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Book Review: The Lady Raven by Rebecca Henry

The Lady Raven

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

Genre: Fantasy/Retelling

Plot: In The Lady Raven, Rebecca Henry tells the tale of Zezolla, a little princess abandoned by her father into the hands of her evil stepmother and wicked stepsisters. A familiar fairy tale you may think but all is not as it appears. The reader is soon drawn into a web of witchcraft, lies and deceit, and gradually realizes that this is no typical fairy tale but a dark and macabre take on one. Zezolla is treated with the utmost cruelty, neglected and vilified, and left to live in the damp cellars of the castle. The only friends Zezolla has are her beloved raven and her pet wolf. Her only comfort lies in the loyalty of the creatures of the forest and her mother’s hazel tree. Will Zezolla have the power to escape her torment and ultimately save herself from the unscrupulous clutches of the king? The Lady Raven is a compelling tale and one that is not for the faint-hearted.

Opinion:

Fridays are for dark retellings, murder and deceit.

In this twisted tale there are more than just stepmothers to defeat.

Vile stepsisters and wicked, forceful Kings,

Have a chance to be defeated with the help of paws and wings.

With a Princess clad in black and magic scorching through her veins,

A Queen must arise to break free from her chains.

I love a fairy tale retelling, especially one that flips the story from cheery to morbid.

But what I love even more, is a story of a Goth Princess Witch.

Rebecca Henry got our Princess’s name wrong though,

because this is DEFINITELY written about me.

Princess Zezolla lead a life of happiness and bliss with her parents in their castle. A life with a doting father and a mother that showered her in love and affection. At least until her mother was drowned at the hands of her father. Now Zezolla’s life is one doused in sorrow and cruelty. Countless deaths and misfortunes follow the Princess as she grows into a young woman, with only her Raven and her magic to keep her company. Forced into the cellars of her castle by her stepmother and her daughters to live for years, the only solace Zezolla can find is through the woods and its creatures. But the bloodshed in Zezolla’s life has only just begun, and to survive, she must trust in her magic and her guardians.

Zezolla is the witchy Princess that my childhood heart has always wanted!

This girl is sweet, caring, compassionate and loving to everyone and everything around her-even those who treat her horribly. After the death of her mother, she falls into a state of mourning that takes hold of her life and leaves her lonely and neglected. Her father, after being betrayed by his wife and then drowning her, becomes a nonexistent parent to Zezolla, only focusing his efforts on securing a new wife and improving his status. And so begins the onslaught of stepmothers that will enter Zeolla’s life, leaving a trail of cruelty and vile behavior in their wake.

It seems to be a theme in this retelling for characters to begin as somewhat decent beings, and then turn rather drastically into monstrous versions of themselves. It was so saddening to watch Zezolla lean towards so many figures in her life that she loved and respected, only for them to turn on her and wish for her demise. But another huge theme was the act of characters attempting to have ownership or control over our little Cinderella girl. She was constantly being thrust into the hands of those who either wanted her for gain or to be a slave that they could torture. This poor girl is beaten, betrayed, manipulated, verbally abused and treated like an object constantly.+

“You have witnessed man’s true desire…to own a woman.”

But before you think that she is totally helpless, don’t. Zezolla is a fierce and witty character with extraordinary abilities. She has a deep understanding of the Earth and the animals, and has extremely dedicated companions by way of a raven and a wolf. These two creatures steal and kill in order to protect their Princess, and to be completely honest, it is badass and ruthless! There is SO much blood being spilled in this story, but don’t fret, it isn’t graphic at all and won’t keep you up at night.

 

What I really enjoyed about this story as well, is the romance. It is a bit unexpected and not a huge part of the story…which I really LOVE! Look, I adore my fantasy romances just like the next YA obsessive out there. But what I adore even more, is a story where a female isn’t waiting in the damn shadows for a man to rescue her and fight her battles. I crave that feminine strength and power in books, and Rebecca delivered.

Overall, I am really impressed with this dark Cinderella retelling. The pace is quick, and this book covers a TON of ground in just 180 pages. It completely sucked me in and left me feeling a bit dismayed that it was over, because all I wanted was to stay with Zezolla. I would gladly welcome a series of The Lady Raven, or even a dark retelling of EVERY princess (hint hint, Rebecca). I definitely recommend this gritty and gothic fairy tale to those of you who are looking for a new retelling or a spooky read for October!

