The Lost Coast

Author: Amy Rose Capetta

Published: May 14, 2019

Publisher: Candlewick

Where I picked up my book: Free from the publisher via NetGalley-THANK YOU! (this does not influence my options at all)

Key Words: Queer, witches, fantasy, YA, magical

My Rating: 5

The Lost Coast bookishfolk

Synopsis (via Candlewick Press website):

Danny didn’t know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they’re ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn’t just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta’s tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.

My Thoughts:

Oh I really, REALLY loved this book. Witches, unapologetic queers, beautiful scenery, outsiders that stick together, a diverse group of friends, feminism and imperfectly perfect characters are just the beginning of why I loved this book so much. Let me break down my love a little bit more.

First, growing up, I didn’t get to see characters like these in books, or movies, or in real-life either, if I’m being perfectly honest. People that are unapologetically being themselves-whether that entails the color of their skin, their culture, their sexuality, what they like or how they like it, how they identify, or a combo of all of the above. I wasn’t seeing that anywhere. Here it is though! These characters showed us what it’s like to be different from mainstream culture and then how to embrace those differences. I found myself fist pumping for each of them every step of the way. They are the ones we all aspire to be. And after reading the author’s notes at the end where she made mention of this book being for those different ones, those who don’t know where they fit and those who live in places where being different is hard, it really solidified my thoughts. Basically, she wrote this book for the magical ones and I’m forever here for anything like that! I hope this one gets into the hands of as many young people as possible so they all know just how magical they really are.

Second, the scenery descriptions in this book were everything. I lived for a year in San Francisco and I remember those majestic redwoods and their smells and the fog surrounding life at times and it was all brought back to me through Capetta’s words. I could smell the woods, feel the fog on my face and walk in the soft earth below the trees. The writing alone in this book felt magical to me. Trees are truly my love language and right from the beginning, I knew I was set up to LOVE this book.

Third, the queer witch talk. Let me repeat…so much amazing, carefully crafted, inspiring, exciting queer witch talk. And I’m in for all of it! I’ve always thought of queers as a little bit witchy anyways (myself included in this) so all the YESES!

Fourth, I’ve always thought that we (those outside of “societal norms”)  carry each other. Queers, witches, women, people of color, and any others living outside of the societal norm…we are all a part of each other and we hold each other up. We may not interact on a daily basis, but when you come for one of us, you come for all of us. I’ve always felt that whether it’s in politics, in a classroom, in a bar, or in my daily life. I will stand tall and strong behind my other weirdos and this book might be the one that has made me feel that the strongest. Throughout the book I kept thinking of that concept and it would make me so emotional I wanted to cry, or yell my loyalty from a mountaintop while pounding my chest. (side note: I stuck with crying for all of those waiting for the live mountaintop feed).

Lastly…my life goal is to now become a Gray.

There is so much more to talk about in this book, but I’ll leave you to go read it now. If you enjoy witches, magic, queers, YA literature and writing that you can taste-I would highly suggest this book. I don’t think you will be disappointed. As always, let me know what you think! You can find me over on Instagram at bookishfolk or right here on the blog! Happy reading and thanks again Candlewick Press for the free copy!

bookishfolk…read instead.

 

The Wicked Deep

Author: Shea Ernshaw

Published: March 6, 2018

Publisher: Simon Pulse (an imprint of Simon & Shuster)

Where I picked up my book: Library

Key Words: Fantasy, YA lit, Paranormal, Witches

My Rating: 4.5 star

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Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

My Thoughts:

When I hear Book Riot describe this YA novel as, “The Salem witch trials meets Practical Magic meets Hocus Pocus” – I’m in, full force, 100%…and I was not disappointed. First, let’s talk about this cover art. It’s shiny and amazing and hooked me in from the second I saw it on #bookstagram. Plus, there is a bit of black and white art at the beginning of each chapter that I really loved. I used to dream about creating cover art, so I’m always drawn in to these aspects of a book. Plus, if anyone says they don’t judge a book by it’s cover…I want to meet you and see how the other side lives. Second, the writing swept me off my feet. (Well, not literally. I’m positive I was in a horizontal position for the majority of the reading of this book, but you get my point). It’s enchanting and gorgeous and provocative – just like a witchy book should read. And don’t get me started on the setting. It was dark, and gloomy, and wet and Sparrow Island was steeped in legend, traditions, folklore and magic. As I read, I was immediately placed in the setting. Living in Colorado, we don’t get much of that dark, gloomy, wetness (I’m not complaining, but the 300+ days of sun can sometimes put a damper on that New England, witchy, gloomy vibe that I periodically crave)…so I’m always obsessed when reading about it. I was also entranced by the way Ernshaw weaved the past and present throughout the book. It was engrossing and kept me totally engaged while chanting “once more chapter” into the wee hours of the night. There really wasn’t one thing that I didn’t like about the book. I’ve read a few reviews that people didn’t necessarily think the romance was realistic, but I’m here to remind us all that this is a YA novel. Yes, the romance happened quickly, and no, it’s not necessarily realistic to many adult lives, but are witches that steal girls bodies and kill the boys in the town really realistic? I don’t know…so let’s just agree to read the book and love it for what it is. If anything, the only small caveat I had was after I finished up the book, I just kept thinking (in my 38 year old brain)…so where in the hell were the parents when these kids were drinking and swimming and partying on the well known night that the Swan sisters are wreaking havoc on this little town?! But then I thought…who cares 🙂

If you like YA novels, witches and magic, I would highly recommend this book. And bonus-Netflix just won the bidding war to turn this into something-a show, series, or movie-YES! I can’t wait!

bookishfolk…read instead.