November: Books I’ve Read Recently

"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 out of 5 stars. 5 stars being the best and 1 star being the worst!

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

The Devil Makes Three, book cover

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino

Tess Matheson only wants three things: time to practice her cello, for her sister to be happy, and for everyone else to leave her alone.

Instead, Tess finds herself working all summer at her boarding school library, shelving books and dealing with the intolerable patrons. The worst of them is Eliot Birch: snide, privileged, and constantly requesting forbidden grimoires. After a bargain with Eliot leads to the discovery of an ancient book in the library's grimoire collection, the pair accidentally unleash a book-bound demon.

The demon will stop at nothing to stay free, manipulating ink to threaten those Tess loves and dismantling Eliot’s strange magic. Tess is plagued by terrible dreams of the devil and haunting memories of a boy who wears Eliot's face. All she knows is to stay free, the demon needs her... and he'll have her, dead or alive.

My Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

Although the premises of this book was interesting, as far as spooky goes, this book was not it. This book was a little bit of a letdown in the scare department in my opinion. In this book, Tess and a library customer named Eliot end up teaming up in order to dig up some old grimoire's. Ignoring rule number one of NEVER reading from a grimoire out loud, Tess ends up doing just that and ends up unleashing "the devil." For whatever reason the devil really wants to get ahold of Tess's soul. He does everything in his power in order to manipulate Tess into agreeing to give herself to him fully. Only Tess for obvious reasons does not want to make a deal with the Devil, so he begins terrorizing her. As far as the devil goes, his scare tactics were subpar at best. I kind of expected more, you know from "the devil!" I did really like this book, I just think I was expecting more from this "paranormal" themed read. If you want a scary read, this book was average at best, but I did thoroughly enjoy the chaotic-ness of this book. There was also a budding romance between the two main characters, although how that came about in the midst of all the chaos I’ll never understand. I was confused by the romance, but I was totally okay with it. I didn’t love this book, but I would totally read this book again. I do think it’s still a perfect Halloween read. It wasn’t scary, but I would say it was like an okay cheesy “slasher” read.

The Girls Are Never Gone, book cover

The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Dare Chase doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Privately, she’s a supernatural skeptic. But publicly, she’s keeping her doubts to herself—because she’s the voice of Attachments, her brand-new paranormal investigation podcast, and she needs her ghost-loving listeners to tune in.

That’s what brings her to Arrington Estate. Thirty years ago, teenager Atheleen Bell drowned in Arrington’s lake, and legend says her spirit haunts the estate. Dare’s more interested in the suspicious circumstances surrounding her death—circumstances that she believes point to a living culprit, not the supernatural. Still, she’s vowed to keep an open mind as she investigates, even if she’s pretty sure what she’ll find.

But Arrington is full of surprises. Good ones like Quinn, the cute daughter of the house’s new owner. And baffling ones like the threatening messages left scrawled in paint on Quinn’s walls, the ghastly face that appears behind Dare’s own in the mirror, and the unnatural current that nearly drowns their friend Holly in the lake. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of Arrington, she’ll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake…it might not be willing to let her go.

My Rating: 2 Out of 5 Stars

Again, this was supposed to be a spooky Halloween read, but quite honestly it was just a complete let down. I got about halfway through the book and nothing remotely terrifying had even begun to appear. Granted the main character Dare Chase doesn't believe in ghosts, so anything remotely eerie that took place Dare down plays and explains away. This book had a lot of promise in the sense that the setting of "Arrington estate" was what I imagine a haunted house would be. It's old, it’s dilapidated, wall paper is literally peeling off the walls and its covered in dust. If I was a ghost I would definitely haunt this house, but nothing remotely spooky happened in this book. Quite frankly, I was bored. The most interesting character in this book was quite literally the DOG! I liked the dog Waffles more than I liked the main character! That says a lot. I was not interested in this book AT ALL. I honestly wanted to give up and not finish this book, but I pushed myself to. It did get a little bit better towards the end of the book, but not enough to salvage this book for me.

