Books, movies, and Podcasts to enjoy this spooky season

Hey book readers! I hope you have gotten a great start to your October, whether that be diving into your spooky book stack, decorating your space for falloween, or watching some spooky faves.

This past week, I’ve been neglecting my reading of Wayward Witch, and have instead been focusing on spooky crafts. If you follow me on IG, you got to see me work on some Halloween PJ shorts and scrunchies. Since I haven’t been doing much reading, I thought I share with my readers some perfect books, movies, and podcasts to get into the Halloween spirit.

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Fall in love with a Maya Death God in Gods of Jade and Shadow

Do you love reading about baddies in lit? We all know I do! What about reading about death gods? Mayan mythology? Road trips? 1920s Mexico? Then Gods of Jade and Shadow is probably the book for you!

Gods of Jade and Shadow is an adult fantasy novel set during the Jazz Age and in Mexico. Author of Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia pens a fantastical adult fantasy story about revenge, love, and redemption.

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Keep an eye on Historically inaccurate

“Hey sunshine”

Is what Mr. Ethan Winston of Historically Inaccurate would say!

Hi readers! Remember last week when I shared some of my favorite quotes from Historically Inaccurate? Well today I’m sharing my review for the novel. I received an advanced readers copy of Historically Inaccurate in exchange for my honest review thanks to the team at Colored Pages Blog Tours.

Historically Inaccurate is a new adult story by debut author Shay Bravo. Historically Inaccurate was originally on Wattpad but is now going to be published for the masses. This novel features diverse characters, a Black love interest, College clownery, and finding yourself.

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My favorite quotes in Historically Inaccurate

Today is my stop on the Historically Inaccurate book tour! I received this arc from the team at Colored Pages Bookish Tour. Check them out if you’re a fellow book blogger.

Historically Inaccurate by Shay Bravo is a new adult fiction novel that’s out everywhere September 29.

Soledad just wants things to go back to normal after her mother’s deportation she’s had to move homes, switch schools, and adjust to life without her. When Sol decides to join her College’s history club she doesn’t expect to have to sneak into a house and steal a fork. However, Sol is caught by Ethan Winston a resident of the house and the chance encounter forever changes her life.

To celebrate it’s release I thought I turn some of my favorite quotes into graphics that you may download if you please.

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K-dramas for bookish babes!

Hello book nerds!

In today’s post, I want to give some K-drama recs for book lovers. Korean dramas are television series produced in Korea, and they range from a variety of genres such as romance, crime, melodrama, or science fiction. I enjoy the romance ones.

 If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m either finishing a K-drama or starting a new one.  If you’re new to K-dramas, or just curious about all the hype, I hope you find this list helpful.

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Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise cleansed my book slump

Midnight Sun was a dreadful read, but Bet me yanked me right out of my feelings and into a world of bets, Elvis, chicken marsala, Krispy Kreme, and love stories. This enemies to somewhat friends to lovers story will keep you guessing and make you fall in love with all the characters. It might be the best book I read this year. Keep reading if you want to hear what I thought about this romantic contemporary.

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Midnight Sun put me to sleep

I am a fool for reading this. I wanted to salsify my curiosity for Midnight Sun, having read the leaked version long ago, but tbh it was not worth it.

Any enthusiasm I had for this book turned into boredom, and well, if you want to find out what went wrong, continue reading.

Also, the Quileute Tribe is currently raising funds to get their tribe out of the Tsunami zone. If you buy Midnight Sun considering helping the tribe preserve their traditions and culture by donating here.

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The Cursed Prince

Hello, book lover, it’s your girl, Gaby back it again with another review about another baddie. This time I’m diving into the recently published The Cursed Prince by C.N Crawford.

The Cursed Prince is a dystopian-fantasy-romance novel that sprinkles in Norse mythology and zombies. Yep, a lot is going on in this short book, but let’s dive into the review.

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You’re going to wish you read The Poet X Sooner

This book is written in a series of vignettes by renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo and follows the life of a young Dominican American girl from Harlem. The Poet X is prefect for lovers of poetry and slam poets.

