Payback’s a Witch – Lana Harper
Witches, sorcerers, magic, competition, LGBTQ+, romance, fiction.
Emmy ran away from Thistle Grove and the witch part of her to find her path and to run away from the heartbreak that had happened. This is all the fault of Gareth who broke her heart and she put a self-exile away from home. However, there is a tournament where she has to be a part of that is tradition. She runs into a familiar face, Talia, who just got her heartbroken. Talia tells Emmy it was Gareth’s fault. The next day she runs into her best friend who’s also got heartbroken by Gareth. Talia proposes an idea to get revenge, the three women that Gareth dated, together with getting revenge. Each of them goes with that idea. As time progresses, Emmy learns that her being away has caused some emotional wreckage with not only her family but with those who loved and cared for her. She also begins to fall for Talia during the tournament. Emmy has to choose her destiny, stay here or leave town again.
I got this book strictly because of booktok. I was curious because of the way that booktok was advertising this book as a witchy queer romance comedy. Let me tell you that booktok was not wrong. This was fun and sweet and insane to read. This had some elements of a slow-burn romance which is good for this type of novel. I loved how all three women ganged up against this one dude which was funny. The author did a great job with the witch lore and some world-building that was like breadcrumbs in the story. Harper wanted the audience to focus on the revenge and the romance part. The lore was simply helping the plot along and it wasn’t too distracting. Each character had and served a purpose for the plot. Highly recommend getting this novel to read. It was fun and romantic to read.
Blood & Honey – Shelby Mahurin
Young adult, witches, witch hunters, romance, fantasy, fiction.
After being reunited, Lou and Reid make a plan. They must stop Lou’s mother from enacting her devious plan. Not only that but the two are being hunted by all in the land. One of the important things they need to do is make and form alliances which isn’t an easy thing given that they are in a dangerous game. Reid is still trying to accept magic into his life for the sake of his wife and to follow his marital duties to stay by Lou’s side. The battle for peace and for love has just begun.
I was waiting a long time for this novel to come out. I had been enthralled by the first book and couldn’t help but wonder about the sequel. This was phenomenally written just like the first book where I was taken on a roller coaster of feelings. I couldn’t help but to try to read this in one sitting because of the way the narrative was written I didn’t want to set this book down not once. I feel for Reid because he was taught to hate witches and magic but he loves this woman who became his wife. I just don’t like some choices that Lou had made that were deeply questionable in this book and I fear for the third book that is coming out later this year. I simply hate the fact that TikTok made me buy the first book and I got so invested in this because the whole trope of witch and witch hunter/ enemies to lovers romance story never got me interested before having read this book. I definitely recommend this series. It is a whole trip and a roller coaster of feels.
Crave – Tracy Wolff
Young adult, supernatural, vampires, dragons, werewolves, witches, fiction.
Grace is arriving to Alaska to a private school her uncle and cousin reside at after losing her parents in a fatal car crash. On day one she is warned by tall, dark, and handsome to stay away from certain people there as well as her cousin. She doesn’t understand besides the fact that there are cliques here too. Her attention is drawn to two boys who have anger towards each other. Jaxon and Flint. Jaxon is the tall dark and handsome that warned her about himself. Flint is much friendlier and kind to Grace. Except when she experiences near death experiences, it is revealed to her that she is surrounded by the supernatural and she herself was supposed to be a witch. She finds herself in a supernatural war.
I had to get this book to understand why the hell is the hype for. I’ve seen this book all over Tik Tok as well as my Instagram feed. I decided to get this book. I understand the hype now. This novel had a lot of Twilight vibes and a few references of the Twilight book. The main character is funny, and I liked her with Flint. I felt that Jaxon felt too much like Edward Cullen and the distasteful character he has immediately made him unlikeable. The fact that Jaxon gave her the Twilight book gave away a lot about his character and it was ironic that he would compare himself to that god awful character. I prefer Flint so yeah. I was shocked by the fact that there was a dragon shifter. That blew my mind and made me love Flint even more. I thought this was going to be a vampire versus wolf shifter but no. The writing was well done, and I liked how chapters were short too. I don’t like chapters that are too long where it’s a snooze fest. I may continue the series in the future but not so sure if I really want to dive into a book series where the protagonist love interest is a duplicate of a Twilight character that I hated a lot. I do recommend this book though.