4-stars

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · JKS Communications · New Releases · Reviews · Wrap-Up

Binding of Bindings #28: August Book Wrap-up

Look August
It was fun and all.
We had some good times, some bad times.
But, like, I just can’t anymore.

 

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~* August Book Wrap-Up *~

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1. Terrible Lizard: A Memoir of My Time in the Police Dinosaur Unit by Doug Goodman

Terrible Lizard

Terrible Lizard is an Urban Fantasy that tells the tale of former law enforcement officer, Oak Jones, who spent 7 years in the Police Dinosaur Unit. This fantastic book is a collection of memories and action-packed moments that Oak experienced alongside his partner Banshee, a velociraptor with a tumultuous past.

I have read a lot of books by Doug Goodman, and each time I am more and more impressed with his attention to detail and superb storytelling. This book is suitable for ALL ages, so feel free to read it on your own or with your little dino-loving munchkins.

4-5-stars

(Click here to see my review)

 

2. Forsaken Wrath (The Scorpio Files, Book 1) by Alexander Ferrick

Forsaken Wrath

Forsaken Wrath is the first book in the adventure short story series called The Scorpio Files. It centers on the tales of fortune hunters Nick Reed, known as Scorpio, and Bartimaeus as they embark on an adventure around the world that will lead them to treasures and deep history.

If you were a big fan of National Treasure, The Da Vinci Code or even Pitfall (a game that was released on Atari, but revamped for Wii) then you will absolutely love this book. The writing is excellent, and it kept my attention for its entire 70 pages!

I’m honestly hoping these turn into full-length books, because I NEED!

5-stars

(Click here to see my review)

 

3. The Surface Breaks by Luoise O’Neill

The SUrface Breaks 2

Guys!

THIS one.

My poor heart, is still breaking in two and filling over the brim from the sadness and strength I got from this book!

The Surface Breaks is a feminist re-imagining of The Little Mermaid, and it is EVERYTHING that you, your mother, your sister, brother, father, daughter and son need!

The amount of quotes I inserted in my review for this book was…slightly embarrassing, and honestly, I could have just written a review in quotes. Because I highlighted that many, and it was that good.

This rendition is dark, gritty, and gets real AF. This isn’t a fluffy twist on mermaids and young love. It hits you where it hurts, yanks those heartstrings, and makes you rethink how much of yourself you are willing the shred apart in the name of love.

If you do anything after reading this post, buy this book.

5-stars

(Click here to see my review)

 

4. The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon

The First gIrl Child.jpg

Okay, my review for this isn’t up yet.

So I’ll be brief.

THIS is a newly released Adult Fantasy about a kingdom that becomes cursed to no longer bear daughters, after a chieftain denies his unborn child.

The First Girl Child tells the story of Bayr of Saylok, a bastard son of a cruel chieftain and the woman who cursed the Kingdom, and a daughter named Alba that was born 7 years after the curse went into effect. Bayr is blessed with in-human strength, and has been tasked with protecting Alba and acting as her guardian.

This book was NOT what I was expecting, but I’m not mad about it at all! THIS WAS SO GOOD! The writing, the story-building, the characters, descriptions, EVERYTHING was perfection!

I will have my review posted this weekend or early next week, so look out for it!

 

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So honestly, yea, my August was a little slow. I have been in a distracted slump and finding it hard to read, but I’m back on it.

I have 100 books to read this year, and I am NOT very far, so I have to get it into gear like…yesterday!

Stay Witchy, my loves!

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books

Binding of Bindings #26: 10 Book Retellings You Need To Own

Princes and Princesses.
Evil Queens and deadly magicians.
Magical kisses, tall towers, dragons, knights in shining armor and damsels who just can’t seem to get themselves out of their own distresses.
Fairy tales.

We know them by heart, don’t we?
But…
What if we didn’t?
What if everything wasn’t as pretty, peppy and perfect as it seemed?

 

Are you sure you know the true story?

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~* 10 Book Retellings *~

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1. Dorothy Must Die (Book 1) by Danielle Paige
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Retelling of: Wizard of Oz

Dorothy must die.jpg

Dorothy Must Die is the story of the OTHER girl from Kansas, Amy Gumm.

After Dorothy finds her way back to Oz, she seizes power and becomes crazed with ruling. Now, Oz is a land where the good are bad, the bad are good, and executions are more frequent than not. Amy must find away to take Dorothy down, once and for all. 

