Book Promo

Binding of Bindings #50: My Top 10 Anticipated September 2020 Book Releases

It’s September
…which is almost October.

Guess we can start coming out of hiding now, huh?

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

~* My Top 10 Anticipated September 2020 Book Releases *~

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

1. Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, Book 2) by Shelby Mahurin
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Romance

giphy

It’s HEREEEEE!

Happy Release day to Blood & Honey…from…Tuesday!

We’ve been waiting a YEAR for this beautiful babe, and she is finally here!

I have my copy sitting with my other stack of books from a recent book shopping trip, but I’m holding off on starting it until I get a physical copy of Serpent & Dove (I only had a digital ARC of it).

So hopefully I don’t get spoilers, and hopefully I can control my impulses to know wtf happens until then.

If you DON’T know about S&D

Getch yo shit togetha hunny.

Serpent & Dove is basically a Church vs. Magic story. It follows a witch, the gorg Louise le Blanc who has SERIOUS Aelin vibes, who escaped her coven two years prior and now spends her time stealing, eating sticky cinnamon buns and pretending she isn’t a witch.

Vibe.

Reid Diggory is a Chasseur sworn to the Church. He has vowed to rid the world of all witches to make it “pure” again. But when these two opposing forces are found bound together in matrimony…well…shit gets amazing

(See my review for Serpent & Dove here)

 

 

2. Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller/LGBT

The second release from Tuesday was for another book that I was/am super stoked for, which is also my current read.

Throwaway Girls is about a girl named Caroline whose best friend disappears without a trace. But in true “best friend of missing teen begins to realize that said best friend was keeping secrets” fashion, Caroline quickly realizes that there may be more to her friend’s absence, especially when other girls begin to go missing.

Of course I love a good mystery and trope of best friends not really knowing each other, but what really pulled me in to this story is that Caroline goes to a prep school (you know I’m a slut for prep schools) and her parents are attempting to convert her to being straight.

 

 

3. Nobody Knows but You by Anica Mrose Rissi
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller/Contemporary

Another mystery, and more murder.

giphy-1

Okay. Check it.

One thing I love more than prep school settings (which I REALLY love) is a trope where there’s two best friends and one may or may not be a psycho.

HUHKNEE.

Nobody Knows but You centers on best friends Lainie and Kayla, and how their Summer ends in murder.

The story is set at a summer camp that ends in literal bloodshed, and Lainie being put on trial for mayyyybee murdering her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But Kayla is devoted to keeping Lainie’s secrets, as best friends should, and refuses to let anything come between them…even a silly murder charge.

 

 

4. The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Genre: Horror/Mystery

The Queen of turning fairy tales into horror shitshows is back, and with a sweet and fluffy tale that starts with the bodies of two dead girls being found shredded.

Christina Henry bring us The Ghost Tree – a paranormal horror set in a town called Smith Hollow (HUH-KNEE, yes) where its inhabitats all seem to forget the grotesque and monstrous happenings that occur in their town over the years. But Lauren, our darling MC, is the one person who can’t seem to forget. And when she starts having visions of a monster dragging bodies, the truth she uncovers about her town is…

 

5. Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: Adult/Mystery/Psychological Thriller

Don’t Look For Me is promising to be a jaw-dropping thriller with epic twists and turns.

It focuses on a tragic accident that happened years prior that rocked Molly Clarke’s family forever. But even though time has passed, Molly finds it impossible to forgive herself for what happened, and her children can’t either.

One night she contemplates leaving her family to escape the horrors of their past, but then…

…she disappears.

Her daughter Nicole is the only one who believes her mother wouldn’t just leave, and that there is more to what happened.

The story is a split narration between Molly and Nicole, and the reviews for it are ranting and raving about how much it sucks you in.

 

6. Horrid by Katrina Leno
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller/Horror/Mental Health

Can we just…take a minute?

THAT. COVER. THOUGH.

This tale is set in Maine.

And if that doesn’t set the tone for the entire story, I don’t know what will.

Horrid is a haunted house/psychological mind game of a story that centers on Jane and her mother as they move from California for a fresh start. While both women are trying to work through the heartache and despair that comes with the death of Jane’s father, Jane discovers that a room in their creepy new house used to be the room of a little girl…and her mother was keeping the door locked.

Hmmmm…

SUSPISH.

 

7. Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Paranormal

I CAN’T WITH THESE COVERS!

I’m expecting a deep, cutthroat, not-going-to-release-me-until-I-finish, weepy style of book here, so let’s go.

