What We've Been Reading
Book Reviews,  Reading Recommendations

What We’ve Been Reading #86

Happy Wednesday! Today we’re back with review link-ups featuring horror stories by Christina Henry, Gwendolyn Kiste, and Caitlin Starling.

We hope you find a new favorite book! Don’t forget to click either tag above to find more good books ♥


The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry

When people go missing in the sleepy town of Smith’s Hollow, the only clue to their fate comes when a teenager starts having terrifying visions, in a chilling horror novel from national bestselling author Christina Henry.

When the bodies of two girls are found torn apart in the town of Smiths Hollow, Lauren is surprised, but she also expects that the police won’t find the killer. After all, the year before her father’s body was found with his heart missing, and since then everyone has moved on. Even her best friend, Miranda, has become more interested in boys than in spending time at the old ghost tree, the way they used to when they were kids.

So when Lauren has a vision of a monster dragging the remains of the girls through the woods, she knows she can’t just do nothing. Not like the rest of her town. But as she draws closer to answers, she realizes that the foundation of her seemingly normal town might be rotten at the center. And that if nobody else stands for the missing, she will.

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

Audra’s Teaser Review

A nostalgic, supernatural, female-centric, coming-of-age horror novel—that is my jam, right there.

Read Audra’s entire review at Goodreads.


The Invention of Ghosts by Gwendolyn Kiste

The Invention of Ghosts by Gwendolyn Kiste

It starts with rapping in the ceiling and spirit boards that know them a little too well.

Everly and her best friend aren’t your typical college students. Instead of raucous Saturday night parties, they spend their weekends conjuring up things from the beyond. Ectoplasm, levitation, death photography – you name it, and Everly knows all about it. But while this obsession with the supernatural is only supposed to be in good fun, the girls soon discover themselves drifting deeper into magic and further from each other. Then when one evening ends with an inadvertently broken promise, everything they’ve ever known is shattered in an instant, sending them spiraling into a surreal haunting. Now Everly must learn how to control the spectral forces she’s unleashed if she wants any chance of escaping a ghost more dangerous than all the witchcraft she can summon.

From the Nightscape Press Charitable Chapbooks line (one third of all sales of this chapbook will go to support the National Aviary), a tale of the occult, unlikely phantoms, and complicated friendships, The Invention of Ghosts is the latest strange vision from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens

Amazon | Goodreads

Toni’s Teaser Review

I love how Kiste played with past, present and future in the story. She played with the friendship in this story with such grace and beauty. This was an amazing look at the memory and the friendship between the two girls in the book. When the story was finished my heart hurt for awhile.

Read Toni’s entire review at The Misadventures Of A Reader.


Yellow Jessamine by Caitlin Starling

Powerful shipping magnate Evelyn Perdanu lives a tight, contained life, holding herself at a distance from all who would get close to her. Her family is dead, her country is dying, and when something foul comes to the city of Delphinium, the brittle, perilous existence she’s built for herself is strained to breaking.

When one of her ships arrives in dock, she counts herself lucky that it made it through the military blockades slowly strangling her city. But one by one, the crew fall ill with a mysterious sickness: an intense light in their eyes and obsessive behavior, followed by a catatonic stupor. Even as Evelyn works to exonerate her company of bringing plague into her besieged capital city, more and more cases develop, and the afflicted all share one singular obsession: her.

Panicked and paranoid, she retreats to her estate, which rests on a foundation of secrets: the deaths of her family, the poisons and cures that hasten the dissolution of the remaining upper classes, and a rebel soldier, incapacitated and held hostage in a desperate bid for information. But the afflicted are closing in on her, and bringing the attention of the law with them. Evelyn must unearth her connection to the spreading illness, and fast, before it takes root inside her home and destroys all that she has built.

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

Emily’s Teaser Review

Yellow Jessamine is Caitlin Starling’s second book, and I loved being able to see her range between this one and The Luminous Dead since they are different styles. This is a gothic novella, and the writing fits the story so well.

Read Emily’s entire review at Goodreads.


Thank you for joining us today! We hope you found something to add to your tbr list. Please share your recent reads with us in the comments below.

If you are a LOHF writer and have a book you’d like us to consider for a review please visit our review submission page here.


Laurie is one of our LOHF Admins. Laurie creates our review posts, coordinates review requests, oversees the Ladies of Horror Fiction directory, and manages our LOHF Goodreads group.

You can find Laurie on her blog Bark’s Book Nonsense, on Twitter as @barksbooks, on Instagram as @barksbooks, and on Goodreads.


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