothic was an October pick in the book club I am a member of along with other awesome book reviewers, when Cackle and House of Hollows I read along with Amanda from Chocolate Pages, who is also the member of previously mentioned book club.
So in conclusion, Amanda and I read together all of the three books I talk about today, so make sure to visit her BLOG too, to see what she thought about them.
Mexican Gothic took the bookish community by the storm last year when it came out, and if there wasn’t the hype around it I probably wouldn’t pick it up.
It’s magnificent cover, although beautiful to look at, didn’t “speak” to me so this time I am thankful for the hype because now I am glad this novel joined my read shelf.
I, just like most of the readers I believe, have certain aspects of the story that are important for me to like the book, character development being in the first place.
What I’ve noticed lately is that the atmosphere in the story is slowly getting closer and closer to take that CD aspect from the throne.
And if there is something this book has fully developed, is the atmosphere. Gothic, dark, gray, wet… I could almost smell the damp when I was imagining being in High Place.
One more thing that makes this book special to me is that my favourite character was High Place.
Yes, you read it right. The big, cold house has such a strong presence it felt like it was a person itself.
As for other characters, I think our MC Noemi was fully developed and it was clear what was her motive, her reasons to act the way she did, and she was also likeable and the one to look up to.
On the other hand, I think some side characters could have been more developed or at least more presented.
The writing was good and easy to read, but if I am being honest, the story was boring at times and I caught myself yearning for some action, or at least for something to happen.
As we got closer to end and secrets started yo reveal I was little disappointed with the way the story turned, but at the same time I appreciate it because it does make it different from other stories in this genre (here I am mostly comparing it to movies as I am still new to horror genre in written form).
My personal opinion is that the movie would be great and I would like to absorb it for the first time in that format, but that ship has sailed, obviously.
In the end, I just want to warn you about some scenes that can be triggering like ones that can remind of sexual abuse, but there is long list on TW for this novel so make sure to check it out.
I don’t always recognize them, as they are personal to each reader, but I would say TW: sexual abuse, racism, substance addiction, and also some graphic and gory scenes.
I decided to give Mexican Gothic 3,75 stars because although it was good and I can’t find it many flows except maybe being too slow at times, it just didn’t wow me to give it a higher rating.
Let’s make one thing clear: 👏This is not a thriller! This is not a horror! 👏
To be a thriller, it has to play with your (or at least the MC’s) mind, to be a horror, it has to have at least one character dead/murdered (or in danger of the same) and at least one gory scene.
(Not) Sorry to spoil you, but this has non of that.
This is cozy women’s fiction with paranormal (witchy, perfect for Halloween) elements that can also be categorized as feminist novel and that is it!!
It was weird, I’ll give it that, but it is definitely not disturbing (unless you hate spiders, who are here pets because why not throw something childish and unnecessary to make it unique)!
So yeah, if you consider Twilight a horror because it has vampires as characters, then this is the horror/thriller for you.
If you are looking for thrilling book that will keep you at the edge of your sit, this is not a book for you.
This is cozy, slow paced book, perfect for readers who are looking something to read for Halloween, but instead of being scared, they want to be relaxed.
It was entertaining, with characters interesting enough, and easy to read writing style.
It is written in first person.
I could spend my time overanalyzing the novel, telling you how Annie reminded me of my own friend which made me care for her on a higher level, how in my mind Sophie looks like Megan Fox, how I loved Sam and am sorry the writer ruined his character even though I understand why she did it, how I think cat would work way better then the spider and how absurd it was for MC to take everything like it was even though no sane person would do it.
I could also tell you how I really enjoyed the atmosphere and my friend Amanda who I buddy read this with, and me, we had great time and how this book was exactly what we both needed after finishing Mexican Gothic, but I won’t bore you more then necessary.
I will just recommend this novel to everyone who are looking for cozy autumn book with witchy/Halloween elements.
House of Hollow
As soon as I saw the cover for House of Hollows I knew I had to read it.
The design reminds me of Horrid and Wilder Girls, books I both enjoyed so much, and I have a theory that covers like this keep weird and brilliant stories between the pages.
This book proves my theory right!
The story is narrated by Iris, the youngest of the three sisters who disappeared one night and came back one month later not knowing where they’ve been, and clueless about the truth about what happened to them.
The story is written in first person, easy to follow and fast paced from the very beginning.
In fact, it was so fast paced at times that I was lost for moments (that often happens to me in fighting scenes).
Once again, my favourite part of the story was the atmosphere.
I noticed that that aspect in storytelling became of huge importance for me, so I loved this book for it.
I can’t say much about the world or things that happened, because I don’t know where is the line between reviewing and spoiling in this particular case, but I will say that my bets are the author found some inspiration in the movie Insidious.
The characters were all presented very well, and I love how the author played the game of good guy/bad guy masquerade.
I would tell you who’s side I was on, but then I would spoil you, so I’ll keep my mouth shout (or my fingers reserved, I should say).
The epilogue was the only part I didn’t like, as I find it unnecessary.
I should also mention I shared this reading experience with my friend Amanda, who I’m buddy reading so often lately, we should call ourselves bookish sisters.
She is not the one to pick fantasy, paranormal or ya on her own, but she really enjoyed this book too, so that says something, right?
In conclusion, I am sooooooo glad I’ve read this novel. It was perfect Halloween/October choice and I recommend it to everyone who is searching something spooky.