Part of Your World – Liz Braswell
Disney, The Little Mermaid, witches, mermaids, retelling, mystery, young adult, fiction.
Five years gone since Ariel lost against Ursula. Both her voice and her father, King Triton, are in possession of Ursula due to the contact that Ariel had signed that allowed her three days to be on land but the catch was for that Prince Eric would have to kiss her before the sun sets on the third day and the payment for Ursula’s service was Ariel’s voice. When Ariel returned to the Sea, expecting to be punished, her sisters allowed her to be Queen of the Ocean. Her trusty sidekicks and confidants, Sebastian and Flounder, help Ariel speak to the people of Atlantica. When Ariel receives some news of a bird wanting to speak to Ariel, she investigates this. She finds out that after all this time, her father is in fact alive after all. Ariel must use whatever materials she has to try to save him and get her voice back.
I had put a hold on this book as well as the few others of these twisted tales because I wanted to see how this author really can use these Disney stories and add the twists to them. My thoughts on this book is that I felt that the author did a good job with this one as well as the other two I’ve read so far. I can’t wait to possible find more by this author or just the twisted tale series. I loved this book and this one is my second favorite. The first being Straight On Till Morning. The Little Mermaid was one of my favorite Disney stories and reading this twisted tale was enlightening and gave me thoughts about how if it went that way, would there be more movies, or a television stemmed from this concept? Either way I appreciate and love this novel a lot.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season
of the Witch, A prequel – Sarah Rees Brennan
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Netflix
original, magic, witches, wizards, young adult, fiction.
Sabrina is coming close to her
sixteenth birthday, where she will pledge her soul to the Dark Lord Satan, go
to the Academy of Unseen Arts and become a full pledged witch. However, due to
her mixed blood heritage, being half-mortal is causing her heart strain.
Sabrina loves her mortal friends and wants to be a witch, she must choose one
or the other, not both. She talks to her cousin, Ambrose, about her long-time
best friend now boyfriend about a recent incident, Ambrose suggests a spell
that can prove his love for Sabrina. Sabrina goes for the spell and waits to
see what happens. Suddenly Harvey is head over heels in love with Sabrina and
does multiple acts of love for her as well as following her around and doing
things for her. When Sabrina has had enough, she attempts to reverse the spell
or fix Harvey, this goes dark and wrong.
I am a huge fan of the Netflix series,
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and found myself drawn to the chilling aspect of
the show for sure. Also, the plot line as well. I had originally saw this book
on the Target shelf and was contemplating to purchase right away or not. I had
decided to wait. The next day, however, I went to a library I hadn’t visited in
a while and saw this book on the shelf, tis was fate for me to borrow this book.
I am glad to have read this. This novel stuck with the lore of the show
completely and was well thought into. I was amazed of how much was packed into
such a small book. I legitimately read this novel in just a day, not only
because this was a small book, but the fact is that this was a page turner and
couldn’t get enough of the story. I recommend this novel and the show on
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Year Four – J.K.
Fantasy, witches, wizards, schools, England.
