The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley/Austin Siegemund-Broka (ARC Review)

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Page Count
: 336
Release Date: January 25, 2022

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: mention of depression, anxiety, sexual content

Even though I know that Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka wrote several YA contemporaries together before, The Roughest Draft was my first experience with their writing and it was their first foray into the adult romance genre. Right from the bat, I have to say that it felt smart, quick-witted and consisted of some really beautiful prose.

Going in, I knew very little about the author duo. However, having read the acknowledgments section as well as being informed by my friend Marie (who has reviewed the book as well, which you can check out here) that they’re married in real life made this whole book feel very meta. The characters, Katrina and Nathan, put so much of themselves in their writing and you cannot help but wonder if the authors did the same. How much of it mirrored their feelings for each other? How much is just pure fiction? I love the intrigue and layers these questions create in your mind as you get drawn more and more into their world.

While this novel was medium to fast paced, I found myself a little bit frustrated with our characters at times, which made me stop every now and then. Their fall out was built up as this huge thing and you could really see the grudge in the first chapters. After all, they hadn’t spoken in four years and hadn’t just cut each other out of their lives, but other people as well. Sometimes, the break up felt a bit too big for what actually transpired though and how easily they found their way back to each other. The hurt and miscommunication between Katrina and Nathan I could eventually understand, also why they were holding each other back, but the ghosting of other characters felt petty.

Ultimately, Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka managed to create a beautiful relationship though. It is flawed and it is perfect, it is real and pure fairy tale fiction at the same time. The kind of stuff you wish your romance was made of. The intimacy between Katrina and Nathan is truly one of a kind, but combines all the best parts of “second chance romance”-tropes as well as “best friends to lovers”-themes.
It also gave an interesting peek into the world of writing collaboratively, which interests me now more than ever, and the publishing world as a whole. As a bookworm and someone who would very much like to write and release a book eventually, this setting was one of my favorite parts of the whole novel.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Beautiful prose for a really meta love story.


Do you plan on reading The Roughest Draft? Have you read other books by the author duo? Let’s chat!

My Top 10 Books of 2021

If you’ve visited my blog these past days, you will have noticed me having started my year in review posts, chronicling my top movies and shows to an extent. Today is all about my top reads of 2021. Once again, I need to clarify that I only read these books in 2021, not all of them were published that year!

I managed to read 50 books in total last year, which was a mix of comics, poetry collections, fiction and non-fiction. Thanks to my reading experiments, I often stepped out of my comfort zone and glad I got the chance to do so. However, I want this list/ranking to focus on fiction. I will, however, include some poetry books, etc. in my honorable mentions at the end of the post!

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Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon (ARC Review)

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Page Count
: 352
Release Date: January 11, 2022

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: depression, teen pregnancy, explicit sexual content, parental abandonment/tension, body insecurity

I have to start off by saying that this was the perfect end of the year/start of the new year read! It’s set around that time, in my beloved Seattle no less, and I just felt like all the fates aligned, especially with this being very reminiscent of my favorite Netflix RomCom Set It Up to bring this story to me. Honestly, it’s like this book was written for me.

The author preempted the story with a note on the depiction of depression in the book and how personal of a topic it was, while it may also be very different from other people’s experiences. I really appreciated having that insight before I dug in, but, from the beginning, I loved the setting (having worked in the TV world as well), the dynamic between the characters (not even just talking about the main pairing) and the themes that were presented. I could see a lot of myself in Ari and was immediately in love with her love interest, Russell. It’s not often that you get to read about a male plus-size love interest and one that is done so well no less.

In general, I found a lot of Weather Girl just laugh out loud hilarious, while simultaneously thinking that even the most over the top moments had a feel of authenticity to them. I enjoyed the great communication and could have even done without the obligatory third Act fight. However, I really have to emphasize that the fight made sense and added another point of realism. I just wanted everything to be happy, which, if you’ve paid attention to the book, is just not feasible or realistic. Sometimes, it takes time and work to get to where you want to be. Sometimes, you have to be vulnerable and take a risk in order to get a reward. And sometimes, it’s okay to bend a little for the right person. It was a lovely message.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed the whole book! I liked the pacing and the progression of the relationships, but also the challenges they had to face. In the end, I might have even wished for one or two more chapters before the epilogue. Still, this was such a satisfying read!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! The perfect way to end this year for me!


