September: Books I've Read Recently

books on a pink shelf

"Books I've Read Recently" is a series where I, Penelope Gomez, will do a monthly wrap up of the books I've read throughout the past month. In this series I will give a brief synopsis of the story and then give the book a rating of :

thumbs up emojiThumbs Up
thumbs down emojiThumbs Down
emoji hand forming 'okay' signJust Okay

I will then give a brief description of why I chose to rate a book a certain way.

So without further delay lets get into the "Books I've Read Recently," and as always leave a comment down below and tell me which of these books you've also read, or plan on reading next.

Books I've Read Recently

Book Cover "The Vanishing Stair" by Maureen JohnsonThe Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.

For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.

The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for.

thumbs up emojiBook Cover "Truly Devious" by Maureen JohnsonI have to say that I enjoyed this book (book 2) in the series more than I enjoyed book 1 Truly Devious. In the first book we are introduced to Stevie Bell and her classmates, and I remember feeling super frustrated while reading that book because I only wanted to know about the 'Truly Devious' mystery. I remember not caring for Stevie Bells character because I felt at the time that her character had no 'reason' for being involved in the 'Truly Devious' case. I felt that her and her classmates were kind of random and just off topic. If you want to read that really HARSH review of book 1 CLICK HERE. Now after reading book 2 and finally seeing that Stevie Bell is actually working towards finding out the mysteries of the Ellingham kidnappings, I kind of really like and appreciate her character! I actually preferred her character setting in this book over the flashback sequences this time, which was the complete opposite of my opinion for book 1. I think after reading book 2 I could probably go back and read book 1 and have a completely different opinion of the novel than I had originally, because book 2 is definitely better than book 1. There is more romance in book 2 than book 1, a better mystery in my opinion in Stevie Bells time and there were finally some answer about who 'Truly Devious' really was, and it was NOT what I was expecting at all! The last book "The Hand on the Wall" comes out in January 2020, and I can't wait for this story to finally be concluded and for all of my questions to finally be answered.

Book Cover "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 1: The Crucible" by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Robert HackThe Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Book 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Robert Hack

On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress Sabrina Spellman finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family's past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda.

thumbs up emojiTo keep with my celebrating Halloween early trend I thought I would finally read The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I personally love the Netflix series original but I have to say the graphic novel is just so much spookier! This Graphic novel is actually set back in the 1960's, so it was a lot of fun to see all these 1960's song references and cool wardrobe changes Sabrina makes. The graphic novel is obviously a lot different than the Netflix series, so unlike the show we get a lot more insight into what actually happened to Sabrina's parents. Where did they go? How did she end up living with her Aunts? All of these questions and more will be answered in this graphic novel. I also loved the fact that cousin Ambrose is actually Sabrina's age in this story, they end up getting into a lot more mischief, than Sabrina would normally just on her own. I want to say that this version of the story is just really gruesome and heartbreaking! We also get to see some of the cast from the "Archie" comic series make a couple of cameos in this Graphic novel. The Riverdale and Sabrina storylines are very much intertwined. Bettie and Veronica specifically play a key role in this series and are also witches themselves in this storyline. Plus the cliffhanger ending was INSANE! Like I couldn't have picked a better Halloween read! I can't wait to read more from this series.

Book Cover "The Graces" by Laure EveThe Graces by Laure Eve

Everyone said the Graces were witches.
They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.
They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.
All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

thumbs up emojiI absolutely adored this book! A huge 5 star read for sure! In this book the main character River is new at school. After her fathers mysterious disappearance River and her mother have moved towns. Much like the rest of the town River quickly becomes obsessed with "The Graces." They are rich, beautiful and mysterious. The rumor around town is that the Graces are secretly witches and River is determined to get their attention by any means necessary! River was just such a relatable character. She of course is a book lover, rather shy and just wants so desperately to be noticed and popular the way the grace children are. I loved the witting style of Laure Eve and I was disappointed to find that she hasn't written too much else. She has a way of really adhering her readers to the characters, you come to understand them and the way they are, and the way they came to be. I was really glued to this book, and I couldn't get through it fast enough. There is a sequel to this novel, that I just can't wait to read. This was the perfect Halloween/ Fall time read. There was a little bit of witch craft and it was a bit of a thriller also. This is a book that I wish other people would read because I would really like to discuss it with someone. I think there is a little something in here for everyone, there is horror/ thriller scenes, romance, witchcraft, a good friendship, etc. It was just overall really enjoyable, never a dull moment.

book cover "This lie will kill you" by Chelsea PitcherThis Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.
But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true.
Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually happened on that deadly night, one year ago.
Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free?
Or will their lies destroy them all?

thumbs down emojiI had a really hard time with this novel... It was honestly just such a far fetched scenario, I couldn't take this book seriously. Basically in this book a teenager is 'killed' in a car crash. Someone believes it wasn't an accident and is out for revenge against the 5 teenagers he/she believes is responsible. This person out for revenge comes up with a WILD scheme to catch a killer and get a confession. This mysterious person plans a "Murder Mystery" themed party, where the 5 teens attending think they are competing for a college scholarship. I don't know about other people, but I personally throw away all "JUNK Mail" automatically, without even reading it. So the fact that all 5 teens read their "JUNK mail" and were like, this scholarship that I never even applied for 'looks legit" and actually went in full costume to this murder mystery house in the middle of no where is just INSANE! Nothing in this book would ever happen! Like this Teen Killers plot just went way too smoothly. Anyway as the book goes on, they are all at the murder mystery party and they start to figure out that, maybe this scholarship isn't so legit?! Then some even CRAZIER things start to happen! ...I honestly did not want to finish this book, everything that happens was just a little to far fetched for me. Although I will say that Chelsea Pitcher wrote some extremely creative backstories for some of her characters and the 'flashback' scenes were really interesting. I will also say that this book is perfect for around Halloween time since it is a THRILLER/ MURDER MYSTERY novel. Even though the premises for this novel was really far fetched it was still a pretty good thriller.


Blog Category

Add new comment

Comments are expected to follow the basic rules of civility and be relevant to the topic being commented upon. Comments will be reviewed prior to posting. Blog comments represent the views of the person commenting, not necessarily those of San José Public Library. For more information see SJPL's Comment Guidelines.