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The Midnight Girls

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The Wicked Deep meets House of Salt and Sorrows in this new standalone YA fantasy set in a snow-cloaked kingdom where witches are burned, and two enchantresses secretly compete for the heart of a prince, only to discover that they might be falling for each other.

It's Karnawał season in the snow-cloaked Kingdom of Lechija, and from now until midnight when the church bells ring an end to Devil's Tuesday time will be marked with wintry balls and glittery disguises, cavalcades of nightly torch-lit "kuligi" sleigh-parties.

Unbeknownst to the oblivious merrymakers, two monsters join the fun, descending upon the royal city of Warszów in the guise of two innocent girls. Newfound friends and polar opposites, Zosia and Marynka seem destined to have a friendship that's stronger even than magic. But that's put to the test when they realize they both have their sights set on Lechija's pure-hearted prince. A pure heart contains immeasurable power and Marynka plans to bring the prince's back to her grandmother in order to prove herself. While Zosia is determined to take his heart and its power for her own.

When neither will sacrifice their ambitions for the other, the festivities spiral into a wild contest with both girls vying to keep the hapless prince out of the other's wicked grasp. But this isn't some remote forest village, where a hint of stray magic might go unnoticed, Warszów is the icy capital of a kingdom that enjoys watching monsters burn, and if Zosia and Marynka's innocent disguises continue to slip, their escalating rivalry might cost them not just the love they might have for each other, but both their lives.

338 pages, Hardcover

First published December 28, 2021

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About the author

Alicia Jasinska

2 books462 followers
Alicia Jasinska is a fantasy writer hailing from Sydney, Australia. A library technician by day, she spends her nights writing and hanging upside down from the trapeze and aerial hoop. She is the author of THE DARK TIDE and THE MIDNIGHT GIRLS.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 846 reviews
Profile Image for anna (½ of readsrainbow).
561 reviews1,733 followers
January 10, 2023
rep: Polish-coded cast & setting, lesbian mc, bi female mc, lesbian character, gay character, bi male character, Muslim side character, Jewish side character
tw: child abuse, blood, body horror (brief), death, murder

Review also on Reads Rainbow. ARC provided by the publisher.

When I first saw the cover of The Midnight Girls, I literally cried. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would see a mainstream book with girls dressed in traditional Polish nobility clothes front and centre. And sapphic girls, at that! As for the book itself, I knew it’s gonna be amazing, given how great Jasińska’s previous novel was. I was right, of course, but also it exceeded my expectations.

Let’s start with what makes this such a good Polish book, since not everyone will immediately realise. Obviously, the history it uses! It never mentions the king by name, but it’s blatant that it’s Stanisław August Poniatowski. Every time someone complains about him & his politics, it’s like music to a Polish person’s ears. (Well, at least mine.) It’s not a book that will help you learn our history (since it is a fantasy one), but for those who already know it, all the little nods are delicious.

All parts of our culture are actually put into the pages so very lovingly. The food everyone is eating is absolutely iconic (the duck blood soup! A staple of our cousin for so long!); the clothes are described in so much detail, and even using some Polish names. And the characters’ names! Not only are all the diminutives used correctly (which rarely happens in Western lit, believe me), but they also make sense for that time period.

I also very much appreciate this book reminding people that Muslim and Jewish communities used to be a part of our country, that we used to be one of the most open places in Europe, despite what is going on with our politics nowadays.

The fantasy elements of this world also feel very Polish, especially the magic. Jasińska took our religious beliefs, took our fervour for the religion, and turned it into literal magic. It’s visible in the flaming swords (we still to this day have groups called “knights of Saint Mary”, so really, this imagery is pure perfection), it’s visible in the amulets, which seem a lot like amulets that people in Poland would use anyway, but the ones here actually work. It’s a work of art.

On top of all that we have the sapphic romance. It’s possibly one of the most intense ones we’ve ever been offered in books, and definitely in YA. They are both actual, literal monsters; they are enemies in the sense that they do actively try to kill the other; they are ruthless in taking others’ lives, whether it’s because they need to or simply want to; they never go soft, not really (not even at the end). Their love for each other, which builds slowly, with incredible tension, in some ways is a fuel for them to be even more monstrous, for the competition between them.

We have asked for sapphic monster girls and Alicia Jasińska delivered!