Dear Madam LaCour,

Emotionally ruin me like one of your french girls.

If there is anything I love more that ghosts, spirits and a haunting…it’s being gut-punched and ravaged by emotional trauma disguised in paranormal YA. Knowing Nina LaCour, this is going to be a delicately brutal spotlight on mental health, self-love and acceptance.

Watch Over Me follows Mila, who has just graduated high school and found herself on the coast of Northern California on a farm. The farm is haunted by the trauma and woes of its past inhabitants, and is also a place where Mila finds herself confronting her own darkness.

Is anyone getting intense Midsommar vibes?

I am ready to be weep into these pages like the emotionally damaged beauty that I am.

 

8. Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller/Horror/LGBT

OoOoOoOo a role-playing game of secrets in a cabin in the woods?!

GIMMMMEEEE!

Even If We Break is about five teens who come together to role-play and act out a sort of murder mystery. Some are harboring secrets and regrets, while others have long pasts and tensions pulling them apart.

To be honest, this description on this puppy is vague AF and the Goodreads reviews aren’t giving me much to go on either.

I just hope someone gets cut.

…like, literally though.

 

9. Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: YA/Contemporary/LGBT/Thriller/Mystery

Surrender Your Sons has been at the top of my list for a few months now, and I am so excited to finally start it in anticipation for the release!

It’s about a young man named Connor who is shipped off to a conversion camp by his mother, after coming out to her. The camp is located on a secluded island, and it quickly becomes clear that things aren’t right at Nightlight Ministries. Connor plans to escape, and the other teens plan to join him. Because the truth of this camp is rotten to the core.

 

10. Crownchasers (Book 1) by Rebecca Coffindaffer
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Genre: YA/Sci-fi/Fantasy/LGBT

A YA sci-fi space tale of royalty and a game that stretches across the galaxy in order to prove oneself and become emperor?

Crownchasers follows Alyssa Farshot, niece to the emperor and explorer extraordinaire. Since she was a child, Alyssa has always seen herself choosing adventures over sitting on a throne. And when the emperor suddenly dies, instead of choosing Alyssa as his successor, it is written that there will be a crownchase:

Where one representative from each empire’s prime family compete in a race to to find the royal seal that has been hidden. The first to uncover the seal is given the throne.

And now Alyssa is forced between duty and her desires, and the high stakes of the game only make her task harder.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Stay Witchy

Book Promo · New Releases

Release Day: Dearest Clementine (Letters, 1) by Candace Robinson

Book Title: Dearest Clementine
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Series: Letters, Book 1
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Authors: Candace Robinson
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
~*~ Release Day ~*~

I have paired up with author Candace Robinson to being you the release of her newest short story collection of romantic tales, Dearest Clementine.

Is this cover stunning, or what?!

This collection of deeply dark and romantic tales is perfect for fans of epic, dark love. You will swoon for these monstrous characters!

~Click here to add it to your Goodreads shelf!~

~Click here to Order your copy!~

~Synopsis below~

Dearest Clementine

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Book Synopsis
Clementine has been taken by a creature of darkness.

Dorin is a fiend in love who must find Clementine before losing her forever.

While on his desperate search, Dorin pens eight dark and romantic monstrous tales, written only for Clementine. Each story serves a purpose, and that is, do monsters have the ability to love, too?

Dearest Clementine is a short story collection filled with dark romantic tales.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Social Media Tags:
Instagram: @literarydust
Website: https://authorcandacerobinson.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @literarydust
Goodreads: CandaceRobinson
Bloomsbury · Book Promo · Book Reviews · New Releases

Book Review: Accidental by Alex Richards

Accidental

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Bloomsbury, for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Contemporary

Plot: Johanna has had more than enough trauma in her life. She lost her mom in a car accident, and her father went AWOL when Johanna was just a baby. At sixteen, life is steady, boring . . . maybe even stifling, since she’s being raised by her grandparents who never talk about their daughter, her mother Mandy.

Then he comes back: Robert Newsome, Johanna’s father, bringing memories and pictures of Mandy. But that’s not all he shares. A tragic car accident didn’t kill Mandy–it was Johanna, who at two years old, accidentally shot her own mother with an unsecured gun.

Now Johanna has to sort through it all–the return of her absentee father, her grandparents’ lies, her part in her mother’s death. But no one, neither her loyal best friends nor her sweet new boyfriend, can help her forgive them. Most of all, can she ever find a way to forgive herself?