 

2. The Girl in Red by Christina Henry
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Horror
Retelling of: Little Red Riding Hood

The Girl in Red.jpg

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, The Girl in Red is a Fantasy/Horror about a woman trying to survive in a decimated wasteland filled with vicious creatures: human AND animal.

This is a dark, twisted, gritty, and frightening version of Little Red Riding Hood, and one that NEEDS to be read. The reviews for this book are OUTSTANDING! Even if horror isn’t your thing, TRY to read this.

Christina Henry rewriting fairy tales is seriously, everything.

 

3. Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Horror
Retelling of: Faust

Teeth in the Mist

The tale of Faust is about a man who makes a deal with the Devil in order to receive knowledge and pleasures greater than his wildest dreams. In Teeth in the Mist, the story is told in the voices of three women from varying times in history.

Zoey is sixteen living in modern times, and explores the haunted ruins of Medwyn Mill House with her friend. Roan is seventeen in 1851 and is, along with two others, the newest ward of the eerie Mill House. Hermione in 1583, is a young bride married to a man with plans of building a mansion and water mill with a few rumors of dark rituals.

Their only chance of survival is finding the man that brought them all together.

Reviewers have been LOSING it all over Goodreads about the creepiness and obsession that is this book! If you don’t read it now, at least save it for October!

 

4. Stealing Snow (Book 1) by Danielle Paige
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Retelling of: The Snow Queen

Stealing Snow.jpg

Snow White set in an Insane Asylum?

VIBE.

Stealing Snow is set at Whittaker Psychiatric, where seventeen-year-old Snow is spending her days…even though she isn’t crazy. But when her first kiss with Bale turns him violent, Snow is suddenly drawn to a new orderly who promises to whisk her away to a mysterious kingdom that could be the answer to all of their prayers.

 

5. Entwined by Heather Dixon Wallwork
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Romance
Retelling of: Twelve Dancing Princesses

Entwined.jpg

You know the tale to the Twelve Dancing Princesses right?

12 Princesses, sisters, are on lock-down by their father, the King. But unbeknownst to him, the girls sneak out every night and go dancing until sun up. Once a sweet story, now…

Well. Not a sweet story.

Entwined is about Azalea and her eleven sisters who walk through an enchanted passage each night to go dancing in the silver forest, invited each night by The Keeper. The Keeper knows what it is like to be unable to leave, but the Keeper also likes to keep things.

 

6. Mechanica (Book 1) by Betsy Cornwell
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Steampunk
Retelling of: Cinderella

Mechanica

Mechanica is a steampunk Cinderella retelling about a sixteen-year-old inventor who discovers a secret workshop in her cellar filled with magical animal creations and gadgets.

After Nicolette’s mother dies, her father remarries a cruel woman with two even crueler daughters. But when her father dies, Nicolette is forced to live under the rule of her new family. But once Nicolette discovers the workshop that she knows can change her life forever, she sets her sight on the upcoming ball – a convention to showcase inventions and talents.

 

7. Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Retelling of: Little Red Riding Hood

Red Hood.jpg

Another Little Red Riding Hood retelling, because wine not?

Red Hood follows Bisou Martel who has grown up under the care of her grandmother. But then a wolf attacks her on homecoming night, and Bisou ends up killing it. The next morning, however, she realizes that one of her male classmates has been found dead. And she wonders, was he the wolf?

My description is s**t, I know. But I didn’t have much to work with here okay?

Basically what I am gathering from the reviews is this is a story of toxic masculinity and feminism, and really packs an emotional punch. I all ready to read it!

 

8. Thorn by Intisar Khanani
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Retelling of: The Goose Girl

Thorn.jpg

Thorn is about a princess who longs to escape her vicious family and cruel courtiers, and her betrothal to a Prince in a kingdom called Kestrin. So when a sorceress robs Princess Alyrra of her identity, she jumps at the change to start her life as a goose girl. But life in Kestrin is different from what she was expecting – less lavishness, and more suffering.

Now Alyrra must decide which kingdom she will stand for, the kingdom of her birthright, or the kingdom that offered her freedom?

 

9. Lost Boy by Christina Henry
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Horror
Retelling of: Peter Pan

Lost Boy.jpg

Another Christina Henry Horror Retelling!

My gift to you.

Because I love you.

In Lost Boy, Jamie is Peter’s closest friend and favorite. When Peter took him from the Other Place years ago, he was enamored with the world that Peter created. A world where there weren’t any grownups to tell them what to do. A place where they could be young forever, playing tricks on pirates, and swimming with mermaids.