There’s also another couple in the book, this one achillean, and it’s interesting to look at the parallels between the two (as pairings and as individuals). Zosia and Józef desperately want freedom, want the ability to decide their own fate (and in Józef’s case, also Lechija’s fate). Marynka and Kajetan both know what it’s like to be abused by your family, and to still want to please said family; they understand the feeling of not being enough, of going against your own better judgement just to make your family happy. The most obvious similarity, though, is that both of these couples are running on a contradiction of sorts: each of them wants the other one dead but also safe & sound at the same time.

To quote a classic, this book makes me feel like “a well of joy springs up from my soul”. Everything about it is tailored specifically to my taste, and it’s so beautifully Polish, too. It feels like a fairy tale at times, but a very real one somehow, despite all the magic & the monsters walking the earth. It might be taking place in winter, but it has incredible warmth about it (which the intensity of the sapphic relationship definitely contributes to). It’s magical, in every sense of the word.
Profile Image for Riley.
422 reviews20.5k followers
December 29, 2021
this was such a great sapphic fantasy!!
villain x villain romance with two girls who transform into monsters, competing against each other to kill the prince and steal his heart

the TENSION. the YEARNING. the HATRED.
Profile Image for Ellie.
571 reviews2,060 followers
August 23, 2021
I'm in the middle of a five-star book streak and it's honestly wild but I CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS BOOK AND MY LOVES ZOSIA AND MARYNKA <3

Alicia Jasinska really came through here. I utterly loved her first book (The Dark Tide), but this is hands-down my favourite so far. She's developed upon the strengths of her first book, as well as the weaknesses, and it's resulted in a really strong second novel. I breezed through this - The Midnight Girls really filled the sapphic cat-and-mouse rivals-to-lovers hole that was started by Killing Eve, and has character dynamics which reminded me a lot of The Untamed.

You'll absolutely adore The Midnight Girls if you like:

- rivals to lovers playing cat-and-mouse (as mentioned)
- monstrous girlfriends who really are pretty monstrous
- everyone is arguing, all the time
- characters who cause chaos and just flirt shamelessly
- dual protagonists who are like chalk and cheese: one is reckless, brash and flirtatious; the other is pensive, calculating and withdrawn.
- gorgeous, wintery worldbuilding with Polish influences.
- witches, the kind with iron teeth and claws
- 'I don't like her at all, don't be silly' - aka denial
- side M/M relationship which is best friends to lovers to enemies except obviously they still have tortured feelings for each other <3


The ending also allows room for a companion novel (I'd love to see Beata get her own story/romance, especially as she's a very cool character and I loved the dynamic between her and Marynka, but bless her she was often a third wheel) so I'm going to focus on manifesting that.

Honestly, absolutely a title I'll be recommending to everyone.


*

ALICIA JASINSKA SERVING CHAOTIC SAPPHIC VILLAIN ENEMIES TO LOVERS THANK YOU SO MUCH <3333
Profile Image for theresa.
276 reviews4,266 followers
December 29, 2021
The Midnight Girls is the perfect wintery book to curl up with beside a roaring fire and just let the author take you on a wonderful journey full of magic, villainy and compelling characters. With a glorious slow burn sapphic rivals to lovers relationship with cat and mouse dynamics, this book will have you hooked.

The Midnight Girls is told through two perspectives, Marynka and Zosia. These two girls were taken in by witches at a young age to be their servants and have been in competition with each other ever since. They have such a fun dynamic due to this rivalry and constant need to one up each other and I loved seeing this explored in the novel. Especially in the context of their villainy and willingness to go to extreme lengths to beat the other. Watching this dynamic shift and change as they got to know each other and began caring about each other was great too. I felt that the shifts in their feelings were wonderfully executed to remain true to the characters’ natures.

I also loved Marynka and Zosia as individuals. Their perspectives each felt unique and distinct from one another and I really enjoyed reading from them both. The contrast in their characters made for really great dynamics between the two and I could easily wax poetic about how much I loved the night and day contrast between them and its links to their individual characters. I also adored the fact that they were truly monstrous and never softened. Speaking of characters, I also really enjoyed Beata’s character, as well as the Prince and Kajetan.

Something else that really stood out to me about this book was the setting. The Midnight Girls takes place in a snow cloaked fantasy world inspired by Polish history. It has a gorgeous wintery atmosphere that I absolutely adored. The politics also made this book really interesting. The author’s note says that the world of this book is inspired by late 18th century Polish history and you can really feel that the country is on the brink of great change and revolution and I liked how our main characters interacted with this political background.

