Hey There! So off and on the end of 2022 & this month, I’d been in my YA bag in terms of ARCs/ALCs that I’ve read and some of them have had some sort of magicalesque elements to them, which I live for. Whenever a book has that sort of fantastical quality to it, I will eat them up so I figured I would share some of these books with y’all.

Me with these books!

We Are All So Good At Smiling by Amber McBride: First, I have to say that the cover is stunning and it fully deserves its flowers (or rather butterflies, lol). Getting that out of the way, this was such a beautifully written novel in verse that balanced out the whimsical (*smirks*) with contemporary so well and it definitely felt like a fairy-tale (*smirks again*) while I was reading. We see the MCs navigate a world where they have to navigate connection to themselves, each other, their families and the secrets that threaten their lives as they know it. They also face what it is to face grief, anxiety and depression head on, which I can deeply relate to. The imagery throughout the story is breathtaking and brings to life different mythologies that we know and love. I’d highly recommend grabbing your favorite comfy blanket/hoodie & cup of tea to enjoy while reading this book.

This is a little too on the nose, when you read, you’ll get it, lol!

Song Of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao: I don’t know what it is but I love a fantasy that takes place in the past or is inspired by it…maybe it’s the history nerd in me but I always feel like there is a vividness that period pieces bring. If we add in magic with the historical, then I’m fully in my element and this book checked all the boxes for me. The story gives world building, imagery, different types of magic & how to access it, mythology/mythological creatures and high stakes along with dual perspectives (which y’all know I LOVE). Since this book takes place in the past, it also deals with colonizers, their shenanigans and the fight against their antics, which I deeply felt. I can’t wait to see what the next book brings because I feel like there is a battle to be had & I want to see certain heads roll (All Queen Of Hearts)!

I think you can guess who’s head I would like to see roll

Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim (out 1/24/23): I think I’ve been obsessed with this book since I saw the cover and then fell deeper in love as I got into the story. There are various types of magic in this story but how it is accessed is what adds another layer to it. Along with the magic and mythical creatures, there’s lots of trouble to both get into and out of with twists you very well may not see coming (if you can catch me a little off guard, then that’s an accomplishment). I also really enjoyed the banter in this story and the development & break down of relationships. For me, this story read like a movie and I think the world would be at a disservice if it is not adapted for the screen in some way. I also can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

I may or may not have had a moment like this & this gif maybe a little on the ironic side, lol

My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix by Kalynn Bayron (out 3/7/23): Alright, so I have been itching to read this book since Kalynn announced it and even more so after the cover reveal (it gives Baron Samedi vibes, look him up). For transparency, I am guilty of not having read the original but knew the premise (so it was fine). I will say that I believe anyone who didn’t read the OG will be fine as this book stood well on its own. The story had so many different layers to it covering being Black in the 1800s, being gay in that era, respectability politics and so much more. While there isn’t necessary magic in this story, there is that fantastical/otherworldly nature of science and determining how far is too far to go with it. There’s mystery, intrigue and twist & turns throughout the entire story that will keep you on your toes a bit. Since I listened to the ALC of this book, I was talking back out loud to the narrator (who did a good job) every once in a while (rather than in my head if I read the physical version) & I’m sure I had a lot of facial contortion going on as well. This was a great addition to the Classics Remix family.

I’d say this is an accurate depiction of the range of emotions I went through while reading, lol

On the real, I love when I get my hands on books that I can just fully immerse myself in which cause me to eat them up (as quickly life allows me too, depending on when I read them). Have you read any of these books? Did you fall into their worlds too? Are there any other books that you ate up because of how you invested you were in their stories? Let me know in the comments or on social media via Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (which the group I’m apart of is currently on hiatus). Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve eaten up some really good books! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!


Published by bookishgirlmagic

I’m reader who has a fierce love for books written by authors of color & belief in the importance of supporting them! My mission is to amplify their voices and work so this generation and all the others after them will have literature that will reflect them.

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