Are you planning on reading Weather Girl? Do you think this story might be for you? Let’s talk!

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Book Review)

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Page Count
: 370

CW: loss of a loved one, (parental) abandonment, grief, sexual assault, death, domestic violence, child neglect

When I first heard about this book, I immediately knew it was going to be a good fit for me! All my friends loved it, the premise sounded so good and I was ready to have my feelings crushed again. And yet, I didn’t actually pick up the book until the final month of the year … sometimes I’m just scared of the things that I know are good for me.

Where the Crawdads Sing is told in multiple timelines that slowly converge. For one, you have Kya’s entire childhood, teen years and adult life and then there’s the crucial year of 1969, where a certain character was found dead and suspicions arise. I have to say I really wasn’t as invested in the investigation until the last chapters, because Kya’s life was just so much more interesting. I wanted to adopt her in like … chapter 2? She’s the perfect example of resilience in the face of all the terrible things life can throw at you.
I’ve read The Lonely City this year, so I actually have a bit of background knowledge on solitude and loneliness, I also live by myself in a city during what can only be considered “non-normal” circumstances, but I don’t know how Kya survived for so long. The smallest kindness can make such a difference and it was heartbreaking to often see her, understandably, closed off and alienated from the world.

Owens, who previously co-wrote several non-fiction books, has done some beautiful work with her first novel. The descriptions of the marsh and nature in general are so very atmospheric and enticing. I very much appreciated the incorporation of poetry and lyrics, that neither felt pretentious nor out of place. Overall, there was a clear authentic root to the story, which just made it all the more gripping. The only thing I struggled with, and I realize that is a very me-thing, was the heavy Southern slang. It made sense and also changed over time (at least in part), but as a non-native speaker, it was a bit of a rough start for me. In general, I’d say this is definitely more for people who enjoy slow-paced, character driven stories!

Lastly, I cannot help but mention the ending. I did not find it surprising, like many others, but still thought it was extremely fitting for the tale we were told. I like when things come together in a way that just makes sense.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! After reading it, I definitely understand the hype!


Now, having talked about the book, I want to say that I’m really excited to talk about the upcoming movie adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing! Reese Witherspoon is known for having some great picks for her book club, but when she enjoys something, she also tries to be involved in the adaptation. It comes as little surprise that she is therefore one of the producers of the film.

The casting I’ve seen so far is spot on! (Below a picture of some of the mains) The release date next year got pushed back for what you can imagine to be obvious reasons and is now scheduled for July 22, 2022. I do think this is a movie I’d rather enjoy in the comfort of my own home, just because of some of the heaviness, but still, looking forward to it. I cannot wait to see a trailer and experience Daisy perform her magic with adapting accents so foreign to her own!

From left to right: Harris Dickinson as Chase, Daisy Edgar-Jones as Kya, Reese Witherspoon (producer) and Taylor John Smith as Tate

Did you read Where the Crawdads Sing? Do you want to? Will you watch the movie? Let’s chat!

The Joy of Christmas Book Tag!

I’m not the biggest Christmas person, but I do find my friends’ and family’s excitement for it infectious. So, I want to thank Caro for tagging me for the Joy of Christmas Book Tag! It was originally created by Sam @Sam’s Nonsense back in 2015 and has therefore been around for a bit. I’ve decided to not personally tag anyone, but if you want to do this tag yourself, please do go ahead!!! Also, I hope no one expects me to answer the prompts with Christmas-themed books, because I’ve maybe read about two or three set around that time only …

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

I’ve talked about these books before, but I cannot stress enough how excited I am for their release. The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (this is obviously not the final cover below, but it will be revealed soon) is an adult romance book about a ghostwriter, who has some literal ghosts! The author described one of the characters being inspired (looks-wise) by Lee Pace and I’m here for it! Also, Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li is SO high up on my list of most anticipated books of 2022. I’m here for all the heists and taking back what has been stolen.

The Dead Romantics    Portrait of a Thief

2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing its praises? 

