Recent Reads #66

As ever, today I will be briefly reviewing all the books I’ve read since my last post in approximately fifty words. 

I want to share my full thoughts on some of these books in the future, so I’ll share a brief idea today with the full review to come.

Late To The Party by Kelly Quindlen


I really enjoyed this sweet, contemporary coming of age novel and its exploration of friendship, first love and finding yourself adrift in the teenage social sphere. The sapphic representation was amazing as well, with a believable and naturally building romance. I really appreciated how these characters were realistically flawed and imperfect, trying to navigate their way through popularity and growing up. This was just the soft, happy YA contemporary I needed in my life.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

🏳️‍🌈💙⭐️ (chronically ill side character, Punjabi side characters)

TW: emotional and physical abuse, torture, murder, kidnapping, homophobia, parental death, self-harm for magic

I loved how Marske pops you straight into the action, with danger, magic and deadly consequences straight away. Also, the magic system here is so interesting and I liked how imaginative Markse was with applying it to the wider worldbuilding and plot. This is a flirty, raunchy and romantic book that blends history, mystery and fantasy brilliantly.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman

⭐️(side characters) 🏳️‍🌈

TW: murder, alcoholism, abortion, drug use/addiction, emotional abuse, blood and violence, racism, gore, cheating

Jessica Goodman is an underrated gem in the YA mystery scene. This was another dark, twisty and completely thrilling read. I like how her mysteries are more character-focused, allowing relationships to be revealed to the reader slowly and more naturally. Through this and the alternate viewpoints, we come to uncover the secrets and lies embedded within the narrative and eventually, we come to the truth. The twists and turns are well-executed and some of them caught me by surprise.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling


I mean, Sterling had me at sapphic vampires.

When you add into that genuinely interesting supernatural powers and a thrilling murder mystery packed full of excellent twists and turns, well you have a smash hit on your hands.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters


TW: death, murder, domestic abuse, substance abuse, child neglect, kleptomania, mentioned pet death, drugging & kidnapping, blood

Waters has this mystical touch that infuses her books with magic. I love how she intertwines these strong and captivating mystery threads with an exploration of sexuality and feminism in a way that completely entranced me. Her writing is so elegant, yet unnerving and creepy at the same time. This is a book that conjures those shadows in the woods, full of darkness, mystery and something you can’t quite explain. For me, this makes for dynamite reading that I cannot get enough of.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Girls of Fate and Fury by Natasha Ngan


TW: mentions of sexual assault, death and self-harm

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the Girls of Paper and Fire series, so I was obviously extremely excited to get to sink my teeth into the conclusion early.

Natasha Ngan has my whole heart.

This is a wonderful conclusion to an amazing series, an emotional roller-coaster complete with even more worldbuilding, plenty of intrigue and backstabbing. Just when you think you know everything, Ngan unveils another layer of emotional depth and twists that leave you reeling.

Full review here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys


TW: mental illnesses, sexual abuse, family abuse, violence and gore, suicide, body shaming, eating disorder, blood, gore, death

This was my Halloween read and a re-read as part of my project to work through my shelves, seeing if I want to keep all my books. Again, this is a strong anthology with plenty of tales that sent a shiver down my spine. I liked the way they all took inspiration from famous horror films and stories, but wove them into something entirely new and terrifying. However, the representation was questionable and generally I didn’t feel like I’d pick this up again.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Our Bodies, Their Battlefield by Christina Lamb


TW: rape, suicide, torture, war, genocide, violence, graphic descriptions of rape and sexual assault, blood, violence

Very, very few books have been quite as devastating for me to read as this one. This is an extremely tough read, so please ensure you’re in the right headspace before delving in. However, this is such an impactful, educational and starkly insightful book that delves into some of the most horrific acts of violence to have occurred in history, chronicling the history of rape and the way it has been weaponized alongside them. The testimonies of the survivors are chilling, but so powerful.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan


TW: attempted sexual assault, blood, death, violence

I don’t think I can exaggerate just how gorgeous the writing in this book is. It is genuinely delectable and stunning in every possible way. I felt so immersed and captivated by Tan’s meticulously woven world. This has spectacular worldbuilding and a gripping plot that will keep you glued to the pages.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You’ll Be The Death of Me by Karen McManus

⭐️🏳️‍🌈💙(side character)

TW: murder, death, violence, drugs, grooming, predatory behaviour, infidelity

I fell in love with McManus’ concept of Ferris Bueller with a dash of murder. This book more than lives up to that premise, with a thrilling plot packed full of brilliantly executed twists and turns. There are so many layers to what initially seems a simplistic story, with a great discussion of the lengths we will go to in order to protect our family and avenge perceived wrongs. Yet again, McManus has smashed it out of the water.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Chosen Ones:

2 thoughts on “Recent Reads #66

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