Review: Magic for Liars, by Sarah Gailey

magic for liars sarah gailey

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: Fantasy, Thriller & Mystery, wide LGBT rep (incl. F/F)

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Ivy Gamble is a private detective. She hasn’t spoken with her sister for years, her talented, more beautiful twin who was born with magic, while Ivy… wasn’t. When there is a gory murder at the magical University where her sister works, Ivy is hired to investigate it. She is suddenly caught in that world, the dangerous magic and the more dangerous secrets, and she must somehow find the culprit.

This was kind of all over the place for me! I had quite a mixed experience with this book, which is why I’m giving it 3 stars. First of all, I loved how queer this book was! So many characters casually being lesbian and pan, it was really cool. I love the idea of a magical school, like Harry Potter but modern, and way more LGBT+. I think that was my favorite thing about the book: the idea of it. Continue reading

Review: The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern

the starless sea erin morgenstern

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy, M/M Romance

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Zachary Erza Rawlins once found a door painted onto a wall and did not dare open it, despite his curiosity. He suspected but did not know back then that he had just missed his opportunity to visit the world of the Starless Sea. Many years later, he finds a strange little book in the library, and the stories in the book feel more real than they should: stories of a magical land, of myth and metaphors, of painted doors… and of a boy who did not open it. Startled to see himself on the pages of a book written long before he was born, Zachary enters the adventure of a lifetime, and has a second chance to see the Starless Sea, where he will become part of a story that began much, much before his time. Continue reading

Review: Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #1), by Tamsyn Muir

gideon the ninth tamsyn muir

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, F/F

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The Emperor needs new necromancers, and the Ninth House Necromancer needs a cavalier. Gideon is not a cavalier, but she is the best swordswoman, and if she can pull off pretending to be a loyal, obedient cavalier of the Ninth, Harrow has promised her freedom. She knows she cannot trust Harrow, but this is probably her best chance at being free, so she will take her chances and try to fool the other eight necromancers and eight cavaliers. But she isn’t the only one with secrets, and as the trials for becoming a Lyctor begin, tensions grow and it is clear that not everyone (or anyone) will stay alive. Continue reading

Review: This is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

this is how you lose the time war amal el-mohtar max gladstoneRating: ★★★★★

Genres: Science Fiction, Literary Fiction

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In This is How You Lose the Time War, Red is fighting the war on the side of the Commandant. She is the most lethal agent and is used to winning. The only one who could possibly beat her is Blue,an agent working for the Garden, and Red knows her signature well. As they try to sabotage each other’s mission, and send taunting letters to each other, the unthinkable happens: Red and Blue start to bond. No one must know of this treason. And yet, how could they ever survive it? Continue reading

Review: Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist

missing presumed dead emma berquist

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Mystery, Young Adult, F/F Paranormal Romance

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Lexi doesn’t like it when people touch her. No, that’s an understatement – Lexi flinches whenever someone touches her, because she can see how anyone will die if she has contact with their skin. She also sees ghosts, and can send them to wherever it is they should’ve gone when they died, but at great cost to her. She’s lonely and miserable, working at a night club to make ends meet where people like her are welcome. One night, she touches a woman who’s going to be murdered violently that night and when she meets her ghost, she knows she must do whatever it takes to avenge her. Continue reading

eARC Review: Most Ardently, by Susan Mesler-Evans

most ardently susan mesler-evansRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: F/F Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Retelling, Young Adult

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I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Most Ardently is the story of Elisa Benitez, the second of five sisters, who starts taking classes at University, where she meets the insufferable, cold and condescending Darcy. She’s tall, beautiful and… fifthly rich. Elisa despises her, admires her and is determined that, no matter what, Darcy is the kind of girl she could never fall for.

This is a YA F/F retelling of Pride and Prejudice – what else did I really need to know to pick this up? I’ve read quite a few retellings of P&P, which is one of my favorite books of all times, and this one is among my favorites! It’s a light-hearted hate-to-love romcom, with a half-Black lesbian girl (Darcy) and a bisexual Latina (Elisa). This is a lovely read which also touched on sensitive topics like student loan debt, consent, statutory rape. But while these topics were treated seriously and are quite relevant to the story, it didn’t make the novel emotionally difficult to read. Continue reading

Mini-Review: White Houses, by Amy Bloom

white houses amy bloomRating: ★★☆☆☆

Genres: Historical Fiction, LGBT+

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White Houses tells the fictionalized version of the true story of Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok’s affair in the 1930s all the way the end of Roosevelt’s life.

I bought this book on a whim, as it was not really on my radar at all, but a FF book with real historical characters, glamour and political drama? I was sold immediately.

I enjoyed reading this book and ended up finishing it in a day – it’s around 200 pages only, so easy to fly through. Still, I found myself not really excited about the story and not really feeling emotionally connected to the characters a lot. Eleanor was such an interesting character, but her personality and her relationship with Hick felt told rather than shown. I really hoped for more glamour and more political drama.

The book spends pages and pages on Hick’s childhood and teenage years, but it all felt sensationalized and not entirely true either. The entire circus part was not something I could find about her when doing a quick research, and I would much rather have had more of the book dedicated to the Depression and to Eleanor’s political career.

All in all, while an interesting book, I was hoping for something different, and it failed to wow me.

Review: Tangerine, by Christine Mangan

tangerine christine manganRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Mystery, Historical Fiction

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In Tangerine, Alice is unhappy with her life in Tangier, Morocco. The beautiful, warm city cannot seem to let her breathe and she loathes to leave her flat – but the arrival of her old friend Lucy is about to change all of this, although perhaps not for the better.

This is a very atmospheric, glamorous read, one of those books set in the suffocating heat that make you feel suffocated, too. I didn’t know what to think of this book in the beginning, the plot and writing style giving off vibes of The Talented Mr. RipleyBased on a True Story and Bitter Orange, so it did not feel original. The plot twists were not difficult to foresee either and, although entertaining, I did not think the book was particularly unique or excellent. Continue reading

eARC Review: The Fever King, by Victoria Lee

the fever king victoria lee

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult, LGBT+

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I have received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Fever King is the story of Noam, the son of two refugees who’s trying to keep what is left of his family together. When he’s struck with magic virus, a sickness that has wiped out most of the previously-US population, he’s the only survivor and wakes up in a mass of dead bodies. But now that Noam has survived magic, he has a power of his own – a rare, powerful magic that the government wants to use. Continue reading

eARC Review: What If It’s Us, by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

what if its us becky albertalli adam silvera Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

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I have received this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Receiving this eARC by the wonderful authors of Love, Simon and They Both Die At The End was absolutely awesome and I was so excited to read this!

This is the story of Arthur and Ben, who briefly meet at a post station, but… they never exchange contact information. If the universe wants them to meet again, it will need to be with a little push of themselves. But finding each other in New York city won’t be easy… Continue reading