These Witches Don’t Burn Series by Isabel Sterling

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 9/29/20-10/2/20

How I Found It: Instagram

Reminder: This review is of a series and not an individual book. While I will write a synopsis for each book, I will do my best to not give away blatant spoilers. With that being said, the end of one book more or less is the start of another, so information from the end of the previous book may play a role in the plot of the next book, thus I have to give away the spoiler. Read the synopsis at your own discretion.

As far as I know, this “series” is only two books, and will only be two books. But, if I’m wrong, I will definitely be reading any other additions to these books.

These Witches Don’t Burn

A lot happens, so bear with me on this one. Our main character is Hannah, who is an Elemental Witch in Salem, MA. She just recently ended a relationship with Veronica, who is also an Elemental. They had a really bad experience with a Blood Witch, so when things started acting weird, they immediately think that a Blood Witch is out to get them. So they fight the whole time, but suddenly extremely dangerous and scary things start happening, which puts everyone’s lives in mortal danger. Turns out, a Blood Witch isn’t the problem, but a Witch Hunter is. But who could be the Witch Hunter, and can Hannah stop them before they kill her?

This Coven Won’t Break

Going from book one directly into book two, I don’t remember the cut off point very clearly. So we spend this book dealing with the grief of losing a father, the PTSD of almost being burned to the stake, and the pure hatred Hannah feels for the people who caused all of this pain. With everything that happened, Hannah is struggling to regain control over her powers. Despite this struggle, Hannah works along with the agents of the Council to find and destroy the Witch Hunters’ plans to strip all witches of their magic.

There is a prequel to these books, but I am going to be reading that on my personal time, and not making it part of this post. Firstly, having gone through the process of losing a parent, I totally understood the pain that Hannah was experiencing, and the complete dread of thinking you will lose someone else. Secondly, can we please normalize having YA authors featuring less famous work in their books? Truly feels great to see that. Thirdly, I am so happy when I get to read works that feature non-hetero-cis relationships. There’s no better way to increase acceptability than to continually include a wide range of people into your literature.

I definitely had fun listening to this series, but there were some moments where I just wanted to facepalm. At the end of the day, I think I would rank this series pretty high, so I am going to give this series 4.5 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 9/4/20-9/10/20

How I Found It: Personal Recommendation

I debated with myself a lot about whether or not I should make separate posts for this book and The Shining. While the main character is the same in these two novels, the large majority of this book is its own entity, so I felt like it deserved its own review.

Following the events at the Overlook Hotel, Dan finds himself falling into his father’s footsteps, becoming a raging alcoholic in his adult years. When an event happens that Dan can’t seem to shake, he takes off, ending up in New Hampshire. Thanks to his shine, Dan finds a place to live in the small town called Fraser, where he also finds the help he needs to get off the drink. But soon Dan meets Abra, or at least her mind. See, Abra also has the shine, but hers is so much stronger than his, even when they first meet when she was 2 months old. I feel like I am describing this really badly, but I also don’t know how to describe this better.

Abra ended up having a nightmare where she saw a young boy (called the “baseball boy”) getting tortured and killed by a group of vampire-esque people. Again, hard to explain without reading the book, but these people, called the True Knot, are eternal people who survive off of people’s shine, most often children. Struggling with this information, Abra searched out Dan in her mind to figure out how to rectify this situation. They began to formulate a plan in order to both protect Abra while also finding a way to break down the True Knot so that they can no longer hurt children.

And while I have given probably a terrible synopsis of this story, I am going to leave this one here. As someone who has read both books, I can say that each book could stand on their own, meaning that even if you didn’t read The Shining, you could probably, based on the context clues given about the first book, be able to fully understand everything that is being explained in this book. I also think that The Shining is complete without needing to read Doctor Sleep. I will also say, I think The Shining is more of a horror story, while Doctor Sleep is more thriller-esque (imo), which is part of the main reason I see these books as worth separate reviews.

When it comes to forming an opinion on this book, I keep finding myself comparing to the first book. This book (and to an extent The Shining) are more within my range of books I like. I am quickly realizing that King enjoys writing about telepathy, which is something that I find intriguing, but am quickly feeling is played out. I’m not sure if I just ended up picking the lucky few of his books that feature this element, but of the 5 King books I have read in my life, 4 of them have a telepathic/telekinetic theme (The Institute, Dreamcatcher, The Shining, and Doctor Sleep all have this element, Under the Dome (404: review not found) is the only one at the time of writing this review that does not, as far as I can remember). This book, since written in a different era, also no longer has the many problematic things that I noticed within The Shining. All in all, it was a really good thriller (and book for that matter), but some of its legs to stand on are a little overplayed and outdated. Ultimately, I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Horror

So I’ll be honest, horror is not my genre. I very rarely pick up books that are considered horror mainly because I have many triggers that are tropes for horror. For that reason, this post will probably seem a little disjointed and a lot more educational than personal.

