Halloween is the perfect time of year to read some classic novels, mystery, thriller and horror!! And with halloween being celebrated a little differently this year its a great time to delve into some other realities!.
Some great Halloween reads include;
Dracula by Bram Stoker. (You have probably dressed up at Dracula at some point but have you ever read the book?)
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (another classic that should be on your tbr list!)
Monsters by Sharon Doger (a book based on the life of the above author Shelley, check out th)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (A popular series of the same name was based on this novel)
The Shining by Stephen King (or the majority of Stephen Kings books)
Coraline by Neil Gaiman (a dark fantasy childrens novella)
The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (A gothic novella)
The Witches by Roald Dahl (Childrens fantasy novel)
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (Horror novel with a film of the same name)
Any of these books are a great choice and can be classed as classics or popular fiction. I would say that even if you don;t have/want to read these options any horror, mystery or crime books isn’t a bad choice!
Have a great halloween and stay safe !
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please feel free to like, comment and share! Don’t forget to check out Eva’s Instagram !)
Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy is a young adult historical fantasy novel that is set in Denmark in the 19th century. In this world secrets can kill and magic is a deadly gift. For Marit Olsen, magic is all about strategy; it flows freely through her blood but every time she uses a bt of her magic a deadly, ice-like build-up replaces it, this build up is the Firn.
For the majority of the book we follow Marit and she tries to uncover the secrets that caused her fathers death. We follow her as she moves from the orphanage where her chosen sister also resides when she is one day chosen to be adopted by Helene Vestergaard. (Eves hero and very famous dancer). Marit manages to get a job as a seamstress at the vestergaard house to stay with Eve. whilst there she uncovers the secrets and lies that surrounds the Vestergaard mines.
I really liked this book, I thought it was just enough fantasy to keep you engaged however at the same time quite realistic. Yes, the use of magic isn’t all that real but I think they way that Murphy has written it in a way that it does seem like it is possible. The book is well written and easy to follow and the structure of the book is good, where it is split into fairly small chapters which follow a specific character (mainly Marit however towards the end we see more viewpoints).
Mystery is evident throughout the book and keeps you reading but alongside this there is many other themes of loss, friendship, love and magic. I think this book is a perfect mix. The mystery all comes to a head in the last few chapters which are so engaging and exciting that it keeps you on the edge of your seat (I won’t share what happens, that’s for you to find out !)
I really liked the character Marit, she is fierce and determined. after being orphaned after her fathers death and losing her elder sister to the Firn she carries on and whilst in the orphanage she meets Eve. Eve is her closest friend and the love she has for her is real. She wants what is best for Eve even if that effects herself and we see that more prominently as we read the book. I really liked this friendship as it did feel real, that they both met in this orphanage that brought them together and Marit following her to the Vesergaard to get a job where she can still be around her best friend. At times in the story you see their friendship falter and is affected by the world outside the orphanage but as we will them to be good again, you see how Marit is affected and want to fix whatever issues have occurred.
It wasn’t only Marit who I loved to meet but we get to meet a whole load of people from the Vestergaard household that gives this book much more depth and realism. We meet more of the servants that work in the house alongside Marit who all are willing to use their magic to keep the job in this house, no matter the risk. We also meet Helene herself, Eve’s new mother and her family. some good, some bad however all integral to the story.
Overall, I would say I really liked this book. I received it in the Book Box Subscription service and I am glad I did. I would definitely recommend to lovers of YA, historical fantasy and mystery lovers!
If you want to get into reading more but the prospect of reading a 200+ page novel scares you don’t worry! There are plenty of great short stories to keep you entertained with less commitment.
Short stories are a great way to start reading or re-introduce yourself into reading. You are not committed to a huge novel that may take a while to read but you are still able to enjoy something that an author has written. it can bring you back into enjoying reading as you feel the accomplishment of finishing something.
Often in schools, you look at short stories and analyse them. this is often a good way to get to grips with the idea of short stories and understand that although they may have less words they are still as entertaining. When I was in school, we looked at a short story called ‘The Flowers’ by Alice Walker. It is a powerful story and showed me that I could be interested and moved by a story that is a mere single side of an A4 page.
It is also a great way to explore new genres. If you are not sure you would like a certain genre but want to try its a great option. A short story is an introduction to a type of book and author and can often allow you to see if it is something you would enjoy before picking up a novel.
Overall, I would say that you should always give short stories a try as they can be just as powerful as novels but condensed. There is often not as much characterisation or depth but can still be incredibly powerful. If you are looking to explore new genres or want to get back into reading give short stories a try!
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please comment any short stories you have read and loved)
I think those who do not read books often view them as hard work. I’m not saying that it isn’t time consuming but so is film and TV. I am under no illusion that reading is for everyone but I feel that books shouldn’t least be understood for what they are.
Detailed- I feel as though books are often much more detailed than films or TV programmes (depending on the genre) which often adds another dimension to a story.
Imagination- I know this is a typical one however it is true. Although you are often given a description of a character it’s up to you to to actually create that image. Some people are better than others at that and that’s ok but it’s personal to the person who is reading . On a screen this has already been done for you which may make you less invested in the characters.
Development- books are a good way to help develop your language and literacy skills. If you are reading new books and coming across new vocabulary then you are learning whilst reading.
Enjoyment– books are fun! They allow you to enter another world that is written but also lets you add your own spin on it by creating the scenes in your head.
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please comment on your perception of reading )
When someone asks me who my favourite author is I really struggle to choose just one and that is why I have decided to write this blog post. I think anyone who says they have a definitive favourite author is lying or has just said the first one that pops into their minds as choosing just one is extremely difficult (for those who enjoy reading). Authors are all so different from each other; from their style of writing and their structure to the topics they choose to base their books on are all unique to themselves.
Saying that they are all unique is true in my opinion. Yes they may have been influenced by other authors and therefor their work may have moments where you notice this but no two authors have every book written in the same way as another. Every one has their own process and priorities when writing a book as well as having different timescales and plans.
I am telling you this basically just to say that I don’t have just one favourite author and I believe that authors that I haven’t even yet read could possibly make it onto this list in the future. The following are just some of the fiction writing authors I love and would recommend to anyone.
Mick Herron – Jackson Lamb Series
Jonathon Holt – The Carnivia Trilogy
April Henry – Girl, Stolen, The night she disappeared
Helen Fields – DI Callanach Series
Diane Jeffrey – Those who lie
Chris Ryan – Agent 21 Series, Danny Black Series
Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda
Michael Morpurgo – An elephant in the garden
Ally Carter – The Gallagher Girls Series
Malorie Blackman – The Noughts and Crosses series
The above authors are not the only ones I love and I could easily continue this list but I had to stop somewhere and 10 seemed like a good amount.
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please comment a few of your favourite authors or if some of the above are on your list as well)