Review: House of Earth and Blood (#1) by Sarah J Maas

44793977

Goodreads | Waterstones

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

Argh. I want to equally hug this and throw it across the room. I really liked this one, but sadly it ended up being my least favourite Sarah J Maas book so far (and now I’ve read all of them!). I don’t often find that her books feel long, but this one did. This took me almost 2 weeks to read and I struggled to want to pick it up, which I found so sad after managing to read A Court of Silver Flames in a couple of days and not wanting to put it down.

However, after spending the first half feeling like it was a little bit of a slog, the second half picked up so much and I absolutely loved it. It took me so long to feel like I was totally into the story, but I did feel completely different about the second half to the first. I think part of this is because this is the first Sarah J Maas book I’ve read that has an urban setting rather than a more medieval feeling setting. I just didn’t expect to have phones, TV and all other modern technology and it did really throw me at first.

Through love,

There was still a lot I loved in this book, including the characters. Although it took me a while to start rooting for them, I did really love them and reading about the slow burn romance we had throughout. On that note, I must admit the sexual tension in this book made me want to throw it against a wall sometimes, but I have heard that Crescent City 2 is meant to be the smuttiest yet! Which I’m not sure how I feel about, as I found A Court of Silver Flames had so much smut that it took away from the plot. Argh, we’ll see how it is!

I also love (and feel like Sarah J Maas does this really well) how grief and mental health shines through in Bryce’s character. I feel like we don’t often see mental health issues reflected in fantasy and it’s something that makes the characters feel so much more real and relatable. This also made me feel like my heart was being stomped all over in the final pages and I was so nervous about what was happening to them!

 all is possible.

Although this is my least favourite Sarah J Maas book so far, I did still really enjoy it and I’m so excited for the second book which comes out in February 2022!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

54860443

Goodreads | Waterstones

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

I think I’ve finally found it. Between The House in the Cerulean Sea and One Last Stop and Afterlove, I think I’ve finally found my favourite type of book. It’s the magical realism, the found family, the tragedy, the rip-your-heart-out-and-put-it-back-together-again type of book. It’s pure magic.

Put simply, I loved One Last Stop. It perfectly portrayed all of the things I have recently discovered I love about books. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and heartwarming all in one. It had a delightful mixture of strength and love and found family. A mixture of loneliness and togetherness. Of finding others but also yourself. I’m so glad I read it.

But, you know, that feeling? When you wake up in the morning and you have somebody to think about?

I both listened to and read One Last Stop, and I loved both experiences. I enjoyed Casey Mcquiston’s writing a lot more in this one than in Red, White and Royal Blue, and I found it translated to audio really well. The narrator was wonderful and perfectly portrayed the wittiness, love and hope of August’s story. Some of my favourite books have been read with a mixture of audio and physical reading, and this one was no different.

I loved August and Jane and the whole diverse cast of characters surrounding them. August felt vulnerable and real but I also found her really likable, and Jane was so easy to fall for through August’s eyes. I also loved how Jane gave us insight into the past, giving us a way to discuss LGBTQIA+ rights throughout history, and how that feels. I absolutely adored the entire cast of characters, especially the found-family in August’s flatmates and their friends. All of the characters had their own depth and backstories, conflicts and interests. They felt authentic and lovely.

Somewhere for hope to go? It’s good. Even when it’s bad, it’s good.

The thing I loved most was the impossibility, or at least improbability, of this book. It meant that truly anything could have happened, and this book could have gone down many different roads. It left me reeling with emotion but also feeling like my heart had been slowly pieced back together. I rooted for August and Jane every step of the way and I certainly won’t forget them in a hurry!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

45047384. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

How do you even begin to review a book that stole your heart, ripped it to pieces and put it back together again? This book was a total and utter rollercoaster, and I adored it. It made me laugh out loud and it made me sob. It made me angry and it made me smile quietly to myself. It gave me everything I could ever want from a book.

Linus Baker leads a quiet life that he fully believes he is satisfied with – until he is sent on an assignment to a children’s home full of magical youth on an island far away. The lives of Linus and these children hold so many secrets, so much love and friendship and magic. This is found family to the highest degree, and I adored it.

Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. 

The writing is just absolutely breathtaking. I listened to this partly on audiobook and read it partly in physical format and I loved the writing both ways. It was so beautiful, lyrical and poetic. The dialogue is beautiful and although would be far fetched and unrealistic in any other book, it fits perfectly with these characters. And the characters, ah the characters are really what makes this book.

They are all so individual and impossible not to love. There is something magical about these children that teach everybody around them about compassion, hope and understanding. This story carries so many important messages that will leave every reader full of hope and an unexplainable, undeniable warmth. I spent the last 20 or so pages of this book sobbing because I just needed everything to be okay.

