Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that should absolutely be put at the top of your TBR pile. Recommended books will vary across genre and age category and include shiny new books, older books you may have missed, and some classics I suggest finally getting around to. Make space for another pile of books on your floor because here we go!

Today’s pick is billed as “The Craft meets Neil Gaiman” and it’s a wonderfully haunting read that is perfect for October.

Book cover of Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

The story is told primarily from two points of view. First is teenage Ivy who at the beginning of the book has just broken up with her boyfriend Nate. They are in his car, leaving a party, and he is driving recklessly. He swerves, crashes, and gets out of the car while telling Ivy he saw something. Specifically, a woman, or at least older teen girl, standing naked in the middle of the road. Nate says she ran into the woods (because of course there’s creepy woods right there) and both Ivy and Nate run in to find her because it was unclear if she was hurt and needs help.

The other point of view is told from Dana, Ivy’s mother. Dana and her best friend, who Ivy refers to as Aunt Fee, are local witchy-types and they run an herb shop that is well-known in town. Dana’s chapters are mostly flashbacks about when she and Fee were teens and getting into witchcraft in troubling ways and definitely deeper than they should have. Ivy knows nothing of this as she and her mother have a very strained, cold, distant relationship that is borderline antagonistic. Dana doesn’t let anyone in, especially her daughter. She has some big secrets and it’s very clear that she is deliberately keeping things from Ivy.

Of course, weird, creepy things start happening. Without spoiling anything, I will say that Ivy is spending the summer grounded. She shouldn’t have been out at that party with Nate so her summer’s gonna be a bummer. On top of that, her mom has gone incommunicado. She’s not home and Ivy’s sure she’s with her Aunt Fee doing stuff for the shop but she doesn’t come home and she’s not responding to texts. Is she missing? Is she just doing the distant and aloof thing she does? Before Dana left, Ivy witnessed her doing some super suspicious things in the garden and wild stuff keeps happening to and around Ivy while her mom is nowhere to be found.

Content warning for violence to animals, namely rabbits.

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That’s it for now, booklovers!


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