“I only know that learning to believe in the power of my own words has been the most freeing experience of my life. It has brought me the most light. And isn’t that what a poem is? A lantern glowing in the dark.”

The Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo
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Read Odd One Out!

I considered myself to be a very inclusive reader, someone who reads books by BIPOC authors, but one glance at my Goodreads tells me that I can do better. So I decided to begin June reading Odd One Out by Nic Stone. Not only is Odd One Out an Own Voices novel, literature written by someone who identifies as a part of the same marginalized book as their character(s), but it’s also YA, which makes it accessible to many. Is it just me, or does anyone else have trouble comprehending some of the older literature with its superfluous vocabulary? I studied English in college, and during my first years, reading Shakespeare was a struggle!

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Books I did not finish (DNFed) in May

Sorry for the delayed posts but I felt that I needed to take a step back from publishing reviews on this blog and listen. As many of you know by know, the death of George Floyd sparked a revolution and I felt that my energy could better be spent sharing/signing petitions, donating, and listening.

Just because the movement appears to be fizzling out, our work is not done. Systematic racism and the oppression of Black bodies has always been an issue in the U.S and moving forward we must continue to listen and undo the racial bias in ourselves.

Sign these petitons

Beware donating to change.org as that money go directly to the company

https://www.change.org/p/us-senate-hands-up-act

https://www.change.org/p/justice-for-tony-mcdade

https://www.change.org/p/department-of-justice-investigate-the-killing-of-tamir-rice

https://www.change.org/p/andy-beshear-justice-for-breonna-taylor

If you’re still looking to donate check out these organizations

https://www.reclaimtheblock.org/home

https://www.blackdisability.org/

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/naacp-1

These are just a short list of resources for more ways to help, check out this Carrd

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

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Chilling Effect is the Latinx space novel we deserve!

Hello readers! I am finally back with another book review. For this week’s review, I’m jumping away from the spicy crazy romance of Beautiful Bastard to the spicy space adventure that is Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes.

As mentioned before, this novel is on the spicy side, and that includes lots of bilingual swearing and implied sex scenes. So keep that in mind if you’re planning to gift this to a younger reader.

If you are a sci-fi fan and have been longing for a story starring a Latinx Capitan and psychic cats, continue reading.

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Beautiful Bastard was not what I was expecting

It’s been a while since my last post and safe to say the quarantine stress finally got to me. To combat it, I threw myself into sewing and watching animal crossing streams. That was great and all, but I was not able to focus on reading nor creating content for this blog.

I’m feeling much better now, and I hope to be able to get some bookish crafts up soon. For now, though, here is a book review for Beautiful Bastard.

Beautiful Bastard is one of the first books best writing friends Christina and Lauren published together. The first draft of Beautiful Bastard was a twilight inspired fanfiction written by Christina. Although readers won’t be able to tell while reading Beautiful Bastard. To read more about the origins of Christina Lauren, check out this interview.

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Crush the King and conclude this series!

Everleigh Blair is a noblewoman turned orphan turned Gladiator turned Queen and the star of the Crown of Shards. This underrated series falls under the adult fantasy genre and shares similar themes to Game of Throne. What sets this series apart from other fantasy novels is that in this universe, there is a way to snuff out magic. Evie may be the queen of Bellona, but unlike the other royals, she has no magic, rather she is immune to it, which makes her far more dangerous.

If you want to know more about the previous books in this series here’s the link to my review of the second novel in the series, Protect the Prince.

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That’s it?! Manga Review Princess Jellyfish’s final volume

Imagine this all the Amars suddenly becoming onboard with sewing and creating clothes for women like them. I never thought I’d see it either, but that’s exactly what happens in the last volume of Princess Jellyfish.

Disclaimer: this post contains an affiliate link for Volume 9 of Princess jellyfish at the end of this post. It is marked with an asterisk* If you click the link and make a purchase I earn a commission.


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Princess Jellyfish Volume 8: The transformation edition

I don’t want this story to end! However, I am excited for the conclusion of this series.


