Received from NetGalley for review.
burn whoever tries to burn you.
– coven rule #2.
Amanda Lovelace speaks to my soul and practically every poem in this collection screams empowerment, resilience, intersectional feminism, women taking back power, taking back their agency, and I am so here for it. the witch doesn’t burn in this one made me feel like I could take on the world – it is raw and powerful and unashamedly honest.
ready for a
– my self-worth shouldn’t feel like an act of bravery.
Although Lovelace doesn’t shy away from difficult topics (rape culture, body shaming, eating disorders, and abuse to name but a few) she always comes back to the most important point – women are powerful, we always have been, we will always rise from the ashes and the abuse that we are subjected to, and we will do it together.
– women are some kind of magic II.
To those who try to hurt, who try to control, who think they have the right to any part of a person: remember, we are witches and we will watch you burn.
Read: January 10th 2018
A Poem for Every Night of the Year by Allie Esiri
I read this throughout the entirety of 2017 and I loved it; I didn’t necessarily read a poem every night, but I thoroughly enjoyed discovering new poets and reconnecting with much loved favourites. Highly recommended for any lover of poetry, or anyone wanting to delve more deeply into the world of poetry.
Secrets of the High Priestess by Nicole Tone
Raw. Magical. Empowering.
i know what it feels like to burn at the stake
hands tied behind my back
inhaling smoke until it fills my lungs.
i know what it’s like to have skin melt, dripping
like water until there’s muscle
until there’s bone
until there’s nothing left but ash.
it’s our legacy, our destiny, to build our own pyres.
our responsibility to strike the match we know will
it’s burn or lie,
and i’ll choose fire every time.
Read: January 4th 2018
A little early but…Happy New Year everyone! I’ll see you in January. 🙂
- A List of Cages by Robin Roe – 4/5 stars
- The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry – 5/5 stars
- The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave – 4/5 stars
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus – 4/5 stars
- Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland – 5/5 stars
- Countless by Karen Gregory – 4/5 stars
- Tutti’s Promise by K. Heidi Fishman – 4/5 stars
- Bone Gap by Laura Ruby – 5/5 stars
- Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones – 4/5 stars
- The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – 4/5 stars
- Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer – 5/5 stars
- The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – 4/5 stars
- Hedy’s Journey: The True Story of a Hungarian Girl Fleeing the Holocaust by Michelle Bisson – 4/5 stars
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli – 5/5 stars
- A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3) by Sarah J. Maas – 5/5 stars
- milk and honey by Rupi Kaur (read twice) – 5/5 stars
- Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst – 5/5 stars
- Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle – 5/5 stars
- The Complete Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem – 4/5 stars
- The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord – 5/5 stars
- Cook. Eat. Love by Fearne Cotton – 5/5 stars
- Truth or Dare by Non Pratt – 4/5 stars
- Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield – 4/5 stars
- Shadow (Wendy Darling, #3) by Colleen Oakes – 4/5 stars
- To Bedlam and Part Way Back by Anne Sexton – 4/5 stars
- Garden Spells (Waverley Family, #1) by Sarah Addison Allen – 4/5 stars
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) by J.K. Rowling (re-read) – 5/5 stars
- The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave – 4.5/5 stars
- A Change Is Gonna Come by Various – 4.5/5 stars
- Hidden: True Stories of Children Who Survived World War II by Marcel Prins & Peter Henk Steenhuis – 5/5 stars
- The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude – 4/5 stars
- The Chaos of Longing by K.Y. Robinson – 4/5 stars
- Empress of a Thousand Skies (Empress of a Thousand Skies, #1) by Rhoda Belleza – 4/5 stars
- Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody – 4/5 stars
- Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia and Lauren O’Hara – 4/5 stars
- The Invisible Child and The Fir Tree by Tove Jansson – 5/5 stars
- Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan – 5/5 stars
- Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll – 5/5 stars
- Turtles All the Way Down by John Green – 5/5 stars
- Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls – 4/5 stars
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling (re-read) – 5/5 stars
- Fallen Grace By Mary Hooper – 4/5 stars
- Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1) by Julia C. Dao – 4/5 stars
- The Snow Angel by Lauren St. John – 4/5 stars
- Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville – 4/5 stars
- Wicked Like a Wildfire (Hibiscus Daughter, #1) by Lana Popović – 4/5 stars
- How to Be a Wildflower: A Field Guide by Katie Daisy (re-read) – 5/5 stars
- The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker – 4/5 stars
- the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace (re-read) – 5/5 stars
- Wild Embers by Nikita Gill – 5/5 stars
- The Last Namsara (Iskari, #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli – 4/5 stars
- A Poem for Every Night of the Year by Allie Esiri – 4/5 stars
Above the marge of night a star still shines,
And on the frosty hills the sombre pines
Harbor an eerie wind that crooneth low
Over the glimmering wastes of virgin snow.
