"What she needs are stories. Stories are a way to preserve one's self. To be remembered. And to forget. Stories come in so many forms: in charcoal, and in song, in paintings, poems, films. And books. Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives—or to find strength in a very long one.” The invisibile life of Addie LaRue
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.
Trigger warnings about self harm, bulimia, physical and physicological abuse, drug use
What kind of girl is a book about survivors, fighting, love, friendship and abuse. Told by multiple POVs, or I should write, different side of the same two person, the story is narrated by Maya and Junie, her best friend, during the time of one week.
It’s Monday when Maya goes to the principal office with a black eye, denouncing the golden boy of their high school, her boyfriend Mike. It’s her last straw. After three months of abuse, she says it’s enough. He has to stop.
After that the school divide in two parts. Who believe in Maya, rallying against her abuser and demanding the school board to expel him and who can’t side with her, asking why she waited to speak? Why did she stay with him?
Bit by bit the reader finds about the controlling nature of the track star, how Maya was scared of him, how she suffers from bulimia, how she couldn’t confide in her mother or best friend, how she sought the help of the school burn out, Hiram, finding solace and understanding in him.
Maya realizes her relationship with Mike, seeing it clearly, understanding all the times he pulled, pushed and pinched her, how he wanted to controll her.
At the same time the reader gets to know Juniper, Junie, Maya’s best friend, who struggles with anxiety and who finds release in cutting herself, who, without realizing fully, suffers from her parent’s expectations, above all her father, a human rights attorney, who pushed her to fight, to rally, without seeing her sufferings.
In just one week both of their lives are upset, pushing them to make decisions, to stand for themselves, to seek one other, to support each other.
It was interesting reading the two POVs and seeing all their facets. Maya is the girlfriend, the popular girl, the bulimic, the burn out, while June is the anxious girl, the cool girl, the activist, both of them struggling against pressure and expectations, both of them sick and confused.
I appreciate how the author wrote about Maya’s difficulty to talk, to accept her being a survivor, her being abused, her guilty about Mike’s future and scholarship, her confused feelings, her feeling guilty because she couldn’t talk, because controlled and scared. Her accepting this wasn’t her fault.
I appreciate Junie’s side, too, reading about her anxiety, her need to cut, her need to please her parents, to be controlled, to be cool, her fear that loved ones could think her a basket case, above all her parents, Maya and Tess.
I liked reading about Tess, how Junie decided to be open to her, be sincere about who she is and the open ending. I really loved the open ending. It wasn’t disappointing. I felt that, one way or another, I would have felt hurt or disappointed, but leaving it like that was really smart.
I liked this story, the writing style, it’s a quick read, even though the book is almost 400 pages, because the reader needs to know more, needs to know what happened, what happens, how the main characters will react to this or that and so on.
Compelling, interesting and captivating.
Let me know if you like my review, or if you would read this book.
Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel, Highfire, which comes out on January 28th!
A huge thanks to Milly Reid for my shiny copy of Highfire and to the publishers! I’m thrilled to be part of this blog tour!
From the internationally bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series: Eoin Colfer’s first adult fantasy novel is a hilarious, high-octane adventure about a vodka-drinking, Flashdance-loving dragon who’s been hiding out from the world – and potential torch-carrying mobs – in a Louisiana bayou . . . until his peaceful world’s turned upside down by a well-intentioned but wild Cajun tearaway and the crooked (and heavily armed) law officer who wants him dead.
Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him…
An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation.Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp…
For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again…
I’ve always been a fan of Eoin Colfer’s books, since I grew up with Artemis Fowl, so I was over the moon when Netgalley accepted my request for an earc and then when I was asked to be part of my first blog tour.
Told by three POVs (Vern’s, Squib’s and Hooke’s), Highfire is a very peculiar book, full of adventure, action and funny moments. Like in his other books, Colfer’s writing style is brilliant, full of sarcasm, jokes and foreshadowing.
