☁️ Hi, guys! I hope you’re having an incredible day full of good readings and beautiful moments!❤️ Thank you, thank you, thank you for always being there for me, you’re just wonderful. 🥺 Today I come with a double review of two ARCs that I was really excited about, but while I enjoy one of them not so much the other one, so we’ll have a lot to talk about today. As always, I’m extremely grateful to the publishers and ARCs programs such as NetGalley & Edelweiss+ for giving me the possibility of reading these books and being able to share my thoughts freely. 🥰
One of these books is a new book in a series that I love with my heart, which is always surrounded by magic, a unique writing style, and diverse characters & on the other hand we have a new author for me, in what I think it’s her debut book, a solid promise but kind of poor execution, we’ll talk more about it. 🙌🏻
I hope you enjoy the reviews and that you decide to share your thoughts with me in the comments, you know I LOVE knowing what you think about these new releases! 🌻 Without further ado, this will be an interesting post… so LET’S GET STARTED! ☁️
A young girl discovers a portal to a land filled with centaurs and unicorns in Seanan McGuire’s Across the Green Grass Fields, a standalone tale in the Hugo and Nebula Award-wining Wayward Children series.
“Welcome to the Hooflands. We’re happy to have you, even if you being here means something’s coming.”
Regan loves, and is loved, though her school-friend situation has become complicated, of late.
When she suddenly finds herself thrust through a doorway that asks her to “Be Sure” before swallowing her whole, Regan must learn to live in a world filled with centaurs, kelpies, and other magical equines―a world that expects its human visitors to step up and be heroes.
But after embracing her time with the herd, Regan discovers that not all forms of heroism are equal, and not all quests are as they seem…
| Goodreads |
I want to thank NetGalley & Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Again, these author’s stories don’t cease to amaze me and make me have an incredible time, I liked this book, I don’t think it’s my favorite, that will always be the fourth book for me, but still, I really enjoy its whimsical and inclusive style.
In this story we follow Regan, a little girl who’s facing many changes in her life, discovering more about herself as well as having a difficult time with her friends at school. But while she’s trying to deal with all that, she finds a door on the way to her home, a door that asks her to “Be Sure” before crossing it, and once she does everything changes for her since she finds herself in a magical world where she meets all kinds of magical equines, from centaurs to kelpies. And in her magical journey, Regan will discover that there are many ways to become a hero and the true meaning of destiny.
The message behind the story is extremely beautiful, I like how real things are discussed and it’s combined with highly magical environments, I think that in some way it makes that symbolism behind the message even more meaningful and has more impact when reading it. This story is beautifully written and we see how this little girl questions many things about herself as a person and also about the people around her. Watching her grow up was very interesting, and although I didn’t have a strong connection with Regan, I don’t think she was a bad character at all. On the other hand, I think the book needs a little more depth in other aspects that are also important, such as the magical world as a whole.
I’ve seen that in general people who have already read this book have this thought, that the book should have focused more on the fantasy world instead of lengthening the moments in the real world for so long, on the other hand, although I do share this point of view, I think what happens in the real world was wonderful, I think having a whole book just about a girl learning that she’s an intersex person and seeing how this affects or changes in some way her perspective on the world would seem extremely interesting to me since it’s not something that’s seen much within the genre. So, for my part, I loved the first part of the real world, and although there’s a bit of girl group drama and toxic friendships, I think it’s interesting to explore it to give more depth to the character.
The world of Hooflands, which is where Regan is transported, is extremely beautiful, and it doesn’t surprise me because the author never disappoints with her ideas to create new worlds. Although doesn’t take much time to describe everything because it’s a very short book, it still feels very vivid and dynamic, I enjoyed meeting the creatures that inhabit as well as their customs and lifestyles . There are many aspects of it that are very original and fun to read. This little novel has also made me laugh so that’s always something super positive, especially due to the honest personalities that the inhabitants of this fantasy land have.
The characters were good, I think they’re “real” enough but without having that impact that makes you feel like they cut through the story, I think that factor is one of my least favorites in the book. Although I did like Regan as a character, I don’t think she’s THAT amazing like I thought she will be. There are some interesting and fun characters in Hooflands, but none that really stands out this time, and I’m so sorry for that!!
The author’s writing style is always a delight to my eyes and that’s why I’ll continue to read her books forever. There’s something about her style that resonates a lot with my soul, and I love to read what comes out of her mind, she’s an extremely unique author.
So basically, I liked the book, I think it’s a great job and I’m sure that if you like horses and fantastic equine creatures then this is probably going to be a fave for you, on the other hand, I could recommend it anyway to others people who enjoy short stories with interesting plots and lots of diversity. I also think it has very nice descriptions, but I have to warn that the ending isn’t one of my favorites, I felt it superficial and kind of rushed, but that, of course, is just my personal opinion, so I hope you decide to give the series a chance if still, you haven’t done it because it’s a jewel!! On the other hand, you can also read this book easily as a standalone.
In the wake of sudden tragedy, twin sisters uncover a secret that rips open their world. Katherine Rothschild explores the pain and power of forgiveness in a stunning debut novel that will shatter your heart and piece it back together, one truth at a time.
Sixteen-year-old Sabine Braxton doesn’t have much in common with her identical twin, Blythe. When their father dies from an unexpected illness, each copes with the loss in her own way—Sabine by “poeting” (an uncontrollable quirk of bursting into poetry at inappropriate moments) and Blythe by obsessing over getting into MIT, their father’s alma mater. Neither can offer each other much support . . . at least not until their emotionally detached mother moves them into a ramshackle Bay Area mansion owned by a stranger named Charlie.
Soon, the sisters unite in a mission to figure out who Charlie is and why he seems to know everything about them. They quickly make a life-changing discovery: their father died of an HIV- related infection, Charlie was his lover, and their mother knows the whole story. The revelation unravels Sabine’s world, while practical Blythe seems to take everything in stride. Once again at odds with her sister, Sabine chooses to learn all she can about the father she never knew. Ultimately, she must decide if she can embrace his last wish for their family legacy—along with forgiveness.
| Goodreads |
I want to thank NetGalley & Soho Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I appreciate so much many of the discussions that this book has and tries to have, as well as the amount of diversity since it shows polyamorous relationships and bisexual characters, on the other hand, the execution doesn’t seem to be successful, it felt quite messy and the actions of the characters are simply rude and inappropriate. I cannot speak for own-voices readers so I will not, I will just give my opinion as always from my point of view when reading the book, which doesn’t represent the whole truth.
In this story, we follow the identical twin sisters Sabine & Blythe, and we see them go through difficult times after the death of their father, each trying to handle the loss as much as possible. But everything begins to change when her mother decides to move into a Bay Area mansion owned by a man named Charlie. The girls embark on this mission to discover who this mysterious man really is, who seems to know everything about them and that’s how they discover that Charlie was their father’s boyfriend and her mother seems to know everything about it. As the sisters try to assimilate this new information, Sabine decides to learn everything she can about this side of her father that she didn’t know and must decide if she decided to embrace the last legacy of her last wish for her family legacy.
I think the idea of this book is SO solid and so interesting, just by reading the synopsis you can realize that there are thousands of paths that the author may have decided to take on such an intense plot, but the one that was taken and how it was executed didn’t work for me. I do appreciate the representations even though I feel that there’s perhaps a bit of a stereotype regarding bisexuality, I cannot speak for own-voices readers, but I needed to convey this as I wouldn’t want any of my beloved bisexual readers to feel hurt when encountering situations inappropriate perhaps in this book. The discussion of polyamory is interesting, yet the last word will always be for those who can really see themselves reflected in the story. There are a couple of twists that didn’t quite convince me, as well as the choices the characters took, especially Sabine, didn’t resonate with me. I can’t give too many details because of spoilers, but I think sometimes her POVs and her pain lead her to say painful things or to make harsh and hasty decisions. It’s not my character style at all.
This book discusses HIV, a highly sensitive subject that must be treated with the respect it deserves, so I think it’s interesting to note that it’s one of the topics to be discussed in the book and that it’s discussed due to the weight it has
The romance shown in this book is a complete disaster, I don’t want to delve too deeply into this topic, as I don’t really have anything positive to share, but basically, I think the characters are both too annoying and pretentious, and I also think that there’s no chemistry between any of them, to be honest.
I think that one of the weakest points of the book is that I think I’ve understood the message that the author wants to convey with it, but at the same time, I don’t think it has been successful. In fact, from my point of view, Sabine’s character doesn’t learn anything, and I think showing growth in the main character is important, so having a character that is literally the same at the end as when it started is tiring and disappointing. One would expect a maturation in her character due to all the situations she has to face, and I understand that she can be somewhat cruel at the beginning because I can come to understand that in her ignorance she doesn’t understand when she’s being hurtful, and although I see her questioning things, I don’t see her learning from her mistakes. If you have a character who must learn from her mistakes because she simply doesn’t have good or positive actions towards those things in which she has excelled in the past, it doesn’t serve me to have a character that questions things in her mind but doesn’t transform them into actions, you know? There’s SO MUCH more that could have been done with such a rich plot idea, I’m sad to say, but I think it lost track of the true meaning of this story, or at least what I understood the ending might have been.
I felt absolutely tired of the attitudes of the characters, especially of Sabina, who has a very particular way of showing that something matters to her, her emotions are always transformed into rebellious and selfish actions. I didn’t like this character, and you know that when that happens to me in such a strong way, I usually cannot fully enjoy the intensity of the book.
To end with something positive about the book, I can say that the writing style is very beautiful, I don’t know if I want to read more of the author, being honest because I don’t know if her stories and her creations would resonate with me, but I do believe that her future stories can be recommended since their style has a very special tone.
I’m so sorry to have brought you a more negative than positive review but you know that no matter what I’ll always be honest with you regarding my feelings and thoughts. I want to clarify that the fact that I didn’t like it, doesn’t mean that you cannot like it, but as a reader, I couldn’t recommend it, there’s a lot to work on in terms of misplaced stereotypes, to work on those characters, especially on their growth and maturation throughout the story & last but not least, needs more work in terms of direction and impact. I was looking for a lot when I get into this book, and I absolutely adore the cover as well as the author’s style, but it just didn’t work for me.
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