Horror is designed by fear. This fear could be of the supernatural, this fear could be Jason in the woods killing teenagers at a camp, and/or this fear could even be being stuck in a monotonous loop that you can’t get out of. Clearly, based on my lack of experience in the genre, I’m not a huge fan of fear. However, there are a lot of people who enjoy being afraid, which all power to ya. There are books that you can find “scary” that are not horror books, just as there are books that are universally accepted as “horror” that you may think is not scary. Horror is probably one of the hardest genre (imo) to classify because everyone has different triggers and different levels of response.

In a Google search of popular writers within the genre, H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, and Stephen King are among the most common names I have seen. Surprisingly (or maybe not so), there are few authors in the YA genre that are also in this list. From personal experience, Laurie Faria Stolarz is a really good YA horror writer (and I personally think her stuff is scarier that Stephen King’s *shots fired*).

So, here are my tips for you guys:

  1. Know what triggers you. While it feels weird telling you my kryptonite, but I am triggered by paranormal, especially demonic, activity. I have noticed in my time as an avid reader, I can handle a lot more while I am reading, but I can’t handle watching. So if there is a movie for the books I am reading in the horror genre, I probably won’t watch it. Know your limits and be willing to give yourself the chance to walk away when needed.
  2. Figure out what gives you the biggest rush. The entire purpose for the genre is to have you experience fear, so figure out what will cause that. But be willing to try out things that are outside of that. There is a scene in Divergent where Tris finds out that she is afraid of something after experiencing someone else’s fear dream. Sometimes you won’t know unless you are willing to try.
  3. Which leads to the final tip: try. As amazing as popular horror writers are, there are many less popularized authors that are killing it in the genre. Try new books, new authors, and new ideas; you never know what you will discover.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Shining by Stephen King

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 8/31/20-9/3/20

How I Found It: Personal Recommendation

FINALLY! I was really starting to question whether I should do a Stephen King month, but finally we found one of his books I really enjoyed. At the time of writing this, I’m not sure if Doctor Sleep will be part of this review yet, but I’m hoping that this will be a good precedent for the rest of the King books I have planned.

When Jack Torrence loses his job, he takes his wife, Wendy, and 5-year-old son, Danny, up to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to the Overlook Hotel. As the hotel is getting shut down for the season, Danny talks to the cook, Dick Halloran, about his ability to see glimpses of the future and to know what people are thinking. Dick informs him that he has that ability too, and his mother called it “The Shining”. Since Danny has a much stronger Shining, they make a plan to call Dick if he is ever needed and he will come. And I know that this all seems like really useless information, especially because I won’t really touch on it later in the review since, ya know, I can’t give you too many spoilers, but I think you could figure this one out.

So this hotel. With a very bloody history. the hotel is fraught with ghosts of its past (see that SAT word there?). Immediately, we feel the dark presence(s) that are in the hotel, which provides this really creepy haze over the story. And then we get these paranormal experiences (which I am not going to explain for maximum creepiness when you read it) that definitely activated my goosebumps while I was at work.

Jack has a history of being an alcoholic, and with the added stress of the hotel, he is constantly going back to his habits from when he would drink. Sadly (or not), the hotel is completely dry, so he is continuing to struggle with his need for a drink with his inability to get one. On top of that, the longer that he is in the hotel, the more his anger comes out, causing him to react at a pindrop. It becomes so much that Wendy and Danny want off the mountain, but the sheer amount of snow prevents them from doing so.

And while I need to stop because I will keep talking and giving away WAY too much, this book is super creepy and fun to read. And while I am giving this book a lot of praise, let’s get into some nitty gritty things. This book was published in 1977, which means that some things that could easily be ignored then can’t be as easily ignored now, so read at your discretion. I will also say that I think a lot of my praise comes from reading his other novels and not being overly impressed. However, this is a solid book, and I am so happy that I finally found one of his books enjoyable.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Palo Duro by Andrew J Brandt

How I Read It: PDF

Dates Read: 9/13/20

How I Found It: Reedsy Discovery

This is a review for Reedsy Discovery. The original review is posted at The review on this blog is slightly less formal, and a lot of me working out what I wanted to say in the official review. Please check out the other review as well!

