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The Lost Coast

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The spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths, shrouded in the mist, magic, and secrets of the ancient California redwoods.

Danny didn't know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they're ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn't just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta's tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published May 14, 2019

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About the author

Amy Rose Capetta

5 books18 followers
writes now as A.R. Capetta

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 561 reviews
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,083 reviews17.3k followers
October 1, 2019
me talking about my ideal book: so like, it’s the raven cycle, but it’s SAPPHIC, and also about community and love as a radical force
this book: exists and is published
me, not able to process how blessed my life is: holy shit

On the drive up to Tempest, these redwoods broke the rules. A tree could be so alive it felt like a challenge. It could turn sunlight into long knives and stab them right through you.

4 1/2 stars. The Lost Coast follows Danny, a girl who moves to a small California town and joins a group of witches searching for their lost member, Imogen, after her new friend Sebastian dies. Amongst the Grays, as they call themselves, there are four remaining:
June, Filipina lesbian with chronic pain and knife magic. I loved this character and wanted more from her.
Leila, ace-spec and non-binary and coded as aro though the word is not used, which is weird). Her friendship with June was so excellent and I wanted 100% more. Tree magic.
Hawthorn, black and bisexual and raised by a chaotic mother named Ora. At once quiet and a force.
Rush, queer and fat, ex-girlfriend to Imogen. Has sound-taste synesthesia and uses music to make magic. My favorite character.

This is a book that depends, primarily, on a feeling of wrongness, a feeling of some imperceptible something having broken in the world. Amy Rose Capetta’s writing is absolutely magical as usual, immediately getting the audience immersed in the atmospheric world of the novel.

I was joking about the raven cycle but sapphic thing, but let’s be real — that is kind of what is so great about this. The Lost Coast is interesting in that it uses a similar aesthetic and mood to that series, but at once feels totally distinct. The Pacific coast vibe is very different from nowhere, Virginia, for one; in what is probably a coincidence, several character elements feel almost like a direct response to that series in a way I really liked. Yet most importantly are the themes.
Would my entire life have been easier if I’d known about that word? Would I have figured it out on my own, or would I have pushed through without it?

Witchery in this book functions as somewhat of a metaphor for identity and it’s very subtle and very beautifully done. These six are outsiders, people who have not found their home in the mainstream and so have created a community of their own.
I’ve found the heart of another secret: the Grays are always touching and kissing each other because so many before us couldn’t. Each kiss carries the weight of so many kisses that never were. Every touch is an invisible battle won.

I think as queer people — and also as marginalized people in general — we are often very alone. Being queer is an experience, in a lot of ways, of being the outsider; you grow up seeing everyone around you be one way and feel, fundamentally, like an outsider. This is something I’ve written about recently but it’s something this book explicitly tackles.

It’s about community as something radical, about love between people – and specifically between queer people, specifically women and nonbinary queer people – as something that can save and heal. In this book, magic functions best in a group built on mutual trust; the love between the five (six) witches is what saves and heals.

I think the only reason this is a 4½ and not a five is because I honestly… wanted more? I think this book would have worked really nicely as a series — there are actually seven separate characters to explore here, and we only got four arcs. That’s an absolutely fine number for a single book; it’s just that I closed the book wanting to get that much deeper both into the existing characters and into new characters. Petition for a sequel that deals with June and Lelia’s friendship and also Hawthorne and also the ending dynamic.

Oh. For another positive, the ending goes in a direction that I absolutely love. It is one of the more ambiguous endings I’ve read in recent memory but I think it’s going polyamory. That is absolutely what I wanted from The Raven Cycle sapphic thanks for that !!!!

Also, Amy Rose Capetta’s dedication to her partner, author Cori McCarthy, was really wonderful:
I’ll always remember that long night drive to the Lost Coast. We found the town that became Tempest, and the entire story spilled out from there. We found each other, and everything changed. You are what I was searching for.
Like god anyone else crying?

The point is that between Spellbook of the Lost and Found, Wild Beauty, Toil and Trouble, and this, I'm just going to call magic gay now and have it done with. And also push this book on anyone who wants The Raven Cycle sapphic (we’re not going to talk about how many times that phrase has come up in my tweets).

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Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,474 reviews9,402 followers
December 29, 2022
((me: lets out the heaviest of sighs))

Danny and her Mom move to Tempest, California, after randomly selecting the location on a map. Because that's something that parents let their kids do...

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it, or any reason evident as to why her Mother would up and move anywhere her teenage daughter suggested, but who needs reason?

The Grays, a group of high school girls, who happen to be queer witches, also live in Tempest.

One of their group, Imogen, has recently turned up without her personality and with sea glass eyes. What happened to her?

Then she wanders into the woods and doesn't come back. She's their Regina George so the Grays feel lost without their Queen Bee.

They recruit Danny into their group, discovering she has a power for 'finding' things, and they begin their mission to get Imogen back.

All of her; mind, body and spirit.

I love this cover. I love the representation. I am intrigued by the premise.

Unfortunately, the format did not work for me. I was as lost as Imogen most of the time.

I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I had to start a chapter over because my mind was wandering and I had no idea what was going on.

There were so many perspective jumps and time jumps. I normally do not mind that at all but this was just all over the place.

The writing is pretty, but is it possible to be too pretty?

In my opinion, the substance of the plot got buried under all the whimsy.

I am sure there will be many readers who will absolutely adore this story, I just unfortunately am not one of them.

It hurts my heart to write this as I have been greatly anticipating this release. Alas, there is a reader for every book and I am just not the reader for this one.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Candlewick Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.

I always appreciate the opportunity to provide my opinion on new releases.
Profile Image for Jessica.
568 reviews775 followers
January 23, 2019
I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) in exchange for an honest review.

I give this book 3.5 stars which rounds up to 4.

I had such high hopes for this book, but it ultimately did not live up to my expectations.

Let’s start with what I did like.

I liked the diversity. There was a lot of sexual (lesbian, ace, etc.) and racial diversity. One of the girls was Filipino which I was super happy about since I’m Filipino. I love seeing Filipino representation.

