If I had to review These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy in one sentence, it would be simple: I LOVED IT. ❤️
This novel was probably one of my all-time favorite YA fantasy books! I actually read it almost an entire year ago, and I can still remember it with such clarity because it was just so good. I simply cannot wait to read its sequel, This Cursed Crown. And with This Cursed Crown having been just published, I thought it would be the perfect time to revisit my thoughts about this fantastical novel!
In These Feathered Flames, the Russian folktale The Firebird is reimagined for a modern YA audience. In the world of Tourin, there are twin heirs. One, Izaveta, was designed to rule as the future queen, and her sister, Asya, was fated to become the next Firebird, a magical being who ensures that magical costs are always repaid. When their mother, the reigning queen, dies unexpectedly, both sisters are thrust into their new positions much sooner than anticipated and have to deal with the consequences these responsibilities entail.
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Katie Zhao pitches How We Fall Apart as: “an Asian American high school student is found murdered, and her high-achieving friends become the prime suspects.” And with a premise like that, who wouldn’t be intrigued? As a fan of dark academia, YA mystery/thrillers, and a long-time lover of trashy teen shows like Gossip Girl, I definitely had high hopes for How We Fall Apart!
Unfortunately, this novel did not live up to the expectations I had built up in my mind; which isn’t to say that this book wasn’t enjoyable, because it most certainly was! But it read a little immature for my tastes. While the topics touched on were more mature, I felt the writing style and the way things were glossed over or only hinted at made it feel more juvenile to me.
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It has been a long time since I read a romance novel I enjoyed as much as I enjoyed Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake! This book is the definition of un-put-down-able! I couldn’t keep my mind off of Delilah, Claire, and their whirlwind romance from the first moment I started reading their story.
The characters were cute, and real, and just so easy to root for. And not just Delilah and Claire either, the other characters were really well developed too. Astrid especially. It makes me so, so, so excited that there’s a sequel to this novel about *her* love story (and to a woman!) And the third installment in this series is about Iris?! Blake is feeding us and I am here. for. it.
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If you’re a fan of Carrie, then have I got a new book recommendation for you! Based on Carrie and a very real news article that reported on a small town in the states that continued to hold segregated proms into the 2010s, The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson brings the classic paranormal horror story into the 21st century with a fresh take that introduces some relevant themes including racism, poverty, and social media to the well-known tale.
I have to admit, this book was a little different than I anticipated. It followed Carrie a lot closer than I expected going into it. I don’t know why, because from the get-go, between the synopsis and the cover art, I should have assumed as much. 🤷🏻♀️ Unfortunately, for me anyways, this was a bit of a drawback from the novel, because I was hoping for more “novelty” I guess (see what I did there? 😉).
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All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien is one unique debut. Part literary fiction, part mystery… All That’s Left Unsaid is a hard book to tie down to one particular genre.
While on the outset it hooked me in with its unsolved murder – who killed Denny? And how did no one see it? – it kept my attention, not so much by my need to find out that answer, but by the story Lien wove – and Ky uncovered – of how Denny ended up dead in the first place. What set of circumstances – both his own and those of the people around him – led to Denny’s ultimate death.
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