Binding of Bindings · Book Promo

Binding of Bindings : 10 YA Books with Unique Concepts

Wanna get weird?

 

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~* 10 YA Books with Unique Concepts *~

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1. Bone Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace, Book 1) by Kathryn Purdie
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Bone Criers Moon

Bone Crier’s Moon is the perfect way to kick off this ‘Unique Concepts‘ post, especially because it’s about a tribe of women who kill their soulmates so they can ferry souls across the gates of Heaven and Hell.

The women are called Leurress and their purpose is to guide the Chained and Unchained to the gates they belong to. In order to become a ferrier, each Leurress has to acquire three Grace Bones from animals they hunt and kill themselves. The “Graces” they receive from the animal – like the speed of a rabbit, the sight of a hawk, the stamina of…something – become abilities they then posses as long as they wear the bones.

Once they acquire all three bones, they must complete the final ritual. Using the sacred Bone Flute that opens the gates on ferrying night, the Leurress must play the flute and lure her soulmate to a bridge…and kill him.

(See my review here)

 

2. Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Dooms Day Preppers (I told you it was a genre now)

Last girls

I just read Last Girls last week, and it was fantastic. It’s a story of three sisters who live on a compound with other Dooms Day Preppers, where they train in hand to hand combat, hunting, survival skills, making bombs…you name it.

But there’s a story within this story, and it is epic.

The Juniper sisters are the “weird sisters” wherever they go. Honey is the responsible older sister whose job is to keep her sisters in line and together. Birdie is the middle sister who does what she wants, when she wants. She is the brash and fiery sister. Blue, the youngest, has cobalt blue hair and is the calm that holds the girls together. She also has a tendency to say odd little prophetic sentences at all times of the day and night.

(See my review here)

 

3. All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Mystery/Thriller

All your Twisted Secrets

All Your Twisted Secrets:

SAW meets THE BREAKFAST CLUB.

Six seniors are locked in a room with a bomb, a syringe and a note instructing them to pick one person to kill. Before time is up, they must choose one person to inject with the lethal liquid, or they all die.

And Oh. My. Shit. is that ending going to blow your mind.

(See my review here)

 

4. The Hazel Wood series by Melissa Albert
Genre: YA/Fantasy

I personally thought the first book in this series was better, but the concept is still kickass.

It has all the twisted Grimm’s Brothers vibes you could want, and instead of it being a book of bubbly fairy tales and happy endings, it’s very much like a Once Upon a Time version where everything is actually quite fucked up.

The Hazel Wood is an estate where writer Althea Proserpine lives, and where she writes the haunting stories set in an eerie world called The Hinterland. Alice has never read the stories her grandmother wrote, and instead has been outrunning bad luck with her mother for years. But when her mother suddenly disappears, Alice is forced to find her grandmother, becomes it seems that her mother has been taken to a place that wasn’t supposed to be real – The Hinterland.

The world building is so cool, and the fairy tales are jacked up, so naturally I loved it. The Night Country was meh because it turns into more of an Urban Fantasy, but the world building was still amazing.

(See my reviews for The Hazel Wood here and The Night Country here)

 

5. A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Mental Health

A Danger to Herself and Others

THIS book.

What a psychological whirlwind this was.

It’s about a girl who is institutionalized for something that happened at school with one of her friends. She claims she didn’t do it and knows that she just has to prove that she is sane so they will let her go home.

But the truth of what happened is so unexpected and so heart-clenching...

…it was immediately one of my new favorite books, and still is.

READ THIS.

(See my review here)

 

6. Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling

Red Hood

Red Hood is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling, but so different and bizarre that you’ll be saying “wtf” while grinning from ear to ear.

This is a straight-up feminist retelling. And when I say feminist, I mean

FEMINIST.

It dives deep into those womanly hardships of feeling unclean, unimportant, unsafe and unworthy. It is unhinging how gritty and purely raw this story is, and the author doesn’t hold back at all.

In this story, men and boys who wish to hurt women are the wolves. But our main character Bisou, and her grandmother, are bestowed with a special gift that allows them to sense the wolves and kill them. But the real magic about this book, is that the shining star of it is PERIODS.

Yeah. I’m not kidding.

(See my review here)

 

7. The Door to January by Gillian French
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Paranormal/Mystery

The Door to January

The Door to January is a really interesting YA Paranormal/Mystery combo in that it has elements of spirits, murder, a fantasy door to the past, and very serious trauma.

It is about a girl named Natalie who went through a very traumatic experience in the woods two years prior to the reader meeting her. Now, after her family had moved away, Natalie keeps experiencing dreams of a door in a house she thinks is from back home. So when she ventures back to her hometown, and she and her cousin investigate the old house, spirits start to communicate with her.

 

This book is bursting with multiple plots and is completely unique.

