Raising The Horseman // Book Review

About The Book
Kat Van Tassel wants nothing to do with Sleepy Hollow’s ghostly history. But when her mother gives her the original Katrina van Tassel’s diary on the two-hundredth anniversary of the Headless Horseman’s haunting, a new legend begins to take shape, weaving together the past and the present in eerie ways.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3uEar4t

My Rating

Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting out of this book, because even the cover screams “middle grade Headless Horseman retelling”. Although, it is supposed to be young adult I can say that is not how it reads. And if you know me, you know, I’m not typically a fan of the middle grade genre. So it’s not surprising that I didn’t love the story.

In the book, we follow Kat, who is an ancestor of Katerina van Tassel. In her hometown, there’s this legend that the Headless Horseman protects Katerina’s descendants. But, Kat wants more than just to live in Sleepy Hollow forever like Katerina. However, when she’s given Katerina’s diary, she learns a lot more about her and her dreams.

Unfortunately, the characters in this book were basic. There wasn’t much insight into their personalities or motivations. The story lacked any depth in the characters, and there was absolutely no character development whatsoever. The romance aspect was very predictable and insta-lovey, which I am not a fan of.

“Family legend says he always swore it was the Headless Horseman who chased him through the hollow.”

And, don’t even get me started on Kat letting people walk all over her. The book completely brings forth a toxic relationship dynamic, which I was not expecting. However, it does add an interesting layer of complexity to the story, but it left me angry with the protagonist and her choices.

Although, I had issues with the characters, the chapters where we got a glimpse into Katerina’s life through her diary entries were fantastic. This storytelling approach was, for me, the highlight of the entire book. It was enjoyable to read about Katerina’s journey and her character development. I loved how the author showcased that our desires may not always be what we truly want.

Overall, the book fell short of being truly engaging, and the writing style, unfortunately, leans toward juvenile. Still, the story might appeal to a more younger audience looking for a quick read. On a positive note, the book delves into the theme of familial accountability, emphasizing that individuals shouldn’t be solely defined by the actions of their family.

Let me know if this book is on your TBR. Don’t forget to like and share this post with other readers. If you would like to get notified whenever there’s a new post, hit the follow button.

Until The Next Chapter,

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,

Gallant // Book Review

About The Book
Everything casts a shadow. Even the world we live in. And as with every shadow, there is a place where it must touch. A seam, where the shadow meets its source. New York Times–bestselling author V. E. Schwab crafts a vivid and lush novel that grapples with the demons that are often locked behind closed doors. An eerie, stand-alone saga about life, death, and the young woman beckoned by both.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3Ru38pj

My Rating

I did not know what to expect going into this book because I had not heard much about it. The only thing I knew was that it was supposedly a creepy-haunted house story. However, the first chapter had me immediately intrigued, which is not surprising since V.E. Schwab books are always well written. This is one author who knows how to capture readers’ attention in the first few chapters.

The book follows Olivia, who spent her whole life thinking that she was an orphan with no family. The only personal item she had and cherished was her mother’s journal. However, the journal warns Olivia that she should stay away from Gallant. However, there would not be much of a story if the main character listened to her mother’s warning, so, of course, she receives a letter saying she should return home to Gallant and her family.

As a main character, Olivia was very interesting because I have not read many books with nonverbal characters, let alone a nonverbal protagonist. However, this means that the story is told in a third person, which did not bother me or hinder my reading experience. Because she is mute, there is sign language representation and what I believe is dyslexia representation in one of the other characters.

“Home is a choice.”

Although the characters are the root of the story, we follow Olivia as she learns about her family and all the secrets of Gallant. I would actually say that the book was much more plot driven. Besides Olivia, the story did not dive too much into the background and personalities of the other characters. In addition, the book is not very heavy in terms of it side characters.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and it reminded me a lot of ‘Horrid’ by Katrina Leno. I would say that the book falls more into the middle grade category, for me, but I feel that way about most V.E. Schwab’s young adult work. However, it should be noted that this story might not be for everyone, since it is somewhat unique. Moreover, the plot was quite sad at certain times.