I also liked the aesthetic of the book. The descriptions perfectly captured that foggy, mystical, Northern California vibe.


Now on to what I didn’t love.

There were a lot of point of view changes throughout the book which really made it difficult to understand especially in the beginning. Each POV would last for only a few pages so it ended up being a bit jarring and all over the place.

As for the storyline, it wasn’t exciting. It felt kind of blah to me until the end which is when things finally got interesting.

I also wished the book focused more on June and Hawthorn. They were my two favorite characters and I wanted to explore more of their backstory.

Overall, this book had some good moments (Queer POC witches for the win!), but didn’t reach its full potential.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,386 reviews11.8k followers
December 6, 2019
This novel is indeed about queer witches, that's true, but you should read it ONLY if you enjoy magical realism smothered in purple prose and quirkiness, which I don't.

Capetta's flowery prose is good, and I don't mind shifting POVs and time lines, even chapters from POV of crows or trees, which are ultimately pointless, don't bother me. But this story is more style than substance - a major turnoff for me. Realism and relatability are definitely lacking here. The impression I am left with after finishing The Lost Coast is that it's about a bunch of girls constantly making out with and angsting about each other. And why they do either, I have no clue. The majority of the story is dedicated to describing smells and hair and toes and the girls' extra precious quirks, and NOT developing relationships and personalities in any real way.

Fans of Maggie Stiefvater should give this a whirl.
Profile Image for Helen Power.
Author 10 books445 followers
June 25, 2019
The Lost Coast is a highly literary coming of age tale of a group of teenage witches, self-named the Grays.  Their leader, Imogen, has gone missing, and they’ve tried nearly everything to find her. But when Danny moves to town, she brings with her a unique type of magic that might just be what they’re looking for, in more ways than one.

~My Thoughts~
This book is beautifully written, and the words are like poetry on the page.  It reminds me a little bit of a literary version of an 80s movie, with a bunch of lost kids trying to find their place in the world, but in this book, they’ve found their place--with each other.

There are many different points of view expressed throughout the book.  We get a lot of chapters from Danny’s point of view, and others from the Grays’, but we also get the perspective of the other high school students, which provides context for why the Grays feel so out of place in their little, traditional town.  To reinforce themes of magic in the book, Capetta occasionally provides the point of view of the trees and the ravens, which could be groan-worthy, but it somehow works.

Capetta doesn’t only jump points of view frequently, but she also jumps in time. We get to see what the characters were doing and feeling years earlier, weeks earlier, days earlier.  Capetta takes the “show, don’t tell” approach quite literally with these flashbacks, and it works well in this story. While it could have been hard to follow, the transitions between timeline jumps are seamless.  I almost feel like this style would have been better suited to a novel that has an element of time travel, but the back and forth really works to create a mystical, surreal feeling to the entire book.  

You have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy this book.  It's literary, not a plot-driven romantic-mystery.  While it is a mystery and a romance, the emphasis is on the language, and Capetta effortlessly elicits strong emotions from readers with her careful word selection.

One complaint I do have is that the book didn’t quite feature enough magic for me.  I love books that have a strong theology that the author has created, a way of magic that just is, but Capetta didn’t spend much time on this.  It would have been acceptable if the magic of this world was simple, but Imogen, for instance, is highly powerful, and it would have been a stronger story had the limitations of magic been explained, or at least demonstrated for the readers.  

Another issue I have with the book is that there are too many fascinating characters that don’t get enough attention because there are just so many of them.  For instance, there’s a character named Emma Hart, and we meet her halfway through the book. Her storyline is heart wrenching and beautiful, and I wish that Capetta hadn’t included her in this book and instead written an entire book dedicated to her story. Instead, her backstory gets glossed over in a quick chapter.  Even with other characters, Capetta barely has a chance to scratch the surface of who they are.  There better be more books coming in this series!

2019-06-10 20.18.17

I recommend this book to anyone looking for an exquisitely literary take on queer witches.  


*Thank you to Candlewick and OLA Super Conference 2019 for the ARC for review*
This review appeared first on https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/

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Profile Image for Acqua.
536 reviews188 followers
June 2, 2019
The Lost Coast is the perfect book for the readers who have been looking for an f/f, not as male-dominated Raven Cycle. It's an atmospheric story set in a small town surrounded by magical redwoods, following a group of queer witches.
And I loved all of it.

The first thing I thought when I finished this book is that sometimes, stories that acknowledge your pain but aren't shaped around it are exactly what you need. I've read many contemporary books that dealt directly with homophobia and so contained a lot of it, and ones that ignored its existence entirely. But the contemporary-set stories I want are the ones that don't ignore homophobia exists, and that have little to none of it anyway. Stories that aren't about the queer experience, but that are relevant to it anyway, not just because of the characters' identities, but also because of the themes they deal with.

The Lost Coast is a story about how much difference having a community and finding your people can make, even before you have found yourself and your own power. It's a story that has a sense of recklessness to it, but also reminds you how important it is to have others to ground you. On the other side, it's a story about how not wanting to find or acknowledge your own power leads you to not notice your ability to do harm, and makes you dangerous.

I won't lie, I knew I would love this book from the moment the main character first sees the redwoods and is fascinated by them. (You really can't go wrong with trees.) That mix of awe and longing and a little bit of fear - that's something I'm familiar with. The atmosphere made me feel as if I were right there, and made the woods feel magical, so that when the book got to that one sex scene in the woods, my only reaction wasn't "you're so going to get ticks" (even though I still thought it; but oh well, it's contemporary fantasy).
The writing is also really good. I think the vague, airy tone that Capetta's writing has is much better suited to this multi-PoV non-linear contemporary fantasy novel than it was to a mystery like Echo After Echo, in which it didn't work at all for me.