Very rarely do I sit down with my dad because I need to work out how I feel about a book. There are a lot of things that. truly enjoyed, but there were a lot of things that didn’t match up to my expectation. On a personal note, this is the first book that I have reviewed from the Reedsy Discovery collection, so I am a little nervous about this entire thing. So bear with me, here we go!

Set in Palo Duro, Texas, United States of America, Rachel Hernandez disappears after discovering a Native American cave. Her twin, Ricky, and her roommate, Jordan, are left trying to piece together what happened and how they can find a way to move on with their lives. But when Rachel’s phone shows up 4 months later, Ricky and Jordan start to learn that things are not as they seem.

So potential spoiler, as a reader, my immediate connection to something else I have read is The Magic Treehouse series. It’s been a hot minute since I have read the books (and considering I stopped reading them in middle school, I have read A LOT of them), but I was immediately taken back to my childhood. This book, in my opinion, is a grown up version of the books I grew up as a child. But with that said, it is definitely designed for people on the younger end of the young adult (my dad says to call that young teen).

This book has been advertised as being a thriller. I really don’t see it. I think that this could be considered an adventure, a mystery or a mixture of the two, but there weren’t enough elements of a thriller for me to feel like it falls in this category.

So now is the time where I need to give my star review. As someone who has a lot of opinions, I have been tossing and turning in my head of what to give this book. If I was younger, and hadn’t read as many thrillers in the past month, I probably would give this book a higher rating, and is that really fair? There are a lot of people who are giving this a 4 star review, and I just can’t in good conscience agree. So I am personally going to give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Dreamcatcher by Stephen King

How I Read It: Audiobook/Ebook

Dates Read: 8/12/20-8/15/20

How I Found It: Facebook/ Personal Recommendation

Okay, so normally I wouldn’t give you guys a heads up this is what I think is going to happen, but here’s my heads up this is what I think is going to happen. So, SPOILER ALERT? Maybe?

At the current moment, I am at the end of chapter 11, which translates to about 9 and a half hours of listening. Now, I have only read Under the Dome and The Institute (which the latter is a review on this site), have never seen a Stephen King novel adapted into a movie or TV show (other than Under the Dome, I definitely watched Under the Dome, mainly for Colin Ford), but I have a pretty good idea of what Stephen King endings are like. So, with a finger wag of a eureka moment into the air, my primary assumption of this book is that the main guys’ friend, Duddits, was the home for an alien species, and since Duddits has leukemia, I am assuming that he is the reason why the alien stuff is going on. With all that being said, I also think that the book will end by the alien fungal stuff or whatever being killed (potentially by a big wildfire), and since the fungal stuff is killed, Duddits died. Quote me on it, this is my prediction made on August 13th, 2020 at 8:04 PM EST. So, by the power of the Internet, I will see you guys once I finish the book, which will only be a page break for you guys.

Hi, I’m done now. Okay, so my guess was not completely off, but wasn’t great either. But not the point of this review, let’s get into it. Firstly, this book is about aliens, and describes very aggressive bodily harm in extreme detail. If those are triggering for you, then maybe this ain’t for you, chief.

So there’s these 4 guys, Beaver, Jonesy, Pete, and Henry. They were friends from middle school, connected by a friendship from the early 80s with a boy named Douglas (goes by Duddits). They go hunting in Jackson Hole in Maine, USA when a guy named Rick approaches their hunting cabin. Quickly, things hit the fan as a creepy alien-thing that looks a lot like a weasel drags itself out of Rick’s number two hole. Yea, it’s gross. Oh, and there’s like UFOs and the government starts freaking out. So, I don’t really want to tell you who lives and who dies here, but uh, we are only going to talk about Henry and Jonesy now.

So Jonesy gets possessed (?) by the alien called Mr. Gray. But Jonesy is immune, so he doesn’t completely lose his brain function to the alien, causing a huge conflict. But Mr. Gray is essentially just trying to infect the water supply, thereby eradicating the human race as we know it. Which like, I got some issues here. Firstly, aliens supposedly have had UFOs in this are for decades, and they still decided this is where they are going to stake their claim? They know what the weather is like, and they are acting all surprised when the fungus can’t grow in the weather. HUGE plot hole in my opinion.

Right, Henry. So Henry, realizing that Jonesy is dealing with his own demons, goes to try and find him. But he finds himself in the middle of the military outpost. With the help of a military man, Owen Underhill, Henry gets out of the post, and they are quickly searching for Jonesy. For the sake of having a better connection, they go to find Duddits, using his connections to get inside of Jonesy’s head.