Before you go, hit the follow button to show your support for my blog. In addition, if you do not know, I have a Facebook page as well, where you can get blog updates, post links, and more fun bookish content. If you know any other book lovers, share this post with them.

Until The Next Chapter,


Séance Tea Party // Mini Book Review

About The Book
Lora wants to stay a kid forever, and she’ll do anything to make that happen including befriending Alexa, the ghost who haunts her house. Lora and Alexa are thrilled to meet kindred spirits and they become best friends but unfortunately, not everything can last forever. Reimena Yee brings to life a story about growing up, childhood, and what it means to let go. A middle-grade graphic novel about growing up that’s perfect for fans of Ghosts and Making Friends.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3QuJRDt

My Rating

This graphic novel has become one of my favorites! It’s a touching ghost story, but it also has elements about growing up, and changing. The book is a quick read that is great for the fall season, but isn’t a scary ghost story. I found it to be a very heartwarming middle-grade read.

The story follows Lora, who is struggling with her fading friend group. She meets Alexa, a young ghost around her age that is haunting her house. They form a bond and become the best of friends. But, as readers we know that ghosts always have to move on. Still, Lore and Alexa were great characters, and the side characters, though few, were also very likable.

“To childhood, and growing up, and growing old, and magic – whatever age we are.”

I loved the writing, story, and artwork. It is such a beautiful story, and I think that is reflected really well in the art style. I loved watching Alexa and Lora create this friendship, but it was sad to see Lora grow and change while Alexa stayed the same. And, don’t get me started on the ending.

Overall, this book is so cute and sad. I’m not going to lie, I sobbed at the ending of this book. The thing is, you can tell how the story is going to end, because it only makes sense. But, that doesn’t make it any less heart breaking. Nevertheless, the story as a whole was wonderful, and such a quick read.

In the comments, tell me your favorite ghost graphic novel. Don’t forget to share this post with other bookish people. And, if you want to stay up to date with my blog, hit the follow button.

Until The Next Chapter,

Reading Wrap-Up // Summerween 2023

Hi Friends,
The Summerween readathon is over, and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you should go read my Sunmerween TBR post. But, for the week of Summerween, I ended up reading 3 books, and completing all the prompts.

Lying in the Deep’ by Diana Urban
I was originally going to read ‘Every Last Fear’ by Alex Finlay for the ‘Read a Thriller’ prompt, but I had this audiobook on my Libby, so I decided to pick this one up. It’s a YA thriller/mystery, more mystery than thriller, but it is categorized as a thriller, so it counts. I did end up finishing this book, but it wasn’t my favorite read.

Fence’ Vol. 2 by C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad
I have become a big fan of this graphic novel series, so for the ‘Read a Graphic Novel, Manga, or Novella’ prompt I knew that I had to read volume 2. I finished this quickly, and enjoyed it.

The Haunting of Aveline Jones’ by Phil Hickes
This book filled two prompts: ‘Read a Book That Takes Place in the Fall’ and ‘Read a Book With Black and/or Orange on the Cover’. I really like this spooky middle-grade, and I can’t wait to read the other books in this series.

On the last day of the readathon, I ended up starting ‘Every Last Fear’. I only got about 20% into the audiobook, but so far it has me intrigued.

Let me know in the comments, if you participated in Summerween. Also, I vlogged each day of the readathon over on my TikTok account (@BooksWithBunny). Before you go hit the follow button, so that you never miss a post.

Until The Next Chapter,

The Magician’s Elephant // Book Review

About The Book
What if? Why not? Could it be? When a fortuneteller’s tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her? The fortuneteller’s mysterious answer (an elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that you will hardly dare to believe it’s true.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3NnQVyy

My Rating

This book follows a young boy on a mission to find his sister. Honestly, I had no idea this book existed until I saw the trailer for the Netflix animated film adaptation for the movie. Than I discovered that it was written by the author of ‘Because Of Winn-Dixie’ and ‘The Tale of Despereaux’.

I’ve actually seen both of those movie adaptations and I read ‘The Tale of Despereaux’ book. Yet, I didn’t particularly love either of the stories. And, truthfully, ‘The Tale of Despereaux’ creeped me out a little. So, I didn’t have high hopes for this book.