(See my review here)

 

8. The Life of Death by Lucy Booth
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy

The Life of Death

Ugh. What a whirlwind this story was!

The Life of Death is just like it sounds, it’s about the life of death – or the “Grim Reaper“.

As a woman is about to be hung for accusations of being a witch, she is visited in her cell by HIM. He offers her a deal, a chance at a life after death as death itself. And so she accepts.

And so for the next 500 years Elizabeth acts as death, guiding souls across the threshold. But in their dying moments, Elizabeth takes on the face and memories of a loved one that the dying most desires to see. She guides them along with love and compassion.

But when Elizabeth comes across a man whose wife she just helped cross over, she is suddenly struck by love and wants out. So HE gives her a task: HE will assign her five lives that she must take, and then she will be free.

And this is where things get fucked up and sad.

(See my review here)

 

9. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction/Fantasy

The Ten Thousand Doors of january

What a lovely and fantastical story this is!

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is all about doors to other worlds, bad men trying to destroy the doors and keep the beautiful secrets inside for themselves, and a young woman trying to get to her father. It’s a tale of EPIC romance, and a coming-of-age fantasy period-piece that NEEDS to be a movie NOW!

Probably one of the best stories I have read in my lifetime, for its exquisite writing and amazing plot.

Just go buy it.

(See my review here)

 

10. Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Genre: YA/Horror/Mystery/LGBT

Wilder Girls

I know a lot of you have seen this one and read it already, but it deserves a spot on this list for it’s astounding yet horrific uniqueness.

Wilder Girls is the feminist Lord of the Flies that you didn’t know you needed. And as I said in my review:

This book will make your skin shift.

Though this is in the Horror category, and is definitely creepy, it isn’t a scary story. It’s creepy in the sense of science fiction in that a school for girls has been infected with a virus they call The Tox. And the Tox effects each girl differently when the flare-ups hit them – from seconds spines and hearts, scales growing on the hands or face to lesions or skin bubbling. The story tracks how the girls live among one another trying to survive, and then figuring out how to escape once the government stops sending them aid.

But the best part of this book is the unflinching unity between these girls who look like monstrous creatures, but have respect towards one another and don’t even bat an eye to one another over physical abnormalities.

Now THAT is an enviable world to live in.

(See my review here)

 

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Stay Witchy

 

 

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Book Reviews · Netgalley

Book Review: The Life of Death by Lucy Booth

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Unbound, via Netgalley for an honest review.

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: One soul. One pact with the Devil. One chance at love.

Elizabeth Murray has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life. To survive Elizabeth must become Death itself.

Elizabeth must ease the passing of all those who die, appearing at the point of death and using her compassion to guide them over the threshold. She accepts and, for 500 years, whirls from one death to the next, never stopping to think of the life she never lived. Until one day, everything changes. She – Death – falls in love.

Desperate to escape the terms of her deal, she summons the man who saved her. He agrees to release her on one condition: that she gives him five lives. These five lives she must take herself, each one more difficult and painful than the last.

Opinion:

I am the woman you most want to see in those final seconds you live on this earth. I have been wives, daughters, best friends. I have been a beloved nurse, a primary school teacher. Your first love. I am the ultimate mother.

I am Death.”

Death is not the hooded figure you’ve heard about in stories. Death does not lurk in the shadows with a sadistic twinkle in it’s hollow skull, awaiting bloodshed and cruelty. Death does not take a life out of selfishness or evil. Death is a woman, and she only comes when she is called. She comes to those who are reaching their life’s end, to be a guide into their afterlife, wherever that may be. And for the last 500 years, Lizzie has been Death. She has been a familiar and loving face to those who are nearing their end, and she takes pride in helping others. But when Lizzie comes across a man named Tom, she is stricken with a love she never thought she’d have. Desperate to end her time as Death and to be able to have a life with Tom, He agrees to release her from her contract on one condition: she must kill five people of His choosing.

In 1590, I sold my soul to the Devil.”

After being accused of witchcraft, Elizabeth Murray is sentenced to be burnt at the stake. But as she awaits her impending doom in the dungeons, she is visited by Him – the Devil. He comes to her with an offer. He promises her, in exchange for her soul and complete ownership over her, she can “live” as Death. Naturally, she makes the deal. And so, for 500 years, Lizzie lives as Death. Constantly moving around the world, guiding souls across the veil between the living and the dead. She only comes when needed, as a means of comfort to the soul that is dying to ensure they go in peace and happiness. She does not take the lives she guides into Death, she only arrives as a servant in the circle of life.

Lives are given to me – I never take them. Never.”

