Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Big thanks to the publishers for these copies!

Pub Date: 8-15-23
Adult - Fantasy

Thornhedge- T. Kingfisher: When Toadling was born, she was taken from her parents in the human world and whisked away to faerie land. She grew up among the warm waters of the land, safe and loved by her new family. She was never treated differently and even picked up bits of magic throughout the years. One day, a mighty goddess appears and tells Toadling she must leave her home to get an education. Soon, Toadling gets sent back to her family home to bestow a gift of protection on a newborn child, but something goes wrong. Now, centuries later, a knight fond of legends comes to break the curse on the fair maiden trapped in slumber, but Toadling will do whatever it takes to ensure that doesn't happen.

Can T. Kingfisher reimagine every fairytale? I loved how she took the story of Sleeping Beauty and flipped it on its head. I adored Toadling. She was kind and selfless, and I wanted to protect her at all costs. I admired her dedication to doing the right thing even when everything was against her. Since this is a Kingfisher book, you know you're in for some weirdness, and I enjoyed how she created this faerie world that felt so different from other books. The little family that Toadling forms there is so sweet, and you feel how much they all love one another. I liked the changeling aspect and the earnest, awkward knight full of good intentions. Everything about this was whimsically dark and reminiscent of Nettle and Bone, and I enjoyed every moment.

Rating: 4/5

Pub Date: 8-15-23
YA - Horror

Holly Horror- Michelle Jabès Corpora: After her parent's divorce and leaving everything she knew behind to move to Ravenglass, Massachusetts, Evie Archer is ready for a fresh start. But when Evie pulls up to their new home--dubbed by the locals as the Horror House-- Evie quickly realizes that won't be the case. The house carries a dark past, including the mysterious disappearance of one of Evie's family members. Soon Evie begins to see strange shadows and can feel her life getting taken over by something sinister. The more Evie learns about the house and the ghosts attached to it, the harder it gets to distinguish what's real and what isn't. Can Evie uncover the truth about her new home, or is the past doomed to repeat itself?

I love a good haunted house story, so I was excited to pick this up. It felt like hearing something skittering in the dark behind you, but seeing nothing when you turn to look. There was this sense of creeping terror throughout, and some moments did freak me out (I'll always find old Victorian dolls creepy as hell.) I liked learning about the history of Hobbie House and how it tied into Evie's family. I found it interesting how Evie can glean the otherworldly, and I hope we dive into that more going forward. The plot felt rushed toward the end, and I didn't love how abrupt the ending felt, but I may still be interested enough to pick up the next book.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 8-15-23
YA - Horror

The Last Girls Standing- Jennifer Dugan: Sloan was looking forward to her spending her summer vacation working as a camp counselor far away from her overbearing mother. There she met Cherry, and the pair instantly hit it off, flirting and talking late into the night. But soon, Sloan's carefree summer turned into tragedy when the camp was attacked by masked men with machetes, killing everyone but her and Cherry. Now, months later, Sloan and Cherry are bonded by trauma, but as new information starts coming to light, Sloan can't help but wonder if Cherry is hiding something. The more Cherry tries to prove her innocence, the less Sloan believes her. As Sloan's hazy memories slowly creep back in, will she discover that her girlfriend is a victim or the perpetrator?

After reading the synopsis, I was ready for a fun summer camp slasher, but that isn't what I got. The events take place after the massacre, and you're left sorting out the details of what happened along with Sloan. You quickly realize that she isn't the most reliable of narrators, so you don't know what to believe. I appreciate the attempt to make this a twisty, psychological thriller, but the whole thing needed work. The plot itself was just too messy. Some twists didn't make sense and left so many unanswered questions. The pacing was also super clunky and not engaging. I could look past all that if the characters were amazing, but oof. Sloan and Cherry were the definitions of toxic. Their relationship was so unhealthy. I had high hopes for this one, but sadly, it didn't deliver.

Rating: 2/5


  1. I cannot wait to read Thornhedge! My copy is coming from the UK so I feel like I'll be waiting a while unfortunately!

    1. The UK copy is beautiful so it's definitely worth the wait! Hope you like it!


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