Halloween Spooky Book Roundup!

One of our favorite holidays is finally here! Happy Halloween, everyone!

Of course, the best way to celebrate is with a themed bookish roundup, which is one of our favorite things to do. First, a bit of a disclaimer -- Jessica is a total chicken and doesn't read that many "scary" books, but the occasional mystery or thriller! So there are definitely some extra-scary picks out there that may have not made it onto the list. But without further ado, here's our spooky books roundup!


So those were some spooky books that we rounded up to celebrate Halloween! Have you read any of them before? What did you think? And which extra-scary ones are we missing that you think should've been included? Comment down below and let us know!

If you need us, we'll be eating our weight in Halloween candy and fearfully prepping ourselves for NaNoWriMo tomorrow!

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Blue by L.E. DeLano

L.E. DeLano
Publication date: October 26th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

When Blue Mancini’s mother picked her name, it ended up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A year ago, Blue’s brother, Jack, was involved in a car accident that killed the father of her classmate, Maya Rodriguez. Luckily for Jack, he got out of a manslaughter charge and into a plea bargain thanks to the top-notch lawyer hired by Blue’s wealthy parents.

The fallout is now affecting Blue as Maya returns to school determined to carve out a pound of flesh from the only member of the Mancini family she can reach. On top of that, Blue has a demanding mother, a father who’s never around, a drama-addicted best friend, and a secretive new guy who’s determined to make Blue his own personal cheer-up project. It’s a perfect storm of misery.

When Maya’s social media taunts and in-person digs finally push Blue to retaliate, they find themselves in afterschool detention and forced into a project meant to foster cooperation and civility. As the layers of their tangled drama unravel, Blue learns more about Maya’s life—and her own sense of privilege—when secrets are revealed that cast a new perspective on everything in Blue’s world.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


My stomach tightens so hard I feel like I’m going to puke. I glance at my phone again, and the texts from last night are still there.

Maya’s back at school

my mom saw her mom at Target

Maya is back

did u see her pic on IG

Did you hear about Maya?

I shove the phone back down in the pocket of my coat and I blow on my fingers to get them warm. I should have remembered my gloves but the whole morning is a blur and I had to get out of my house and now I’m sitting in my car in the cold and I can’t bring myself to turn the key in the ignition.

The phone comes out again. I have got to get a grip on myself. I know better, but I open up Instagram and find her picture. She looks good. Well, better than the last time I saw her, which wasn’t a great time for her. Or me.

Last night, I stayed up trying not to obsess about this and nursing a throbbing hand—which makes me tired and wishing more than anything I could go back to bed and forget the rest of this semester. I’m going to be late for school if I don’t get it together. The phone drops from my hand when a fist slams repeatedly into my window, scaring the hell out of me.

“Jules!” I shriek. “What the—”

“Got tired of waiting,” she says, opening the door and sliding into the passenger seat. “You better get moving or we’ve got another unexcused tardy.”

I suppose it’s a good thing she lives four houses down, but right now I wish she lived in a neighboring town and took the bus.

“Let’s go.” I stuff my phone down into my coat pocket, trying to ignore the way it’s vibrating again. Jules’s eyes drop down, having heard it.

“So is everybody all up in your business?”

“Oh God,” I moan. “All day yesterday and still going this morning. This is such a non-event. It really is.”

“Did you see her pic?”

“Yeah, but I don’t think that was meant for me.”

Jules raises her brows. “You don’t?”

“Nah,” I say with what I hope is a careless shrug.

“Back at Audubon and nobody’s gonna keep me down,” Jules reads aloud while looking at her phone. Obviously, she had the picture open. Maya, in her bedroom, wearing a blue hoodie and smiling, both thumbs up. Her hair is longer now and she looks really pretty.

“I think she means more like, the world in general isn’t going to keep her down,” I tell her.

“I guess,” Jules agrees, only she doesn’t sound like she agrees even a little bit. “Lauren says Maya’s got Poly Sci third block with Jones.”

“Well then,” I force a smile as I start the car. “I guess we’ll find out if my theory is right.”

“She better not think she can start something.”