It's not easy to develop many characters in a standalone that is shorter than 400 pages, but this book did it. All the Grays (which I kept wanting to call "the Gays") are well-drawn, and so are their dynamics - they're all in love with each other and you can feel that.
They are:
🌲 Danny, white, queer. She's the new girl in town, and she's looking for something, even though she doesn't know what that something (someone?) is yet. She tends to wander, and I mean that physically. As I said, her emotions toward trees were very relatable.
🌲 Rush, white, fat, queer. She's coded as neurodivergent, she has sound-taste synesthesia (I love reading about synesthesia. My brain does similar weird things too), and her magic comes from music. At the beginning of the story, she's looking for her lost ex-girlfriend.
🌲 Hawthorn, black, bisexual with a preference for men. She's quiet and bookish, but no one should let that mislead them - she's the source of Witch Knowledge™ in the group and not to be understated.
🌲 June, "femme as fuck" lesbian, Filipina. Has chronic leg pain. Looks soft but will fight you and win (after all, she is the one with knife magic). She has a big family and it's said that she was raised Catholic and is questioning her faith. I loved her.
🌲 Lelia, gray-ace, non-binary (she/her). Sharp and sarcastic but secretly soft. She says she doesn't want to date, so I also read her as aro (but I wish this book had specified if she was or not), and she's the "resident tree expert", and isn't that relatable
🌲 Then there's Imogen, the mysterious, powerful water witch who was once part of the Grays, and is now missing.

I loved most of this book, and I'm rating it five stars, but maybe it's more of a 4.5, because there were some things that didn't work for me. The sex scene had a simile that made me cringe so much that it deserves a mention (please don't compare body parts to books), and I don't really know how I feel about the ending. On one hand, I get why the author chose to leave this book open-ended, but... I wanted to know how the characters would deal with some Things that had happened. Especially since the ending hints at f/f/f polyamory.
Profile Image for Renee Godding.
584 reviews558 followers
March 17, 2023
3/5 stars
Many thanks to Candlewick Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

“Spellbooks tell you how people have done magic in the past” June explains. “they’re pre-made. Magic is like love. You see how other people do it, you have the stories and instructions they leave behind, but then you have to figure out how you do it.”

Imagine equal portions The Raven Boys and Spellbook of the Lost and Found and sprinkle in a little dash of The Craft and a hint of The Devouring Gray. The result should be something resembling The Lost Coast.
Between Californian red woods, magical realism and a witchy friend group, I had high hopes for this novel and was over the moon to receive an advanced copy from the publisher. Whilst it lived up to my expectations in some regards, I was quite disappointed in others, leaving me with mixed feelings in the end.

To start off with the good: The Lost Coast largely delivers what it says on the tin. It’s a story of a close-knit, diverse group of queer witches that find friendship and acceptance among each other. If you want to get your diversity kick on; this is the place for you, as diversity seems to have been the first thing on the author’s mind when writing this. Both racial-, sexual- and bodily minorities are represented and you can tell the authors passion for the subject from her perspective as a queer woman herself.
I also loved the setting: the foggy and majestic Californian red woods were a perfect choice to serve as the background of a witchy story. Amy Rose Capetta does a beautiful job of bringing the ancient trees, the vibrant foliage and the earthy forest air to life with her writing style that strikes the right balance between lush and readable. I had never read anything by the author, but I’d definitely count the writing style among the pleasant surprises this book offered.
My only problem with the writing was that the author sometimes “overtells” things, especially when it comes to points she’s clearly passionate about. Her point will be crystal clear to the reader by the scenes she has just shown us, but she at times can’t resist to tell us the exact same thing literally as well. I’m not sure if it’s a lack of faith in the reader, or in her own ability to bring something across, but it’s unnecessary in my opinion.
I felt this especially when the author talked about the characters sexuality, and the acceptance of diversity. That repetition, combined with the clear (and admirable) passion of the author, does come at the risk of almost lecturing the reader on the topic of diversity. Although I don’t think it crossed that line, it was close at times.

That also brings me to my next disappointment: the characters themselves. Because the author had such a large focus on their diversity, I feel like some of the development of the rest of their character arcs got lost along the way. It’s something I notice more and more in the last year or two since the surge in popularity of LGBTQ+ books, especially in YA. I have a post on my website all about this coming up, so I won’t go into detail on it here. The short summary is: I’m all for diversity, but even more for equality. A sexuality is not a substitute for a developed personality, and an underdeveloped gay character is still an underdeveloped character, no matter the best intentions by the author.
The framework for a great cast of characters was there: I’d just like to see a little more depth and development in them.
Finally, I don’t feel the plot was as exciting or unexpected as I was hoping for, mostly due to some pacing issues. I’d have liked the beginning to be a little slower, to ease us into the different POV’s, whereas the middle part could have used a little more action. I did very much enjoy the ending.

In the end, I think this is a book that will find a large and loving audience out there, even though it wasn’t a favorite for me. If you like books that focus on LGBTQ+ friendships, or any of the books I mentioned at the top of my review, ánd you enjoy those alternative witchy vibes: this one might be for you!
Profile Image for Danika at The Lesbrary.
511 reviews1,262 followers
August 12, 2019
What a wonderful, queer, west coast story. I mean, six queer witches amongst the California redwoods? I was already hooked. But this story is told in a dreamlike way that mirrors the magic the characters have. Each chapter jumps between time periods and perspectives (Danny--the main character, The Grays--the witches, the Ravens, the Trees, the students at their high school, etc), giving a piecemeal account that lowed remarkably organically. I spent this book waiting to reread it, because I was letting all the characters and time periods wash over me. I'm bad with names, so I knew that a book with 6-7 main characters would be confusing for me, but that didn't take away from being enthralled with this story.

It makes my heart happy to read YA that is so queer. This is a group of queer witches that includes a demisexual character, a nonbinary character, a bisexual character, a main character who identifies as queer, someone with synaesthesia, a character with a limp, and characters of colour. They use the phrase "femme as fuck" in conversation. There's also an on-page f/f sex scene, which is still pretty rare in YA. One of my favourite parts of the book was when Danny realizes that part of the reason that the Grays touch so much is that they recognize that people like them have been denied this in earlier times, that every kiss is also in tribute to the queer people who were not able to openly kiss the people they wanted to.

