Clowns In A Cornfield // Book Review

About The Book
Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.
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My Rating

I’d heard nothing but good things about this book! Many readers said that it was a good, fast-paced, young adult slasher book. However, I wasn’t feeling the plot from the get-go, and my connection to the characters was lacking. So that might be why I didn’t find it as gripping or as enjoyable as others did.

The plot had the potential to be great, since it centers on a classic horror theme of a killer, or in this case killers. Killer clowns, to be exact. While the concept is intriguing, the book falls short in execution. However, I can see how the straightforward plot and simple rural slasher story may appeal to readers new to the young adult horror genre.

The book’s strengths truly lie with the fact that it is a great introduction for younger readers who are just dipping a toe into the world of horror literature. The familiar premise of a killer picking off their victims one by one would most likely make it a decent choice for those who are exploring the horror genre for the first time.

“Drawing a new line in the sand while nobody else is watching, then wiping away the old one. And the whole time you know . . . You know where it’s all leading.”

Unfortunately, the twists and turns in the story were disappointingly predictable. Which, again, might not be an issue for new horror readers. I found myself anticipating each plot development, and nothing in the narrative genuinely surprised me. The lack of unexpected moments or suspenseful elements made the reading experience somewhat flat and uninspired.

One aspect of the book that stood out was the author’s incorporation of their political views into the narrative. While it’s not uncommon for authors to infuse their work with personal beliefs I have heard some readers say that the heavy-handed political aspect of the book was distracting and even off-putting. Also, the author’s writing style didn’t align with my personal tastes. Sometimes, I enjoy being thrown right into the plot. This was an example of one where I would have liked to get to know the characters a bit more.

Overall, the book is a decent, but forgettable, young adult horror novel. While the plot concept is engaging, the predictable twists, political influence, and lackluster execution make it nothing special. The fact that I could see what was coming in each chapter left me with no surprises from the story. If you are a serious horror reader seeking an immersive and captivating experience, it’s possible that you, like me, will find yourself wanting more from this book.

In the comments let me know if you have read this book and your thoughts. Make sure to like and share this post. Finally, don’t forget that you can hit the follow button to get notified whenever there’s a new post.

Until The Next Chapter,

Secret Santa // Book Review

About The Book
Lussi must find the next horror superstar to compete with Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Peter Straub. It’s the ’80s, after all, and horror is the hottest genre. The Office meets Stephen King, dressed up in holiday tinsel, in this fun, festive, and frightening horror-comedy set during the horror publishing boom of the ’80s, by New York Times best-selling satirist Andrew Shaffer.
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My Rating

If you love thriller and horror books, but still want a holiday read, then this is the perfect read for you. I loved the plot, characters, and how fast the book was paced. It is a good, short, palate-cleanser Christmas horror novel that is not too gory.

When I first read the synopsis, I was nervous that this book would be gruesome and cheesy. However, I was hooked on the first page, and found the writing to be really good. Who doesn’t love a good horror story set during the holidays? In particular, one that takes place in a publishing house.

The book was set in the 80’s, and we follow Lussi, who is tasked with finding the next big name in horror novels in her new publishing job. However, during the company’s annual Secret Santa, she receives a demonic doll. That is, when things start to get a little weird, accidents start happening to her coworkers.

“Authors are God’s neediest creatures, eclipsed only by actors and puppies.”

The 80’s vibes were on point, and I loved all the nods to horror as a growing genre in the book industry. This makes sense, considering that the book is set during the time when Stephen King and Anna Rice were becoming big name authors. It is a really fun read for a horror and thriller reader like myself.

This book is not a feel good Christmas story, and there are not many traditional holiday aspects to the narrative besides the Secret Santa plot. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it, and the storyline as a whole was intriguing. I liked Lussi as our main character because she was smart and did not ignore all the unusual things that were happening. I think her knowledge of horror novels and movies really helped her.

Overall, this is not a five-star read by any means, but it is a really good horror novella. I would recommend it if you are looking for a book to break up all the romance novels, you might be reading this time of year. I would categorize it as ‘Child’s Play’ meets ‘Rosemary’s Baby.’ For me, this was a one-sitting read, and the ending was fantastic.

