A to Z Challenge Book Reviews

My Languishing TBR: G #AtoZChallenge2024 #Books #BookReviews

G is for Girls

Learn more about the challenge here.

I’m doing folklore and book review posts to reach and please a larger audience. Previous years have shown select interest in both and to minimise blogging throughout the year, I’m focusing my efforts on April.

Focusing on an A to Z of my TBR (to be read) list, each letter will have books starting with that letter on my list, a book I’ve read and reviewed (with the review!) and one of my books matching the letter with a link about more info about the book.

I chose the books this year quite randomly from my Goodreads Want to Read page. Some are quite creatively added to letters.

If you’d rather check out my folklore post for today, go here.

Learn more about the challenge here.

You can read reviews for from previous years for this letter here and here, and my year-end reviews here, here, here and, most recently, here.


About the Book I’ve Read

Briar Girls by Rebecca Kim Wells

Lena has a secret: the touch of her skin can kill. Cursed by a witch before she was born, Lena has always lived in fear and isolation. But after a devastating mistake, she and her father are forced to flee to a village near the Silence, a mysterious forest with a reputation for luring people into the trees, never to be seen again…​

Until the night an enigmatic girl stumbles out of the Silence and into Lena’s sheltered world. Miranda comes from the Gather, a city in the forest brimming with magic. She is on a quest to wake a sleeping princess believed to hold the key to liberating the Gather from its tyrannical ruler—and she offers Lena a bargain. If Lena assists her on her journey, Miranda will help her break the curse.

Mesmerized by Miranda and her promise of a new life, Lena jumps at the chance. But the deeper into the Silence she goes, the more she suspects she’s been lied to—about her family’s history, her curse, and her future. As the shadows close in, Lena must choose who to trust and decide whether it’s more important to have freedom…or power.

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

A great Sleeping Beauty retelling with a sentient forest, blood mages with a lust for power, magical creatures, shape shifters, and curses.

The forest is quite interesting in how it behaves and what it wants to achieve. There were quite a few interesting twists.

Lena grew up believing she’s a monster – the lie her parents reinforced regularly to try to protect her. The curse on her is quite monstrous: her touch is instantly lethal. But her parents could have handled things better.

As she travels through the forest (the Silence), she learns how to interact with others without fear and leans to trust herself.

I get how jumping into bed with the first person who could touch her without dying could be about freedom, but then jumping into bed with someone else because it’s not about touching, but who she’s touching… Did the story really need to revolve around sex? Was hand-holding and cuddling not enough sensory overload after a lifetime of abstaining from touch? I did like that she could have both people in her life at the end – she walks away hand-in-hand with them when all is done.

Great world-building. I liked that the Gather (blood mage city) and the Silence (the forest) weren’t merely good or bad. I liked the layers of complexity. I also liked that it was a lot like the Seelie and Unseelie fae courts as the Silence had its own servants and protectors hunted by the Gather’s leadership and that they all live for a very long time without aging.

The young dragon is my favourite character, for loads of obvious reasons once you’ve read the story.

It did take me a while to get into the flow of the book, I was almost ready to DNF until Lena nearly drowned and the forest’s true identity came out. I’m glad I read it, though.

I had a problem with the italics as it messes with my eyes and head, making it difficult to read and enjoy the book. Authors and publishers: please consider the neurodivergent when making decisions about italics so books are accessible to all.

Loads of action, interesting themes and intricate world-building.

Trigger warnings: bloodletting, enslavement, curses, murder, on-page sex (both genders), torture

4 unicorn star rating

My Book

Blaze of Glory (Irascible Immortals #5)

Remember that you can request all of my books from your local library!

I hope you enjoyed this. For more books I’ve read and reviewed, check out either my Pinterest board about reviews or my Goodreads profile. Alternatively, you can check out my reviews on BookBub. Have you read any of the books? Loved or hated any of them?

You can now support my time in producing book review posts (buying books, reading, writing reviews and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

*FYI, my reviews are my honest opinion and if something bothers me, I tell it straight. How else will anything change? My opinions are based on being a voracious reader and book buyer, not an attack on the author.*

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8 thoughts on “My Languishing TBR: G #AtoZChallenge2024 #Books #BookReviews”

  1. I love retellings, Another great review, makes me want to read the book.
    ps. i hope my comments are going through, your site doesnt want to load on my browser 🙁

    1. I’m glad my review inspired you to want to read the book.
      As for the browser… Weird. I wonder why that is… Could be because 4 of the 5 sea cables connecting Africa to the world was broken over a month ago — could have something to do with that. We’re only going to be properly connected again in about 5 weeks.

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