I'm looking forward to rereading this on a breezy October afternoon, getting wrapped up in this story of chosen family and finding your own magic. This deserves a lot more attention.
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 18 books2,333 followers
December 30, 2021
Without even having read The Raven Boys, I feel like I can safely make this my answer to "Do you have anything like TRB but wlw," aka a question that comes pretty much every single month to the LGBTQReads Tumblr. Atmospheric, romantic, and wildly gay. I love Amy Rose Capetta.
Profile Image for Lea (drumsofautumn).
618 reviews623 followers
November 13, 2020
Video Review

“They were in love with each other, and that was good. Love wasn't the problem. It was losing it that could hurt the Grays.”

The Lost Coast is a beautifully atmospheric novel about witches, female friendship and being unapologetically queer.

This story revolved around Danny, who just moved to a new town with her mother. There she meets the Grays, a group of queer witches, and she realizes quickly that more than just coincidence brought her to this new town. We follow Danny as she grows closer to the Grays and helps them discover the mystery of the forest that one of their friends has vanished in.

It is so hard to describe this story without giving too much away. It has a very mysterious atmosphere and vibe to it and I think it is best to go into it knowing as little as possible. But if you like queer, witchy stories that focus on female friendship and found family, this is an absolute must-read for you.

“I didn’t have friends before the Grays. That word was an empty outline until they filled it in. ”

I actually usually don't feel very drawn to stories about witches but The Lost Coast intrigued me because I loved Capetta's Echo After Echo and generally love all things sapphic, so I honestly didn't even care that this was a witchy story!

And I actually ended up not minding the witchy elements at all. On the contrary, I loved that all the Grays had different abilities and individual things they felt more drawn to.

“That girl might have magic in her heart, but never forget how much of her power is handed right to her by other people.”

My favourite aspect of this book was how queer it was. All of the Grays are queer and so absolutely unapologetic about it. Having this diverse group of people all being so openly queer is something that made so incredibly happy. I also loved how Danny is so casual about making out with girls because I feel like YA does not often show that it's totally cool to just casually make out with people (given, of course, that they're all okay with it). Seeing a girl being unapologetic about this, especially with other girls, is something I have huge appreciation for.

As for the specific identities mentioned in the book, there's Lelia who is non-binary (she/her pronouns) and "not allo". Hawthorn is Black and bisexual. Rush is fat and June is Filipino. And there was definitely a huge polyamorous energy between them but they never really define themselves that way. The Grays are just the Grays and they love each other in many different ways.
Danny never uses a specific label but is definitely attracted to multiple genders and reads pan.

“Even with all the girls I’ve hooked up with, I sometimes find myself wanting to kiss a boy, and that makes it harder for a lot of people—I won’t declare myself and stick to one side of a fence. I don’t know how to explain that I don’t even see the fence.”

I totally loved the structure and writing style and it really worked for this story. In the beginning the writing felt a little bit distant and until the end I had some issues getting really emotionally connected but I ended up not minding this at all. The writing is so lush and beautiful that the feelings and thoughts of the characters came across incredibly well!

The story switches between different points in time and point of views and included things like the whole school and "the trees" as points of views as well. Which sounds a little bit confusing in theory but works so well.
I think that these perspectives really helped to create a certain atmosphere because it makes the world building almost seem like a character. It made the atmosphere so easy to grasp and I felt completely engrossed in it.

“The Grays are always touching and kissing each other because so many before us couldn't. Each kiss carries the weight of so many kisses that never were. Every touch is an invisible battle won.”

The element of female friendship, found family and unconditional love in this novel is so incredibly strong, it is very hard to even find words for it. But it was easily my favourite aspect. The love that the Grays have for each other was yet another thing that they were so unapologetic about and the fact that they never feel the need to define it was a very powerful element of this story.

There is also an absolutely wonderful romantic storyline between Danny and one of the Grays. This is another aspect where Capetta's writing really stands out because the way that Danny's feelings were described was so very beautiful.
The book also features a very well done sapphic sex scene, which is something I hugely appreciate being present in YA.

“The way she walks, at home in her skin, with all the doors open wide, is what I want. She turns back to me and smiles. Rush wants me with her, and she doesn't have to cast a spell to convince me. She is the spell.”

Overall, I think this is an incredible novel that is very underrated and deserves much more love. If you enjoy novels that center a group of girls that all love each other unconditionally and without any limits, this is a novel for you.
I loved this novel with my whole heart and am so glad queer girls out there get to read it.

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I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.).
401 reviews426 followers
May 15, 2019

I want to thank Candlewick and NetGalley for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review

I really believe that this book is one of my biggest disappointments of this year, not because it's bad but because I thought I would love it, and I didn't, so I ended up a little sad after finishing it. Sometimes it happens, you know, you have a book that doesn't feel like it's made for you, and while everyone loves it you don't know what's going on, well, that's me, lol. The book has some good points that I would like to highlight below and also tell you a little about the things that didn't quite convince me


2.5/5 ⭐️⭐️💫

You can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought.

The book begins by following Danny, she has just moved with her mother to Tempest, California. There she meets a group of queer witches who call themselves The Grays, and soon Danny discovers that it wasn't a coincidence and that on the contrary, they attracted her to the city with a spell because she has something that the girls need. Danny can find Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, disappearing since a night that goes into the woods alone.

I'm going to do this review a little differently than what I usually do, and I'll separate it in two points, I'll talk a little bit first about the things that I liked and then what just didn't work for me.

Things I liked...

The Diversity : This book is really beautiful in terms of diversity, the book follows a group of queer witches so there's a lot of sexual rep (lesbian, bisexual, ace, etc) but we also have racial diversity and body positivity , which's great and I always appreciate when an author writes about a group of girls so different from each other, but so united at the same time. I think this will make many people feel identified and can see themselves in the characters which is wonderful, we all deserve good reps in books

Atmospheric Setting : The places where the story takes place are so beautiful and atmospheric I really loved them, besides I feel they're my kind of places since a lot happens in the woods and I adore the plots in woods and more when there's witchery in the middle . If you concentrate a lot you can even feel that you're there, so I think great work.