In the comments, let me know some of your favorite horror holiday novellas, because now I want to read them all. Don’t forget that you can always like and share all of my posts, and give the blog a follow before you go, because it really does help me grow.

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Did I Read My 2023 Anticipated Releases?

Hi Friends,
For day 2 of Bookmas, I am going to be taking a look back at my most anticipated book releases of 2023. I have done 4 anticipated releases post this year, so I am hoping that I have at least read half of the books that I was excited for this year. If not, I am going to try and make it a priority to read some of them before the year is over.

I did a post talking about my most anticipated YA romances, and I am happy to say that I read 3 out of the five books I mentioned in that post. I read ‘Never Vacation with Your Ex’, ‘Margo Zimmerman Gets the Girl’ and ‘Borrow My Heart.’ But, I wasn’t able to pick up ‘Promposal’ and I completely forgot about ‘The Borrow a Boyfriend Club.’ However, I am still interested in both of those books.
Related Post: 2023 YA Romances // Anticipated Releases

My next release post was talking about 2023 summer books. I read 5 of the books in that post, which were ‘The Only One Left,’ ‘The Seven Year Slip,’ ‘One of Us Is Back,’ ‘Delicate Condition,’ and ‘Foxglove.’ And, all of these books were between 4 and 5 stars for me. As for the ones I didn’t read we have ‘Summer Rental,’ ‘Business or Pleasure,’ and ‘Ghosted: A Northanger Abbey.’ All of those books still sound so good. There were two other books in this post, ‘The Trap‘ and ‘Good Bad Girl‘ that I didn’t read, but started. And, since putting down ‘Good Bad Girl’, I haven’t heard the greatest thing about it, so it might be a DNF.
Related Post: Anticipated Releases // Summer 2023

Moving on to a post I did recently, my October anticipated releases. I am going to keep this short and sweet by saying that I have yet to read any of the six books I mentioned. Still, I am very interested in all of them. Lastly, is my November book release post and, like October, I haven’t read any of these books. I might try and get to one out of six books in that post, which will most likely be ‘Iron Flame’ or ‘Betting On You.’
Related Post: Anticipated Releases // October 2023
Related Post: Anticipated Releases // November 2023

Honestly, I don’t think I did too badly this year when it came to reading books I was excited for. It doesn’t shock me that I did poorly in October and November, since I’m a mood reader and like to read certain books during those months. In the comments, tell me if you have read any of my anticipated releases, and if they are worth the read. Don’t forget that it is completely free and makes me smile when you follow the blog.

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The September House // Book Review

About The Book
A woman is determined to stay in her dream home even after it becomes a haunted nightmare in this compulsively readable, twisty, and layered debut novel. Every September, the walls drip blood. The ghosts of former inhabitants appear, and all of them are terrified of something that lurks in the basement. Most people would flee. Margaret is not most people.
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My Rating

This book surprised me in a good way. The book follows Margaret, a woman who moves into a haunted house with her husband. However, when her husband goes missing, their daughter is determined to find out what happened to her father. Her mother is desperate to keep all the supernatural things that go on in the house a secret from her. Does that not sound like a recipe for a good haunted house mystery?

The book is told from Margaret’s perspective during her fourth September in the house. It is widely mentioned throughout the story that September is when shit hits the fan. We get chapters from previous years throughout Margaret’s life. Many of these chapters described what it was like when they first moved to the house. We also learn a lot about Margaret and her life with her husband and daughter.

Margaret is a very unreliable narrator, because there is a mention that her father had a mental illness. Her marriage was unhappy. She mentioned a lot about rules and rules to cope with many things, such as her husband’s drinking and anger and her deadly house.

“Thank you for coming but kindly remove your crazy asses from our holy ground.”

The writing was good, but it did not keep me engaged as much as I had hoped it would. I felt that there were many instances when I wanted the story to progress much faster than it did. I felt that it was just lacking something in the way the author told the story that kept them from becoming a new favorite thriller author.