I’ve gotten absolutely OBSESSED with The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake. I don’t know what happened exactly, but that book came to me and hasn’t let me go since. I purchased some official character art prints, which are hung up in my childhood bedroom (haven’t gotten around to bringing them to the new flat yet) and I keep waiting and hoping that the sequel will be just as brilliant and this book was. The characters are just complex and impeccable and intriguing. I just need more of them.

“Funny how that worked; the innocent fragility of being human. There were so many ways to break and so few of them heroic or noble.”

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world-building?

I can’t help but gush some more about Soulswift in this department. For a standalone Fantasy novel, it never felt overwhelming or too confusing in the world-building department. It was a great mix of magic and religion and I sometimes wish I could read that book with fresh eyes again.

4) A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read

I’m not big on classics and there are very few I want to read. In fact, I’d say the only ones I really enjoyed were Jane Austen’s Persuasion and the Russian madness that is The Master and Margarita! I’m really struggling to think of much more …

5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas

I actually, maybe already know that I’m getting it. But maybe I won’t. Although, I’m pretty sure my parents already ordered it. No clue when this started, but I’m a huge Stanley Tucci fan and I have his cookbook already (The Tucci Table), but now I’m (hopefully) about to receive his memoir called Taste!

Taste: My Life through Food

6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling

This was a very recent read, but Love, Lists & Fancy Ships was really cute and heart-warming. The romance was absolutely precious, but even more than that, I cherished the family moments. There are some sad scenes too, but when you leave that book, it’s definitely with a smile.

Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships

7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?

I’m just gonna drop some … I have no consistent taste, but click on the covers to read my reviews!

Malibu Rising Take Me with You When You Go Watch Over Me Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)

8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas?

Again, I’m not a big Christmas person, but I do like getting together with my family. I like wearing lots of layers, hot chocolate or loads of tea. I like bundling up with my blankets and watching some snow fall. I like the smell of cinnamon and sugar in the air from all the sweets and cookies. I like the deep green color of a lot of the decorations!


I hope you enjoyed this tag! Again, feel free to consider yourself tagged, if you want to take a shot at it too! What did you think of my answers?

Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?

Pedro Pascal and me

Disclaimer: I do NOT know Pedro Pascal. All the information is taken from various social media posts and interviews and could potentially be outdated.


Welcome back to a new installment of this very special reader compatibility feature or celeb book club, as I like to call it! In case you missed the previous ones, don’t hesitate to check out the following posts:
Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?
Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?

As I’ve mentioned many times before, in this series, I read the favorite books of actors and determine whether we would be a good match based on those results alone. All of this is done with the sole intention of it being fun and not taken too seriously.


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The End of the Year Book Tag – 2021

I don’t do this tag every year, but whenever the fancy strikes me, I try to include it in the final month. If you want to check out my End of the Year Book Tag from 2020, just click here. It always feels a bit surreal that it’s already so late in the year that it makes sense to wrap things up and look ahead. Let’s get started!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

YES! I’m currently in the midst of reading One Hundred Years of Solitude and I cannot wait to be done with it, because that means I can finally post my reading compatibility post with Pedro Pascal! I love the feature and intend to do more reading experiments in the next year as well, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t struggle at times, especially when books aren’t exactly in my wheelhouse.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Do you have an autumnal (Spring) book to transition into the end of the year?

I stand by my answer from last year, meaning I don’t really plan my reads according to seasonal themes and topics. I could at least provide some sort of answer the last time, but I genuinely can’t think of anything that fits the prompt this time around.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I neither think I will get around to it, nor do I even want to attempt it, but I think The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling has probably gotten my attention most from the December releases. The official release date is December 9, 2021.

The Coldest Touch

Death drew them together. Life could tear them apart.
Elise is cursed. Every time she touches someone, she experiences how they will die. And when she predicts, but is unable to prevent, her brother’s death, Elise is desperate to escape her terrible gift.
Then she meets Claire, a vampire tasked with helping Elise master her rare powers – and recruiting her to the Veil, a secret organisation determined to protect the paranormal world at all cost.
At first, Elise is reluctant to work with a vampire, but when she predicts a teacher’s imminent murder, she’s determined to stop the violent death.
As Elise and Claire grow closer, Elise begins to wonder – can she really trust someone tasked with securing her loyalty? Someone who could so easily kill her? Someone who might hold the key to unravelling her brother’s mysterious death?

