Category: magical realism

Something’s Not Right Book Review

Author: Yves

Rating: 5/5

This is the biggest surprise of my reading year so far! All I knew about Something’s Not Right was that it’s a collection of magical realism/speculative fiction short stories. What amazed me the most is actually how short these short stories were! Some were less than 3 pages but still packed such emotional and narrative substance. The first story had me utterly hooked into this writer’s imagination – I wish I could take a journey inside their mind just to be able to see the world how they do.

I cannot commend this author enough. Even though we only witness snapshots into these characters, I became so quickly attached to them! They were expertly and genuinely crafted. The voices and grammatical persons were suited to each story, with a mix of 1st, 2nd and 3rd persons as well as just colloquial dialogue. Some authors struggle to write in one voice, let alone dozens! Finally, the world-building for each story was so smooth and natural that I hadn’t noticed how much information I’d swallowed since it was so seamlessly embedded.

Of course, I had some favourites. don’t feel guilty was so deliciously obscure and ominous; I loved the narrators voice here especially since it was so natural and real, yet still decorative. theoretical robots and the dynamic of love also sticks out in my mind for its exploration of emotion. It had a nostalgic and bitter-sweet ending, which I loved. Another gem was gold-based offerings; I loved the narrator and the cunning cheek of the love interest. My ultimate favourite had to be the butcher, but I can’t explain why! Maybe it was the combination of beauty and darkness.

So if you couldn’t tell already, I loved this book.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo Review

Title: The Deepest Roots

Author: Miranda Asebedo

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Magical Realism

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

I found this book through a book recommendation list, and it had been sitting in my library stack for a while. Once I realized that I couldn’t renew it anymore, I put it at the top of my stack, starting it as soon as I finished Soulstealer. I was even more excited when the author began to follow me on Instagram; unfortunately, I couldn’t get a picture, because I had to return both it and Soulstealer back to the library before I could get decent lighting. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this book was a great reminder of how much I love the magical realism subgenre. Quickly paced, beautifully written, suspenseful and more than a little haunting, The Deepest Roots is one of my favorite books of 2018, and I can’t wait for more from this talented debut author!

Cottonwood Hollow, Kansas, is a strange place, some say even cursed. For the past one hundred years, each girl born in its boundaries has been gifted with a special, unique talent. Best friends Rome, Lux, and Mercy all have similar talents, but most of the time, they feel like curses. Rome is a Fixer, but being able to fix the things she touches won’t help her mom out with the climbing bills, and she refuses to confide in Lux and Mercy about what’s going on at home. But it turns out Rome isn’t the only one hiding secrets behind closed doors, for Lux’s home life is crumbling, even as she struggles to stay strong.  But an even more pressing mystery begins to mount: Why are the young women in Cottonwood Hollow cursed? What caused it? Finding the answers she craves just might mean risking everything, even her closest friends.

               This book was such a lovely surprise! It kind of was a mashup, for me, of Practical Magic and The Goonies, though that sounds like a really weird comparison. The writing was sparse but beautiful, and I was immediately entranced by the stark beauty of Cottonwood Hollow. The pacing was breakneck, and Rome’s voice was hypnotic and wry and quick to the point. I really liked the way that the town’s powers were incorporated into the story; it tied really well together. But my favorite part of the book was the close, tender friendship of Rome, Lux, and Mercy; all three girls were different, but I feel like they really complemented each other with their individual character traits. I also enjoyed the other characters, especially Red, Rome’s mother, Jett, and Mercy’s tightknit, loving family. At times, all of the different characters were difficult to follow, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. My favorite part was the mystery of it all, trying to figure out just what was going on in the strange little town of Cottonwood Hollow. I really liked the ending, also; it really tied everything else together. The Deepest Roots is a heartfelt, tender and beautifully written exploration of friendship, family, and being comfortable with yourself, even when it seems the odds are stacked against you. The bottom line: Dark, true, beautifully written, and heartfelt, I loved The Deepest Roots, and I can’t wait for more from this promising, talented debut author! Next on deck: Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-deepest-roots-by-miranda-abesedo.html

The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Laven…

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Author: Leslye Walton

Rating: 5/5

Buy: Amazon UK

         Amazon US

Wow. Another all-time favourite for sure! The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender is such a whimsical and tragic, yet still gorgeous, tale about a girl born with wings, how that came to be, and all the beauty and sorrow it comes with.

