“Damsel” by Elana K. Arnold | A Fairy Tale With Teeth



The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.

However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her. 

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Rating: ♡♡♡ 1/2

We’ve all heard the same story dozens of times throughout our childhood. A dashing prince. A terrifying dragon to slay. And of course, to complete the tale, a beautiful damsel in need of rescue.

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“Bright We Burn” by Kiersten White | A Beautiful, Blood Soaked (And Tear-Drenched) Conclusion

↪ this review contains spoilers for AID and NIR, also probably contains tears and incoherent screaming so sorry in advance I guess

This was a bittersweet ending to a gorgeously written saga. I think about the characters and I just feel like draping myself dramatically over the bed and sobbing, Disney princess style. I mean, I’m still mentally on the floor weeping right now over a jar of peanut butter because I can’t handle that this is the LAST BOOK AND I NEED MORE.

And I Darken: ✦✦✦✦✦

Now I Rise: ✦✦✦✦✦

Bright We Burn: ✦✦✦✦✧

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My Top 5 Fave YA Side Characters Who Are #TPFTW (aka Too Precious For This World)

I have an enormous soft spot for side characters. They’re often so underrated but I LOVE THEM.

Obviously a book revolves around its protagonists, but side characters offer new perspectives and are key to propelling the story forward. Plus they’re fabulous for the entertainment value! I mean, some side characters have such a larger-than-life personality that the author feels compelled to continue their journey in a spin-off series (I’m looking @ you King of Scars ;)).

So to celebrate the value of supporting characters, I’m going to highlight some of my absolute favorites! These will all be in bullet points because why not  and also I’m too lazy to write complete, coherent sentences.

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“Heart of Thorns” by Bree Barton | Witchcraft + Women!

Rating: 1/2

We are magicians because of our suffering. A woman’s body can survive only so much abuse before our very blood and bones rise up in revolt.

Witches who can snuff out life with the slightest whisper of a touch. Ancient, glorious, forbidden magic. Cruel kings and a vicious palace filled with pawns. What more could I ask for in a book? 

(Turns out, a lot of things.)

Alas, the promising synopsis—and, may I add, the absolutely breathtaking cover—failed to truly deliver. Heart of Thorns was disappointingly mediocre, and my overall experience with it can be summed up with a simple yet quite pertinent phrase: been there, read that.

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“Grace and Fury” by Tracy Banghart | On Sisterhood, Girlpower + Dismantling the Patriarchy



In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace – someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

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Rating: 1/2

Nomi has committed a terrible, unforgivable, inexcusable crime, on the scale of theft or arson or possibly even murder. In the eyes of society, she is now tainted, the lowest of the low, beyond saving. And the crime? She had the audacity to learn how to read.

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