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Joined 1 year, 6 months ago

she/they Love and compassion are acts of resistance. Forever in recovery; learning to be a better human.

I read far more than I realized. I’m trying to find better words to describe the feelings manifested by the books I read, so my reviews may be more feeling oriented than objective.

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screamsbeneath's books

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2024 Reading Goal

Success! screamsbeneath has read 62 of 52 books.

Vajra Chandrasekera: Rakesfall (Hardcover, 2024, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 5 stars

Some stories take more than one lifetime to tell. There are wrongs that echo through …


5 stars

Fantastic. If you enjoyed Saint of Bright Doors I’d say this is an easy recommendation. It is less linear and a bit more off the rails; it’s like reading a Dali painting at times in the best of ways. We even get to venture back to Luriat for a time, in time. Don’t want to say too much because you should just take the plunge, but it’s a book I desperately want to talk about with people.

Narration was great but it probably increases the difficulty in keeping characters straight.

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Vajra Chandrasekera: The Saint of Bright Doors (Hardcover, 2023, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

Fetter was raised to kill, honed as a knife to cut down his sainted father. …

The Saint of Bright Doors

4 stars

The thing I enjoyed the most about the Saint of Bright Doors is the way my expectations were constantly dashed. The first line starts the book off feeling like a dark fantasy, as Fetter's shadow is stripped away from him. But from there he grows up some and moves to a city where there's all sorts of technology that make it feel like a parallel modern universe. But there's also subterfuge and revolution, group therapy for (non)-chosen ones, complicated family, and the mire of prison bureaucracy.

I think overall it's just different than a lot of books I've read, and I appreciate the myriad ideas it's trying to fit together. The pacing and narrative arc were not what I had expected, but somehow it was a delight all the same.

(One minor point that hit home is that this is in part a story of plagues and pogroms; and, horrifyingly …

Sydney J. Shields: Honey Witch (2024, Orbit) 5 stars

Honey Witch

5 stars

This was a wonderful slow burn, sapphic, cozy, cottage core romance with teeth. The pitch of Bridgerton meets Practical Magic is close, but honestly the regency period tropes are such a small part of the book since queer relationships are normalized.

I have to mention the narration first. Mia Hutchinson Shaw was phenomenal. If I had just read the book then the characters would have been far flatter and the romance nowhere near as sizzling. Listen to this if you can!

The pacing was really well done, the conflicts in the light parts of the story weren’t dragged out and the crescendo at the end was long enough to have impact without feeling layered on to hit a specific range of emotional turmoil.

The romance was so good if you like a really slow burn and pseudo enemy to lover trope. The characters all had depth, their choices and flaws …

finished reading Door-To-Door Bookstore by Carsten Henn

Carsten Henn: Door-To-Door Bookstore (2023, Harlequin Enterprises ULC, Hanover Square Press) No rating

The lighthearted tag I saw on this was a lie. It’s almost 50% gut wrenching sadness. Really good emotional read, but not what I was wanting and I felt like I was taken hostage, needing to rush to the end since it was unrelenting. Not the books fault, it would have been a five star had I been emotionally primed for it.