But Peter isn’t who Jaime thinks he is. Peter only wants to have fun, and doesn’t care if there are a few deaths and monstrosities along the way. Because the way the lost boys play is hard and dangerous.

 

10. Coiled by H.L. Burke
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Retelling of: Eros and Psyche

Coiled

Oh look, another sweet tale for all us Slytherins out there ❤

Coiled is about a Princess who has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful sister, due to the curse that was placed on them at birth. But each time her sister is cruel to another, she becomes lovelier. And each time Princess Lairda uses her power of healing, she becomes more ugly. 

Embarrassed of their daughter, she is shipped away to an island where another pair of male twins reside who are also cursed. The curse for one of the boys, Calen, is that each time anyone sets eyes on him, he is turned into a snake. But Laidra sees the good in Calen, and together they fight to break their curses.

 

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Stay Witchy

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · Edelweiss+ · Netgalley · New Releases · Upcoming Releases

Binding of Bindings #25: My Top 10 Anticipated August Book Releases

I know mother said to never drink the Kool-aid.
Don’t give in to peer pressure.
And to never leave that drink unattended.
But trust me, okay?
You definitely want this Kool-aid.

 

It will only hurt your TBR a little.

 

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~* My 10 Anticipated August Book Releases *~

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1. Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay
Release Date: August 1, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling

Ever Alice.jpg

Just like Goth Barbie is my favorite…so is Asylum Alice.

At 15, Alice will do anything to leave the asylum that she was placed in for her “delusions” of a white rabbit and a place called Wonderland. Her ticket out is an experimental procedure, but cold feet are her undoing, so she escapes back to Wonderland…only to be forced to serve the Queen of Hearts.

Ever Alice sounds like it is going to be grittier and WAY less innocent than the original.

 

2. House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling

House of Salt and Sorrows

I know I won’t shut up about this….but can you really blame me?

A retelling of the childhood tale 12 Dancing Princesses, House of Salt and Sorrows takes the classic into a sinister form.

Annaleigh lives in a manor by the sea with her once 12 sisters, father and stepmother. But four of the sisters have died by supposed accidents, though the villagers believe it to be a curse on the family. So when Annaleigh finds that her sisters have been sneaking out at night to go dancing, she can’t help but think that this may be a connection to the deaths of her sisters.

 

3. Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: YA/Contemporary

Hello Girls.jpg

Hello Girls is like the Thelma and Louise tale for the YA diehards. Full of feminist power and middle fingers to controlling men!

This story follows two young women, Winona and Lucille, who are both forced to live under the hands of the controlling and toxic men in their lives. Fed up and ready to escape, the girls set off for their new lives – in a stolen convertible.

I am so proud of 2019 and the authors in it for producing so many amazing feminist stories! This one is going to punch you right in the feels and empower your gorgeous self, all at once.

 

4. Let’s Call It a Doomsday by Katie Henry
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Mental Health

Lets Call it a Doomsday.jpg

Let’s Call It a Doomsday is a YA story about Mental Health and the world ending.

Ellis Kimball is a doomsday prepper, and she is prepared for any and every scenario when the world comes to an end. But what she wasn’t prepared for, was Hannah Marks entering her life. But as their friendship grows and they work to determined when doomsday is coming, Ellis begins to find out that Hannah isn’t who she thinks she is…and life might not be either.

 

5. Remember Me by Chelsea Bobulski
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: YA/Horror

Remember Me.jpg

The Horror book of the Month!

Because you know I couldn’t go without slipping at least one into the mix.

Remember Me follows Nell Martin as she arrives at the Winslow Grand Hotel where, naturally, strange things begin to happen. Soon Nell is thrust between the past and present, and reliving horrific memories from 1905 of a murder. Now Nell and a mysterious bellboy are forced to go through the traumatic events to break a curse that has imprisoned them both.

 

6. Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga, Book 1) by Jill Criswell
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Beasts.jpg

Beasts of the Frozen Sun is a mythology inspired YA Fantasy about a girl blessed by the Gods with the ability to see into one’s soul, and a boy from enemy lands, the Frozen Sun.

Aillira was a god-gifted mortal whose love affair brought about a war between Gods and men. Lira is a descendant of Aillira, and has been raised to loathe the existence of the inhabitants from the Frozen Sun. But when a young warrior washes up on her shores, she is able to see that he is different from his fellow man.

Basically this sounds like a Tristan and Isolde tale…and I’m already sobbing onto my keyboard in anticipation!

