My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s October 2018 Wrap Up

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager (★★★★½)

The suspenseful follow-up to Final Girls tells the story of Emma, another survivor of trauma (Sager’s forte). 15 years after the disappearance of her Camp Nightingale cabin mates, Emma returns to the hoity-toity summer camp to learn what happened to Vivian, Natalie, and Allison all those years ago. Perfect for fans of psychological thrillers, Sager’s latest novel will keep you guessing (and screaming) until the very last page. Adapt this for the big screen, please and thanks.

I Am Not Your Final Girl by Claire C. Holland (★★★★)

This debut collection from Claire C. Holland combines two of my favorite things: feminist poetry and fictional final girls. Written in response to the 2016 election and the #MeToo movement (among other unfathomable goings on in the world), Holland’s poems explore the perspective of 40 female horror film survivors throughout the decades. Deeply unapologetic, this debut collection is a fitting tribute to final girls and the society that shapes them.

You by Caroline Kepnes (★★★★★)

Kepnes’ debut thriller is an incredibly disturbing novel about obsession in the social media age, including the unhealthy fixation we have with curating our own online personas. Full disclosure, I should not have enjoyed this dark and deranged novel told in the second person as much as I did. And I especially should not have been rooting for the charming, literary loving stalker/kidnapper/murderer the entire time. But here we are. Insert Sorry Not Sorry joke here.

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My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s September 2018 Wrap Up

The Towering Sky by Katherine MgGee (★★★½)

The final (and weakest) novel in The Thousandth Floor trilogy isn’t nearly as exciting or as high stakes as the first two books, and it definitely doesn’t feature as much fun, futuristic technology. From an unnecessarily long plot, to a very predictable conclusion, this is one trilogy that should have been a duology … or maybe even a standalone. Despite my numerous complaints, this is not a terrible read, but I wanted so much more than unnecessary will-they-won’t-they romantic drama.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (★★★★☆)

Obsidio, the conclusion to The Illuminae Files, brings all your favorite characters — and let’s face it, some not so great new ones — together at last. While there are no horror elements like in the first two books, the plot more than makes up for it with some amazing AIDAN moments, the inclusion of comic book elements and illustrations, and a glorious and super experimental final battle. It’s certainly not the best book in the series, but it definitely goes out with a bang.

To Make Monsters Out of Girls by Amanda Lovelace (★★★½)

This collection of previously released Wattpad poetry has been re-edited to form a brand-new Amanda Lovelace duology titled Things That H(a)unt. While not as empowering as the rest of Lovelace’s collections, this one is still super raw and emotional, and features amazing opening and closing poems (the strongest of the bunch). Bonus: it’s her prettiest collection, and has beautiful illustrations throughout.

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Waiting on Wednesday: ‘The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried’ by Shaun David Hutchinson

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming book releases we can’t wait to get our hands on.

This week’s Waiting on Wednesday pick is about the bonds that last beyond death (read: friendship is magic): The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson.

Described as Six Feet Under meets Pushing Daisies (yaaaassss), Hutchinson’s novel follows a teen named Dino who is accustomed to death — mostly because his parents own a funeral home.

Despite his unique living situation, things are pretty normal for Dino … until his ex-bestie July returns from the dead. You know, totally normal teen stuff.

The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried hits shelves everywhere on February 19, 2019, and we can’t wait to get our undead hands on it.

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Do Some Good: Donate a Book (or Two, or Three)

We need your help! And by we I mean our community service group Kindness Corps, which operates out of the Pride Center of NJ.

We are running a book donation drive in the month of October benefiting the organization LGBT Books to Prisoners, which is a “trans-affirming, racial justice-focused, prison abolitionist project sending books to incarcerated LGBTQ-identified people across the United States.”

They are currently looking for softcover books that are new — or like new — in the following categories (listed after the jump).

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My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s August 2018 Wrap Up

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig (★★★½)

Part memoir, part self-help(ish) book, part something else entirely, Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive seeks to remove the stigma society places on depression, by revealing the author’s own struggles with the disease, as well as peppering the book with facts and statistics on depression and suicide. Super personal and very raw, I see this as a sort of companion to Notes on a Nervous Planet, which is structured in a very similar manner. Warning: this one is not nearly as light-hearted, but equally helpful.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage (★★★½)

Baby Teeth stars a pint-sized sociopath with designs to kill her mother, the mother herself, and the father who is completely oblivious to his wife and daughter’s true selves. You know, totally normal family dynamic type stuff. The story is made up of alternating chapters that switch between the crazed daughter who is too smart/demonic to be believable, and her mother, who is convinced she will never be a good enough wife and mother. While a super interesting premise — mostly because the kid is not alright — the plot definitely drags at times.

Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood (★★★★★)

Rust & Stardust is based on the 1948 kidnapping of 11-year-old Florence “Sally” Horner, a crime that would go on to inspire the Vladimir Nabokov classic Lolita. Despite being pulled straight from history, Greenwood’s novel is less a true crime story and more historical fiction, exploring the horrors that Sally was most likely forced to endure during her 21-month ordeal, and the ramifications it had on the people in her life. This heartbreaking and beautifully written novel deserves every single star (and then some).

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