The factor that puts this book over the majority of other magical realism novels is the writing style. It was sumptuous and metaphorical, yet still gives the reader a clear image of Ava and the world around her. More than clear, in fact. It’s colourful and vibrant and lavish and everything I love in literature.

And yet, somehow, the author creates such believable characters and story lines that feel so real! Utterly human characters are placed next to fantastical ones until you don’t see why they should ever be separated. 

There are very real issues tackled in this novel too – mental health, grief, love and loss, sexual abuse – and, although they aren’t always directly addressed, they described in a way so raw it was almost brutal. I will stick a trigger warning for sexual assault here because, although it isn’t an overly-detailed description, it’s ruthless and a little disturbing even to someone like me, who isn’t usually psychologically affected by what happens in a book.

Still, I recommend this book so so highly – it may be in my top 10 favourites of all time!

Holiday reads off to a whimsical start with th…

Holiday reads off to a whimsical start with this, I adored this book so much!

All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater: undefined

Currently Reading: All the Crooked Saints by M…

Currently Reading: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater! I just finished Hit last night (thank the universe), and this has a week before it goes back. I just started it, and it hasn’t completely won me over, but I’m definitely intrigued. Saints! Magic! Family! Beautiful prose! Mysteries! I’m really excited to see where the rest of this book leads. Besides, if Maggie has her name on it, I’m gonna read it. Plus, look at that mysterious, beautiful cover! What are you guys currently reading this week?

The Accident Season Book Review

Author: Moira Fowley-Doyle

Rating: 4.25/5

This book was very odd, to say the least! As someone who enjoys cryptic and unusual writing styles, I loved the way this story was told – but I do understand why audiences found it a bit too confusing. The author speaks a lot in metaphors, but sometimes the metaphors get so intense that you aren’t sure whether they actually are metaphors. 

Unknowing is a reoccurring theme in this novel. Whilst some reviews that I’ve seen claim that the twist was obvious, I didn’t see it coming from a mile away! It creates a very intriguing contrast between magical realism, paranormal and psychological thriller. 

The characters though… I’m not sure if I hated them or loved them in a strange, twisted way. Although at some times they can be rather un-relatable (which can make a book quite unsatisfying), there were some moments where I wanted to cry for them. By the end, all the characters were very raw and real. 

Definitely one for the Halloween season (the novel is set in October too!). But not one for the close-minded, shall we say. I really recommend reading this one over a short period of time too – it was much more enjoyable when I didn’t take a break.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle Review

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle Review

(Not my photo!) Currently Reading: Everyone We’ve Been by Sarah…

(Not my photo!) Currently Reading: Everyone We’ve Been by Sarah Everett! This is my book club’s pick for August, and to be honest, I’m not really sure that I’m feeling it. I love that the main character is a POC and a musician, but the writing style is weird and the plot is strange? I don’t know, maybe I’m in a reading slump? I’m not sure, but I guess we’ll see. Book club is on Thursday, and I’m hoping to finish it by then. What are you guys currently reading this week?

Currently Reading: The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy! I…

Currently Reading: The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy! I started this book on the third, a little bit after I basked in my emotions and feels after the emotional, romantic roller coaster ride that is When Dimple Met Rishi. My heart! The romantic in me just melted at that book. It felt like getting a warm hug! I’m more than halfway through The Disappearances, and I’m really enjoying it! It’s kind of like magical realism and historical fiction had a baby, with some mysterious folks and supernatural elements thrown in. I really like the prose, and I like the creepy, Stephen King tone I’m getting from the town of Sterling. Shout out to my local library for hooking me up! What are you guys reading this week?