I can’t wait for book 3
How do I love thee, let me count your witchy ways. Finally, after two years I got to read the sequel to the magical realism/paranormal YA book The Scapegracers and all I can say is that I can’t wait for book 3. The Scapegracers was an oddball little book that warmed its way into my heart and onto my favorite list of 2020, and I already know this book will easily do the same for this year.
One thing that I really like about this series, and I mentioned it in my review about that first book too, is that while it is YA, I think it appeals to people of all ages. While the story is new and feels fresh with the times, it still has the ability to make you reminisce. It reminded me of being 14 and watching all the wonderfully campy -but inappropriately targeted to me- movies of the ’90s like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. This series is like the queer version of The Craft, except 100% times better. I loved that movie as a kid, but this series is everything and more that I wished that movie was. And to put a cherry on top of my point, the main character Sideways made sure to bring up the ’90s movie Jawbreaker before getting into the trunk of her best friend’s car and I could not stop the huge smile that stretched across my face.
I think I’m in love with Clarke’s writing. During the first book, I had my ups and downs with it. Clarke has a unique style of writing. It is very descriptive but not annoyingly so or purple prose territory. The down I had with it is that in book one it took me a while to get used to it and I worried it might put certain readers off. Luckily, the writing eventually clicks, and I ended up really enjoying it so I hope people know to be patient as I wouldn’t want someone early DNF’ing book one and missing out on this great series.
I don’t know why this book took a year longer than originally expected to come out, but whatever the reason, I think that Clarke’s writing really improved in the last two years. I went from really liking it to now loving it. I think their style calmed down a bit. It is still descriptive, but now just wonderfully so and not overboard or trying a little too hard to impress in a YA debut book too hard. I felt like the words just flowed and I could not believe how fast I flew through the second book. I don’t want to give too much away but one of the characters is missing something important, something that you or I could never imagine missing, and the way Clarke described being without this thing, was just so amazingly written that I felt like it was actually happening to me. This book was very well done, and to see such growth between the two books when Clarke was already a great writer was impressive.
This book was so wonderfully queer, and it just made me happy. The characters are great, including one of my favorite YA characters Sideways, the badass lesbian butch witch. While there still was no “romance” in this book, there was a lot of mix of what is friendship love to what is romantic feelings, which was so realistically written that at times it felt more honest than what is in a lot of contemporary YA books that I read.
I would love to talk more about the plot, but I don’t want to ruin anything for people who have not read book one yet. This is a series that you need to read in order. I’ll end this by saying that I am a big fan of this underrated YA series, and I would absolutely recommend it for your Halloween reading pleasure. If you like badass queer witches getting the chance to take some revenge, then this series is definitely for you. 4.50 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.