MINI-REVIEWS: Pumpkinheads & His Hideous Heart aka why am I still reading Halloween books??


Title: His Hideous Heart
Author: Dahlia Adler
Pages: 480
Release Date: September 10th 2019
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Horror, Anthology
Goodreads Rating:  3.65 (of 673 ratings)

representation: misc. 
content warnings: death, murder, kidnapping, sexual content, attempted rape

This is one of the better anthologies that I have read. I’ve had a really bad streak with anthologies where I’m usually overwhelming disconnected and disliking many of the stories. However, there were some that I really really enjoyed.

❤️ Things I Loved: the inclusion of the original stories! I know a bit of Poe’s works, but I loved that I could read the original Poe story ahead of time, and then go to see what the YA author did with it. I also liked how so many of them took inventive strides with it, while keeping the same flavor and key points but making their own. The content was intriguing (for the most part), and each felt like it belonged in a modern Poe story. I also love how diverse these stories were made too including f/f romance and different nationalities that the original stories didn’t have.

❤️ Top 3 Stories: Tiffany D. Jackson’s take on The Cask of Amontillado, Stephanie Kuehn’s take on The Tell-Tale Heart, Lamar Giles’s take on The Oval Portrait.

❤️ Things I Didn’t Like: As usual, there were a decent amount of stories that I didn’t completely vibe with. It was about half and half? Sometimes, the stories just got really confusing – or far too long? Sometimes, the concepts were really complex, and it seemed like it was far too much for just a short story. I would get too tired out from the explanation of the world to just get to the actual story part.

❤️ Top 3 Least Liked Stories: Tessa Gratton’s take on Annabel Lee (too confusing), Caleb Roehrig’s take on The Pit and the Pendulum (this just felt really really disturbing??), and Fran Wilde’s take on The Fall of Usher.

belleOverall, this is definitely one of the better anthologies that I read. I enjoyed a good amount of the stories. I think found someone to have struggles, but I think it was a decent book overall. Therefore, a Belle Rating!



Title: Pumpkinheads
Author: Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks
Pages: 209
Release Date: August 27th 2019
Publisher: First Second
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Contemporary, Graphic Novel
Goodreads Rating:  4.21 (of 16,244 ratings)

representation:black main character, bisexual (I’m assuming but it’s not specified) main character
content warnings: none

I honestly feel like a pumpkinhead for not liking this. I feel like I got lost in a corn maze with this. The atmosphere was cool, the scenery was nice – but after a few minutes, I was bored and surrounded by a lot of corn stacks.

The art was the true star of the show for this book. I loved the color scheme so much, and the art was fantastic. It really enjoyed it, and it was definitely what kept me reading. I did love the setting of the book, and the world was pretty cool. I totally wished I could visit this patch.

However, I felt like the plot really meandered. Yes, it was supposed to be a fun last night for Deja and Josiah, but I felt like when it wasn’t focused on Josiah finding himself a girl, it just wandered around and involved food? And the ending felt really forced. Slight spoiler: Josiah was so focused on getting another girl’s attention, and Deja seemed to show zero chemistry/inclination for romance with him that I felt it was far too sudden. and like a natural progression. I mean, they didn’t even seem to know that they weren’t just seasonal friends?

cinderellaOverall, I really enjoyed the art in this book, and the setting, scenery, and mood were just right. However, the plot felt like it kind of just walked around in circles and I just didn’t get the romance. Therefore, a Cinderella Rating!


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What do you think? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


6 thoughts on “MINI-REVIEWS: Pumpkinheads & His Hideous Heart aka why am I still reading Halloween books??

  1. I guess I’d been too hyped to actually read the cover in its entirety for His Hideous Heart because I didn’t realize the original stories were included in the anthology. I LOVE this. I’m mostly familiar with Poe’s work but refamiliarizing myself with the source material just feels better on anthologies like this. I just opened my copy now to check it out and while I’m grateful for the originals being included, I wish they’d been grouped with their retelling or had a page number to direct you to it without checking the table of contents again.
    I’m REALLY excited about that f/f romance you mentioned!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahahaha don’t worry – I didn’t know they were there until the third story in. I literally skipped everything, haha. But YES. I was just googling all the stories before that. And I do agree. Just put the Poe story first and then go to the retelling. And yes!! There was at least 2 for sure ones I remember and a potential 3rd.


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