Fortnight of Fright 2016 | Halloween Book Recommendations (Jolene from Jo’s Book Blog)


Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Jolene from Jo’s Book Blog is sharing her Halloween reading recommendations! Check out her recs below!

I love Halloween! I go to haunted houses, dress up and hand out candy, and decorate my house with pumpkins, skulls, and cobwebs.  I also love to read scary and creepy books.  These are the ones I have most recently read that gave me goosebumps and prickles on the back of my neck.

a monster calls

“Stories are wild creatures, the monster said.  When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?” I saw the preview for this movie and of course had to read the book first.  There may be some spoilery type comments here so I caution you if you continue reading.  “You know that your truth, the one that you hide…is the thing you are most of afraid of.”  This is what the old yew tree outside Conor O’Malley’s window tells him in his sleep.  Conor has been having a rough time lately; his mom is sick so his grandma comes to visit, his friend Lily told the whole school his mom has cancer, and he is being bullied at school by Harry and his lackeys.  Worst of all, he has the same nightmare every night.  This book is so beautifully written(and illustrated) and explores how we deal with grief, denial, and our fear of being invisible to the world.  The author captures how  accurately we sometimes deny our fear of the truths we don’t want to face.  This story convicted me  about how I tend to talk to people that are dealing with loved ones who are dying.  Sometimes, it is uncomfortable to talk about it so I error on not talking about it which I believe is worse for the person dealing with it.  I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to see the movie in a few months.

trees crept in I don’t read scary books or mysteries very often so this was out of the norm for me and I really enjoyed it.   I am not going to go into too much of a review because I don’t want to give away what happens.   This book kept me guessing until the very end.  I had no idea what was going on (in a good way)! Also, there were parts so creepy that I got goosebumps so that is an extra bonus. The author’s writing style was very unique. For example, there were different points of view, journal entries, and poems throughout the book to keep me engaged and trying to look for clues.

memoirs of a vampireIt has been a long time since I have read a Vampire book so I was excited to read this one.  First off, I really liked how this story was told.  There is the present day story and then the journal entries from 100 years ago to present day.  The main character, Karen, is physically abused by her husband and with the help of her friend, Melissa, leaves her husband secretly and move across the country.  Melissa’s family has a house in Oregon that has been in the family for years.  This is where the two friends first discover a journal that was left by one of Melissa’s ancestors.  The writer of the journal, Allison, says she is a vampire and goes on to tell the story of how she became so.  Her story is similar to Karen’s.  Allison’s sister was abused and murdered by her husband.  I loved how the two stories mirrored each other. Oh and by the way, Allison’s last entry was to Karen and Melissa the night they moved in!  The story has more characters and plot twists but I don’t want to ruin it for you.  I think one of my favorite lines from the book is in the dedication.  Ms. Coulter writes, “I dedicate this book to all the women who have ever known abuse in their lives.  No one should ever have to suffer in an abusive relationship.  You are beautiful, your are strong, and you are so much more than they deserve.”


I am a 41 year old blogger but that don’t let that fool you. I love Harry Potter (proud Ravenclaw), Disney, coffee, chocolate, and dogs. Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved to read! My favorite books to read (other than Harry Potter) are Contemporary YA books.  I have been married to my husband for 20 years and I have two teenagers, a son and a daughter.  I also have two dogs, Zeba and Bella. We all live happily in Iowa.


Thanks so much, Jolene! I love your picks and need to read some of these myself!! 

Fortnight of Fright 2016 | 5 Fictional Characters You Can Dress Up As This Halloween (Carlisa from Confessions of Carlisa)


Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Carlisa from Confessions of Carlisa is sharing her ideas for some literary Halloween costumes! Check them out!!

Halloween is kind of the best. Especially when you’re equipped with an entire bookshelf of characters you can dress up as. Seriously, so many options. (My costume is still in the works and secret, but let me tell you, it includes a certain Netflix series that went big a few months ago. Pretty strange, huh? And…those things. They’re even stranger. Okay, I’ll stop). Here are five characters from books that would make really fun costumes this Halloween!

