Blogger Book Nook #2: Spooktacular!

It's always a little daunting to launch a new initative in the blogging community: What happens if nobody joins in? What if everyone hates it? What if it's a massive flop?! Eeek. However, Tabitha and I needn't have worried when we launched the Blogger Book Nook last month! From the word go, we have had a tremendous amount of support and we've both been really touched with how many people have been getting involved, whether that's joining in a discussion of how much we all LOVED Jacqueline Wilson in our Facebook group, or writing posts based on our monthly reading prompt. A huge thank you goes out to our wonderful little bookish community! But as it's now October, that means a whole new reading challenge - the title of this post does the game away slightly, but keep scrolling to find out more about the October prompt!

Shoutout to: Llinos, Abbey, Fleur and Hannah for writing some truly fabulous #BBookNook posts in September!

This month, we are encouraging you to embrace the Halloween vibes and pick up a spooky tale! (Fancy dress is optional). Whether you plan to tremble whilst turning the pages of The Shining or quake in fear as you discover The Woman in Black, you can read any title that fits with the spooky theme! Now would be the perfect time to delve into a copy of Stephen King's It before you catch it in the cinema, or even re-read a bit of classic True Blood! The choice is yours! If you decide to write a post about your ghostly novel of choice, you can also answer the following Q&A, all about things that go bump in the night... Here are my answers!

Q1) Has a book ever scared you silly? If so, which one was it and would you recommend it?

Who else remembers reading Goosebumps stories as a kid?! I absolutely loved their "decide your destiny" style books, where you read a short snippet of the story, and could then decide where the book would take you next! As a child, I borrowed a stack of these from the library and then scared myself silly by reading them in my dark bedroom late at night - not a good move, Abbey! Of course I'd recommend Goosebumps though, they're an essential rite of passage!

Q2) Who is the most terrifying character you've ever come across?

This might be a bit of a strange answer, but the most terrifying character I've ever come across in a novel isn't one of the stereotypical "villains" like the Volturi (Twilight reference anyone?!) or Jack Torrance! The character who actually scared me most was Eleanor from The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. The book is mostly told from Eleanor's perspective, and as her mental state starts to deteriorate, it's not clear what is really happening in the house and what is a construction of Eleanor's increasing derangement. The end of the book is incredibly chilling (I won't spoil it for you) and cements Eleanor in my mind as a terrifying character!

Q3) Zombies, ghosts, or vampires - which are your favourites to read about?

Ah, Twilight! I'm not sure there was a teenage girl in my generation who wasn't at least a little bit in love with Edward Cullen, or Jacob Black, or both! (I'm Team Jacob btw!) I totally adored the first book in the series, but wasn't quite as sold on the later ones, especially when a guy who's *technically* dead fathered a baby - eh?! But still, my enthusiasm for the bloodsuckers is strong. For this reason, and the fact that I absolutely adored Dram Stoker's Dracula, which I found utterly gripping, I will have to say vampires!

Q4) Do you find horror movies or books scarier? Why?

I'm not entirely sure of my answer to this question - in the moment where you're watching them, horror movies can be absolutely terrifying, especially if something makes you jump in a darkened cinema, but horror books definitely stick in your mind to a greater extent because you're fuelling the scenes with your own imagination! I would always prefer to read a horror story than watch one though!

Q5) What scary books would you recommend to someone new to the genre? 

As I mentioned above, I thoroughly enjoyed Dracula, which is a very long read, but keeps you hooked right until the end! If you're looking for some classic literature with a spooky theme, this is the book for you! I've also heard brilliant things about Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which I haven't read yet but I will be doing so soon!

Even Mr Jack O'Lantern loves audiobooks ;-)

Mini Review

As always, in honour of our reading prompt, I thought I'd share a mini review of a spooky book that I've been loving! During my summer job as an archival assistant, I spent a lot of time cleaning books and sorting out shelves, and we were allowed to have headphones in whilst we worked, so I decided to download a few audiobooks. One that particularly caught my eye was Diana Rowland's My Life as a White Trash Zombie - I'll be honest and say that I didn't have particularly high expectations for this book, but in the end, I thoroughly enjoyed it! 

The story follows Angel, a highschool dropout and druggie whose entire life is a screw-up. We first meet her in the hospital, where she wakes up after taking a drug overdose - or so she thinks. As the story unfolds, things start to get weird. A mysterious somebody gets Angel a job in a morgue, and whilst at work, she starts to experience some pretty weird cravings... for BRAINS. Angel soon discovers that she has been turned into a zombie, and things start to get pretty crazy when a zombie-killer is found to be on the loose. Angel has to find out who the killer is, without letting anyone else realise that she is also one of the walking dead! 

I really grew to love Angel as a character, her personality was utterly believable and she had a real progression throughout the book. She was incredibly likeable without being a "goody-two-shoes" heroine, and I actually had a lot of respect for her! The story kept you engaged throughout and the twist at the end where everything is revealed was really unexpected! The book also dealt with the issues of alcoholism and abuse in a very raw and believable way, engaging with serious topics as well as, y'know, eating brains! I really enjoyed this book and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it!

Will you be raiding your bookcase for a Halloween inspired story? Do you have any book recommendations for me? Please share in the comments below! Make sure you check out Tabitha's post over on her blog, coming up later this week! And don't forget to join the Blogger Book Nook Facebook group for more bookish content throughout October!

Until next time,

A x