Overall, I absolutely adored The Midnight Girls. I highly recommend picking this one up if you’re looking for some monstrous girls being unapologetically ruthless, all while falling in love set against a gorgeous wintery backdrop. I was already excited to read Jasinka's debut but after loving this one so much I will now be hurrying to pick it up.

I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter

*eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*
Profile Image for Jenny Lawson.
Author 12 books16.8k followers
October 20, 2021
Polish folklore sort of fairy tale/light horror/adventure/romance where witches make beautiful and complicated monsters.

I really loved this book and my only criticism is that the cover (while beautiful) skews very adolescent so I think a lot of adult readers might miss out on this.
Profile Image for Darcey.
906 reviews192 followers
January 27, 2022
ARC copy provided in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes my rating or review.
Buddy read with my darling Ashley!


5 BREATHTAKING STARS

Three Minute Thoughts:
The Midnight Girls was everything I wanted and more! I lived and breathed for the sapphic relationship between our MC’s, full of crackling chemistry and heartstopping kisses, and the constant competition between Zosia and Marynka was wicked and exciting – let’s just say I couldn’t put this book down. The Polish-inspired world and wars were fascinating to read about, and I’m so excited to read more by this (Aussie – like me!) author. Such an incredible, captivating, and quick-yet-powerful read!

The Extended, Long, and Very-Probably-Messy Review:
I love, love, LOVED this book! It was fun, gasp-worthy and chaotic – and I loved every bit. Set in a fantasy world of witches that ruled over individual hours of the day, and who gathered servants to pit against one another, you can best believe I was crazy excited to learn more about the magic of this unique land, and I was not let down! The powerful witches who controlled morning, midday and midnight were fascinating to hear about, but even more brilliant were their prodigies and servants – our three main characters.

“Midday, Morning, and Midnight, three tragic girls who had been saved and taken in by the witches”.
(This quote may not be in the published version of this novel, it was copied from the advanced reader’s copy.)

This book was definitely character-driven, but that wasn’t a problem for me, as I loved our characters. Our most prominently central character, Marynka, was an absolute favourite of mine almost instantly. She was reckless, loud, and made drawing people’s attention an absolute art, and her personality burned as bright as the name Midday would denote. Usually she would be everything that irritates me, but Alicia Jasinska wrote her character so beautifully that I fell in love with her like that. Her polar opposite, and our second MC, Zosia, was equally powerful but preferred the darker, quieter times of day – as a witch of Midnight should – shown with her propensity to caution (well, as cautious as one can be when ripping hearts out of chests) in contrast to Marynka’s daring streak. Zosia definitely grew on me throughout the story, and by the end of the epilogue, she was as dear to me as Marynka.

And then there was Beata – precious, overlooked, darling Beata. Honestly, I thought Beata deserved so much more page time, because I couldn’t help but love her combination of pure angel and brutal witch. I do love that this book is a standalone, but if it wasn’t then I would pray with all my heart for Beata to find love in a sequel! What a sweetheart. Not that I’m saying she was meek – because she certainly wasn’t, all three of the girls were powerful and strong and willing to do wicked, horrid things to get what they wanted – and who doesn’t love sapphic villains??

“I won’t go back to that forest with its never-changing sky. I won’t stand in the shadows with my head bowed and my hands laced behind my back waiting for instructions. I am tired of always living in the dark. I am tired of being someone’s pet monster. I am tired of all this.”
(This quote may not be in the published version of this novel, it was copied from the advanced reader’s copy.)

Ahh and the romance! I won’t say too much about it, but rest assured, I loved it. One of my favourite sapphic couples ever, I have to say!! I wish the book was longer so we got more of them, though I did love what a short read this was, as it really made you feel that no time had passed when you picked it up. Such gorgeous writing!

