Review #219 // The Ghosts of Halloween (Learning Curves #1.5) – Ceillie Simkiss


With Halloween falling near Cora’s birthday, it has become one of her favorite holidays. With massive parties and lots of people, Elena finds Halloween one of the most anxiety-inducing holiday ever. This collection features three stories following the couple as they navigate Halloween.

Why this book?: I loved Learning Curves, the first book in this novella series. Plus, I consider Ceillie a friend, and I’ve been slacking on reading her stuff.

When I started reading The Ghosts of Halloween, I was in a reading slump. I knew that reading something short and fluffy could probably get me reading again, and I was right. Ceillie’s Learning Curves rocketed me into a reading frenzy, so I was hoping this collection would do the same. And while I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first, it still did what I wanted it to do, and I still had fun while reading it.

The Ghosts of Halloween has three stories: Past, Present, and Future. I really enjoyed all three of these stories, but I had to admit that I wasn’t much of a fan of the last one. I just thought it was very out of place with the rest of the stories that we’ve had of Cora and Elena, but I didn’t hate it. The other two stories were really great though, and I found them similar to Learning Curves so much that I wanted to reread the first one. I found their relationship really cute, and I loved seeing how Cora and Elena’s relationship developed since the ending of Learning Curves. They’ve both adapted to each other’s little quirks–Cora forgetting about things and Elena reminding her, or Elena’s panic attacks and Cora being able to be there for her and help her out of them. They’ve both changed from the first book, and their relationship is so much more better developed because of it.

Just as in Learning Curves, the writing was fairly simple, but that’s not a bad thing. I found the lack of description in some scenes awkward, but I didn’t find it frustrating or anything like that. As I mentioned above, I found the last story out of place–there were kids running around and Cora was pregnant, and while I found it sweet, it was a big jump from their cute relationship that I was used to. I know that it’s technically “future”, but it almost makes me hesitant to read Wrapped Up in You, which is the sequel to Learning Curves.

Final Rating: ★★★☆☆


I enjoyed the first two stories of this collection, but I found the last part awkward and out of place. The writing was also simplified in certain areas that I thought was kind of weird as well. This is still a really enjoyable collection, but a few things just made it okay in my opinion.

Would I Recommend?

If you enjoyed Learning Curves, than I know for a fact that you’ll enjoy The Ghosts of Halloween as well. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews on the very last story, so if you like kids and the idea of Cora being pregnant, then I’m sure you’ll really like the last story.


Additional Information:

Published: October 21st, 2018

Publisher: Self-published

Page Count: 37

Genre: Contemporary/Romance/New Adult

Synopsis: via Goodreads

Halloween is a holiday that is both loved and reviled by people all over America. It’s one of Cora’s favorite holidays, and a massive source of anxiety for Elena. Between the two of them, they get up to all sorts of hijinks and wind up falling even more head over heels for each other in The Ghosts of Halloween.

The Ghosts of Halloween collection is made up of three sweet slice-of-life short stories: Past, Present and Future. Each tells the story of a different Halloween that Cora and Elena have gone or will go through together.

Past: Cora forgets about a planned Halloween party she’s supposed to attend with Elena. Will she make it in time for the festivities?
Present: Elena gets a surprise invitation to her new job’s Halloween party – and costumes are mandatory. Will they come up with appropriate costumes in time for the party?
Future: Five years after the events of Learning Curves, Elena takes her niblings trick-or-treating. The last house they visit has a bit of a surprise in store.

The Ghosts of Halloween is a continuation of the Learning Curves series, but can be read as a standalone collection featuring the lesbian and asexual characters from the original stories.

- Avery (2)

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