The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh – Possible TBR
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.
When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.
Might be an unpopular opinion but I’m so ready for vampires to make a comeback, especially for spooky season. The only reason I’m iffy about going all in for The Beautiful is because of the iffy reviews I’ve read. That’s me saying nicely that I haven’t found a positive review. No one I’ve discussed it with has liked it. Vampires don’t even make an appearance until the last third of the book. If that’s the main issue though is it really an issue? I’ve loved Ahdieh’s writing in the past and feel like she might deserve a chance and me not just following the judgement of others. If you have a positive review of this book please link it below in the comments, I’d love to hear from those that enjoyed it.
Heart of the Moors by Holly Black – 5/5 Rating
From New York Times bestselling author Holly Black comes a captivating original novel set between Disney’s Maleficent and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, in which newly-queened Aurora struggles to be the best leader to both the humans and Fair Folk under her reign; her beau, Prince Phillip, longs to get to know Aurora and her kingdom better; and Maleficent has trouble letting go of the past.
Well that synopsis leaves something to be desired right? I’ve got to say I really enjoyed this book though. While Holly Black may no be my favorite person at the moment, she sure knows how to write. Into the Moors combines her usual faerie mischief with the Sleeping Beauty story we all know and love. It had my full attention and I actually finished it in one sitting. I’ve linked my full review in the title above if you’re interested!
The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive.
Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her.
Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him.
Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself.
And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge.
Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other.
This book was probably my biggest disappointment this year. I loved Christo’s debut novel To Kill a Kingdom and was really looking forward to her follow-up novel. I ended up adding it to my September DNF pile. I had such hard time connecting to the characters and even kept mixing two of them up. I made it 40% in, realized I didn’t care, and decided life was too short to read books I don’t like. My full thoughts on the 40% I made it through are linked in the title above and include the other two books I just could not make it through last month.
Our Year in Love and Parties by Karen Hattrup – 1/5 Rating
Tucker knows that some relationships take work. With his best friend, Bobby, and his mom, everything is simple, steady. His dad, on the other hand, seems to only show up when he wants to bring Tucker down. Then there’s Erika Green, who comes back into his life, stirring up old feelings. A small part of him knows he shouldn’t get too attached during senior year. But a bigger part doesn’t want her to disappear again.
Erika from before the video loved to shock people. Now, she just wants to hole up in her quiet college life and leave the past where it belongs—in a dumpster fire. But then she reconnects with Tucker Campanelli. Erika can’t explain what it is about him. There’s just this undeniable connection between them, and she really doesn’t want to lose that feeling. Not yet.
I read this book over the Summer and was not too impressed with it. Instead of following the MC’s over a period of time, we instead jump around to major events or “parties” that happen in their lives over a few years. This made it really hard to connect to either Tucker or Erika which was unfortunate because I liked Erika and was interested in her story. Either the time period of the entire novel needed to be shortened to get all the in-between party moments, or it just needed to be a longer novel. Full review is linked in the title above.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – Preordered
Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?
Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.
Ninth House is not a Teen & YA novel, but is Leigh Bardugo’s debut into Adult. It has a ton of content warnings along with trigger warnings. Research this before buying this book just because Bardugo’s name is on the cover. That being said I preordered a Waterstones edition of this book months ago and am super excited to finally be able to read this one. It’s just the spooky kick off I need to start Fall. I might even have to pick up a Barnes & Noble edition of it just so I can start reading it right away.