Reviews

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to WednesdayBooks and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. She would be hired, that is, if her mentor hadn’t thrown her out before she could earn her license. Now her only hope of steady work is to find a Patron—a rich, well-connected individual who will vouch for her abilities. When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, she takes the job without question. Never mind that he’s rude and demanding and eccentric, that the contract comes with a number of outlandish rules… and that almost a dozen debtera had quit before her. If Andromeda wants to earn a living, she has no choice. But she quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, the reason every debtera before her quit. But leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option because—heaven help her—she’s fallen for him.

I mean, with a title like that I was completely sucked in and wanting to read this book. I knew it was a Jane Eyre retelling and there would be some wicked walls, and something inside them, but if I’m being honest, that’s all I really knew haha. I know that seems like very little go on, but all the love for it I’d seen online and my own intrigue, it was absolutely enough for me to be incredibly eager to read it. Trigger warnings: parental abuse, blood, gore

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Reviews

A Dark And Starless Forest by Sarah Hollowell

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to HMH Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss for the e-ARC1

Derry and her eight siblings live in an isolated house by the lake, separated from the rest of the world by an eerie and menacing forest. Frank, the man who raised them after their families abandoned them, says it’s for their own good. After all, the world isn’t safe for people with magic. And Derry feels safe—most of the time. Until the night her eldest sister disappears. Jane and Derry swore to each other that they’d never go into the forest, not after their last trip ended in blood, but Derry is sure she saw Jane walk into the trees. When another sibling goes missing and Frank’s true colors start to show, feeling safe is no longer an option. Derry will risk anything to protect the family she has left. Even if that means returning to the forest that has started calling to Derry in her missing siblings’ voices. As Derry spends more time amidst the trees, her magic grows more powerful . . . and so does the darkness inside her, the viciousness she wants to pretend doesn’t exist. But saving her siblings from the forest and from Frank might mean embracing the darkness. And that just might be the most dangerous thing of all.

I’ve followed this author online for awhile before her book deal was even announced, so I was siked when it finally did! I’m of course a sucker for creepy forest stories, and this one features a fat girl main character, who must look out for her siblings as they are taken into the woods. She must also grapple with the darkness inside her as well. It sounded incredibly intriguing, and I couldn’t wait to read it! Trigger warnings: emotional and physical abuse, anxiety, depression

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Cazadora by Romina Garber

*Spoiler free, but spoilers for Lobizona*

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Thank you so much to WednesdayBooks and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Manu and her friends are on the run from the Cazadores hunters and chasing down leads about the Coven, a mythical resistance manada that might not even exist. When news breaks out that Fierro is about to be arrested and his identity publicly revealed, Manu and her friends step right into a trap to expose her. They escape, but it’s not long before the Cazadores track her down. Just as it looks like Manu and her friends are about to be arrested, they find the Coven, who shows Manu that the Septimus need a revolution as much as she does. The Coven promises to protect Manu, but when Manu and her friends are attacked at the Coven, they must find a new safe space. Manu recognizes the danger she presents to her friends and their families, and she decides to stop running. As terrified as she is to face the tribunal’s judgment, she knows what she wants now—a home and family with Tiago, and a place among the Septimus—and she’s willing to risk everything to earn it. Manu knows she’s risking a death sentence, but she can’t live her life on the run. She’s ready to take a stand. But Manu isn’t giving up—because she plans to change things from the inside, so she and her friends can have the futures they’ve dreamt about.

I absolutely adored Lobizona, so I could not wait to see what the sequel held in store. I was ready to see Manu, Saysa, Cata, and Tiago again, and eager to find out what their direction their stories were going to take.

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Reviews

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Seventeen-year-old Vanja Schmidt is the thirteenth daughter of a thirteenth daughter, and wherever she goes, misfortune follows. Luckily, her godmothers are Death and Fortune, each of whom blesses Vanja with magic in exchange for a life of servitude when she comes of age. But when the time comes, Vanja flees, swiping an enchanted string of pearls that allows her to impersonate a princess. So begins a life of merry mayhem posing as a royal to rob the nobles blind. At first, Vanja is thrilled with her luck, but soon, she crosses the wrong god, and is cursed to turn into the jewels she covets, gem by gem, unless she can right her wrongs and pay back her debts—quickly.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Owen’s duology, The Merciful Crow. After finishing The Faithless Hawk, I was already ready to devour whatever she wrote next. So, a book about a maid who steals a princess’s identity, one that was confirmed to have knives and a main character with sharp edges, sounded like something I absolutely wanted to read. Trigger warnings: attempted sexual assault, physical and emotional abuse

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Reviews

Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Wednesday Books and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Raised by conservative parents, 18-year-old Meg Hennessey just found out her entire childhood was a lie. Instead of taking a gap year before college to find herself, she ends up traveling north to meet what’s left of the family she never knew existed. While there, she meets Micah Allen, a former pastor’s kid whose dad ended up in prison, leaving Micah with his own complicated relationship about the church. The clock is ticking on Pastor Allen’s probation hearing and Micah, now 19, feels the pressure to forgive – even when he can’t possibly forget. As Meg and Micah grow closer, they are confronted with the heavy flutterings of first love and all the complications it brings. Together, they must navigate the sometimes-painful process of cutting ties with childhood beliefs as they build toward something truer and straight from the heart.