  1. Newt Scamander
    The new Fantastic Beasts movie is going to be phenomenal—there’s no doubt about that. So why not dress up as the newest and coolest wizard on the block? Here are some of the essentials I think you’ll need for a good Newt Scamander outfit. (And make sure you get the Muggle-proof Suitcase at your local Walmart).
    newt scamander costume
  2. Anne Shirley
    Surely you want to be Anne Shirley from the beloved Anne of Green Gables series. She’s the best. All you need is a simple frock, some red double braids, and a fun little hat. And maybe some added freckles with eyeliner for good measure.
    anne shirley costume
  3. Coraline
    Coraline is one of the creepiest books. Just eerie. But I still love it. And Tim Burton made a great film adaptation of it…and you can be the film Coraline! She’s colorful and fun and just wants to be loved. Come on, doesn’t that sound great? Throw in some button eyes, for good measure.
    coraline costume
  4. Cath Avery
    Cath (from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell) is an awesome character, and I just want to be her best friend. Not many people may recognize your costume if you wear this, but the people who do…oh man, you’ll know to hold on to them forever and always. And the costume is super simple.
    cath fangirl costume
  5. Professor Trelawney
    I actually dressed up as Trelawney once. Not gonna lie, a lot of people asked me if I was dressed up like a hobo. Ahem. Anyway, this one is fun and easy and you can get almost everything at Goodwill if you wanted to. Just tie that scarf around your teased hair and you’re good! If you can find a little fortune ball to carry around, then you’re great. And you walk around pointing at people and predicting their death in a scary, I’m-in-a-trance type voice, then you’re perfect.
    trelawney costume

This has been so fun! Thank you Brittany for having me on your blog! And I hope you all dress up in the best, fictional-character costumes. 

Confessions of Carlisa

Thanks so much, Carlisa!!! I love your costume ideas! I would personally rock the Cath one 😀
HAHA some people just don’t get good costumes! (Regarding the Trelawny/hobo incident) I dressed up as Belle (in the blue dress) one year and people though it was an Amish costume….. (mostly boys. The girls got it right away!) 

Fortnight of Fright 2016: Fall Apple Cake Recipe (Joannamarie from Wet Noses and Books)


Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Joannamarie from Wet Noses and Books is sharing a delicious apple cake recipe!

Fall is the perfect time for apples and pumpkins. This recipe doesn’t include any type of pumpkin ingredients in it, but it does have apples. And who doesn’t like apples? My mom makes this recipe every year around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Its called “Jewish Apple Cake”. I’m not Jewish, but my mom found it somewhere and it’s delicious. Anyway, since the one my mom makes is a ‘special recipe’ I found something really similar to it and it seems to be just as good. Everything you need to know to make this delicious cake is below as well as the link I found it from, enjoy and have a great Halloween!

Jewish Apple Cake


Servings: 8-10


  • 3 cups of unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of real vanilla
  • 4 large eggs, unbeaten
  • ½ cup of orange juice, freshly squeezed (*my mom just uses our Tropicana Orange Juice (no pulp) we drink in the morning for this*)
  • 4 large apples, peeled, and sliced
  • 4 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar, separated (**keep from the other sugar**)


1) Beat together until smooth—flour, 2 ½ cups of sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, oil, eggs, and juice. Then in a separate bowl, mix apples, cinnamon, and sugar.

2) Layer the batter and apples in a greased pan. *Make sure to pour some batter—then layer it with apples—then switch back and forth until it is all used up*

3) Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours – 1 ¾ hours.

A big thanks to Joannamarie for today’s Fortnight of Fright post! You can find the original recipe on the web here from

Fortnight of Fright 2016 | Halloween Book Recommendations (Nisha from Paper Cranes)


Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Nisha from Paper Cranes is sharing her Halloween reading recommendations! Check out her recs below!


Hi! I’m Nisha from, and I unapologetically love Halloween. There’s candy, dozens of corny horror movies, and there’s this irreplaceable feeling of something exciting about to happen as soon as its over.