“And as is so often the case, things would’ve turned out a whole lot better if the kid could’ve kept it in his pants.”
Highfire’s characters are brilliantly written and relatable. Squib is a fifteen years old, who finds himself involved in something bigger than he could have ever thought, running from a crooked cop, with a dragon as boss. His thoughts and inner monologue are hilarious and his character is multi-dimensional and realistic. Through his POV the reader can see how deeply he loves his mother, how loyal and stubborn he is. And unfortunate. He means well, even though he finds himself into trouble everytime.
His thoughts are consistent with his age, still able to believe in extraordinary things like a talking dragon and to accept this turn of events, without thinking himself crazy. Even though he’s in a difficult situation (his Momma works hard, he works three jobs, his Daddies left them in trouble), Squib is brilliant, sassy, sarcastic and able to see the world for what it is and act accordingly, but without losing his hopes and dreams.
Reading through Vern’s eyes, the reader is able to experience his loneliness, his depression. He remembers, melancholically, an Era when dragon were feared and he mourns his family, killed by humans, whom he distrusts and hates. Vern hides from them and their phones recording and weapons and from what would happen if they discover his existence. Convinced to be the last dragon alive, he would love to live peacefully watching TV cable and talking only with Waxman, his mogwai and oldest friend. But then Squib changes his entire existence.
Vern is funny, sarcastic and thoughtful. Even though he has fantasy characteristics, such as flying, hording riches, fire, Colfer created a new dragon, talking about his physical traits like his powerful sense of smell, the oil he needs to use his fire, his fat, his cells, the proprieties of his fluids and excrements, his penis and the importance and message of the balls if they are in or out. It was unbelievably funny ( and sometimes gross) reading about the physical characteristics of both dragon’s and mogwai’s anatomies.
Even though he is a dragon, a mystical creature, Vern is absolutely relatable and “humanized” with this thoughts and fears, his prejudices, his depression and blues and loneliness. I’ve never felt so close to a dragon before.
The third POV is Hooke’s, who is crooked, arrogant and psycothic. Sadist. From his background the reader learns he had a difficult childhood, with his parents, above all his father, but it’s impossible to feel sympathy for him, because Hooke is unrepentant. He’s cruel, greedy, patronizing, calling everyone “son”, feeling superior. In his thoughts and inner monologue it’s clear the influence of his father and the church. His lust for Elodie and hatred for Squib are very clear. It was interesting seeing his thoughts, because he’s the perfect villain in the story, ready to do anything to get what he wants. He represents, incarnates the cruel human Vern is hiding from, with his violence and plans to exploit or kill.
The relationship between Vern and Squib is one of the thing I loved the most in Highfire. Rocky and suspicious at first, slowly they get to know each other, until they are at ease with one other. Vern is cinical and bitter, but funny and Squib is sassy and brilliant, even though many didn’t know that. I really liked reading their banter. They would do (and do) anything for each other. It was fascinating reading how much they and their relationship grow throughout the book, until they become friends. Vern and Squib are captivating main characters, very intruing.
The side characters were brilliantly written, too. I liked a lot the relationship between Vern and Waxman, full of insults, witty and sarcastic banter and good-natured bickering. I liked how Squib listened to Waxman’s advices and thoughts, how he was an important friend in his life. Elodie Moreau and Bodi Irwin were amazing characters, both of them sassy and protective of Squib first and then of Vern, too. I’d loved to read more about them.
There are a lot of reference to music and TV shows in Highfire, from Flashdance (Vern really liked that movie, above all a particular scene), Game of Thrones (Vern DIDN’T like how the dragons were portayed), Lord of the Rings, Batman and so on.
I loved reading Highfire. I laughed so hard, I was moved by many moments and involved in the action. It was impossible not to love these characters, cheering for Squib and Vern, getting angry at Hooke, laughing at Vern bantering with Waxman, Squib and Bodi.