Something's Wrong With Us by Natsumi Ando

Something's wrong with us. 1, book cover
Something's wrong with us. 2, book cover
Something's wrong with us. 3, book cover
Something's wrong with us. 4, book cover
Something's wrong with us. 5, book cover

Nao has followed in her mother's footsteps to become a traditional Japanese sweets maker. Even at 21, her skills are unparalleled, landing her a spot at a world-class confectionary company. However, when she meets the young, handsome heir to the company, she recognizes Tsubaki: her first friend, and the same boy who framed her mother for murder over a decade ago. As the only witness to the crime, Nao seizes her chance to get close to him, but instead of finding answers, she falls deeper for Tsubaki's allure...

My Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

So I'm not far into this series at all. I only managed to read books 1 through 5, but I am absolutely obsessed with what I managed to read. Basically in this novel we follow a girl named Nao. When Nao was younger, her mother worked for a famous family owned Japanese Patisserie. She was single mother and took this live-in position in order to better provide for her daughter. The famous family also had a son named Tsubaki. Tsubaki and Nao were best friends and were inseparable growing up. They had hopes of one day growing up and getting married to each other. One day Tsubaki's father and heir to the Patisserie is mysteriously murdered and the only witness is Tsubaki, this 6-year-old kid. Nao's Mother ends up getting arrested and she ends up dying in prison leaving Nao alone in the world. The story jumps 15 years into the future and Nao is now trying to follow in her mother's footsteps of becoming a Patisserie Chef. On this path she of course runs into Tsubaki again who is now getting ready to take over his family's famous business. Nao hates him and blames him for ruining her life. She jumps at the opportunity of getting back into his life in order to find out the truth behind what really happened, and to clear her now dead mother's name. I love this series so far and Natsumi Ando is one of my favorite manga authors. To me this series was as if her series "Kitchen Princess" collided with her other series "Arisa." One was all about cooking and one was this really enthralling mystery. I really loved both of those series and this new series was as if you took them both and mixed them in a blender. It was like the perfect pairing of baking meets mystery. I honestly can't wait to finish the rest of this series, it’s so good and as always with Natsumi Ando the art work is impeccable.

Perfect World by Aie Aruga

Perfect World 1, book cover
Perfect World 2, book cover
Perfect World 3, book cover
Perfect World 4, book cover
Perfect World 5, book cover
Perfect World 6, book cover
Perfect World 7, book cover

Perfect World is Rie Aruga's touching drama about the romance that develops between an interior designer and her first love, whom she reencounters one day only to find he is wheelchair-bound. At first, she feels she couldn't date a guy in a wheelchair, but then her feelings begin to change. 

My Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

This wasn't the happiest of reads, but I will say it was very thought provoking. In this book we follow a 26-year-old girl named Kawana. Kawana is an aspiring interior designer and through her job she is reunited with her high school crush, Ayukawa, who has now become an architect. They are being partnered up on a work related project and Kawana's old feeling begin to stir throughout their reunion. At the end of their reunion Kawana is surprised to learn that Ayukawa is now permanently in a wheelchair. After high school Ayukawa suffered a tragic pedestrian car accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Kawana is forced to evaluate her feelings and figure out if she can date a man in a wheelchair and even if she decided that she can; she then has to convince Ayukawa who has sworn to be "alone forever," to change his mind and date her! This book was really interesting because we never really get to see the perspective of somebody dealing with a life altering injury. Everyday things that are so engrained into our lives, for example tying our own shoes. This book delves into these things on such a personal level. We watch as it takes Ayukawa months of physical therapy just to learn to tie his shoes on his own again after sustaining his spinal cord injury. One, it’s a huge physical toll on one’s body, but this book delves into the mental toll a life altering injury could make on a person’s life and the impact it made on all the people involved in Ayukawa's life. It was a very well thought out read. I'm only about half way through this series and it’s a very heart wrenching series. Don't read this series if you are not prepared to be utterly heart broken.