Harry Potter is invited to the Quidditch World Cup
with the Weasleys as well as stay there for the rest of the summer and go to school
from there. After attending the event, trouble comes Harry’s way, death eaters
come to terrorize and left them all traumatized slightly. Time to return to
Hogwarts for Year Four and this year is different than the last. It is the
Triwizard Tournament. Three schools: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, Durmstrang, three
students: One from each school, three tasks, one victor. However, the Triwizard Cup chose two champions
from Hogwarts, Cedric Diggory and Harry Potter. Now Harry Potter will have to
try to survive each task, but the question remains. Who put his name into the
Triwizard cup? Who ever had done it wanted Harry dead? In the first task, its
against a dragon and the goal is to retrieve the golden egg that contains a
hint as to what the next task is. An unexpected task happens, and it is the
Yule Ball. It ends in heart break and friends not speaking with each other. In
the second task, the victors must retrieve what or whom was taken from. Harry
nearly survives the murderous mermaids and other water creatures. It’s the
third task now that involves a maze. A very dangerous maze. After Harry and
Cedric grab the cup, they are transported to a graveyard. Cedric is killed and
Harry comes face to face with a resurrected Lord Voldemort. He also nearly
escapes from him and wins the Triwizard Tournament. No one believes him that
Lord Voldemort is back.
I really love this novel a lot because it has so much
excitement. There are dragons and mermaids and mazes plus some other events
like a Yule Ball that made me feel so bad for Hermione. She secretly hoped that
Ron had asked her, and he didn’t at all. I had always thought that Ron and
Hermione had a crush on each other from day one. There are other plot twists
that weren’t expected as well as some comedic scenes by the Weasley twins. I
highly recommend giving this book a read for sure because its detailed and fun
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Year Three –
wizards, schools, England.
After surviving his second year at Hogwarts, Harry
Potter dreaded summers now. Only because he can’t work on his magic and studies
due to his muggle family, the Dursleys. It wasn’t as dreadful as last summer
though because he was able to get letters from his friends as well as manage to
sneak doing magic and studies. His uncle, Vernon, shares news of his sister,
Marge, is coming to visit and Harry is not happy about it. When Marge shows up,
she talks trash talk about Harry’s parents and Harry blew her up, into a
balloon! Harry packs his stuff right away and takes the Knight Bus away. He
stays at a hotel where he is greeted by the Weasleys and Hermione. He learns of
a wizard named Sirius Black is on the loose and hears that Black is his god
parent as well as possibly Black being responsible for betraying his parents. Tables
had turned and it was the new professor, Lupin, to tell Harry the truth of who
betrayed his parents. It was Peter Pettigrew who betrayed Lily and James Potter
as well as work for Lord Voldemort. Peter manages to escape as a rat and Black
is meant to be taken back to Hogwarts. Harry learns that Lupin is a werewolf
and had barely escaped him. However, using Hermione’s time turner, they save
Black and the hippogriff Buckbeak.
This book wasn’t exactly my favorite in the series,
but I did enjoy this novel, nonetheless. I have to say that there were some
good qualities of this book and I prefer the movie, just this once. It was a
nice change not having to hear about Lord Voldemort. My new favorite characters
had to be Sirius and Lupin. Both misunderstood in their own ways. Lupin being a
werewolf and Sirius being framed for a crime he did not commit at all.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Year Two –
wizards, schools, England.
Harry Potter had returned to the Dursleys after his
first year of school at Hogwarts. It had been very eventful for Harry. He
gained actual friends. Made it into the Quidditch team. Survived his near-death
encounter with Lord Voldemort. However, when it came to his birthday, he hadn’t
gotten any letters from anyone. When a house elf, Dobby, turns up on his bed,
Dobby confessed what he had done to Harry for a good reason. Harry was to not
return to Hogwarts due to impending doom that was to be unleashed at the
school. Harry disagrees and continues to want to go to school so Dobby got him
into trouble with the Dursleys. Vernon locks Harry into his bedroom and puts
bars on his window. Unknowingly that later Ron and his brothers would come
rescue Harry. Only barely starting year two, something sinister has been
happening in Hogwarts. A petrified cat and some students turn up as well as a
disturbing message that the heir of Slytherin returned to Hogwarts to open the
Chamber of Secrets and the evil inside unleashed on mud-bloods. Ginny, Ron’s
little sister disappeared and its up to Harry to find her and bring her back
safely. Harry encounters Tom Riddle who had been using a diary to speak to
Ginny to do terrible deeds. Tom plans to use her body to become his true self,
Lord Voldemort. Harry must stop the basilisk. With the help of a phoenix, a
sorting hat, and the Sword of Grodrick Gryffindor, he kills the basilisk and
the diary. He saves Ginny and Hogwarts as well, becoming a hero again.
