Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (9/7/21) – Curses

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I’ve been a fan of Lish McBride’s for a few years now, ever since I fell in love with Firebug back in middle school. So when I found out that she’d come out with a new book, I was OVERJOYED. I immediately put it on hold at the library, and I’m pleased to say that it didn’t disappoint in the slightest!

Enjoy this week’s review!

Curses by Lish McBride

Curses – Lish McBride

Merit Cravan is cursed. After refusing to marry the prince her mother wanted her to marry, a fairy godling cursed her to be a carnivorous beast. The curse can only be broken if she marries a man her mother chooses by her eighteenth birthday.

Tevin comes from a family of conmen, and after his mother blunders and gets on the wrong side of Lady Cravan, he’s traded to them in exchange for her mother’s freedom. He befriends Merit, and learns of her curse, but as her eighteenth birthday creeps ever closer, they discover that the way to break it is closer than either of them could have imagined.

Disney Live Action — Emma Watson as Belle BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017),...

TW/CW: gore, grotesque transformations, body horror, animal death, violence, drugging

I know, I know. Beauty and the Beast retellings have long seen their day in YA. We’ve all suffered through countless awful ones. But I am BEGGING you to read this one. You’ll love it, trust me.

I really missed reading Lish McBride books. Her wry sense of humor and genre subversion have never failed to capture my heart, and Curses was no exception. Not only does Curses flip the traditional aspects of Beauty and the Beast on their heads, it does so in the most over-the-top, tongue in cheek way possible. It’s a fairytale retelling that regularly laughs at itself. And I loved every minute of it.

The majority of the characters were compulsively lovable, and if they weren’t, they were so over-the-top that it was impossible not to have a laugh at their expense. Tevin was my favorite by far; he struck me as a very Loki-like character, but behind the magical charm and and conniving, he was a strikingly complex character. Merit was also a great protagonist! I loved her independent spirit, and the way that her curse was explored was fascinating. (Also, I loved all of the other weird curses that the side characters got – very Courtney Crumrin…no, no, wait, I think that was frogs, not snakes…anyways)

660 My prince twice over ideas | tom hiddleston loki, tom hiddleston,  thomas william hiddleston

But what I loved best about Curses is that it’s the lovably campy, comedic antithesis of every YA Beauty and the Beast retelling of the last decade or so. It’s the cure to a subgenera that has tried to take itself far too seriously, trying too hard to make itself “edgy” in order to appeal to The Teens™️. (For reference, see: Beastly, Of Beast and Beauty, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, etc.) Everything had to be all dark and gritty, or else it wouldn’t be marketable. It got old quickly. And I’m not sure if Lish McBride had this in mind while writing Curses, but this book is the perfect cure to all of that. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s plenty of laughs at its own expense, and it’s simultaneously a unique, well-written piece of art and the perfect counter to edgy retellings past. I’m 100% for pushing back against the notion that art has to be dark or edgy to be considered “deep” or worthy of praise, and if you agree, this is the book for you.

My only complaint is the worlldbuilding. It seemed complex at first glance (what with all the different types of faeries), but the more I read, the more surface-level it seemed. There’s a timestamp given, but what does that mean? Is this an alternate history? Is it just a year according to the world of Curses? Does it pertain to actual human history? I could’ve used some answers. But it’s my only complaint, really. I loved almost everything else.

All in all…well, it’s a gender-swapped Beauty and the Beast retelling, what more could you possibly want? 4.25 stars!

Loki Gif - GIFcen

Curses is a standalone, but Lish McBride is also the author of the Firebug series (Firebug and Pyromantic), the Necromancer series (Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and Necromancing the Stone), and several other novellas.

Today’s song:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (6/5/18)-Firebug

Hey, everyone, and welcome to the first BRT of June 2018! Also, happy summer!

My summer’s been pretty low key so far, but I’ve already gotten a lot of reading in. I just stopped by the library yesterday, so hopefully that will produce some more material for these reviews. This particular book was one I got at the library a few weeks ago. It was recommended to my by Goodreads, and I was instantly hooked. One of the first books that I’ve really LOVE loved (not counting sequels) since…wow, maybe since Daughter of the Pirate King  or Caraval. And I read those in April. Christ.

I hope you enjoy the review!

 

16117921.jpg

Firebug

The humans had the Mafia. But what about the others, those with supernatural powers or magical lineage? For them, there’s the Coterie. Led by Venus, the Coterie is responsible for killing others in the magical community who they deem dangerous or that threaten them. One of their best hitmen is Ava, who has the ability to start and control fires with her mind. And she’s only seventeen. After the death of her mother, Venus took Ava under her dangerous wing, and since then, the Coterie is all she’s ever known. And she hates it.

So when she receives her latest assignment-to kill a man who’s been a family friend for years-Ava knows she must rebel. Together with Lock, a half-dryad, and Ezra, a were-fox, Ava sets off on a journey to evade the Coterie once and for all, and put Venus in her place if they can.

 

My first thoughts before I read this book were that, OH MY GOD, IT’S TEEN LIZ SHERMAN!!!!

 

tumblr_nhwvuzUO5Q1r0gffeo2_500.gif
Don’t call me babe.

58698b07827668f64bf75d70eb4311d2.gif

And upon reading the book, I found a lot more similarities between her and Ava beyond their powers. They shared a fierce loyalty to their friends (Ezra and Lock reminded me a little of Hellboy and Abe Sapien), a bit of stubbornness, and a desperation to feel like they belonged somewhere.

Now, the book itself blew me out of the water! I haven’t read something as witty, funny, and action packed as this book in a long time. I really enjoyed all of the characters (Besides Ava, Lock, and Ezra, I really enjoyed Cade and a few others), their clever banter, and the interesting set of powers many of them had. Also, the chapter names need some serious recognition, guys. These are, like, Rick Riordan-level chapter titles. (My personal favorite was “Ain’t no party like a Coterie party, ‘cause a Coterie party’s got a body count”.)

There is a sequel, which I will probably review later, but all I’ll say is that it was just as good as book 1.

I hope you have a wonderful day, and keep on reading!