Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Want to Read

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme:  

Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To (Submitted by Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse)

  1. Diana Gabaldon- the “Outlander” series
  2. Sabaa Tahir- “Ember in the Ashes”
  3. Deborah Harkness- “A Discovery of Witches”
  4. Holly Black- “The Cruel Prince”
  5. Sasha Alsberg- “Breaking Time”
  6. Holly Jackson- “A Good Girls Guide to Murder”
  7. Tracy Deonn- “Legendborn”
  8. Kiera Cass- the “Selection” series
  9. Nicholas Sparks- romance books
  10. Katie Quinn- “The Diamond Eye”

Link your own post below or tell me who you want to read!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

The Sequels are Always Better: Kingdom of Flesh and Fire Review

The Book:

Title: A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Blood and Ash #2

Published September 1st 2020 by Blue Box Press

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult

Pages: 637

A Betrayal…

Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice…

Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…

But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.” -Goodreads

My Review:

*Spoilers for the first book most likely*

This book was everything!

I did not like From Blood and Ash. The writing was sloppy and I had way too many questions and it angered me.

But, in this book, it all came together. The writing became more concrete and defined. I understood more about the creatures in this world. We got a map in this novel. The worldbuilding was way more in-depth in this book.

The romance was amazing. It was kind of lovers to enemies to lovers and I loved it. Casteel and Poppy’s romance was unique. They were so frustrating, but the frustration is all a part of the fun.

The world became a four-dimensional world. I felt like it was paper-thin and not super defined in the last book. In this one, I felt like I understood the history and the layout of the world a lot better.

I will say that this critique of it is not very developed in the last book could be because Poppy does not know much about the world around her. We do not get some information because she is not supposed to know that information. I did think the way it was written was confusing though.

This book had a better structure. I hated how the last book had no time jumps unless someone fell asleep. In this book, we speed through unnecessary events a lot faster.

I also was in shock over the ending. I have the next book, but I have not started reading it because I want my genuine reaction to the book.

I love the turn this book has taken. I have gotten more invested and am ready to see where this goes.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Haul

Alas, my post-Christmas book buying ban has ended. I wanted it to last another month, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy these books.

I had gift cards and I wanted to buy a Barnes and Nobles membership, so I bought four books and a membership last week.

The first book I bought, I finished reading last week and I was amazed. I just posted a review of that book so go check it out. I also bought the author’s other two books. I am also very excited to be getting the last book since I am trying to have a more diverse bookshelf.

The books I bought are:

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

“All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.” –Goodreads

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

“The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.” -Goodreads

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Every enchantment has a price.

With a flick of her paintbrush, Isobel creates stunning portraits for a dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. These immortal creatures cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and they trade valuable enchantments for Isobel’s paintings. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—Isobel makes a deadly mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes, a weakness that could cost him his throne, and even his life.

Furious, Rook spirits Isobel away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously amiss in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending upon each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, perhaps even love . . . a forbidden emotion that would violate the fair folks’ ruthless laws, rendering both their lives forfeit. What force could Isobel’s paintings conjure that is powerful enough to defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts?

Isobel and Rook journey along a knife-edge in a lush world where beauty masks corruption and the cost of survival might be more frightening than death itself.” –Goodreads

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

“After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.” –Goodreads

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Once Upon a Broken Heart: A Cute Novel with Surprising Adventure

The Book:

Title: Once Upon a Broken Heart

Author: Stephanie Garber

Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1

Published September 28th 2021 by Flatiron Books

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Pages: 408

“For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy….” -Goodreads

My Review:

Once again, Stephanie Garber has one my heart. The Caraval series was beautiful and then this book, in the same universe and my favorite character, was magical.

Garber’s writing is significantly improved in this book. Caraval was a little choppy and less descriptive. This book had amazing descriptions and was less choppy.

The main character in this book was stunning. I want to dye my hair rose gold to match Ms. Evageline Fox. I think we are very similar in character. We try to do the right thing and are hopeless romantics. She believes in fairytales and wants to be the hero. I adore her.