But, I also love books. (Don’t we all?) And what’s better than Halloween themed reads? I’ve read dozens of books that gave me this creepy, Halloween-esque vibe, the ones that are perfect for this time of year. So, in the spirit of everything spooky, here are some of my favorite Halloween books recommendations!

station eleven
emily st. john mandel


I thought I’d start this off with an eerie, yet dazzling tale of STATION ELEVEN, a post-apocalyptic story that was like nothing I’d ever read before. It’s a story that weaves its way through the past and future to meet in the middle and create this beautiful story that talks about the nature of people.

When I read this book, it kept me up for half the night because I just couldn’t stop reading. The story is a little bit creepy, but there’s also a lot of philosophy that makes you think about humans and the way our civilization works (though, that may be creepy, depending on your personality). I would recommend this to people who want that spine-tingling experience, but also something that gets you thinking.

this savage song
victoria schwab


Let’s get on to monsters, shall we? THIS SAVAGE SONG is a Young Adult book that takes place in a city split by two major families, but, the city is overrun by different types of monsters, which creates this whole other twist to the book.

The two best things about this book were the monsters and the writing. I thought that the way the monsters were introduced and expressed throughout the book was a way that made them intriguing and easy to understand. As for the writing, I honestly expected it to be wonderful. Victoria Schwab has an amazing writing style, and because of that, all of her books are an insta-buy for me. All in all, this is creepy, yet oddly beautiful novel that I think is perfect for Halloween.

the end games
michael martin


If you’re more The Walking Dead type, then maybe you should try this book out. This is a zombie-slash-video game themed novel, and if that doesn’t intrigue you, I’m not really sure what will. In this book, a boy named Michael is in the wilderness with his little brother Patrick, and the two of them are listening to somebody called the Game Master, who creates tasks for them, like in a video game. But, there’s a catch: they also have to stay away from the “Bellows”, which are the flesh-eating monsters that roam the woods.

I read this book a couple of years ago, and every time somebody wants Halloween recommendations, this is always on my list to them. There’s something about this book that makes it equal parts heartfelt and creepy. There’s a wonderful sibling friendship that made my heart happy, and there are also zombies. What’s not to love?

stalking jack the ripper
kerri maniscalco


This is a recent release, one that will definitely be on my top books of 2016 list, and it’s a book that I found a little bit creepy and definitely very entertaining. This book takes place in the 1800s, and our badass main character is Audrey Rose Wadsworth, who hides a career of work in her uncle laboratory behind frilled skirts and silk shoes. When her work reveals a series of gruesome corpses, she searches for her answers by herself.

If you’re someone who loves reading about conspiracy theories and unsolved murders, I highly recommend this for you. It gives a YA twist on a famous story, along with spine-chilling photographs and epic characters. I also love how badass the main character was and how she continually breaks the stereotypes of a women in that era.

So, did you find any books you like?



bloglovin’ // twitter // instagram // tumblr

Thanks so much, Nisha! These are excellent recommendations and I LOVE Stalking Jack the Ripper and Kerri Maniscalco!!! 

Fortnight of Fright 2016: Fall Wreath Craft (Amy from Read A Latte)


Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Amy from Read A Latte is sharing a super fun fall craft and how she makes her own fall wreaths!

When the chilly weather hits, I am either reading under a blanket somewhere, or wielding a hot glue gun as I craft my way through the fall and winter. Since October is one of my favorite months, I wanted to start my craft making as soon as I could.

Luckily, AC Moore and I operate on the same schedule. As soon as that leaf decor comes out, I’m there for it. Today I put together a quick guide to DIY-ing your own fall-themed wreath — bringing that fall foliage feel right to your front door!

The Foliage Wreath


This is super simple, because the bulk of it is the base, which comes pre-made! I got all my supplies at AC Moore, but let’s be real, any craft store this time of year has the same things:

You’ll Need:

  • A Grapevine Wreath
  • Fall Foliage Garland
  • Large Bow
  • Assorted Pumpkins and Gourds
  • Hot Glue Gun

First, I pulled apart the wreath, just a little, to give it a slightly messier, fall look. Then, just take the garland and wrap it evenly around the grapevine wreath, tucking it into the branches as you go. I hot glued the edges of the garland onto the wreath, as well.