This was a chaotic review, and for that I’m sorry, but it’s almost 1am and I’m calling it a night! Thank you so much to author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC copy provided in exchange for an honest review❤.
Profile Image for Madison.
410 reviews4,254 followers
Read
August 16, 2021
Imagine Manon Blackbeak if she was gay - and could fully transform into a monster - that’s our MC

Villain x Villain romance
Girls with magic who can transform into monsters
Sapphic SLOWBURNNNN
Bisexual prince side character
Magic is based on Morning (light), Midday (fire), and Midnight (darkness)
Snowy setting — 18th century Poland
Profile Image for Kate.
774 reviews90 followers
Want to read
March 14, 2021
Enemies to lovers? ✔

Sapphic enemies to lovers? ✔✔✔✔✔✔✔

Sapphic enemies to lovers set in Polish culture? ✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔

Me:

Profile Image for Frankie.
464 reviews120 followers
October 14, 2021
10/14/21

4.5 stars

This book will appeal to a certain type of reader, and that reader is ME. Here are all the reasons why I adored it:

-sapphic rivals to lovers
-homoerotic obsession with beating each other. "I can't stop thinking about her... ONLY I AM ALLOWED TO DEFEAT HER... DEFEATING HER IS MY REASON FOR LIVING... This is definitely because I hate her, yup, no other reason. I definitely want her to die."
-monster girls!!
-ff grumpy x sunshine dynamic, except it's literal because Marynka is fire and daylight incarnate while Zosia is shadows and the night
-MLM AND WLW SOLIDARITY !! THE MLM COUPLE WAS FRIENDS TO ENEMIES TO SOULMATES AND I JUST KSFKJSFKDF both couples are idiots to lovers tbh
-Jasinska's usual gorgeous writing style
-Vivid atmosphere and attention to historical detail
-Historically accurate diversity in 18th century Poland!! Even I didn't know it was a melting pot of Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. It also tackles Poland's situation with the Russian empire.

I've read a lot of YA fantasy but this one really stands out. It's languid, sure, but it's as delectable as honey. It's just so palpable. I felt like I was in 18th century Poland myself, riding sleighs and eating pastries and fighting with swords in the snowy forest.

The only reason this is a 4.5 is because the pacing is a little unsteady. The first portion is really slow-going, and it didn't help that I was in a huge reading slump during that time. It's more character-driven and sets the stage. I have a feeling that some readers will DNF at this stage. But then the second half becomes more fast-paced and I devoured it immediately!

This review isn't enough to cover just how blown away I was by Jasinska's vivid setting. In November I'm releasing an interview with her that explores it deeper, so keep an eye out for that.

Most importantly, let me talk about these characters!! Because the romance was just delightful. As a self-proclaimed villain monsterfan enemies to lovers stan, I felt like the author was one of us. Zosia and Marynka (and their third friend Beatka) are assistants to three sister witches. They are known by their pseudonyms Midnight, Midday, and Morning, respectively. True to their names, their powers are drawn from the hours they rule over. So Zosia is a loner, very cold, frightening, and secretly ambitious. Marynka is passionate and fiery, cheerful, an utter chatterbox. They've spent their entire immortal lives competing against each other to collect prince's hearts for their masters. I mean, literal hearts, because eating hearts gives you power. For years, they've played a cat and mouse game, always just missing each other -- until now, when they are both assigned to the same prince, and encounter each other during the Karnawal.

And thus begins their game. While Zosia and Marynka compete to kill the prince, they join all matters of Karnawal events: masquerade balls and sleigh parties and ice skating. Of course, at one point they realize they're having more fun one-upping each other than actually killing the prince. And at one point, they realize they're more similar than they thought -- and maybe there can be more to this life than being two servants...

Their romance was utterly tropey and I loved it. In many ways, this is a quiet book -- there is no epic quest (only a small competition), no heroine heading a revolution, no deadly court intrigue. But I felt that it's YA fantasy at its best: just pure fun, and clearly written from the heart.

Also, please, I need to know more about the prince and his boyfriend-who-he-definitely-hates. I just love it when heteronormativity is turned on its head and instead of 2 straight couples, we get 2 gay couples who have to save their own idiots lol.

I was already a fan of Alicia's debut, and now I'm even more excited to see what she writes next!

9/25/21
I am OBSESSED and I adored this! 4 stars. Review to come in October. Please expect an author interview with the lovely Alicia Jasinska on my blog in November <3

And don't forget to pre-order considering the publishing supply chain issues right now!
Profile Image for jaymie jacobson.
119 reviews
November 17, 2022
4/5 ⭐
.5/5 🌶️

Zosia and Marynka great enemies-to-frenemies/lovers tension was fantastic. This is a true YA fantasy, and the tension was perfection. It is a quick one day read for me.

Quotes:
“It is not a fairy tale. And monsters like us don’t get happy endings.”

“Night did strange things to a place, to people, splashing shadow over familiar sights and faces, painting the world and its inhabitants as darker versions of themselves.”

