Every Book I Read in October 2018 | Reading Wrap Up

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In an effort to share all of my read books with you, good and bad, I’ll be posting a wrap up at the start of each month. Without further ado, here is my October Reading Wrap Up!

Here’s what you’ll find in this post:

I’ve categorized each of the books I read last month by final verdict: Buy It, Borrow It, or Skip It. Here’s a little breakdown for you:

  • Buy It: Books I read last month that are totally worthy of being added to your shopping cart.
  • Borrow It: Books I read last month that were good fun and worth a read, but maybe not worth your money.
  • Skip It: Books you shouldn’t bother reading at all.


VERDICT: Buy It

Baby Teeth
Zoje Stage
9/10 ♥
Verdict: Buy It

In this psychological horror in the vein of The Bad Seed and The Good Son, an ailing mother struggles to care for a child beyond her control. Hannah is charming, clever, and possibly possessed by a Salem-era witch. Hannah is the perfect child in the eyes of daddy-dearest, though her erratic behavior has had her removed from school after school.  As time goes by, Hannah’s attacks become dangerously focused on the mother she so envies and the reader is catapulted to a cunning conclusion. Baby Teeth is fast-paced, addictive—a true thriller that questions what really goes on behind closed doors.

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Big Woods
by May Cobb
9/10 ♥
Verdict: Buy It

Leah’s younger sister is the latest missing child in a string of unsolved kidnappings within Big Woods, Texas. Impatient with the police effort to solve the case, teenage Leah launches her own investigation with the help of a reclusive old woman whose secretive past may be the answer to this puzzling riddle. Pulling in psychology and tactics from real-life cult leaders, May Cobb carves out a novel that could easily be transferred from the page to the big screen. A tribute to the “satanic panic” paranoia of the late 1980’s, a witness to the bond of sisterhood, and a testament to grief, Big Woods is a racing, page-turning sprint to the final chapter.

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Something Wicked This Way Comes
By Ray Bradbury
8/10 ♥
Verdict: Buy It

Ray Bradbury perfectly captures the innate, yet fleeting, belief in our own mortality and expertly idolizes childhood nostalgia through two young boys, best friends and polar opposites, who enter a fight of wills against a mysterious carnival which rolls into town one week before Halloween. Bradbury’s unique, lyrical prose and evocative style is often considered a genre in itself, many consider this work an integral piece of the American canon.

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True Grit
by Charles Portis
8/10 ♥
Verdict: Buy It

In the style of the American humorous story, a fearless 14-year-old girl sets off across the plains of the Midwest to find justice for the murder of her father. The tone of this book is rugged and simple, much like the real-life characterizations it represents, and a common favorite for those fans of Mark Twain and John Steinbeck. I found it an enjoyable, quick read and one I would be glad to experience again.

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My Sister the Serial Killer
by Oyinkan Braithwaite
8/10 ♥
Verdict: Buy It

In her debut novel, Oyinkan Braithwaite delivers a devilish tale of sisters and what it takes to truly test the blood-bond of family, questioning whether we can ever truly escape our fate with a wry wit and dark humor entirely her own. The short chapters in this 240-page novel make the pages fly by with ease and leaves the reader habitually whispering, “Just one more chapter…”

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The Art of Influence
by Chris Widener

8/10 ♥
Verdict: Buy It

In the Art of Influence, Chris Widener outlines the immersive qualities of successful leaders and why those who invest in themselves are best able to invest in others. This leadership development book is told as a parable, both short and approachable, with helpful lessons for those needing guidance whether new to leadership or well-versed.

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The Winter People
by Jennifer McMahon

8/10 ♥
Verdict: Buy It

A book that so many label as nightmarish terror, I went into The Winter People with high expectations of chills and thrills. Unfortunately, the story did not frighten me. However, it was a well-executed horror tale surrounding a grim piece of remote land where tragedies seem doomed to repeat themselves. In dual timelines, we meet Sara Shea and are privy to her secret diary entries which outline the events leading up to the day in 1908 when she was found dead outside her home, just months after the death of her daughter. In modern-day, teenage Ruthie lives in the isolated house that once belonged to long-dead Sara Shea. Without a trace, Ruthie’s mother goes missing and in her search for clues the diary entries are discovered, pulling Ruthie and her kid-sister into a historical mystery with grim, necromantic details to unravel.