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

I’ve not been a particularly fast reader these past months, so I have no idea what’s realistically possible in this final month, but aside from the aforementioned One Hundred Years of Solitude, there’s definitely three books I own that I’d like to get to! Those books are: Where the Crawdads Sing, Take Me Home Tonight and Seven Days in June

Where the Crawdads Sing Take Me Home Tonight Seven Days in June

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite of the year?

I’ve actually forgotten to mention If We Were Villains in this post so far, but I have a copy at home and I don’t know why I keep putting off reading it. All my friends love it, dark academia is my jam and it sounds so very promising. Maybe that’s exactly it though, I have high expectations for it and I don’t want to see them being crushed.

If We Were Villains

Have you already started making reading plans for 2022?

I notoriously do not really keep up with new releases but there are a few books I’m beyond excited for!

Portrait of a Thief

Ocean’s Eleven meets The Farewell in Portrait of a Thief, a lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums, about diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.
History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, of conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now.
Will Chen plans to steal them back.
A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes artist, the eldest son that has always been his parents’ American Dream. But when a shadowy Chinese corporation reaches out with an impossible—and illegal—job offer, Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago.
His crew is every heist archetype one can imagine—or at least, the closest he can get. A conman: Irene Chen, Will’s sister and a public policy major at Duke, who can talk her way out of anything. A thief: Daniel Liang, a premed student with steady hands just as capable of lockpicking as suturing. A getaway driver: Lily Wu, an engineering student who races cars in her free time. A hacker: Alex Huang, an MIT dropout turned Silicon Valley software engineer. Each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they’ve cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down.
Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars—and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they’ve dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted attempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.

Heist stories are always fun and I can really see myself loving Portrait of a Thief! The fact that they take back stolen art from Western museums just makes it all the better. Also, please, look at that cover!

The Dead Romantics

Ghost meets The Bold Type in this sparkling adult debut about a disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.
Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.
When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father. For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.
Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.
Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.

I’ve been dying to get my hands on a copy of Dead Romantics! (no pun intended!) The book is technically available for request on NetGalley, but in case you haven’t heard yet, they started geo-blocking some titles. So, when I go on the site, it won’t even show up in the search results, robbing me even of the option to simply wish for it. But I suppose, I just have to remain patient.

Lastly, as I continue to be obsessed with The Wheel of Time show on Amazon, I’m getting more and more tempted to read the books. I’m just so enamored by the characters, but I’m also afraid that I’d be terribly bored by the books. They seem to have a rocky start … I’d still recommend watching the series though, even without prior knowledge of the 14 books with 700+ pages each!


That’s it from me! What are your year-end-reading-plans? Are you excited for 2022? Let’s chat!

November 2021 Wrap-Up

Can you believe we are about to head into the final month of 2021? In part, this year really dragged on but simultaneously, it also just wooshed by. However, we’re still in November now and I’d like to start wrapping up the month by talking about some books I read!

  • Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven by Kami Garcia/Gabriel Picolo (4 stars)
    This is the third installment of this particular run of Teen Titans and I’m still enjoying myself. The art style is sweet, but not too cutesy. There’s honestly not *that* much happening in the story, but I like the characters, although some might argue that they aren’t always portrayed how we might know them. The next comic will be about Robin and I’m looking forward to that change.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (3 stars)
    Honestly, I’m just not that much of a fan of the story. More about that in an upcoming post!
  • Love, Lists & Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz (4 stars)

Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven Jane Eyre Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

Again, I would also like to mention that I have created a Storygraph profile and try to link to the books on that platform as well when I do my reviews. Feel free to add me as well here, but know that I’m struggling with the navigation on the web version a little bit. I can’t use the app on my phone (I have zero storage left), but I’m not vibing with the desktop version as much. Still, the stats are very cool and I want to support the site!

