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Jess_Franzino

Jess_Franzino

Joined May 2018

Author | Hellenic Mythologist | Classicist| Ravenclaw | Brooklyn, NY | IG: @jessicafranzino
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Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo
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Jess_Franzino
The Last of the Spirits | Chris Priestley
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1st book of 2023. I‘d say it‘s a “little late” seeing how it‘s a retelling of “A Christmas Carol”, but book carried through New Years & 12th Night. Possibly one of the best “retellings” of “A Christmas Carol” I‘ve read. 100% true to Dickens‘ original & doesn‘t change a thing, but rather expands upon it in a way that gives new insight while still keeping the “spirit” (no pun intended), of the original.

13 likes1 stack add
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Jess_Franzino
Gallows Hill | Darcy Coates
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This was so CREEPY. Seriously, it takes a lot for a ghost book to actually scare me, but this one managed to. It was extremely unsettling, unpredictable, and intense. Easily one of the best ghost books I‘ve ever read. That said, I‘m addicted to Darcy Coates.

BarkingMadRead Ohhhhhh I have this on my shelf, i need to read this soon! 2mo
Jess_Franzino @BarkingMadRead Oh, it‘s total nightmare fuel (as in it literally gave me nightmares). But, that‘s sorta what made it awesome 🤣 2mo
BarkingMadRead I love books like that!!! 2mo
15 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Jess_Franzino
Gallows Hill | Darcy Coates
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Oh good. I love reading that the anniversary of a spooky curse happens to take place on the exact day I‘m reading it. 🤣

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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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Came here looking for a readathon ❤️ Been terrible about Litsy and reading in general this year, (aside from academic texts), and it‘s been made so much worse due to adjusting to my new job over the past month. Love my job, but need to chill and read for pleasure. Getting a new Kindle tomorrow, which should help.

Goal:
20 hours and/or 3 books

#novelnovember #readathon

Andrew65 Great to have you with us, and hope this helps you get a reading routine again. Good luck 😁 2mo
12 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
Raising the Horseman | Serena Valentino
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Haven‘t had much time to read this month since starting my new job, so this took me longer to get through than expected. Still, it was a lot of fun and put me into the Halloween spirit. While I wasn‘t crazy about “modern”, Kat; the original Katrina‘s story was great. Also, I always kinda felt like Ichabod was a jerk, so was glad to see that played out.

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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Untitled
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More of baby Kirby ❤️ #catsoflitsy

merelybookish Cutie! 😻 4mo
IndoorDame Awww! 😻😻😻 4mo
ravenlee 😍😻 4mo
IuliaC ❤️😻 4mo
Cathythoughts ♥️ 4mo
25 likes5 comments
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Jess_Franzino
Raising the Horseman | Serena Valentino
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Little Kirby has developed a love for books. #catsoflitsy

AmyG A bowtie? ❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
Jess_Franzino Yup. His older brother, Spike, (who is pictured in some of my other posts), has a matching one. We always keep the boys in matching bow ties, since they‘re tuxies. 4mo
16 likes2 comments
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Jess_Franzino
I'm Glad My Mom Died | Jennette McCurdy
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A lot of hyped books tend to be a bit “overrated”, just kind of filled with platitudes and almost seeming to capitalize off the #MeToo movement. This book was not that. It‘s worth every single bit of hype that it‘s gotten. Jeanette‘s voice was one that was so deeply silenced, that no one even considered how dark such abuse could get and how deep the lies ran, until she came out screaming in this book. She‘s def the writer she always wished to be.

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Jess_Franzino
The World Cannot Give | Tara Isabella Burton
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This was stunning. I needed a moment after reading this. It‘s haunting, lyrical, and extremely intense yet real. A bit nihilistic in a way that‘s kind of uncomfortable, but still, amazing. No idea why it has such a low rating on Goodreads, but I think that‘s from the same people who romanticize “The Secret History” (which Donna Tartt said not to do). This book gets meta with the “Dark Academia” thing, & notes the problems with romanticizing it:

19 likes1 stack add
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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Untitled
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It‘s been a while, but I need this. Hope to finish at least three books. #20in4 #readathon

Andrew65 Great to have you with us again, good luck 😊 5mo
22 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
Summer of '69 | Elin Hilderbrand
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When you‘re just trying to enjoy your book, but you have a cat. #catsoflitsy

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Jess_Franzino
Craven Manor | Darcy Coates
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My first Darcy Coates book & and definitely won‘t be my last ❤️ I‘m a sucker for gothic ghost stories, & this doesn‘t disappoint! It wasn‘t particularly scary, but great ghostly fun & definitely atmospheric with a lot of twists & turns I didn‘t expect. Also, loved the characters! Daniel is dumb AF, but he‘s young, so I forgive him. Total heart of gold. And I would die for Annalise and Bran. I actually wish there was a whole book about Bran.

