Lucky Few: Review

Lucky Few: Review

It’s interesting that the blurb for this book compares it to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. While I can see some common threads of interest (namely the contemplation of mortality), this is a very different book. First, no one in this story is actually dying. Next, the dynamics of relationships between the characters, the nature of their revelations, and the overall tone of the story is wholly different. Lucky Few is a funny contemporary that examines relationships, growing up, and the very nature of change through a sweetly morbid lens. The story is eminently readable. From the first page it flows with self deprecating humor and charm. The chemistry and interaction between the three main characters feels natural and adds a rhythm to the story that is noticeable for its absence when the characters are apart. Stevie is wry and judgmental, but with a good nature and easy… Read more »

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Steeplejack: Review

Steeplejack: Review

It’s interesting to ponder what qualifies as a fantasy and what exactly makes that so. You can have fantasy that takes place in whole other realms replete with magic and magical creatures. You can have fantasy that places in our very own world, but with elements of the wondrous. Then you have works like Steeplejack, in which there is no magic (or none yet presented) but the world it takes place in is not our own, and so it is a fantasy work. It just occurred to me while reading how interesting the many varietals of fantasy works are.  This is a book that reads very much like a historical crime novel that takes place in 19th century South Africa. But it is not 19th century South Africa, only a land in an unknown world that has many echoes and similarities to it. Does this seem like a complaint? Not… Read more »

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Places No One Knows: Review

Places No One Knows: Review

What a strange impossible dream of a story this book is. For the first ¾ of it I had no idea entirely what to make of it. Here is a girl who doesn’t sleep, but basically sleepwalks through her life. The (probably intentional) sense of numbness did nothing to make this an enjoyable reading experience.  It was like reading through a haze of drear and gray. And then, in the final act, it was as if a flower had suddenly turned to bloom. My heart was aching, and I was gripping the pages turning them furiously while shouting at the heroine in my head. I went from feeling sort of meh to full on adoration. This is one of the hardest times I’ve ever had rating a book. I’ll tell you right off the bat that a part of the reason I had trouble connecting is that I found the… Read more »

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Flamecaster: Review

Flamecaster: Review

Some things Flamecaster contains: spies, blood-drinking assassin priests(!!!), magic, dragons(!!!!!), intrigue, deception, and heartbreak. Oh, that heartbreak. It’s interesting both that the author chose to return to the same world as a previous series, and also was not at all afraid to wreck some heavy damage in the lives of previously established and beloved characters. Things have not been happy for Raisa and Han in recent times. Their eldest child, and heir to the throne, was killed in combat not too long before the start of the book. You wander along thinking, “Yes, this is pretty bad.” And then it gets worse: Yes, she goes there. But I admire this for the boldness of it, if nothing else. And also, When I saw the first synopsis for this book, and its heavy mention of Adrian sul’Han, I must admit I was worried! One of the things I enjoyed so much… Read more »

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The Dark Days Club: Review

The Dark Days Club: Review

A dark fantasy/paranormal YA novel set in Regency-era London is a setting I simply cannot pass by. Add in a delightfully relatable and unlikely, yet nonetheless badass, heroine and a little romantic tension so thick you could cut it and…well, I am more than sold. This was such a refreshing entry into the YA paranormal realm. In a genre where I am used to reading about vampires, werewolves, and witches, it was absolutely delightful to have these succubi-like demons. Roaming around Regency London no less! Paranormal usually falls under the domain of urban fantasy, as well, so it was doubly delightful to add this historical British flair. The demons and the magic involved were also delightfully creepy which is always a plus in my book. The Deceivers feed off of human sexual energy, depleting the human’s life force, with their creepy energy tentacles. I approve. Lady Helen Wrexhall has been… Read more »

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Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here Blog Tour: Friendships in the Age of Social Media

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here Blog Tour: Friendships in the Age of Social Media

This is the funniest YA book I’ve read in years. YEARS. I laughed so hard as I was reading it, because the outrageous observations and pull-no-punches dialogue fly fast and furiously like a Gilmore Girl high on pie and coffee. The book is so freaking smart, with some surprisingly poignant moments near the end–as well as perfectly in tune with teenagers and their weird, obsessive world. I’ve never felt more affection for the fanfic culture and pop culture references and girl friendships and boy crazies than I did reading this book–it’s like FANGIRL without the manic pixie dream kids, starring one of my favorite YA girls in recent years. Scarlett is a fucking heroine. She’s all the teenage girls who passionately love all the things people make fun of her for, and she hands it back to them with a smart slam. (One of my favorite moments in the book… Read more »

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Girl Against the Universe: Why Anxiety Doesn’t Make Us Weak + international giveaway

Girl Against the Universe: Why Anxiety Doesn’t Make Us Weak + international giveaway

This is where I would usually write an introduction about why you should check out Paula Stokes’ new book Girl Against the Universe, but honestly, her guest post does a brilliant job of that already! It’s a contemporary YA novel about a girl named Maguire who feels guilty for surviving a bad accident and has started to believe she might be the cause of anything bad that happens around her, and it’s a story that’s strong on friendships, parent/teen relationships, positive therapy experiences, and more. I think many readers can relate to being introverts, or feeling nervous in social situations, so I’m honored to have Paula here to talk about how fear can manifest in an anxiety like Maguire’s. She’s also generously offering up an autographed hardcover to our readers, so stick around for the giveaway at the end. Why Anxiety Does Not Make Us Weak by Paula Stokes I… Read more »

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