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Other Words for Smoke

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Years ago, the house at the end of the lane burned down. The townspeople never learned what happened, but Rita Frost and her teenage ward, Bevan, were never seen again. Only Mae and her brother Rossa know the truth of what happened that summer—and they’ll never say a word. When they were told they’d be spending their summer with their great aunt, Mae and Rossa were anythin ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Greenwillow Books
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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  37 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Charlie Anders
This is a fascinating coming-of-age story with magical elements that feel both grounded and properly mystifying. Mae and Rossa are twins whose parents are slowly coming apart, and they get sent to live with their great aunt Rita and her teenage ward, Bevan, for two separate summers. They soon discover that Rita's house is no ordinary place --- it's one of those spooky houses with a mind of its own, where the rooms change shape and configuration sometimes. Plus there's a talking cat named Bobby, ...more
Jackie
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting tale filled with magic, betrayal and the lengths people will go to get what they want.

“Other Words for Smoke” creates a twisted fairy tale like story when a set of twins are sent to live with their Aunt for the summer and upon their arrival they find that things are not quite what they seem with a game in progress between two forces with everyone who crosses the threshold becoming the unwilling participants.

This book creates a world where fantasy and reality sit side by side wit
...more
Gabriela Pop
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Yet another mindblowing novel from one of Ireland's most promising voices. Sarah really outdoes herself in this one. I'd loved her previous work and was highly anticipating this novel, so my expectations were set high from the get-go, yet it felt like they were somehow exceeded despite that.
At the core of it all, this is a novel about power, love, fear and the marks our actions leave onto the world, all interwoven with complex threads of family and magic. The book follows the story of a set of
...more
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
DNF at 50%

I wanted to love this book.

A coming of age story taking place inside a haunted house powered by living creatures in the wall and plenty of magical elements held the promise of a compelling and atmospheric read.

I found the actual story was only beginning at the half way point of the novel. Just as things began to pick up and I thought I'd have a better understanding of the sinister spirit in the home, the author set the story aside to offer up brief vignettes of events taking place all
...more
Sana
Jun 25, 2018 marked it as anti-library  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Sarah Maria Griffin wrote Spare and Found Parts, the post-apocalyptic sci-fi about bisexual Nell with a mean streak and a mechanical heart so of course, I'm reading this book about twins and dark secrets and other interesting things mentioned in the super long blurb LOL
Susannah
Three and a half stars for this inventive take on practicing witches. For fans of Alice Hoffman who can handle writing that’s a little more grit and a little less whimsical, Other Words For Smoke presents a coming of age tale that makes you question everyone’s motives. While the story follows our protagonists for a few years, a lot of the character development is left to the reader’s imagination. Despite this, the creative mysterious elements kept me reading until the last page, where the conclu ...more
Karina
Just finishing Other Words for Smoke feels like falling back into this ordinary world from another, far stranger and scarier one. An extraordinary book - dark and beautiful and twisted and strange.

The closest comparison I can make is to Alan Garner's masterpiece, The Owl Service, yet this is uniquely it's own thing - just similar in magnificent gothic weirdness.
Tatiana
Sarah Griffin takes us into a world not quite similar in other's writing style. In looking at the book cover, it gave me a feeling of suspense and eeriness. What is smoke and why do we fear it so? In reading the book, one will find that smoke can keep things from seeping through the cracks. A cat, an owl, and witches run a house with a tragic past. Mae and her twin brother Rossa spend a summer with Rita and discover things aren't as they seem. This book reminds me of a Slavic folk tale called Ba ...more
Phillip
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can think of books to compare this to, but seriously this amazing work of YA wordsmithing is unique. Part Haunted House, part coming of age, the tale goes from 14 year old twins coping with the slow falling apart of their parents marriage to the menace of a house possessed by ancient powers in the blink of an eye. Every character is carrying some kind of heartache, from needing to belong, to first love (or crush or lust), of their previously stable world falling apart, of long lost loves.
Mae
...more
Emily (emilykatereads)
This book is a unique and twisted fairy tale told is different perspectives. We follow twins Mae and Rossa as they spend the summer at Rita and Bevan’s haunted house and from there it gets darker and darker.

It was really well done with the POVs in this book, as it jumps around quite a bit but doesn’t get confusing. The parts I found most interesting were the second-person perspective’s for Bev’s sections.

The world and situation this book has is really interesting and leaves me wanting more. Unf
...more
Orla
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Although I really enjoyed the characters in this, I found that the world was too bitty. We only got small fragments and I didn't really feel immersed in it - just confused by the small sections that were chosen. Still great plot building throughout and well written.
Cayden Clark-Johnson
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has a solid story and great characters, but the syntax alone is enough cause for a read. The way Griffin describes the events taking place, with use of footnotes and wonderful figurative language, kept me engaged the entire time. Must read.
Kate
// beautifully written and second-person POV doesn’t bother me.
Jordan Francoeur
rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2019
Sophie
rated it liked it
Dec 16, 2018
Ivy
Feb 25, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coming-soon-19
This cover is beautiful, and if it's anything like The Diviners, I'm here for it.
Alyssa
rated it really liked it
Sep 30, 2018
saskeah
rated it it was amazing
Feb 26, 2019
Lydia
rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2018
Helen
rated it it was ok
Feb 02, 2019
Germinal
rated it it was amazing
Feb 20, 2019
Maya Ramavarapu
rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2018
Faida orrie
rated it it was ok
Mar 15, 2019
Kaitlyn
rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2019
Rayne
rated it really liked it
Dec 28, 2018
Charlotte Burns
rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2018
Mandy Laferriere
rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2019
Scottie Draughon
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Other Words for Smoke is a fascinating story that is told in a unique voice. I found myself really focused on how the changing perspectives carried me through the narrative. Not only did the author switch which character she was focusing on in different chapters, but the actual point of view changes. Some characters are written in first person, some in third, and it isn’t random either. The POV makes sense for each character, fitting their personalities. The changes are masterfully done and also ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
FYI: One of the POVs is in second person.

Which is why I'm DNFing, because nope nope nope.
Marochka
rated it it was ok
Nov 16, 2018
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Sarah Maria Griffin lives in Dublin, Ireland, in a small red brick house by the sea, with her husband and cat. She writes about monsters, growing up, and everything those two things have in common. Her first book, SPARE AND FOUND PARTS, is out now.