Right, there’s this ESP thing going on. Apparently Duddits had ESP for a really long time, and the fungus also gives you ESP. So when the two are put together, it gets really strong. And we are just supposed to accept that homeboy can hear people’s minds and get into them. IDK man, Stephen King is weird. (Side note: I was looking for a gif from a Smosh video where Shayne Topp yells “Stephen King”, but was unable to find one. Please know, I care about you guys enough to try tweeting out into the universe so I could get it).

As for my thoughts, maybe I’m just not an alien person. Like, aliens are cool and I totally think they exist, even if not the whole blue-humanoid-ET-phone-home, but I believe in life on another planet in another galaxy. But I just don’t enjoy books where we make aliens into horror tropes, I guess. Just not my cup of tea. With that in mind, I thought this book was good, but not something that I consider amazing. Character development is out of this world though. Take a lesson from Stephen King, make your characters as round as possible.

So the moment we are all waiting for: I would give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… The MCU

Okay, I might be abusing the powers on this one, but hear me out: they started as comic books right, and I review books! So, even though I have literally never read a comic book (except for the collection of Calvin and Hobbes my brother owned) in my entire life, it fits the theme of the blog, right? Look, it’s a stretch, but I’m the one with the power here (probably a mistake), so here are my thoughts.

Let me preface this post by saying, I have literally binge watched all the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies (minus The Incredible Hulk, which really is because Disney+ doesn’t have it) in the course of a week, so I need to bring this chapter to a close. Also, I am writing this on August 30th, 2020, two days after Chadwick Boseman, who played Black Panther, died of colon cancer. (Crazier: I was in the middle of watching Black Panther when the news broke. It changed the way I watched the last movies, and it gave me a whole ‘nother level of respect for the man). I watched all the movies in “chronological order” as listed on techradar. Which, I have some opinions on the order now that I watched them, but we will get to that. Also, I’m going to do my best not to spoil, but like, that’s hard. Even the actors have a hard time not spoiling (*Cough,cough* Mark Ruffalo and Tom Holland *Cough, cough*). So anyway, here is me being power hungry and telling you about something that has been almost my entire life for the past week.

Before watching any of these movies this week, I had only seen Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and the Avengers. I had never seen an Ironman or Captain America movie, which now that I have experienced the MCU feels blasphemous. But I digress. Anyway, right off the bat, Captain America became my favorite avenger. I mean, he was the first one! And sure, RDJ is Mr. Marvel, but you can’t deny America’s *ss, am I right? (They say it in Endgame, this wasn’t just me being creepy, though I recognize how it sounds now, okay I’m getting out of this parenthetical now) Anywho, I decided pretty early on into this viewing that I was putting all my eggs into the CA basket. And up to the Guardians of the Galaxy, he was unmatched. And really, it was GotG 2 when the new favorite was crowned. Say it with me folks, Baby Groot.

As someone who has a twitter, but never seen the Marvel movies until now, I never really understood the whole Baby Groot thing (which, I’ve never seen a Star Wars movie, so I don’t get the whole Baby Yoda thing either, come at me Internet). But like, I get it now. Please, I am begging you, if you would like to send me any Baby Groot merchandise, please slide into my DMs. But regardless, Groot is now my man.

Now, when it comes to the movies you should watch and now watch, here’s my hook-up. Watch: you need to see GotG, both volumes. Truly, they are incredible, beautiful, and funny. Watch: Black Panther. There is no better explanation than it is set in Nigeria, with POC actors and the main actor filmed all these movies with Stage 3 cancer, so like, watch it! Oh, and remember how I said I wish they order was different? I personally would have watched Black Panther right after Civil War, but you do you boo. Don’t watch: Thor: Ragnarok. I have no idea why they decided to do this, but they started making Thor into a comedy character instead of a superhero. It really wasn’t a good movie, which is disappointing because Valkyrae is a bad*ss. Watch: the Spiderman movies. I was sure going in that these movies had to be overhyped, but they were really really good. I personally think Far from Home was better than Homecoming, but man, these are really good.

I don’t know what is coming for the MCU. I know that we are FINALLY going to get a Black Widow movie, but with COVID continuing to be an issue in the US, I’m not sure when we are going to get it, or if the movie will be part of the Disney+ Premier subscription (which I am also SO excited for Mulan). Starting this year (hopefully), Disney is also working on TV shows for the characters as well, but we are still not sure with everything going on in the world. What I do know? I am now a Marvel junkie, and until we can get a new movie, I am going to be trying my best to be patient.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Print

Dates Read: 1/13/19

How I Found It: Book of the Month

I’ll be honest, I listened to this book because I was on an 8 hour shift and I thought I could listen to all of it. I was only about 40 pages short, so I figured I would just finish this one out. This book does talk A LOT about sex, including conversations about rape, sexual assault, fetishes, etc. If these are triggers for you, please read at your own discretion.

