They Mostly Come Out At Night by Benedict Patrick

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4stars

Title: They Mostly Come Out At Night
Author: Benedict Patrick
Series: Yarnsworld #1
Number of pages: 200 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The twists left me speechless. Also the cover is gorgeous!
Bad things about this book: The first half is maybe a little bit slow but it doesn’t take long for it to change.
Do I recommend it? Yes, and also the other books of Yarnsworld even if I haven’t read them yet.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This book really surprised me. At first I got often angry, then I was certain some things were going to have the obvious outcome, then they didn’t and I enjoyed the second half of the book a lot more and got into the story with a newly found awe. Long story short, I couldn’t put it down; luckily it is a short book.

We have two parallel stories: on one side there is Lonan, the outcast of a little village, hated by everyone because of a misunderstanding. On the other side there is Adahy, the Magpie prince, then King of the corvae people, who has the duty to protect the villagers from the monsters that come out at night. How does their separate story come together? Lonan dreams of the magpie prince, he sees through his eyes; everything that Adahy sees, Lonan sees.

Lonan knows of new dangers but can’t tell anyone without looking like someone who has lost their mind. He is already hated and seen with disgust by the one he loves so he doesn’t want to add this new peculiarity to the already messy mix.

Everyone in the various villages of corvae has a Knack, an ability, a talent, in something that makes them useful to the growing of the community. Lonan’s father was a blacksmith so he thought that was going to be his Knack but after that horrible night when the monsters took his father’s life, Lonan was outcasted and he didn’t develop any Knack of his own. Being Knackless is like being useless. A village doesn’t need a useless inhabitant.

Through Lonan we see Adahy’s life and struggles and in his waking hours, we see Lonan’s struggles and pain. He is tormented by the images he sees every night and he is conflicted because sharing this information will probably save people’s life but it’s also possible it will make them hate him even more. What is the right thing to do? What can he do to help the Magpie King save their land from the monsters that mostly come out at night?

This is a very short book but it has a lot of twists you wouldn’t expect. The characters are rich and if you need to hate someone, the hate you feel is strong. Feelings are overall very strong throughout the story: anger, frustration, sadness, hopelessness, hopefulness, and also happiness. So many things can change the course of the story but sacrifices have to be made for the ones you love to survive.

Will Lonan find a way to save his village? Will Adahy overcome his fears and save his land? So many things will happen for you to find out the answers to these questions. Trust me, though, you probably won’t guess the outcome.

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Stormhaven by Jordan L. Hawk

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“I wasn’t strong, or brave, or anything really. But he made me want to be.”

Title: Stormhaven
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #3
Number of pages: 177 (paperback)
Good things about this book: More love and more magic, what’s not to love?
Bad things about this book: Too short? But maybe not.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it is very short and the story is more and more interesting.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Whyborne can’t catch a break. Now he has one more reason to scowl: electricity. Why is it so weird for a guy to want a poor lit house with a library with books to read almost in the dark causing permanent damage to his eyes? Whyborne can’t understand progress but he can understand magic: he’s a better sorcerer now and every book has a new spell he will use to fight and win whatever will come between him and Griffin.

Not only electricity has come to put a bad taste into Whyborne’s mouth, but a case involving a coworker accused of murder will put the two men in an unstable state: the suspect resides now in an asylum which is bad news to Griffin. I’m furious after learning what happened to him, unfairly and unnecessarily just because people are disgusting and completely selfish. Poor Griffin: his nightmares keep him up at night but he has Whyborne who will be by his side no matter what.

You’d think there’s nothing worse than the devilish electricity, the asylum, the mysterious cult worshipping a sea monster, and the possible end of the world, right? What about Griffin’s parents coming to visit with a surprise and the two of them have to pretend they are merely friends? It is worse because it will put Whyborne back into his pessimistic habits. His mind will weaken and weird thoughts will crawl in there. There’s nothing worse than a weak mind when there’s the menace of the evil rising!

“I wish to be with you until the breath leaves my body, until the last stars burn out, and the earth falls into the dying sun.”

There was so much love in this book besides the main evil plot: that’s a mystery you have to read or else it will spoil the fun. Griffin and Whyborne has come to a turning point in their relationship and maybe things are going to get better or they may easily get worse. Whyborne loves Griffin so much he doesn’t want him to suffer even if avoiding the pain will put him into a pit of despair. He’d sacrifice his own happiness to see the man he loves be his very best. I was heartbroken at Whyborne’s thoughts because he wasn’t being selfish; he was being realistic in a world that considers him a criminal only because he loves a man. Living hidden from society is taking its toll on them but love wins, right? I sure hope it’ll be the case until the very last book.

“You’re really choosing him over your family?”
“Whyborne is my family.”

I love how short these books are and how fast I can read them without putting them down. I have to pace myself, though. I don’t want to get to the last one published and have to wait who the hell knows how long for the next one. I can be very patient, but sometimes I’m not.

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The Druid Next Door by E.J. Russell

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4stars

Never underestimate the power of kindness.