In a searing, ultimately uplifting story, debut author Alex Richards tackles a different side of the important issue that has galvanized teens across our country.

Opinion:

“𝑨𝒍𝒍 𝒘𝒆𝒆𝒌 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒇𝒍𝒂𝒈 𝒐𝒏 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒏𝒕 𝒍𝒂𝒘𝒏 𝒇𝒍𝒂𝒑𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒓𝒊𝒍𝒚 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒅. 𝑾𝒆𝒊𝒓𝒅 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝑰 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒖𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝒊𝒕 𝒖𝒑 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 – 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒉𝒖𝒈𝒆, 𝒅𝒖𝒓𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝒂𝒅 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒔𝒎.
.
𝑰 𝒘𝒐𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒊𝒇 𝒎𝒚 𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒐𝒘𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒇𝒍𝒂𝒈 𝒃𝒆𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒐𝒓 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝑰 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒌𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒅𝒂𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒆𝒓.”

“𝑩𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒌 𝒕𝒘𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝒊𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖’𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒂 𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒍𝒆 𝒔𝒊𝒕𝒖𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏.”

Johanna has been raised by her grandparents for most of her life, due to her father bailing and her mother dying in a car accident when she was almost three. But at sixteen, Johanna feels like she’s beginning to forget her mother entirely and it doesn’t help that her grandparents refuse to talk about her. But life for Johanna isn’t so bad. She has two amazing best friends who are more like sisters, and the new kid at school seems to have his eye on her. But when Jo gets a letter in the mail from her father who is wishing to reconnect, her seemingly ordinary life implodes. With her father’s sudden reappearance in her life comes the truth of her childhood and the real cause of death of her mother. Because it wasn’t a car accident that killed Johanna’s mother…

…it was her.

Deep breath, baby angels.

It’s a heavy hitter.

“𝑾𝒐𝒓𝒅𝒔 𝒇𝒍𝒚 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝑹𝒐𝒃𝒆𝒓𝒕’𝒔 𝒎𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒉 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒃𝒐𝒃 𝒂𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒐𝒐𝒎 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒃𝒂𝒕𝒔. 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚’𝒓𝒆 𝒇𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒂𝒓 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒅𝒔 – 𝒅𝒊𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒓𝒚 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒅𝒔 – 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒏𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎 𝒇𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒐𝒈𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒊𝒏 𝒂 𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅. 𝑰𝒕’𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒂 𝒏𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒎𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒍 𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒚 𝒗𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒔𝒆𝒆𝒎𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒆𝒏 𝒊𝒏 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒆.”

The gun control topic is a controversial one, and with this being a book that centers around gun violence, be prepared for moments that may differ from your personal opinions. But for those of you who are weary that this will be a “preachy” YA Contemporary, rest assured that both sides to this debate are represented and it’s dealt with in a delicate manner that doesn’t take away from what this story really is – a coming-of-age tale about trauma, forgiveness, growth and self-love.

Accidental is an emotional and surreal story that centers on how common it is for children to come across easily accessible guns in their homes. At two and a half, while her father was out of town, Johanna and her mother were taking a nap when Johanna awakens and begins to wander. She finds her father’s gun under her parent’s bed, and ends up pulling the trigger and shooting her mother in the chest – killing her.

But upon the reader meeting Johanna, we learn that she has no idea of what took place when she was a toddler. At sixteen, Jo is a typical teenager living in Santa Fe and going to a prestigious high school. She has two quirky, spirited and vivacious best friends and she spends her time sewing her own clothes and slinging sassy comebacks at idiotic guys in her class. She’s a lively and charismatic character from the start, describing the pains of living with her very religious grandparents, but also expressing a deep love for them both.

But the ease in Jo’s life quickly changes with the reemergence of her estranged father, and his confession of Jo and Amanda’s truth.

“𝑻𝒘𝒐 𝒄𝒚𝒎𝒃𝒂𝒍𝒔, 𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒏 𝒓𝒆𝒑𝒆𝒂𝒕 –

𝑭𝑨𝑻𝑯𝑬𝑹!
𝑭𝑨𝑻𝑯𝑬𝑹!
𝑭𝑨𝑻𝑯𝑬𝑹!”

The reason this story packs such a punch, is because the situation could have happened to any of us. It was incredibly easy to slide into Jo’s shoes and understand the confusion, sadness, regret, hurt, horror and anger she felt when the truth of her mother was revealed. How devastating it is when something so horrible can become your reality, and the hurt that comes with it when you don’t have a support system at home to guide you through it.