“Jules.” I give her a look. “Drop it, okay? I mean, she and I barely know each other.”

“I don’t think that’s true anymore.”

“No, it’s still true.” I reverse out of the driveway so fast, Jules rocks sideways in her seat.

“Whoa! Don’t go psycho on me! I’m just sayin’!”

“And I’m just saying; drop it. I’ve got enough of a feeding frenzy going on around me without you hopping on the boat, too.”

“You really don’t think that pic was meant for you?”

I stomp the brake just as we’re moving forward, and Jules rocks in the seat again.

“You honestly think I’m trying to keep Maya down? Like I don’t want her to succeed? In spite of—in spite of everything?”

Jules holds up her hands, finally realizing, I guess, that my nerves are a jangling, dangling mess.

“I’m not busting on you. I’m on your side, remember?”

“There aren’t any sides here,” I remind her with a sigh. “Not for Maya, or for me. Neither one of us had a thing to do with it.”

“Yeah, but dude—your brother killed her Dad.”

I put the car in gear and drive.

Author Bio:

L.E. DeLano comes equipped with a “useless” Theatre degree that has opened doors for her in numerous ways. Though mostly raised in New Mexico, she now lives in Pennsylvania with two adventurous kids and two ridiculous cats. When she’s not writing (which is almost never), she’s binge-watching Netflix and planning road trips.

Her debut novel, TRAVELER was selected as a Keystone To Reading Secondary Book Award finalist for school year 2018-19 by the Keystone State Reading Association (KSRA) and also voted one of The 20 Most Beautiful Books in the World for 2017 by MTV UK.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We'd like to thank the lovely team over at Xpresso for having us be a part of this book blitz! If BLUE sounds like the type of book you'd be interested in, don't forget to add it to your TBR! And don't forget to enter the giveaway above for a fun prize, too!


Interview & Exciting Giveaway with Longhand Pencils!

oday, we have such an exciting post that we are so thrilled to share with you all, so without further ado, let's jump right into it! When Kasee from Longhand Pencils reached out to us about wanting to collaborate on a special Book Bratz pencil set together, we were over the moon. Seriously. This was us fangirling among ourselves:

Needless to say, it was a dream come true. And today, we're excited to interview Kasee on our blog, before unveiling the amazing Book Bratz pencil pack that she designed for us! (Plus, we'll tell you how you can win your very own set!) But first thing's first: talking to Kasee!

I’ve had my share of looking at screens and pounding on keys. Haven’t you? Let’s take it back to the good ‘ol days — of lending cute boys your pencil, collecting animal-shaped erasers and scratch-n-sniff stickers, crafting love letters and diary entries, and most importantly — writing by hand.
Keep up with Kasee & Longhand Pencils: Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / YouTube

The Book Bratz: Welcome to the blog! We're so excited to have you chatting here with us today. First thing's first: What's Longhand Pencils?

Kasee: Thank you so much for having me! This is an honor. It's my dream to be an *honorary* Book Brat. So excited to chat with y'all! Longhand Pencils is my dream business. As a writer and avid reader, it's my perfect marriage of two passions: writing and pop culture. I hand-stamp and sell pop-culture-inspired pencil sets, including a large portion of book-themed sets. I love reading and sharing about new releases through a unique medium that is functional and fun.

The Book Bratz: What made you decide to start Longhand Pencils?

Kasee: Like I said, I'm a writer by profession and am always writing things by hand. When I was moving two years ago and discovered some stamped pencils I had gotten from a gift shop, I thought: I love these! But I want to have these stamped with things I love: my favorite books, movies, TV shows, etc. I wanted to be able to talk about pop culture of the day through pencils, a tool that represented what I love: words and writing. So I started researching how to stamp pencils, bought a machine, and got to work. It took me a while to get over the learning curve of hot foil stamping, but here I am, two years later, loving every minute of this fun business journey!

The Book Bratz: How exactly are these pencils designed and made? It looks like such an awesome process!