Title: The Druid Next Door
Author: E.J. Russell
Series: Fae Out of Water #2
Number of pages: 328 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: I loved the welsh references even if I don’t think I could pronounce any of the words and I loved hearing in my head the way Mal spoke.
Bad things about this book: It has its flaws but nothing that spoils the book.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

You know how much I like stories about magic and mythical creatures so there was no way I wasn’t going to like this book. I enjoyed a lot the first one in this series and I was very glad to see the main characters appear and have a significant role in the events occurring here. David is adorable and I’m happy he is embracing his nature and his powers: he helps the boys a lot and when he talked about Alun there was so much love in every single word and it made me very happy.

“I only eat phallic food in front of Alun. Otherwise, it’s just a wasted opportunity.”

This book’s main character is Alun’s brother, Mal Kendrick, and an ovo-pescatarian environmental professor, Bryce MacLeod, who is Mal’s neighbor in the new super energy friendly house David bought him. Saving Alun’s life has cost Mal the use of his sword hand, the right, and has gained him the exile from Faerie, a curse he doesn’t know how to break and a severe case of brooding. Oh boy, does he brood. He broods with intensity, with passion. Lord Broody Kendrick.

Mal and Bryce meet in circumstances that make Mal thinks Bryce is an annoying but hot tree hugger, and makes Bryce think Mal is only a pretty face (read: the hottest face he’s ever seen with the body of a marble statue) with a terrible attitude. Little they know they will be forced to join forces to save the world. Yes, the world, I’m not exaggerating, the world is in danger.

Bryce is a druid but didn’t know he was one until Mal came into his life turning it upside down. He is powerful and needs a tutor and Cassie, David’s druid aunt, puts a leash on Mal and Bryce, a magical leash that doesn’t allow them to separate, to force Mal to teach the new druid everything there is to know about the supernatural world. There’s so much to know and Bryce is not once scared; he is interested and he thinks his newly found talents to be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him. That and Mal, of course.

“If I’m all that bloody, maybe you should call me Macbeth.”

The attraction between the two of them is almost immediate. Mal is gorgeous and, even if Bryce doesn’t think much of himself, Mal thinks he is just beautiful even with his terrible fashion sense and his tactical vests and pants. If you are attractive to a sex god even in tactical clothes, you are not allowed to feel unworthy of his attention. Mal pretty much falls at Bryce’s feet, but that’s something you need to read about to fully understand.

You were almost feeling up a druid—reason has clearly abandoned ship already.

Mal is being offered a chance to break the curse by a giant cloaked figure and he accepts without asking details because he was drunk. Now he has to lie and ask Bryce to join forces to complete a series of tasks that will unveil secrets that will change the Faerie world and will put them in serious danger. In addition to all of that they are also trying to understand if the magical attraction for each other is real or just another one of the druid magic catches. After all, Mal feels the need to submit and that’s something that’s never happened in all the years he’s being alive. Things are going to get hot hot hot. HOT HOT HOT!

Mal and Bryce were great together, steamy, but sometimes they were very insufferable for two grown men; you can’t expect someone to act like you’d do and then if that doesn’t happen being mad. Still I found their story intriguing and entertaining. Now I can’t wait for the last book that comes out in less than a month and find out everything about Gareth.

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

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5stars

“Love makes us such fools.”

Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Good things about this book: It is magical and so well-written.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Perfect narration, lovely characters, a wonderful story told by an exceptional person. Felt like being in a world that was a mix of Amélie Poulain and Pushing Daisies. This book felt like all the colours, the brightest ones. It was enchanting and magical. I loved it all; I also loved how mad certain passages made me feel, at the way the scenes narrated made me navigate through my emotions. It was the perfect book, of the perfect length, for perfect summer afternoons. I read it slowly enjoying every bit of it.

The whole book is told by Ava Lavender: an exceptional girl born with a pair of extraordinary wings. Ava and her twin brother, Henry, are two peculiar children, each of them with something that make them stand up to the world, that make people see them as different. Ava with her wings and Henry with his silence and amazing map drawing skills.

The story, as much as it is about Ava, it is more about her family: her grandmother and mother’s adventures mainly. Ava recounts the story of her great-grandparents when they decided to move, with their four children, from a little town in France to Manhattan. It is a sad story about misunderstandings, love, lost love, pain and death. It seems that nothing goes right to the women of their family when it comes to love.

She worried she couldn’t protect me from all the things that had hurt her: loss and fear, pain and love.
Most especially from love.

I really loved how things were told, the feeling you got of the surroundings really brought out all the magical realism of the story. How the natural elements were mixed up with magic, without being weird or exaggerated, was done perfectly. There’s so much magic in this book and it fits it like a glove. I wish I lived in Ava’s world with ghosts, wings, baked goods that could change your mood, a weird house and its marvelous inhabitants. They brought me joy and I read about theirs lives feeling like a friend.

She learned how to worry. She, who’d always thought love’s only companion was sorrow, learned that worry came hand in hand with love.