Jacks, oh my Jacks, has been a naughty little boy, but how can you blame the Prince of Hearts. I wished the ending was a bit different for him, but we will see how it plays out in the sequel.

Since this takes place in an empire previously described in the Caraval series, we do not need a lot of world-building upfront which was nice to get the right pacing in the book. When we do have a change of scenery, we get the world-building while still being able to keep up with the story.

This book makes this Caraval universe become three-dimensional. Caraval and the others would have half-explained government systems, landmarks, and just general setting ideas. This book exceeded the last book, explaining the Meridian Empire and the Northern Empire so much more.

This book was honestly magical. My last thing to say is to Stephanie Garber. Please, please, and please finish and publish the next one already. I want more of Jacks!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My 2021 Books:

This year I read 64 books. This was a huge accomplishment. I am so excited to be able to publish this list as a post.

I keep a list of the book I read as a page on my blog, but now this list must go to make room for my 2022 list.

I did not want this list to go away, so I have decided to post the list.

Also, I wanted to give a big thank you to everyone who follows my blog and who likes and comments. I appreciate everyone and cant wait to see where this blog goes in the next year.

Book I Read:

  • Empire of Storm by Sarah J. Maas
  • Lucy by Jamacia Kincaid
  • What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera 
  • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  • Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
  • We a BaddDDD People by Sonia Sanchez
  • Love Poems by Sonia Sanchez
  • homegirls and handgrenades by Sonia Sanchez
  • Into the Wild by John Krakauer
  • Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
  • Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • And I Darken by Kiersten White
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  • Legendary by Stephanie Garber
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  • Sensational: The Hidden History of America’s “Girl Stunt Reporters” by Kim Todd
  • Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon
  • The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic
  • The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  • Fence: Striking Distance by Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
  • The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith
  • White Magic by Elissa Washuta
  • The Glamourist by Luanne G. Smith
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
  • You’re So Dead by Ash Parsons
  • The Conjurer by Luanne G. Smith
  • Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, etc.
  • Finale by Stephanie Garber
  • Barbarian Alien by Ruby Dixon
  • She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen
  • The Diabolic by S.J Kincaid
  • Layla by Colleen Hoover
  • The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry
  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
  • The Vanishing Stairs by Maureen Johnson
  • The Hand of the Wall by Maureen Johnson
  • From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Arementrout
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • American Animals by Eric Borsuk
  • The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms
  • The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms
  • A Veil of Truth and Trickery by Analeigh Ford
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  • Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
  • City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
  • Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
  • The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
  • Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
  • Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
  • Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe
  • Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

The City of Ashes

So besides the sister/brother romance, everything about this book is superb.

The Book:

Goodreads

Title: The City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments #2

Published September 1st 2015 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published March 25th 2008)

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Pages: 455

“Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil—and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings—and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.” -Goodreads

My Review:

Cassandra Clare wrote horribly in the first book, City of Bones. She wrote writing that I could only describe as fanfiction writing. In this book though, she seems to have a grip on her fanfiction descriptions and reigns it into more professional and exquisite writing.

This is really shown off in the third book, but we are not talking about that yet.

Near the end of the book, the story sucked me in and I could not put it down. I finished the book in two days. I started to read the next one and devoured that as well.

The fighting scenes are so good. The little twists and turns are so good. The descriptions of the world are so vibrant. I can envision everything so well.

The humor in this series is the best. The witty comments are cheesy, but I appreciate them. They are actually funny, unlike other fantasy books.

The one thing I hate about this book is the romance. Ugh, I want to barf. If you don’t know, (spoilers for the rest of the paragraph) the main character and the main love interests are brother and sister for this book. It irks me because the romance could be so great, but now it is just tainted.

Other than that, this book is really good. I am enjoying The Mortal Instruments.

The next book is so much better than all the others. I cannot wait to finish it and put up my review.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Have you read this book? Let me know down below!

A Late Post of a Black Friday Haul

For a class this quarter, I had to create a blog. For this blog, I wrote out my Black Friday post, where I showed off the books I bought on Black Friday.