After Kuranosuke wraps up a photo shoot at Mr. Fish’s building, he flirts his way to the top floor and meets Fayong, Fish’s secretary and childhood friend, instead of snitching to her boss that Kuranosuke has come for Tsukimi, she takes Kuranosuke to the basement and leaks key company secrets before letting him know where Tsukimi is.

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I love Pride and Prejudice but I have some thoughts

Pride and Prejudice is one of those rare books that I was not required to read in any of my English classes. Even while studying English in college, Pride and Prejudice was always absent from the syllabus. Given my love for the 2005 film, I don’t understand why I never read this book sooner.

I’m assuming a lot of readers have read this book since it is a classic, feel free to skip to my commentary. It will be marked with MY THOUGHTS in bold, followed by a star rating.

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Princess Jellyfish, the manga, is super cute!

Here is the opening title sequence for the Princess Jellyfish manga try not o fall in love while watching it.

Princess Jellyfish is one of my favorite animes to rewatch when Ineed a mood boost. Although, like most of my favorite animes, it is unfinished. Luckily for me, I spotted a majority of the volumes at my library, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes after the anime ended.

*This post contains affiliate links if you click through and purchase the Princess Jellyfish Manga I earn a small commission.

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Cruel Prince should really be called the Sad Prince

One day in October, I was living my best carefree life-blissfully unaware of the Folk of the Air series until my dearest friend Nessa decided to ruin my life by casually mentioning this series followed an enemy to lover’s trope.

In case I haven’t made myself clear on my feelings about this Trope, I loved them! This trope is top-quality writing, redemption arcs, soft moments. I live for it all.

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Red Queen made me look like a fool, five stars.

Red Queen starts as a typical dystopian novel, but all the twists and turns are like slipping on a banana in Mario Cart. I want to preface this review by stating the first part of this blog post will be the review, while the second part will be me reacting to the plot and will contain spoilers.

I’ve done this a thousand times before, watching the crowd like a wolf does a flock of sheep.

Mare Barrow Red Queen
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I read Ninth House in two days- A messy but fun review

Ninth House was released this October, and it is Leigh Bardugo’s first adult novel. Ninth House tells the story of Galaxy “Alex” Stern, a high school drop out from California, who is enrolled at Yale University to join a secret campus organization named Lethe. Lethe is part of nine magical houses, and their main jobs are to regulate the activities of the other houses to make sure they are falling the rules. Lethe is small and consists of a core group of people: Dante, Virgil, Centurion, and Occulus. Centurion goes by the name Turner, an African American Police officer of New Haven, who has been paid by Lethe to cover up any magical crimes despite Turner’s involvement in Lethe, he is a good guy and a good cop. Occulus is also known as Dawes, a grad student who spends the majority of her time working on her dissertation at the Lethe house, but Dawes’ main job is to assist Dante and Virgil. Alex is Dante, and Darlington is Virgil. Darlington’s job is to show Alex the ropes of all Lethe house duties, one ritual involves scaring off ghosts or greys while another house cuts some random person open to read the future at least that’s how I interrupted it I’m still confused about the intricacies of that ritual.

Alex’s first semester at Yale is overwhelming, as she has to complete her assignments as an English major as well as her nighttime duties at Lethe. Darlington’s disappearence complicates everything, and Alex is left to carry out the duties of Lethe house on her own.  Alex starts to sense that things are amiss when Tara Hutchins, a New Haven girl, is murdered outside one of the magical houses. Everyone insists that Tara’s boyfriend is the culprit, but Alex thinks there is something off about Tara’s death. Alex enlists the help of Dawes and Turner to help her follow the trail of clues that suggest the other houses might have had some involvement in Tara’s death.


When I first cracked this book open in mid-November I was intrigued, but my attention was not fully captivated. I felt like I was in a slump, and when I’m in a reading slump I distract myself with either watching Tv or reading fanfiction. In this case, I did both.

I rewatched most of Bunheads and read some Star Wars fanfiction in case anyone was wondering.

However, when I realized I had three days to compete Ninth House, and I was only 100s pages deep, I knew I had to start reading and fast if I wanted to complete it this month.

