FOUR spooky book reviews!
1. Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas ⭐⭐⭐.5
What a wild ride of a book 😳 I listened to this creepy gothic story on audio and I was completely enthralled the entire way through. This book essentially has no plot and the world’s most apathetic main character but I couldn’t stop listening to this.
The entire book feels like some sort of lucid fever dream.
You follow the main character as she dedicates 3 years to the prestigious Catherine House. She meets classmates, has the strangest roommate, attends creepy seance-like dinners, and learns about some ominous experiments the school is performing. I know a lot of people didn’t enjoy the detached way the main character interacts with the events happening around her, but to me her apathy added to the hazy atmosphere of this book.
I didn’t give this 5 stars because I don’t see this being a book I ever return to, but it was definitely a fantastic October read. If you like weird, unexplained, gothic books, give this one a read! But be prepared for a unsatisfying (and ominous) open ending!
2. The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden ⭐⭐⭐.5
This was a really fun paranormal story! I listened to this on audio and thought the narrator did an absolutely fantastic job. I was completely engaged with the story and loved how distinct the narration was for each character.
I think the setting and atmosphere really excelled in this book. The New Orleans setting was so vivid and perfect for a creepy paranormal story. I loved the speak-easy, occult shops, boarding school, and general creepy locations.
I also LOVED that this had one of my favorite “tropes” – book inside of a book. You get chapters of diary entries later in the book that I thought added a lot to the story. The gave the reader glimpses of the past or insight into the magic without feeling info dump-y. I thought it was a really smart addition.
I loved the witchy, mystery aspects of this. I thought the mystery plot was really engrossing and I loved how it integrated into the paranormal aspects of this book. This is also had a wild ending that I did NOT see coming.
This book was way too long though. This starts off SO SLOW… The first 150-200 pages dragged on and I felt like not much happened plot-wise. But once the story picked up, I was hooked. I definitely think I will try and continue with this series. I’m curious to see what happens with both the coven and the vampires!
I definitely recommend checking this out if you’re looking for a really atmospheric, ominous vampire story!
3. The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renée Ahdieh ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I put this book off forever because it got so much weird buzz back in 2019. This book was crazy hyped then once it was released, received a massive wave of disappointing reviews. So maybe my expectations were just very low, but I don’t understand why people were so disappointed by this! I thought this book was eerie, atmospheric, and the perfect opening to a paranormal series.
This is book is definitely a bit of a slow burn but I never felt like the story dragged. I loved the characters and discovering the dark, paranormal underbelly of New Orleans alongside them. I thought this had great friendships, lots of dark secrets and deception, and the mosts perfect ominous setting. This book pulled me and had me desperate from more from this world.
If you’re in the market for a new paranormal story, definitely don’t be deterred. This book is fantastic, atmospheric, slow burn paranormal story. And you’re definitely going to want book 2 at the ready! This ending had me rushing to pick up the sequel!
4. The Damned (The Beautiful #2) by Renée Ahdieh ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I absolutely adore this series. I love how dark and atmospheric it is – I get so swept away into this world.
I thought this sequel did a fantastic job opening up the world and exploring the paranormal and magical aspects. I also really liked that we got so many additional perspectives. This book is definitely much more fantastical than book 1 so if that aspect disappointed you in the first book, this sequel definitely has no shortage of magical/paranormal elements!
Renée Ahdieh’s writing is so fantastic and really pulls me into her story. I was completely gripped by this world. I love the historical New Orleans setting, everything about it feels dark and ominous.
This is another ending that left me so excited for the next book! I just love how Renée Ahdieh ends her books. The main plot/driver of this book is wrapped up, but so much more is introduced and left unanswered! It’s the perfect combination of feeling satisfied but desperate for more!