Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (4/21/20)–Sawkill Girls

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Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I put this novel on a Goodreads Monday a while back, and my expectations were…well, I kind of forget, to be honest. On a whim, I put it on hold on the Kindle library, and now, I am SO GLAD that I read it. A beautifully written, supernatural feminist tale!

Enjoy this week’s review!

Sawkill Girls - Claire Legrand - Hardcover

Sawkill Girls 

For generations, Sawkill Island has had a reputation for girls that go missing in the night, never to be seen again. Rumors and legends of a hungry beast run rampant in the tiny community, but only now are they being investigated. And three girls may be the key to uncovering Sawkill’s supernatural secret.

Marion is new to the island. Plagued by discordant sounds, haunting visions, and a swarm of pale moths, she knows that something may be amiss on the island. Zoey still grieves the loss of her best friend, but with Marion’s help, she may have the tools to avenge her death at last. And Val, the school’s queen bee, harbors a secret that may hold the fate of the entire town in the balance.

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Claire Legrand has always been something of a hit-or-miss author for me. I liked The Year of Shadows and Some Kind of Happinessbut Foxheart got on my nerves. I didn’t know what to expect going into Sawkill Girls, as this was the first of her more YA novels that I’ve read. (The rest listed are middle grade.) So I was veritably stunned at how incredible this novel was.

I’m not much of a horror fan, but I do LOVE a good spooky, paranormal mystery sometimes. (I mean, hey, I’m a huge Hellboy fan, so there you have it.) This novel was wonderfully creepy and atmospheric. The prose was gorgeous, adding to the generally atmospheric feel of the novel. I was able to picture the sleepy setting wonderfully, with the lapping ocean and the thick forest…and lots of moths. MOTHS.

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(Bröther…I know this meme is dead, but I’ll torment you with it anyway…)

Legrand’s writing struck the perfect chord, a mix of beautiful, at times cosmic prose and tense creepiness throughout.

And I can’t get ENOUGH of most of the characters. Their emotion was palpable, and not only that, I loved the sisterhood dynamic that existed between them. Marion and Zoey were my personal favorites: Marion, with her intuition and determination, and Zoey, with her relentless loyalty and cunning. Even though I didn’t like Val as much (I think the point was to not like her as much, anyway), her struggles were deeply human, and she really came through in the end (no spoilers). Plus, Zoey throws out both X-Men and A Wrinkle in Time references. Of course you’ve got my attention.

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Sawkill Girls without context

And through it all, Legrand poses powerful themes of feminine friendship, strength, resistance, sisterhood, and resilience. We also have some LGBTQ+ and POC representation! Zoey is African-American and asexual, and there’s a wlw relationship in the novel. Bottom line: never underestimate three queer girls with powers.

All in all, a thrilling, feminist horror novel with transcendental writing and characters that are a force to be reckoned with. Five stars for me! 

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Sawkill Girls is a standalone, but as I mentioned earlier in the post, Claire Legrand has a multitude of other books out. 🙂

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Currently Reading Book Tag

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Happy Friday, bibliophiles!

Quick update before I begin:

…whooowee, looks like I’ll be staying home for the rest of the school year. I mean, it’s nice to stay around the house all the time, but I do miss going out to restaurants, the movies, bookstores…at least I have the Kindle library to help me with the latter. And they’re pushing back all the good movies…moment of silence for the fact that The New Mutants was supposed to come out today…[single tear slides down cheek]

Anyway, I found this tag on The Comfy Reader, and I thought I’d give it a try!

Here goes nothing…

How many books do you usually read at once?

Strictly one at a time, unless I have something to read for school. I used to be able to read up to four books at once, but I’ve slowly abandoned that method for focusing my attention on one book at a time.

Pfff, there’s this one scene from Hellboy (2004) that would fit this perfectly, where Professor Bruttenholm makes a comment on Abe’s reading habits…I can’t seem to find a gif of it, woe is me…

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How do you decide when to switch between multiple reads?

See above. I…don’t. I’m not sure how I managed it when I used to read multiple books at once, for that matter. I feel like I probably just switched based on when I ended in a good chapter, or if my interest just waned for one book.

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Do you ever switch bookmarks partway through a book?

NO! NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT…

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[ahem] anyway, I do pair up my books with a special bookmark that matches the cover color scheme or genre (I have a solar system one that I pair up with sci-fi books, sometimes)

Where do you keep the book(s) you’re currently reading?

It depends. Depending on the time of day, it’s either tucked away in my backpack, or lounging on the coffee table.

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What time of day do you read the most?

Early to late afternoon, mostly. Whether I’m at school or at home, that usually ends up being my reading schedule.

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How long do you typically read in one session?

It ranges from about a half hour to up to two hours, depending on how enthralled/not enthralled I am with the book.

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Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket off?

Not really, no. I like to keep the covers on, but it’s always interesting to take a peek and see what books look like sans dust jacket.

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What position do you mainly use to read?

Most of the time, I’m either sitting cross-legged or lying on my back, depending on the chair I’m sitting in.

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Do you take your current read with you everywhere you go?

ABSOLUTELY. Even if I don’t end up reading when I’m taking the book places, it’s always by my side.

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How often do you update your Goodreads reading progress?

When it comes to physical books, not too often. I’m not sure why. Kindle books, however, where I can see the percentage of the way through the book I’m at, I update more frequently. Don’t ask me why…I really don’t know why I do it either…

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What book(s) are you currently reading?

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

I’m currently reading Mosquitoland (I’m on a bit of a David Arnold kick this week). I’m about halfway through, and I love it so far!

I tag anyone who’d like to participate! 🙂

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Today’s song:

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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