Things I didn't like...

Plot Construction & POVs : I had a lot of problems to understand the plot in general, I started and the constantly POV change was already a problem for me, in general, this doesn't bother me, the short POVs can be entertaining and also make you go fast through the story, but it's very difficult when it's not clear who's narrating each part, and also you don't even know where you are, or at what moment of time is happening, as they jump from the past to the present, and all this was a big impediment for me to enjoy the book . Because, being 100% honest, it was very difficult to understand something of what was happening.

I've heard several people say it's a whimsical story and I agree, but maybe it was too whimsical for me.Maybe the idea of ​​the author was to give us an ingenious, mysterious and complicated plot, but OMG, I couldn't connect and is really disappointing, especially because I would like to tell you a little more about what it really is about, but I don't think I can because I'm not sure neither myself. There are chapters that are simply there and don't contribute in any way with the plot. There are chapters that are about Crows and others about some of The Grays and others are about Danny, and although I tried very hard to understand, I couldn't do it, and it's a shame because it has everything I love in a book, from witches to an atmospheric place, but the plot construction is simply not for me, it's very messy

Some important parts and "revelations" happen in a rush so I haven't been able to enjoy them, there are some things that happen out of nowhere and it's very hard for me to visualize them in my head, due to all my confusion about what was really happening

Sadly, I couldn't connect with any of the characters, even though I know it's not them, it's me lol, really. Maybe because I was so lost in I couldn't concentrate on them, although perhaps in another story I would have enjoyed them.
I think that if this wasn't an ARC maybe I wouldn't have finished it, and it hurts me in my soul to say it, but it's real.

It's the first time this year this happens to me, but I just feel that the book is, honestly, not for me, you know? and it's really difficult to express what I feel with words, so I apologize because maybe the review isn't so clear as I would like it to be. Not for this, I wouldn't recommend it, I can tell you that it's a book about queer witches, located in a beautifully atmospheric place where I would like to get lost in, and it has a very whimsical plot.
If you feel like reading it, go for it!!, IT'S NOT MY THING but I've seen that most people are loving it, so maybe this is an unpopular opinion and that's fine.

Profile Image for Julie Zantopoulos.
Author 3 books2,245 followers
April 21, 2019
Review to come-but this was a good one.

"That girl might have magic in her heart, but never forget how much of her power is handed right to her by other people."

Imogen is lost and the Grays want her back and so they call for Danny and she listens. Rush, Hawthorn, June, Lelia, and Imogen are the Grays and Danny may be new to town but she's not new to magic or kissing girls. So, when Danny falls in with the Grays, the local witches that inspire a bit of awe and fear in the locals, she's right at home. All of the Grays are queer in some way, and it's written on the page that they're ace, bi, lesbian, or queer. There are gender and pronoun discussions, discussions about being ace but still enjoying kissing, about not liking being touched, etc. The diversity that is woven into these characters is beautiful and respectful and I adored every single bit of it.

"I've waited forever to meet a girl who doesn't treat her body like a natural enemy."

Also, can we just be here for girls supporting girls (whether they're romantically linked or not)? The friendships and relationships in this book are pretty phenomenal even if there is a bit of a power imbalance within them. The Grays are using Danny to get their friend back and she's unsure if that means they'll want/need her anymore and still, they all respect one another. I will say that Danny's relationship with her mother was underdeveloped and explained and that really bothered me...but other than that the relationships were A+.

"The trees keep us company as we ride. They keep our secrets, and we never have to ask. ...Maybe that's why girls like us are always in the woods."

Have I mentioned that the Grays are witches, that they all have their own power, unique and lush and important to the story? That there are a woods that has unnatural storms, hollow treats that Hermits live in, and climbable trees that beg for girls to explore? The setting is lush and beautiful and I was living for it.

"I made every choice myself, including the bad ones. Especially the bad ones. Some of those are the choices I'm most proud of."

This is not a novel full of whimsical magic but rather dense fog that can transport you, ghosts that can entrap you, and a hunger for power that can lead you down paths you can't venture back from. There is murder and bloodshed, bones and fear and all of it is intoxicating. If you're looking for a feel good, everyone ends up alive and happy novel, this ain't it. However, it is a beautifully written tale of women, love, friendship, and the lengths we go to in order to find our place in the world.

"I've found the heart of another secret: the Grays are always touching and kissing each other because so many before us couldn't. Each kiss carries the weight of so many kisses that never were. Every touch is an invisible battle won."

Everyone deserves to have love and friendship like the girls of this novel have. They deserve the comfort of touch and the closeness that is afforded to women and often not men. Honestly, such a stunning novel of diversity, badass motorcycle riding babes and soft ladies with power. I loved it a lot.
Profile Image for laurel [the suspected bibliophile].
1,371 reviews378 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
May 8, 2019
DNF at 8%

This is another It's not you, it's me book.

I have a hard time enjoying books about precocious, artsy and altogether too whimsical and mysterious teens. It's why I hated The Raven Cycle, despite absolutely adoring The Scorpio Races, and why Truly Devious annoyed me as much as it did.

So why did I request it? Because I was getting strong The Craft vibes from the summary that overwhelmed my lingering sense of Oh boy it's The Raven Cycle all over again, and anything that is queer and set in the Pacific Northwest instantly catches my attention.

8% in isn't really far enough to make a judgment, but I'm already not super fond of the writing (a bit too lyrical, with descriptions that make my eyes cross trying to figure out what it means because to me it felt a little overly complicated—sitting at her mother's side, holding her fingers below the white-tipped nails, and a bit too description heavy).

Even when I got to the part about the boy (because this is how all YA dudes are described—to the point where every time I see a YA girl talking about "a boy" my eyes roll back into my head) being impaled through the chest with a falling tree branch, so hard that it stuck him into the ground I was like, naw, I'm out.

