- Author: Tracy Deonn
- Debut-Book 1 in a series (*cries silently in a corner*)
- Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy; King Arthur Reimagining
- IG-@tracydeonn; Twitter-@tracydeonn
- Release Date: 9/15/2020 (out NAOW!)
- Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
- Favorite Character-Alice! William comes in close second. Alice is the best friend that we all should have…the yin to Bree’s yang, the alarm clock when she is still asleep, the one that gives it to her straight when she don’t want to hear it but need to…the one who can read Bree for filth and she can’t say ish back because she know Alice is right. I just loved her! I also loved William and his Legendborn tea-spilling self…he keeps it pretty cute when he spills it too.
- Favorite Quote(s)-This is one of the many things I loved that was thought or said “Because broken hearts strip vocabularies down to their raw bones, and because I don’t want After-Bree to show up and turn this conversation into a tear-streaked explosion, I’ve scripted an admission using as few words as possible: “My mother died three months ago.“‘-Bree. I paused after I read that because of not just the heaviness but also the realness of it. I haven’t seen someone write down what that feeling was before and I felt it, 1000%. Also here is a brief convo between Alice and Bree that spoke to me: Alice-“Okay in there?”; Bree-“Yeah. Just realized I need to wash my hair.”; Alice-“Damn.”; Bree-“Yeah.” This was another moment I felt so hard because I hate washing my hair since it’s a process…and when friends understand that pain, I feel seen! (I will say that I have started embracing hair washing time as a self-care time but its’ still work doe!)
First of all, I’m obsessed with the cover of Legendborn…like I can’t stop staring at it! I had my finalized copy Face out (and I don’t usually do that on my bookshelves) for a while and I purchased a frame for the pre-order poster long before I ever pre-ordered because I knew Bree had to go up on my Magical Black Kids wall (I’m pretty sure I asked Tracy a million times how I could get the cover on a poster before I saw the Legendborn promo boxes and subsequent pre-order incentives that y’all KNOW I was sure to redeem)! Just look at the cover and tell me that it’s not worth staring at for prolonged periods of time…Go on and take a moment to look at it and then come back… *waits* Thank you for joining me in my obsession! To further witness my obsession, here is a video on Instagram where I’m opening my copy of Legendborn & the poster.
So, when I saw the cover (because, clearly I’m obsessed with it and I’m not apologizing either), I KNEW I had to read this book…I entered every giveaway I possibly could so I could read an ARC of it and finally, the Book Gods smiled upon me….I won an ARC through San Diego Comic Con (thank you RivetedLit.com and San Diego Comic Con)! When I tell you I squealed so hard when I saw that email (I was with a student, I couldn’t scream in a 5 year olds ear), it was likely #TheSquealHeardAcrossTheWorld! When I got my copy, I SCREAMED! It was one of the best days of my life! I literally had just tweeted about wanting a copy too so you can’t tell me that whatever divine being you celebrate isn’t good! To prove my hypeness, see the screenshot below!
Let me get to talking about Legendborn…I quite literally can talk about this book ALLLLLLLL WEEK, but I know we all don’t have time like that! When I finally sat down and started this book, I DID NOT want to put it down! When I say #LegendbornKeptMeUp, I really mean that ish! The first day I had started at night and the next time I looked up, it was light out and my fitbit said it was 7 am…since I had to be up at 8 am, I thought “f*ck it” and read until it was time for to have actually gotten up…I think actually read for a little longer after that too… I regret NOTHING people, not one single second! It was a good thing I was off from work! I stayed up the subsequent nights until 5 am til I finished… and I finished Legendborn in less than 72 hours…this book is almost 500 pages y’all…again, I regret NOT-A-DAMN-THING! This book was SO EFFIN’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOD!
Legendborn takes place on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill and while I didn’t go to that school (I went to THE University of Alabama, Roll Tide Roll), I felt at home in the story because it sounded & felt so much like my alma mater’s campus! When Bree’s dad asked “Met any Black kids yet?”, I cackled SO HARD because that’s what it was like on my campus until I met a Black football player (they aren’t uncommon) and found my way to NCNW (National Council of Negro Women) & Black Greek Life! Bree also talked about growing up/living in the South and getting used to being in places not meant for US (i.e. Black People) and in her saying “a Rebel flag flying high out front.” I remember Rebel flags being in dorm windows and on cars despite it being supposedly “outlawed” on campus…hell, my college department’s main building was named for a KKK member… ahhhhh, the South, where they live in the past but tell us to get over it… but I digress. Anyway, I felt like I was part of the story because of the details Tracy shared and what I remember of my Alma Mater. The fact that I felt so at home in the story also speaks to Tracy’s ability to paint a picture in the reader’s mind (I’m seriously obsessed) and she gave me my entire life while taking away my ability to go to sleep! I also was dreaming of what could possibility happen next in the story when I did sleep!
