ARC REVIEW | Wilder Girls by Rory Power

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Title: WILDER GIRLS

Author: RORY POWER

Released: 9TH JULY 2019 by DELACORTE PRESS

REP: LGBTQ+ | TWs taken from https://itsrorypower.com/wilder-girls/: Graphic violence and body horror. Gore; On the page character death, parental death, and animal death, though the animals are not pets; Behavior and descriptive language akin to self harm, and references to such; Food scarcity and starvation. Emesis; A scene depicting chemical gassing; Reference to suicide and suicidal ideation; Non-consensual medical treatment.

Genre: YA HORROR


This story made me highly uncomfortable and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. We really need a lot more novels that explore what people are able to become, even when it’s not nice to examine. Wilder Girls is a story about a boarding school in which the entire community is affected by something they’ve taken to calling the Tox, but they don’t know exactly what it is or how it came to affect them.

My favourite thing about this story is that it focused on female friendships rather than romance or anything else. Girls are so strong when we lift each other up and have each other’s backs! The POV switches between Hetty and Byatt, two of the main three girls. The triumvirate rounded out by Reese. The relationships between each are very different and seem to be held together by Byatt, so you can imagine how messy it gets once Byatt is gone…

The girls are so flawed! Not only are they conscious of that fact, but they’re also allowed to be so! There’s definitely a discussion on the ideals of society as regards young women in there. The only thing I’d change is getting more answers about all the things I still have questions about, because damn, I need to know!! There are so many things to love about this, though! The atmosphere, the girls, the plot, the tension throughout, and the not knowing what will come next! Rory Power just made my list of auto-buy. I just love her writing

Hands down a FIVE STAR read for me.

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It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.


Thank you so much to Rory Power + Delacorte Press for the ARC.

five stars

ARC REVIEW | To Best The Boys by Mary Weber

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Title: TO BEST THE BOYS

Author: MARY WEBER

Released: 19H MARCH 2019 BY THOMAS NELSON

Genre: TEENS + YA FANTASY

Rep: Dyslexia, Autism, Downs Syndrome, Women in Science | TWs: Death, Near Death Experiences, Grief, Parent Illness

Initially, this story comes off very outdated being set in a world where women have duties to the home, family, and sometimes socially, and men are the breadwinners nearly exclusively – going to college to be trained in something or doing other work, such as fishing. We have Rhen, who is a woman scientist and flies in the face of everything her society takes as normal, so obviously she’s a bit of an outsider. But she’s so cool! She thinks differently and it takes her so far!

Rhen’s mother is sick from an illness, which has no cure so Rhen and her father are doing research to try and find the cure. She gets samples from dead bodies to study and experiment with, which I found highly fascinating. Rhen is extremely unconventional. When the letter for the competition arrives, Rhen starts to get ideas about how to get funding, or even support, for their research into the illness and upcoming cure  – leading her to enter the competition herself! Her cousin, Seleni, is her companion in nearly everything, yet very opposite in her future goals. I enjoyed that recognition that women don’t all have to strive for great things to be fulfilled in life. Seleni just wants to be a wife and mother someday, but she is all for supporting Rhen in her dreams! We all need ladies like that in our lives – or just people in general! Find you people who lift you up!

I quite liked a lot of the side characters. Beryll was lovable, even if he was a bit of a flop. Lute was a bit standoffish – for good reason – but has a heart of gold (one of my favourites). Rhen’s parents are so great and made my heart soar. And Mr. Holm himself was quite surprising, and very modern!

The story was a lot of fun, but the pacing was a bit slow at times. Sometimes I felt I wanted more (action or detail, depending on the scene) and it kind of felt like part of the build up was just filler and could have been handled better. That really didn’t detract much from me loving the characters and how the story happened. It was unique and fun, and I would recommend it – if only for the important conversations about standing up for what you believe in and not having to fit in to what society expects of you. Even if you only pick it up for the labyrinth aspect, I hope you take away some of the important points Weber makes in this story.


Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

Thank you so much to Mary Weber and Thomas Nelson via BookLookBloggers.com for the Review Copy.

four stars

BOOK LAUNCH | Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

TONIGHT WAS AMAZING!

I got to meet (again) one of my favourite authors. By all accounts, Sarah Maria Griffin is one of the best people on the PLANET and I seriously love her so much! This launch for her second fiction novel was packed full of awesome people and her beautiful pink book, Other Words for Smoke! *go check it out*


The introduction by Sinéad Gleason was so emotional and inspirational. #tinycoven

She really would have sold me on the book if I wasn’t already 100% in for it. This book of family, supernatural, and love has been on my highly anticipated list since last October at DeptCon 4! Plus, who doesn’t love weird books with unconventional characters? I’ve only read a few chapters so far, so can’t really tell you much about the content, but just having it makes me ecstatic!

Isn’t she just stunning? Total role model 🖤🖤🦉🏡 Review to come soon, as I’m sure I’ll absolutely devour this story. Thanks for reading, wayfarers!