Additionally, these kids are hiking into the redwoods wearing cutesy little sandals and flowy skirts that barely hit the tops of their thighs (ok, one girl was wearing shorts and nothing else (?) and another was wearing shorts and a tank top, but my point stands), looking like rejects from Coachella 2007 and just...nope.

1) Mosquitos are a thing (depending on where you are in the redwoods, the time of year and how much mosquitos love you [note, this if last bit applies, location and season do not matter, they will find you]).

2) Ticks are a thing, particularly in summer.

3) Poison oak is really a thing.

Dress appropriately for all your woodsy outings people.

And now I feel like a grandma.

I feel that there's some good queer girl rep in this book, and that people who enjoyed magic ensembles with groups of mysterious and angsty teens (not a jab, btw) like The Raven Cycle will enjoy this, but it's not for me.

I received this ARC from Netgalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for Claudie Arseneault.
Author 18 books392 followers
May 26, 2019
DISCLAIMER: I got my hands on a ARC of this in exchange for a honest review!

THE LOST COAST is my latest stop on my never-ending quest to keep up with the asexual and aromantic rep available out there. This is a thrilling and utterly unique book, with an eerie writing style that really adds to the ambiance. It also has an amazing high content of queer girls haha. To some extent, the slippery POV made it difficult to distinguish all the witches in the Grays--like their characteristics blended together. I think it's part of the goal (they are a group, a unit, as much as they are individuals) and I just personally would've wanted it balanced a little more towards grounding us in June, Lelia, and Hawthorne, who by virtue of not being the LI get a less attention and tended to blur more. This is especially true because for most of the novel, discovering the Grays and their magic and their relationships is... all the plot, almost? When the pace picks up at the end, you're really in for a great ride, though.

I don't remember picking up anything truly negative about the ace rep. Lelia is non-binary (she/her), gray ace and uninterested in dating (the aromantic label was, once more, really conspicuously absent despite the entire scene being people introducing their labels or stating they prefer not to employ them). It also does the thing where allosexual and asexual are presented as points at both ends of a spectrum, which is even weirder considering gray-aceness would be... really hard to place on such a line? Anyway, it's not a line, folks. It's a small part of the novel, and what's there was fine that I recall (it almost feels forgotten, after that, tbh), so if you want a story about queer witches that happen to have an acespec character, this is a good pick! If you expected that to have an impact... revisit your expectations.

One of my favourite thing about this book is that despite it being clearly established that the Grays are not in a romantic relationship all together (some of them have romantic relationships in-group and out-group, but not all), it's really obvious that their collective friendship/existence as a witch unit is massively important.
Profile Image for Iris.
544 reviews253 followers
February 3, 2020
I honestly don't have the slightest clue what to make of this book

it was gorgeous

it was one of the weirdest books I've ever read

I think I need some time to process this one

but I liked it. I liked it a lot.
Profile Image for Celia.
Author 6 books480 followers
May 10, 2019
When I first heard about this book and read "queer witches" I was there. I was there before it was written. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations.

First off, let me say how grateful that Candlewick and Netgalley approved me for this arc. Although I wanted to love it, the execution was way off for me, and it could not save it.

The setting of northern California was fantastic, and the atmosphere was magical. Throw in a group of diverse, queer witches trying to find their lost sister be recruiting another, and you'd think we'd have some terrific story-telling. The characters were so unique, and I wished we had more time with each of them. The platonic love between them was refreshing.

But the thing that was throwing me off was the setup. We jump from POV to POV so quickly that it's a bit jarring. Not jarring in that we switch POV's, but that we have to get comfortable in a setting that fasts forwards and I never felt truly grounded. I was a bit confused plot-wise since it moves so quickly without much information. I never truly connected to the character's, as I never really had time. Then it ended and that was that.

I hope others enjoy it, as I am sure they will since we all have differing opinions. I did hope for more and I suppose my expectations were too high.

Profile Image for Seema Rao.
Author 2 books42 followers
February 27, 2019
Magical ~ Immersive ~ Remarkable

tl;dr: This book keeps California weird

California is a country in and of itself. The landscapes and the people vary so drastically. There is so much California north of San Francisco, and so much of it is unspoiled. Having spent time there, I was thrilled to find this book. But, I wasn't even close to prepared. Capetta's novel is exceptional. Reading so many books, I rarely feel as if a book is truly novel. Capetta's story truly feel special and new. The writing is crisp and accessible, and the characters are well drawn. For me, the greatest strength is how she weave whole story out of atmosphere and emotion. This book stays with you, making you see your own environs with a more magical eye. (And, notice how my review says little about the story). Well, if you love reading, grab this book. It is so broadly accessible. Of course, a lover of YA or of magical tales will like it, but everyone will. Also, don't read too many descriptions. Let this fast read unfold anew for you.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Elke.
443 reviews87 followers
March 27, 2019
i received an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion. please be reassured this made me cry on merit alone and is now my favourite book ever

this was so beautiful i have -for the first time in months- an urge to make art or create something that mirrors the light from this book towards other people so they too, can be reached. instead i'm sitting here trying to write something when i only have tears and a heart that's full and a little bit broken and a lot patched up. maybe it'll come out better in art. i'll see later.

I’ve found the heart of another secret: the Grays are always touching and kissing each other because so many before us couldn’t. Each kiss carries the weight of so many kisses that never were. Every touch is an invisible battle won.

this was the queer witch book of my dreams and i didn't even know i dreamed of one. i am extremely raw and unravelled at this moment so i will maybe come back to this later to fill in more things. now, the only thing i can say is that when June mentioned the pain in her legs first, my heart leapt so fast i thought it would trip over itself. i don't want anyone to be in pain, but i do want to read about people in pain being there for the whole story. for us to be present and part of something and heroes and friends and there. there for everything, even if it means the group slows down because in pain we can't go as fast all days.
“I’ll do it,” June said, even though today was a six on the scale of one to barely walking. The pain in her leg had the cold, heartless glitter of snow.

that the polyamorous undertones and strong bonds and life friends that you've only known for a little while and the fact that i could imagine queerplatonic relationships made me cry.
that the writing was beautiful and everything touched in this atmospheric magic.
that this book was magic. magic in the way books are magic. in the way representation and diversity are magic. in the way we, as marginalised people, are magic. that this book was about us.

