Author: Heather Fawcett
Series: Emily Wilde
Series #: 1
Genre: fantasy
Age Group: adult
ARC?: yes

Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party–or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.

So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.

But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones–the most elusive of all faeries–lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all–her own heart.


Review

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an arc in exchange for an honest review! 🙂

Holy smokes! I love anything to do with faeries, and I have since I was a little girl. With all the fae in books recently I felt that this was a refreshing take on them. (Not that there is anything wrong with the others, there isn’t). At first when I saw it was written as diary entries I worried that it would read awkwardly.

It did not. In fact, I really loved how the book read as diary entries. Emily was such an engaging character and getting to know her was lovely! I was impressed with Fawcett who was able to communicate so much through diary entries. Now, don’t think of the diary entries as you would, because they do not read like them. This makes the book flow better.

One side note because I love the way that it was incorporated into the book was how terminology and studies were introduced. I felt like it helped add a lot to the world we were getting to know. The fact that these are not necessarily hidden creatures, but part of the world was well done, it felt like it was more…natural? Really, it felt as if the faeries could actually exist in our world today. Don’t think Maas or Black faeries, think a bit differently than that. It’s very hard to explain without giving too much away.

The romance in this book was humorous. I loved how Emily approached romance and life, because I felt for her. Emily has a great character arc throughout this book, both internally and externally growing as a character. There are spots of humor in this book that worked for me and had me giggling at some points. Wendall is my second favorite character, and honestly he was the funny part of the entire book.

I LOVED the writing in the book, if that wasn’t clear. I was absorbed by it, and just got so engaged throughout the entire book.

The plot was spectacular and I loved how it unraveled, and I’ll say nothing else about the plot as it would lead to too many spoilers.

Another warning, is there are some darker aspects of this book. This is very much a historical fantasy book that has a dose of romance. It is NOT a romance book, so don’t go in expecting that romance will be the focus of the book, it is not.

I do wish the ending was a little bit longer, but it looks as if we’re getting a second book so I can only hope that maybe we get some more!

Some comparisons to this might be Olivia Atwater, Katherine Arden, Naomi Novik are a few that I can think of that have similar vibes.

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Author: Mara Rutherford
Series: n/a
Series #: n/a
Genre: fantasy
Age Group: young adult
ARC?: yes

Outsiders are always given a choice: the Forest or the lake. Either way, they’re never heard from again.

Leelo has spent her entire life on Endla, coexisting with the bloodthirsty Forest and respecting the poisonous lake that protects her island from outsiders who seek to destroy it. But as much as Leelo cares for her community, she struggles to accept that her younger brother will be exiled by his next birthday, unless he gains the magic of enchanted song so vital to Endla.

When Leelo sees a young outsider on the verge of drowning in the lake, she knows exactly what she’s supposed to do. But in a moment that will change everything, Leelo betrays her family, her best friend, and Endla by making an unthinkable choice.

Discovery could lead to devastating consequences for both Leelo and the outsider, Jaren, but as they grow closer, Leelo realizes that not all danger comes from beyond the lake—and they can only survive if Leelo is willing to question the very fabric of her society, her people, and herself.


Review

ATMOSPHERE. LOVE. DESPERATION. POISON. DEATH. HOPE. What more could you want from a book? Honestly, The Poison Season is fabulous. I enjoyed the author’s previous works, but this one is my favorite. I love the mysterious aspect of the magic and the island and what has happened in the past.

Leelo is an amazing character, because she isn’t ready to give up everything to change the world. She’s scared, she has feelings and she’s not perfect. Her relationship with her family is one of the main focuses of the book, and as I know from previous books Rutherford is an absolute talent at crafting some of the best sibling and familial relationships I’ve ever read. This book is no exception to that. In fact, my heart broke several times throughout this book, because none of the characters were perfect or right or wrong. It was so lovely, and honestly, just don’t have the words for it.

As a character, Leelo’s arc was one of the best I’ve seen in a YA book. There is so much growth and learning from her as a person, and she is willing to admit to herself and others when she’s made a mistake. She wants to be honest, but she also wants to help, and this is the problem Leelo has to face. She has a decision she must make.

There is also a romance in the book, between Leelo and the outsider, Jaren. There are some interesting aspects of this woven throughout the book, and I liked it. I felt that their slowly growing romance and attraction was well done.

