C.G. Drews's Reviews > Keeper of the Bees

Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, read-2018, young-adult, paranormal

I didn't expect to absolutely utterly fall in love with this book, bUT LOOK WHERE WE ARE. This is the kind of book for those of us who fall in love with villains. It's about mental illness and how people perceive it. It's about monsters and murder. It's about the sweetest and softest love of people scared to hurt each other and I just?!?

IT IS DARK. AND SOFT™ and I am living for that combination.

So this is a companion novel to Black Bird of the Gallows. Going to admit I loved this one more!! But you don't have to have read BBOTG to enjoy this however it does spoil the first book. But they really are completely separate stories. Just about the same world and the same cursed creatures.

Hello to our Harbringers and Beekeepers. Omg so the beekepers were total villains in BBOTG...but here?! Get ready to have your heart mANGLED by Dresden, who is grumpy and tragic and bitter...and utterly adorable. Like he just is SO sour, the precious little bucket, but secretly good inside. He wants to pROTECT. He wants to be free. He's a monster and he's aware of it and I love how respectful his relationship with Essie was. And also how he loved her for who she was, illness and all.

MY HEART.

And Essie?! I absolutely adore her. She literally just breathes and 3989 people in this book line up to protect her. She's sweet and precious (reminds me of Luna Lovegood) and super soft and lovely. I do like badass heroines, but I also love vulnerable ones. She has an illness (a bit like paranoid schizophrenia) that doctors can't quite pin down...(yes it has supernatural origins)...and I just really appreciated the conversations they had about mental health. There was no scorn of it. Like the hallucinations did make her suffer and she wanted and needed relief, but I never felt like there were "cure" messages or any disparaging comments about mental illness. And it really unpacked how people treat those they don't understand like monsters. It's so sad, but so so true.

And ok, romances with immortals vs teen girls CAN be creepy...but this wasn't! Dresden sort of froze at 18 anyway and he's really respectful! Like, once he gets passed thinking he has to kill her! But he doesn't! He won't! HE LOVES HER. Their romance manages to be slowburn and adorable and leaving you waaaanting them to kiss (but Dresden's curse makes that hard). aFdjsakld I ship it so much.

Also the friendship of Dresden and Michael was BEST. I actually feel like close male-to-male friendships are unreasonably hard to find?! But Michael is a harbringer/crow and Dresden is a beekeeper and like...they're not made to be enemies, but no one likes beekeepers. They feed of chaos and they make it too. But their friendship is ADORABLE. Like Dresden tries to keep Michael alive and grumps bout calling him a "friend" and then pANICS AND CALLS HIM A FRIEND. And Michael teases him and is like "When I shift into a crow, pls pick up my clothes." And Dresden, actual chaos-inciting villain...picks up Mikael's clothes for him.

I CAN'T EVEN. I LOVE THEM AND THEIR SNARK TO EACH OTHER.

And I really love the uniqueness of this paranormal world! Scootch over vampires and werewolves, we have HARBRINGERS OF DEATH and Strawmen and chaos-inciting Beekeepers whose mouths and lungs are full of bees. The lore is interesting and backstory is explored. And I'm so captivated!

OTHER THINGS I LOVED:
☆ Aunt Bel who was an absolute GOLDEN GEM and fought for Essie's rights and treatment the whole time
☆ the harbringers are still here and they are aWESOME
☆ it basically gave us villains and then UNMADE their villiany
☆ but it also gave us unredeemable human villains who we want to give papercuts and pour lemon juice in them ok
☆ there are fabulous and fierce friendships!
☆ interesting and complex women with great relationships
☆ it's like fast-paced but also has a slower dreamy quality to it
☆ GORGEOUS WRITING THAT I LOVE
☆ the cover is absolutely divine and I wish to just absorb it forever
☆ there's a bit o' a murder mystery in this one
☆ I actually want 9389 more books in this world

All in all!? I just SO enjoyed this. It's beautiful and emotional and by halfway through I just realised I would die for Dresden and Essie so like...here, little green book of perfection, let me give you all the stars.
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Reading Progress

August 3, 2018 – Shelved
August 3, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
August 31, 2018 – Started Reading
September 1, 2018 –
page 157
51.64% "Dresden: I am a mONSTER and hated and spat upon
Essie: aww you're sweet tho
Dresden: [is mortally offended for the rest of the book]"
September 1, 2018 –
page 157
51.64% "Dresden: I am a mONSTER and hated and spat upon
Essie: aww you're sweet tho
Dresden: [is mortally offended for the rest of the book]"
September 1, 2018 – Shelved as: 5-star
September 1, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
September 1, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 1, 2018 – Shelved as: paranormal
September 1, 2018 – Finished Reading

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