This book is for everyone who is finding out who they are, where they belong, and who they belong with . This book is for the different ones, especially those who live where it’s very hard to be different. I see you. I think you’re magic.

that i felt seen by different characters at different times and by this book always.
that hawthorn says "bisexual black witch with a pretty strong lean towards masculine folks" because there it is, on page acknowledgement that you can be bi regardless of your gender and the gender of your partner. that those things, or the way you lean most, don't take away your bi card.
that the book asks "what word fits you in a way that makes you happy at this very moment? Lesbian? Bi? Pan? Queer?" acknowledging that it can be different and grow and change and that all those words are right and okay and can be right for you but don't have to be
that it talks about boxes and how they don't always define us or fit forever but that nothing and nobody shies away from using the words they use for themselves.

It has nothing to do with how lovely and kissable Sebastian is. Even with all the girls I’ve hooked up with, I sometimes find myself wanting to kiss a boy, and that makes it harder for a lot of people — I won’t declare myself and stick to one side of a fence. I don’t know how to explain that I don’t even see the fence.

i just. there's so much more to be said about this book. these Grays, but i don't know if i have the words. here are some of theirs & all the rep:
Lelia: white, gray ace, nonbinary ("she is fine, at least for now" (this part is OV)). She likes kissing if it's not about rushing to other bases. "I don't date anyone." (so also aro? not my lane, not my answers or my questions, really.)
June: "a girl of the girly type variety and i like girl-types." Filipino mom. "Lyme disease had taken the concept that June's immune system would fully recover."
Rush: "Fat. Queer. White." has synesthesia.
Hawthorn: "bisexual black witch with a pretty strong lean towards masculine folks"
Danny: "Queer. it feels right to me. Less limiting in who i am, who i'm with. Less based on whether or not i even feel like a girl on any given day." "I kiss a lot of people, mostly girls."

also! i remembered i did not talk about this yet but omg the pov changes! i love books like this! i love perspective switches, and especially if it's from places or things you usually don't expect (the trees! the ravens! (think "The Sun Is Also A Star" and "Sawkill Girls") and other people and pairs and groups and wow)
and the writing style. everything is just. soft and atmospheric and beautiful and -
more gushing to come here, later, probably.
all my love for this book and this author and these characters.

And then they see another girl wafting through the forest. Hawthorn stops moving. June and Lelia stop whispering paint over each other’s skin and secrets in each other’s ears. Rush stops singing. They trade looks. These girls have mastered the art of looking at each other. Everything they do is heavy with meaning, like they’re slipping stones in each other’s pockets to keep their bodies from floating away in a riptide.

tw's: death/accidental murder, murder, mention of a parent dying of cancer in the past, on page sex (one scene) and references to sex, disapproving family members, probably homophobia

see endless quotes i loved (i would share all my 52 kindle highlights if i could- definitely buying this to highlight and hold these words in my hands)

✨ I’d seen a dozen rainbow flags between San Francisco and this stretch of wildness. Every single one felt like a welcome sign.

✨ “Are you okay?” she asks. My brain clicks through answers. “Yes. No.”
“You can hold both things at the same time”

✨ “Time isn’t the only way to know someone,”

✨ “She thinks if you get really attached to a single word for someone, that’s not good, because how can a whole person fit inside one word? And then maybe they find one that fits better, or they use more than one, or they never find one that fits — that’s the natural flow of things. But I happen to think that words are important, too."

✨ And my mom might be okay with gay, but queer would make her cringe. I’m shaking with the power of it.

✨ If there was any bit of fog left in my body, it clears as I stare at the Grays. I drink in curves and angles. I blush at unforgiving beauty.

✨ They were in love with each other, and that was good. Love wasn’t the problem.

✨ She looked mad, but I knew the anger was just something she’d slapped on over her guilt so she felt fully dressed. Guilt was a naked feeling.

✨ (//sex) "I'm ready," Rush says.
And I believe her. When I push my hand between her legs, they fall open like a book that’s been waiting to be read. She covers my hand with hers, gives me a guided tour of what she wants. I make circles to keep her safe. I make figure eights, tiny eternity symbols. I’m afraid, the whole time, that I’m on the exact edge of losing her.
But she said this is what she wanted.
And I believe her.

✨ I give her the people she came from: the family that never built her a safe home, the friends that became an entire world. I give her the stories I found when I was looking for her. I give her back to herself, beautiful and confusing and more than anyone could possibly take in at once, the way the far side of a redwood can only be guessed about from where I’m standing.

✨ I find something inside me shaped like confidence, and I spin it into a bridge that’s not really solid but might be solid enough for three girls who aren’t fully there.

✨ Danny is light on her feet, and watching her pour herself into the work is a bit of shine against black clouds. This girl is a silver lining come to life. Gray turned bright and beautiful. She picks up bones and puts them back down. She hummingbirds around the skeleton. It took them long enough, but the Grays finally start paying attention to the girl in front of them. This is how the Grays fall in love. This is how the Grays do everything. In the weirdest possible way. This is how they go down. Together.
Profile Image for avaa.
197 reviews18 followers
April 29, 2020

I did not go into this with high expectations but I should have.

-the characters: every single character is AMAZING. they are all so loveable and distinct and important. (My favorites were Leila and Danny)

-the diversity!!

-the writing! The writing is beautiful and adds a slight surreal tone to the story, which i loved (even though i normally hare surrealism)

-The setting!! I am a sucker for small town supernatural and this was that at its best!

-the plot. The mystery was action packed kept the reader engaged!

