Broomsticks and Bones (Blackwood Bay Witches #4) by Misty Bane

Dru Rathmore is going to Hogwarts.

Just kidding. But she is going to Crocus Academy, ~Hogwarts light~ for a week. She’ll be dorming with teenagers, which she’s not thrilled about, but doesn’t have to wear the uniform, which she is thrilled about. And she’s there to learn to ride a broomstick.

But naturally, as soon as she arrives, she stumbles upon a secret Crocus Academy is hiding. Whispers are all around about who killed Savannah Scott. The resident Mean Girls think Ella (the quiet, shy one) did it, Ella thinks they did it, and Headmistress Bevil wishes they’d all shut up about it.

But threatening notes start showing up under Dru’s dorm room door and her handsome Guardian/boyfriend, Harper can only help her via his transformation skills. No boys allowed in this one. Dru enlists Granny and her cat to help solve this mystery, and the escapades they get up to are some of the best in the series.

Broomsticks and Bones by Misty Bane is my favorite in this cozy, witchy mystery series. It takes us out of Blackwood Bay for new adventures and Dru’s skills get to develop more, which usually end up with more high spirited hijinks.

Goodreads rating: 4 of 5 stars

Would I read it again? Yes!

Words Can Just Shred Your Insides

“It’s amazing how words can do that, just shred your insides apart.” – Lauren Oliver

They really can. Some ~10 years ago I read If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin. I read the book in a matter of hours and felt like I had been on a roller coaster of emotions. By the end I was in tears. And then I picked it up again and savored it a second time, taking in the highs and lows, the tearful parts, the sweet moments. I cried for days and thought about it for longer. I still do now, from time to time. I picked it up a couple of years ago again and realized it no longer brought out the same whirlwind of emotions in me, but Nowlin used her words to create something that has stuck with me through all the books I’ve read, and that’s special.

Has this ever happened to you? Tell me about a book that’s shredded your insides.

Phantoms in High Fidelity (Blackwood Bay Witches #3) by Misty Bane

Ghosthunters has come to Blackwood Bay. Not really, but the fictional version of the reality show has taken up short term residence in the sleepy little coastal town, and it’s turning everything upside down.

Dru Rathmore just wants to watch the cleaning fairies zoom around her apartment and spend a little time with her hot Guardian, Harper. But with the cast of Supernatural Sleuths hanging around, chaos ensues. It starts with a missing person, who was only supposed to be “missing” in the figurative sense. Then Harper’s old girlfriend shows up, and while his original disdain for her is pretty intense, things go sideways and he’s practically vomit-inducing over her for the rest of the novel.

Dru, with the help of her spectral Granny, has more than one mystery to solve as a missing persons case turns into a homicide, more than one love story turns deranged, and the ghosts of Blackwood Bay get down tonight in one of the more lux hotels.

I actually really enjoyed Phantoms in High Fidelity by Misty Bane. This was a quick little mystery that kept you guessing, and I really enjoyed the mix of serial drama and and ghosts and humans co-existing in the lap of luxury. The author has taken to hinting at the plot of her next book in the series at the end of her current one, so I’ll be digging into that one as soon as I can.

Goodreads rating: 4 of 5 stars

Would I read it again? I think so!

It’s Spooky Season – October TBR

I love fall.

Being from the east coast, I grew up with seasons. There’s lots of snow in the winter, spring brings flowers and allergies, and summer is hot and humid. And there’s bugs. I hate bugs more than anything. Since we had the hottest summer on record in the last few years, I am more than ready for sweaters and candles and much, much cooler weather.

This also means I’m ready for fall and Halloween themed books! I like Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween as much as the next person, with Hocus Pocus being one of my all time favorite movies, but there’s something about a book set against a backdrop of colorful leaves and pumpkins that gives me a thrill.

I’ve been compiling a list of books I’m planning to read this October and thought I’d share it here.

The Ex Hex, formally (Hocus Pocus but they F)

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling, who is also former YA author Rachel Hawkins. Releasing September 28th, I don’t know much about this book other than I made a promise to read every book the author puts out. Rachel Hawkins is my spirit animal. And truly, she had me at Hocus Pocus but they F. (A/N – I scheduled this post before winning a giveaway copy of this book. If you want to read my review, check it out here!)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Previously reviewed here, this is an interesting gothic novel involving murder, magic, and two sisters willing to take their secrets to the grave. Fun fact, I live near a preschool called Merricat’s Castle, which is both awesome and terrifying at the same time.

Hell House by Richard Matheson

Another reread, and one that will likely be saved for Halloween night, is one of the most terrifying books I’ve ever read. A physicist and two mediums are paid handsomely to spend time in a sealed Maine mansion in order to figure out what comes after death. Together, they find out the secrets the abandoned Belasco manor holds, and why the townsfolk call it Hell House.

The Blackwood Bay Witches Mystery series by Misty Bane

This might be an overly ambitious amount to try and get through in October, but a challenge I’m willing to take on.

I pose a question to anyone who reads this: what are your favorite fall/Halloween books? What are you hoping to read this October?

Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare

In 2011, when Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare was first released, I left a blurb on Goodreads saying “oh holy hell, this book.” I believe it was meant for the ending, but it’s been ten years, so one really doesn’t know.

Tessa Gray is coming to terms with her life in London. She’s living in the Institute with the Shadowhunters, beginning a training regimen under the Lightwoods, and closer to finding the truth about who – or what – she is. But things aren’t looking good for the London Institute, directed by Charlotte and Henry Branwell, they’ve come under fire for being neglectful of how it’s run, or perhaps the Clave just needs a guise to uproot a female leader. It is Victorian London, after all.

The Magister still seeks Tessa to be his own. She, along with the increasingly confusing and moody Will Herondale and the ever faithful Jem Carstairs, begin to unravel plots within plots as they race to uncover the mystery of his Clockwork Army, his true parentage, and the lifelong vendetta he holds against the Shadowhunters. And what does Benedict Lightwood have against them? Why is he suddenly so forceful in the removal of Charlotte from her position?

Cassandra Clare tells this book from shifting narratives, weaving Tessa’s story into Will’s with surprising outcomes. The ending is a shocker, but not so much if you’ve been paying attention.

All in all I’m glad to have picked this series up again. I’ll finish it out, but I wish I had thought to read this prior to reading The Last Hours series. While I recognized names and places, it would have been helpful to have the backstories fresh in my mind.

Goodreads rating: 5 of 5 stars

Would I read it again? Sure, it’s a regular reread!