This depiction of Death always takes the form of a woman, but her face changes to match the wants of the person dying. Whether someone wants to see their mother, sister, daughter, or aunt, Death becomes them. She is given the memories of the woman she becomes, and speaks with the person as they begin to enter the afterlife. But what is really interesting, is that some people are able to actually see Death for who she is, and keep her at arms length. Of course when this happens, it is utterly depressing to witness because those people go into a totally hysteria and shock as they realize what is happening to them. But Death has a job to do, and she does it well. She is a woman of a billion faces.

This is no place for a woman, I’ve heard it said.

I’ve never seen a place a woman was more needed.”

This is honestly one of the coolest and most unique stories I have ever come across. The outlook on death that this author possessed was truly special. She gave death a gentle and feminine quality that makes you feel comfortable with its presence. It is delicate and sweet, rather than a cold and fearful entity that we all seem to shrink away from. This author gives the reader an intimate introduction to an idea of death that almost brings peace and quiet. It is sensitive, caring, heart-achingly beautiful and truly one of a kind.

It is so seldom that a book can reach into my soul with such ferocity and gentleness.

But this book did that.

It crushed me.

This entire story feels like a poem written just for me. Like the author knew I would need this, and I am confident that I am not the only person who will feel this. The Life of Death is a love song, a sonnet. A message in a bottle that has traveled through storms of anger and eerie calm, only to wash up at the feet of its desired recipient. The writing is so descriptive and perfect. I was lost in this story, feeling waves upon waves of emotions for Lizzie and these fleeting characters.

It’s breathtaking.

But as soon as I began to see that this story was one of beauty and acceptance of death, the author drove a knife into my heart and cut the ties on the dam that was holding my tears in. DEVASTATION. Unending, literal, soul-crushing, weep-worthy devastation. And all I can say is, why? WHY?! Why did you fill me up with so much love and assurance, and then just cut me at the knees and leave me in a pool of my own despair?? Couldn’t we just let this be a story of happiness and good fortune?

Of course we couldn’t, this is the story of Death, after all. And in all reality, this isn’t the bright and happy story that I am making it out to be. It is a dark and gritty tale once Lizzie begins killing the people that He decides upon. Because each of these people are innocents. They aren’t supposed to die, but they must in order for Lizzie to be released from her contract with the Devil. And the worst part? Lizzie has to use other people to do the killings. So not only is she taking the lives that the Devil tells her to take, but she is also forever altering the lives of those she takes control of to do the deed.

This isn’t a fluffy tale.

It’s a tale about Death.

But even so, I can’t help but hold it close to my heart as a book that I will forever think fondly of. It’s just beautiful, in all of its depressing and dark glory. I highly recommend it to any reader that is looking for something truly different from the normal stories currently out there. It will give you a whole new outlook on death, and honestly, its for the best.

Fade to black.”

5-stars

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · Upcoming Releases

Binding of Bindings #16: My Top 10 Anticipated May Book Releases

We are coming to the end, my dear book stalkers and murderers.
The end of April Showers, or for some of you, the hopeful end of that never-ending April Snowfall.
But look UP my loves!
With the end of April, comes the start of MAY!
It’s going to be amazing.
GLORIOUS.
Positively, downright, breathtakingly FANTASTIC!
So saddle-up gorgeous, because I’m taking you with me!

 

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~* My 10 Anticipated May Book Releases *~

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1. The Life of Death by Lucy Booth

Release Date: May 2, 2019
Genre: Fantasy

The Life of Death.jpg

Let’s start this post out cheery, shall we?

The Life of Death is about the brooding beauty of bleak.

The soother of sordid slip-ups, sadness and silence.

It is Death, himself.

Or in this case, Death HERSELF.

As Elizabeth is awaiting her sentence to burn at the stake for being a witch, she is visited at her cell by a man who offers her a deal. One that will give her immortality and allow her to escape death, all she needs to do…is become Death itself. She accepts the offer, and begins her life escorting souls over the threshold.

But when she falls in love and tries to end her deal, she is tasked with giving the man who save her 5 lives in exchange for her own.

Sounds AWESOME, right?!

 

2. The Ember Blade (The Darkwater Legacy, Book 1) by Chris Wooding

Release Date: May 2, 2019
Genre: Adult/Fantasy

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An Epic Fantasy SURE to make you lose sight of reality!

The Ember Blade follows Aren on his quest to retrieve the Ember Blade in order to free his people from slavery. It is promised to be an adventurous and fast-paced thrill ride, and one that any lover of fantasy can get lost in.

It’s Lord of the Rings meets The Sword in the Stone…and honestly. who doesn’t want that?!

 

3. Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic, Book 1) by Maya Motayne

Release Date: May 7, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Nocturna

I mentioned Nocturna previously in my 12 Upcoming Book Releases Gifted By Publishers post two weeks ago, but shhhhh…

You want to hear this again.

It’s about a faceshifter named Finn who is tasked with an impossible mission, and a Prince who is looking for a way to bring his brother back from the dead. Their lives collide in chaos as they unleash a power that could bring the world to an end, unless they can stop it.