Literary_Siren My first book from her I read was Ghost Camera, I loved it! I then binged all her books. 6mo
Jess_Franzino @Literary_Siren It‘s soooo tempting for me to binge all her books now, but my current TBR is HUGE. I‘m thinking of doing a giant Darcy Coates binge for October. 6mo
13 likes2 comments
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Jess_Franzino
Pan's Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun | Cornelia Funke, Guillermo Del Toro
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Absolutely stunning. That‘s the only way I can describe it. While I remember loving the movie, upon reading this, it feels like it started it‘s life as a book, not a film. Poignant, dark, and absolutely gorgeous.

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Jess_Franzino
Hoodoo | Ronald L. Smith
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Thank @BrittanyReads for recommending this amazing book! I‘m a sucker for MG ghost books when I want something light to read, and this one was above and beyond. It was actually pretty creepy. The character of Hoodoo was a great narrator, very true to the tone and time, and multi-dimensional. Also helps that I loooove a good book about hoodoo and/or voodoo. Taught about the magic & culture as well. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BrittanyReads Yay! I'm so happy you enjoyed it!! 😆 I have his other book on my shelves but haven't read it yet! I hope it's just as good! 7mo
Jess_Franzino @BrittanyReads I‘m so reading more of his books ❤️ You also inspired me to pick up some books by Darcy Coates! Sadly, BAM was out of “The Haunting of Ashburn House”, but they were having a “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” sale on her other books, so I got those. You have some killer taste in books 💕 7mo
BrittanyReads Aw, thank you! We have similar tastes! I'll keep an eye out for your reviews of books you love and add them to my TBR!! Definitely all the good ghost stories 👻 7mo
10 likes3 comments
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Jess_Franzino
The Counselors | Jessica Goodman
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Such a great summer read, especially if you like thrillers. It was a quick read and easy to get immersed in. There were a lot of twists and turns and multiple layers to what might have happened to the person who died. The characters were realistic as well. Plus, there was a great summer nostalgia vibe to it, which I‘m all for in July ❤️

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Jess_Franzino
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Not my usual type of book at all, but I‘m taking some time to relax from reading the academic journals I tend to (which has cut back on my leisure reading), to enjoy some light books while on vacation. This was surprisingly good. Summer-y and the characters are rather realistic. I‘m actually going to read/listen to the rest in the series.

Eggs I loved this series 💜 7mo
Jess_Franzino @Eggs They‘re so well written! Writing really makes all the difference, not matter what the genre. I unfortunately had to DNF the second one and read the summary because the cancer stuff was too triggering for me since my dad has cancer, but I‘m going to read the 3rd one. 7mo
Eggs Sorry to hear about your dad💔. I understand-I am a cancer survivor 7mo
Jess_Franzino @Eggs Thanks ❤️ He‘s doing well —handling it like a champ, so I have faith in him healing. Still, the second book wasn‘t the best thing for me to be reading while he‘s starting his second round of chemo 😬😬😬 I just didn‘t post it as DNF, since I didn‘t want to lower the rating on a really good book. Glad to hear that you‘re doing better ❤️ 7mo
7 likes4 comments
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Jess_Franzino
The Cold People | Christopher Pike
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TBH, I mostly listened to this on Audible because I‘m about 5 books behind on my Goodreads goal (much thanks to only ‘counting‘ leisure books & not academic texts on there 🙄), & it was super short. Plus, MG ghost books are sorta my guilty pleasure, so I thought it would be fun. It was more “zombies” & “Walking Dead” than ghosts, which is not my cup of tea. Plus, if was just kinda “blah” as a whole.

