Recent Reads: October Edition

October isn’t even over yet but I thought I’d do a round-up review post now as I’ve read a fair bit over the last few weeks.  Mainly because I had so much more spare time on my hands with the lack of work but now I’ve got some I’m sure I’ll be slowing down again a bit.  For now, this is how I’ve been using up my time in-between applying for jobs and eating all the food.

My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger

I bought this on a whim in the summer because I had a Waterstones stamp card to use and the cover and the title really jumped out for me.  I do enjoy a serial killer related tale and this was unusual because to was YA and so had to balance out the graphicness of the murder details and create a story and characters around something so iconic as the Manson Family murders.  I really enjoyed this, more than I thought I would, as it had a darkness bubbling away underneath the main storyline that kept me hooked the whole time.  The dysfunction family set-up was very believable (for me anyway) and I loved the slow-burning romance.  Different but delicious.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren E. James

I was sent a copy of this for review after requesting it from the publishers.  I love a good piece of sci-fi and this one sounded like it could have a clever angle to it with it mostly being about one character and her single point of view.  This was a true page-turner of a tale and I couldn’t stop myself racing through it within a few days.  Lauren’s writing really evokes that terrifying feeling of isolation and fear that lingers around the entire story.  Haunting until the last page!

The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

The Beast is an Animal was sent to me for review and it’s quite different from the usual type of book I’d naturally pick up but that’s often a good thing.  A change of tone and pace can really refresh your reading mood.  Set in an Old World era we follow the interconnected tales of two twin sisters with strange powers and one small child who grows up with the shadow of their presence over her.  Fear and finger-pointing is all that follows Alys life after her parents, and all the adults in town, die strangely but she grows up with secrets in her heart and the worry that her life is set to end badly.  Fascinating and very creepy.  One for Halloween if your heart can stand the tension!

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

I’ve had a review copy of this book on my TBR pile for ages but with the recent move, it meant the pile got reshuffled and I wanted to tackle a few books that had been sat there for far too long.  13 Minutes is a bit like Mean Girls if it was written like a thriller and it’s just so clever that even I didn’t guess half the twists.  I’m usually quite good at that but by the halfway point I left wondering where the story was headed for the next half.  I loved the back and forth narrative POV and found all the characters so dark and sinister that they couldn’t have been anything other than teenage girls.  Excellent stuff.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 20 Years of Slaying by Christopher Golden

I’m a Buffy fan of old so when I was offered this special collectors edition of The Watchers Guides, I could hardly say no.  It would have just been plain rude.  Buffy was so ingrained in the pop culture of my generation that I can’t think of anyone that doesn’t have an opinion on it.  They either love or hate it or, at the very least, thought one of them was foxy enough that they watched it ‘just sometimes’.  I loved the snappy, witty dialogue and sassy characters and this new collection is just gorgeous.  A selection of episodes from each series is highlighted and it’s full of new interviews and insights from those that brought the show to life.  A must for any fan that loves a beautifully bound collection for their shelves.


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