“I’ve tasted freedom. I’ve tasted hearts and it’s changed me.”

...
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,204 reviews267 followers
January 1, 2022
Dark, chaotic and Queer, this was such a good book to read after Little Thieves. The best girls in fantasy stories are sarcastic, hilarious and morally grey, which we get in Marynka. I loved that the quieter, more cautious perspective of Zosia balanced her out, and it was easy to root for them as a couple.

Despite the dark story of two monstrous girls, seeking to tear out the heart of a Prince, this story was so... fun? It feel like a mad caper to see who could get there first, and what would happen next to deter them. I found myself rooting for the Prince, Józef, and his friend and maybe-lover, Kajetan, and I would honestly re-read the entire story from their perspective too.

Rooted in Polish history, this standalone fantasy story of three girls who will stop at nothing to get what they want is a surprisingly quick read, but the world building is rich and the characters are complex, each having their own histories and reasons for the choices they make. This is such a perfect winter book.
Profile Image for Claire.
98 reviews57 followers
November 6, 2021
In her follow-up novel to "The Dark Tide," Alicia Jasinska once again stars angry girls in an enemies-to-lovers arc, but fails to capture the same magic and thrilling atmosphere as before.

While "The Midnight Girls" gets its points for having a gorgeous setting and magic dripping from every scene, it feels too rushed, too heavy-handed, and too simplistic.

One thing that truly did bother me about this book was the way trauma and abuse were handled. Both of our main characters are abused, and while one recognizes it, the other always makes excuses. Personally, I think this would have made an interesting dynamic if the abuser hadn't been made to seem so sympathetic and "did something good" at the end. It felt gross and sloppy, and we never see our main character realize that the abuse she suffered was wrong. This plot point should have been extremely nuanced, but Jasinska sacrifices the exploration of abuse for the romance instead.

I also feel as though Jasinka falls into the problem of having diverse side characters for the sake of having diverse side characters instead of letting them actually contribute to the plot. Which is heavily disappointing and a huge problem.

As with other Jasinska books, the romance felt very perfunctory and simplistic, which I don't always mind, but there is little-to-no character development here other than "angry girl gets less angry." Their romance almost feels forced and less romance than lust. Don't get me wrong, I love the "monsters loving monsters" trope, but I honestly wasn't in love with either character because they felt very two-dimensional.

My biggest complaint with this book is that there is so much going on — revolution, betrayal, abuse, romance — and it is all so incredibly complicated, and the reader never gets to see that explored. Decisions made by characters feel rushed or don't make sense. Also, there is some HEAVY plot magic going on to ensure these girls don't get caught after their first attempt on the prince.

After the Dark Tide, which felt more fairy tale than story and thus avoided many of the criticisms above, "The Midnight Girls" was a disappointment that could have held so much more potential.
Profile Image for chelsea.
353 reviews139 followers
September 14, 2021
that was so much better than I'd hoped 😍😍
----
the midnight girls is everything i could've asked for in a sapphic ya fantasy book. we have enemies to lovers, monster girls, and morally grey characters. not to mention, it was a fast, easy read.

the midnight girls follows zosia and marynka, two rivals who compete to be the best at every chance they get. i love how neither of them are "good", and it doesn't change much over the course of the novel (which i like, because so many become good over the course of the book, which ruins the morally grey thing). 

our side characters are just as entertaining as the main cast, and offer more queer relationships. there's a good mix of good, bad, and everything in between.

i really enjoyed the setting of the midnight girls, as it's not every day that you read a book set in a fantasy poland. i'm unsure how accurate some of the cultural traditions and superstitions are, but it still made for an entertaining read. 

overall, this is one hell of a good book. idk how else to round off this review, but if you want more queer characters in your fantasy books, then i 10000% recommend this one.
Profile Image for Anniek.
1,652 reviews614 followers
November 10, 2022
For some reason I had pretty low expectations for this book, which wasn't based on anything and wasn't particularly fair, but I had a lot of fun with this! It was a quick, entertaining YA fantasy read, and while it maybe does feel a little bit generic, there are a few things that make it stand out. I particularly really enjoyed the setting and the characters, which were both interesting and fun to read about. Marynka and Zosia have such a great dynamic and I loved their enemies to lovers arc.
Profile Image for Mira Mio.
269 reviews50 followers
January 10, 2022
Наша ведьма Маринка почему раньше такая злая была? Потому что у нее девушки не было!