You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as your remember you’re not alone, you will overcome.

This book is like a warm hug, a blanket wrapped around your shoulders on the coldest day. It is absolutely delightful, full of characters that will steal your heart and an island that you won’t help but fall in love with. It is the ultimate comfort read and I know it will be one I don’t forget in a hurry. A new favourite of all time and possibly my favourite book of 2021 so far.

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: The Sad Ghost Club by Lize Meddings

55214376. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Ever felt anxious or alone? Like you don’t belong anywhere? Like you’re almost… invisible? Find your kindred spirits at The Sad Ghost Club.
This is the story of one of those days – a day so bad you can barely get out of bed, when it’s a struggle to leave the house, and when you do, you wish you hadn’t. But even the worst of days can surprise you. When one sad ghost, lost and alone at a crowded party, spies another sad ghost across the room, they decide to leave together. What happens next changes everything. Because that night they start the The Sad Ghost Club – a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don’t belong.

This book is like a warm hug. It was so pure and honest and I just absolutely loved it. I picked this graphic novel up a while ago as I kept seeing recommendations for it, and finally decided to read it in one sitting. The illustrations were so beautiful and fit this story perfectly, they felt so soft and gentle. The main character is such an honest and heartwarming focus for the book and I feel like their story is such a beautiful one. The depiction of anxiety, depression and loneliness felt so visceral and honest, and I definitely related to how deflated the ghost felt.

I feel like this is the kind of book you can’t help but rate 5 stars, simply for the amount of people this book will help. For all the people who won’t feel quite so alone by reading it.

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Afterlove by Tanya Byrne

48656848. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Ash Persaud is about to become a reaper in the afterlife, but she is determined to see her first love Poppy Morgan again, the only thing that separates them is death.
Car headlights.
The last thing Ash hears is the snap of breaking glass as the windscreen hits her and breaks into a million pieces like stars.
But she made it, she’s still here. Or is she?
This New Year’s Eve, Ash is gets an RSVP from the afterlife she can’t decline: to join a clan of fierce girl reapers who take the souls of the city’s dead to await their fate.
But Ash can’t forget her first love, Poppy, and she will do anything to see her again… even if it means they only get a few more days together. Dead or alive…

Thank you to the publisher, Hodder, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

I don’t know what I expected going into this book, because even though there is a lot in the synopsis, it still managed to lull me into a false sense of security. This book is an utter emotional rollercoaster and it threw me multiple times. This follows Ash and her relationship with Poppy, which was an absolute joy to read about and reminded me of my own relationship with my boyfriend and when we first got together.

However it didn’t take long for Byrne to steal my heart and stomp all over it. After being lulled into this lovely story of these two girls falling in love, Ash dies. And I knew this from the synopsis, but I still felt it like a punch in the gut. This book did such an amazing job at describing exactly how disorientated Ash feels as she is thrown into this new afterlife as a reaper, and I felt every little thing alongside her.

This book was full of heartwarming scenes, friendship and of course romance, but also made me cry and made my heart hurt. This was such a beautiful love story with a twist, and quickly became a new favourite book. Ash and Poppy stole my heart and although their romance is a little insta-love, I just couldn’t help but adore it. I also really enjoyed reading about Ash as a reaper and I feel like she finds an amazing found-family with some great characters which I loved.

This book also discussed some very important subjects throughout such as grief, coming out and family. I also just couldn’t put this down and read the entire (almost 400 page) book in basically one sitting. I had to know what was going to happen at the end of this book and to these characters. I also read this one with Courtney and we both really enjoyed it.

Overall this book is definitely a new favourite. I just fell for these characters in a way I didn’t expect and I know their story will stay with me for a long time to come.

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

50999975. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Olivia is an expert at falling in love . . . and at being dumped. But after the fallout from her last breakup has left her an outcast at school and at home, she’s determined to turn over a new leaf. A crush-free weekend at Farmland Music and Arts Festival with her best friend is just what she needs to get her mind off the senior year that awaits her.
Toni is one week away from starting college, and it’s the last place she wants to be. Unsure about who she wants to become and still reeling in the wake of the loss of her musician-turned-roadie father, she’s heading back to the music festival that changed his life in hopes that following in his footsteps will help her find her own way forward.
When the two arrive at Farmland, the last thing they expect is to realize that they’ll need to join forces in order to get what they’re searching for out of the weekend. As they work together, the festival becomes so much more complicated than they bargained for, and Olivia and Toni will find that they need each other, and music, more than they ever could have imagined.

