Review: Big Water by Andrea Curtis (Spoiler Free)

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Title: Big Water

Author: Andrea Curtis

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.

Seventeen-year-old Christina McBurney, grieving the loss of her twin brother, Jonathan, to consumption, has run away from her Parkdale home. She believes her mother wishes she had been the one to die, and she plans to find work far away as a nursemaid or teacher. Christina’s cousin Peter is the first mate on the Asia, a steamship that transports passengers and freight throughout the Great Lakes, so she seeks him out to secure passage to Sault Ste. Marie.

But when a violent storm suddenly rises, the overloaded and top-heavy steamship begins to sink. Christina, heeding the warnings from her cousin, somehow makes her way to the hurricane deck. A large wave tosses her overboard, but just before she loses consciousness, she is pulled to safety.

Hours later, adrift on the wide-open water of Georgian Bay, in a lifeboat full of corpses, Christina is nervous about being alone with Daniel, a brooding young man with a likely criminal past and the only other passenger left alive. But they both know that working together is the only way they will find the strength to make it to safety.

Big Water is a fictional account of the real-life story of the only two survivors of the sinking of the SS Asia in 1882.



Review: The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton (Spoiler Free)

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Title: The Price Guide to the Occult

Author: Leslye Walton

Genre: YA Magical Realism

Publication Date: March 13, 2018

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.

The Blackburn women are cursed. Ever since the extraordinary witch Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island centuries ago and was shunned by the eight “original” settlers, Blackburn witches have been doomed to carry out a brief whirlwind affair with a descendant of the Original Eight. The vengeful curse, however, had unintended side effects: it diluted the Blackburns’ supernatural powers. That’s perfectly all right with seventeen-year-old Nor Blackburn. All she wants is a quiet, unremarkable life—her powers are blissfully unexceptional, her love life pretty much nonexistent. Nor hopes the curse has played itself out through enough generations that she’ll finally be spared the drama. But when a mysterious book comes out promising to cast any spell for the right price, Nor senses a dark storm headed straight for Anathema—and straight for her.

In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author—Nor’s own mother—looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.


Waiting on Wednesday – Toil & Trouble

Hey everyone!

It’s time for another Waiting on Wednesday. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This week, my pick is Toil & Trouble edited by Tess Sharpe.

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A young adult fiction anthology of 16 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth.

History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.

Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.

A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.

From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely–has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. TOIL & TROUBLE delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points-of-view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored.

Review: The Radical Element edited by Jessica Spotswood (Spoiler Free)

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Title: The Radical Element

Authors: Anna-Marie McLemore, Sarvenaz Tash, Sara Farizan, Marieke Nijkamp, Meg Medina, Erin Bowman, Stacey Lee, Mackenzi Lee, Dhonielle Clayton, Dahlia Adler, Jessica Spotswood, Megan Shepherd

Genre: YA Anthology

Publication Date: March 13, 2018

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.

In an anthology of revolution and resistance, a sisterhood of YA writers shines a light on a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections.

To respect yourself, to love yourself—should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It’s a decision that must be faced whether you’re balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of the girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs—whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they’re asking you to join them.


Playlist: Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

Hey everyone!

I actually never thought I’d have a chance to get this playlist up, because every single time I was planning on sharing it, I had a crap ton of reviews I needed to post instead, or my basement flooded. So, yeah. This baby is finally getting published, whether the universe wants it or not.

If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I sometimes make playlists for books that I love. I read Blood and Sand a while back and totally fell in love with it. I knew right then and there that I needed to give it a playlist. If you’re familiar with my playlists, you’ll know that they’re usually all over the place when it comes to genre and concept, because I can never focus on a single character or aspect. As for this particular playlist, there might be some overlap from some of my other playlists, but I’ve been tweaking this one for more than a month, so I’m satisfied with it. (Which means right after I post this, I’ll hear another song that’s ~perfect~ for it.)

Alright, enough rambling. Here we go.


Review: Phoenix Fire by S.D. Grimm (Spoiler Free)

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Title: Phoenix Fire

Author: S.D. Grimm

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Publication Date: March 5, 2018

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.

After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.

Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.

But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.

With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.


Waiting on Wednesday

Hey everyone!

It’s time for another Waiting on Wednesday. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This week, my pick is Rising Silver Mist by Olivia Wildenstein.


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First, I would never kill another person. But when a family friend murdered my father, I destroyed her with a power I didn’t even know I possessed.

Second, I would never strike another bargain. But faeries could bring the dead back, so when Cruz offered to revive my father, I accepted.

Third, I would never marry an enemy, but every bargain comes at a price. The price of mine: I had to marry Cruz and move to the faerie isle.

For the first time in my life, I wondered if death wouldn’t be a kinder end.

February 2018 Wrap Up

Hey everyone!

February is already over, so it’s time for my wrap up. I didn’t get to read very much this month, due to Mother Nature deciding we needed 7 inches of rain in one day and my basement attempting to convert itself into an indoor swimming pool. Anyways, I ended up reading 4 books, with one being a reread (The Diviners). My average rating was 4.75 stars. Without further ado, here they are:


Review: This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter (Spoiler Free)

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Title: This Heart of Mine

Author: C.C. Hunter

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publication Date: February 27, 2018

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.

A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living took more courage than dying?