“𝑺𝒐, 𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒂𝒅, 𝑰 𝒈𝒐. 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒔𝒂𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅𝒃𝒚𝒆, 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑰’𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒎𝒆. 𝑰 𝒔𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒚 𝒔𝒑𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒍𝒌 𝒂𝒄𝒓𝒐𝒔𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒍𝒐𝒕 𝒕𝒐𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒎𝒚 𝒄𝒂𝒓, 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒆 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌 𝒕𝒐𝒐 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑮𝒓𝒂𝒏 𝒔𝒐 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒚 𝒍𝒆𝒕 𝒎𝒆 𝒈𝒐. 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒎𝒂𝒚𝒃𝒆 𝑰’𝒎 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒉 𝒇𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆.”

 

When Jo reveals to her grandparents that she knows the truth about her mother, they still refuse to speak about it. They brush it under the rug, preferring silence and forced indifference. And though it is shocking that they lied to her about how her mother died…I don’t blame them for the decision they made in protecting her.

But the way they handle Jo’s trauma and their own is…suffocating.

There are no pictures on the walls or in photo albums of Jo’s mother. None of her mementos are displayed and she is never brought up or talked about. So Jo is left feeling as if she cannot speak about this woman she has so much love for, but is starting to forget. This woman she so desperately craves was in her life and guiding her through her teenage years.

This woman who she believes she murdered.

“𝑯𝒆 𝒔𝒄𝒐𝒐𝒑𝒔 𝒎𝒚 𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒊𝒅 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚 𝒕𝒐𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒉𝒊𝒎, 𝒕𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒕. 𝑺𝒐 𝒄𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝒃𝒖-𝒃𝒖𝒎 𝒃𝒖-𝒃𝒖𝒎 𝒃𝒖-𝒃𝒖𝒎 𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 𝒂 𝒈𝒖𝒏𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒕. 𝑶𝒏𝒆 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓.

𝑩𝒂𝒏𝒈.

𝑩𝒂𝒏𝒈.

𝑩𝒂𝒏𝒈.”

Thankfully, Jo has two epic best friends that I wish upon all wishes and stars that I could have in my life.

“𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒐𝒐𝒓 𝒄𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒌𝒔 𝒔𝒉𝒖𝒕. 𝑻𝒘𝒐 𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒍𝒆 𝒔𝒆𝒕𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒊𝒑𝒕𝒐𝒆 𝒂𝒄𝒓𝒐𝒔𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒐𝒐𝒎, 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒐 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚 𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑫𝒂𝒊𝒔𝒚 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒖𝒎𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒏 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎. 𝑳𝒆𝒂𝒉 𝒄𝒖𝒓𝒍𝒔 𝒖𝒑 𝒐𝒏 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒆, 𝑮𝒂𝒃𝒃𝒚 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓. 𝑺𝒘𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒎, 𝒔𝒌𝒊𝒏 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒅. 𝑴𝒚 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒔𝒕𝒚 𝑹𝒐𝒕𝒕𝒘𝒆𝒊𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒅𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒔𝒂𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈.”

These girls are the rocks that keep Jo from slipping down a river of depression and deep self-loathing. They are fiercely loyal and understanding, go out of their way to ensure that their friend is cared for and heard, and refuse to leave her side. Their love for one another had me hardcore tearing up and cooing throughout the story. These two girls make this story.

“𝑰 𝒔𝒒𝒖𝒆𝒆𝒛𝒆 𝒎𝒚 𝒆𝒚𝒆𝒔 𝒔𝒉𝒖𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒐𝒑𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒂 𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒑 𝒊𝒏𝒉𝒂𝒍𝒆, 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂 𝒈𝒖𝒏-𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒆𝒅 𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒆𝒕 𝒅𝒐𝒐𝒓. 𝑬𝒗𝒆𝒏 𝑴𝒊𝒍𝒐’𝒔 𝒄𝒆𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰’𝒗𝒆 𝒅𝒐𝒏𝒆.”

“𝑴𝒊𝒍𝒐 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚.”

Another big character in this story is Milo – the new boy in school and Jo’s new boyfriend. Their romance is sweet and their chemistry is sizzling, but more importantly, Milo is another person in Jo’s life that she can lean on for support. Though he doesn’t have as big a role as Leah and Gabby, and his personality doesn’t shine through as much as the girls, his own troubles with his father gives a level of understanding to Milo and Jo that can’t be emulated. And no matter how dark Jo’s life gets, Milo is always there to help her see the light.

“𝑰𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒇𝒖𝒏, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝑰’𝒎 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒅𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒈𝒆𝒅 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅𝒔.”