If there are gaps, no problem! That’s where the pumpkins and gourds come in! I grouped mine together, but you can arrange them however you like. Then, top it all off with a large festive bow at the bottom, and VOILA! That’s that!

A big thanks to Amy for today’s Fortnight of Fright post! I totally need to make one of these for my house now. This is so cute!!!

Fortnight of Fright 2016 | Halloween Book Recommendations (Anna from A Literary Potion)


Welcome to our fourth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FOURTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Anna from A Literary Potion is sharing a Halloween reading recommendation! Check out her rec below!

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
Published in September 2011 by Orion Books
Paperback, 288 pages
Rating: ★★★★☆ [4.5/5]

Out of nowhere, for no reason, I was afraid. My skin pickled. My heart thudded in my throat. My body knew before I did that I was not alone…
London, 1937. Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life, so when he’s offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway and at last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year.
But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. Soon Jack will see the last of the sun, the sea will freeze and escape will be impossible.
And Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark…

This book is more than a ghost story; it is a perfectly executed tale of the descent into madness.

The story centres around Jack, who wants to escape his lonely life in London. He signs up to be part of an expedition to the High Arctic, to Spitsbergen. Originally setting out with four companions, one by one they are all forced to abandon the expedition, leaving Jack to overwinter alone. As the nights close in, Jack’s mind begins to turn on him.

Michelle Paver has created a truly gripping tale, one that reveals a little bit more of itself each time I read it. The setting, a remote bay called Gruhuken in Spitsbergen, is stunning. She evokes the raw beauty of the Arctic wilderness and follows it as it steadily begins to threaten rather than entice. The stark difference between the constant summer and the polar night are wonderfully written. At first, Jack is happy to be so far away from civilisation. He wants to feel like a true explorer, coming to a place that has not been inhabited before. The isolation Jack finds himself in stops being a relief and starts being a danger when he is left alone.

Jack is a wonderful narrator. The story is told in journal form and the writing begins to change as Jack’s fears manifest themselves, you can trace the insanity as it grips Jack and forces him to hide from his own mind. I loved Jack’s stubbornness and his mental strength despite everything, his ability to find the small bits of respite wherever he can. The other characters are given a clear bias through Jack’s eyes, and the later addition of one or two other characters (one of which is a dog) show the full contrast between Jack’s behaviour when he is alone to when he has company of some sort.

The power in this story is not in dramatic scares, but in the lingering fears in the back of your mind, the fear of the dark, and what lies in the darkness, waiting. The way your mind slowly turns on itself the longer you stay in the place of fear, until you start doubting everything you see or hear. How acknowledging that fear can sometimes invite it in.

This book is incredibly well-written. I am not a huge fan of ghost stories but this will always be my favourite for how blurred the lines are between fiction and reality, and how it portrays the heavy toll the constant darkness takes on the human mind. Just hearing the word ‘Gruhuken’ makes me shudder and not want to turn my back to the room.

Thanks so much, Anna! This sounds like such a great recommendation — so spooky!!! I can’t do ghost stories (way too scary haha!) and it sounds like it’s positively creepy… Perfect for Halloween!!  


Anna {A Literary Potion}
Blog: aliterarypotion
Instagram: aliterarypotion
Twitter: aliterarypotion
Booktube: aliterarypotion

Discussion: Do Character Deaths Affect Your Rating?


+ The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas (not a spoiler if you have already read the Throne of Glass series but not the novellas as it is mentioned throughout the series).
+ The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
+ Unnamed book, author, and character. I do not mention specifics in any way but if you don’t even want to guess you might want to avert your eyes from this post!
+ Any specific character deaths are mentioned toward the BOTTOM of the post so if you have seen these warnings and need to run, don’t scroll down! 


Obviously, this is a loaded question — of course character deaths affect how you feel about a book because of the connection you have with a character, how the death affected the plot, and whether it was even “necessary” or not. I think deaths of beloved characters really shake up a book, not only in the sense that it rattles our emotions as reader but it also brings in a sense of reality. There are so many different ways a character death affects us!