 

7. Midnight Beauties (Grim Lovelies, Book 2) by Megan Shepard
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Midnight Beauties.jpg

This is the sequel to Grim Lovelies, and one that I am super stoked to read! Though I haven’t even read the first book yet (don’t judge me, okay?) I just ordered it on Amazon and I have an ARC of Midnight Beauties ready to go!

*Grim Lovelies is on sale at Amazon right now – $5.63 for the HARDCOVER!

I know.

Here: Amazon.com – Grim Lovelies

You’re welcome.

The duology follows Anouk who is a Beastie, an animal that was enchanted into a human. It is set in a world of witches, goblins and tons of magic. Anouk is one of 5 Beasties that serve the witch that turned them, Mada Vittora, and are all forbidden to leave the mansion at any time.

The books document how Anouk fights to free herself, and her friends, from the enchantment they were forced under. All while going up against powerful Royals and magical creatures.

8. The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Genre: Adult/Fantasy/Romance

The First gIrl Child.jpg

The First Girl Child is an Adult Fantasy about a Kingdom that was cursed to no longer bear daughters.

Bayr of Saylok is the bastard son of a cruel chieftain and the woman who cursed his Kingdom. Born with inhuman strength and a fierceness like no other, Bayr might be the only hope of the curse being broken. But his role in protecting Alba, the first daughter born in two decades, will put both their lives in jeopardy. Because they are the only hope of breaking the curse on Saylok.

I have a feeling this is going to be a STEAMY read…and I’m ready.

Bring it on Amy Harmon!!

 

9. All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Genre: YA/Mystery/Contemporary

All the bad Apples

LOOK AT THIS COVER!!!

If this cover doesn’t COMPLETELY draw you in, then the author of this book should! She wrote The Accident Season, which I am OBSESSED with, so naturally I am losing my marbles over this release!

All the Bad Apples is about the disappearance of Deena‘s mysterious sister Mandy. Distraught and surprised of her absence, their family struggles to cope with the loss of their daughter and sister. But when letter from Mandy suddenly start to show up, Deena learns that her family might be cursed and that bad luck has been passed down through generations.

 

10. Crown of Coral and Pearl (Book 1) by Mara Rutherford
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Genre: YA/Mystery

Crown of Coral and Pearl.jpg

This beautiful cover encases a fantastical tale about a kingdom called Ilara whose princes marry beautiful maidens from the village of Varenia…but not every marriage has a happy ending.

Crown of Coral and Pearl follows Nor who lives in Varenia with her identical twin sister, Zadie. At a young age Nor was in an accident that left her scarred, so in turn, her sister became the eligible maiden to marry the Crown Prince when the time came. But when Zadie is injured and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place, she realizes her new life with the Prince isn’t quite what it seems.

 

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As always my lovelies, stay witchy

Or…Vampire-y.

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Pre-order · Upcoming Releases

Binding of Bindings #22: My Top 10 Anticipated July Book Releases

Do you hear that…?
Someone’s knocking

I think it’s July book releases.
Sent up from the depths of Hell to drag you into a deep, dark, black abyss of book obsessions and character addictions.
So…what do we do?

 

We help them into the damn tower, of course!

 

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~* My 10 Anticipated July Book Releases *~

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1. The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Mystery

The Best Lies.jpg

I am starting this beautiful babe tonight, and I cannot wait!

The Best Lies is about a girl named Remy who had an amazing life, until her best friend Elise shot her boyfriend.

Devastated and shocked, Remy sifts through her memories to find ANY plausible explanation for what happened. The story showcases toxic relationships, jealousy and revenge, and is said to be a Thelma and Louise meets Gone girl psychological thriller!

 

2. The Beckoning Shadow (Book 1) by Katharyn Blair
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

The Beckoning.jpg

This book has AMAZING reviews all over Goodreads already, and with a cover and plot like this, I’m simply not surprised.

The Beckoning Shadow follows Vesper (sick name, right?) has the ability to summon one’s worst nightmares and make them real, but her unique power has lead her down a road of regret. So when she is thrust into the Tournament of the Unraveling to compete for a chance to rewrite the past, she desperately works to win with the help of Sam Hardy – a former MMA fighter with a past just as tragic.

 

3. Season of the Witch (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Book 1) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Horror

Sabrina.jpg

*Commence the obnoxiously loud fan-girl screams*

I KNOW!

THIS. Is ACTUALLY. HAPPENING!!!!!