This plot is interesting. I kept trying to guess what was going to happen. You think the author is going to take you in one direction, but then they do a complete 180, and take you in an entirely different direction. The last few chapters were not incredibly action-packed, but they were very intense.

Overall, it was a decent haunted house story. Will there probably be better options in the future? Sure, but is this one that I will remember? Definitely, yes. Please keep in mind that this book heavily dives into domestic violence and what it is like to be a woman in that situation, especially one with a child.

You can always check book trigger warnings on the StoryGraph app or at Book Trigger Warnings. Please leave me a comment letting me know if you are interested in this book. Do not forget to hit the follow button, so that you never miss any of my posts.

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Five Favorite Covers // Horror & Thriller

Hi Friends,
Let us talk about creepy book covers! When it comes to books, I can definitely be a cover buyer at times, but I do not just gravitate towards pretty covers. As a thriller reader, I love a good spooky book cover, so today I am going to talk about five of my favorite thriller/horror book covers. Remember this is my opinion, so you might not find these covers spooky, which is completely fine.

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I have heard that this is a very disturbing adult horror, but something about this cover gives me chills. It is a fairly simple cover but manages to give off a sinister look. Personally, I love how subtle and creepy the cover is, and I can tell that this is a horror without having to read the synopsis.

Buy The Book

Honestly, I know nothing about this book, but I would buy it just for the cover. It is giving off ghost story vibes, which I love. At the same time, this cover is spooky and beautiful. I kind of get the chills looking at it and I’m okay with that

Buy The Book

This is another simple but creepy cover. The red eyes add such a spooky element, and I love the pink and black color choice. I mean sheep are not generally frightening, but this book cover makes me think otherwise.

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Every time I see this cover, I instantly think Freddy Krueger “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” which is obviously what they were intending from this cover. However, it is so unsettling that I think my husband would have nightmares if he saw this cover. There is no question that this is a horror book just from the looks of it.

Buy The Book

I have been wanting to read this book for years now because the cover screams thriller. It gives me the women in white, but YA. I find it to be eerie, but again, it has the spook factor without being an outright scary design. I believe that these types of covers are the creepiest.

In the comments, let me know what some of your favorite thrillers or horror books cover. Do not forget to share this post with other readers. And, if you are a fan of books, you can give my blog a follow so that you never miss a post.

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You’re Not Supposed To Die Tonight // Book Review

About The Book
Charity has the summer job of her dreams, playing the “final girl” at Camp Mirror Lake. But the last weekend of the season, Charity’s co-workers begin disappearing. And when one ends up dead, Charity’s role as the final girl suddenly becomes all too real. If Charity and her girlfriend Bezi hope to survive the night, they’ll need figure out what this killer is after.
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My Rating

This book is in no way the best campy slasher I have ever read, but I found it to be enjoyable. In the book, we follow Charity, who plays the final girl at a horror movie reenactment camp. Think of one of those murder mystery type games, but in this case, people play a part in a horror movie scenario.

Obviously, the plot is all about Charity’s role as a final girl becoming all too real. This is a generic young adult thriller story. I would say that the book was short and sweet. It followed a classic teen slasher film type plot, so the story was not the most original.

I found many things to be predictable. Honestly, if you are a long-time fan of the horror movie genre, you can probably figure out most of the twists. Nothing was particularly shocking, and the final twist was mediocre. Nevertheless, I could see some younger readers finding the ending to be done very well and unexpected.

“I’ve been playing the part of a girl who escapes a serial killer every night for months. It’s not a game this time. The consequences are real, but we still have to play.”

However, I still had a good time reading the book. It gave me exactly what I hoped for, which was a quick, campy, young adult slasher story. I am a big fan of Kalyan Bayron’s writing, so, in my opinion, that helped make the book a lot more enjoyable.

Now, the book has flaws, such as how the characters acted and spoke. It felt like an adult writing how they thought teenagers would act. They were stereotypical and annoying. Yep. They were young, dumb teenagers. Maybe my 31 year old self just can’t handle books with teenagers who act very teenager-like. Does this make sense?