So, I have a couple things to confess. First of all, I did not end up participating in NaNoWriMo after all. I was really excited at the beginning of the month, but then I just got busy and distracted by other things, dropping my writing entirely. It’s sad, because I even did an outline for the most important plot points and am generally passionate about the story, but I’m really not happy with my writing and the quality I put out there. So, I didn’t want to be dissatisfied and just stopped. I’ll write and edit a whole book eventually … I think … here’s how I spent my time instead:

However, I did spend some time getting back into drawing. While Eternals is not my favorite Marvel movie, I fell head over heels in love with Druig and Makkari and I couldn’t stop myself from creating some art. It’s been half a year of me not picking up a brush and if I had more time, I’d love to get into this more regularly again. It’s just that it takes roughly 8 hours to complete a piece and that means there’s little else I can do on that day, so I often don’t want to spend my weekends or days off just with that.

I’m forever happy to have Lauren Ridloff be Makkari and therefore giving us the first deaf superhero in the MCU, paving the way for better representation in the genre. I’m also very glad to have a hard of hearing Hawkeye now and that Echo is getting her own show soon.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

Aside from Drukkari having stolen my heart, I really truly earnestly am obsessed with the Amazon adaptation of Wheel of Time! The show is absolutely fantastic, it even has me out here considering if I should read 14 books with 700+ pages each, because I cannot stand the one week wait between episodes. (But let’s be real for a moment, I’m not actually going to do it. I don’t have time for this!)

There’s so many characters I already love, but I’m particularly sad to have learned that Barney Harris, who is portraying Mat, was recast for Season 2. I know that no one owes me or us an explanation, but the secrecy around the departure has me worried and a bit sad. He is really the perfect Mat and his successor has big shoes to fill, but most of all, I just hope Harris is alright? I’m definitely overthinking this, but I get so easily attached sometimes.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I’m still not the best at blog-hopping, but I’m trying! Please go and show some love to these amazing blogs and bloggers!

MY OTHER POSTS

MARVEL REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS (HALLOWEEN EDITION)

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a good November and wish you all the best for this upcoming December! Let’s talk some more in the comments!

Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz (ARC Review)

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Page Count
: 336
Release Date: November 23, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: loss of a loved one, parental abandonment, grief

Love, Lists, & Fancy Ships is Sarah Grunder Ruiz’ debut women’s fiction/contemporary romance novel. However, while the cover looks very sweet and fun, I’m very glad I knew going in that grief would be a central aspect of the book. As my reading list tends to show, I gravitate towards books that deal with loss and the handling of grief quite regularly, so I was pleased to see how it was dealt with here. It’s a topic that can easily become overwhelming, but while the sadness was always there as an undercurrent, there were so many beautiful and upbeat moments in the story to balance it out, so it never felt too heavy. I can confidently say that I can imagine everyone who has suffered a loss in their lives, finding Love, Lists, & Fancy Ships deeply moving and relatable.

We start off with Josephine Walker aka Jo at her job on a charter yacht. It’s such a fun setting, but what I enjoyed even more than that were the characters that gradually got added. You could feel the history Jo has with each individual as they felt fleshed out and real. There wasn’t a single person I didn’t like to read about. Nina is the kind of ride-or-die best friend one can only wish for. Alex is the kind of love interest you really want to root for, because he is kind and funny and charming and definitely also hot. He’s one of the few romantic leads where I didn’t have to constantly shake my head in disappointment about the choices he made. However, the romance doesn’t actually always take center stage, as the familial relationships with the nieces, daughters and sisters are just as important. It definitely felt like a well-rounded cast!

Jo makes it her priority to be the fun aunt, to distract everyone from the never ending sadness, which backfires on a few occasions. Still, the bucket list was a fun addition, especially when the gang got creative in how to tick off the last few items before time ran out.

The things I didn’t love so much about the book where all very me-problems. For one, I could not handle the Chris Evans disrespect. While Zac Efron gets celebrated (in an ironic way or not), Chris Evans gets described as old and gross. There’s literally only a six-year-age-difference between the two actors, but okay … guess I’m an old millennial myself at this point. Then there was an airport run, which I’m never a fan of, but most of all, I was bugged by the way Jo’s blogging experience was described. It’s very rare that a personal blog with, how can I put this, infrequent updates gets such a big following within less than a year that she’d get multiple concerned emails for not posting. It honestly didn’t feel very realistic to me, while everything else in the story had an authentic vibe.

