Everyone else in the tiny town of Enfield, Texas calls fall football season, but for the forty-three members of the Fighting Enfield Marching Band, it’s contest season. And for new saxophonist Anna James, it’s her first chance to prove herself as the great musician she’s trying hard to be. When she’s assigned a duet with mellophone player Weston Ryan, the boy her small-minded town thinks of as nothing but trouble, she’s equal parts thrilled and intimidated. But as he helps her with the duet, and she sees the smile he seems to save just for her, she can’t help but feel like she’s helping him with something too. After her strict parents find out she’s been secretly seeing him and keep them apart, together they learn what it truly means to fight for something they love. With the marching contest nearing, and the two falling hard for one another, the unthinkable happens, and Anna is left grappling for a way forward without Weston.
I was looking forward to this book the second that I finished Amelia Unabridged. That became one of my favorite books, and Ashley became one of my favorite authors. I was ready to read anything that she wrote next. When all I knew was that it was about band kids and loneliness, I was eager to read it that very second. And then I found out it’s about first love, and how special it is even when it’s gone.
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm. But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned. As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.
This book sounded firey and that was basically enough for me to know that I wanted to read it. Honestly, I’m realizing it doesn’t take much to draw me into a book. I heard feathers and I heard flames. Firey birds. And that’s enough for me to become invested. But I found out there were sisters and a dead queen and magic that demands a price. All of which sounds amazing, and which had me incredibly eager to see what else this book would hold. Trigger warnings: abuse
*Spoiler free, but spoilers for The Merciful Crow*
Is it acceptable to start this off with just me screeching? Because I feel like that truly encapsulates my feelings about this book. I had complicated feelings about The Merciful Crow, but I ended up loving it deeply. I was very much looking forward to the sequel for more teeth, more anger, and more cats!
I’ve seen a huge influx in books that have something to do with birds. It’s sort of like the YA snake of flight. I thought it would be fun to list some of the bird books that I’ve loved or I’m really looking forward to, to share the bird love.