For best friends Miliani, Inez, Natalie and Jasmine, Providence, Rhode Island has a magic of its own. From the bodegas and late-night food trucks on Broad Street to The Hill that watches over the city, every corner of Providence glows with memories of them practicing spells, mixing up potions and doing séances with the help of the magic Miliani’s Filipino grandfather taught her. But when Jasmine is killed by a drunk driver, the world they have always known is left haunted by grief…and Jasmine’s lingering spirit. Determined to bring her back, the surviving friends band together, testing the limits of their magic and everything they know about life, death, and each other. And as their plan to resurrect Jasmine grows darker and more demanding than they imagined, their separate lives begin to splinter the bonds they depend on, revealing buried secrets that threaten the people they care about most. Miliani, Inez and Natalie will have to rely on more than just their mystical abilities to find the light.
My excitement for this book truly came from a friend who screams about it all the time. And, a story who about grief, and doing whatever it takes, truly whatever it takes, to bring a friend back from the dead sounded incredible, and I was eager to see what I think of it. Trigger warnings: grief, sexual harassment, drug use, addiction, talk of abortion
Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.
I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for a long time and I’ve been wanting to read it for longer. I’ve seen love for it here and there online, but that love was intense. Plus, it sounded out of this world amazing. What hides in the depths of the sea has always terrified me, but in a way where I can’t help but want to know more. And this book seemed to promise just that. To travel to the deep, to unravel the mysteries that hide there, and be queer as heck while doing it. I was very eager to read it and I’m still surprised it took so long for me to pick it up! Trigger warnings: ableism, blood, death, gore
As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father. But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.
I have a complicated relationship with Adrienne Young’s books. Her writing is beyond gorgeous, but I never quite love every aspect of the story. Something always falls short or doesn’t feel quite right to me. Nevertheless, ever since she revealed the first line of Fable (and the sequel Namesake) on Instagram, I was jumping at the bit to read them. I unfortunately missed a chance to get it at ALAMW, but a booth worker was kind enough to send me a copy after the conference was over, so thank you a bunch to them! Trigger warnings: grief, vomiting, blood and injuries