A Dowry of Blood by S. T. Gibson

This book reimagines the lives of Dracula’s brides, and tells the story from their perspective. Reminiscent of a love letter from the past, the language and imagery is dark and hauntingly beautiful.

Part 1 is eerily relevant reading during this pandemic. “Plaugetime is different. It stretches and looms.” When she talks about the ways the plague affected their community, I was reminded of the current Coronacirus epidemic and I felt more connected to history. “The world we had all known, it seemed, was drawing to a close.” Pandemics are nothing new: humans have been surviving deadly epidemics for centuries. And we always manage to come together to fight the problem as one collective group, overcome the hardships we face, and ultimately survive.

“Those years are a dark smear across my memory, everything feels blurry and hollow. Plague drains not only victims, but while cities of life. It freezes trade, decays parishes, forbids lovemaking, turns childbearing into a dance with death. Most of all, it steals time.”

Continue reading

Cazadora by Romina Garber

The Cazadora cover, featuring a girl, Manu, being split in two by her inner wolf. Manu's hair grows into wild foliage, all set against a bloodred background.

If you enjoy magical realism, you will love Romina Garber’s newest book in the Wolves of No World series. Netgalley gifted me a free e-ARC of the sequel, Cazadora, and I was so excited to jump in and finish the series! In the follow-up to Lobizona, Romina Garber continues to weave Argentine folklore and real-world issues into a haunting, fantastical, and romantic story that will reunite readers with Manu and her friends as they continue to fight for a better future.

“That’s why every new generation makes improvements.”

First of all, I love that this book was filled with Spanish aphorisms and phrases, and includes vocabulary in-context to help teach Spanish to non-speakers. As someone who is constantly trying to improve my Spanish, this is something I really appreciate seeing in new books. Garber does it well, allowing the reader to infer meaning from context clues without needing to use a translator. However, I can also really appreciate having the translation dictionary available if I do need it, conveniently built into my e-reader. It saves a lot of time not having to click out of the book, and as a visual learner I enjoy seeing side-by-side translations because it really helps me to understand spelling and pronunciation.

Continue reading

Aridane by Jennifer Saint

54860614. sy475

I am a huge fan of Greek myth retellings so I was really excited to get the chance to read this story. I have seen it around bookstagram and the first thing that drew me to it was the beautiful cover art, but what kept me hooked was the story. Jennifer Saint weaves a wonderful tale full of of heroes and monsters, and brings a new twist to a classic myth. If you thought you knew the whole story, think again. Beautifully written and utterly captivating, Jennifer Saint builds a magical world for the sisters Ariadne and Phaedra to grow and discover themselves.

“To me, running through the maze of my home, it looked like a butterfly. And it was a butterfly I would imagine as I emerged from the dim cocoon of the palace interior to the glorious expanse of the sun-drenched courtyard.”

Retellings of the Greek myths and legends are really popular right now, and Ariadne is a great read for fans of Madeline Miller and Scarlett St. Claire. Most modern myths have many versions and variations, and will pull from various sources like Ovid, Homer, Hesiod, Sophocles. As a lover of Greek mythology, I was interested to see which myths Jennifer Saint would include in the world she created for Ariadne. I was excited to find the author took inspiration from various sources and included many gods and goddesses into the story, all while giving them a modern twist.

Continue reading

Where Hope Comes From

Where Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill | Hachette Books

Suffering is universal. This has been the hard truth for everyone during the past year, when COVID-19 pandemic reached its long arm worldwide. “No human has been left untouched by the devastation and the chaos” felt by the Coronavirus pandemic. As someone who was considered high-risk, Nikita Gill wrote where Hope Comes From to cope with her feelings of uncertainty and loneliness during these unprecedented times.

“I want you to know that no matter what you are going through, no matter how big and deep and painful those feelings are, you are not alone.”

—Nikita Gill

These poems seek to rebuild hope. “I wrote poems, mantras, affirmations, reasons to live”, and they help us to see that we are not alone. Despair can make way for happiness, and beauty can be found In togetherness. By exploring the life and rebirth of stars, Gill found what she was looking for.

Continue reading

Dearly: Poems by Margaret Atwood

IMG_7558I am so excited to have scored this one!!! Isn’t it gorgeous?! A HUGE thank you to @eccobooks at @harpercollins for sending me a free ARC of this new book of poems from the great Margaret Atwood! I have been anticipating the release of this since I heard it was being published and I am so so SO excited for the chance to read and review it early. This title will be released in November, so mark your calendars, Atwood fans!!

Margaret Atwood’s new book of poems is just as amazing as her work in fiction, and reminds us that she is as much a poet as talented novelist. Her simple lines are steeped in meaning and paint a hauntingly fresh view of reality.

dearlyIn Dearly, Atwood’s first collection of poetry in over a decade, she touches on a variety of themes, from love and loss to the passage of time. Some of my favorite verses brought up themes of memory and time, something that Atwood often includes in her writing. Her new poetry is as introspective and personal as ever, but this collection really resonated with me personally. Atwood lost her husband last year after a long fight with dementia. My grandmother was diagnosed with it, and I can understand and relate to the pain of coping when someone you love is starting to forget who you are.

