March 25, 2020

Friends with ARCs | Bone Crier's Moon + Little Universes

Little Universes simply blew me away. I had a gut feeling that it would be a good read, but I severely underestimated the impact this story would have on my heart! Sisters Mae and Hannah Winters are two girls who have personalities as different as night and day (and not just because one of them is adopted). Their world is turned upside down when a tsunami kills their parents on vacation, which leads to a series of unplanned changes (including a cross-country move to Boston), uncovered secrets and unanswered questions. Both girls must wrestle with their anger, grief and uncertainty (among several other things) & readers will follow along as the consequences of their choices play out.

Little Universes was a slow burn kind of story. It took a little while to ease into the storytelling style, which in turn meant that getting settled into Mae and Hannah’s respective narratives also took some time. But once it clicked, it really clicked, if you know what I mean. Now, this story is not a comfortable read. In fact, it seems almost designed to be that way as a challenge to the readers to really face these complicated and terrible situations with their unflinchingly honest portrayal (full list of scenarios at the bottom of this review). There were times when it was getting to be too much, and I had to take small breaks. But I couldn’t stop picking this story back up, and that’s really because I cared so much about what would happen to Mae and to Hannah. At its heart, this is a journey in three parts: Mae struggling to make peace with life (and other people) being out of her control when it stops being as straightforward as she’s always known it, Hannah struggling with her grief, anger and addiction brought on by her belief that she’s invisible or less than to the rest of the world, and these two sisters constantly butting heads and miscommunicating as they struggle to understand each other. Demetrios did an incredible job weaving the threads of this story together in a way that felt so real and relatable, especially the ups and downs and in betweens of the relationship between sisters (and I 100% cried like a baby multiple times while I was reading). While it’s not an easy read, I truly loved Little Universes and would definitely recommend checking it out.

(As a side note, this novel contains drug and alcohol use and abuse, mentions of abortion, mentions of suicide, suicide attempts, depression, grief over parental deaths, and infidelity.)
Hannah likes to write acorns - thoughts that she leaves scattered in a variety of places. What sort of acorn would you share with the world? Mine is fairly simple: “The most important moment in your life is right now.” It’s a sentiment I’ve tried to remember daily for a while now, both as a reminder to cherish the present and to really “be” present instead of looking too much at the past or the future.

Little Universes will be released on April 7, 2020 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR).
I received an ARC from the publisher for review. All opinionsare my own.

It was the lovely cover for Bone Crier’s Moon that initially put it on my radar, but it was the synopsis that secured it a spot on my TBR. The lore centers around Bone Criers, who are powerful women imbued with graces that allow them to protect the living from the dead but at the cost of their one true love. We follow three characters: Ailesse (who aspires to be the future Bone Crier matriarch and needs to complete her rite of passage), Bastien (who is determined to seek revenge on the Bone Criers for his father’s death) and Sabine (who has never had the heart to engage in typical Bone Crier traditions but will do anything to save her best friend after her rite of passage goes wrong). Unfortunately, outside of the lore (which feels French-inspired and easily captured my interest), Bone Crier’s Moon fell short of my expectations. It starts off well, and there were certainly moments I liked here and there. It personally just felt like the characters (and their relationships) were underdeveloped, and as a character-driven reader, that really made me less interested in the outcome of the story. Overall, Bone Crier’s Moon is an okay, but mostly forgettable addition to the YA fantasy genre, and I am sadly not going to continue the series. 

Which three animals would you pick for your bone graces and why? I would choose an snowy owl for night vision and flight, a tiger for immense power and decent land speed & a turtle for a defensive shell and the ability to swim.

Bone Crier's Moon (Bone Grace #1) was released on March 3, 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books.
I received an e-galley from the publisher for review via Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.


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