“𝑵𝒐𝒕 𝒅𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒈𝒆𝒅,” 𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔. “𝑱𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅.”

For the first half of this book, the reader watches Jo slowly spiral into anger and a sort of manic state as she tries to cope with her past. And at sixteen, it’s not exactly easy to have control over your emotions. But the person Jo turns into in the second half of the book was irritating. She was aggressive and constantly throwing tantrums, stomping her foot and having explosive reactions to the littlest things. Of course, this does feel authentic to a young teenager going through some serious trauma – but it was still exhausting and a turn-off.

And how Johanna works towards getting a mural painted at her school to shed light on gun violence was also…cringey. By this point Jo is full-blown immature and slightly ridiculous, so it was a bit harder to get through. And though this was a gut-flipping story, I was really wanting more emotion from Jo because I didn’t feel like I got a true sense of the chaos that was brewing inside her. She had huge reactions and panic attacks, but I wanted more description into how hurt and lost she felt inside.

But the real driving force in this story is obviously gun safety, but also self-acceptance and the need to work through trauma.

When Jo’s father renters her life, he brings a few secrets with him that he slowly reveals along the way, and they’re tragic. It broke my heart how Jo was constantly let down by these really big parental figures in her life. But, imagine it. Not only are you the cause for your mother dying, but you are also the spitting image of a daughter and lover that has been lost. Nothing about this situation is easier or less horrible for anyone involved.

Accidental is a powerful and heartbreaking story, but a necessary one.

No matter what stance you take on this topic, trust me when I say, you need to read this.

“𝑰 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖, 𝒌𝒊𝒅𝒅𝒐. 𝑩𝒚𝒆.”

“𝑰 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖, 𝒌𝒊𝒅𝒅𝒐.”

“𝑰 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖.”

 

4.5 Stars

 

612b40e9c1cd2f68ad9b9a8097ced4ff

 

Binding of Bindings · Book Promo

Binding of Bindings #48 : 11 YA Contemporary Books That’ll Hurt

These are all heavy AF YA Contemporary stories that will hurt like hell, but need to be read.
This entire post comes with a trigger warning, and has elements of the following:
Abusesexual, domestic/physical, verbal, manipulation, control; Mental Healthbrain injuries, suicide, schizophrenia, anger/impulse control issues, Radical Religion, Kidnapping, Brainwashing, Incest (Yeah I know, it’s fine), Bullying, Self-harm, Attempted Murder, Survival, Death.
These are all beautiful and haunting books that have huge, unwavering voices.
Each book is packed with heavy material, and some may be hard to get through, but each has a powerful message of awareness, personal strength and vital information.
Please take care when you read and put the needs of yourself first.
This content can be triggering, so tread lightly.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

National Suicide Prevention/Crisis Hotline: 800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or TEXT: LOVEIS to 22522
Domestic Violence Website: https://www.thehotline.org/

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Stay safe, strong and keep those heads up, you beautiful babes ❤

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

~* 11 YA Contemporary Books That’ll Hurt *~

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

1. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith
Genre/Trigger: YA/Contemporary/Abuse-Sexual/Self-Harm

The Way I Used To Be

When someone asks me for a book recommendation, it’s always this.

Always. Always. Always.

This.

The Way I Used to Be wrecked me beyond words.

I vividly remember the Friday night I started it, and every moment until the wee hours of Saturday morning where I sat on my floor in silence with tears running down my face.

This book hurt me more than any other YA Contemporary book I have ever read, and it’s because of how authentic, ugly and raw it is. It’s about how a girl copes with being raped at a party. The days, weeks and months after and what she does to herself and those around her in her grief and shame.

Amber Smith DOES NOT dress this shit up in a pretty bow and box. It’s a fucked up book of pure emotion, and it HAS to be at the top of your reading list.

You’ll be thanking me through your tears at 2am.

2. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Genre/Trigger: YA/Contemporary/Romance/Abuse-Domestic

Dreamland

My second most recommended book, and one of three sets of books that I read every year.

And I mean every year.

Dreamland is also the only Sarah Dessen book I really give two fondues about as well, probably due to the fact that it isn’t as “summery” and “sun-shiney” as the rest of her work.

It is about a girl named Caitlin who starts dating a guy named Rogerson. Rogerson is a total hottie package. Tall and mysterious, a bit brooding, quiet with an intense stare that strips you raw.

You know the type.

