Unfortunately, I think I fall into the minority when I say that I didn’t enjoy Darling as much as I had hoped. That said, I liked the contemporary thriller lens through which K. Ancrum retold Peter Pan, and the casual diversity is commendable.
I tend to fall in love with books with lyrical writing styles, and The Sea Is Salt and So Am I didn’t disappoint in this regard. The setting of West Finch, a tiny town in Maine that is literally at risk of collapsing due to climate change, gifts the whole novel a semi-magical edge, which balances nicely with harsher realities of car accidents, financial troubles, and SATs (every high school student’s worst enemy).
Don’t be fooled: this is not a lighthearted rom-com. Yes, a main thread in May the Best Man Win is the characters’ romantic relationships, but Jeremy Harkiss and Lukas Rivers, who are both often angry, vindictive, and self-destructive, focus on much heavier themes.
A teenage blacksmith with social anxiety accepts a commission from the wrong person and is forced to go on the run to protect the world from the most powerful magical sword she's ever made.
This was one of my most anticipated reads this year, so I was ecstatic to receive an eARC from a giveaway. Overall, I fully endorse the logline “We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Studio Ghibli.” The Ones We’re Meant to Find was mysterious, dystopian, and, most importantly to me, beautifully written.
Throughout the novel, Hur was so clever about embedding little clues to the mystery. Although I wasn't smart enough to figure any of them out before the protagonist, it made the experience more realistic and interactive. I also enjoyed how Hwani's suspect list allowed for so many secondary characters to be explored in greater detail—none of them were as simple as I expected.
Featuring The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky, What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo, Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward + more I read 11 books in March 2021! I definitely picked up the pace this month, and I got to read a few ARCs too.
If that doesn’t already make you shiver, then just wait. There’s something so beautiful and empowering about this quote, yet it’s dark and ominous at the same time—and I think that description summarizes the novel as a whole as well. House of Hollow reminds me of Lana Popovic’s Wicked Like a Wildfire (another novel for fans of complicated mother-daughter relationships, lush imagery, and speculative twists) except a thousand times creepier.
For the record, I love anything and everything related to fairytale retellings—and I mean love. Peter Pan was a tale that particularly interested me when I was younger, so I was intrigued as soon as I read the blurb for Lost in the Never Woods (bonus points for it working with the nuances of Wendy Darling's perspective!). Also, as a side note, I haven't read Aiden Thomas's debut novel Cemetery Boys yet, so I won't be making any comparisons between the two.
Yes, I know I'm making this post extremely late in the year, but there are soooo many intriguing books (with gorgeous covers that I want to hold in my hands so badly) coming out this year that I need to rave about them somewhere!!!