I love the world that was created, it was enchanting and mystical, and I like that it had a dark and creepy atmosphere to it. I felt it contrasted nicely with the atmosphere of the town. It gave me the chills at some points.

This is a great winter read, especially if you love evocative, YA fantasy dosed with atmosphere and powerful character arcs.

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Author: Rebecca Ross
Series: Elements of Cadence
Series #: 2
Genre: fantasy
Age Group: adult
ARC?: yes

East and West. Humans and Spirits. Breccans and Tamerlaines. The Isle of Cadence has always held itself and its residents in a tenuous balance. But now Bane, the spirit of the North Wind, has pushed everyone and everything in his path off-kilter in a bid to claim dominion over all.

In the West, Adaira struggles to adjust to the more brutal, bitter ways of life among the Breccans. Striving to find her place in the clan, she swiftly realizes that it just might be the last role she desires to hold. And while magic blooms effortlessly for the Breccans in the west, the spirits continue to suffer beneath Bane’s harsh power, felt in every gust of wind.

In the East, Jack is adrift without Adaira until he sings to the ember-weak fire spirits, acquiring a dangerous mission he never expected. One that is destined to lead him westward. Likewise, Torin and Sidra are consumed by a new mystery as sickness spreads first amongst the crops, and then to the people of the Tamerlaine clan. While Sidra desperately searches for a cure, Torin dares to strike a bargain with the spirits—a precarious folly anytime, but especially now as the days grow darker.

With the island falling further out of balance, humans and spirits alike will need to join together to face Bane, and Jack’s gift with the harp will be called upon once more. Yet no one can challenge the North Wind without paying a terrible price, and the sacrifice required this time may be more than Jack, Adaira, Torin, and Sidra can bear to pay.


Review

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an e-arc of this book! 🙂

THIS BOOK. I cannot express any emotions. I held my hands to my chest and sobbed at one part. Rebecca Ross is such a talented writer and I can’t wait for this book to be out in the wild. I thought that this was a stunning conclusion to this series. Honestly, it made me so emotional, and I had trouble writing this review because I really don’t want to spoil this book.

Ross has some of the best writing that I’ve ever read; it is lyrical and beautiful. The descriptions are lush and beautiful. I love how she created two different atmospheres for the clans, and two different feelings depending on where you were in the mortal world or in the spirit world. And that’s all I’m going to say on that — because so much of this is best read blind. As someone who struggles to picture scenes in books, I love when authors are able to evoke feelings and emotions and make me imagine something.

I loved all the characters in this book so much, Adaira, Jack, Sidra and Torin all have their own journey in this book, and then they come together. That’s something to note — they all are separate and have individual arcs in which we’ve seen them grow as people.

I’ve been left speechless by this book, it just evoked so much emotion in me, and I loved following all the characters, I especially enjoyed Adaira’s story as she comes to terms with who she is. Torin and Sidra’s romance is just as poignant as Adaira and Jack’s, and the juxtaposition of them was done so lovely. I like how we get to see so many different facets of people. Sidra’s story is also one of my favorites, I’m just a sucker for strong women. Seriously, and while Sidra and Adaira are strong, they also have a tenderness to them. I love it.

One aspect of the book that I thought was well done was the plot, and how the present was interwoven with the past. Ross is fantastic at creating a timeline of interest, and not making it confusing. I think that the plot in this book was nicely developed and really rounded out the first book — we learn a lot more from Adaira and her mother in this book. Again, Ross is excellent at creating a fantastic world and showing how two or three places are so different from each other.

Everything ties up so nicely in the end, and I just loved this book. I really don’t know what else to say other than I’M IN LOVE.

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Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Luminaries
Series #: 1
Genre: fantasy, horror
Age Group: Young Adult
ARC?: yes

Hemlock Falls isn’t like other towns. You won’t find it on a map, your phone won’t work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you.

Winnie Wednesday wants nothing more than to join the Luminaries, the ancient order that protects Winnie’s town—and the rest of humanity—from the monsters and nightmares that rise in the forest of Hemlock Falls every night.

Ever since her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor, Winnie and her family have been shunned. But on her sixteenth birthday, she can take the deadly Luminary hunter trials and prove herself true and loyal—and restore her family’s good name. Or die trying.