The kind you’d let do some truly awful shit to you, just to get those little moments of pure and intense snippets of “trueunaffected love.

Dreamland is painful and complicated. It shows the intricacies of an abusive relationship, of how easy it can be to stay in one, and how confusing it is when your emotions are wrapped up so tightly.

It’s a book EVERY girl should read as a pre-teen.

Know your worth.

3. A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa B. Sheinmal
Genre/Trigger: YA/Contemporary/Mental-Health

A Danger to Herself and Others

If you’d like to be completely mind-fucked while you cry, then A Danger to Herself and Others is for you.

This book got me HOOKED on Alyssa B. Sheinmel.

I don’t care what this woman writes, I will read it all. Everything, all of it, forever, until I die.

Her ability to familiarize the reader with Mental Health and show it in a dauntingly close-up, yet sincere and tender way, is true beauty. She can give you insight to the confusion and insanity that is somehow so precious and striking.

A Danger to Herself and Others is about a young woman named Hannah who is institutionalized after an accident involving her roommate at a summer program. Hannah knows that her being there is just a formality and that they will realize soon that she is innocent, she just has to persuade the staff that she is fine.

But of course…that’s only the surface of this story.

And damn is it a deep story.

(See my review here)

4. The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
Genre/Trigger: YA/Retelling/Feminism

“A Woman’s no can so easily be turned into a yes by men who do not want to listen.”

Not 100% contemporary, but it holds the same powerful punch as any of these other books do.

If you are looking for powerfully feminist reads, add Louise O’Neill to the top of your list and never look back.

This lady knows what she’s doing.

The Surface Breaks is a feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid, and I am STILL shocked that this isn’t more well-known or praised.

It follows the tale we know fairly closely, but Louise has a way of highlighting all those little moments we seemed to ignore as kids.

This is not a sweet story of true love.

Our little mermaid is not surrounded by love, she is not gifted love, and she is treated in such a way that is…all too familiar to a lot of us. It is a tale of women not having a choice. Of women giving their voice up for love, and that choice being abused. It’s a story of possession, greed, pain and heartbreak.

“Either I am silent above the surface, or I spend the rest of my life screaming for mercy down here, the water muffling my cries.”

*sigh*

Just read it.

(See my review here)

5. The Liar’s Daughter by Megan Cooley Peterson
Genre/Trigger: YA/Contemporary/Religion

The Liar's Daughter

“How does it feel? I want to ask. To have everything that’s precious to you taken away?”

In a perfect world, the publisher would not have given the entire plot and beauty of this story away in the description, but alas, they do not have my flare for dramatics and torturing suspense…or apparently any decency

The Liar’s Daughter is one of those books that you need to just read, without knowing much about the plot. In fact, it would have been 1000% better than the 100 times amazing it already is, if I had read it not knowing what it was about.

Therefore, humor me.

Please, do not look this plot up. Just trust me when I say, the book will blow you away.

It is about a girl who lives with her family on a compound in the forest. She adores her father and wishes to make him proud, to show how strong and capable she is, and her siblings bring her more joy than anything else. They all thrive in the wilderness away from societal distractions and obligations. They are happy.

Until she is taken from her family and brought to the home of a new family.

This story is about how Piper gets her bearings after being taken.

This. Writing. Is. Flawless.

The author makes the reader feel just as lost, scared, confused and distrustful of others as Piper is. It’s a mind jumble, an emotional roller-coaster and a creatively woven tale that will have you beyond hooked. You will both love and hate these characters, trust them and be suspicious of them.

It, is wild.

(Do not read my review, just read the book)

6. How I live Now by Meg Rosoff
Genre/Trigger: YA/Contemporary/Romance/Sci-Fi-Dystopian

How I live now

“I was dying, of course, but then we all are. Every day, in perfect increments.”

“Staying alive was what we did to pass the time.”

If you haven’t read this book, or seen this beautiful movie starring Saoirse Ronan and George Mackay, then you need to prioritize your life and get it together.

How I Live Now is a tale of survival, love and finding your way back home.

Daisy is fifteen and sent from the states to England to stay with her cousins for the Summer. Not soon after arriving, London is attacked and bombed, and a war begins. Suddenly the kids, now without adult supervision, have to figure out how to survive on their own.

This book is…wow.

It’s a realistically beautiful and frightening story of what it means to stay alive in a world that has flipped into chaos. These young people are wild, free, strong, thoughtful, sharp and inquisitive. They have unflinching grit and unwavering hearts, and they deal with some insanely heavy shit at such young ages.