I really enjoyed reading Highfire, a very peculiar book, a mix between a comedy, a thriller, a noir with unforgettable characters, full of funny, moving and deep moments, able to captivate the reader since the first page into an emotional and brilliant rollercoaster.
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.
Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish–to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age–her tyrannical father has made that much clear.
And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true–but his help may cost her everything. In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister. (goodreads)
The kingdom of back is an evocative and intense tale of love, magic, music and family. The review will be posted closer to the publication date.
Docile by K. M. Szpara
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Tor.com
Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.
To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future. Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him. Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it. (goodreads)
Docile is a sexy, moving and wonderful book about consent, love, sacrifice and justice. The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.
House of earth and blood (Crescent city 1#) by Sarah J. Maas
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.
With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love. (goodreads)
For me Sarah J. Maas is one of the most talented writer and I love every book she wrote, so I’m absolutely excited about this one.
Havenfall by Sara Holland
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Bloomsbury YA
A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost.
Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.
For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.
But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe… (goodreads)
The review will be posted closer to the publication date.
Only most devastated by Sophie Gonzales
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Wednesday Books
Summer love…gone so fast.
Ollie and Will were meant to be a summer fling—casual, fun, and done. But when Ollie’s aunt’s health takes a turn for the worse and his family decides to stay in North Carolina to take care of her, Ollie lets himself hope this fling can grow to something more. Dreams that are crushed when he sees Will at a school party and finds that the sweet and affectionate (and comfortably queer) guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High.
Will is more than a little shocked to see Ollie the evening of that first day of school. While his summer was spent being very much himself, back at school he’s simply known as one of the varsity basketball guys. Now Will is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: follow his heart and risk his friendships, or stay firmly in the closet and lose what he loves most. (goodreads)
One of my most anticipated is this lgbt book because “SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets CLUELESS in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease“.
I mean, it possible NOT to be excited? Not for me.
The midnight lie by Marie Rutkoski
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences. Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest. But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves. (goodreads)
Another lgbt book, this time a fantasy and it seems absolutely fantastic.
Wicked as you wish by Rin Chupeco (A hundred names for magic 1#)
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire
Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends.
And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated… (goodreads)
March 3rd is FULL of new releases. So many amazing book will be published!
My dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Expected publication: March 10th 2020 by William Morrow
Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer. 2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher. 2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?
Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself. (goodreads)
My dark Vanessa is one of the most hard (because of its themes) and intense book I’ve ever read. The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.
The electric heir (Feverwake 2#) by Victoria Lee
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Skyscape
Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia. Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus. Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life. (goodreads)
The fever king and The electric heir are two of my favourite books. This duology deals with a lot of important themes, from abuse, to injustice, to survivors, politcs, love, friendship… The review and the trigger warnings will be posted closer to the publication date.
A conspiracy of bones by Kathy Reichs
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Scribner
It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her. An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions. To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That’s because Tempe’s new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. Tempe bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade? With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth. But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes… (goodreads)
I’m a sucker for Temperance Brennan and her investigations, so I loved this book. As usual, the review and the trigger warning will be posted closer to the publication date.
The House in the cerulean sea by T. J. Klune
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Tor Books
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours. (goodreads)
Queen of coin and whispers by Helen Corcoran
Expected publication: April 6th 2020 by The O’Brien Press
‘She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.’
When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.
Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?
In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other …(goodreads)
Another legbt book! This one looks incredible!
Bonds of Brass (The bloodright trilogy) by Emily Skutskie304 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Del Rey Books
A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend–the man he trusts most and might even love–only to learn that he’s secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire. Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home.
But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs? (goodreads)
The silence of bones by June Hur
Expected publication: April 21st 2020 by Feiwel & Friends
I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak; Ears, but I mustn’t hear; Eyes, but I mustn’t see.
1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman. As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder. But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly. June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh. (goodreads)
Incendiary (Hollow Crown 1#) by Zoraida Córdova
Expected publication: April 28th 2020 by Hodder & Stoughton
I am Renata Convida. I have lived a hundred stolen lives. Now I live my own.
Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people. Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.
When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.
But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything. (Goodreads)
One of The Observer’s Best Children’s Books of 2018!
Fans of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and The Children of Blood and Bone have been getting lost in The Hazel Wood…
“The Hazel Wood kept me up all night. I had every light burning and the covers pulled tight around me as I fell completely into the dark and beautiful world within its pages. Terrifying, magical, and surprisingly funny, it’s one of the very best books I’ve read in years“. -Jennifer Niven, author of All The Bright Places
Melissa Albert is a web editor and the founding editor of B&N Teen Blog. She has written for McSweeney’s, Time Out Chicago and more. Melissa grew up in Illinois and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is The New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel wood. (from the back cover of The hazel wood and The night country).
The Hazel wood, first book from the series The Hazel wood (the sequel, The night country will come out in 2020) is a really peculiar book. It’s a fantasy and a thriller and a fairy tale book with horror strokes. The main character is Alice, a seventeen years old, who spent all her life moving from city to city, with her mother Ella, living in friends’ houses, trying to shake their uncanny bad luck. When a letter informed them that Ella’s mother, Althea Proserpine (a fairy tales author Alice has never met), is dead in her mansion, the peculiar Hazel Wood, Ella thinks their problems are gone, their luck restored. They are free. She decided to marry up and for a while she and Alice settled and tried to live a normal and quiet life. No more running, no more bad luck. But one day Ella’s kidnapping turns Alice’s world upside down. Her kidnapper claims to be from the Hinterland, the mysterious world Althea set her story in. Alice finds herself alone, left by her stepfather and stepsister and with a strange letter, bearing her name in a story, with weird and dangerous people following her and no choice but ask her classmate Ellery Finch, a great fan of her grandmother, to help her find her mother and The Hazel wood.
They start a magic and perilous journey, through fantasy and reality, dangers and death, stories that are not just words on paper, but are real and dangerous, ready to maim and kill them. Running from the Hinterland itself, manifesting through its inhabitants, Alice and Finch follow clue after clue to find the mysterious Hazel wood, Alice’s grandmother’s house. And they find more they had bargained for.
The hazel wood is a book full of twists and revelations. So many shocking twists, I loved them. It was a rollercoaster. Melissa Albert book is, among other things, a dark fairy tale. Interwined and fundamental for the main plot there are fairy tales, loved and narrated by Ellery Finch. The main characters are interesting and well written.
Alice is full of rage and ice, a young woman who decided to take the power and the story in her own hands and she’s driven by her love for her mother, her need for answers. Alice’s journey brings her to a world she never thought it could exist. Obsessed, when little, by the arcane figure of ther grandmother and her fairy tales, she discovered a world and answer so shocking her life is changed forever.
Ellery Finch is a complex character, full of loss, pain and intelligence and wit, different from the rich kid Alice thought he was. He’s complicated, with a painful past and bleak present. I adore reading about his love with Tales of the Hinterland, Althea’s book, a love so great to become obsessed with that world, to desire to visit it, to live in it. I totally relate to this desire to discover and see other worlds, magical ones.
This book is a story about a lonely girl who is trying to find her mother, about discovering her real identity, a journey to find herself and her place in the world, the Earth or the Hinterland. The story is amazing, captivating and it conveys the importance of words, how could they change, heal or hurt someone.
Reading about the Hinterland was absolutely amazing. A world where Stories exists, where stories from a book are real, living in a world where the Story Spinner controls everything. Everything and everyone but Alice. She’s not a damsel in distress, a princess to be saved, but a strong and clever girl who fights to decide her own life and world.
The fairy tales intertwined with the main plot are not the Disney ones, but there are cruel, creepy and captivating, full of blood, murder and mystery, like the story of Alice Three Times. I’d love to read all the story from Tales from the Hinterland.
In the end, The Hazel wood is a 5 stars reading, able to captive your attention and making you wish to follow Alice and Ellery in their journey.