My Favorite Book of 2015: The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

The Raven Boys coverProphetic ghosts, kings from Celtic mythology, and our favorite gothic birds…what more could you want in a paranormal romance? Oh, I know, how about the threat of death should any romance actually occur. These elements and more are what made The Raven Boys, the first book in Maggie Stiefvater’s latest young adult series, The Raven Cycle, my favorite book of 2015!

Blue Sargent has been raised by a family of psychics who have been warning her for as long as she can remember that when she kisses her true love, he will die. This prediction has turned Blue quite off the idea of romance, and she is content to never kiss anyone. But then Blue, not generally prone to psychic powers herself, sees a vision of a beautiful boy dying. He is wearing the raven-emblazoned uniform of the local pretentious prep school, and he says his name is Gansey. Could he be Blue’s true love? Continue reading My Favorite Book of 2015: The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

Doll Bones Review–A Middle Grade Ghost Story

Doll Bones coverHolly Black has been one of my favorite authors for many years, mainly for her dark and gritty fairy stories like Tithe and Valiant. But while those stories aren’t particularly child-appropriate, I have found that some of her strongest writing is geared toward a younger audience. Recently I checked out the audiobook of Doll Bones, a middle grade ghost story perfect for readers age 10 and up! Continue reading Doll Bones Review–A Middle Grade Ghost Story

This Monstrous Thing Review–Steampunk Frankenstein

Also, just look at this gorgeous cover art...
Also, just look at this gorgeous cover art…

When I was at the Brooklyn Book Festival a few months ago, I heard someone say the words “steampunk Frankenstein retelling” and my ears perked up. It turns out that person was Mackenzi Lee, author of This Monstrous Thing, her debut novel. As you may have noticed by now, I’m a huge fan of Frankenstein. So, intrigued by this description, I picked up a signed copy of Lee’s book then and there. Alas, it took me quite a while to get around to reading it, but I’m glad I finally did.

This Monstrous Thing is set in an alternate history, in which early 19th century Europe is hyper-industrialized and clockwork is the basis of new technology, from new modes of transportation to artificial limbs. Surgeon/mechanics called Shadow Boys fashion clockwork parts for wounded citizens. But while this technology gives crippled men and women mobility and hope, the majority of the population considers it an abomination. Clockwork men and women are treated as second class citizens, and the Shadow Boys who build their parts are in constant danger of arrest.  Continue reading This Monstrous Thing Review–Steampunk Frankenstein

A Discovery of Witches Review–Paranormal Romance Beyond High School

A Discovery of Witches coverWitches, vampires, and demons, oh my! I can never resist a good paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I’ve been seeing this Deborah Harkness series absolutely everywhere, and though I had no idea what it was about, I decided I needed to buy the first book just based on the number of times I’ve seen its intriguing cover. And now that I’ve read A Discovery of Witches, I can tell you it does not disappoint. It’s got everything—a variety of supernatural creatures, a centuries old mystery, secret organizations, magic, time travel, romance… On that note, the love story here is rather Twilight-esque, so if human women swooning over hot vampires is not your thing, this book might not be for you. But A Discovery of Witches stands quite apart from your average teen vampire romance—mainly because, well, it’s not about teens. Continue reading A Discovery of Witches Review–Paranormal Romance Beyond High School

Books On My Holiday Wish List

It’s almost that gift-giving time of year, and what could make a better present than a book? Books always make up the majority of my wish list, so I figured I would share with you some of the books I’d love to receive this year:

book tree 1
I managed to make a book tree out of the measly amount of books I brought to my new apartment!

Continue reading Books On My Holiday Wish List

Books I’m Thankful For

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I figured it would be appropriate to reflect on some of the books that have significantly influenced my life and my growth as a reader. From childhood favorites to more recently discovered masterpieces, here are five books that I feel extremely thankful that I’ve read:

Thankful Collage 3 Continue reading Books I’m Thankful For

Rebecca Review–A Haunting Tale

Rebecca CoverA couple months ago, I posted about some of the foundational female writers of gothic literature. There was one woman on that list whose works I had not read before, and so I decided to seek her out. Thus, I found myself downloading the audiobook of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Rebecca is essentially a Gothic novel in the traditional sense, though it was written much later than its 18th– and 19th-century fellows. Ambiguously set in the 1920s or ‘30s, Rebecca contains no elements of the supernatural, no true evil villain, and no attacks on the heroine’s life. Instead, what makes Rebecca a Gothic novel is its focus on the core Gothic trope: the present haunted by the past—although in Rebecca’s case, this haunting is purely psychological. Continue reading Rebecca Review–A Haunting Tale

Modern Takes on the Vampire Classic, Carmilla (Part Two)

Last week, I reviewed a modern illustrated edition of the vampire classic, Carmilla. As you can see from my last post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story of a teenage girl who discovers her friendly new houseguest may not be as innocent as she looks. However, if reading books from the 1870s still isn’t your thing, even after it’s been disguised as a modern paranormal romance—or if you’re just a huge fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and love seeing classic texts brought to life in front of the webcam—then I definitely suggest that you check out the Carmilla web series.

Continue reading Modern Takes on the Vampire Classic, Carmilla (Part Two)

The Gothic Library is Six Months Old!

six month gravestone copyAs of today, it has been exactly six months since I first launched this blog. Can you believe it? It seems like only a few weeks have gone by to me. I’d been dreaming of starting a blog forever, but back in June I could hardly imagine finding the time and inspiration to write once a week. I decided to plunge in anyway, and it’s all worked out so far!

I wrote some of my best stuff in my early days, since I had plenty of time to contemplate topics and save up the good ones. Since many of you are new to my blog, don’t forget to go back and look at some of my old posts! In honor of my six-monthiversary, I’ve rounded up six of my favorite posts that I’ve written since beginning my blog: Continue reading The Gothic Library is Six Months Old!

Modern Takes on the Vampire Classic, Carmilla (Part One)

Now you may remember that back when I wrote my Vampire Literary Canon post, I had yet to read one of the celebrated classics of vampire literature—Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. An early vampire tale, this novella was written decades before Bram Stoker dreamed up Dracula. And now that I’ve finally gotten around to reading it, I can say that in my personal opinion, it’s significantly better than Dracula, too. Perhaps simply because it doesn’t drag on as much. And it also seems somewhat better suited to a modern context. For those of you that don’t normally spend your Sundays reading tomes from two centuries ago, you can still enjoy this charming vampiric classic. In this post, I will review the fun illustrated version I found, which would fit in on your bookshelf right beside your twenty-first century vampire novels. If reading the classics still isn’t your thing, stay tuned next week for my post on the modernized Carmilla webseries! Continue reading Modern Takes on the Vampire Classic, Carmilla (Part One)