Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – November (with lots of *witchy* reads)

monthly mini reviews version 2

I was definitely feeling the spirit of Halloween last month, that’s for damn sure! I went into full on witchy mode for most of my reading. I felt inspired to do the terrifying thing of starting out on Instagram (and am so grateful for the welcoming response I had from you guys!!!). And I even rewatched Hocus Pocus for the millionth time (because why the hell not? 😉). Some parts of the month I also managed to feel like hellish fiends were chasing me… but that’s a story for another day 😉 Right now, it’s time to talk BOOKS!

furies

The Furies– it seems I picked this up by a pleasant twist of fate. The Furies turned out to be an underrated, witchy read, perfect for this time of year. Opening on an intriguing snapshot of a mysterious death, I was quickly subsumed in the atmospheric and subtle setting. With a shivery, isolated feel throughout, the story held true to its promise of witchcraft, yet also delivering more of a mythic element I hadn’t expected, giving it a Secret History vibe. I will say, it does have some dark content, including sexual assault, but personally I thought it was handled well. I very much liked the descriptive writing as well and while not blown away by the more philosophical musings, I didn’t hate them. The one thing that kept me from being completely blown away was that I kind of hated everyone in the story by the end. It made sense in the context of the story that no one was likeable- it just unfortunately meant it didn’t fully cast its spell over me. That said, it was still a solid:

Rating: 4/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

bone witch

The Bone Witch– this one was a bit more of a disappointment. Initially hooked by the concept of a girl accidentally bring her brother back from the dead and discovering her necromantic powers, I had high hopes for this. I did really like the poetic style to begin with and the way the dual narrators was done. Yet, what started off so well somehow failed to capture my heart. Despite the original opening line, the distant writing style made it hard to connect with the characters. Everything came across as so dispassionate that I struggled not to switch off. The middle reallllly sagged as well- and, to be honest, I was dead bored by the end. Which, I personally thought was a unique take, but get why it would turn a lot of readers off (I don’t want to get into spoilers, but let’s just say this is because you might see the protagonist in a different light…) When it came to world building, the Bone Witch totally killed it. When it came to everything else… not so much. Just on the basis of quality, I gave it:

Rating: 3/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

small spaces

Small Spaces– if you’re looking for a cosy Middle Grade with spooky vibes, then look no further! I very much enjoyed Arden’s mysterious and fun and cute story. The writing style was sharp and funny. I really liked the characters as well- especially the spunky protagonist and the *amazing* dad. It was clever how it handled the topic of grief and the friendship side of the narrative made me smile. It was a super quick read though- so fast I didn’t have time to take notes 😉

Rating: 4/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

book of hidden things 3

The Book of Hidden Things– I found out about this hidden gem on Zezee with Book’s blog- and I’m so glad I did! There was something strangely seductive about this book. A seemingly simple story about friends reuniting in their hometown of Casalfranco, it is given a touch of magical realism as they delve into the mysterious disappearance of one of their group. Told using different POVs, the writing gently lulled me into a false sense of security. Don’t be fooled though, there’s clearly more going on under the surface. The violence and wildness of the Southern Italian setting slowly reveals itself, until the subtle atmosphere fell away, and I realised there were far more sinister forces at work. I will say, there was a lot of mature and troubling content in this- so *all the warnings*, cos this is definitely not YA. And cos of that this won’t be for everyone. But all the messed-up stuff is exactly right for a book like this. These are characters evoking dark arts and getting tangled in an increasingly twisted tale… and that’s all I’ll give you here! It’s the kind of book where so much relies on ambiguity that I don’t want to give too much away. Just prepare yourself if you plan to read it- this has a sharp edge to it.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

So, have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Or do you plan to pick any of them up? Let me know in the comments!

20 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – November (with lots of *witchy* reads)

  1. I always thought I was the only person not completely in love with the Bone Witch and it kind of makes my heart full to see I am not alone. I couldn’t really connect with any of the characters at all and I think that “dispassionate”, as you said, is a really good way of describing how the writing felt to me as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How fitting that there’s a lot more going on under the surface of a book entitled, “The Book of Hidden Things” :’) I knowwww, we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but like, I did with that one, and I wanted to read it. And then your little review just made me more interested haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a copy of The Book of Hidden Things — so glad to see your review! I really do need to get to it, soon. 🙂 I really liked Small Spaces too, and just read the follow-up book, which was just as good!

    Like

  4. I haven’t read any of these yet, but definitely planning to read them all at some point. I have just bought The Bone Witch after hearing lots of amazing things about it, and intend to pick up The Furies when I’m next at the library. Sorry to hear that The Bone Witch didn’t live up to the hype for you and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I still enjoy it…

    Like

  5. You read it!! 😀 So glad you read Book of Hidden Things and liked it too. That made my day. I just love how it’s written and the end wasn’t at all what I expected.
    I didn’t know the Furies was a witchy read. It sounds like something I’d like. I’ve avoided it this whole time because I thought it was a mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!! I’m really glad I did, because it was great!! 😀 I agree, it wasn’t what I expected at all- but in a good way! Yeah I was surprised by that as well, cos I thought it could be a YA thriller/mystery, but it had a really good witchy element and I liked how it was done 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s