Thank you to the publisher, Scholastic for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked You Should See Me in a Crown and I was super excited to receive a copy of Leah’s newest book from the publisher! In this book we follow Olivia and Toni, two best friends who are heading to a music festival. They have an agreement to have a crush free, drama free weekend at Farmland music festival, but things are never that easy, are they?

I really enjoyed this and I feel like it captured the essence of a music festival so well. Olivia’s love for music really shone through and gave me the vibes I was looking for. I love how many subplots we had throughout that were also intertwined in the music festival idea itself, and it made for a very fast paced read!

Somewhere in the light-years of space between the spiritual and the scientific, 

I read this book in less than a day, starting it one evening and finishing it late the next morning. Although this book isn’t particularly short, I found it so easy to read and didn’t want to put it down. I just wanted to know which way the plot was going to go and I had no idea exactly what the end of this book looked like. The chapters being from both characters also made this a really quick and easy read – although I don’t remember much of Toni’s story, I’ll admit!

I did like the characters but Olivia’s character did knock half a star off my rating because I just found her very annoying. Although I did appreciate how real her actions and mistakes were, I just found the way she acted throughout highly impulsive, immature and grated on me. I overlooked this for the most part and did manage to largely ignore it, but it did ever so slightly impact my thoughts and feelings.

between the known and the ineffable, there’s live music.

I loved how this book discussed friendship, grief, relationships and being true to yourself. I also loved the importance of music that shone through and I felt like the friendship group had a found family feeling, which I enjoyed a lot.

★★★★★
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Stacking the Shelves #53

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought or received this week. Find out more and join in here!

Hi all! I had a little less self control this week, but I did only buy 2 books and the rest on here were very kindly gifted to me!

Gifted

58271406. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Redemptor was gifted to me by the lovely publishers and I am in love with this cover and the colours. I haven’t read Raybearer yet, but I thought having the second one would push me to finally pick up the first too!

38731087. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown – Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover’s paradise? Well, almost …
In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

My lovely friend and colleague Jo gave me a couple of books she no longer wanted, including this one that I keep being recommended to because of being a bookseller myself!

50523477. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.
Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.
But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire. 

Jo also very kindly gifted me a copy of The Jasmine Throne, which I really like the look of.

56251143. sy475

Goodreads | Waterstones

Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well.
But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’s pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

This one is definitely the one I am most grateful for this week – the publisher, Hodder, sent me a proof of Once Upon a Broken Heart and I was SO excited to unwrap it! This is a continuation from the Caraval series and I absolutely love Stephanie Garber’s writing and can’t wait to dive into this one.

Bought

19186317

Goodreads | Waterstones

You are about to discover the secrets of The Quick –
But first, reader, you must travel to Victorian England, and there, in the wilds of Yorkshire, meet a brother and sister alone in the world, a pair bound by tragedy. You will, in time, enter the rooms of London’s mysterious Aegolius Club – a society of the richest, most powerful men in England. And at some point – we cannot say when – these worlds will collide. 
It is then, and only then, that a new world emerges, a world of romance, adventure and the most delicious of horrors – and the secrets of The Quick are revealed.

And onto the books I bought – first we have The Quick by Lauren Owen, which me and a few friends are planning on buddy reading in September.

51813582

Goodreads | Waterstones

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom – and vengeance.
Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.
Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain – except the lengths they will go to win this game.

I also preordered a few upcoming releases and added this one to my order as I’ve been wanting to pick it up for a while now! Isn’t this cover just stunning?

Which books did you buy or receive this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll

A Kind of Spark: Exclusive Edition (Paperback)

Goodreads | Waterstones

A Kind of Spark tells the story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie knows there’s more to the story of these ‘witches’, just like there is more to hers.
Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her, and make her voice heard? A story about friendship, courage and self-belief, perfect for fans of The Goldfish Boy, Addie’s story was born from Elle’s own experiences of neurodiversity and her commitment to seeing greater representation in children’s books

Elle McNicoll strikes again (or maybe she did with Show Us Who You Are, but I read them the other way around)! Ever since I read Show Us Who You Are and it absolutely blew me away, I knew I needed to pick this up. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I fell in love with this book almost immediately, and Addie made for an amazing main character.

Addie is 11 years old and is autistic. She is struggling in school with an unkind teacher and trying to fight for something really important to her. I love how honest this book is and how much this book discusses autism and all of the things that come with being autistic. Although the same for Cora in Show Us Who You Are, I feel like Addie touches more on things like stimming, masking and generally day to day life as an autistic child. I really loved the transparency this offers to the reader and how much insight we have about Addie’s life.

Someone being autistic is the same as being left-handed or color blind.