But in order to survive, Winnie enlists the help of the one person who can help her train: Jay Friday, resident bad boy and Winnie’s ex-best friend. While Jay might be the most promising new hunter in Hemlock Falls, he also seems to know more about the nightmares of the forest than he should. Together, he and Winnie will discover a danger lurking in the forest no one in Hemlock Falls is prepared for.

Not all monsters can be slain, and not all nightmares are confined to the dark.


Review

The Luminaries was an excellent book — I enjoyed it. This is very different than her Witchlands series. This book has a feel of horror/mystery with a mixture of paranormal/supernatural elements. It also felt a bit dystopian. Not in a bad way but I would say it had “Supernatural” vibes with the hunters aspect.

Much of the book is exactly the summary of the book, Winnie must pass the hunter trials and redeem her family. There is some mystery thrown in as well, and I enjoyed Winnie as a character. I loved how she and Jay interacted. Darian was pretty cool as well.

(Also want to point out I love that she wears glasses, and it felt so relatable with her constantly pushing them up.)

One thing I will say is that it didn’t have a lot of plot to it, it was pretty much trial, trial, trial, and then end. This definitely is more like a setup for the rest of the series. This isn’t a bad thing at all, because I’m intrigued enough to read the next book.

An aspect that I also enjoyed is that she isn’t super powerful, she doesn’t gain all these amazing skills, in some ways a bit like the anti-chosen one. Which worked very well for this book.

The atmosphere was wonderfully done. This is a book that reads very well for the fall. It kind of sucks you in. Honestly, I kept thinking back to TV shows like Teen Wolf, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries while reading this. They were all shows I loved, so I also very much enjoyed the book. Just the feeling of them…it felt like that.

The second part I had some trouble with is not necessarily the world building, but how this society actually functioned. I felt that it wasn’t totally fleshed out well enough to be understood. I’m hoping we’ll get more of that in the future, and understand more of what this world is like.

I’m excited to see what happens next for Winnie, and the mystery she must solve!

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Author: Rachel Gillig
Series:
Series #: 1
Genre: fantasy
Age Group: adult/YA crossover
ARC?: yes

Elspeth Spindle needs more than luck to stay safe in the eerie, mist-locked kingdom of Blunder—she needs a monster. She calls him the Nightmare, an ancient, mercurial spirit trapped in her head. He protects her. He keeps her secrets.

But nothing comes for free, especially magic.

When Elspeth meets a mysterious highwayman on the forest road, her life takes a drastic turn. Thrust into a world of shadow and deception, she joins a dangerous quest to cure Blunder from the dark magic infecting it. And the highwayman? He just so happens to be the King’s nephew, Captain of the most dangerous men in Blunder…and guilty of high treason.

Together they must gather twelve Providence Cards—the keys to the cure. But as the stakes heighten and their undeniable attraction intensifies, Elspeth is forced to face her darkest secret yet: the Nightmare is slowly taking over her mind. And she might not be able to stop him.


Review

Thank you to NetGalley for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

ALL I NEED TO SAY IS I NEED THE NEXT ONE ASAP. AAAA IT WAS GOOD

Like what do I even say about this book??? I don’t think I have any words for it. The beginning is a little slow at first and you’re kind of scratching your head going… Is there a point to this/where is this going? BUT THEN you get to the amazingness that is the rest of the book. I just fell in love with the characters in this book, especially Elspeth and Ravyn. They’re so… Ugh. Anyways this is somewhat of an enemies to lovers kind of book but not exactly. It’s got a very gothic kind of feel to it, but it’s a darker and more atmospheric fantasy. I found it very enjoyable. It has all the vibes that I could ever love in a book. I feel like this book was made for me.

I liked how the characters interacted, and I liked their character arcs. In tone I might relate this to Allison Saft books! It also gave me For the Wolf vibes. I can’t quite put my finger on what else it felt like… But it kept me engrossed the whole way through.

The concept with the cards? SO GOOD. I loved it — obsessed with it in fact. I love the idea of Tarot, but it isn’t something I know a whole lot about, but how it was weaved in through this book? Top notch.

I don’t know why I thought this was a standalone — it isn’t — but I am extremely excited for the next book in the series.

I felt the writing in this book was amazing and I couldn’t get enough of it – the pace worked well for me. There were some funny moments thrown in amongst the more tense moments which gave a nice balance.