I wanted to report my original post here, and here is the link to the original post. I will probably not post on that blog anymore, but I did like this post.

Here it is:

“The day after Thanksgiving is a time to relax after the huge meal, spend some quality time with family, and, the most important part, shopping!

My boyfriend and I went to the Olympia Mall on Black Friday to shop the deals. I went to stores like Bath and Body Works, Earthbound Co., and Old Navy. However, my favorite place I shopped was not at the mall, Barnes & Noble.

I spent more on books there than on my other purchases combined. I bought a few for their sale and then a few signed books.

1. Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

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This was the main reason I went to the store. Aveyard is one of my favorite authors. She has been posting about picking up copies of her book this week and I knew I had to get one. I thought that the store would run out since I was going later on in the day, but they had three left in stock!

2. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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Do I already own this book? Yes.

Did I still buy the signed copy of it? Yes!

I read this book for the first time when I was thirteen and it was honestly a game-changer. The twist at the end was so unexpected. I am so happy I got a signed version.

3. Anyway the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell

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I love Rainbow Rowell. Her books have always had a special place in my heart. I was so excited I could nab another one, with her signature! I now own a signed book by Rainbow Rowell. How cool!

4. Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

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This book I, unfortunately, did not find a signed copy. I did get a killer deal on it being half-off though. I was so happy. I am excited to read this one, but I do not have high hopes since I did not think Garber’s other series, ‘Caraval,’ was super riveting. I have heard more positive things about this book though.

5. The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

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I have heard amazing things about this book. My mom tried to buy it for me for Christmas but she could not find it. I thought my Christmas list was going to go unfulfilled, but I spotted the copy from across the room. I ran to it and this book ended my shopping in-store.

Online, I bought a few more books that I have not gotten yet:

  • Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton
  • Here’s to Us by Becky Abertalli and Adam Silvera (Signed) (Preorder)
  • Galant by V.E Schwab (Signed) (Preorder)

I spent a lot of money, but I am so happy with all of my purchases.”

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme:

Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

  1. The Harry Potter Series J.K Rowling
  2. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas-specifically the first first three books
  3. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  5. Paper Towns by John Green
  6. Heartless by Marissa Meyers
  7. Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  8. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  10. the sun and her flowers by rupi kaur

Let me know down below what books you would put on this list or link your own TTT post in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

An ACOTAR Christmas Special

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1

Published May 1st 2018 by Bloomsbury YA

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance, Novella

Pages: 229

Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and, with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated—scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their court.

Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this wondrous tale of hope and promise picks up after A Court of Wings and Ruin and sets the stage for the thrilling events in the future books.” -Goodreads

My Review:

So did anyone else reading this read it as a Christmas special?

This book basically picks up after the third book. And it was basically a Christmas special but in book form.

In the novella of the Throne of Glass series, Maas wrote back stories for Aelin and Celeana. This novella was a Christmas special. I guess you could say I was just quite a bit surprised. It was a different change. I guess I do not know what I expected.

It was a cute little story though. I have been on a romance kick, if you have been seeing my Goodreads shelves updating or reading my reviews. So this is just one of many romance books I will be reviewing. I finished it in one day. It was a cute little book to read and to get me back in the physical book reading mood (before this I did a lot of Kindle and audiobook reading).

It started to introduce the new little love triangle between Elain and Azriel. I know the Gwen is not introduced in this book, but this is the start of Az and Elain’s little romance. I am not sure how I feel about it just yet. I know that a lot of BookTok and BookTwit don’t like them. I am really not sure how I feel. I do really like the fanart for Gwen and Azriel I have seen though. I have yet to purchase ACOSF, so the wait for my opinions on the remaining canon plot is yet to be had.

Feyre and Rhysand seem to be recovering after the War. Obviously they are not healed but they do seem to help work through that. So far, Rhysand has helped her through so much. You can see Feyre’s healing in the end of this. She is returning to herself pre-Under the Mountain. This series is really cool because you can see how far she has come from the beginning of the series.