I had a weird moment where I was reading a book that I was really enjoying but honestly not as much as I had expected to. It was a fantastic story, a great author, and some really amazing characters but for some reason (probably the fact that I don’t have a lot of reading time anymore), I just wasn’t as emotionally invested as I thought I should be. Then a character death happened and I was SOBBING. Literally sobbing. Thank goodness I was alone (well, as alone as you can be listening to an audiobook in your car — what’s up, guy in the car next to me? I just went through a traumatic experience, OKAY?) because while reactions from other people told me something like this was coming, I was A) in denial, B) not sure who might be at risk, and C) wondering if maybe it wasn’t even a death but just a THING that happened. Of course, the author made it WORSE with the way they wrote the reactions of other characters, the love interest, and really how the whole death went down in the first place. I was totally wrecked and I really didn’t see the emotional wreckage coming.

Here is the weird part that I don’t know how to articulate when talking about character deaths… I actually liked the book more because the author killed off a character that I really, really loved. (Seriously, they were one of my favorites.) I know part of that is because it really got me more emotionally involved. At a time where I was having a hard time getting good chunks of reading time in a just couldn’t fully immerse myself in a book, this character death was like, “HERE, let me throw you face first into some feels!” and feels were had by all. When I wasn’t as connected as I wanted to be, this character’s abrupt death pulled me straight into the action and also allowed me to see a different side of all the of the other main characters as well. I got to see a side of them that I hadn’t previously seen at all and I connected with them on one more level that really brought me even further into the experience. Because of all this, I actually ended up rating the book higher than I might have, so even though it sounds strange, often times character deaths make me rate a book higher, even if I’m left without one of my beloveds.

I also appreciate that a death of a main character really brings a sense of reality to a plot. Sure, we’d love for all of our precious favorites to make it through the huge battle, win the war, and all go home with their ships, living happily ever after… but more often than not, the odds are bound to take someone from a group. You just can’t go through what some of these characters go through and not lose a person (or two. Or three). It’s only so realistic to see so many secondary or tertiary characters die while preserving the core group of main characters. Sure, it can happen sometimes but the sense of vulnerability really has to be proven in a plot. There are only so many ways a group can be invincible and if nothing ever happens to them, it’s not exciting or suspenseful to watch them fight the fight. ** SPOILER FOR HARRY POTTER ** For example, there’s no way that all of the good guys would survive the Battle of Hogwarts. It’s just not possible to have a battle that big and not lose good people. I still remember crying my eyes out at the deaths in the last book and the loss of some of my favorite characters. It’s too hard to lose the pure of heart and fun-loving characters and each time I watch the movies, I still cry at their loss.

Of course, not everyone reacts to character deaths the same way. We all have different connections, see different interpretations, and place different values on the people and pieces of a story. When it comes to killing off characters, it’s hard to say what’s the “right” thing to do. I don’t think there really is a right or wrong way to handle it but obviously readers want to feel like it wasn’t totally senseless and that there was a purpose to a death. It doesn’t always have to have a specific reason but I think people feel more upset when they don’t understand why a death was “necessary” or important to a plot. Sometimes it may not have a specific purpose other than to expose vulnerability of an invincible group and that may seem like a small concept but it can shake up an entire series. ** SPOILER FOR THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE ** For something that happened in a novella, you wouldn’t think it would be so important to such a major series but the story of Celaena and Sam is such an important one. Sam was such a wonderful character and I think he’s truly my favorite love interest of the entire series, even still. There were so many reasons that this horrific character death was so important and it’s something I’ve always appreciated from Sarah J. Maas. As awful as it was and as sad as I still am, Sam’s death was so important to the series. It totally and absolutely changed Celaena. It made her colder. It inspired vengeance. It gave her PTSD, essentially. It shook a main character who thought she was totally invincible and gave her something to fear and we shared that fear with her. This death set the course of the whole series and if you don’t read the novellas, I don’t think the impact is nearly as strong. It may have seemed totally unjust but it truly set the series into motion an an entirely different emotional level.

How do you feel about character deaths and the way the affect your reading experience? Do you ever rate a book HIGHER because of the death of a character you liked?