Through the pale arch of orient the morn
Comes in a milk-white splendor newly-born,
A sword of crimson cuts in twain the gray
Banners of shadow hosts, and lo, the day!
– L.M. Montgomery
Received from NetGalley for review.
Shadow Weaver is a dark middle-grade fantasy full of shadows, danger, and magic. It’s full of wonder and suspense, and although I found it to be a little slow in places, I think it is a wonderful addition to the middle-grade fantasy genre.
‘The first time my shadow spoke to me, I was a mere infant in the cradle.’
Shadow Weaver started strongly with a strong nod to fairy tales and an unmistakably strange atmosphere. The protagonist, Emmeline, is a shadow weaver – someone who can control shadows – and her only friends are the shadows that she calls to her, and her own shadow, Dar. I loved the idea of being able to manipulate shadows – Emmeline not only calls them to her, she can mould them into toys to play with, and use them to cloak herself and hide – and I liked how there was immediately a sinister undertone with Dar, who seems to revel in hurting, distressing, and playing tricks on others. The darkness continues when strange men visit Emmeline’s family and claim to be able to ‘cure’ her of her talent, with things escalating to breaking point when one of the men is left in a coma, forcing Emmeline to run.
Although the story is full of magic, darkness, and uncertainty, I found it to be lacking in places. The plot moves quickly at first, but once Emmeline is on the run I found it to be very slow – she gets taken in by a family with a talented son and the tension seems to dissipate, especially in the second half of the story. There are mysteries about Dar’s true nature and how she became a shadow, and Emmeline’s foster family, but I found them a bit predictable and could have guessed the outcome before I was halfway through. I wanted a bit more from this – more danger, more magic, more uncertainty – but even though my interest wavered, I know many readers will love reading Emmeline’s story.
Read: December 3rd-9th 2017
Wicked Like a Wildfire (Hibiscus Daughter, #1) by Lana Popović
This is a slow, sumptuous novel that focuses on ancient magic and overwhelming beauty in all its forms; it was not entirely what I expected, and the language could be somewhat flowery, but I really enjoyed it.
Read: November 19th-22nd 2017
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne
I read the beginning and couldn’t get any further. If it gets better I am not willing to stick around and find out; Bree seems like such a deplorable character that I could not stand to read any more of her privileged whining (yes I know suffering and mental illness can affect anyone, but it was shoved down my throat so violently within the first three pages that I could have gagged). Rich, whiny, self-righteous teenagers fucked me off when I was a teenager myself and they still fuck me off now (yes growing up is difficult, no you don’t have to open a novel complaining about all the ways life is oh-so-tragic).
Read: November 22nd 2017
Mosquitoland by David Arnold
I read about half of this last year and it has since disappeared from my memory and become hidden amongst hundreds of other books. From what I can remember it was quite compelling, but obviously not enough to make me want to read it all.
Read: sometime in 2016
Reviewed: November 22nd 2017
Received from NetGalley for review.
Young Adult paranormal romances, a summary: the boy is hot, the girl is shy but possesses hidden depths or ‘special’ abilities, they nearly die but love saves the day.
I tried. I really, really tried. But this is just the same monotonous bile that has been spewed into the ‘ya paranormal romance’ genre since Twilight, except, for some reason, none of them ever manage to pull it off in quite the same way. I don’t know why – possibly because I was sixteen when I read Twilight and could overlook the nauseating prose and ill-disguised abuse that was masquerading as love, possibly because it was my first real experience with the genre – but what I do know is this: this genre is mostly dull, mostly repetitive, and rarely original in any way.
Black Bird of the Gallows follows the same formula we know and (love to) hate: attractive but strange person appears, the protagonist falls in love despite there being something strange and secretive about the newcomer, death is narrowly avoided because LOVE. This is certainly the case for Angie, who seems to immediately fall for Reece, and begin obsessing about him, despite knowing nothing about him and experiencing some very odd things around him. Is it a teenage thing I’ve missed to be obsessed with hidden meanings and messages after only knowing someone for a day? I’m not trying to be condescending but how many times do teenage first loves actually turn into anything? From my experience, first loves are not last loves – so much growth and change occurs when growing up that I can’t imagine life unfolding like it does in these novels.
I won’t lie – I found this to be both dull and unbelievable, but I seem to be more in the minority. I think there was definitely potential with the harbinger of death angle, but unfortunately this just reads like every other paranormal romance I’ve encountered. Admittedly I didn’t read the whole thing closely, so for all I know it did get better in places (I’m not convinced of that, though). I will say, however, that it is a very easy and quick read, with a creepy undertone that is perfect for this time of year, and will probably be greatly enjoyed by younger readers who have not yet been overwhelmed by this genre – it wasn’t for me, but I can easily imagine it being devoured by others, even if my review suggests otherwise.
Read: November 13th 2017