-The plot twist? Exceptional

I honestly dont get why so many people havent read this?
Profile Image for Eva B..
1,155 reviews314 followers
September 17, 2022
This was going to be a three or four star read but I hated the twist ending with so much that I’m dropping it to a two.
I really liked the writing and the characters were...okay? Rush and June were my easy favorites--Lelia and Danny were tolerable and I feel like we never got to know Hawthorn on the same level as the others. The Grays were all kind of dumped on you at once and felt like they weren't really developed enough in a distinct way outside of a handful of traits. I actually didn't mind the shift in POVs and I thought the way they were layered in was cool...at first. Once it started jumping back so often at the end, though, it felt like it was just being used for exposition that couldn't be worked in otherwise.
But the end twist was what convinced me to drop this from a three or even four star read to a two:
Profile Image for Emily (emilykatereads).
399 reviews297 followers
May 5, 2019
This book is magic in ways I've never read before. The atmosphere is incredible and we're introduced to a uniquely diverse group of queer witches. This book is everything I wished for and I was ready to fall in love, but it just didn't quite do it for me.

I won't lie, there are many amazing things about this book. The execution of the story just wasn't for me. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the story though. I enjoyed the journey and characterization, and it helped keep a confusing plot afloat.

The biggest win in this book is the atmosphere. I cannot emphasize enough how much I'm here for queer witches in an incredibly diverse group in the magical forests of northern California. Capetta's descriptions are captivating and really bring the story to life. It's truly magical.

The next amazing thing about this book is how great every character is. We're introduced to the Grays early on, and every one is unique in their own way. We get so much representation within this group, as well as a special love between all of them. It was very polyamorous in a way, and brought platonic love onto the page in a way I've never seen before. It was refreshing. We need to see more love between friends like we see in this book.

Danny goes through an internal journey of discovering herself throughout this story as well. She begins at a rough time in her life, and moves to Tempest to start over. The story alludes back to past moments, and we see how Danny is changing and dealing with discovering new things about herself and finding a place where she belongs.

However, my biggest issue with this book is the plot and how it was executed. The POV switches up quite frequently, which isn't necessarily my problem as I often love switching POVs, but it wasn't done well in my opinion. I know others will love this, but in my experience, it made it really hard to enjoy this story the way I wanted to. I felt like I was constantly witnessing the story from a distance, and never quite connecting to the characters or what was happening. And in terms of plot, it really feels like not much happens, and even as we reach the most climactic moment, I didn't feel the emotions a book normally makes me feel during the most intense moments.

This book wasn't bad, I'd just hoped for so much more from it. I do really appreciate it for what it is though. I would warn that it's not the most exciting plot wise, but if you're in for an incredibly atmospheric and slow read, then I'd definitely recommend it.

Link can also be found on my blog!

*ARC provided by Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review*

Profile Image for J.A. Ironside.
Author 57 books310 followers
May 14, 2019
Many thanks to Candlewick Press for the ARC

Initially, I found this a little hard to get invested in. The main pov character, Danny, is difficult to get a bead on initially and it feels like she is keeping the reader at arms length. As you read further, you see that this is deliberate. Danny is lost in her own life and she doesn't have answers for the reader - which is sorta ironic given what her talent turns out to be.

Danny and her mother recently moved from a conservative small town in Michigan to the much more liberal Tempest in California. Danny, who is still working out her sexuality and where she fits in, meets a group of girls who seem to be expecting her. There was a fifth girl once but she's missing and Danny can find things. Time is of the essence for this group of witches, however. Mysterious deaths are occurring...

You need to give this one room to develop but it's well worth it if you do. This is a spellbinding tale of magic, sisterhood, friendship, acceptance and love. The sparse prose is more literary than you normally see with YA but it perfectly fits the tone of the book. This is also a great book for diverse representation. (The entire coven is queer for example.) If you're looking for something very typical in YA then this may not be for you. Rather than offer answers, this book examines what the right questions are. Don't expect one true loves for example, but instead enjoy the fact that many different kinds of love are celebrated in the bonds that the Greys feel for each other. In the end this will resonate most with those who once felt or still do feel, out of place in their own lives. It's not quite perfect - there are one or two minor plotholes for example - but it's such a beautiful book that it doesn't matter. Recommend for those who like intelligently written literary fantasy featuring queer witches.
Profile Image for Andy.
2,360 reviews185 followers
April 5, 2020
A whimsical love letter to Redwoods, forests and queer girls.

I absolutely love this author because of Once & Future, which is amazing. After reading that duology, I knew I had to read everything ever written by both Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy.

When Danny picks out Tempest, California on the map, she and her mother pack up their car and are on their way. Danny soon meets the Grays, a coven of witches who summoned her to help them find their most powerful member, Imogen. When two boys show up dead, The Grays are worried and the evidence points to one of them. Secrets abound and Danny must find Imogen before someone else is killed.

I loved this witchy and queer book!! Witches being queer feels so right and I loved The Grays. They were so diverse and never feared their own labels. Danny is honestly shook by their open attitudes and how much platonic affection is expressed. Which would honestly be me at first, but I love it!! The complete and utter trust of this sisterhood is something I'd love to see in more books.

The mystery of Imogen's disappearance was so interesting and I loved how Danny discovered her power and followed Imogen's trail. I wish the ending had been a little less open ended, but if that means hope for a sequel, I AM READY.
Profile Image for •°• gabs •°•.
248 reviews198 followers
August 16, 2019
this was a bit difficult to get through, but I ended up really liking it! what I loved most is the dynamic between this group of queer witches, how much they love each other and to what ends they would go to protect each other. adored it!

Profile Image for elise p.
289 reviews10 followers
Shelved as 'on-hold'
August 12, 2019
"the spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths" SOLD.
Profile Image for Eleanor (bookishcourtier).
545 reviews110 followers
May 25, 2019
There were so many things I loved about this book. The characters were amazing, the writing was beautiful and littered with metaphors and imagery which I adored. I loved the whimsy of the concept and the story. The only thing I would criticise is that at times the plot felt a little bit messy, and didn't really flow perfectly. But aside from that, this book was so good and I definitely want to try more books from this author!
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