Author: tesscatiful

Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“Months passed, winter easing gently into place, as southern winters do. The sun, warm as a blanket, wrapped Kya’s shoulders, coaxing her deeper into the marsh. Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land that caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.” I was completely entranced by this story, in ways I never expected to be. It was memorable, both in character and in content, and though it was only a story about one little girl in one small part of the world, it swept me off my feet as if it were a saga. It’s books like these that prove stories do not to be epic in scope to pack a punch. You can still fall in love with a character and their journey, and that’s exactly what I did. If you’re …

My Top 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2019

10. Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich Before the birth of time, a monk uncovers the Devil’s Tongue and dares to speak it. The repercussions will be felt for generations… Sixteen-year-old Zoey has been fascinated by the haunted ruins of Medwyn Mill House for as long as she can remember–so she and her best friend, Poulton, run away from home to explore them. But are they really alone in the house? In 1851, seventeen-year-old Roan arrives at the Mill House as a ward–one of three, all with something to hide from their new guardian. When Roan learns that she is connected to an ancient secret, she must escape the house before she is trapped forever. 1583. Hermione, a new young bride, accompanies her husband to the wilds of North Wales where he plans to build the largest water mill and mansion in the area. But rumours of unholy rituals lead to a tragic occurrence and she will need all her strength to defeat it. Three women, centuries apart, drawn together by one Unholy Pact. …

My Top 5 Reads of 2018

“When I was twelve, my parents had two talks with me. One was the usual birds and bees. […] The other talk was about what to do if a cop stopped me.” Echoing the words every single reader has said about this book: The Hate U Give should be required reading. For everyone. Of any age. It is the ultimate flagship novel for the YA genre; Angie Thomas gives us characters we can love, who feel real and that we care about. It talks about important and relevant topics but not harshly; it’s done with emotions, with tears. It’s done slowly, making you fall for Starr and her family, presenting the themes with a side of love and compassion. It explores racism in a way we can all understand, or we all should understand, whether we are old or young, black or white. The police brutality against innocent black people and the horrors and injustice that ensues, but also casual day-to-day racism, the kind that so many people just don’t understand is harmful. It’s not …

This is why I write

Some useless dude once told me I should give up on writing. “You really should stop,” he said. “What’s the point? There’s no money in writing.” As if I didn’t know. As if I had spent my youthyears toiling away thinking I was going to be the next JK Rowling. As if money is the only reason we do anything. I suffer no delusions, trust me. I’ve always known what I’m getting myself in for. Authors make a pitiful amount of money and it’s only getting worse, yet here I am, still fighting for my place on the shelf. This is what a lot of non-writer people don’t understand about my (stellar) choice of career. They’re either under the impression that publishing is a lucrative career option (it’s not), or they think I’m a fucking idiot. Because why oh why would anyone work so hard if they’re not going to be paid for it? I’m no stranger to reward-free work. I’m surprised I stayed in school as long as I did, for the amount of …

Review: The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

“You called a god, and the god answered.” The Poppy War may actually be the adult fantasy debut of the year. Everyone and their mother is raving about it, five-star reviews are littering Goodreads. And though I may not have ended up quite as obsessed as the rest of the bookish community, I was still immensely impressed. If you’re a fan of Chinese-inspired high fantasy, pay attention. The Poppy War draws from the culture in so many different ways, ways that make it stand out from other books in the genre. It draws from the rich folklore of course, but touches more on lesser known legends, creatures of nightmare and notably DEITIES. There are copious martial arts here, if you’re into that, but most importantly, the story itself is based on true Chinese history (and a very interesting history, at that.) Author R. F. Kuang sums it up perfectly: “This is, as I’ve always conceived it, a war story. It draws heavily on the Second Sino-Japanese war which–if you know anything about Asia–was one of …