Ava Lavender is just a girl. Her mother, Vivian, is just a heartbroken woman. Her grandmother, Emilienne, is just a baker. They are “just” something until you stop looking at the surface without seeing how many layers of magic, kindness and strength there is inside each one of these women. They are the powerhouses of this book. They are what make you turn the pages anxious to know more, to see them get the ending they truly deserve.

I recommend this if you’re looking for a magical book but as much as it is a light and easy read, check the trigger warnings and if knowing everything you still want to give it go, then you have my full approval!

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Release by Patrick Ness ☆

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5starsplus

“Ain’t no shame in a broken heart.”

Title: Release
Author: Patrick Ness
Good things about this book: The way Ness writes is bewitching!
Bad things about this book: Nothing, at least for me. Check the trigger warnings before reading, though.
Do I recommend it? Yes, absolutely.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I couldn’t put it down and this is the third Ness’s book that has done this to me. I loved it with all my heart; there is something in Ness’s books that resonates with my soul and I feel them embracing me and cuddling me. The magic touch, at first peculiar, settles into the narration almost unnoticed and unforced. All of this makes Release one hell of a book to read and treasure.

This is not the easiest of books, it is a book about life and the obstacles it throws at you; it gives you hope in a better future if you’re willing to fight for it. It is so hard to fight for something you don’t think you deserve because you’ve been “taught” that what you are goes against nature, against the will of a lord you think doesn’t really care how you live your life.

“Through prayer, everything is possible-“
“I don’t know, I’ve prayed for years to change your heart. Nothing’s happened so far.”

Adam Thorn doesn’t believe he deserves being loved. He grew up in a very religious family being the son that’s different in a way they don’t dare to say out loud. Adam is gay and his family thinks it’s merely a phase, they think what he feels is not real. How much realer can it be if it breaks his heart in a million pieces? Adam Thorn has loved and his broken heart is the result of it. Will he ever let go of the past and fight for a future worth living? Will he ever let go of the boy he gave his all to but apparently was never willing to give anything back?

Where on earth had this day come from? And where was it headed?

We follow Adam throughout one day of his life; one day that will change everything. He will wake up, run errands, exercise, go to work, help his father and say goodbye to the boy who broke his heart. It’s going to be a long day, a day of news that will test his mind and episodes that will test his heart. Today everything changes.

He starts his day going to buy flowers his mother will certainly hate, and then running to clear his mind thinking how everything he does is never and will never be enough. He wants to go away and be himself but at the same time he is struggling to find some kind of peace in a home that has conditions for you to be worth being in it.

He can’t evade and find peace at work either with a boss sexual harassing him who knows pretty well how these accusations will go away easily; after all, who will believe a 17-year-old gay boy saying his boss touches him inappropriately? Here comes the frustration, the realization that a teenage boy is helpless, unable to reach for help because the world has this unbelievably twisted conviction that teenagers can only say lies and you should never believe them.

“They’re your parents. They’re meant to love you because. Never in spite.”

Adam finds his peace with Angela, his best friend. She is a tough girl and she is there for him whenever he needs it. Her family is different, open minded and kind, a safe refuge when he needs to get away from his cruel reality. Angela and Adam are a wonderful duo, ready to take the world head high. Their flashbacks show how incredible their friendship is.

“I’m always gay?”
“In every universe.”
“That makes sense. Are you always short?”
“Except in the universes where I’m Beyoncé.”
“In some universes, we’re all Beyoncé.”

I was so happy about Angela because at this point in the book I was ready to fight everyone who was in the way of my big blonde guy and his happiness. Adam deserves the world and I was more than ready to give it to him. Letting go is hard, painful, but once it’s done you’re free to live and start again. Our brain is one hell of an instrument: it tortures us when it decides on its own accord to fish memories you wanted hidden. Mastering the cohabitation with your bad memories is the way to keep them at bay and not letting them hurt you ever again. They are there, you sense them, but they don’t control you; you don’t allow them to do it.

Will Adam be ready to let go? This day will decide it; it will decide his fate.

While we follow Adam on the day his life is going to change forever, a spirit called by one single, an apparently innocent, action will leave the safety of her home to answer questions she doesn’t even know were asked. The magical realism, very similar to the one in the other Ness’ favourite of mine “The Rest of Us Just Live Here”, can seem out of place but you need to let it flow, no questions asked. It’s a parallel quest, seemingly unrelated, to our Adam’s journey, that will set in motion the end of the world, as we know it.

This book left me shaken. I related to parts of the book and sympathize with everything else. I was frustrated and angry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry but I also wanted to have hope and believe that maybe the world doesn’t really hate us the way we sometimes think. That maybe we can build ourselves a safe heaven in the midst of our not so very perfect lives.

I loved Release and it confirmed my love for Patrick Ness and the way he writes. It’s a hit or miss in my opinion and I understand when the story doesn’t reach everyone the way it reached me. Nonetheless, it is a story worth reading.

“Never pass up the chance to be kissing someone. It’s the worst kind of regret.”

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