Although this book does focus a lot on Addie’s autism, we also have an exciting plot about Addie finding out about the witch trials that took place in her village. Following her grow in courage throughout this plot was so heartwarming, and I just wanted to cheer her on from the sidelines throughout. I felt everything so viscerally, and I found myself tingling all over in the last few pages.

The writing was so easy to follow and tackles difficult subjects so well. I can only imagine how accessible this book is for children and I really admire how Elle writes. I read this with Courtney and we both read it in one sitting together! The characters were also so likable and Addie’s family especially were just so heartwarming to read about. Addie’s older sister, Keedie, is also autistic and I feel like having another autistic character that Addie feels completely herself around added such a lovely layer to the story. I also really enjoyed reading about Keedie’s life in university and her own experiences of masking.

It means we all experience the world differently.

This is a book that every child needs to read. I have no doubts that it will make autistic children feel so seen, but will also teach so many children empathy for those around them. It is a lesson for us all about kindness, empathy, understanding and compassion. I adored it.

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

40161902

Goodreads | Waterstones

When a mysterious sailor dies in sinister circumstances at the Admiral Benbow inn, young Jim Hawkins stumbles across a treasure map among the dead man’s possessions. But Jim soon becomes only too aware that he is not the only one who knows of the map’s existence, and his bravery and cunning are tested to the full when, with his friends Squire Trelawney and Dr Livesey, he sets sail in the Hispaniola to track down the treasure. With its swift-moving plot and memorably drawn characters – Blind Pew and Black Dog, the castaway Ben Gunn and the charming but dangerous Long John Silver – Stevenson’s tale of pirates, treachery and heroism was an immediate success when it was first published in 1883 and has retained its place as one of the greatest of all adventure stories.

There was a lot I liked about this book. I found from the very start this one made for the perfect adventure story and I really liked the feeling of it. I read this on audiobook and this one was published by Recorded Books, who I’ve found I really like for classics because the narrators tend to actually sing the songs in the books I’ve listened to so far. That felt like such a big thing in this book because it has such an iconic song (quoted in this post).

Fifteen men on the Dead Man’s Chest Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

I did find myself switching off a little from the audiobook depending on what I was doing, and I did feel a bit of disconnect with this book. I think this was slightly due to me, and partly due to the book itself. I just found this a little boring in places and found that I didn’t care much about where the plot was heading.

However, when I did find myself focusing on this book properly I enjoyed it. It felt like such a great pirate adventure book and the setting was very entertaining – I’m not usually one for pirate/books set on the sea, but I liked this one.

Drink and the devil had done for the rest Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

If I did end up ever so slightly regretting reading the audiobook because I have noticed that my Wordsworth copy is illustrated, so if I do ever reread this one I would like to pick up my physical copy!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Amari and the Night Brothers (#1) by B.B. Alston

53240817

Goodreads | Waterstones

Amari Peters knows three things.
Her big brother Quinton has gone missing.
No one will talk about it.
His mysterious job holds the secret . . .
So when Amari gets an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain this is her chance to find Quinton. But first she has to get her head around the new world of the Bureau, where mermaids, aliens and magicians are real, and her roommate is a weredragon.
Amari must compete against kids who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives, and when each trainee is awarded a special supernatural talent, Amari is given an illegal talent – one that the Bureau views as dangerous.
With an evil magician threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is the enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton . . .

Thank you to Egmont books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was such a fantastic middle grade book filled with magic and wonder. It follows Amari Peters, who is a young Black girl with a missing older brother. She finds out early in the story that her brother belonged to a top-secret magical organisation, and that she has a chance to attend the same magic school her older brother did.

I love how this book tackles subjects such as race and class from the first chapter, and also introduces the topics in a way very accessible to young readers. I feel like so many people will relate to Amari as a main character and it’s so lovely to see more diverse main characters. Amari faces all kinds of oppression throughout this book and is still such a brave, confident and strong female protagonist – we need more people like her in middle grade!

You’re not going to change the world 

This is the kind of middle grade that everyone will find enjoyment in. I found it so easy to read and loved the action, and I feel like children will find it so fun and entertaining. Despite being quite a long middle grade at almost 400 pages, this doesn’t feel like a long book at all as it’s a very quick one to get through with constant action and change in pace. There are so many different ways this story could go, and I’m excited to see where this series will head.

I love how this book tackles some harder topics without feeling like it is trying to combat them. These topics were woven in very naturally and will be brilliant for younger readers. This book was also so jam packed with magic and uses some great fantasy tropes we know really well to create a fresh and interesting story.

unless you hang with people who want to change the world too.

Overall, I can’t wait to see where this series goes and I loved the introduction to Amari – I think she’s going to be such an important protagonist but also has such an entertaining story!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere