Femathon Weeks 3-4 | 2021 Edition

I kinda ran out of energy towards the end of the month … so here’s to publishing this blog post a bit late? lol whoops

Book 18 was The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. I seem to be the only person with mixed thoughts on this one, because I neither loved nor hated it. The premise is really cool: what happens if you make a deal with the devil where he gets to keep your soul once you’re done with it, regardless of how many years you’ve been around – but in exchange no one can remember you were ever there? I think if you like memoires you’re going to like this book, because like most lives this book meanders and is not remotely evenly paced. The first 100 pages were interesting enough, but I wasn’t glued to the book. Pages 120-280ish were much more intriguing to me. The next 100 pages were pretty ok, but I could easily take breaks from the story. And I was definitely glued to the last 60ish pages. I’m very happy with the ending, and the meandering makes sense, but for me the pacing was a bit off. That being said, if you’re looking for a slow book to savor you might like this one. It could count towards Fem Positive, Wildcard, and Fems Fight Back.

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

– Goodreads Book Blurb

For read 19, I absolutely ADORED Margaret Atwood’s Dearly. Like most collections of stories, there were some poems I liked more than others, but I am VERY happy to have this book in my collection. If you like poetry that is both evocative and brief, I have a feeling you’ll like it too. I appreciated that parts of it reminded me a bit of William Carlos William’s work. In particular, I enjoyed “Ghost Cat”, “Double-Entry Slug Sex”, “Plastiscene Suite”, et al. 10/10 would recommend, but also maybe check the trigger warnings first. This could count in Fem Positive, Platonic Fem Relationship, Wildcard, Disability/Neurodiversity, Fems Fight Back, and debatably Non Fiction.

A new book of poetry from internationally acclaimed, award-winning and bestselling author Margaret Atwood

In Dearly, Margaret Atwood’s first collection of poetry in over a decade, Atwood addresses themes such as love, loss, the passage of time, the nature of nature and – zombies. Her new poetry is introspective and personal in tone, but wide-ranging in topic. In poem after poem, she casts her unique imagination and unyielding, observant eye over the landscape of a life carefully and intuitively lived.

While many are familiar with Margaret Atwood’s fiction—including her groundbreaking and bestselling novels The Handmaid’s TaleThe TestamentsOryx and Crake, among others—she has, from the beginning of her career, been one of our most significant contemporary poets. And she is one of the very few writers equally accomplished in fiction and poetry.  This collection is a stunning achievement that will be appreciated by fans of her novels and poetry readers alike.

– Goodreads Book Blurb

For read 20 I read The Midwinter Witch is the third book in The Witch Boy Series by Molly Ostertag. Like the second book in this series it also focuses on found family, friendship, and being yourself. If you’re into graphic novels, I’d highly recommend you check this YA series out. It could count in Fem Positive, BIPOC Rep, Platonic Fem Friendship, Wildcard, LGBTQIA+, and Fems Fight Back.

Magic has a dark side . . .

Aster always looks forward to the Midwinter Festival, a reunion of the entire Vanissen family that includes competitions in witchery and shapeshifting. This year, he’s especially excited to compete in the annual Jolrun tournament-as a witch. He’s determined to show everyone that he’s proud of who he is and what he’s learned, but he knows it won’t be easy to defy tradition.

Ariel has darker things on her mind than the Festival-like the mysterious witch who’s been visiting her dreams, claiming to know the truth about Ariel’s past. She appreciates everything the Vanissens have done for her. But Ariel still craves a place where she truly belongs.

The Festival is a whirlwind of excitement and activity, but for Aster and Ariel, nothing goes according to plan. When a powerful and sinister force invades the reunion, threatening to destroy everything the young witches have fought for, can they find the courage to fight it together? Or will dark magic tear them apart?

– Goodreads Book Blurb

Book 21 was The Castle of Tangled Magic by Sophie Anderson. I am absolutely loving her books, and I think she’s going to be an auto-by author for me. This is the author’s 3rd work and you can see the growth Sophie has had. In her first book, The House with Chicken Legs, the book was a bit slow for me until chapter 12-ish. Her second book, The Girl Who Speaks Bear, still took a little while to get into (maybe 4 or 6 chapters). And in this third book the story sucked me in pretty much from chapter 2. While the pacing is a bit faster in this one, there were some areas that were very repetitive. But honestly, that might be a good thing since this is aimed at middle grade readers. This book covers why it is important to look at things from different perspectives, what “home” means, and how to handle ugly history in your family’s past. I whole-heartedly adore the way Anderson makes these complex topics accessible to younger readers. Personally, The Girl Who Speaks Bear is still my favorite, but I can’t wait to see what Anderson comes up with next. Also, while it’s not necessary to read these books in order, I think you’ll appreciate reading The House with Chicken Legs before this one.

Olia lives with her parents in an old crumbling castle, filled with hidden turrets and secret doorways. When she follows a mysterious cat to one of the castle’s roof domes, she finds herself stepping through one such doorway into a magical land filled with wonders… But everything is not quite as it seems: the land is under threat from a scheming magician, Chernmor, and the magic is fading away.

With the help of an enchanted band of new friends, can Olia find a way to save both her own home, and the land of forbidden magic?

– Goodreads Book Blurb

Read 22 was The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan which is the 4th book in The Wheel of Time Series … I can’t really talk about it since it’s later on in the series, but a lot of stuff happens in this book with both character and plot development. One thing I don’t understand about this series is whether to classify it as YA since most of the characters are in their late teens or to only shove it into the adult/high fantasy category. It definitely reads like a traditional high fantasy series. This could count in Fem Positive, Platonic Fem Relationship, Wildcard, and Fems Fight Back.

