Tommi Grayson is a refreshing, kickass heroine who shows that you don't have to perfect to be an inspiring role model. She's dealing with gr3.5 stars
Tommi Grayson is a refreshing, kickass heroine who shows that you don't have to perfect to be an inspiring role model. She's dealing with grief from losing her mum, has a potty mouth and often has impulse control and anger management issues. Yet her wit, soul and caring nature made me really connect to her as a heroine.
What I was really glad to see about Tommi, was her biracial heritage with a Maori and Scottish background. This is heavily ingrained in her personality and it was interesting seeing how both sides lead to her nature. I loved how she visited New Zealand at the start of the book with her curiosity in finding out who her dad was. With most werewolf and paranormal books set in the US, I appreciated the New Zealand setting.
However, I've been made aware of the Maori representation in the book being problematic, particularly where her half-brother Steven is portrayed as villain. While I'm not the authority on this subject, I could definitely see how it could be interpreted that way and I wish the New Zealand scenes were longer.
Most of the book is set in Scotland, but there weren't that many Scottish references in this setting. Tommi's life with her best friend Mari gets disrupted when the ancient and mysterious Lorcan follows her to town and adopts the role as her trainer and mentor. I loved how Tommi constantly rebelled against him, not accepting how some strange man would come in and suddenly dictate what she should and shouldn't do. The feminism was strong in this novel which I liked.
The werewolf mythology ingrained in the Ithi tribe, the Praetorian Guard and Custodians secret society and the different paranormal species was something I really enjoyed about the novel. There was never any info dumping and it was told in an interesting way, while still keeping the novel fast paced and action packed.
Having read many paranormal novels, I did find some tropes to be rather predictable, such as the mysterious watcher who appears, the special snowflake heroine and the ensuing romance. Despite that, Who's Afraid was a fast paced, feminist werewolf romance that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
What a haunting, atmospheric read where magic is hiding at every corner! I loved how different it wCheck out Happy Indulgence Books for more reviews!
What a haunting, atmospheric read where magic is hiding at every corner! I loved how different it was and how the narrative surrounding Scarlett in her quest to save her sister Tella was so unreliable. You never really knew what or who to trust and what was real or part of the game.
Caraval was actually less of a carnival/circus read that I was expecting and more of a magical mystery. I was surprised at the darker turns it took and it constantly kept me guessing. The atmosphere was so enchanting, from a magical dress that changed according to your emotions, to people dying and coming back to life, to the beautiful balls and quaint shops.
I also appreciated how the book revolved around sisters wanting to escape the clutches of an abusive father. It's not often we read about this but I did find his character was too villainous and there was no shred of humanity there which didn't make it believable.
The sisterly relationship was an important one, although I didn't really feel their closeness. This is partly due to Tella being incredibly flighty and impulsive and Scarlett portrayed as the pure one. That kind of annoyed me and I found their characters a bit bland and I didn't particularly like them.
Julian as a character also annoyed me, particularly because of how much of a jerk he was at the start. I'm not a fan of love interests who do this and always have some sort of justifiable reason towards the end of the book for why they were like that. Therefore, the romance was probably my least favourite part of the book.
Overall, Caraval is a unique, enchanting mystery that will have you questioning whether magic is real. I loved how unique the setting and story was even though the characters and romance weren't my favourite....more