So read the book, don’t get weirded out by the romanceit’s fine, basque in the brilliance, and then watch the movie.

Shed some tears, have a good Friday night in.

You’re welcome.

(See my review here)

7. The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne
Genre/Trigger: YA/Contemporary/Romance/Abuse-Manipulation/Sexual

The Places Ive cried in public

Alright, back to the really heavy shit.

The Places I’ve Cried in Public

Sounds cheery, doesn’t it?

This is a story about a girl who is beyond distraught over her breakup with a boy. We follow her as she lives in the present and visits each place around town where her ex-boyfriend had made her cry, which eventually builds up to the real reason of why they split.

This book is on this list because it will make you crazy upset, but mostly because of the form of abuse that is represented. A lot of times, deep manipulation and mental abuse aren’t represented in books as much as physical violence, even though it is just as common and accompanies domestic abuse.

Mental and Emotional Abuse isn’t talked about a lot, but Holly Bourne wanted to talk about it.

This book hit me so hard in the gut because of how painfully relatable and realistic it is. It feels like a legitimate and authentic account of emotional abuse, how conflicting your thoughts and feelings are towards your abuser, and how easy it is to tell yourself you’re overreacting.

8. Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson
Genre/Trigger: YA/Contemporary/Abuse-Physical/Domestic/Attempted Murder

Sparrow

“Affliction is enamored of thy parts, and thou art wedded to calamity”

-William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Sparrow is one of those delicate and fragile tales that sticks with you and makes you ache every time you think about it.

It poses the question of ‘Can you fight?‘ and if so, ‘how long?

Sparrow is about a girl named Savannah RoseSparrow. She is a ballerina with the death of her mother looming over her shoulders, even though years have passed. Sparrow was always taught to stay strong, to stay quiet, and to keep things to herself. But the growing aggression and physical nature from her boyfriend is growing, and one night, it goes too far.

Sparrow also has different forms of abuse represented, and they pack in punch in this eerily dark contemporary that is like Speak meets Black Swan.

I highlighted most of this book because damn do these sentences and descriptions cut into your soul. This story highlights how Sparrow’s unfortunate present connects with her childhood and the relationship she had with her mother.

This book dives deep into a dark hole of depression and sorrow, so please be mindful of your mental state before reading. But when you do feel ready, read this.

You might find some strength in it.

“‘What is the haunted name, the secret name of your deepest self?’

“And I answer, ‘Sorrow'”.

(See my review here)

9. The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
Genre/Trigger: YA/Contemporary/Mental Health-Brain Injury

The One Memory of Flora Banks

Let’s bring things up a little, shall we?

Here is a nice break from all this bleaknessThe One Memory of Flora Banks.

Now THIS, is a unique and creative story.

When Flora Banks was ten years old, the part of her brain that stores new memories was damaged during a surgery to remove a tumor. Now Flora has no short-term memory, and throughout the day her brain can resent itself multiple times. To cope, Flora has countless post-it notes in her bags to remind her of who she is, what she is doing and anything important that she wants to remember. She has writing all over her hands and arms and relies heavily on her best-friend and parents to help remind her of…everything.

But then Flora kisses her best-friends boyfriend, and miraculously, the memory sticks.

This book is epic.

There is immense adventure in these pages, with a representation of beautiful and kind souls littered throughout. It shines such a bright, happy and thoughtful light on Mental Health and the limitations that society puts on a person.

It is heartbreaking, yes, but it is one of the most rewarding YA Contemporaries I have read in a long time.

10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Genre/Trigger: YA/Contemporary/Suicide/Bullying/Abuse-Sexual/Self-Harm/Mental Health

13

We’re almost there, stay with me.

Thirteen Reasons Why

I know there’s a show an all, but who cares about that.

This book took over my teenage life. Never had I experienced a story of this emotional magnitude and thought-provoking ingenuity, and I probably never will again. This should be required reading in EVERY. SINGLE. SCHOOL.

If you don’t know it, it’s about a girl named Hannah Baker who commits suicide. Before her death, she records the events/reasons that lead up to her decision on cassette tapes, and then sends it off to the first person that contributed to the spiral.

Each tape has a reason or event, and each one focuses on someone in particular. The crazy part is that the tapes are sent to each person mentioned in them, and they are directed to send the tapes on to the person mentioned after them, or else a copy of the tapes will be leaked.

WILD.