Kasee: It really is a cool process! I use a hot foil stamping machine, which heats up and transfers the impression of the type onto foil, which embosses onto the blank pencil. (I have a few YouTube videos of the process here.) For me, it requires a lot of precision and attention to detail, and with so many screens in our lives, it's a really cool activity I can do with my hands. (Lord knows I can't make bread or paint!) I hand-stamp every pencil, so the machine and I are a good team. :-)

The Book Bratz: What's your favorite set that you have designed so far?

Kasee: Wow, this question is HARD. One of the first sets I dreamed up while starting the business was a set for all my favorite quotes and symbols from Sarah Dessen books. Her stories had a huge impact on me growing up (and still do as a writer!), and I wanted to pay homage to that with a special pencil set. It's still one of my favorites. Some other favorites of mine are the Tropes pencil set (which was inspired by my work with the team at Sourcebooks Casablanca), the Red, White, and Royal Blue set, and the Jane Eyre set (my favorite book of all time!) Those last two are also some of the most difficult to stamp!

The Book Bratz: What made you decide to partner with us for a special Book Bratz kit?

Kasee: Okay, well first of all, I'm totally fangirling about even collaborating with y'all! I love talking about books with people on social media, and I kept seeing TBB around the Twitter watercooler. I love The Book Bratz reviews and your passion for reading and sharing about books! I wanted to create a special TBB pencil set, designed with your brand and audience in mind. The Book Bratz are dearly beloved! Plus, I feel like us four are kindred spirits??? Let's take a reading retreat together sometime, okay? <3 [TBB: We are *totally* down for this!!!]

The Book Bratz: What's your dream collaboration?

Kasee: I have done so many amazing collaborations, especially with authors and publishers. As a writer and reader, this is honestly the dream. I'm living it everyday! Also, recently, I got to work with Myriam from @peaches.obviously (on IG) who designed the most GORGEOUS clinch cover coloring book. I'm seriously obsessed with it. I've also got something cooking with my friend Abbi from @bybayjewelry which I'm super excited about. So truly, I've gotten to collaborate already with so many amazing people! As for a dream collaboration, I'd love to work with a major publisher on a book preorder campaign, or as a way to create buzz for a TV show (like Starstruck. Have you seen that? Hilarious!).

The Book Bratz: What's next for Longhand Pencils?

Kasee: Stamping, stamping, and more stamping! I'm always at work on restocking fan favorites, dreaming up new sets, and working on creating new fun, pop-culture themed products. I've also got lots of book sets in the works that I'm really excited to share! I've recently started an author discussion series with Jacob from @a.veryqueerbookclub, and we do fun IG Live Q&As with authors and give away pencil sets related to their books! We recently did one with THE CHARM OFFENSIVE'S Alison Cochurn and it was a blast. We have tons more scheduled and I can't wait. 

The Book Bratz: Where can people find you if they want to check out your products and social media accounts?

Kasee: On the internets. Ha. But really, I'm always around somewhere, haunting your local bookstore or online on IG, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, (and maybe one day, TikTok???) @longhandpencils. Send me a book rec or a meme and we'll be besties. You can always shop Longhand Pencils products in my shop at longhandpencils.com.

And now, it's time for the moment you've all been waiting for...the reveal of our special Book Bratz set with Longhand Pencils!

Buy your own Book Bratz set here!

Oh gosh, just looking at it again makes us tear up. Kasee was amazing and helped us come up with some great colors and phrases to include in the set.

Here are the six pencils that are in the set:

The Book Bratz

Rom-Com Supremacy 

Spicy Books & Chill

Just One More Chapter

Book Buying Ban Who?

I've Got a Book Hangover

But that's not all...to celebrate the collaboration, we're giving away TWO (2) sets of the Book Bratz pencil kit! All you have to do to enter is check out the details pinned at the top of our Twitter page. The giveaway will only be running until 11/4, so don't miss out!

Thank you *so* much to Kasee for not only crafting such a gorgeous set of pencils for us, but also for stopping by the blog today for an interview. And, if you haven't already, go head over to longhandpencils.com right this very minute to get yourself some gorgeous pencils, stationery, and more...including our set

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Thrilling & Chilling Reads!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between! 

This Week's Theme: Favorite thrilling and chilling reads!


Have you read any of these books? What books made your TTT this week!? Leave your link below so we can stop back!