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

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!

eARC REVIEW | Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

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Title: WICKED SAINTS (SOMETHING DARK AND HOLY #1)

Author: EMILY A. DUNCAN

Released: 2ND APRIL 2019 by WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: TEENS + YA/DARK FANTASY

Rep: LGBT+, POC, DISABILITY | TWs: SELF-HARM, ABANDONMENT, ABUSE BY A PARENT, VIOLENCE

“You could be exactly what these countries need to stop their fighting. Or you could rip them apart at the seams.”

WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!

This has been one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 – and it completely exceeded my expectations! I am so glad to have gotten this beautiful book! It filled the gap in my heart that was left by the ending of the Bardugo Grishaverse, and I can safely say I will be 1-clicking the rest of this series as they go live for pre-order! The writing was stunning and completely brilliant. I absolutely devoured this story and nearly died when I reached the end – I couldn’t believe it! The plot points and big reveals were phenomenal. I can’t say I ever saw any of it coming.

Duncan owns my heart now and I can’t wait to see what these characters do next! Nadya is amazing, of course! A talented girl who can speak to the gods and wield their magic? Totally impressive. She’s also hilariously funny – her banter with the gods is comical. And Malachaisz – the blood mage – just…whew! He’s dark and beautiful and surprising and obviously hiding an assload of secrets! I loved him even though I knew I shouldn’t because something was going on in that stunning mind of his. And boy, I sure was not disappointed.

“Are we so different, Nadya?” He lifted his hand, fingers tipped with long claws, and pressed his thumb against her lips. “We both long for freedom. For power. For a choice. We both want to see our kingdoms survive.”

 

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Photo credit to Waricka Art

 

Moral ambiguity – do you love it or would you rather more black and white personalities? You’ll be very happy with this novel if you love a characters with questionable morals. I honestly love when characters are little..twisted and they make it hard for the reader to figure out their motivations. These aren’t your traditional characters – Duncan has taken this fantasy to a new level and created a unique and compelling story.

While there is a hell of a lot going on, this dark, twisty novel is, at it’s heart, about a war between religions (differences) and how that has impacted the shaping of their world. While both sides are similar, one side feels they were justified by the gods, while the other depended on their innate power. It’s interesting to see the power plays among acquaintances and interconnectedness of various characters in the story (because I can’t wait to see how certain things play out!).

I have honestly thought about this book SO MUCH since I finished reading it. I’ll definitely be reading it again. I feel like my words don’t do this beautiful book the justice it deserves, but you MUST GO BUY IT IN ALL FORMS! I have the audiobook that I cannot wait to start on asap… I only wish I could rate this higher than FIVE STARS.

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A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

Thank you so much to Emily A. Duncan and Wednesday Books via Netgalley for the ARC.

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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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ARC (rant) REVIEW | Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

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Title: NEVER-CONTENTED THINGS

Author: SARAH PORTER

Released: 19TH MARCH 2019 by TOR TEEN

Genre: TEENS + YA/DARK FANTASY

Rep: LGBT+, ORPHANS/FOSTER FAMILY, POC, | TWs: FOSTER SIBLING INCEST, ABUSE, DISCUSSION OF RAPE,

Let me just preface this review with I nearly DNF’ed this book. I should have DNF’ed this book. It was terrible. I pretty much hated it and yet I had to finish the story to see how it all ended – in the hopes it would get better. But it didn’t. At all.

Some scenes felt entirely too forced and fake to be believable – even for the world of fantasy. This was meant to be a novel about faeries, but, while set partially in the faerie world, this was more about the foster siblings than anything else. The faeries made several cameos, but didn’t seem essential to the story in the way most faerie stories have faeries that shift the plot along. If you’re looking for a The Cruel Prince-esque story, this is not it. I know because I read that, and having done so cannot fathom why this is being compared to it at all. The story doesn’t even really go into the faeries and why they’re there in the first place. Pretty sure the word isn’t even mentioned throughout.