☆ офигенная сказочная польская зима с черными ведьмами, то, что доктор прописал на Новый Год. Снег скрипит, баба Яга хрустит косточками, но главное действие крутится в ярком праздничном столичном хороводе, где все бухают vodka и закусывают blinchiki, но без клюквы. Потому что автор либо сам польский, либо делал хороший ресеч.

☆ две ведьминские ученицы (отбитые серобурые асоциалки) сцепились за право на сердце принца (буквально) и делают друг другу пакости, проклятия и подножки, а так же традиционно вырывают друг другу патлы (лесбийский теншн, а что вы хотели).
Принц, пользуясь ситуацией, уползает по буеракам в обьятия любовника (все сложно).

Я вместе с третьей ученицей орем чаечкой с этих идиотов. Бедная Беата, за што ей этот цирк.

☆ по главным персонажам и магии это аушка на Frozen, где Анна овладела огнем и ебанулась, а Эльза канонично всех морозит под let it go.

☆ лавхейт огонь, правда, в основном упор на хейт, потому что польские ведьмы мы или где. Отношения тут с кучей нюансов и серобурой морали, то ли дружба, то ли секс, то ли ненависть, то ли... снова секс.
Шучу. Нет тут секса, одни поцелуи. Опять мне недодали!

☆ начало затянуто, но финал офигенный, из тех, когда сюжет вроде бы закончен, но happily ever after нет, и хочется трясти автора как грушу с криками "где вторая книга, они же должны были пожениться!".

Отдельный бонус за то, что ведьмочки злые и ебанутые до конца, просто в финале они, так и быть, будут жрать солдат-захватчиков вместо местных пастухов.

☆ конечно, тут есть стремные вещи, например, главы от лица ведьмочек очень похожи по стилю и я их все время путаю. Или вот внутренние диалоги можно бы пообрезать. Или описания снега одни и те же.

☆ ничо не знаю, отличная книга.
Profile Image for Jena.
509 reviews83 followers
July 12, 2021
4 stars
Overall, this was really good and a well crafted fantasy, I just had trouble getting into it. The premise of this book, two enchantresses competing for the literal heart of a prince, had me hooked, but once I started actually reading it, I was never completely sold. Don’t get me wrong, the plot and world building were incredibly crafted, and the rivals-to-lovers wlw romance was cute and had some really strong moments, I just don’t think this was the book for me. This book doesn’t have any glaring issues, the only small complaint I had was just that it wrapped up pretty quickly, and I can totally see this being a five star book for many other readers, it just wasn’t my favourite. I feel like it would be unfair to give this anything less than a four star rating, as it is a good book, just personally, it didn't have me super invested. I’d definitely still recommend it though. Specifically, if you are looking for a wlw fantasy, like the rivals-to-lovers trope, or are a fan of the world building in the Shadow and Bone series (it has a similar gritty and Eastern-European inspired setting to this), I’d definitely recommend The Midnight Girls to you!

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Andy.
2,354 reviews176 followers
December 1, 2021
Thank you to Source Fire Books for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I absolutely loved this one!!

The Midnight Girls is a dark Polish inspired fantasy about the apprentices of Red, White & Black Jaga. Marynka serves Red Jaga and is always put in competition with Midnight, Black Jaga's servant. She wants to prove she's worthy of being a witch and Red Jaga's approval. After losing to Midnight one too many times, Marynka is determined to take down Midnight once and for all. To do this she'll need to steal a Prince's pure heart.

I loved how monstrous this book was. The fact that the girls are magical, but also have monster forms, I loved it. I loved the rivalry between Midday (Marynka) and Midnight. I was addicted to their competition. I loved seeing the girls trying to figure out the best way to get to the prince. This is the perfect winter book and was so much fun! Cannot recommend enough.

Rep: Sapphic white Polish female MCs, sapphic female side character (lesbian coded), Jewish female side character, Muslim BIPOC male side character, Black male side character.