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Verdict: Borrow It


Sons of Cain
by Peter Vronksy
7/10 ♥
Borrow It

Peter Vronksy delivers the latest in his collection of non-fiction works surrounded the life and psychology of serial killers. In this study, he explores the existence and shifting definitions of serial killers from “the stone age to the present.” Vronksy, though a historian, is prone to an exaggerated interpretation of some facts, some sensationalized, in order to fit the ambitious timeline set by the title. Nonetheless, if taken with a grain of salt, Vronksy’s ideas and his representation of certain studies make for an enjoyable (if gory) foray into the world of true crime for the strong-stomached reader.

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The Chalk Man
by C.J. Tudor
7/10 ♥
Borrow It

Enjoyable to read, the Chalk Man is about misplaced assumptions in the face of several grim small town mysteries involving a teacher, a preacher, and a grotesque murder. A disheveled and lonely man named Eddie filters between his childhood past and the harsh reality of adulthood, searching to solve the riddle of events that took place all those years ago and ultimately determine who is really to blame. Though enjoyable in scope and style, The Chalk Man led to a disingenuous ending made all the more unforgivable by a lack of thoughtful character motivations.

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The World of Lore: Dreadful Places
by Aaron Mahnke
7/10 ♥
Borrow It

The third in a spin-off series from the highly-successful podcast, Dreadful Places explores tall-tales from grim locales. A slight disappointment after the previous two books, this addition lacked fluidity. The stories flitted about briefly and carelessly dissolved into the next chapter, perhaps too quickly after their climax. It’s possible this book focused too closely on historical banter and too little on the tales themselves. Still, an enjoyable enough read for the October season.

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The Broken Girls
by Simone St. James
5/10 ♥
Borrow It

A haunted boarding school with a history of murder? Sign me up. The premise for The Broken Girls completely roped me in. Thankfully, the mysterious, ghostly elements of the story absolutely delivered. Unfortunately, this book struggled thematically. The author, perhaps in a fit of excess, added extraneous topics that were neither necessary nor wanted. As a result, the overall impression of this otherwise gratifying novel took a hit.

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Dracul
by Dacre Stoker & J.D. Barker
5/10 ♥
Borrow It

Dracul was at times interesting, at times dreadfully slow. It would benefit in a harsh culling of inessential passages. The work as a whole was too long for what was ultimately delivered. It is a difficult book to rate, especially with Stoker fan expectations so high, but all in all it was a fine enough read, just not one I would enthusiastically recommend. If you are a fan of Dracula in its original form, manage your expectations before diving in.

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VERDICT: Skip It
 

The Cheerleaders
by Kara Thomas
3/10 ♥
Skip It

Often, YA is a compliment to the capability of the young, even in the face of a society that so often attempts to extend adolescence. It’s a sentiment many young adults, including myself during my teenage years, find encouraging. The Cheerleaders, on the other hand, felt more like an insult.
It centers around a teenage girl who is almost unbelievably self-seeking, indulgent, and immature. She is more like a toddler than a capable, well-thinking, human being. It is hard for me to believe that any young person would behave in such a manner, especially in the face of death and the following grief. And so, in my opinion, this book stands in exact opposition to the very appeal of the YA genre. In that way, it annoyed me more than entertained me.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this October reading wrap up! What book did you most enjoy last month? Leave me a comment below and let’s chat about it!

Read last month’s wrap up – “Every Book I Read in September 2018

READ NEXT: Every Book I Read in August – Rated // 2018
READ NEXT: Every Book I Read in July – Rated // 2018
READ NEXT: Big Woods Book Review: A Satanic Panic Thriller from May Cobb

Like a book on this list? Save it to your TBR on Pinterest!

 

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Bex Skoog

Bex Skoog

Bex Skoog is the creator of the 'Out of the Bex' website, a guide to a more thoughtful life through books and simple living. If she had three wishes they would be for teacups to never empty, to possess an unending supply of classic films, and have access to the world's greatest libraries. Bex lives in Virginia outside of Washington D.C. with her husband and hundreds of stray books.

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