One thing that bothers me a bit about this series is how Feyre is seemingly becoming a housewife. I understand that, yes, in this book there is not fight to be had and she does have to rule her Court. I feel as though she does sit out of a lot of fights. She is less of a bad*ss (not offense).

This is a contrast to Aelin in Throne of Glass. It is hard for me to love Feyre and this series as much as I loved Throne of Glass. I loved Throne of Glass because it shattered those gender stereotypes for me. The MC could still be an assassin, ruthless in everyway, and still love to wear fancy clothes and get dressed up. I thought it was an important lesson. Also, Throne of Glass emphasizes that Aelin can save herself most of the time. ACOTAR seems like she needed a man to save her in every bad living situation.

I hate to bash on it, but it is true.

I did enjoy getting to see the other character’s POVs. I hope to see more of them in other books. (Again, still haven’t read ACOSF so I don’t know if it has them or not.) I liked Cassian’s POVs the best probably. I think he is my favorite side character so far. He just is such a fun and loyal guy.

Nesta in this book made me mad. But I understand why she acts the way she acts, mostly. She is traumatized and in pain. I feel like her being with her sister, at least Elain for the solstice would help her. But hey, I am not a licensed therapist so I have no real authority over others emotions.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I can not wait to read the other books. I chuckled all day over this book because it felt like a Christmas special. Out of everything, I have never read a Christmas special to a book series before. Is this a real thing?

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.8

Add a Little Bit of Magic…

Title: White Magic

Author: Elissa Washuta

Published April 27th 2021 by Tin House Books

Genre: Essays, Non-fiction, Feminism

Pages: 432

“Throughout her life, Elissa Washuta has been surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, “starter witch kits” of sage, rose quartz, and tarot cards packaged together in paper and plastic. Following a decade of abuse, addiction, PTSD, and heavy-duty drug treatment for a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, she felt drawn to the real spirits and powers her dispossessed and discarded ancestors knew, while she undertook necessary work to find love and meaning.

In this collection of intertwined essays, she writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch. She interlaces stories from her forebears with cultural artifacts from her own life—Twin Peaks, the Oregon Trail II video game, a Claymation Satan, a YouTube video of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham—to explore questions of cultural inheritance and the particular danger, as a Native woman, of relaxing into romantic love under colonial rule.” –Goodreads

My Review:

If you know me, I do not read a lot of non-fiction. But my super great reader friend had this book with her when we went out to read once. I asked her about it and instantly I was intrigued. It is about Elissa Washuta, a Cowlitz woman. The Cowlitz tribe is a tribe from my home state and the tribe of the aforementioned friend. So I ran to the Barnes and Nobles and picked it up.

First off, this book was amazing. The writing was spectacular. The design of the book was beautiful.

But I just didn’t get it.

Like the ending wasn’t a clear cut answer to any of her questions. The reader was left at the ending with the same feeling of despair and dissolution as the author was at the end of her essays.

I really liked it, but also really liked it. As a fiction reader, I am so used to stories with tied up endings. But this had ended with the authors feelings when she decided to finish the story.

It reminded me of the Bo Burnham Inside special. It was a lot of upbeat(sorta) moments in the beginning and than slowly spirals into all out despair and desolation.

We, as readers, saw the murky insides of Washuta and her feelings as she combats her feelings about life and her relationship with her ex-boyfriend.

I think it was a super raw and emotional book. I should warn people that there are a lot of triggers in this book. There is talk of r*pe, abuse, racism, alcoholism, and other things. I definitely had to put it down a few times because of how heavy the topics were. It is still really eye-opening for people who do not struggle with some of these issues.

Along with the heavy topics, Washuta adds in pieces of Native culture like lore and stories about her ancestors. This illuminated some of the Native history in my own home state which is lacking in most formal education systems.

I really liked meeting Elissa Washuta through the pages. I found some of the stories she told to be relatable. It illuminated some things about my own life, past and present, that I decided I needed to change or became grateful for the change. I am pretty sure this book is the reason I reach out to my therapist again.

Please go check this book out. It is important to me to support Native culture and Native authors. I think this book deserves a lot of recognition.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4.0