There are a lot of different characters within the story, and most of them have sad backstories. I did find that there was a found family component with the book, which I really enjoyed.

“Magic is always impossible…. It begins with the impossible and ends with the impossible and is impossible in between. That is why it’s magic.”

Although the story wasn’t as magical or fantastical as I would have liked, I did enjoy it. I was just hoping for more of this adventure filled journey about this boy and an elephant looking for his sister.

However, the book is a quick read, and a simple children’s novel. I would say this is perfect for kids between the ages of 9 and 13. For me wasn’t anything that particularly stood out about the plot.

Overall, it is a book that you could read in one sitting, and I’m looking forward to seeing the film. But, I wouldn’t say you necessarily have to read it before watch the movie.

In the comments, let me know if you will be reading the book or watch the Netflix adaptation. Don’t forget to support my blog by giving it a follow!

Until The Next Chapter,

Wretched Waterpark // Book Review

About The Book
A middle-grade mystery series that’s spooky, creepy, and filled with gothic twists! Meet the Sinister-Winterbottom twins, who solve mysteries at increasingly bizarre summer vacation destinations in the hopes of being reunited with their parents—or at the very least finally finding a good churro.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/42mZCQ4

My Rating


I’m not gonna lie, this was a very quick and easy middle-grade mystery-ish book. I wasn’t exactly sure where the plot was going and I didn’t love how the story as a whole played out.

In the book, we follow 12 year old twins, Theodore and Alexander Sinister-Winterbottom, and their older sister Wilhelmina. As they spend the summer with their Aunt Saffronia, and discover a mystery at a strange waterpark.

We got to know Sinister-Winterbottom kids’ personalities, and the side characters were also fleshed out well. And, the writing really is what kept me reading. Kiersten White has a way of making me keep wanting to regardless of how I feel about the plot.

My biggest problem is that I just didn’t care for the mystery. I didn’t find it to be engaging, and I wasn’t drawn into the story. The plot felt very young, so as an adult reader that likes her adult mystery thrillers, I found the book to be very underwhelming. You can tell it was intended for tweens.

“It was the strangest summer.”

I speed read the last half of the book because it was easy to follow and I wanted to be done with the story. However, that’s not to say it’s a bad book. I believe younger kids would really enjoy it. And, I might have been more of a fan if I had read it when I was a kid.

Negative thoughts aside, I haven’t completely given up on the series. If I do end up continuing on with the book it will most likely be do to the writing. And, the fact they’ll be more simple reads. They might even be great to help get you out of a reading slump. However, I won’t plan on any of them being 5 star reads, but sometimes that okay.

Overall, if you do want a fast paced read that’s good to boost your reading goal this year, then I would pick this up. Or, if you know a tween in your life that is into mystery books. It is recommended for fans of ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ and ‘Scooby Doo’, and I completely understand why.

In the comments, let me know if you enjoyed this book. Or, if you have any middle-grade mystery book recommendations. Don’t forget to follow my blog to get notified whenever there’s a new post.

Until The Next Chapter,

Coraline // Book Review

About The Book
When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3AiAgGx

My Rating

I am a big fan of the Coraline animated film adaptation. It has become a staple October movie for me. I had read the book years ago, but wanted to give it a reread. And, I can say that I will probably reread it every October from now on.

The book was very fast paced, and I loved the setting. It is told in second person, but honestly I don’t really care how a book is told. First person, second person or even third person it is all the same to me.

The story follows Coraline, who moves into a new apartment building with her parents. The parents in this book are kind of neglectful, but by the end of the book, Coraline learns to appreciate her family.

“You’re going to stay here for ever and always.”

I enjoyed the character of Coraline, because I found her to be smart for her age, and not immature. However, she was a bit judgmental at times, but I chalked that up to her still being a kid. Also, who doesn’t love a sarcastic talking cat?

Overall, I liked the book equally as much as the film adaptation. The story was simple, but spooky. The writing made the plot come to life and I had a good time reading it.

In the comments, let me know your thoughts on the book. Don’t forget to give my blog a follow before you go!