Now, let’s talk about Josh and Ksenia…wtf! Again I say, what. The. Actual. FUCK?! Foster sibling intended incest? Okay, fair, they’re not actually related, but they ARE being raised as brother and sister. Josh is always whinging about wanting to have sex with Ksenia, but she doesn’t seem into it really. You can tell she loves him, but not past wanting to take care of him. It was really cringy to be entirely honest. As someone who was in the foster care system for a time, I felt really weird about that entire part of the story. And maybe that was the whole point of it, but it definitely wasn’t for me (nor at all what I expected from the synopsis, so maybe it needs to be marketed differently).

Now, there was an overarching discussion of forgiveness, which was kind of interesting. Basically, if someone close to you betrays you, can you forgive them (even if they aren’t trying to redeem themselves)? I think if you care about someone, maybe you owe it to yourself to try to help them overcome the problem, but not at the expense of your mental or physical health. Betrayal is hard to get through and nothing is ever the same on the other side. Sometimes, you really do just have to walk away from the situation in order for all parties to come out healthier on the other side.

The writing itself was probably the only thing that really had me keep reading. It was pretty good and very descriptive, without being flowery or overwhelming. The pace was also decent once you got a fair bit into the story. The first 25% or so was pretty slow, though.

Anyway, this had so much potential, but it really fell short for me.  Unfortunately, just a ONE STAR read for me.


A new YA standalone novel about dark faeries with surefire appeal by Sarah Porter, the critically-acclaimed author of Vassa in the Night and When I Cast Your Shadow

Seductive. Cruel. Bored
Be wary of… 

Never-Contented Things
A Novel of Faery

Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries—until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia. Drawn in by their vivid emotions, undying love for each other, and passion for life, Prince will stop at nothing to possess them.

First seduced and then entrapped by the fairies, Josh and Ksenia learn that the fairies’ otherworldly gifts come at a terrible price—and they must risk everything in order to reclaim their freedom.

Written based on the content in the manuscript and subject to change upon publication. Thank you so much to Sarah Porter and Tor Teen for the ARC.


1 star

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.

ARC REVIEW | The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown

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Title: THE TRUTH ABOUT KEEPING SECRETS

Author: SAVANNAH BROWN

Released: 7TH MARCH 2019 by PENGUIN

Genre: TEENS + YA CONTEMPORARY/MYSTERY & THRILLER

Rep: POC, LGBT+, MENTAL HEALTH | TWs: DEATH, GRIEF, DOMESTIC ABUSE, MENTION OF SUICIDE, NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY

Savannah Brown has written a gorgeous debut novel with TTAKS (of course she’s a poet!). She explores some deep themes in death, grief, and learning to live with loss, and she does it beautifully and with the respect it deserves. Those of us who have gone through a loss, expected or not, will find solace in Sydney’s story. Grief is messy and variable because everyone experiences it differently, but damn is it hard! I absolutely cried reading this book…

The characters are realistic and unusual – I just loved them entirely. Brown has given us some real gems in this story. Just the right amount of flaw and validity, plus the intriguing storyline. I was hooked from the off! I nearly felt my heart was being dragged out of me with each chapter. Now, the ending I had an idea who did it, but the way she brings it all together is stunning!

My favourite side character has to be Leo, though. He’s just so funny and brings the perfect amount of levity to Sydney’s life exactly when it’s needed.

Totally had to be a FIVE STAR read for me. Have you picked it up yet?


A stunning coming-of-age tale from poet and writer Savannah Brown.

Sydney’s dad is the only psychiatrist for miles around in their small Ohio town.

He is also unexpectedly dead.

Sydney believes the crash was anything but an accident. And when the threatening texts begin, and June Copeland – homecoming queen and golden child – appears at his funeral out of nowhere, she’s sure of it.

But through Sydney’s newfound relationship with June, she’s given a glimpse of a life without the darkness of an unresolved grief and the chance, just maybe, of a fresh start.

Until it’s clear that the secrets won’t go away, and the truth might bring everything crashing down…

Imperfect friendships, the shadow of grief and the sweet pain of romance – this is a poetic, thrilling ode to being human.

Thank you so much to Savannah Brown, Penguin, and DeptCon4 for the ARC.


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