The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
Published by: Graydon House
Pub Date: October 2, 2018
Format: e-arc | Source: NetGalley
Genres: adult, historical fiction, paranormal
Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.
Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences but those around you, as well.
New Oldbury, 1821
In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall. The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.
All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…
This was different than I expected but really compelling! A little less witchy than promised but with a very spooky atmosphere. It’s great for fans of historical or gothic fiction. And the central romance between Lydia and Mr. Barrett was perfection! I also liked the antagonistic relationship between Lydia and her older sister Charlotte. It was sad but believable and added to the tension of the story. There were some disturbing instances and the book was creepy but I loved the writing style and look forward to more from Hester Fox. If you enjoyed The Haunting of Hill House and other similar movies/shows, you’d enjoy The Witch of Willow Hall. It was a good atmospheric read for October.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
Published by: Razorbill
Pub Date: May 8, 2018
Format: hardcover | Source: purchased
Genres: young adult, contemporary, paranormal
Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.
So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.
Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.
Lily Anderson has a very recognizable writing style but it’s one I struggle to describe. I think it’s that she has this way of picking the most visceral word, the word choice that really SAYS what she’s trying to say. Sometimes it was too much for me but I appreciate that she doesn’t shy away from unsavory descriptions! I really loved how witchy this was and I found the ground rules for Mila’s spell so interesting. I also loved the first Walmart scene, it was so great. I wish I liked Riley more but I was often frustrated by how the three girls would ignore Mila and her warnings. As interested as I was in the mystery, I also didn’t enjoy the twist the book takes in the climax. It felt so out of the blue and rushed and it kind of soured the reading experience for me. That being said, it was another perfect book for October and one I’d recommend to fans of witches, zombies, and good representation.
Do you like to read witchy or spooky books? Do you tend to read with the season? Let me know!