BrittanyReads Hoodoo was a wonderful MG and Gallant (VE Schwab) isn't MG but sort of felt like it to me. Both great if you haven't read them! 7mo
BrittanyReads Hoodoo is also a short one to help meet those goals!! The audio was good!! 7mo
BrittanyReads Darcy Coates is good for a quick ghost story too! Just read Ashburn House and really enjoyed it more than I thought I would. 7mo
Jess_Franzino @BrittanyReads Thanks for all the great recs! Will definitely add them to my TBR ❤️ 7mo
BrittanyReads You're welcome! 😀 7mo
10 likes5 comments
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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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Oops. Totally missed the start date on this. It‘s ok, though, because I was sick for the past two days and wouldn‘t have gotten any reading done. Is it too late to join? If not, I‘ll goal myself at 20 hours. #marvellousmay

Andrew65 You are free to join at any time 😊 Hope you are feeling better. 8mo
10 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
Hotel Magnifique | Emily J. Taylor
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I got this book the moment I saw that it was compared to “The Night Circus” & “Caraval”, as those are two of my all-tune favorite books. While I‘m not completely floored by it as I was the other two; it‘s still an astounding book and totally worth the read. The setting is very intriguing, and I especially loved the characters, who thankfully had a lot more layers & realism to them than is found in most YA fantasy.

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Jess_Franzino
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Absolutely stunning & a work of artistry. This is DEFINITELY not a MG or YA book, despite the narrator being 11. It‘s a retelling of ‘Hamlet‘ (not a single beat or character missed), with some hints of “The Oresteia” in it, but set in modern times. It‘s narrated by an 11-year-old boy whose father (a ghost) wants him to avenge his murder. The writing is kinda weird, but it‘s meant to sound like a young boy is narrating. (Con‘t in comments)

Jess_Franzino It‘s extremely haunting, especially if you listen to it on Audible, which uses a young boy as the narrator. I‘ve seen a lot of bad reviews about this book, but it seems that it‘s from people who didn‘t know what to expect. But, just stunning as a whole. 9mo
17 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
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Loved this so much, that I read the whole thing in one night, & I‘m pretty sure it cured my reading-slump (finally!). This was better than the first book, and it answered a lot of questions that the first book left me with. I also find Carrie to be a far more interesting narrator than Cadence was.

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Jess_Franzino
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This was SO much better than “Ariadne”! While I still will always despise Clytemnestra and find her to be just as bad as Agamemnon in canon; this book did an excellent job of showing the psychology behind her and Elektra. I‘m also glad that she didn‘t go with the version where Apollo r*pes Cassandra and also showed the youth & innocence of Orestes.

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Jess_Franzino
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Between this book and “The Maidens”, I can say that I‘m definitely an Alex Michaelides fan & look forward to reading more books by him. As a Greek Classics scholar and someone who is writing a retelling, I appreciate how he uses the Greek myths in a way that deep dives into the history and psychology involved and then shows a different way of looking at the myths.

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Jess_Franzino
Dead Poets Society | N.H. Kleinbaum
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It‘s been so long since I‘ve seen the movie, that I totally forgot what happened. So, I decided to read the book. Despite how the book was written after the movie, it worked very well as a book , (even if just a play-by-play of the movie as other readers have mentioned), especially since being able to actually read the poetry & see how it applied to the plot allowed me to appreciate it on another level.

Cathythoughts I loved the movie … book sounds like a good one to read ❤️👍 10mo
Jess_Franzino @Cathythoughts It‘s pretty much word-for-word the movie , but with a movie that connected with literature, it lends well to being a book, even without anything extra added. 10mo
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Jess_Franzino
Sin Eater: A Novel | Megan Campisi
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1st book of #20in4 done (though I only had a few chapters left). Absolutely stunning, & surprised this book doesn‘t have more hype. Set in a fictional version of 16th Century England, May is punished for stealing bread by having to live her life as a Sin Eater— someone who eats food that symbolizes the sins of the dying. Powerful, beautiful, & a rare historic piece where the protag fits with the era, as opposed to being modernized. All the stars!

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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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#20in4 is finally happening on a free weekend for me! Yay!

Andrew65 Brilliant. Great to have you with us, good luck. 😊👍 11mo
14 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
The Mary Shelley Club | Goldy Moldavsky
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This was better than I expected. At first I thought it was going to be a bit *too* YA-ish, but then it turned into a psychological thriller with a ton of dark twists and turns. I especially enjoyed it seeing how I adore horror movies & books.