Book 23 was Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power. The book blurb for this one is on point. If you like a cross between magical realism mixed with sci-fi themes with a rather creepy feel, you’ll probably want to pick this book up. Just make sure to check the content warnings first on the author’s website (the familial relationships are very unhealthy). While this book is classified as YA and features several people in their late teens, it reads more like an adult book to me. The characters were that age in order for some of the plot to work, but they didn’t feel that young to me. This could count in Fem Positive, Platonic Fem Relationship, Wildcard, and Fems Fight Back.

Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along. But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for. Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there? The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.

– Goodreads Book Blurb

Book 24 was The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. I tried to branch out a bit from SFF to Historical Fiction for this one. While the book blurb is accurate, my brain interpreted it as there being more modern day murders afoot – that doesn’t happen – and I’m not exactly sure what that says about me 😅 This book could count in Fem Positive, Platonic Fem Relationship, and Fems Fight Back.

A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course.Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.
Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

– Goodreads Book Blurb

Read 25 was The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin. This is the first book in her Great Cities series that is yet to come out, and it very much reminded me of a book that’s used as a setup for the rest of a series. There’s a whole lot of character development and very little plot until the end. Some of the way things are phrased made me literally ROFL, but overall it is a slower book. It very much feels like a book that is set in NYC for a purpose (aka it actually feels like NYC [unlike When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole]), and I am super excited to see where this series goes.

Three-time Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author N.K. Jemisin crafts her most incredible novel yet, a “glorious” story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City.

In Manhattan, a young grad student gets off the train and realizes he doesn’t remember who he is, where he’s from, or even his own name. But he can sense the beating heart of the city, see its history, and feel its power.

In the Bronx, a Lenape gallery director discovers strange graffiti scattered throughout the city, so beautiful and powerful it’s as if the paint is literally calling to her.

In Brooklyn, a politician and mother finds she can hear the songs of her city, pulsing to the beat of her Louboutin heels.

And they’re not the only ones.

Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York? She’s got six.

– Goodreads Book Blurb

Read 26 was The Hazards of Love Vol. 1: Bright World by Stan Stanley which is a graphic novel about a non-binary character who attends an all girl’s school, makes a deal with an “evil” talking cat, gets sucked out of their world and into Bright World, and spends the rest of their time in this issue learning about Bright World while trying to get back to their world. I received this as an uncorrected proof/ARC through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. The art on the cover is completely indicative of the rest of the art inside. For some reason the author info on Goodreads isn’t actually linked to the author’s actual accounts so if you’re looking for more info on her you should look at this page. This could count in Fem Positive, BIPOC Rep, Platonic Fem Relationship, Wildcard, LGBTQIA+, and Fems Fight Back.

The Hazards of Love follows the story of a queer teen from Queens who makes some mistakes, gets dragged into a fantastical place, and tries to hustle their way back home.

Amparo’s deal with the talking cat was simple: a drop of blood and Amparo’s name to become a better person. Their mother and abuela would never worry about them again, and they’d finally be worthy of dating straight-A student Iolanthe. But when the cat steals their body, becoming the better person they were promised, Amparo’s spirit is imprisoned in a land of terrifying, flesh-hungry creatures known as Bright World.

With cruel and manipulative masters and a society that feeds on memories, Amparo must use their cleverness to escape, without turning into a monster like the rest. On “the other side,” Iolanthe begins to suspect the new Amparo has a secret, and after the cat in disguise vanishes, she’s left searching for answers with a no-nonsense medium from the lesbian mafia and the only person who might know the truth about Bright World.

– Goodreads Book Blurb

Book 27 (and my favorite read in March) goes to Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. The book blurb absolutely sets the stage for what to expect and I cannot say enough good things about this book. I’ve never read anything that wasn’t a thriller with pacing this good, and I’m not even sure the thrillers I’ve read could compare in pacing. Reading this book is like following a trail of breadcrumbs on a adventure to find out where you’re going – you can’t see them that far in advance, they’re little morsels to keep you occupied, and you’re excited the whole time to find out where the trail leads. If the book blurb sounds even remotely interesting then you’ll definitely enjoy the book. This could count in Fem Positive, BIPOC Rep, Platonic Fem Relationship, Wildcard, LGBTQIA+, Fems Fight Back, and Disability/Neurodiversity (as mental health greatly impacts MC’s daily life).

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 Book Blurb

My last read to end in March with book 28 goes to The Sad Ghost Club by Lize Meddings. This is a graphic novel that also has the interior match the art on the cover and is a YA contemporary about anxiety and depression. I felt very seen while reading this book and would highly recommend it. This could count in Fem Positive, Wildcard, Disability/Neurodiversity, and Fems Fight Back.

Ever felt anxious or alone? Like you don’t belong anywhere? Like you’re almost… invisible? Find your kindred spirits at The Sad Ghost Club.

This is the story of one of those days – a day so bad you can barely get out of bed, when it’s a struggle to leave the house, and when you do, you wish you hadn’t. But even the worst of days can surprise you. When one sad ghost, lost and alone at a crowded party, spies another sad ghost across the room, they decide to leave together. What happens next changes everything. Because that night they start the The Sad Ghost Club – a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don’t belong.

For fans of Heartstopper and Jennifer Niven, and for anyone who’s ever felt invisible. You are not alone. Shhh. Pass it on.

– Goodreads Book Blurb

Published by Victoria Mendes

I'm just a house-wife trying to cook good meals on a budget.

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