Sunday Post No. 5 | 07 April 2019

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


Last week on the blog

Wicked Saints (YA Dark Fantasy)
You’d Be Mine (YA Contemporary)

Can’t Freaking Wait Wednesday 03/04/19 (meme)

Opposite of Always (YA Contemporary)

Audio Round Up (small reviews/wrap-up)


This week on the blog

Other Words for Smoke (book launch)
#readirishwomenchallenge (Reading Challenge)

Can’t Freaking Wait Wednesday 10/04/19 (meme)

How to Make Friends with the Dark (YA Contemporary)

Audiophile Friday (small reviews/wrap-up meme)


Latest book haul

Netgalley approvals –

  • Tiger Queen

Physical haul:

From the publisher –

  • Other Words for Smoke
  • All My Colours
  • The Quiet at the End of The World

Illumicrate –

  • Once & Future

Waterstones –

  • The Devouring Gray

Currently reading and recently finished

I’m about halfway through To Best The Boys, which is so wonderful. I’m loving Rhen and her whole take on life. Also reading The Invited by Jennifer Mahon (out at the end of the month) and listening to Wandfasted, which is the prequel to The Black Witch. Obviously, I finally finished The Black Witch (audio) and also read Opposite of Always, which I already posted my review! Totally check it out! Hoping to read some more of Other Words for Smoke before the launch tomorrow.


A few final words

My goodness, it has been such a busy week. I haven’t had a day off since Dingle! I’m exhausted 😴 and I’ve a lot on this week! So excited for the book launch tomorrow! Sarah Maria Griffin is literally one of my favourite authors and I can’t wait to see her talk about her newest weird book child! You all need to check her out and then buy her book, or the other way around. Also heading to Gin Experience on Friday evening, which is a great time! Chat soon, Wayfarers x


ARC REVIEW | Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

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Title: ONCE & FUTURE

Author: AMY ROSE CAPETTA & CORI MCCARTHY

Released: 26TH MARCH 2019 by ROCK THE BOAT (UK); (JIMMY PATTERSON – US)

Genre: TEENS + YA/FANTASY SCI-FI

Rep: LGBT+, POC | TWs: SLAVERY, ANIMAL DEATH, ABANDONMENT, RAPE MENTION, DEATH, SUICIDE, WAR THEMES, GENOCIDE.

OH MY GOODNIGHT, I LOVED THIS STORY SO MUCH MORE THAN I EXPECTED I WOULD! I AM CURRENTLY A PILE OF MUSH AND FEELING AND LOVE OVERFLOWING!

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way… HAPPY PUBLICATION, ARI, KAY, LAM, VAL, GWEN, MERLIN, JORDAN, AND MORGANA! I LOVE YOU ALL. And authors and publishing houses, of course! Thank you for giving us this book. You’re amazing.

The novel was written so well. The pace, plot, and characters were perfect for me. The story moved along at a nice speed, keeping me interested in what comes next without feeling overwhelmed by details and everything happening at once. Ari’s quest to defeat the greatest evil in the universe is so fun! Obviously, there is a lot going on at any given point, but the authors balance it all so well. The characters were each unique and complex. Their relationships with each other added that much more depth to the story.

So, Ari is the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, which she discovers once she pulls Excalibur from a tree, and she has to work with Merlin (who has aged backwards into a teenager) and her knights to bring peace to humankind. She goes through so much on this quest (and this is only the first book), but she stays strong the whole way through. She is lost and betrayed, yet handles it all with wit and grace (mostly). Also, can I just say Morgana is so well-written in this story. I loved their interpretation of the villainous enchantress.

One of my favourite parts of the story is when Merlin assumes one characters gender and it becomes a conversation about how he’s from a world where gender was assumed based on physical markers and how, in this futuristic world, you should ask someones pronouns because it’s the accepted thing to do. And clearly a much better way of living life. It’s important to allow people a voice to tell you their pronouns. Honestly, this book opens up a lot of really necessary dialogues and I would recommend everyone read it when they get a chance.

Truly, this was a unique novel. A genderbent Arthurian space odyssey is exactly what I never knew I needed. I love that this was ownvoices and I enjoyed learning more about different perspectives, such as fluidity and ace (among others). It’s really interesting to see those perspectives and try to understand more about them. This represented a wide spectrum of the sexuality/gender spectrum and it was awesome!

This was a FIVE STAR read for me and easily one of my favourite books of the year.


King Arthur as you’ve never imagined! This bold, sizzling YA retells the popular legend with the Once and Future King as a teenage girl — and she has a universe to save.

I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.

Thank you so much to Rock the Boat (as well as Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy) for the ARC.

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Can’t Freakin’ Wait Wednesday 20/03/19

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa over at Wishful Endings and was based on Waiting on Wednesday’s, which is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She created it to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released, but that’s not always the case. I happen to have pile upon piles of books I am excited to read, so thought this would be a fun meme in which to partake!

Gay. Feminist. Immigrant. Arthurian retelling! Sounds refreshingly unique and utterly amazing! I am feeling all the things while waiting for this to be in my hands… I don’t have the words to adequately explain how much I want this and I’m definitely not the only one. This is a much needed tale for many of our modern society. It’s so great to see such diversity in YA novels. It does get tiring reading the same themes all the time, so I am very happy to find out about more books such as this. And it’s a space opera? What more could we ask for? Plus, I for one cannot wait to see how Merlin is done, as Merlin is generally my favourite in any Arthurian tale. 

Have you read this yet or is it on your TBR? What do you think of the description?

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A new King Arthur has risen and she’s got a universe to save

Coming to terms with your identity is always difficult. But for Ari, the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, it just got a whole lot more complicated. Gender-bending royalty, caustic wit and a galaxy-wide fight for peace and equality all collide in this epic adventure.

With an awkward adolescent Merlin and a rusty spaceship, this is the Arthurian legend as you have never before seen it.