This story is a collection of conversations over about 2 decades about sex, marriage, and life. And here’s the thing, even the cover synopsis is essentially that description. I don’t know how else I can describe this book.

I didn’t really enjoy this book. I like books that have a clear plotline, and this book was designed to not have one. This book also was way to heavy on sex for me. Everyone has their preferences, this just happens to be mine, so I am going to have to rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.

Let’s Talk… OwlCrate

This is an unboxing of the August 2020 box. I am not sponsored by OwlCrate (but my love can be bought) and they did not ask me to do this. I am doing this purely because I love books, subscription boxes, and giving you guys the inside skinny on whether you should buy this or not. All opinions are my own.

I’m not sure when I first heard about OwlCrate. It may have been Instagram, it may have been Facebook, but eventually I started seeing enough ads that I figured I would give it a shot. I have talked about many subscription boxes (see this), but I never took the plunge on this one. When I did, I initially was put on a waiting list which only made me miss one box. This August box is the first OwlCrate I have ever received.

Firstly, the packaging is adorable. While I wouldn’t rank it as high as Once Upon a Book Club, I think the packaging (due in large part to the owl tracks along the side of the box, which are not pictured) is far and above Unplugged Book Box, Uppercase, and Book of the Month. I think it is on par with the Bookish Box, although I could be swayed into thinking it is better. Not the point, but I’m super excited!

Picture 1: While I know that this might not be super exciting for most people, I literally said “whoa” as I opened it. Such a beautiful pen, and I almost don’t want to touch it because I don’t want to get my fingerprints all over it.

Picture 2: I am not a pin collector, but I have noticed that this is a VERY popular gift in these types of subscription boxes. It is an incredibly beautiful pin, but it will probably be going into my bowl of collected pins. Not my type of gift, but still really cool.

Picture 3: I was today years old when I learned that I suck at taking pictures of bandana. Would you have guessed that’s what that is? It is silk, and it seems like very high quality. I actually have been telling myself that I need to get bandanas (’cause my quarter life crisis is real), and this is more than I could have ever hoped for!

Picture 4: Okay, this is the clear winner for me! I love me a book sleeve, and it is so incredibly pretty! You can bet your bottom that I will be using this in the very near future!

Picture 5: I will say that I definitely was not expecting a clipboard. While it is the size of a smaller wordpad, I am excited to use this. While sometimes it seems like I talk out of my butt on this blog, I actually take a lot of notes about things to talk about, so I will definitely be using this.

Picture 6: Inside the bottle is pushpins, which I don’t use that often. HOWEVER, they suggested that once the bottle is empty, to put fairy lights inside which I AM HERE FOR. So, this will be in my new set-up, but sans pins.

I haven’t read this book yet (obviously, Elizabeth, since you just opened the box), so I’m going to post the synopsis as available on Goodreads:

The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be “normal.” But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.

Sheetal’s quest to save her father will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens–and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.

This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy. 

If you are looking to buy it and are confused because it is not purple, it is the same book! OwlCrate’s exclusive version has the purple cover, and all the pages are purple gilt edged, which makes the book look more spooky. While I am, admittedly, not a huge fantasy person, I am excited to give this one a chance, purely because it is so beautiful (yes, I judge books by their covers, sue me).

One of the reasons why I have limited the amount of subscription boxes I am still subscribed to is due to the number of gifts I received that I never used or knew what to do with. There are upsides and downsides to be subscribed to these types of boxes, which leaves me in a tough position. I feel like once my three month period is up, I probably will not renew. I am at a point in my life where I really need to downgrade (ew, am I getting old?), so I don’t necessarily think I need all of the items that are given in the box. HOWEVER, I cannot explain to you how surprised (in the best way) by this box. Compared to other boxes I have gotten, this box has A LOT more items that are more my style. So I leave the ball in your court, dear reader. You can get your own OwlCrate at starting at $29.99/month, and let me know what you guys think!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Demon Next Door by Bryan Burrough

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 12/27/19-12/30/19

How I Found It: Audible

TW: this book discusses rape, murder, and victim blaming.

In this retelling of his classmate’s crimes, Ryan Burrough delves into the history of Danny Corwin, a serial killer from Temple, TX. During the year of 1987, Danny Corwin raped and killed 3 women, as well as attempted to murder after raping 2 other women. This read is really dense, and there are A LOT of details packed into those 3 hours. I love learning about serial killers (I know, that is creepy), but this definitely isn’t a read for everyone! I would give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars because it isn’t the easiest thing to listen to.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!