Continue reading

Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic: Moreno-Garcia, Silvia: 9780525620785: Amazon.com: Books

This was a rather disturbing read, to be honest. I think it needs a trigger warning; there is drug use, rape, cults, suicide … but the imagery is beautiful, and the symbolism is on-point. The pictures that Moreno-García paints are stunning, vivid, magical. The world building is beautiful, but the magic system was, admittedly, strange. Even though it was a bit of my comfort zone at times, I really enjoyed the story.

Mexican Gothic takes us back in time to an old-fashioned world, where women are painted as mercurial and melodramatic, and expected to “mind [their] words and learn [their] place”. In an old house darkened by rotting memories, the inhabitants desperately cling to the past. But Noemí Taboada is a modern woman, a bright light, and she will do anything in her power to save her cousin Catalina from wasting away into the darkness. But is she strong enough to save Catalina from the gloom that engulfs High Hill?

Continue reading

Midnight Sun *spoilers ahead*

I saw a lot of opinions on this book, and I had worries going into it, but I honestly thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

First of all, it is fiction. We aren’t vampires, and nothing is perfect. Including Meyer’s writing. But, despite the problems with this series, it was an entertaining story and I had a good time reading it. I loved the nostalgia and the extra detail we got about Edward’s life, and that’s what makes this book a good read. And, even though Edward is a crazy vampire stalker, we know from the original books that Bella truly loved him back. And I just love a good love story!

But there is so much to unpack in this book. Lets get the problematic statements out of the way. Edwards exclusionary “you don’t belong here” comments. His true belief that humans are not “equal” to vampires. The obsessed vampire stalking. None of that behavior is acceptable, and I can understand why there is criticism around this book. But I enjoyed Midnight Sun for what it was, a new chapter to Edward and Bella’s story.

It had a very Anne Rice vibe to the writing style, with all of Edwards inner dialogue. I have seen a lot of criticism around this particular element of the writing, but I totally understood and appreciated the references to Interview With A Vampire.

I am not a super religious person myself, but I found a lot of religious symbolism in Meyer’s writing. She uses light and dark as symbols for good and bad

The very first page of the book brings up the afterlife and sin. So, I was immediately looking for that as I read through the book. I found lots of religious language, and found references to Edward committing basically all of the 7 Deadly Sins throughout the text. I also found Edward asking all of the existential questions that religion(s) attempt to answer.

“She should have died today, Edward.”

So, the vampires are playing God. Saving Bella’s life. Deciding the rapist should go to jail. Carlisle as a doctor, saving human lives, who believes “every life is precious”, pitted against Jasper’s desire to let fate take its natural course. The fact that Carlisle created another vampire like himself at all is drawing a parallel between God the Father and Carlisle the father. “We tried to live to a higher standard. A gentler, more peaceable standard. Because of our father.” What gives him the authority to make these decisions? What even controls destiny, anyway? Continue reading

Lobizona: Undocumented. Unprotected. Unafraid.

51179882. sx318 sy475

If you enjoy magical realism, you will love Romina Garber’s newest book Lobizona. I have seen this title around on bookstagram for a while and the cover is what really drew me in. I absolutely love the art style, but the title seemed really interesting also. I was delighted to find the naked book is just as beautiful as the sleeve!

Romina Garber | Zodiac, Beautiful book covers, Book quotes

Netgalley gifted me a free e-ARC of this title, which I am so grateful for! It allowed me to start reading it, which sucked me in after the first few pages. I got about halfway through on Kindle before deciding to buy the physical copy. For one, I wanted to support this author (I devoured her Zodiac series a few years ago!) and two, I ended up taking a lot of annotations which I wanted to keep. And I bounced back and forth between the e-book and the physical copy; the e-book is amazing for reading in bed, but the physical is better for daytime reading (and is less of a strain on my eyes, TBH.)

“We use magical realism in our daily lives too. Consider our superstitions. We are always willing magic into reality—that’s our way.”

I love that this book was stippled with Spanish aphorisms and phrases, and included an impressive amount of vocabulary in-context to help teach Spanish to non-speakers. As someone who is constantly trying to improve my Spanish, this is something I really appreciate seeing in new books. Garber does it well, allowing the reader to infer meaning from context clues without needing to use a translator. However, I can really appreciate having the translation dictionary available if I do need it, conveniently built into my e-reader. It saves a lot of time not having to click out of the book, and as a visual learner I enjoy seeing side-by-side translations because it really helps me understand spelling and pronunciation. Continue reading

Lore Olympus

Lore Olympus was such amazing comic! My dear friend Ciara recommended this to me, and once I got around to reading it I couldn’t put it down! I bought the last 2 episodes because I had to know what happened. 

IMG_3026

I also took screenshots of all my favorite scenes so I could remember them all. LOL

My favorite characters were Hera (I was surprised by how much I liked Hera!), Hermes, and Hecate as a lawyer! I had NO IDEA Hecate would be in it so much, she is one of the more elusive Greek gods that I would like to know more about. It was very cool to see her have a larger role in the story. Continue reading