After reading and loving More Than Maybe, I was so looking forward to this book. And this was before I knew that it was going to feature Meg! I adored the sweet, kind, and fairy winged Meg in More Than Maybe, and I was completely pumped to see her journey with her faith, along with Micah, and Micah’s journey as well. Trigger warnings: mentions of suicide and self-harm

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Reviews

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Orbit and Netgalley for the e-ARC!

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin. Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides. But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.

I had seen this book around, and I knew it would be one that I would want to try eventually, but I wasn’t sure when that would be. But, I started seeing so much love for this book online, and the thought of a high fantasy featuring morally gray lesbians made this book one that I desperately wanted to read. Trigger warnings

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The (Un)Popular Vote by Jasper Sanchez

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Vaseline on the teeth makes a smile shine. It’s a cheap stunt, but Mark Adams knows it’s optics that can win or ruin an election. Everything Mark learned about politics, he learned from his father, the congressman who still pretends he has a daughter and not a son. To protect his father’s image, Mark promises to keep his past hidden and pretend to be the cis guy everyone assumes he is. But when he sees a manipulatively charming candidate for student body president inflame dangerous rhetoric, Mark decides to risk the low profile he assured his father and insert himself as a political challenger. One big problem? No one really knows Mark. He didn’t grow up in this town, and he has few friends; plus, the ones he does have aren’t exactly with the in-crowd. Still, thanks to countless seasons of Scandal and The West Wing, these nerds know where to start: from campaign stops to voter polling to a fashion makeover. Soon Mark feels emboldened to get in front of and engage with voters—and even start a new romance. But with an investigative journalist digging into his past, a father trying to silence him, and a bully front-runner who stands in his way, Mark will have to decide which matters most: perception or truth, when both are just as dangerous.

This is a book with a trans main character. That means I absoluetly wanted to read it. I also knew that it featured an MC who had to be stealth because his dad is a politican who wants to keep his son’s transition on the downlow. And the MC wants to run of student body president because a complete asshole is trying to run as well. It sounded like an interesting book and I was eager to see what it would hold! Trigger warnings: homophobia, dead naming, transphobia

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Reviews

The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Dial and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother and a Messi-in-training. He’s also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio. At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boy’s soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans – he’s passing. So when a discriminatory law forces Spencer’s coach to bench him after he discovers the ‘F’ on Spencer’s birth certificate, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even if it means coming out to everyone – including the guy he’s falling for. But when a discriminatory law forces Spencer’s coach to bench him, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even though it would mean coming out to everyone—including the guy he’s falling for.

I was ready for this book the second I found out that it featured a trans main character. And a trans character who is a soccer player no less! Spencer has to decide if he wants to stay stealth at his new school, or out himself so he can get off the bench and play for his new soccer team. Heck yeah, it sounded amazing and I was incredibly eager to read this book. Trigger warnings: transphobia

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Reviews

For The Wolf by Hannah Whitten

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Orbit and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods. Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again. But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.

It’s a forest and wolf book. About the first daughter being for the throne, and the second daughter being for the Wolf. But the Wolf is not the monster that the legends have made him out to be. I mean, that sounds right up my alley and I was desperate to to read this. It was a forest and a wolf book. It has magic. Yes, I wanted to read this very badly. Trigger warnings

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Reviews

Speak For Yourself by Lana Wood Johnson

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to the author for the ARC!

Skylar’s got ambitious #goals. And if she wants them to come true, she has to get to work now. (At least she thinks so…) Step one in her epic plan is showing everyone that her latest app is brilliant. To do that, she’s going to use it win State at the Scholastic Exposition, the nerdiest academic competition around. First, she’ll need a team, and Skylar’s not always so good with people. But she’ll do whatever it takes to put one together … even if it means playing Cupid for her teammates Joey and Zane, at Joey’s request. When things get off to an awkward start for them, Skylar finds herself stepping in to help Joey. Anything to keep her on the team. Only, Skylar seems to be making everything more complicated. Especially when she realizes she might be falling for Zane, which was not a #goal. Can Skylar figure out her feelings, prove her app’s potential to the world, and win State without losing her friends–or is her path to greatness over before it begins?

After reading Technically, You Started It, I was ready to read anything that this author wrote. So, a book about an app making teen, a fat teen who has migraines, sounded amazing. Plus, she tries to matchmake two people, and ends up falling for one of them. One who she thought she didn’t like. This book sounded like would be completely awesome all around, and I was really eager to read it.

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