Reviews

Darling by K. Ancrum

*Spoiler free*

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

On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town. Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too?

I’d heard too many praises for Ancrum not to be looking forward to this book. I’ve heard people absolutely rave over her previous works, so I was intrigued about them. Though, a Peter Pan retelling? Something about the synopsis, and the cover, and the online love, just completely drew me in. I was intrigued. And I wanted to know just what this book was all about. Trigger warnings: murder, grooming

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Reviews

Lost In The Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

*Spoiler free*

It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town. Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.

Another book by Aiden Thomas. Heck yes, I was interested in it. I was slightly wary because I’m always wary about Peter Pan books; it’s just a thing for me. But, after read Cemtery Boys and Darling (another 2021 Peter Pan retelling!), I was incredibly eager to see what this book was about! Trigger warnings: panic attacks, anxiety

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Reviews

Wings Of Ebony by J. Elle

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Denene Millner Books/Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders. Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life. Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.

I’ve been excited for this book since I found out the slightest inkling of what it was about. A girl who is half-god and half-human was enough to sell me on this book. Plus, along with the cover and the amazing marketing the author is doing for this book, I was completely drawn to this book. Trigger warnings: violence, racism, drugs, blood

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Reviews

Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith

*Spoiler free*

Aurelia is a princess, but they call her a witch. Surrounded by spirits and burdened with forbidden magic, she lives in constant fear of discovery by the witch-hunting Tribunal and their bloodthirsty mobs. When a devastating assassination attempt reveals her magical abilities, Aurelia is forced to flee her country with nothing but her life. Alone and adrift in an enemy kingdom, Aurelia plans her revenge against the Tribunal, desperate to bring down the dark organization that has wrought terror upon her people for hundreds of years. But there’s something deeply amiss in her new home, too, and soon she finds herself swept into a deadly new mystery with a secretive prince, the ghost of an ancient queen, and a poison vine called Bloodleaf. Aurelia is entangled in a centuries-long game of love, power, and war, and if she can’t break free before the Tribunal makes its last move, she may lose far more than her crown.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile. It sounded intriguing, the cover pulled me in, and I had heard some pretty decent things about it! For some reason, I pushed it to the back burner. Though, I’ve recently seen so much love for this series online (I think because the second book was just released!), that my interest in finding out what this series is about shot up. A princess accused of being a witch, hiding out in an enemy kingdom, and trying to come into her powers while trying to untangle the turmoil surrounding her made this book sound like it would be right up my alley! Trigger warnings: graphic animal death, self-harm (for blood magic), ableism

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Reviews

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

*Spoiler free*

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Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes. But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.

Siren stories are always intriguing to me, but it always seems to take me awhile to get to them. A Song Below Water was no different. I knew I wanted to read it because it sounded so good. Two best friends grapple with their world. A world that has mythical creatures like sirens. Effie has secrets to unravel and Tavia is trying to keep her voice under wraps. Trigger warnings: past suicide attempt, self-harm, anxiety

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Reviews

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

*Spoiler free*

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It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again. Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . . This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

This book was one my radar because I knew it was queer. It was also on my radar because it sounded like a fascinating fairy tale retelling. But, it was on my radar on in a very quiet way, and I wasn’t sure when I was going to get to it. Though, some of my friends read and fell completely in love with it, so it got bumped up on my list! I wanted to read it and see if I would love it as much as they did. Trigger warnings: sexism, blood

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Reviews

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

*Minor spoilers*

Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price.When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles and make a powerful choice.

Ever since I finished The Never Tilting World, I was curious about the other books the author had written. I knew there was a ton of hype around The Bone Witch, so a copy had been sitting on my shelves for awhile. Then, drama popped up around the author, so my friend and I decided it was finally time to read it and we could buddy read too! I think I might’ve finished before she even started, but let’s not get into that. The point is, this book sounded like something dark and full of magic and I was eager to read it!

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Other

Harry Potter And Gender: AKA JK Rowling Is Trash

JK Rowling decide to up her amount of trashiness. She was already trash because she liked transphobic tweets, then she followed transphobic people, then she decided to tweet openly transphobic things, and then decided to write a whole transphobic essay about how she’s not transphobic. She’s also racist and homophobic and all around trash. I have a lot of feelings. It feels weird to have these feelings, but I want to talk about them.

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Reviews

Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

*Spoiler free*

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people. Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace. When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it. But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.

I had seen a lot of hype for this book online, and I have to admit, it looked good. Plus, the cover is nothing short of gorgeous. I don’t know why, but I didn’t have the overwhelming urge to read it. The synopsis didn’t make it sound like something I would be drawn to, but something I would like to try eventually. Eventually came a lot sooner than I thought, and I ended up wanting to give it a shot! Trigger warnings: blood, grief, torture

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Reviews

The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you to Macmillan and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences. Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest. But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

 

I have seen so much excitement for this book, that I couldn’t help but be intrigued by it. Then finding out it was queer pretty much sealed the deal for me. A girl who lives a lowly life, tries to keep her head down, and has secrets she wants to keep close. It sounds like something I would definitely like, so I decided to give it a try! Trigger warnings: emotional and physical abuse, gaslighting

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