CWs: Animal death, blood, child abuse, domestic/emotional abuse, body horror, injury/injury detail, murder, toxic relationship (witch and Marynka), violence, death.
Profile Image for Roomies' Digest.
234 reviews684 followers
January 11, 2022
This was such a fun read!! I'm normally not the biggest fan of fantasies but I could not put this one down. The world-building was very unique and I really enjoyed these ladies very much. If you're craving some sapphic villans this is the book for you!
Profile Image for Daisy.
67 reviews396 followers
August 24, 2021
Will be reading this again when I have more energy as I feel like I would rate this higher when my brain is all okay lol
Profile Image for emily.
550 reviews61 followers
May 19, 2022
MONSTER GIRLS!!!!!!!! what could possibly be better? sapphic monster girls. gosh, i absolutely loved every second of this. i really enjoyed the debut book from this author, but i think this one was even better. add in a fantastic new to me narrator and this is gonna be a re-read and re-listen one for sure.
Profile Image for Gabriella.
214 reviews40 followers
January 1, 2022
Behold, sapphic villains! I think this is the first book I’ve read with protagonists who could be considered evil (ehh, I think they’re more morally grey), and it was so much fun! Alicia Jasinska’s writing is readable and she knows how to create well-rounded main and side characters. Written in double third-person POV, we see both sides of the intense rivalry (and eventually romance!) between the main characters.

The three witches (Jagas) of Lechija complete with one another to capture princes’ hearts to fuel their power, but since they can’t get the hearts for themselves, they use their servants to do so. Marynka aka Midday (17), the chaotic and fiery servant of Red Jaga, has a rivalry-slash-obsession with Midnight, the servant of Black Jaga. Sneaky and cunning Zosia aka Midnight (18-19) is the most powerful of the three servants, but she wants to cut ties with Black Jaga and live her own life. When Marynka and her best friend Beata (aka Morning, servant of White Jaga) are sent to team up to acquire Prince Jozef’s pure heart, things get harder when they realize Midnight is after the same heart.

Zosia and Marynka are complete opposites and their interactions are so entertaining. I enjoyed watching Marynka flirt with her homoerotic rival while still yearning to annihilate her, and I loved seeing stoic Zosia become weak to Marynka’s charms. This book is a great example of why opposites-attract romance works so well (imo), and adding messiness and rivalry to the mix makes Zosia/Marynka a top-tier ship. I also appreciated that there are several queer, well-developed side characters. My favorite of these is Beata — while she’s technically the “weakest” of the three servants, she’s nowhere near weak and has her own standout moments of badassery and vulnerability.

I love the concept of the plot and found it mostly exciting; however, it was confusing at times and I often had to reread parts to make sure I wasn’t missing anything (i.e. I feel like a certain character totally should have realized something but just…didn’t, for whatever reason). I also think the book could have been longer. It’s clear that this world is more magical realism than hardcore fantasy, but I still would have liked to learn more about the magic system. For instance, we know close to nothing about the Jagas, and we only meet one of them on page. Why do they have so much power? Are there more of them? Finally, I didn’t find the ending particularly satisfying, and I’m sad that this is a standalone because I think this story has lots of potential for continuation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, even though I was more impressed with the rivalry/romance and characters than the plot. I’ll definitely be looking out for Jasinska’s future works!

tw/cw: child abuse (emotional, physical), alcohol (recreational), animal death, death, blood, gore, manipulation, murder, Stockholm syndrome

I received an ARC from Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for justine marie ♡.
93 reviews23 followers
January 23, 2022
Into enemies to lovers romances? ✔️ Witchy tales? ✔️ Lgbtq+? ✔️

Just finished this buddy read with my friend Katie and it was EVERYTHING! Full review to come 🥰😭
Profile Image for Randi (Rampant Reading Reviews).
350 reviews5 followers
December 28, 2021
I received an advanced copy of The Midnight Girls through NetGalley so I could share my review with you!

Morning, Midday, and Midnight, the servants to three dark witches, all have the same purpose in life. They must gather the hearts of princes, stealing them to bring to their masters to fuel their magic. Midday, a fiery girl called Marynka, is hungry for her master’s approval. No matter how she tries to be the best servant, however, Midnight is always there to best her. Zosia, more commonly known as Midnight, has moved beyond wanting love or approval for her work. Unlike Marynka, she doesn’t crave anything above freedom from her master. The only way for her to break free from the powerful witch binding her, though, is to steal the heart of a pure-hearted prince and consume it herself, but pure-hearted princes are hard to find. When Zosia and Marynka are both assigned to a dangerous mission to infiltrate the Karnawał festivities in a neighboring kingdom and kill the pure-hearted prince living there, they are each willing to do whatever it takes to win this final victory. But, when Midnight and Midday clash, no one knows who will be left standing.