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Jess_Franzino
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This book was so very pretty. Pretty in a haunting, gothic sort of way. It‘s told from the POV of a ghost, in a world where ghosts are very well known to exist, (despite being loathed), and hunted. I‘m curious to read the rest of the series. Also, I‘m a sucker for books where ghosts are the narrator...strange as that is 😂

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Jess_Franzino
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Mehso-so

Seeing the amount of hype and awards this book has received, I decided to listen to it on Audible. While the writing is fantastic, I found it pretty dang boring aside from a few parts. Nothing against the writing or the book, just not for me. It had kind of a “Circe”-vibe, at least with the character of Kya. I also had trouble relating to/feeling for Circe, which I think was my same issue here. I feel weird for not relating/being moved. #20in4

abbyreadz Ugh I‘m almost done with it and feeling the same way. I‘m like??? Did I read this wrong?? Why is everyone so about this?? 11mo
Jess_Franzino @abbyreadz TBH, I think it was the character of Kya. I really don‘t like “I am so tough, yet watch me whine for 300+ pages” type characters, I think. 11mo
25 likes2 comments
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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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Going to try #20in4 again, and likely won‘t get to 20, (again), though, this time it‘s because I‘m going to my dad‘s wedding tomorrow. Still, I have some travel time on the train and most of Sunday, so we shall see.

❤️I‘d like to finish both “Where the Crawdads Sing” (audiobook) & “Grace Year” (print). Though, I‘d settle for finishing the audiobook and getting a good chunk of the other book read.

Andrew65 Great to have you with us, good luck 😊👍 12mo
13 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
Euripides: Bacchae | Euripides
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Admittedly, I don‘t feel like I read the best translation of the play, (it was the free one on Kindle Unlimited). Still, in studying the comparison between Dionysus and Orestes for the book I‘m writing, (in which I maintain that Orestes is supposed to be one of the reincarnations of Dionysus), this was super important. If read alongside Euripides‘ “Oresteia”, it‘s easy to spot how it‘s like “The Bacchae”, but inverted. Euripides knew 😉

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Jess_Franzino
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Had planned to finish this a lot sooner, but ended up catching Omicron, which made me spend the past 5 days asleep 😩 I ‘read‘ this when I was 14 for school, (by ‘read‘ I mean the Cliffsnotes due to being an angsty teen). This was friggin‘ incredible. So glad I chose to revisit it. Had missed most of it the first time, so this was new to me. Love Atticus ❤️❤️❤️ Seriously, Atticus is the best.

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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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Just found out this was going on, but 10in2 (I guess, since I‘m starting halfway through 😂), would be rather helpful, seeing how I want to start 2022 off right, since 2021 was such a bad reading year for me. Need to get back in the groove of reading more than academic journals. Would love to finish “To Kill A Mockingbird” (audio) & “What Once Was Mine”, which I started at midnight, this weekend. #20in4

Andrew65 Great to have you with us. Enjoy your #10in2 🤣 13mo
11 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
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I spent most of December redoing my living room and decorating, resulting in most (if not all my books this month), being audio books. Also, side note, that‘s the “A Christmas Story Musical” on my tv. It‘s an absolute favorite in my house.

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Jess_Franzino
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Panpan

Well, this was horrid. Saw it on Audible and I love Christmas ghost stories, so I decided to give it a whirl. Weak writing, a lot of people “letting out breaths they didn‘t know they were holding”, the narration was poor, and a cat died 😢

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Jess_Franzino
Jacob T. Marley | R. William Bennett
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I love a good “Christmas Carol” retelling/reimagining, especially when they go deeper into the characters and keep true to the Dickensian spirit (no pun intended), of the original. This one was great. Focused on the impression Marley had on Scrooge in his life & after life.

hannah-leeloo I'll have to try this one. Have you read tagged book? I enjoyed that retelling too. 14mo
12 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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Post says it all. Please drop any current #readathons you know of here, and help a #litten in a year-long reading slump out ❤️❤️❤️ #litsyhappenings

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Jess_Franzino
Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel | Val Emmich, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
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I love the musical and hated the movie. However, I must admit, it worked SO much better as a book. I especially loved the added insight of Conner through his POV chapters.