This is one I am REALLY looking forward to, and one that gives me tingly vibes of nostalgia to A Face Like Glass and Lysandra from Throne of Glass.

 

4. Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling

Stepsister.jpg

Retellings make the world go ’round, ESPECIALLY Cinderella retellings!

We all know the tale of the mean, ugly and dim stepsisters…but come on guys.

Where’s the COMPASSION?!

Stepsister tells the story of Isabelle who has spent her entire life living in the shadow of Cinderella. She has tried to match the beauty and sweetness of Cinderella her entire life, only to chop away pieces of herself in order to become something of desire for others. Surrounded by those who value beauty above all, she feels pushed down and set aside. But when she gets the chance to change her life for the better, she is able to prove just how strong she really is.

I can already tell this isn’t going to be some fluffy Disney retelling. It’s a story of empowerment, self-love and learning to stop trying so DAMN hard to please other people.

I am SO on board.

 

 5. The Living God (Book 1) by Kaytalin Platt

Release Date: May 12, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

The living God

Two magesSaran, a Princess with the ability to manipulate time, and Keleir, a fire mage whose body is the host for a demon and who is foretold to be The Living God. Their two lives become intertwined, and are brought together by fate. But the eventual end of the world is near if Keleir does indeed fulfill the prophecy and become a living God

The Living God has some pretty great reviews up right now, and I am getting really excited to read it. It sounds like a super exciting fantasy that definitely sounds unique.

 

6. The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

Release Date: May 21, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

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This Historical Fiction/Mystery is a story of suppression, love, social norms and of course…murder.

Set in 1826, Frannie Langton is being tried for the murder of her former employers whom she worked as a maid for. In a world where she is thrust down for her race and classification, Frannie recounts her story of what really happened.

From the reviews I have read so far, this story sounds like it is going to be a sorrowful mystery that will grab your attention!

7. The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields

Release Date: May 21, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

The Bone Charmer.jpg

In Saskia’s world, there are multiple types of bone magic, and one’s she desires more than others. But when Saskia is assigned to train as a Bone Charmer, which is the same as her mother, and a love reading matches her with an undesirable boy, she is split between a life she wishes for and a life she is foretold to have.

I found the premise for this story to be really interesting, and am hoping it has a dark and gritty feeling to it. I love a bit of magic, so hopefully this will turn out to be a winner!

Plus, I am getting completely lost in that COVER!

 

8. The Missing Season by Gillian French

Release Date: May 21, 2019
Genre: YA/Mystery

The missing Season.jpg

When Clara moves to the broken-down town of Pender, all anyone ever seems to talk about is the Mumbler – a monster that lives in the marshes and steals children on Halloween night. As Clara becomes attracted to a group of misfits who are love to weave the frightening tale, Clara knows that it is all just imaginary. Isn’t it?

I feel like this story can go a MILLION different ways, and I am so curious to see where French takes this story.

Is there actually a monster? Is one of the kids going around killing people?? Does it have NOTHING to do with the Mumbler?!

Time will tell.

 

9. Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilagariff and Georgia Hardstark

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Genre: Nonfiction/Crime/Autobiography

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This isn’t a crime novel, it’s a self-help book.

The authors, Karen and Georgia, have a well-known podcast called My Favorite Murder where the two women discuss murders and relate it to everyday life.

Confused? So was I.

Basically this book, and their podcast, is about staying alive and how to do it flawlessly. The authors share personal stories and experiences that range from depression and eating disorders, to how to live happily and be the best version of yourself.

If you’ve heard the podcast, I know you’re 100% ready for this. But if you haven’t, I suggest jumping in and enjoying the comical musings of these two ladies who are OBSESSED with murders.

 

10. The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Release Date: May 28, 2019
Genre: YA/Sci-fi

The Kingdom

Robots and a high-tech world straight out of a video game.

SWOON!

The Kingdom is basically a virtual theme park similar to Ready Player One (hopefully you have read the book or seen the movie) where there are virtual creatures, extravagant buildings and you can do anything you want.

Ana is a robot princess, one of seven Fantasists who are created to bring your dreams to fruition. Though human emotions and feelings aren’t made up in Ana’s code, she suddenly falls for a guy named Owen. But when Owen is found murdered, Ana is blamed and put on trial.

If you are a gamer like me, then you are probably doing a happy dance for the release of this book. It’s my favorite fantasy elements mixed with gaming, strange creatures, a mystery and the never-ending psychological question of “what makes a human, human?”.

ALL. Wrapped up. Into one. Giant. Sci-fi fest.

SO stoked!

 

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I’d love to hear what books you guys are excited to read in May, and what ones I didn’t mention in this list!

Let me know!!

As always, take care and stay witchy! ❤

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