I loved the romance in this book. It was dreamy and done well. I wanted to smoosh them together. Ravyn’s family was also amazing, and I appreciated how this felt like a darker fairytale, perhaps a bit of a reimagined Cinderella? I quite enjoyed that. I want Ravyn’s family in fact. I need more of his family. ALL OF THEM.

The world that Gillig has created fascinated me, and I want to know more about it!

If you like dark fantasy, atmospheric fantasy, a bit of gothic horror, tarot or anything similar then this book is absolutely going to be for you!

P.S. This is probably one of my favorite books of the year and I am begging you to read it.

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Author: Adalyn Grace
Series: Belladonna
Series #: 1
Genre: fantasy, gothic
Age Group: YA
ARC?: yes

Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.

However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.


Review

Thank you to the publisher for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review!

So, I was excited going into this book because it said gothic on it, and I’m into pretty much anything gothic. And boy, did I get gothic! I also got a mix of fantasy elements that I love so much. And Death. Death was great as well. In some ways the atmosphere — something — about the book reminded me of Sorcery of Thorns, one of my all time favorite books. As well as Down Comes the Night. The combination in this book was just so well done. I was living for it. It is going to be a must re-read this fall when it’s spooky season. (I promise, you won’t be disappointed!)

Grace’s writing has only improved since her debut series, and I was gripped by it in this book. It was great before, and it is even better now. While the themes are different and styles are different, she does both very well! I found it easy to read and very addicting. I kept wanting to hug Signa. I loved her so much in this book. I adored her story — I felt connected with her even though she experienced things I hadn’t. And that is Grace’s talent, she can make you connect with a character even if it isn’t something you have experience. You feel empathy with them.

Also, the prologue was amazing . One of the best prologues that I have ever read to be honest. And I mean…the prologue was something else. What a way to get you into a book and keep you reading! Hook, line and sinker! This book was a slow burn in many ways; the romance, the plot, the world building, but it was beautifully done. I was obsessed with the idea of this glittering world, of “witches” of the personification of Death.

The romance in this book was much like Grace’s previous, it was slow and twisting; I rather enjoyed those aspects of it. Then you had the complicated factor of the mystery. Honestly, the mystery and ghosts were some of the best parts of this book. It incorporated well into the book, and it gave the book more body. And I love a gothic mystery that incorporates paranormal elements. I’m a sucker for it, and Grace had all of that.

And I loved the plot. I kept flipping pages because I wanted to know what was going to happen next! Suffice to say, I LOVED this book. What was also nice was the MC was 19! An older YA character! Hurray! This book literally checked all the boxes I could ask for. And I am addicted. ADDICTED I TELL YOU.

I need to get my hands on the sequel because HOLY HECK I can’t wait to see what happens next! This is definitely going to be one of my favorite books of the year. I already have THREE editions ordered.

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Author: Sarah Henning
Series: Kingdoms of Sand and Sky
Series #: 3
Genre: fantasy
Age Group: young adult
ARC?: yes

The epic tale concludes with The King Will Kill You, as the newly-crowned Queen Amarande and Luca, her one true love, seek peace among the Kingdoms of Sand and Sky. Wartorn and regicidal, all five kingdoms must confront the power-mad king determined to seize control of the continent–and kill Amarande and Luca in the process.


Review

What did I think of this final book in the series? I was underwhelmed. The first book was so good, and I had high hopes for the rest of the series. My one major problem with this book was it was pretty much the same plotline from the first two books recycled. I felt that it didn’t add anything new, or any more depth to the story.

Much like that, I felt the characters themselves were rather static. I quite liked Ferdinand and I used to love Luca and Ama. They weren’t bad characters by any stretch of the imagination, I just didn’t feel that they were the best. Ama was still a fierce warrior and still determined, but it was like all the other books. Nothing new was added that made me want to root for her.

Sure, this book had politics, but I felt that the politics were the most interesting of the parts of the book, and even then it was slightly boring. I had really wanted this book to end on a high note, but it just didn’t hit right to me. There was something I felt missing from the book.

All in all, I feel like this trilogy could have been a duology. There was so much repetitive parts.

What I did continue to like in this book was the world building. I think Henning is a talented world builder, and that continued in this book from the previous two. She is also an excellent writer.

For me, I wanted more. One of the good aspects of this book is we do finally get to see Ama and Luca interacting more. The previous two books it was like they weren’t together for the majority of the book. In this one, we finally get to see how they love each other and respect each other. I enjoyed those parts as well, since it was a long time coming and very drawn out!