When Alex became entangled in the murder of Tara Hutchins, so did I become entangled in this book. I begin to wonder what exactly happened to Darlington and maybe if Alex had killed him herself. However, after reading Alex’s longing to see Darlington again, I was even more confused. Where the two lovers? Should I be rooting for their ill-fated romance?

“I will serve you ’til the end of days.”

Darlington to Alex Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

As I continued to read Ninth House most of my questions were slowly piecing together answers.  Although the world is elaborate and all the houses and what they do, are at times, confusing I found it helpful to just get consumed in the story until you forgot about all your questions.

Despite the complexities of Ninth House this book is sure to reel you in with all the cool charaters. Aside from Darlington, Lethe house’s golden boy, and Alex’s mentor into the dark world of magic, and Dawes a reserved grad student who is always saving Alex’s ass, there is also North, a ghost who lurks around New Haven and is believed to have murdered his Fiancée.

As Alex gets deeper into the investigation of Tara’s death so does North’s character development and soon North goes from becoming a suspected murderer to a real softie who scares off other ghosts from following Alex.

Ninth House is also abundant with California and English writer’s references. If you are currently studying English in college, a lot of the poetry and stories referenced will be familiar to you. The whole Dante and Virgil dynamic should be a big hint on both the themes of the novel and that other prominent English writers may be referenced. If you grew up in Southern California, the landmarks mentioned will be easy to picture.

What surprised me about Ninth House was that Alex, the main character is brown. Alex’s grandmother often sung lullabies to her in Spanish, but the dialect in which these lullabies were spoken was one that I had never heard of or knew existed. The Spanish used in this novel is called Ladino, a Judaeo-Spanish, that was spoken by Jews who lived in Spain before Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand decided to kick out the Jewish population. This little piece of information was super cool for me to learn, and it’s also insanely cool that this language becomes one of the biggest tools that Alex uses to defend herself from the greys.

“Quien se prestado se vestio, en medio de la calle se quito.”

Ninth Hose by Leigh Bardugo

Overall, Ninth House is a book that may have a slow start, but it will quickly suck you into the plot once things become interesting. Although Ninth House is the first book of the series there is no big cliff hanger in the end. However all the plot twists in this book are sure to keep you guessing. I loved this read, and I will considering adding it and the next installment onto my shelf forever.


Now for the real question.

Do I ship Alex and Darlington? Maybe so. Is this a bad idea considering what happened to one of my otps in Crooked Kingdom.

Probably.

But I’m going to casually ship them anyways.

And now a brief rant on Alex and Darlington

Sure Alex is a bit suspious, considering what she did to her “friends” back in LA, and Darlignton is the nerdy gentleman of Ninth House. The pair really have no business being together romantically. However, they’re a great team and if Darlington had been present for Tara’s investigation Alex probably wouldn’t have put herself in as much danger as she’d liked.

Plus Darlington has a cat and an attachment to his grandfather’s big mansion and if that doesn’t scream love interest then we clearly have different definitions.


I give Ninth House a five-star review, and if you have any bookish friends who love gothic-fantasies or books with a morally gray character, definitely pick up Ninth House. However, be aware that Ninth House deals with serious topics such as sexual assault, rape of a minor, drug use, suicide, self-harm, drowning, and lots of blood and gore.

Until next time continue living in libros,

Gaby

An Insanely Cute Fall Read

Witches and vampires dating? Read it. Witches and demons dating also read that. But witches and werewolves, nope never.

When I saw the cover to Mooncakes, I immediately knew I needed to read it this fall.


Mooncakes is a graphic novel written by Suzanne Walker and illustrated by Wendy Xu and came out this October. Nova Hoang is a witch who works at her grandmothers’ magic bookstore assisting customers with that day to day spell work. Nova also helps in solve supernatural happenings in her small town so when she hears about a giant white wolf in the woods Nova decides to investigate. However, when Nova comes face to face with the wolf, she realizes the wolf is none other than her old crush Tam Lang.

“My mother met Einstein, you know. Horribly limited man.”

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne walker

Tam confesses to Nova that while coming back into town, they spotted a horse demon in the woods. Nova agrees to help Tam, but they soon discover that Tam is the only one who can stop the demon by using their werewolf magic. While all this is going on, Nova and Tam decide to pick up where they left off and start dating.


