Pumpkin Spice and Books

We both love books. And we know some of you do too. As the leaves begin to fall, now’s the perfect time to begin working on your autumn TBR. Here are some of the books we read that fit the autumn aesthetic and our reviews for you. 

Our rating system:

1/5: It’s so bad I wanna give you a 0, but I can’t so I’ll give you a 1 
2/5: Wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy 
3/5: I plead the fifth
4/5: Snap girl, I think you dropped something… my JAW
5/5: I would sell all of my organs for this book


If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio


If We Were Villains is set at an elite arts college; the last place you’d expect a brutal murder. A group of six senior theatre students always seem to play the same roles, however, you can’t always predict who the villain is. 

First, perfect autumn vibes. The beginning of the book built up a lot of tension and kept building, creating an incredibly suspenseful plot. However, about half-way through the book, some of this tension falls. Admittedly, when reading this novel it was somewhat disappointing

 which is the sole reason for 4 instead of 5 stars. However, M. L. Rio does a wonderful job of keeping you engaged nonetheless. Not through endless suspense but rather through the promise of a final pinnacle to the plot and character development. Additionally, the characters may be considered somewhat cliché, however, their representation and unique yet convoluted relationship dynamics are very interesting to read.


The Secret History by Donna Tartt


The Secret History is centred around a group of college students studying Greek, a small group that seems distant and cult-like to the other students. A group of friends detached from society, exploring a different way of thinking that may lead to a dangerous path. 

It took me a really long time to get through this book, not necessarily because I didn’t enjoy it but rather because I’ve been in a reading slump for the past weeks (and also perhaps the fact that the book is over 600 pages long). I quite liked how there were parts of the narration written from a perspective from the future. This element contributed to the rising tension and foreshadowed the events of the novel, but without giving away too much. In fact, it really didn’t give away much at all considering that I could not predict the plot twists, but enough to make me want to find out what happens next, having to hold myself back from searching it up online. The characters were intriguing, and their mysterious actions incredibly interesting in a psychological sense. I definitely recommend this book, but more so if you are looking for a unique, psychological fiction murder mystery, rather than a quick read. 


Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalo


Kingdom of the Wicked is set in a quaint village on the coast of Italy. Unbeknownst to many, there exists witches living in secret to escape persecution. However, there are much darker forces at play. The seven deadly sins. 

From the very beginning, the idea of the seven deadly sins each represented as a prince of Hell was very alluring. Just the idea creates a dark aesthetic which only intensifies the growing tension in the plot. Immediately, the story hooks you, carrying an element of mystery throughout. And this sense of mystery is not only held by the plot. The characters are well developed but keep you wanting more as the story seems to progress only as tension augments. The relationship between Emilia, the main character followed by the novel, and Wrath evolved from mortal enemies to grudging allies, forced to work together. Do note that while the first book is YA, the rest in the trilogy are very much NA.


A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik


A Deadly Education follows Galadriel Higgins, a student at the Scholomance: a magical school swarmed by monsters. A school where your survival depends on everything you do.

When I first started reading this novel, I didn’t have very high hopes. In the first few chapters, the new world is introduced through a lot of info dumping. It is difficult to keep up with all the new terms, and I even had to search up what certain things meant since the author barely explained them. But once I got through those first 80 pages or so, the book hooked me. I enjoyed seeing a magic system unlike any other I’ve seen before with an amazing dark academia vibe and I really loved the relationship dynamic and banter between El and Orion. The narrative voice represented El’s character incredibly well, and I also appreciated seeing her character development. It was a short read, quick to get through, and the cliffhanger at the end made me want to instantly order the sequel. 


An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margret Rogerson

🍁🍁🍁🍁 /5

An Enchantment Of Ravens is a world where the price of immortality is giving up any form of art forever. The main character, Isobel, makes a mistake while painting the fairy Autumn Prince’s portrait and is swept away into the beautiful but dangerous fair folk world…

I have read other books by this author and have adored them so I had high expectations for this one. Unfortunately, the plot itself is quite confusing, with some aspects of the world being unclear. It is a journey book where the characters are travelling for the entire book but it doesn’t fully make sense why. However, the plot twist at the end was amazing, it was truly one I never saw coming and left me speechless. The characters have their quirks but are loveable, especially March and May who are human twin sisters who were originally goats. I found the romance in this book quite enjoyable. I found it funny how Isobel seemed to have a schoolgirl crush on Rook (The Autumn Prince) instead of being imminent soulmates. The romance starts very quickly and it doesn’t make sense however I tend to prefer that in stand-alone so we get more cute couple scenes. Overall if you are looking for a cute, quick, fall read I definitely recommend this one. I read it between two heavy series and it was a nice palate cleanser.