Reading Wrap Up: July – August 2021

My reading was a little bit all over the place over July and August. During July I was busy applying to my Masters course and finding a new place to live while at uni, so I didn’t have much time for reading and didn’t get through much. I fully intended to do a mini wrap up anyway, just because I didn’t want to accidentally have another unannounced hiatus from this blog, but then right at the beginning of August I caught Covid. Naturally, all plans I had were immediately nixed. I’m okay! I’d already had my first vaccination a month or so prior which helped me not get really badly sick, and I’m fully recovered now, but it still wasn’t fun.

I read a lot more in August than I did in July, but a lot of what I read were rereads. It seems that my brain was largely at capacity for new things. It sucks when that happens, but you’ve just got to see it through when it does, and eventually your brain will be ready to experience new stories again.

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Review of The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

Release Date: April 13th 2021

Read: August 22nd 2021 – August 24th 2021

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Rep: side character with a prosthetic arm, side character with a stutter, sapphic minor character

CW: imprisonment, death, violence, sexual violence, mention/discussion of rape (none on-page), epidemic/illness, death of a parent, death of a child, drug use & overdose, past self harm, referenced/discussed child abuse, experimentation on animals, accidental necrophilia (not involving major characters)

Goodreads description:

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.

When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.

Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: 
“Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.

But no one has ever survived.

With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.

From bestselling author Lynette Noni comes a dark, thrilling YA fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, and Sabaa Tahir.

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Review of Amy of the Necromancers by Jimena I. Novaro

Release Date: July 11th 2021

Read: July 22nd 2021 – August 8th 2021

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Rep: sapphic main character, sapphic love interest, non-binary side character, black love interest, black side characters, vietnamese-american side character, latina side character, main character with depression and bouts of dissociation

CW: child death, d slur used as an insult, drug use, interactions with police, discussion of terminal illness, death due to cancer in backstory, stillbirth in backstory, discussion of domestic violence, child abuse, suicide attempt

Goodreads description:

A dead girl who won’t talk. A living girl with death in her bloodline.

Amy’s family isn’t like other people. Amy’s mother has an almost magical ability to ease the pain of the dying. Every full moon, her aunt sits in a graveyard and talks to ghosts. Her sister Sarah can predict when someone will die.

And Amy—well, she can raise the dead.

Until now, Amy has only ever brought back pets and wild animals. But on the night before starting junior year in high school, she brings back something new: a little girl.

As Amy searches for the child’s identity, she begins to suspect the girl’s death wasn’t an accident. Where is her family? Why won’t she speak? Why is she so frightened to leave Amy’s side?

But while the mystery grows more complex, Amy’s life brings more turmoil. Her crush, the beautiful and mysterious Toni Davis, has secrets of her own. Amy’s powers—and her chronic depression—become tougher to hide from her friends. And worst of all, she finds it harder than ever to connect with her family, the only people who could understand the strange position she occupies in the balance between life and death.

Amy of the Necromancers is a novel about dark magic, love in all its complex forms, and the cost of discovering your identity.

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Mid Year Book Freakout Tag 2021

We’re into the second half of 2021 now, which means it’s time for the Mid Year Book Freakout Tag! I’m probably a little late getting to this, but the exact halfway point of the year happened while I was still on my blogging break/hiatus, and mid-late July is still close enough in my opinion.

Without further ado, let’s move on to the questions and my answers to them!

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Reading Wrap Up: April – June 2021

Hi! It’s been a minute since I posted here. The last few months have been really busy for me. I was in the final stretch of my undergrad degree and had a lot of work due. Right now I’m just waiting on the final confirmation of my grades, and then I’ll officially be able to say that I’m a university graduate! 

