The Grimrose Girls (series)
Now this book wasn’t really my style, I have to admit, but it was still an interesting read, so I’m adding it on here. The Grimrose Girls is a young adult book written by Laura Pohl, and very recently published in October, 2021. It follows a group of girls at a boarding school in Switzerland in the aftermath of their best friend’s death. At first they are overcome by grief and just trying to navigate the world without her, but soon more students start dying and they are forced to face the fact that Ariane’s death wasn’t an accident.
As Ella, Yuki, and Rory try to navigate what is really happening to their friends, Nani shows up as the new girl who is determined to find out what happened to her father. As their paths cross and their lives are inevitably entwined, the group discovers secrets they never knew were there and realize their lives are tangled with the thing they left behind when they were children: Fairy Tales. Can they solve the mystery of what’s causing these deaths or will their fairy tale ending catch up with them?
When I first read Wilder Girls, I had mixed feelings about it, but now looking back on it, I can appreciate the book and find it generally interesting and good. Now Wilder Girls was just published in July of 2019, and was written by Rory Power. The book starts a year and a half after a deadly virus they call ‘the Tox’ infects every girl (and teacher) at Raxter School for Girls. Since Raxter is on an isolated island, the military puts them under quarantine and allows them no contact with the outside world, barely supplying the girls with enough food or drink. It follows three girls, Hetty, Byatt, and Reese, who are unfortunately adjusted to life with the Tox.
Everything is normal(as normal as it can be with a deadly virus threatening them), until Byatt goes missing. Hetty then tries to find her, leading her to undiscovered secrets that were right under their noses the entire time. Raxter had a lot of rules but only one no one dared to break: Don’t break quarantine. In her search for Byatt, Hetty does, and unfortunately sets off a series of deadly situations she can’t fix. In their fight for survival, can they make it off the island to the mainland, or will they be overcome by the obstacles in their path? This book is often described as a ‘feminist lord of the flies’, and I feel like that is an acurate description. It’s an amazing book filled with mystery and hidden secrets that compel you to turn the page because you just have to know what happens next.
A Dark and Hollow Star (series)
Now, this book was long, but in a good way? It’s a total of 512 pages, with small print, so more words on the page. I read this book for hours at a time and only got like a hundred pages in, so if a slow read is not what you’re looking for (or maybe you’re a faster reader than I am), I don’t recommend this, but if you do like long reads (and Fantasy!) this is the book for you. A Dark and Hollow Star is a Young Adult Fantasy novel written by Ashley Shuttleworth which was very recently published in February 23, 2021. It follows four different teenagers, whose lives entwined in some way.
Now all four teenagers are main characters, but this book focuses on Nausicaä-A tempestuous Fury who was exiled to Earth and is determined to get her revenge- and Arlo-The “ironborn” half-fae, whose the outcast in her royal fae family- the most. Fans speculate that this is because of the title, as well as the cover, and that the next book in the series, A Cruel and Fated Light, will focus on the other two main characters, Vehan-A dutiful fae prince whose determined to earn his place on the throne-, and Aurelian-Vehan’s brooding guardian whose hiding a terrible secret.
A Dark and Hollow Star is about these four teenagers teaming up together to figure out who is behind the string of murders attacking ironborns across the country, but only they find something far bigger brewing behind the scenes. This book was a bit slow-paced I admit, but I think the author was mostly establishing and setting up the series, and it is still a good read and filled with action, and I personally can’t wait until the next one.
The Secret History
Now, I wasn’t originally that thrilled about this book. The only reason I had started reading it was because it was a summer reading assignment, but once I was a little ways into it I was really glad I chose it. It has become one of my favorite books and I greatly enjoyed reading it. The Secret History was written by Donna Tartt and was originally published in 1992. The book is set in the 1980s, at Hampden college in Vermont, and follows six students studying the classics-Richard Papen, who is the main character and who narrates the story, Charles and Camilla Macaulay, Francis Abernathy, Henry Winter, and Edmund “Bunny” Corcoran.
It’s classified as psychological fiction and full of twists and turns. The first half of the story follows Richard joining the tight knit group taught by Julian Morrow, and how he slowly uncovers the mystery and heavy tension surrounding the others. The second half is about the aftermath of Bunny’s death, and the struggle that follows, although it’s not the grief they’re struggling with. They’re struggling to keep the cops off their trail and their names off the FBI’s suspect list. Can they make it the rest of the semester without ending up behind a jail cell? Can Richard keep his newfound friends secret or will the pressure and guilt eat him alive?
Six of Crows (Duology)
Now, this is a very popular and talked about book on Book Tok, and I won’t lie and say I wasn’t preparing myself for disappointment when I first read this. However, it completely lives up to its hype and is absolutely a completely well written book with a bunch of disaster main character teens who you will 100% fall in love with. Six of Crows was written by Leigh Bardugo and published in September, 2015. It takes place two years after the Shadow and Bone series-another series written by Bardugo that takes place in the same world, also known as the Grishaverse. However, Six of Crows takes place in a different part of the world, and focuses on different characters.
The duology focuses on six troubled teenagers: Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, Jesper Fahey, Nina Zenik, Matthias Helvar, and Wylan Van Eck. The six teenagers plan a heist to rob the Ice Court-a highly well guarded fortress that has never been successfully robbed- and make a lot of money in the process. Six of Crows is a duology, and some of the characters appear in Bardugo’s new duology, King of Scars. The Netflix tv show, Shadow and Bone does indeed feature all of the Crows, except for Wylan, as a sort of prequel before the actual series is written. It intertwines itself with the Shadow and Bone plot. Season two is already confirmed and well into its way of production. The actors of some fan favorites, such as Wylan and Nikolai(from Siege and Storm), were recently released and fans could not be more excited to see them in action(me included). Six of Crows is an incredible book with deep and developed characters that you can relate to, and it will always be one of my favorites.
This article originally appeared in The Pioneer Outlook.