You can get your copy of The Midnight Girls today from Sourcebooks Fire!

After reading Alicia Jasinska’s debut novel, The Dark Tide (which was one of my top 2020 reads), I knew that she needed to be added to the top of my instant-buy author list. Jasinska’s sense of world-building is incredible, and her sapphic romance plotlines are simply the best. I loved The Midnight Girls even more than I loved The Dark Tide, which I did not think was possible! The dark, unapologetically villainous protagonists provided interesting and refreshing perspectives to read from, keeping me wrapped up in their competition until the very last page. From the wintery atmosphere to the dark, twisted magic, everything about this book was pure perfection! There was the perfect balance of humor and high-stakes, to the point that I didn’t know if I’d be laughing or crying about what happened next. What I wouldn’t give for a sequel, so I can read more about Zosia, Marynka, and the world they live in!

My Recommendation-
The Midnight Girls is an absolute MUST READ for anyone who loves high-tension, enemies-to-lovers romances! I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone looking to end their 2021 with a five-star read!
Profile Image for hiba.
223 reviews292 followers
January 3, 2022
3.5/5

these monster sapphic girls were so much fun to read about - i love how alicia jasinska made the characters genuinely morally grey + villainous enemies and sympathetic at the same time. marynka and zosia's tense, volatile, emotional rivalry was so entertaining to follow and i was dying for them to get together already. i also liked the polish-inspired setting and fantasy elements and how vividly described it all was.

what stopped me from fully enjoying this novel was that it didn't have quite as much romance as i was hoping for - and that's on me and my personal taste. i don't normally mind character-focused YA fantasies with lack of romance but considering this book was heavily marketed as a villain/villain romance, i went into it with different expectations. i'd say the midnight girls features the barest beginnings of a possible romance with more focus on individual character arcs. i kept hoping for more marynka/zosia interactions and more romantic tension, so that aspect let me down a bit.

also very mild spoilers but towards the last third of the book, marynka and zosia get separated due to dangerous circumstances and they just....don't worry about each other or long for each other as much as i wanted them to. like they're more focused on their goals than anything else and that made me kinda disappointed. again, totally on my personal taste. i might have been distracted from this disappointment if the plot was extremely intriguing but it was fairly minimal instead.

apart from that, this is a wonderful sapphic standalone fantasy with fascinating characters that i'd definitely recommend.


Profile Image for kate.
1,076 reviews913 followers
October 19, 2021
3.75* a fun and easy to read enemies-to-lovers fantasy with morally grey MC’s and a cat and mouse romance that gave me major ‘killing eve’ vibes.
Profile Image for Katie.
523 reviews623 followers
January 14, 2022
*4.25 stars*

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Summary
Zosia, Marynka, and Beata are the servants to the Jagas, each tied to a time of day (Midnight, Midday, and Morning respectively). Their goal is to collect hearts for the witches they serve. Zosia and Marynka have been in a fierce rivalry to obtain the most hearts for years, without ever meeting face to face. Now, both sent to capture the pure heart of a prince, they head to the festival of Karnawal and finally collide.

Review
This had all of the monstrous girl sapphic vibes that I was looking for!!! All of the girls *literally* transform into monsters whenever they use the powers they were granted by the witches. The fierce rivalry between Zosia and Marynka transforms into something even more powerful, and the struggle between these girls of dealing with their feelings for each other and their desire to obtain the heart first is central to the plot. But despite the intense competition between them, they also understand each other better than anyone else.

This novel was so gorgeously written. It is based on 18th century Poland, and I loved reading all of the cultural references. The prose really transformed the words on the page to a winter wonderland, and the setting was absolutely enchanting. The plot was fast paced, with the girls getting more and more monstrous as the story went on. Beata also added layers to the story, because as Morning she in the girl that is stuck between Midnight and Midday (both literally and figuratively). This is a beautiful story with themes of learning to stand up for your self and making your own way in the world outside of the way that you were raised.

This book is the perfect wintry monstrous sapphic fairy tale!
Profile Image for Bruna.
595 reviews128 followers
May 2, 2022
✯ [4.5/5] ✯

Ok this one guys. I am in love with Zosia and Marynka, the story was amazing with all the russian folklore references. I love a sapphic romance reading in the same week I already had some mental problems, at least I could run to this book.


Yeah this week was horrible but this amazing characters made me company, so yes I want to thank the author for creating a story that made me feel less alone, and more understood.
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