In the end, I liked the book’s ending. I felt it was appropriate for the story, and while I would have liked to see more expanded upon, I am pretty happy with how the book ended. I just wish the villains had been more in this book — or not included.

A solid three star book for me.

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Author: Foz Meadows
Series:
Series #:
Genre: fantasy, romance, queer
Age Group: adult
ARC?: yes

Velasin vin Aaro never planned to marry at all, let alone a girl from neighboring Tithena. When an ugly confrontation reveals his preference for men, Vel fears he’s ruined the diplomatic union before it can even begin. But while his family is ready to disown him, the Tithenai envoy has a different solution: for Vel to marry his former intended’s brother instead.

Caethari Aeduria always knew he might end up in a political marriage, but his sudden betrothal to a man from Ralia, where such relationships are forbidden, comes as a shock.

With an unknown faction willing to kill to end their new alliance, Vel and Cae have no choice but to trust each other. Survival is one thing, but love—as both will learn—is quite another.

Byzantine politics, lush sexual energy, and a queer love story that is by turns sweet and sultry. A Strange and Stubborn Endurance is an exploration of gender, identity, and self-worth. It is a book that will live in your heart long after you turn the last page.


Review

WOW. What do I even say about this book? I don’t think it is at all possible to encompass how much I loved this book. I could not put it down. I may or may not have spilled enchiladas on my arc as I was reading it…

This is my first book by Meadow’s but I’m going to have to go back and find more of their work. Because it was stupendous. I mean, it was two things I love:

a) queer and

b) fantasy!

I mean…what could be better?

Enemies-friends-romance trope? Check.

Super inclusive? Check.

Witty banter? Check.

Great dialogue? Check.

Interesting supporting characters? Check.

Interesting plot? Check.

This book checks off all my wants and needs in a book. A Strange and Stubborn Endurance will not leave my brain. I can’t do anything but think about it. It is my new obsession. I just LOVED the characters in this book. I mean ughhhh. I cannot even think because this book just was amazing.

You know how hard it is to write a review and list everything a book has done that you loved? Yeah, that’s me right now. I need like thirty special editions of this book. SERIOUSLY.

Vel was the best.** I loved reading his POV. Cae was amazing too. Just, Vel I felt for him. I wanted to keep him safe. Hug him. Vel and Cae’s relationship? It was one of the best developed romances that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Meadows did a great job on that, and the balance she maintained between the romance and the plot? Excellent.

The plot was much more political intrigue and action than I expected. But it worked so well.

As mentioned this book is inclusive, and while one country feels very much like ours, the other is very open and accepting and normalizes being queer. We have relationships of all types, of all genders and it is incorporated seamlessly. There is also disability representation – one of the characters is mute! And the others learn sign language to communicate with him.

If you are looking for a queer fantasy? This is it. A huge round of applause for Foz Meadows because this book is going to be in the top of my top books of the year. I kinda want a sequel? Can I get a sequel? I mean I feel that the world building in this was such that there is so much to explore.

I will say that there are some content warnings to be aware of:

These include: rape, attempted rape, violence, gore, punishment, homophobia, suicide, suicidal ideation

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Author: A.C. Wise
Series: n/a
Series #: n/a
Genre: retelling, fairytale, fantasy
Age Group: adult
ARC?: yes

Once invited, always welcome.
Once invited, never free.


Captain James Hook, the immortal pirate of Neverland, has died a thousand times. Drowned, stabbed by Peter Pan’s sword, eaten by the beast swimming below the depths, yet James was resurrected every time by one boy’s dark imagination. Until he found a door in the sky, an escape. And he took the chance no matter the cost.

Now in London twenty-two years later, Peter Pan’s monster has found Captain Hook again, intent on revenge. But a chance encounter leads James to another survivor of Neverland. Wendy Darling, now a grown woman, is the only one who knows how dark a shadow Neverland casts, no matter how far you run. To vanquish Pan’s monster once and for all, Hook must play the villain one last time… 


Review

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When I saw this book I got excited. I hadn’t read the book Wendy, Darling, but when I started this book I felt like it was a sequel to the other book and that I was missing something. I pretty quickly got into the book. 

Wise’s writing is great – there is very much a VE Schwab vibe to the writing and I very much enjoyed this writing style. There was something about it that made it feel that it was from 1939 when the book took place, or a more fantastical feel to when we got flashbacks to Neverland. 