Season of the Witch is a prequel to the Netflix series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and documents the summer before we all meet her. This is the summer that she and Harvey first get together, but she isn’t sure of Harvey’s feelings for her. By her cousin Ambrose’s suggestion, Sabrina performs a spell, but it backfires.

From the reviews I have read, it would be a good idea to watch the first season of the show before you read this. It might give some spoilers away if you haven’t seen the show yet, and who wants that?!

Obviously, I am SUPER excited for this release. My witchy heart can barely contain itself!!

 

4. Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Release Date: July 29 2019
Genre: YA/Horror/Mystery/LGBT

Wilder Girls

This is probably the third or fourth time I have posted about this book, but can you blame me?

You can’t.

Wilder Girls is the private school meets fast-spreading virus meets feminist vibes story that you obviously just need. A virus breaks out at a private school located on an island, and three girls are forced to fight for their lives as it spreads. Reviewers are describing it as a Feminist Lord of the Flies.

Intrigued?

Of course you are.

 

5. Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller

Heartwood box.jpg

Heartwood Box is a dark romantic YA Mystery that follows Araceli (again with the cool names) as she is sent to live with her great-aunt in a Victorian home. But this new town isn’t as quaint and normal as Araceli expected. There are countless “missing” posters everywhere, a creepy lab on the outskirts of town nobody talks about, and her aunt is a little…unhinged.

The mysterious conspiracies may commence now.

 

6. Vox by Christina Dalcher
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Genre: Fiction/Feminism/Science Fiction

Vox.jpg

If you’ve got a hardcore addiction for The Handmaid’s Tale, because you like your heart being ripped out each week – Read THIS!

I started it a few days ago and let me just tell you…

…it’s f***ed.

Vox is a re-release Dystopian Feminist story set in America where women are only allotted a total of 100 words to speak in a day. Similar to The Handmaid’s Tale, slowly women are stripped of their rights, and thrust into bracelets that counts their words and gives them electric shocks if they exceed their limit.

To make it worse, female children are given these bracelets too and never taught to read or write.

This book is told from Dr. Jean McClellan’s point of view, and it is…hard to read.

*Sigh* my heart!

 

7. The Phantom Forest by Liz Kerin
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

The Phantom Forest.jpg

The Phantom Forest is a story for every Underworld loving creature of the night out there!

The Forest of Laida is the most holy place of the Underworld, and each tree houses a soul that is able to return to the mortal world for another life. But when Seycia’s (seriously, THE NAMES!) father is killed and she is chosen as a human sacrifice, she is thrust into the Underworld to protect her family.

I received this from Netgalley (you can still get a copy) and I am SO stoked to get it started!

 

8. Before I disappear by Danielle Stinson
Release Date: July 23, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Before i Disappear.jpg

Before I Disappear is a story about every soul in a town disappearing into thin air, except for five teens.

Rose arrived in Fort Glory, Oregon to start a new life with her family, but everything changes when they suddenly vanish. Now she is trapped in the Fold with four other teens – a place in the woods that is somewhere between the real world and the lost town – and everyone is starting to turn deadly.

This has Stephen King vibes all over it…DOWN!

 

9. The Merciful Crow (Book 1) by Margaret Owen
Release Date: July 30, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

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THIS looks like it is going to be a BIG winner for fans of Six of Crows, so get your wallets out kids.

The Merciful Crow is set in a world that follows a caste system, and main character Fie belongs to the Crowsundertakers and murderers who are paid to collect the dead. But when Fie is sent on a job she knows will pay big, things turn for the worst when it comes to light that her target, Prince Jasimir and his bodygaurd, have faked their deaths in order to prevent his Kingdom from siege.

I mean…look.

Just take my money.

 

10. The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
Release Date: July 30, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling/Feminism

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Another re-release, but another book you will be happy to get your hands on!

The Surface Breaks is a Little Mermaid Retelling (try not to scream) set off the Irish coast. Gaia is the most prized daughter of the Sea King, but dreams of escaping her fathers control. Living in a world where only the beautiful are kept, and the ugly or deformed are banished, Gaia wants nothing more than to be free. And so upon her first swim to the surface, she is captivated by a human boy, who she is prepared to sacrifice everything for.

This book is a FEMINIST version of the tale we know and love, and is said to be a dark and emotional version that is going to strike some serious feels.

Sign me up!

