The 10 Nights of CeeCee-O-Ween: The Secret of Sleepy Hollow

14192733_930556600406474_3950721415268577724_nAs we count down the final days to CeeCee-O-Ween, I bring you a spooky book review paired with the world’s most adorable dog in her costume du jour! Tonight we bring you a review of a not-so-scary book based on Washington Irving’s seminal masterpiece, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

27187153Wow – so many five-star reviews! My fellow GoodReads reviewers did a great job suckering me into downloading this book. Sadly I was sorely disappointed. I typically give a book 100 pages until chucking it into the DNF pile, but it just got too painful. Hmm…how should I say this without sounding insensitive to the LGBTQ community? Okay, so I should start by saying that I found the lesbian love story to be a nice switch from the norm, and I’m a registered ALLIE to this wonderful community.  See, I’m not so bad, right? However, I’m a Legend of Sleepy Hollow purist, so there’s only so much I can take when authors butcher the legend into an oblivion. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t digging the whole “girl power” slant. I had to call it quits when the protagonist came up with the theory that the headless horseman was a cross-dresser caught in a lovers tryst. #ICANT!

Why can’t all these Sleepy Hollow reprisals give a nod to the original tale’s societal admonition? Why does it have to be all about romance? Why can’t Ichabod be an awkward, lanky dweeb vying for the Van Tassel fortune? Why can’t these stories have more to do with greed and social climbing rather than the typical bodice ripper crap? CHEESE AND CRACKERS! Do I need to write the dang book myself? Maybe I will – dangit!

So I’d be a total jerk if I didn’t say one nice thing about the book, right? To be fair, the author has a knack for atmosphere. But (yep, there’s a but) just when things started to get a little spooky, the protagonist would start obsessing over her crush and I was back in junior high all over again. The constant butterflies, goosebumps and cheap thrills got tiresome every time she came into eye-shot with her lover. Geeze—it reminded me of the torture I endured when my childhood BFFs would crush over their favorite New Kid on the Block. Personally, I’m a Joey girl, but that’s besides the point.

Anyhoo, if you’re looking for a heck of a Headless Horesman thrill ride, read the original–and then re-read it! And when you’re done with that, check out Richard Gleave’s Jason Crane series – it’s awesome!!! My rave reviews can be found here.

Chick Lit Cafe’s Halloween Treat

I’ll say it loud, I’m a Halloween freak and I’m proud! It’s only the second day of October and my head is already swirling with visions of candy corn and big colorful bags of fun-sized chocolate deliciousness! But most of all, I’m looking forward to curling up with a pumpkin spice latte and a spooky ghost story on a dark, blustery October night. In honor of my most favorite holiday, I bring you my top Halloween reads. 

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

This is the book I turn to every October when I want to wax nostalgic about that one special night of the year when the parentals allowed me to run rampant on the streets in a sugar-high induced candy craze. The story follows a group of kiddos as they travel with the harbinger of death across oceans and time to save their friend, Pipkin, from an untimely death. They learn all about the origins of trick or treat, ancient death rituals, witchcraft and Celtic celebrations of All Hallows Eve. Such ghoulish fun! 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

With a hip hip and and hippity clop, he’s out looking for a head to chop! Who doesn’t love this wonderful tale of fright? The short story and the old-school Disney cartoon are Halloween classics! Washington Irving’s lyrical descriptions of the dark road back to the school house really gave me the chills. And what better way to set up the headless horseman chase scene than by filling the reader’s heads with spooky stories told around the fire at Baltus Van Tassal’s Halloween party? I’m pretty sure the story was meant to be a cautionary tale about social climbing, and that the headless horseman was just a hoax to scare Ichabod away. But I’d like to believe he was really spirited away by the headless horseman on that fateful night. 

Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

When it comes to evoking the sights, sounds and smells of autumn in good ol’ Americana, nobody does it better than the late, great Ray Bradbury. Set in a small Midwestern town, the book follows two boys as they investigate a mysterious traveling carnival filled with angry midgets, evil fortune tellers, and time-bending rides. When the sinister ringmaster, aptly named Mr. Dark, finds the two boys know more than they should, he sets out on a quest to destroy them and their loved ones. This is one creepy story that will definitely get you in the mood for Halloween. If you haven’t seen the Disney movie, go put it on top of your Netflix list now! 

 Of course, there are plenty more books on my Halloween reading list. From now until Halloween, I’ll post a spotlight a spooky book – from cozies to young adult thrillers to gothic ghost stories – on my Facebook page.