October in Review

As I write my wrap-up, Cabin in the Woods is playing in the background, my cat is running around, and I am eating Halloween candy. 🎃👻🧛 October was a month of ultimate highs and lows for me, but Blogoween and me proudly waving my Spooky Flag all month was certainly a highlight! I want to send a heartfelt thank you to Sam and Clo for being there for me during the hard times this month… your friendship means the world to me. 💖 I am slowly coming back to myself and hope to be a better blog hopper this November!

I also would like to take the time to thank you for 500 WordPress followers. I am truly humbled that you all are here reading my thoughts. I will be hosting a giveaway in the near future to celebrate, so stay tuned for that!


So in October I managed to read eight books (with one DNF), which was another slow month for me as I had a two-plus week slump where I didn’t want to read anything. I am fortunate in that I had largely cleared my ARCs for October so this month was supposed to be mood reading, so thankfully the slump didn’t cause anxiety for me! It was quite torturous, but I enjoyed dedicating some time to gaming while I waited for my reading mojo to return. As always, you can click on the title links to be taken to the Goodreads page, and if my review has been published here on the blog I will also provide a link to it. ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted above by an asterisk *

Five Stars

  • * Book Love by Debbie Tung:  Book Love is a collection of comics that depict what it is like to be a book lover – from incognito sniffing a new book to being beckoned by your TBR when you are trying to work to going into the bookshop for ONE book and being sidelined by the sale display. Honestly, every page brought a smile to my face at how relatable the comics are. Honestly I was having a bad day and reading this made my day a little brighter, so thank you for that. This is a love story to and for book lovers, and I highly recommend it! Many thanks to the publisher for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
  • Dark Side of Nowhere, The by Neal Shusterman: I picked this book up on a whim during BookOutlet’s sale because it sounded neat. I devoured The Dark Side of Nowhere in a couple of hours and after finishing it I was left with the feeling of awe. I can’t get this book out of my head. It is magical and exactly what I love about science fiction: the light that it casts on the darkest parts of our society through storytelling. The themes I picked up of otherness, political divide are hauntingly relevant to society today. [Full Review]

Four Stars

  • Undertow (Oceanswept Trilogy #2) by Lara Hays: [re-read] I think this is a book that I fell more in love with while re-reading as a more critical reader, although I didn’t even rate it when I first read it in 2014. You may know that romance is not one of my preferred genres, but this Historical Romance second-in-series surpasses the first book in every way. The characters, all of them, are complex and interesting, the romance and love triangle tugs at my heartstrings, and I am still very much in need of the final book.
  • Wicked Deep, The by Shea Ernshaw: This book is a beautiful standalone fantasy novel that is nothing short of magical. I was captivated from the first page to the last, the writing feels almost magical with its prose. Buddy read with Jamsu! [Full Review]

Three Stars

  • Hocus Pocus & The All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha: I went in with the lowest of expectations and enjoyed the sequel story (I skipped the first 196 pages & the rehashing of the movie). I enjoyed my trip back to Salem and the Sanderson Sisters’ return. The plot felt well developed and true to the hijinks they would get into for immortality. If you’re an adult looking for a bit of nostalgia, keep in mind that this book really wasn’t written for you and go in with low expectations. [Full Review]
  • Oceanswept (Oceanswept #1) by Lara Hays: [re-read] This is a fast paced story with a touching and endearing romance. There isn’t a lot of depth, but sometimes what you need is a light and heart-warming read. I did struggle a bit with the piratey/sailing references (like the bells), but it really did immerse me in the time period! The second book in the trilogy is absolutely amazing.
  • * Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi: I wanted to love this one, but I wasn’t really impressed and honestly was a little bored. As a lover of mythology, I was really excited to be granted a review copy of Outrun the Wind and read a retelling of the Greek myth of Atalanta, but be prepared for departures from canon. [Full Review]