Overall, I think that campy thrillers are never going to be my preferred plot, but my experience reading the book was good, which is a win in my book. There’s not much to the book, making it not require a lot of your attention to understand. I say that if you are looking for a book that gives summer horror movie vibes, then this is a good pick.

In the comments, let me know your favorite teen slasher books and movies. If you do not already follow my Instagram (@books.with.bunny) account for more bookish content from me feel free to do so. Do not forget to like this post and follow the blog.

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House Of Hunger // Book Review

About The Book
WANTED – Bloodmaid of exceptional taste. Must have a keen proclivity for life’s finer pleasures. Girls of weak will need not apply. Though she knows little about the far north—where wealthy nobles live in luxury and drink the blood of those in their service—Marion applies to the position. But when she discovers that the ancient walls of the House of Hunger hide even older secrets.
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My Rating

If you are a fan of ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ then you are going to love this book. It seriously gives the “1800’s Salvatore Brothers/Katherine Pierce” vibes, and I loved it. This comes from a primarily non-historical fiction reader, but the fact that it was mixed with a bit of an odd blood drinking twist really made it work for me.

The book follows a young woman named Marion, who decides to take a position as a bloodmaid. Essentially, bloodmaids are women who are paid to bleed for very wealthy and powerful families. However, I thought that this was a Vampire-esque story. But don’t be mistaken, it is not. The author never references the blood drinking creatures of the night, so as I understand it, that these are regular wealthy families that use blood to sustain their lives.

Marion was an incredible protagonist. Yes, at times, she enjoyed being a bloodmaid, and submitting to Countess Lisavet charms. However, she was not easily fooled, and could tell that things were not as they seemed. She was smart, and I think that all her time growing up in a toxic environment made her more aware of when things seemed strange.

“Sometimes I feel like I’ve been building you a House out of my own bones.”

As for the Countess, she gave off major Katherine Pierce vibes. She was charming; she knew exactly what to say, and do, to get what she wanted. It was easy to fall under her spell. I simultaneously hated and loved her at the same time. She is a rather complex character.

I loved watching Marion, interacting with the other bloodmaids. They formed a family bond, which makes sense – when you sell your blood with a bunch of other women, you are going to feel a connection with them.

Overall, the writing is what made the story excellent, and it really came to life. It was well paced, and kept me wanting to read. And the ending? Incredible! It is not particularly a scary book, but it gives off eerie gothic vibes that make it a great fall read. I devoured this book! It may not be for everyone, but I highly enjoyed and recommend it.

In the comments, let me know if you have this book on your TBR. If you like my bookish content please support my blog by giving it a follow.

Until The Next Chapter,

Delicate Conditions // Book Review

About The Book
Anna Alcott is desperate to have a family. But as she tries to balance her increasingly public life as an indie actress with a grueling IVF journey, she starts to suspect that someone is going to great lengths to make sure that never happens. And despite everything she’s gone through to make this pregnancy a reality, not even her husband is willing to believe that someone is playing twisted games with her.
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My Rating

I picked this book up for two reasons – the first being that I loved Danielle Valentine‘s book ‘How To Survive Your Murder.’ Second, I learned that it was going to be the basis for season 12 of the show ‘American Horror Story.’ The book follows actress Anna Alcott, as she and her husband, Dex, are in their third IVF round. However, as Anna’s pregnancy progresses, weird events start to occur. She does not know who to trust or if she can trust her self.

Honestly, I had a hard time figuring out what was going on. There was one suspicion that I had early on in the book, which ended up being correct. However, I am not sure that many readers would jump to the same conclusion. The author did a great job with the storyline, so I would not want to spoil the book for anyone.

The book is based around Anna, and although there are other characters, we mostly learn about her. She is the center of the story and, at times, an unreliable narrator because Anna doubts herself and what she believes to be true. There were many other characters in the book, but they did not play a key part in the majority of the story.