Well this book had scared the shit out of me in my
younger years, but I did enjoy this book as much as I had with the first. After
this book I was wanting to continue to follow Harry’s journey to survival at
Hogwarts and all his adventures. My heart ached for Harry and I deeply had wished
he had a normal wizard life without ever encountering Lord Voldemort ever but
that is the whole basis of the entire book series. I got a bit too far with
myself there. Anyways I feel like this shouldn’t be just a children’s book. It
is a genre that seems mutual enough for all ages to read.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Year One– J.K.
wizards, schools, England.
Harry Potter, who survived a killing curse that was
performed by Lord Voldemort, was orphaned and given to his neglectful magic
hating family, the Dursleys. One day Harry receives a letter from Hogwarts and
meets Hagrid, the Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts. Harry befriends Ron and slowly
Hermione as well. Harry became the Gryffindor’s Seeker due to an unexpected
incident that proved his greatness on the broom as well as catching a ball
while on the broom. Together, on Halloween, defeat a Troll that was loose in the
dungeons. Someone took control of Harry’s broomstick nearly accosting him his
life. Later the trio hears that there is a giant dog hiding something, so they
go investigate it. Some research later about Nicholas Flamel, they realize what
it is that the school is protecting. The trio got caught sneaking after dark
and had to serve detention. Wanting to see what the three headed dog was hiding
the trio go. After some trials, Harry meets Professor Quirrell at the end of
the maze that was set up to protect the Sorcerer’s Stone. Except it isn’t just
Quirrell, Lord Voldemort is a nasty leech off the bald head of the professor.
They duel and Voldemort loses. At the end, when the school year is all done and
over with, Harry had gained new friends and a drive to go back to Hogwarts to
be away from the terrible Dursleys.
I had recently found the entire hard copy set of all
the Harry Potter books that were in excellent condition. I wanted to relive the
whole journey as well as go down memory lane by rereading from Year One to Year
Seven. This was the book series that got me started to wanting to read in the
first place. The wonderful adventure of the trio first forming in this book
does hint that in the rest of the books that they would be best friends until
the end. That is ultimate friendship goals! As an adult reflecting about twelve
years since I have read the entire series, I found myself finding little lines
and such that I hadn’t noticed before. I relived that spark of passion to read
and I was so emotional when I finished the first time, I read this book and
wanted to read the rest. I highly recommend to read all the Harry Potter books
because the movies don’t do the books justice. This book is for all ages.
A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness
Witches, vampires, demons, drama, romance, fiction, science,
Diana Bishop, a bright and intelligent young scholar who
had renounced the witch ancestry she has, studies at Oxford in the Bodleian
Library. Diana comes across an alchemical manuscript that immediately has
witches, demons, and vampires desiring for the lost text. Mathew Clairmont
comes into her life wanting to know more too and gets involved with Diana
Bishop in more ways than one. Mathew not only protects her but slowly he falls
for her. Even though she is a witch by blood and him being a vampire. Everything
is at stake to protect her and the lost manuscript text. Mathew and Diana grow
a relationship as well as understanding the manuscript then go on an adventure
into the past.
This book was a cliff hanger but it’s the first book in its series. Other than that it was satisfyingly good. Not much other to say about this book. It does have all the elements I look for when wanting to read a book except for the romance. Still not big on romance novels. Only saw this book for the magic, science, and mythological creatures such as vampires, demons, and witches.
Harkness, Deborah E. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Triology #1). Viking, 2011.