I didn’t get as much reading done as I would’ve liked, but at this point I think it’s safe to say that that’s a constant in my life. As always, I’m going to go through the books that I read in the order that I read them and share some brief thoughts on them. I won’t split it up by month because I don’t want to, time to me recently has felt like it all runs together so I might as well write out this post as if that really is the case. Also, I reread almost the entire Grishaverse during my time away from blogging, so heads up in advance of the full wrap up that that’s what’s going to be dominating it. I regret nothing. Except maybe how large and overdue my arc pile has gotten. Oops.

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Blog Tour: These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy

Release date: 20th April 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy

Read: 17th April 2021

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rep: sapphic main character, sapphic love interest, f/f relationship, deaf side character

CW: death of a parent, fantasy violence, kidnapping, attempted murder, on page death, major character injury, on page emotional abuse, references to physical abuse, self harm for magical purposes

Synopsis:

A queer retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folktale

When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.

But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.

As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.

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Reading Wrap Up: March 2021

As far as actual published works are concerned, I didn’t have as good of a reading month in March quality-wise as I did in February. Nothing that I read was such that I disliked it, but there were a couple of pretty meh books in there. There were however also a couple of books that I really enjoyed! I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say that I discovered any new favourites this past month, but my criteria for what makes something a favourite is kinda undefinable even to myself.

So, in the order that I read them, here are the books I read during March!

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Review of Magic Mutant Nightmare Girl by Erin Grammar

Release Date: March 10th 2021

Read: March 16th 2021 – March 17th 2021

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Rep: bi main character, non-binary/demigirl side character, chinese-american side character, mexican-american side character, implied aroace side character, implied bi side character, implied aspec side character

CW: grief, depression, parental death (off-page, in backstory), anxiety (especially thought spirals and overthinking), bullying/harassment, mild gore and medical body horror, violence, mention of violence-related PTSD, brief underage drinking, mention of drug use, mention of organised crime, 18 year old protagonist develops a crush on someone in their early 20s though this is not acted upon

Goodreads description:

Fight like a magical girl in this paperback original contemporary fantasy in which a Harajuku fashionista battles mutants—and social anxiety—by teaming up with an elite group of outcasts. Perfect for those obsessed with the technicolor worlds of Sailor MoonThe Umbrella Academy, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Book One of the Magic Mutants Trilogy.

Holly Roads uses Harajuku fashion to distract herself from tragedy. Her magical girl aesthetic makes her feel beautiful—and it keeps the world at arm’s length. She’s an island of one, until advice from an amateur psychic expands her universe. A midnight detour ends with her vs. exploding mutants in the heart of San Francisco.

Brush with destiny? Check. Waking up with blue blood, emotions gone haywire, and terrifying strength that starts ripping her wardrobe to shreds? Totally not cute. Hunting monsters with a hot new partner and his unlikely family of mad scientists?

Way more than she bargained for.

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Review of A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

Release Date: February 23rd 2021

Read: March 10th 2021 – March 14th 2021

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Rep: gay main character, bi main character, lesbian main character, questioning (later to be revealed as pansexual) main character, achillean relationship, sapphic relationship, genderfluid side character, minor character who uses neopronouns

CW: arson, blood/gore, body horror, death of a child, depression, disownment, divorce, drug use/addiction, grief, human trafficking, poverty, psychopathy, stalking, suicide (past, off-page), suicide ideation, toxic relationship/manipulation, trauma/PTSD, violence, gun violence, fantasy bigotry/othering, harry potter references

Goodreads description:

The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.

For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.

Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?

Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.

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Women’s History Book Tag

It’s Women’s History Month, which means it’s the perfect time to do the Women’s History Book Tag! This tag was originally created by Margaret @ Weird Zeal last year, with the aim to celebrate women through history who’ve had huge impacts on the world and to celebrate authors who are women. I was tagged by Mayurakshi @ Bookshelf Life, thank you so much for tagging me!!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post.
  • Link to the creator’s blog in your post
  • Answer the questions below using only books written by women
  • Feel free to use the same graphics
  • Tag 8 others to take part in the tag
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