I loved so many things about this book, but here are just a few of them. Nova is hard of hearing, and her blue hearing aids are visible in every panel she appears in. I loved that Nova’s disability remained visible throughout this novel. I returned to previous panels to search for them, and they were always there. My ignorance made me appreciate the visibility of Nova’s disability throughout this book, and it also made me pay closer attention to the artwork and not get swept up in the story.

” A white wolf?”

“Hugh! Like Jon Snow’s. Mrs. Crawford said it came right at her.”

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker

I loved that Mooncakes included LGBTQ+ characters. Tam Lang, the love interest, uses they/them pronouns and is a super cool white werewolf. Additionally, I was surprised to learn that Nova has two nanas. All the descriptions of this book I had previously read stated that Nova works at her grandmother’s bookshop, which is technically true, but Nova having two grandmothers is an extra special detail that you do not discover until you read Mooncakes.

Lastly, I want to emphasize that readers pay attention to the background artwork during scenes because there are lots of cute Easter eggs. In particular, popular YA novels are visible behind Nova in the bookshop. This is super cool, considering Wendy Xu is a curator of YA and children’s books.

I do not have many negative points about this novel, but for the sake of this review, I decided to neat pick some details of this story. One thing I could never figure out was Nova’s age. This story takes place during the fall season, and considering that Nova never goes to school, I assumed she was 18 or older. Nova also mentions becoming best friends with Tatyana in high school, and the use of past tense suggests that both of them are older than high school age. Lastly, what happened to Terry? Will we ever know the answer to that mystery?

Mooncakes is up there with Don’t Date Rosa Santos as one of my favorite books this year. Mooncakes is the first graphic novel I have ever read, and I loved the way that the artwork flows with the story. I think I may need to add more graphic novels and even manga to my tbr list based on the artwork alone.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Until my next review continue living in libros,

Gaby

October Review

Remember when I made my October reading list a thick stack of Spooky literature? I had Cute Spooky books such as Babysitters Coven and Mooncakes, to Nostalgic Spooky with Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel, to Mystery Spooks with Wicked Fox and Ninth House. I knew my October TBR was ambitious, but after completing my Latinx heritage month reading binge, I felt extra powerful.

Apollo cosplaying as a ghost

I started October by reading Permanent Record, a book that was not on my spooks list. However, Permanent Record decided that it was the book that I needed to start my October by arriving early at the library. Since Permanent Record arrived at the library during the first week of October, I simply could not refuse adding it to my pile.

I enjoyed the book, but it was not getting into the spooky spirit. In fact, Permanent Record had more of a winter in February feel.

Next, I decided to jump on the nostalgia boat and pick up Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel. I saw this title all over Instagram last year, and although the reviews for it were not that great, my stubborn heart wanted to know more about Max and Alison. My fave couple turned out just fine, Alison as a lawyer and Max as a history teacher, oh, and they have a daughter named Poppy. However, my curiosity about Alison and Max could not keep me entertained throughout the book.

Hocus Pocus is a movie that premiered in the 90s and stars famous babes, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker. Freeform is streaming Hocus Pocus every day in October for this year’s 31 Nights of Halloween. Given all these factors, I felt that the 200-page novelization of the movie was unnecessary. Although the novelization of the movie would guide new readers through the cult classic, a recap would have been quicker.

I considered myself a Hocus Pocus expert because I grew up watching this movie so, I decided to skip this whole section. Once I moved onto The All New Sequel, I realized I made a mistake because the characters bring up the legend of Elizabeth Sanderson. Someone who is not in the movie at all, but was added to this story for the sequel.

I flipped back to the beginning to find out who Elizabeth was and then returned to the present-day chapters. I was hoping to settle into the sequel with this additional information, but I could not. Poppy was bland and uninteresting her hobbies, included photography and a crush on her best friend. Once the story kicks off, Poppy and her friends sneak into the Sanderson Sister Cottage and summon the Sisters which results in horrible consequences very much like the original movie. But in order for the sisters to anchor themselves to this realm, they must trade their places in hell with Max, Alison, and Dani. At this point in the story, I was bored. I didn’t care about these characters anymore and I began my next read.