As you already know, I’m enamored with Bree’s depiction on the cover but I’m even more so with her character. She’s the angry Black girl that we all deserve…that so many of us has been and may still be…I know my anger has grown since I was a teen because of the state of this country and the trauma experienced due to it… Bree speaks about the “After Bree“, the person she became after her trauma and I think so many of us have an “After [insert your name here]” because of events that change who we were at the time of its occurrence. I love that she didn’t apologize for her anger…so often Black girls are shamed for their anger rather than being validated in what they are experiencing/feeling. I also thought it was amazing that she had her BFF Alice there to support her (but also check her) when she needed it as well as a father who tried to be as understanding as possible. Another thing I loved is that Bree has the most magnificent way of reading folks for filth and I was SO *clap* HERE *clap* FOR *clap* IT *clap*! Sis went in at times and I can neither confirm nor deny that I yelled every time she did (and tweeted Tracy, lol).
Speaking of her BFF Alice, I think she is just the Bee’s knees! She has some of the best lines and she makes her presence known when she’s on the page. Alice felt more than a secondary or supporting character to me. She is a character that you would think of pages later and be like “hmmmmm…WWAD?…What Would Alice Do?” because shes the type of character you’d always want insight from! I lived for the moments where she gave Bree the two finger tap on the shoulder, told her to have a seat and read her when she needed the reality check. I also felt that she served as Bree’s anchor when she started to get a bit lost in what she was dealing with. We all need that friend, seriously. I Loved Alice so much and I can’t wait to see her in Book 2 and I really hope she gets more page time because sis is just that AWESOME!
I have to also take a moment to acknowledge my very close in second fav, William…the tea spiller and shade provider…a character after my own heart! He was absolutely hysterical and I lived for him! I loved how he was up for shaking ish up in the background and giving ZERO EFFS about what people thought. He was like “oh, y’all are adhering to this code of silence…well, I’m not so sit here and get this tea”…I just ADORED HIM! There was also a moment between him and Bree that I will NOT spoil that whenever I think of it, I just burst out laughing because he’s so hilarious in that scene! His and Bree’s banter…His and ANYONE really’s banter is just great! I wouldn’t be surprised if you, too, also fall in love with his character when you read the book *hint* *hint* *nudge* *nudge*. I really can’t wait to see what witty life giving banter and tea spills he will bring to us to in Book 2!
Like every good YA book, there is a love interest…there’s actually two! My brain basically exploded once it fully hit me that there was a love triangle…and yes, I knew about it before I read the book because Tracy shares that outright but it hits different when you read the book and you realize that it is happening/has happened! Am I going to say what team I’m on…hmmmmmmmm *taps chin*…I don’t think I will because I want you all to read the book and figure out who’s team you are on, LOL! So I will say, I am #TeamWhoEverBreeWants and be Switzerland in this bish because I’m also #TeamFormYourOwnOpinions, lol! You maybe disappointed that I didn’t talk more about this but I REALLY REALLY REALLLLLLLLLLY want you to go out and get then read this book!
For real, for real y’all…I freaking LOVEDDDDDDDDD this book and I hope that I have convinced you enough to pick up this book if you don’t already have it and read it if you haven’t! This book is simply PHENOMENAL and deserving of every bit of hype it received! If you need any further convincing…take yet another look at this gorgeous cover centering a POWERFUL MAGICAL BLACK GIRL!
I think I have occupied enough of your time today but if you feel differently, there are other blog posts of mine that you can read and you can also find me on Instagram doing lives & ish! I also recently launched the blog for DiversaTeas Reads, which is a Black Woman Founded & Owned book box that features OwnVoices books/authors! It’s called “Spill The DiversaTea“! Click here for the first blog post which is a list of Books by Black Authors coming out this year since they are highlighting Black Books this month (it’s a shorter list than this post with All POC author books coming out this year)! Be sure to sign up for their newsletter to keep up with when new posts are up!
Anyway my peoples, Happy Reading and as usual I’m sending Bookish love your way! Feel free to find and follow me on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic, especially on Tuesdays for the Pub Day: YA Edition room under the Diverse Shelves club for more bookish banter!