Mini reviews: the SPooOOooKY ones

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all well!

I’m stopping by your timelines today to share 4 books that will be perfect for the upcoming spooooky, Halloween’y period! Featuring vampires, ghosts, witches and creepy talking machines, these books will be spot on! My Y6 readers are slowly embracing these books and are thoroughly enjoying them!


Rules for Vampires – Alex Foulkes

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After one hundred years of being a vampire, it’s time for Eleonora to have her Birthnight. Since Leo’s last rite of passage, her Grimwalk, ended with her losing her right leg and a good deal of her confidence, she’s hoping to redeem herself in the eyes of her mother, the fearsome Lady Sieglinde. All Leo has to do is hunt down and kill her first prey, and she already has the perfect plan. After all, who will miss an orphan from the bleak St. Frieda’s Home for Unwanted Children? But an accidental fire causes more death and destruction than Leo bargained for. Instead of killing one carefully selected victim, she’s created several ghosts from the orphanage residents. And one sinister specter, the Orphanmaster, is poised to terrorize the living residents in a nearby town. To stop him and try to undo some of the mess she’s made, Leo must team up with the orphan ghost Minna. Will Leo have the chance to prove herself as a vampire before her Birthnight is over, or will she discover that there are no winners in the battle of undead versus undead?

This is delightfully dark and will be perfect around Halloween! A brilliant plot with an epic battle at the end that made me want to keep reading. Leo and Minna are wonderful characters and fiercely brave! I really enjoyed this story: vampires, coming of age, friendship and a battle between good and evil. There’s something really endearing about these characters and you can’t beat a coming of age story (especially one that goes a bit disastrously wrong!). I loved Marged and I am so glad Leo has someone like that on her side!

Lightning Falls – Amy Wilson

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Valerie has been living at Lightning Falls nearly all her life. She’s perfectly happy helping Meg and the rest of the family to haunt the guests who come to stay there – it is the Ghost House after all. One night, she sees a strange boy, Joe, up on the viaduct . Here she discovers that beneath the river is a bridge – one that will take her to the world of Orbis, which Joe claims is her real home. A world that is under threat. Their magical anchors are being stolen causing the power to seep out of their world, and Joe has journeyed to Lightning falls to win them back. Plunged into a dangerous adventure as the link between the two worlds begins to crumble into star showers, Valerie is forced to confront the truth about herself.

Man, Amy Wilson knows how to write a lush story filled with magic, secrets and family! I am such a big fan of Amy’s writing and she always captures my imagination entirely – this book, like her others, didn’t fail to impress me! Lightning Falls is a gorgeous story of a girl who discovers there’s more to her story than she thought. I loved these characters so much and I’d love to visit… but maybe not when it’s in danger haha! I’d love more from these characters and the world (on both sides of the bridge!). The Ghost House is so full of delight and joy, and I loved exploring the other side of the bridge too! And yes, of course, I cried!

The Incredible Talking Machine – Jenni Spangler

The Incredible Talking Machine : Spangler, Jenni, Mould, Chris: Books

Twelve-year-old Tig works at Manchester’s Theatre Royale, cleaning, selling tickets and doing anything else that is asked of her by her tyrannical boss, Mr Snell. Tig will do whatever it takes to get closer to her dream – to become a Stage Manager and spend her days inventing new ways to imagine and build the intricate machinery and props that bring the exciting productions to life! But when a strange new act – a talking machine – arrives at the Theatre Royale, it moves and behaves in a way that Tig just can’t work out. It’s as though it’s alive somehow . . . And when the machine appears to be hiding a dangerous secret, Tig must race against time to solve the mystery, before everything and everyone she cares about is lost forever.

Man, does Jenni Spangler know how to do ‘creepy without being terrifying’ stories incredibly well. I loved her first story (and Madame Pinchbeck still, to this day, is with me!) and had high hopes for this… and I was not disappointed! I thoroughly enjoyed this! Danger, prophecies, theatres, stealing and an unlikely friendship. I just thought it was all kinds of wonderful! I’d love to be Tig’s friend, but maybe without the danger! I loved Faber and I thought the twists and turns were just brilliant. I hope their next adventure has a little less peril! Must also give a shout out to the illustrations by Chris Mould too. The occasional drawings in his signature style just made me so happy!

The Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse


Effie lost her mom. Lost her home. And now she has to live with two strange aunts who she’s never met before.
Life in Brooklyn takes a strange twist for Effie as she learns more about her family and herself. With new friends who will do whatever they can to be there for her, a cursed pop-star, and her new magically-inclined family — Effie’s life is about to get interesting. 

We are still loving graphic novels in my life and this one is no different! This is loads of fun! When Effie ends up having to live with her aunts, she’s not very pleased about it… but throw some magic and a problem to solve into the mix and you’ve got a winner! This gave me slight Sabrina the Teenage Witch vibes and I am HERE FOR IT (90s kids, where you at!?) This is gorgeously presented and I loved the aunts! I can’t wait to read the second book!


And that’s it for now! Thanks so much for stopping by! Let me know if you’ve read any of these books or if you’ve got any other ooky-spooky recommendations!

Are you a Halloween fan?
Do you have any Halloween recommendations?

S x

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