“I didn’t know this then, but the truth is there’s no such thing as an uncomplicated pregnancy. We all give something up in exchange for our babies.”

However, Anna’s husband, Dexter, was central to the plot, and he was simply infuriating. The man did not listen to his wife. They were undergoing IVF together, and he kept ignoring her concerns. He was also acted very suspicious. At more than one point in the story, I wanted Anna to leave her husband for her bodyguard.

In addition to this interesting plot, the writing was phenomenal. There is just something about Danielle Valentine’s books that makes them enjoyable. I cannot wait to see what she puts out next! I already know that she can write a fun campy slasher. With this book, she proved that she could also put out a great adult thriller.

Overall, this is a good read-and-decent thriller. However, it is compared to Rosemary’s Baby, which I have never seen, but I understand the comparison. Although I do not think it follows the plot too similarly, so do not go into it, expecting it to be a spot-on retelling of that classic story.

In the comments, let me know if you will be watching the new season of ‘American Horror Story.’ Or, if you’re a fan of ‘Rosemary’s Baby.’ Do not forget to give my blog a follow, because your support helps my blog reach other book lovers.

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Fall 2023 // To Be Read

Hi Friends,
As you probably know, I am a mood reader. So, I decided instead of sharing a monthly TBR, I would talk about some books that I would like to read this Fall! I have 12 books that I would like to pick up soon. I’m not sure I’m actually going to get to any of these, but they are currently on my radar.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: I recently bought a beautiful edition of this book, but I’ve never read it before. Of course, I know the premise of the story and have read a retelling of it. It is one of the only classic novels that insterest me, so I would like to read it sometime this fall.
Related Post: The Dark Descent Of Elizabeth Frankenstein // Book Review

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: This is apparently loosely based on the classic story ‘The Island of Doctor Moreau.’ I have never heard of Doctor Moreau before, but I enjoyed Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s writing in the past.
Related Post: Mexican Gothic // Book Review

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer: What better time to jump back into the Twilight universe than during the spooky season. I have heard that this is probably the worst book in the series, but I would like to read it before the end of the year.
Related Post: Twilight // Book Review

Mere Mortals by Erin Jade Lange: This is a book I have been wanting to read since its release last year. It is a young adult comedic take-on a vampire story, so I am excited to see if I enjoy it. I did not hear a lot of people talking about it last year, but I think it is going to be a fun read.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman: Does this book really need much explanation? I read this book every fall because it is a perfect cozy-spooky read. I love me a good spooky middle-grade book, and this one is my go to every autumn.
Related Post: Coraline // Book Review

The ​Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: Like I said, I love a good spooky middle-grade read. I have heard that this is a great October read, and since I love Coraline so much, I thought I should pick this book up, too. I do not know much about it, but I cannot wait to see if it will be another must read for me every fall.

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros: Everyone has read this book, and truthfully, I am not sure I am going to get to it before the end of the year. I hear it is a fantasy that will give you ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent’ vibes. Honestly, that sounds amazing! I just do not know if I am going to be in the mood to start a new fantasy series.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw: I believe this is a witchy book and that it is really creepy. Even the title seems spooky. I am not sure if this is a middle-grade or young adult, but I am always up for a good creepy magical witch story. The fall time is when I try to read more books centered on magic and witches, so this book should be perfect.
Related Post: Long Live The Pumpkin Queen // Book Review

The September House by Carissa Orlando: I have been dying to read this since I heard about it. I love me a good creepy haunted house story, so I am very excited to get into this book. It is an adult horror novel where a couple moves into a seemingly normal house, but every September, the walls start to bleed. I have only heard good things about this book, and the cover is eerie.

Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare: I have heard so much about this book in 2023 alone. It sounds like a perfect young adult slasher book, and I cannot wait to pick it up. As someone who loves a good campy horror film, this is right up my alley. I am excited to see if I enjoy it as much as others have.

You, Again by Kate Goldbeck: Since I have become more of an adult romance reader, I l’ve been in the mood for a good fall love story. The concept of this book sounds amazing because it’s frenemies-without-benefits turned possibly lovers. And, it takes place in New York City during the fall season. I am instantly obsessed.