The combination of that worked for me. The concept of the book worked for me. The overall plot of the book worked for me. However…I was a little stymied by the pacing of this book. There was nothing outrageously wrong with it. There was something about it though that didn’t sit perfectly with me. There were some moments I was like, “this is dragging on…when is this going to pickup?”

I wanted to get more out of this book, and I’m not sure what it was exactly that I was looking for that this book didn’t deliver. I think it was because I got 176 pages in and felt like nothing had happened. All the main characters had met, we’d gotten a brief history of what happened to various characters, but that’s it. So…I was asking myself where is the plot going to come in? What is going to happen? 

I will certainly give it to this book, there is a whole section of Wendy reflecting on what Peter did to her, and I LOVED that bit. It felt so real and wonderful, and I loved how Wise turned something that seemed okay into the reality that what he was doing wasn’t necessarily good. Wendy got more agency in this book. It was a nice change from her character who is always a “follower”. She got to be a bit of a leader in this book instead. 

As I mentioned I enjoyed the overall concept/plot of the book, I felt it lacked a bit in execution. 

The action came in the last 50 or so pages of the book. It felt a bit underwhelming I suppose, since the lead up I felt didn’t do it justice. 

Overall, I think the book was good, but it isn’t something I’d be keen to read again. This book wasn’t the perfect fit for me, but I definitely think it is one that a lot of people will really enjoy! Especially if they like fairytales or feminist retellings of classics. 

TW: emotional abuse, death, war, kidnapping

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Author: Tiffany Meuret
Series: n/a
Series #: n/a
Genre: dark fantasy, gothic, horror
Age Group: adult
ARC?: Yes

The skeletons in the closet have nothing on the one in your backyard.
Freshly divorced and grieving the death of her father, Josie Lauer has caged herself inside her home. To cope with her losses, Josie follows a strict daily routine of work, playing with her dog, Po, and trying to remember to eat a decent meal—and ending each night by drinking copious amounts of vodka. In other words, she is not coping at all.
Everything changes when Josie wakes to find a small shrub has sprouted in her otherwise dirt backyard the morning after yet another bender. Within hours, the vine-like plant is running amok—and it’s brought company. The appearance of the unwieldly growth has also heralded the arrival of a busybody new neighbor who insists on thrusting herself into Josie’s life. The neighbor Josie can deal with. The talking skeleton called Skelly that has perched itself in Josie’s backyard on a throne made of vines, however, is an entirely different matter.
As the strangely sentient plant continues to grow and twist its tendrils inside Josie’s suddenly complicated life, Josie begins to realize her new neighbor knows a lot more about the vines and her bizarre new visitor than she initially lets on. There’s a reason Skelly has chosen to appear in Josie’s suddenly-blooming backyard and insists on pulling her out of her carefully kept self-isolation. All Josie has to do is figure out what that reason is—and she has only a few days to do it, or else she might find herself on the wrong side of catastrophe.
LITTLE BIRD is a story about found family, no matter how bizarre. 


Review

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

First off, this book drew me in from the start. Meuret’s writing was excellent, and I loved how she framed Josie as a character. She felt so real – and so human. I liked that you could see the facets of her from the start, could actually believe she was sitting next to you. The way this was written felt like you were with a friend, or someone telling you a story. It was intimate in ways, close. 

This book was also atmospheric. I loved reading it because you could get lost in the book. There were some parts in this book that were darkly funny. And I loved that aspect of the book. Dark humor done right can be excellent, and I felt that it was done right here. I mean, if I saw/heard a talking skeleton I would be WAY freaked out about that. More So than Josie was. She relates herself to a sponge at one point. I liked that part immensely do to how it was written. 

“Only then did she lock eyesockets with the skeleton”. What a QUOTE. 

And the attitude. THE ATTITUDE. This had me chuckling to myself and grinning. Skelly made me laugh, I loved her. Josie also made me laugh, I loved her as a character and I was invested in her story. 

This book was weird, and it’s not an action packed book, but it is a good book. Its tone is very much the gothic horror of the modern persuasion. 

It was a weird and wonderful little book. It was short and not terribly long, but the paranormal was woven in with the mundane and that juxtaposition was done well. Overall this book is going to appeal to people who like a darker type of fantasy, gothic horror or creepy books. 

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