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Wilder Girls - Rory Power
Beware. Wilder Girls will draw you in, softy whispering tendrils creeping through your mind and thorny vines entangling your heart and capturing it completely in this beautiful, eerily dark and haunting, yet hopeful book.
The cover is the first thing to be noticed. With it’s gorgeous yet subtly unsettling artwork, it will immediately catch your eyes. These unforgettable characters live and breathe on the page, from Hetty’s stubborn unwillingness to give up on Byatt, to Reese’s sharpness and burning hair. The chapters narrated by Byatt were heartrending. Even minor characters felt brought to life. The girls’ struggle to stay alive in the treacherous shadowy place their lives had become was darkly fascinating, as was the tension between an obvious bond and caring between all the girls, yet also a mentality of everyone being willing to do whatever it takes to survive.
Not only the plot and the characters shine in this book. Rory Power’s writing gleams and shimmers, able to shift from flowery introspective prose to heart-pounding action scenes.
This book wouldn’t have been hurt by another few hundred pages. Unfortunately, it is as of now, a standalone, we will have to make do with the ending we were given, which is just as beautiful and captivating as the rest of the book. Although open-ended, it is a satisfying close to the tale. I think we will just have to assume that all turns out well for our beloved wilder girls.
Thanks to Bookishfirst for providing me with a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


A Good, Spooky Read

The Haunted - Danielle Vega
I don't normally read or watch horror, but I couldn't resist this one, and I'm glad I didn't. A family moves into a creepy house in a small town looking for a clean slate. Hendricks (the main character) not only has to adjust to a new school and new friends but also to a house that may be haunted. (Spoiler alert, it is.) The horror elements were a bit cliche, and you could see some stuff coming from a MILE away. However, it was still enjoyable. The characters were...also kind of cliche. But they were aware they were cliche. And honestly, I still liked them. I really enjoyed Hendricks' internal narration, and the writing is beautiful. The ending could have been handled a bit better, but overall, good, fun read. (But NOT one to be read at night alone!)


Magical Murder-A Must Read!!!

Magic For Liars - Sarah Gailey

I read Magic For Liars in one sitting---I couldn't put it down! Halfway through my power went out. No problem. I pulled out my mom's old vanilla spice candles and I finished this book by candlelight!


Ivy Gamble is a Private Investigator who lives a normal, boring, (maybe a little lonely) life until she is hired to investigate a murder at the school where her sister works. 'The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages'. Not only does her distinctly un-magical self now have to deal with a very-magical case, but she also needs to navigate a reunion with her sister whom she hasn't spoken to in years.


This book could have easily fallen into the same rut that so many books about magic schools do nowadays. Often they can become 'counterfeit Harry Potters' but this book didn't. However, neither did it ignore the influence the Boy-Who-Lived would have had on the students either. In the first chapter, it talks about how during the welcome back dinner students would joke about house-elves and pumpkin juice. But this linoleum-floored, blue-lockered magic school is very clearly not Hogwarts. A quote from Marrion Torres, the headmaster at Osthorne, sums the school up best. "At the end of the day, we're just a high school. (...) That means gum, graffiti, cell phones, sex-ed, stupid pranks, students smoking weed behind the bleachers." A refreshing and realistic change.


I do wish we'd been able to meet more of the staff and students, but the characters we did have were fleshed out and amazing. Sarah Gailey also does a great job in making the reader doubt the accuracy of their guesses about who the murderer is. I must have gone back and forth half a dozen times!


Although this is not a Young Adult book, I think readers of YA would enjoy this book as well as older audiences.


I loved this book. I loved the characters, I loved the school, I loved the plot. The only problem I have is that I wish there was more.



Thanks to BookishFirst for this copy of Magic for Liars in exchange for an honest review!!!