Accidentally Amy by Lynn Painter: This book has been a must read for me since it was released. I am a Stan for Lynn Painter, ever since I read ‘Better Than The Movies.’ If I am not mistaken, this is an office-romance/enemies-to-lovers story. The fact that the blurb mentions Pumpkin Spice Latte automatically makes me think of fall time.
Related Post: Better Than The Movies // Book Review

In the comments, let me know what you are planning to read this fall. Remember that you can always follow the blog to get post notifications and it really helps my blog grow.

Until The Next Chapter,

Did I Read My 2022 Anticipated Releases?

For Bookmas day 11, I’m going to be talking about if I read the books I talked about in my most anticipated book releases of 2022 post. Let me just say that I didn’t do so well.
Related Post: 2022 Anticipated Releases // January – June
Related Post: 2022 Anticipated Book Releases // July – December

In January, I was looking forward to reading ‘Echoes and Empires’ by Morgan Rhodes and ‘The Bone Spindle’ by Leslie Vedder, but these books haven’t crossed my mind all year. Actually, I don’t even remember what they’re about. The Sam goes for ‘League of Liars’ by Astrid Scholte, which was a February anticipated release. However, I did happen to read ‘Finding Her Edge’ by Jennifer Iacopelli.

In March, ‘Remember Me Gone’ by Stacy Stokes and ‘Live, Laugh, Kidnap’ by Gabby Noone came out. I’m not sure I’m still interested in these two books, anymore. I was anticipating the release of ‘Hotel Magnifique’ by Emily J. Taylor, as well as ‘With and Without You’ by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka in April. Although, I’m not surprised I didn’t get to ‘Hotel Magnifique’, I’m shocked that I still haven’t read ‘With and Without You’.

And, sadly I didn’t read my May or June anticipated releases. However, I am still looking forward to reading ‘The Noh Family’ by Grace Shim, ‘Beauty and the Besharam’ by Lillie Vale, ‘TJ Powar Has Something to Prove’ by Jesmeen Kaur Deo, and ‘A Secret Princess’ by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz.

I also didn’t read my most anticipated books for July. Mainly because it was hard to get a hold of the audiobook for ‘Frightmares’ by Eva V. Gibson. And. I really forgot about ‘A Heavy Dose of Allison Tandy’ by Jeff Bishop.

However, I did however read all of my August anticipated book releases! Yay me! And, luckily, I really enjoyed ‘Long Live The Pumpkin Queen’ by Shea Ernshaw, ‘12 To 22: POV You Wake Up in the Future!’ by Jen Calonita, and ‘Nothing More to Tell’ by Karen M. McManus.
Related Post: Long Live The Pumpkin Queen // Book Review

Unfortunately, I did bad on reading my September anticipated releases ‘Wishtress’ by Nadine Brandes and ‘Mere Mortals’ by Erin Jade Lange, which is a bummer since they both sound so interesting. I did manage to read one of my October anticipated releases, ‘Pretty Dead Queens’ by Alexa Donne, but didn’t find the time to read the other October release want to ‘The Art of Insanity’ by Christine Webb.

My November anticipated releases were ‘Friends Like These’ by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez and ‘Whiteout’ by Various Authors. I haven’t read either of them, but I will be picking up ‘Whiteout’ soon seeing that it’s my December 2022 book club read.

As for December, one of my anticipated releases hasn’t come out yet. Still, it is safe to say that I won’t be reading ‘Come Out, Come Out, Whatever You Are’ by Kathryn Foxfield and ‘So, This Is Love’ by Tracy Andreen before 2022 comes to an end.

So, I only read 5 of the books off my most anticipated book releases lists. There is just not enough time to read backlist titles as well as new release in the year. Hopefully, I can get to some of these books in 2023.

In the comments, let me know if you’ve read any of these books. Which ones should I make a priority to read soon? If you want to support my book blog, please give this post a like and a follow!

Until The Next Chapter,