My next book was The Babysitters Coven, one of my most anticipated reads. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely read any future sequels. Check out my review here.

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Boo

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The Fourth book I read for October was Wicked Fox, and I found this book to be more interesting. I loved the reading about the mythology of the Gumiho and the way the author used Korean words in the dialogue. However, this book is heavy on the teen angst, and towards the end, I was tired of it. You can read my full review here.

Although I did not read as many books as I did in September, I still managed to get into the spooky spirit.

I got to visit the Freeform Halloween House

And a pumpkin patch

Besides these spooky activities I also got to hang out with my friends from university for the first time since graduation.

How was your October? Did you read anything good or enjoy a fun fall activity?

Until my next review continue living in libros,

Gaby

Teen Angst and a Nine Tailed Fox

Wicked Fox is the last book I read in October, and it wasn’t all I hoped it would be. This story is particularly unique as it features a Gumiho. A Gumiho is a fox with nine tails that can turn into a beautiful woman to lure their prey. Gumihos are believed to seduce men in order to feed off their energy. Sound familiar? A Gumiho is the Korean name for this legend, but other names include Kitsune and Huli jing. Although the legends vary from culture to culture, Wicked Fox is the story of Miyoung, a Korean teen living in Seoul, South Korea.

The story begins by introducing both Miyoung, a Gumiho teen, and Jihoon, a human teen, in alternating POVs. Miyoung is out on a full moon hunting a man to sustain herself while Jihoon is out walking his dog the two collide paths when Jihoon confronts a goblin. Miyoung saves Jihoon but in the process reveals her nine tails to him. Soon after this incident, Miyoung becomes the new girl at Jihoon’s school, and she ignores all of Jihoon’s attempts to befriend her. Overtime, Jihoon wears Miyoung down, and the two become friends and start dating.

Jihoon glanced up and met Miyoung’s eyes with his, giving her a wide grin. He had a kimchi stuck in his teeth. And she hated that it made his goofy smile even more endearing.

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

However, the bubble shatters two hundred pages in when a Shaman ritual goes wrong, and through a sequence of tragic events, Jihoon ends up with Miyong’s fox bead, leaving Miyoung to slowly starve. Miyoung feels like she has no other choice but to leave Jihoon as her mother attempts to find a way for Miyoung to live without her bead.

The story concludes with Miyoung and Jihoon fixing their mistakes and living happily ever after, or so I thought until I flipped the page to the Epilogue, which leaves the novel off on a cliff hanger!

I found myself struggling to get through the first part of this book because I found it to be a little slow. Miyoung, during the first half of this book, does not interact with any other kids at her school, in fact, she tries her hardest to push them away, and it works on all of them except Jihoon and his friends. I got tired of Miyoung constantly pushing Jihoon away because sometimes she was nice to Jihoon while other times she was mean.

However, once everything goes wrong with the Shaman ritual, I found myself engrossed in the book once again until Miyoung decides to leave. The story becomes a bit boring as the two teens have a few more chapters of angst and longing for each other. At this point, I thought to myself what else could happen to these two? Haven’t they suffered enough?


Apparently not! The final chapters of this story provide another wild plot twist, and I was here for it. I wanted this story to end strong, and it did with the last scene. The epilogue reveals that not everything is as it seems, and there is definitely a sequel coming. This frustrated me because I just wanted this story to have a definite conclusion, and the epilogue ruined it. I wish I could say reading the next book will give me the answers I seek, but I am not invested enough in this story to find out what happens next.

I would recommend this book if you love lots of teen angst and stories not set in the U.S.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

If you are intrigued by the legend of the Gumiho and don’t mind reading subtitles, I recommend the Kdrama, “My girlfriend is Gumiho.” This Korean drama features a Gumiho, who saves the life of Dae-Woong by giving him her fox bead. Mi-ho decides to stick around, and Dae-Woong makes sure she is happy by frequently treating her to Korean Barbeque. The drama is super cute and the theme song is catchy.

Have a spooky Halloween and continue living in libros,

Gaby