Until The Next Chapter,

12 to 22 // Book Review

About The Book
A smart and funny modern day 13 Going on 30 from New York Times bestselling author Jen Calonita! A tween girl finds out it is like to be 22 when she jumps in time with the help of a mysterious TikTok filter.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3JXcm9s

My Rating

This book had me at its synopsis. It is essentially a ‘13 Going On 30’ retelling, but in book form. My inner 12 year old was doing a happy dance. One fun little fact about me is that I use to be a lover of all romantic comedies, and anything starring Jennifer Garner.

In the book, we follow tween Harper, who is dying to be a social media star and loves Taylor Swift. Harper as a character reflected a tween growing up in a society where being an influencer is all the rage. And everyone is online. I’m very glad that I wasn’t as obsessive about fitting in as Harper was throughout the majority of the story.

Harper wants to grow up so fast, which I can relate to, because I’m pretty sure all of us wanted to skip to adulthood at 12 years old. However, Harper was not ready to grow up at all, and was a bit immature, which was partly the reason her parents didn’t take her seriously.

There were also some interesting side characters in the story, like Harper’s young sister’s future self, her best friend and her other best friend/crush. And, of course we have the mean queen bee, Lucy Wyman. But are popular, clique girls even a thing anymore?

“I’d love to get more followers. I barely have a thousand.”

I found the story to be very enjoyable and fast-paced. The writing was fun and light. Although I would classify its genre somewhere between middle grade and young adult, the writing didn’t feel too immature. One of the great things is that I got all of those ‘13 Going On 30’ vibes that I was so desperately hoping for.

The only con I have is that I’m not a fan of characters with the desire to fit in and be like everyone else. Also, characters that can’t speak up for themselves drive me crazy as well. I like me some confident, badass bitches in books. But, that might just be a me thing and not really a problem with the book.

Overall, Harper had good characters development and the ending was cute. The book shows that you can’t run away from your problems, but have to face them head on. Also, it made me realize that I’d never want to go back to being 12 years old again. I’m happy to have moved out of my tweens and teens.

In the comments, let me know what age you’d go back to if you could. Don’t forget to give my blog a follow to get notified whenever there’s a new post!

Until The Next Chapter,

Took: A Ghost Story // Book Review

About The Book
Daniel doesn’t believe the woods behind his new home are haunted by an evil witch and her terrifying beast. But then his little sister disappears and it’s up to him to find her. This chilling graphic-novel version of Mary Downing Hahn’s popular page-turner will thrill readers who love spooky stories.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3LsAVvY

My Rating

This is a middle grade graphic novel/ghost story, of sorts. It focuses on 13 year old Daniel, who moves with his family to a new town, into a house near the woods. There are rumors that kids are taken by an evil witch, and her man eating razorback hog. One day, Daniel’s sister, Erica, goes missing, and the prime suspect is the old witch.

The plot was very slow moving. I don’t know if that was a plot problem or a writing one, but I just wasn’t as interested in the plot as I would have hoped. I thought this was going to be a spooky ghost story, like the Goosebumps series.

However, the novel was pretty creepy. The witch was very evil, so I’d say it is a good October time read. And, the artwork was really beautiful, and brought the story to life. Honestly, the artwork made the story a lot more enjoyable.

The characters in the book were fairly basic. Daniel and Erica were simple, ordinary kids. Also, their parents were fairly unlikable. I found them to be cold, and not loving to their kids.

“People were so fragile, so easily broken, so hard to put back together.”

The biggest issues I had with the story was the mature content. I believe that the book is intended for tweens, but I wouldn’t recommend it for them. There is a lot of focus on child abuse, and some intense seems about it.

Now it’s not a super horrifying abuse story, but it isn’t something I’d say is appropriate for middle schoolers. The abuse aspect made the story less spooky and more sad, which was just weird.

Overall, I don’t think it is a successful “ghost story”. It felt like a middle grade graphic novel that wanted to pull in more mature readers. But, for me child abuse is a bit of a trigger.

In the comments, let me know if you’ve read this book, and don’t forget to follow my blog for more book reviews.

Until The Next Chapter,