 

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Let me know what books you are planning to read this July, or what upcoming releases you’re DYING over!
My TBR list is already going to follow me into the afterlife, so might as well throw a few more on top.
As always my lovely beauties – Stay Witchy! ❤

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books

Binding of Bindings #21: The Vain Post (2) – 10 Books You’ll Buy for the Cover

Just because we were vain LAST week, doesn’t mean we can’t be vain THIS week too!
These books are pretty, popular and oh so perfect!

Get some superficial in yuh, boys and girls!
Because who ever said too much ego in a book relationship was a BAD thing?!

I sure didn’t.

 

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~* Another Vain Post *~

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1. The Cerulean by Amy Ewing

The Cerulean

The Cerulean is the story of Sera, who is one of the Cerulean, a people who live in the City Above the Sky. Sera wants nothing more than the tether between her world and the world below to be broken, and one day she is given the opportunity – she must jump off the edge of her world and sacrifice herself, in order to save her city.

But instead of dying, she lands in Kaolin.

 

2. Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

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Beautiful Broken Girls is a YA Contemporary Mystery that is both beautiful and haunting.

After her Death, Mira Cillo leaves behind notes in seven places where her and Ben touched. Each note will lead Ben closer to why Mira and her sister drowned themselves in the quarry. But the notes link Ben to his dark past with an inappropriate coach who took advantage of him, as well as the complicated and twisted tale of the two sisters.

 

3. Ice and Embers by Melanie Karsak

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Aren’t these covers AMAZING?!

My eyes!

Melanie Karsak has a series of Steampunk Fairy Tale Retellings, and this is one of the many gorgeous books from the collection!

Ice and Embers is a Retelling of the Snow Queen and is set in 1814 London, during the Frost Fair. It follows Elyse, an actress who is madly in love with a Lord named John Waldengrave, but is told to keep their affair a secret. But her best friend Kai doesn’t trust John, and so entails a story of mystery as Elyse begins to discover the truth about the men in her life.

 

4. Golden Braids and Dragon Blades by Melanie Karsak

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Golden Braids and Dragon Blades (amazing title, right?) is a Rapunzel Retelling about a girl named Rapunzel who has spent her entire life living in Merlin’s cave, with only her dragons and visits from Mother to keep her company. But when a young man happens upon the cave, Rapunzel is forced to decide if he can be trusted.

Soon their destinies entwine and they are brisked away on an adventure in a London Steampunk world.

 

5. Curiouser and Curiouser by Melanie Karsak

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THIS Alice Retelling sounds AMAZING!

Curiouser and Curiouser It is set in a seedy, dark and gloomy version of a Steampunk London where Alice spends most of her time surrounded by thieves and criminals. But when a heist is presented to Alice to steal a diamond from the Queen, she is forced to accept in order to save the man she once loved: the Hatter.

 

6. A Certain Slant of Light (Light, Book 1) by Laura Whitecomb

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A Certain Slant of Light is a Paranormal Romance of a ghost girl named Helen who has been haunting her way through the death for nearly 130 years, going by unnoticed and unseen. But it isn’t until Helen is haunting a high school English teacher’s class that she is finally noticed. By a boy who is alive, and can see her.

Usually these paranormal ghost romances are flipped, where the girl is living and the boy is dead. So I already love the idea of the roles being switched.

 

7. The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

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The Light Between Worlds is a Historical Fiction YA Fantasy that follows Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell as they were transported to a magical realm called the Woodlands, and then taken back to London. For Ev, she wants nothing more that to return to Woodland. But Philippa thrives in the real world, and moves to America in order to forget Woodland.

But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa is forced to relive the past in order to save her sister.

 

8. Entwined by Heather Dixon

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ANOTHER Retelling!

If you guys have been excited for House of Salt and Sorrows like I have, then hopefully you have read this OR are now going to.

Just like House of Salt and Sorrows, Entwined is a Retelling of the Twelve Dancing Sisters that centers on Azalea, the eldest of her sisters who is now in charge due to the death of their mother and their father going off to war. Confined in the palace for a year, the sisters soon come across a passage that leads them to the Silver Forest and The Keeper.

The Keeper invites the girls to come and dance, whenever they shall please, but things are much more sinister and dark than they seem.

9. The Soul Thief (The Horizon Chronicles, Book 1) by Kim Richardson

The Soul Thief

The Soul Thief is a Paranormal Fantasy about a girl named Alexa who is dead, and then recruited to the Guardian Angel Legion – a group of angels who protect mortal souls from demons.

It is said to be PERFECT for fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices…so you know.

It’s perfect for all of US.