Overall, I really enjoyed this journey! I felt close to the characters and shed tears on several occasions, while I also laughed out loud more than once. I was especially excited when I saw that my copy included a teaser chapter for a potential sequel with Jo’s best friend Nina as the narrator, set two years after Love, Lists, & Fancy Ships ends. I’d be so here for it! (And book 3 could be about Britt and RJ … just saying …)

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A really beautiful exploration of grief, without ever getting too heavy.


Have you read Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships? Do you want to? Do you like books that are partially set on boats? I’m kind of digging that, to be honest.

Spooky Books That Didn’t Give Me Nightmares!

We all know that I don’t do well with scary stuff, but because I am terribly slow at reading this month and I want to give you some bookish content, I thought it would be best to make a list of spooky books – that didn’t give me nightmares? Which, just to be clear, is what I want in books. Mildly spooky or full of ghosts or whatever, but not something that will leave a mark of terror on me. So, beware that this is a very tame list and obviously a very subjective one.

*If you click on the title, you will get redirected to my full review, which includes trigger warnings!*

The Taking of Jake Livingston

The Taking of Jake Livingston

I’ve seen opinions differ on this one, but I really enjoyed reading it. First of all, it’s a very short book. Some might say that the fast pacing hinders an emotional connection, but I teared up at some of Jake’s revelations, so I really don’t think that was a disadvantage for me. In addition to that, I liked the dual POV, even if bits of it felt disjointed. This is totally something you can read in one sitting!

Spooky elements: ghosts, relived deaths, possessions

My rating: 3.5 stars

Dark and Shallow Lies

Dark and Shallow LiesThe setting and the atmosphere for this one was great. As a supernatural thriller, it did keep me guessing in part, while I figured out a lot (gut feeling is rarely wrong) early on. It especially focuses on grief and how irrational we can become because of it. While I would have wished for some aspects to be explored further, I liked the vibes of this one.

Spooky elements: supernatural predators, swamp legends, potential mysterious serial killers?

My rating: 3.5 stars

Don’t Tell a Soul

Don't Tell a SoulI like books that teeter the line between ghosts and people just imagining things in their terror. This book was alright and definitely handled the creepy atmosphere well, however, there were a lot of characters that could have been explored deeper. Because of the main character being so closed off and us only getting secondhand information on everyone, it wasn’t easy to connect to the different players.

Spooky elements: haunted house, ghost girls

My rating: 3 stars

This Is Not a Ghost Story

This Is Not a Ghost StoryThis book surprised me, to be completely honest. I can see how the voice of the narrator/main character might not be for everyone, but I liked it. The ending is also very controversial, so I’d understand if people disagreed with me, but I had a grand time reading this one. It flowed nicely, gave me little scares, but resolved it in a way that felt very human.

Spooky elements: haunted house, spirits and danger everywhere

My rating: 4.5 stars

Watch Over Me

Watch Over MeI’m a huge Nina LaCour fan and this was not my favorite book, but it’s still fantastic in its own way. I get that she can write beautiful stories that evoke emotions in you, this was no exception, but somehow it felt less polished than the others I have read. As always, it was whimsical and filled with grief and heart. LaCour just knows what she’s doing.

Spooky elements: trauma, ghosts

My rating: 3 stars

Ninth House

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)This book was a lot. I do prefer Leigh Bardugo’s other series, but she still has me hooked on some of the characters here (I so fell for Darlington and Dawes). I like the world she built, I’m also curious how it continues, but it’s very heavy in parts – both in terms of content and descriptions. This is a field day for Yale fans, but I could have done with a little less campus talk.

Spooky elements: ghosts, secret magical society (with loads of sinister occult activities)

My rating: 3.5 stars

Burn Our Bodies Down

Burn Our Bodies DownI went into this book with completely wrong expectations. I thought it was going to be a mere family drama, but oh no – it is creepy! I didn’t end up enjoying this one very much, but I know others loved it, so it seemed fitting on this list.

Spooky elements: buried secrets (literally) – anything more would be spoilers

My rating: 2 stars


What are some mild but still spooky reads you enjoyed? Have you read anything I mentioned? Let’s talk!