A Song Below Water – review

Author: Bethany C. Morrow
Publication date: June 2, 2020
Genre: young adult, fantasy
My rating: 3.5/5 stars

First, I want to make something abundantly clear: this is a tremendously important book. It deals with lots of major issues that the Black community is currently facing, and has been facing for a long time, and it uses a highly unique premise (some very literal Black Girl Magic) to convey those ideas. I feel like I need to stress that part because this was one of those books that I loved in theory, just not in execution. I don’t want this review to be taken as, “This book isn’t important.” I think it is a book that is very, very much worth reading. However, it would be disingenuous for me to rate it higher, because it faltered in its actual writing, on technical elements like worldbuilding and pacing.

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A Song Below Water – blog tour and GIVEAWAY!!!

Author: Bethany C. Morrow
Publication date: June 2, 2020
Genre: young adult, urban fantasy, contemporary
Publisher: Tor Teen

If ever there was a good book to promote now, given the widespread Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, this is it. Written by a Black author, and dealing with topics including systemic racism, social justice, body image, and misogynoir, the relevance of this book to today’s situation cannot be overstated. The characters attend Black Lives Matter protests. They discuss everything from natural hair and gospel music to traffic stops and police brutality. And above all, this book is a celebration of literal Black Girl Magic–this is a story about sirens, and in its world’s mythos, only Black women can be sirens.

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Come Tumbling Down – mini-review

Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children, #5
Publication date: January 7, 2020
Genre: fantasy, portal fantasy
My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Let me start this by saying that Seanan McGuire is an absolute gem. Her writing is always brilliant, and I absolutely adore all the worlds she created in this series, so I of course was looking forward to getting to further explore them in this latest installment. In fact, after Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Jack and Jill quickly became my favorite characters in the series (alongside Kade, but alas, he hasn’t gotten his own book yet). However, this wasn’t a five-star read–honestly, it’s on the lower end of the 4.5-star rating. I guess I just didn’t quite feel the same “spark” with this one that I did with some others from the series. (Was that a pun referencing the excessive lightning in the Moors? Maybe…)

Anyway, given that it is a short book, I don’t quite feel up to a full review, but here is the publisher’s blurb, followed by my thoughts in a quick bulleted list for your enjoyment/reference. Please be aware, there are some spoilers in here for the earlier books in the series, if you haven’t read them yet–though, of course, no spoilers on this particular installment!

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Aru Shah and the End of Time – review

Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: Pandava Quartet, #1
Publication date: March 27, 2018
Genre: middle grade, fantasy
My rating: 4/5 stars

This was a cute and enjoyable read, for sure, with a delightful voice, a feisty and salty protagonist who was a little too relatable, and so much mythological fun. Obviously the #OwnVoices take on Indian mythology was a strong point in its favor. Seriously, props to Rick Riordan for helping support authors from other cultures in getting their mythologies into stories to be published and loved as much as his own Percy Jackson was. He could have written those books himself, but instead he decided to step away and let #OwnVoices authors take the spotlight. But I digress–let’s start with the publisher’s blurb!

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Audiobook review blitz – Talking to Strangers, The Brilliant Death, & The Five

Oh boy, more audiobooks! Yaaaayyyy! In lieu of a long intro, I’ll just describe them quickly and then get straight to the mini-reviews. We have, in order, a social science book about miscommunication, a super-queer YA fantasy with genderfluid and genderqueer main characters, and a thoroughly-researched book detailing the lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.

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The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home – review

Authors: Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Publication date: May 5, 2020
Genre: fantasy, dark humor, horror
My rating: 5/5 stars

Do you like ghost stories? This book is for you!

Do you like revenge plots? This book is for you!

Do you like ragtag teams of criminals? This book is for you!

Do you like bizarre alternate versions of historical Europe? This book is for you!

Do you like dark humor and bitterly harsh realities? This book is for you!

Do you like Welcome to Night Vale? Obviously this book is for you; that’s probably what brought you to this review anyway, right?

Do you like sweet and happy endings? Dear god, please don’t read this book; find yourself something more wholesome.

This story can only turn out the way things happened. I cannot conjure a happy ending where none exists.

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All the Stars and Teeth – review

Author: Adalyn Grace
Publication date: February 4, 2020
Genre: young adult, fantasy
My rating: 4/5 stars

Magical and imaginative, All the Stars and Teeth is an excellent debut novel and gives a promising start to both a new series and Adalyn Grace’s career. Filled to the brim with curses, powers, mythical creatures, and lovable characters, this book will immerse you in a fantastical world where magic is commonplace and nothing is as it seems.

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The Bone Houses – review

Author: Emily Lloyd Jones
Publication date: September 24, 2019
Genre: young adult, fantasy, light horror
My rating: 4.5/5 stars

THIS BOOK HAS A ZOMBIE GOAT. If that isn’t enough to convince you it’s worth reading, well…I don’t know what is. But here are a few more things this delightful book has to offer:

  • A kickass, axe-wielding gravedigger girl
  • A small town plagued by a curse
  • A quiet, mapmaking boy with chronic shoulder pain (omg relatable)
  • Dark forests, abandoned castles, and legendary monsters
  • Witty banter alongside profound moments
  • Did I mention the freaking amazing ZOMBIE GOAT???
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February 2020 Book Haul- Part 1 (or: my book photography skills are improving)

Hello, lovelies! I’m trying to get caught up on sharing all the books I’ve acquired recently, through a wide variety of sources (mostly giveaways, but a couple that just came from the publisher!). Note that this is only part of my haul for last month–you can expect more pretty pictures soon 😊

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Audiobook review blitz – Little Women, Godsgrave, The Devouring Gray, & Uncanny Valley

Yes, yes, I’ve been gone for a while. I got stressed and stopped blogging for a few weeks, just letting the stack of reviews I still needed to write grow steadily. But I’m back now, and I’m bringing you not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR audiobook mini-reviews here! It’s been long enough since I listened to Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino that I don’t feel like I could write any sort of substantial review for it, but with the exception of that title, these books represent all the audiobooks I have listened to so far in 2020. On deck for this post we have a classic, an adult fantasy, a YA small-town fantasy, and a memoir of a journalist who worked in Silicon Valley (in a non-tech role at a tech company).

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