 

10. Given to the Sea (Given Duet, Book 1) by Mindy McGinnis

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Given to the Sea is a YA Fantasy set in the Kingdom of Stille where a young woman named Khosa is to be sacrificed to the Sea, just like her mother and her mother’s mother were before her. But before she is able to fulfill her purpose, she must produce an heir to follow in her footsteps. But Khosa can’t stand the touch of anyone that isn’t an Indiri. But the arrival of Vincent, who is to inherit the Stille throne, Vincent is torn between duty and this mysterious girl.

 

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Until next week my dears, stay Witchy

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · New Releases · Reviews · The Parliament House Press

Book Review: Hook & Crown by Nicole Knapp

Hook and Crown Cover

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, The Parliament House Press, for an honest review. 

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling

Plot: You’ve heard of Neverland and its inhabitants… Fairies, pirates, mermaids and a boy who didn’t want to grow up. But you can’t always believe the stories.

Elena Hart arrives in London, bound for a new boarding school operated by her estranged uncle. A fresh start is exactly what she needs. But when strange things begin happening, things she can’t explain, she begins to wonder if she has lost her mind.
Until the night a strange girl appears in her room, claiming to be a fairy from Neverland, come to take her to the fantasy world at the request of its ruler.

Skeptical, Elena refuses. But the following night, a young man with strange green eyes appears, and though she tries to resist his charms, something about him draws her in and Elena is whisked away from the world she knows, to a world she always thought was make believe.
But when she arrives in Neverland, it is nothing like the stories and Elena realizes that she must figure out for herself who the true heroes and villains are.

Opinion:

A retelling of Peter Pan where Neverland isn’t the free and magical place that we all remember.  

It’s a beautiful place with a dark and sinister atmosphere.

And one where pretty girls are pulled from their bedrooms to be Queen.

I have been waiting months for this release.

Unfortunately

The result was…not stellar.

I wanted to LOVE this book. I have been SO incredibly excited for it’s release, and even more happy that I was gifted a copy of the book by the publisher in exchange for a review. So when I started Hook & Crown, I dove RIGHT in and started devouring it. But the problem was…well…

There was a lot of problems.

There is ZERO connection to characters, barely any world building in London or Neverland (though there is SLIGHTLY more in Neverland), there is an excessive amount of useless information thrown at the reader, the story takes way too long to get going, there is Insta-love like you wouldn’t believe, and a lot of contradictory moments by way of dialogue and plot. It felt like the author was rushing towards certain moments that she was really excited to write about, but when she got there, she rushed through those moments too until everything felt disingenuous.

Elena is seventeen and starts out complaining profusely about men and how she doesn’t trust them, even though her first glance at a guy results in immediate eyelash batting and awkwardly forced flirting. Kind of contradictory, right? The funny thing is, Elena does this the ENTIRE book! She INSTANTLY switches her opinions/feelings if someone contradicts them, characters who don’t even know her say that she’s fiery but the reader is never shown proof, and it takes her an embarrassingly short amount of time to fall for a guy and get naked before she goes back to a different guy.

Aiden (Peter Pan) and Will (Captain Hook) are two other main characters, but I really don’t have much to say about them since I made no connection to them at all. They are both possessive and obsessive with Elena, and it’s not an enjoyable love triangle in the slightest. It’s weird, uncomfortable, forced, and I really don’t get it. There is also an instance where Aiden comes into his quarters and finds Elena drunk, makes a comment about how drunk she is and how he wishes he were more drunk, and then they have sex.

Yea. That’s super dreamy.

There isn’t a buildup of danger or mystery anywhere during this book either. Everything is given away to the reader WAY too soon. It’s a repetitive cycle of “Hey, guess what happens. But before you do, I’m going to give you the answer”. The writing is very “list” oriented – “I ate, then I showered, then I put these series of clothes on, then I sat down in bed, then I dreamed of this, then I woke up, then I did all that again” – and doesn’t let the reader come to any conclusions on their own. The author has a habit of telling the reader everything about the characters, but in a way that isn’t believable and leaves you feeling turned-off and annoyed. Things are brushed over too quickly and left unexplained, names are thrown out at random (Elena doesn’t even learn Will’s name until AFTER she has sex with him -_-), and you barely meet any other characters.

I feel like this review turned way more negative than I intended, but it was really hard for me to find a lot of positives. I appreciate the effort and intention this author put into this work, but it just needed a LOT more edits. It seems like this could also be the first book in a series, but I do not plan on continuing. This was enough for me.

1-5-stars

 

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