Thirteen Reasons Why was my first taste of suicide in YA Contemporary, and it is one that I will never forget. The message is powerful, the events are beyond emotional and the concept in general is phenomenal.

11. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre/Trigger: YA/Contemporary/Abuse-Sexual/Bullying

This post wouldn’t be complete without Speak.

If you somehow haven’t read this book, you need to RIGHT NOW.

Melinda is a freshmen in high school and a complete outcast. She was popular and had a group of great friends, but that was before the end-of-summer party that she ruined by calling the cops. Speak slowly unravels what happened at that party that caused Melinda to call the cops, and how her school and home life has changed for her.

It’s a really deep and powerful story of rape and bullying, and the fear that young girls have to come forward and tell someone. You will cry, you will hurt, and all you’ll want to do is give Melinda a hug and tell her it’s going to be okay.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

As always, Stay Witchy and take care of yourselves

612b40e9c1cd2f68ad9b9a8097ced4ff

Book Promo · Book Reviews

Book Review: Aetherstorm (Songs of Sarin, Book 1) by Alexander Ferrick

Aetherstorm

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Alexander Ferrick, for an honest review. 

Genre: High Fantasy

Plot: What is the Aetherstorm?

They said it was a tournament to discover the mightiest warrior in the land, but it is far more…

To the Demons, it is a chance to reclaim their former glory…

To a Prince, it is a chance to prove himself worthy of the crown…

To a Rebel, it is a chance at freedom…

To an Orphan, it is a chance at justice… or vengeance…

…What is the Aetherstorm?

The Aetherstorm is a trap.

When demons disguised as elves begin inviting the citizens of Sarin to a fighting tournament, Prince Maronir takes it upon himself to go there in secret and discover what the demons are up to.

Along the way, a botched assassination attempt forces Maronir to join Luca and Garron, two human orphans who are also going to the tournament to find the man who killed their adoptive father and mentor.

As the prince and his new friends journey across Sarin, he finds himself confronted by the harsh reality of his kingdom, and learns that the greatest tests of kingship happen far from the battlefield.

Will those lessons matter after the demons true plans are revealed? Time will tell…

Opinion:

“Come and prove yourself…”

“…join the Aetherstorm.”

A world where humans are practically extinct and subject of tales told to elven children in order to keep them in line?

Demons, Dwarves, Cyclopes, Magic?

An epic battle arena that’s like The Gladiator on mage crack?

Aetherstorm is my second read by Alex Ferrick, and color me completely unsurprised – this kicked ass. It’s the first in the Songs of Sarin series set in a fantastical world where magic is called Aether, demons have been unleashed upon the planes, and elves and dwarves are the dominant species. This is PACKED with detail and world-building so exquisite, I can hardly fathom how on earth so much epicness could possibly be shoved into just 123 pages.

It must be

This book, like any true fantasy should, has a cast of wonderfully diverse and badass characters who carry the reader to the end on a tidal wave of slick remarks and deadly battling. There is an Elven Prince whose bloodline is tied deeply into Aether magic in order to control the demons that have spilled into their world, two humans – one a mage, and another just simply a badass, a dwarf blacksmith, and a *gasp* could it be?! A HYBRID elf/dawrf female who puts them all to shame?!

“In time you will learn, my friend, that the worst monsters are beautiful.”

I usually get a bit daunted by High Fantasy stories. With the confusing names, types of magical systems, countless species and conflict…it can be hard to keep up. But with Aetherstorm, you will NOT have that problem. This author is an expert at flawlessly expressing a really in-depth and creative world in a form that anyone can follow. It is straight-forward and addicting, but has layers of truly creative content screaming from its pages.

But what never ceases to amaze me about Alex, is how his mind seeps into endless nooks and crannies of creativity and pulls out truly unique, original ideas for stories. In less than 150 pages the reader is blessed with SO MUCH. Like each generation of royalty being eternally imprisoned on thrones for harnessing the Aetheroot magic to contain the demonic presence. Or a world where Evles and Dwarves are superior, and humans are practically extinct and woven into scary stories told to misbehaving magical children.

There are battles. There is bloodshed. There are acts of revenge, trickery, ruthless killings and vile creatures. But there are also moments of justice and compassion. It’s a thrilling adventure story that has no time for pausing and will make it impossible for you to put it down. This was a fantastic fantasy tale that had me hooked and wishing for more. I cannot wait for the next installment in this series!

5 Stars

 

612b40e9c1cd2f68ad9b9a8097ced4ff