The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner: ARC Book Review

The Lost Apothecary takes place across two different timelines: 1791 and modern-day, and volleys between three protagonists: Caroline, Eliza and Nella. After finding out that her husband was cheating on her, Caroline decides to take what would have been their anniversary trip to London on her own. She joins up with a mudlarking group searching for treasure by the river Thames and comes across an odd object: an old vial with a mysterious marking of a bear on it.

Her curiosity piqued, Caroline begins to research the origin of the vial, and soon finds herself immersed in the history of London circa 1791 – where an unnamed apothecary helped women get revenge on the men who scorned them was whispered about.

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Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney: ARC Book Review

I’ve had The Nest sitting on my bookshelf for – and I’m not exaggerating – literal YEARS. My best friend (who I implicitly trust for immaculate book recommendation) gave me her copy after having read it back when it came out. And I still haven’t gotten around to it… 😅

But! Because of this little anecdote, my eyes were immediately drawn to Good Company – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s sophomore novel. So I was very excited when I was able to get my hands on an ARC. Finally, I would have read something by her to tell my friend about!

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Olive by Emma Gannon: ARC Book Review

Olive and her three best friends have always done everything together. So, in her thirties, when all her friends are married with children (or at least trying for them), Olive can’t help feel like she’s being left behind. While her friends are preoccupied with managing their households, scheduling playdates, and the daunting process of IVF, Olive feels as though she lacks those maternal urges all her friends have.

After breaking up with her boyfriend of many years for that exact reason, Olive feels even more adrift than ever. And each other’s judgment over their different life choices has caused a rift between her once inseparable group of friends. So, when Olive is tasked with looking into the reasons why some young women choose to be child-free for an article at work, she can’t help but see herself in them, and is forced to reconcile the different path her life has taken compared to her friends’.

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Catch Lili Too by Sophie Wittemore: Book Review

I got a ton of “Buffy” vibes while reading the premise of this novel, and that immediately piqued my interest. I was also super excited about the idea of an urban fantasy that included non-Western myths and legends, and very intrigued by the concept of a depressed, asexual siren.

Catch Lili Too is a paranormal thriller, and tells the story of Lili, an immortal siren, who gets roped into trying to catch a serial killer terrorizing Gamin, the town she’s passing through. Along the way she manages to find herself a group of comrades, including ghosts, necromancers, vampires and more.

The representation in this book is really great, with many LGBTQ+ characters and even a couple queer romances. I also really enjoyed the diversity of paranormal creatures that made an appearance in this novel. Some were based on myths and legends I had never even heard of before, which was cool to learn about while reading!

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The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn: ARC Book Review

I binge-read this book so fast! It was addictively dark, and so twisted!

The Girls Are All So Nice Here tells the story of Ambrosia Wellington, alternating between timelines of “then” – her first semester away at college, leading up to the deep dark secret that’s been haunting her ever since – and “now” as she is forced to face the people who were there for the first time after years of trying to bury everything that had to do with that fateful night and everything that came after.

This book is a psychological thriller with dark academia vibes and classic “mean girls” – where the main character herself is one of the worst ones. Then, after meeting and hitting it off with the enigmatic and enticing Sloane “Sully” Sullivan, Amb finds herself is Sully’s web of cruel intentions, where her most devious desires have the space to bloom. Now, after trying to ignore her past behaviour for the better part of a decade, Amb is forced to once more come face to face with Sully – and everything they did together.

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