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Jess_Franzino
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This was a fun way to get in the holiday spirit. Wonderfully written stories. Had a very “classic” feel to them, yet we‘re not overwrought and plenty spooky. It was one of the rare occasions where I enjoyed all the stories in an anthology.

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Jess_Franzino
Untitled | Unknown
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Joining this super late, but I feel like reading will help my writers block with #NaNoWriMo . I‘ve also been bad at reading anything other than academic texts over the past year, so want to catch up with reading that isn‘t related to Greek Classics. Anywho, goaling myself at 15 hours. #NovelNovember

Andrew65 Great to have you with us, good luck and hope it helps 😊👍 1y
12 likes1 comment
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Jess_Franzino
Once Upon A Broken Heart | Stephanie Garber
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4/5. I love Stephanie Garber‘s writing, as well as the world she has created. However, I didn‘t find this book to be half as engrossing and immersive as the “Caraval” trilogy. Still, I feel like it will pick up in the sequels, as it definitely started to get much better towards the end.

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Jess_Franzino
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Decided I needed a spooky, ghostly, Halloween read (since I love all things ghost-related), and this one definitely fit the the bill. It had a bit of a “Ring” vibe, especially in the vivid descriptions of the ghost (which is rather graphic, so warning if you‘re not into that kind of stuff). Also, some fun history in solving the background of Mary. Also a sequel, as it‘s a duology , which I‘ll def read.

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Jess_Franzino
Whisper Down the Lane: A Novel | Clay McLeod Chapman
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This was a straight up chilling psychological thriller. It was based off some real events that happened in the 80‘s, but a completely fictional account. The POV shifts between a little boy when he was 5 years old who perpetrated a lie (thinking it was a game), that ended up creating mass hysteria about Satanic cults, & then the boy as an adult when the past comes back to haunt him.

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Jess_Franzino
Thirteens | Kate Alice Marshall
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This was ridiculously good. Far better and more complex than I would have expected from a MG novel (though, I‘ve read several really good ones). It was extremely clever & so much mystery & intrigue! Plus, it was the perfect Halloween book!

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Jess_Franzino
The Burning Girls | C. J. Tudor
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I definitely feel like I would have gotten more out of this book if I had read it as opposed to listening to it on Audible. Still, it was very well written and I loved the history and psychology brought in. Also, some good creepy ghost moments.

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Jess_Franzino
One of Us Is Lying | Karen M. Mcmanus
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This was so much fun and really well written! I did actually guess the “whodunnit” a little over halfway through the book, but wasn‘t certain on it, as it seemed way too “out there”. However, the way it pieced together was phenomenal & rather dark. Also, loved the fleshed-out/flawed yet likable characters & their growth.

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Jess_Franzino
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WHHYYY?! I mean, the title warned me, but dang, I‘m more wrecked than when I read “Song of Achilles”. This book is so crazy good, but your heart will get torn out of you. This might be my top book of 2021.

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Jess_Franzino
We Were Liars | E Lockhart
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Mehso-so

I def think I missed a lot in listening to it over Audible as opposed to reading it. Still, the narrator confused me. Like, metaphors & symbolism are great —so long as it‘s clear that‘s what it is. (Ie. I spent the 1st half of the book thinking her dad had literally shot her). Though, the twist haunts me, so , extra points for that. #20in4

BookDragonNotWorm The twist completely blindsided me and made me cry! Totally unexpected. 1y
Jess_Franzino @BookDragonNotWorm Yeah. The twist has hurt me. Like, I had a literal bad dream last night from the twist 😢 I think I missed a lot of this book by listening to it rather than reading it, sadly. But that twist. Omg. 1y
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Jess_Franzino
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This was absolutely stunning. It‘s def not a YA paranormal book (as the description might suggest), but rather a beautiful piece of literary fiction. Thankfully, I went in knowing what to expect. A lot of thoughts on memory and history, as well as a bit of a gothic feel to it. I also enjoyed how it got a bit meta with itself. This book is super underrated. #20in4

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Jess_Franzino
Dark Waters | Katherine Arden
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While I didn‘t find it quite as spooky as the other two books in the series, it was still a lot of fun. I was a bit worried about things ending too fast and things not being resolved, but it does end with a good cliffhanger, so it ended up working well. Excited for the next in the series. #20in4

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