Two Stars

  • * House by the Cemetery, The by John Everson: I was really excited for this book because I cannot get enough of haunted house narratives, and I thought it was really interesting to take an actual haunted house and turn it into a Halloween attraction. Unfortunately this was not a good book: there is no character development, the plot was full of holes, and the narrative was full of fat shaming. Many thanks to the publisher for providing me an electronic advanced reader copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. [Full Review]

One Star


DNF – Did Not Finish

  • * Mammoth by Jill Baguchinsky: [DNF @ page 45] This is a case of right book, wrong reader. Unfortunately, I found myself triggered by Natalie’s obsession about weight (guessing the weight of other people, second guessing her food choices because there are people around her) and the snapping of a hair elastic on her wrist. I don’t think this representation will necessarily bother other readers, but for my own well-being I needed to put this book aside. This is an important book with anxiety rep, body positivity, and a dash of women in STEM for good measure. Thank you to Turner Publishing sent me an ARC for review.

Total Books Read in October: 8


Total Books Read in 2018: 114
Goodreads Reading Goal: 50 100 125

Awesome Community Posts

I know there were more amazing posts, but I have been kind of terrible about blog hopping this month and keeping a running tally of posts to share. I apologize for this!

I do want to say that November is Sci-Fi Month and I will be participating! Expect a post on Sunday with some sci-fi goodness, and most of my reviews this month will be science fiction books! You can find more information about Sci-Fi Month here.

Thank you

Thank you everyone so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me! I hope that you had a fantastic October, and I wish you happy reading this November!


Let’s Connect!

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Hi! I’m Kaleena: book lover, runner, wanderer, and philanthropist. Life is an adventurous gift: through the outdoors and books. I run Reader Voracious Blog, where I post spoiler-free book reviews of science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, and mystery & thriller.

43 thoughts on “October in Review

  1. You still had a good reading month!
    I’m currently in a reading slump that is currently still going on for about 3 weeks now. Did you get over yours?
    Also, I can relate so much to why you DNF’d Mammoth. I probably would have to since weight is a hard subject for me as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took me 16 days to get over my slump, although I still think I am kind of in it because I still struggle with wanting to read.
      I REALLY wanted to love Mammoth and thought the representation was good – it just was particularly harmful for me personally because I am trying to get out of those kinds of thoughts.


  2. Hi Kaleena!
    Congrats on your 500 followers! I love the graphs that you created to break down your reading this past month. Glad to see that there were some four and five stars for you! Wishing you a wonderful November 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful wrap up! 8 books is awesome! And congrats once more on 500 followers! I honestly don’t know how you don’t have 5,000 followers because you have the most amazing posts! I hope you have a great November, love! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was my first foray into Shusterman’s work, and I was IMPRESSED! I am actually planning on picking up the Unwind trilogy next because it looks so cool! I have heard a lot of great things about the Scythe series but I think I want to work on his backlist a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on the 500 followers, what an incredible accomplishment – and so well-deserved, too, that’s amazing! 😀
    I also really enjoyed The Wicked Deep and the atmosphere of the book overall, I was captivated, too! 😀
    I hope you’ll have an incredible November! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I came here to check how you did your graphs and statistics, as a fellow spreadsheet junkie. And you didn’t disappoint me. Looks like you had a great reading month! And congrats on 500 followers, that is no mean feat!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. woohoo congrats on 500!!

    Im still on house by the cemetary … feels so looong .. like, why giving us so much JUST the building of it ?? I dont hate it, but just an okay read. just feel SO long.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on 500 followers! I’m pretty sure I read around the same number of books as you but my reason is college which is eating up all of my time.
    Have a great November!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll be unveiling my 2019 templates later this month, so I recommend waiting until then to give them a try because they are better! I know what you mean though, the system works for me because I am a heavy sheets user and it’s a habit that I already cultivated. Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations again on 500 followers! You deserve it so much! Also, Book Love sounds like such an interesting book, definitely will be checking this out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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