Cover Image: The Midnight Girls

The Midnight Girls

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Member Reviews

4.5 Stars

Thanks to Source Books Fire and Netgalley for an arc of this book.

Marynka is determined to be a better witch's assistant than her rival, Midnight. She will do anything she can to collect more hearts to bring back to her adoptive Grandmother. But when Marynka is sent on a mission to steal the pure heart of a prince, she runs into Zosia, who is secretly on the same mission.


OH my goodness! Marynka is such a character! She is completely feral and determined and I love her so much. I also really like Zosia. This book was so interesting and I loved the world building and the magic system. The ending was also absolutely beautiful and I loved it! Such a great and wild book!

CW: Animal death, blood, child abuse, domestic/emotional abuse, body horror, injury/injury detail, murder, violence, death
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This is definitely the sapphic enemies to lovers book I've been waiting for!
The beginning of the story started out really interesting and intriguing and the ending left me wanting more.
I really liked how the author paralleled the relationship of Zosia and Marynka and the prince and his "friend". I feel like that added to the story in a really good way and helped the main characters realize their feelings. 
The banter was also really fun and really added to their relationship development. Ice skating scene was probably my favorite!
I also really like how with Marynka, she goes from never questioning anything with her grandmother to questioning everything once she learns more and realizing that she wants something else besides a life living as a "servant".
The only thing I wish is that there was more. I really liked how the story ended but I was hoping that there would be a more complete ending rather than it being open ended. I was worried that it would be one of those endings like in most sapphic movies where there is no happy ending and I guess open ended is better but the only thing that would make the book better would be to actually have them meet at the end rather than giving that kind of implied maybe or maybe not ending. 
Aside from that it really was a great book and it was super easy to read as well!
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I’m immediately intrigued by any story as soon as the word “sapphic” is mentioned, and in this case, the more I learned about The Midnight Girls, the more my interest was piqued. Though the story Jasinska spins is a slower one, her strength lies in complex, morally grey characters and plot twists you’ll never see coming. It’s easy to get sucked into her intricate, Polish-inspired world, to get invested in Marynka and Zosia’s quick banter and devious scheming.

Though I do wish we’d gotten a bit more in terms of romance, the slow-burn rivals to lovers arc was nonetheless very satisfying; the tension between the girls at every turn, every showdown, was palpable, and I ate it up like a freaking holiday feast. And really, the mildly excruciating build-up worked out well, because I was about ready to cheer when they finally kissed.

If you like character-driven stories, magic, and monstrous girls, I highly recommend you check this out when it releases on December 28. Come for the banter, stay for the kissing. Personally, I can’t wait to buy my own finished copy, and read Jasinska’s debut while I wait for her next release. ✨

Representation
-sapphic protagonists + side character

Content Warning: death/murder, body horror, blood/gore
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This is such a great read. It gave me fantasy and fairytale vibes, and I loved that it was inspired by 18th century Poland!

It’s the perfect winter read, with winter wonderland scenes and fairytale costumes, and characters you can’t help but root for—even if they’re trying to steal the hearts of princes.

Marynka and Zosia’s story is one I couldn’t put down! I loved the enemies-to-well, still enemies but not enemies…you know? Oh, the thin line between love and hate! I loved seeing them grow and work through their deeply rooted internal problems, and seeing them become themselves with everything—and everyone—pushing against them. 

Monsters, witches, and princes—oh my! If you love cat and mouse, rivals to lovers, and magic then this is the book you’re looking for!

This is a fantastical read for fantasy and fairytale lovers!
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What a lovely wintery read. Oppressed, morally grey, monstrous (literally), magical young women fighting back against their jagas. Starting out as rivals but developing some feelings along the way. Set in a historic, snow-covered, Poland-inspired landscape. It's slow paced with some interludes of action, and is more character-focused than anything. What's not to love?
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I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book and obviously the cover art caught my attention so initially was very excited to read this. Then sadly I felt a teeny bit disappointed as I’ve read a couple of books this year that also featured young women carrying out untold horrors on behalf of Witches. Now I could have stopped right there but I’m so happy that I didn’t because the characters here are anything but pawns and actually are the sort of protagonists that it’s very easy to empathise with. This isn’t just another rehash of myths or fables such as Hansel and Gretel but a well thought out story with politics, greed and yes love. As much as Marynka and Zosia are intrigued by each other there’s also side characters who face hurdles if they are to embrace their relationship. This has fabulous magical abilities, heinous acts and hope written through it so yes I did enjoy this book and happily recommend to those looking for fantasy that embraces love wherever you might find it.
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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📚Book review📚

It was simple. Everyone knew if you served Red Jaga well she would gift you with magic, and if you didn’t, if you failed at the tasks she set, well then, she would eat you.


It was THEN that I knew this was the story for me. 

This is a very beautiful story and I enjoyed reading it very much. The characters are all so interesting. My favorite Hass to be a morning! This story definitely takes you on a magical trip then I guess you lost in this world. I did not want to put this one down and it is an easy read.  

Thank you so much for the advanced for copy and the opportunity to review it!
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Set in the snowy landscapes of a Polish inspired land this has turned out to be a lovely winter read. Due to the European names in this book the author provides a really helpful pronunciation list at the beginning of the book to ensure that you correctly pronounce names of characters in the book, something that really helped my reading experience.

The Midnight Girls follows 3 servants Morning, Midday and Midnight battling against one another to win the hearts of princes in a way you would never expect! 

This book is definitely fitting of its YA category with a sapphic slow burn enemies to lovers romance trope. 
The characters are really interesting, all hugely different personalities and each develops throughout the book in their own way. For me one character in particular starts as soft and timid, building confidence and vengeance due to jealousy and I loved the subtle changes in her character.

The writing style is highly descriptive and atmospheric with lots of world building metaphors. Plot is good and somewhat unexpected for the most part, I did find the mid section a little slow and the competitive nature of the plot a little repetitive at times but I really enjoyed a side line romance and a twist on heroics. 
Perfectly pitched as a YA Fantasy and would highly recommend for ages 12-18+ 

I want to take this opportunity to thank Alicia Jasinska, Netgalley and Sourcebooks for an advanced copy of The Midnight Girls.
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The comp titles and cover drew me to this novel. The snow-cloaked kingdom set in Poland also seemed perfect for this time of year.

The description gave me the impression Zosia and Marynka were in some sort of competition for the prince’s heart. Somehow I missed they were literally competing for his heart to take back to their jaga (witch) grandmothers (who are sisters) to eat. The purer the heart, the greater the power it contains. Now that was something I could get on board with.

With a slow start, it took me a while to get into this novel. Pacing soon picked up, and well action scenes moved the plot along. Having competed in numerous quests to attain the hearts of princes in the past, Marynka has a losing record against Zosia. Marynka is determined to prove herself to her grandmother and gain her approval. Zosia is tired of being a servant and wants to keep the power for herself and escape the bonds of servitude. Clearly these girls are morally gray characters. Between the two of them, they’ve killed plenty of princes and have no regrets. Normally I’m a fan of this type of character, but I didn’t really care for either of them. Looking at other reviews, I’m in the minority on this, but I liked the relationship dynamic between Prince Jozek and Prince Kajetan better, but that’s just a personal preference. Beatka, Marynka’s friend who serves another jaga grandmother (and sister to the other two), also appealed to me more. Marynka is impulsive, which causes her to think before she acts, and Beatka is often the voice of reason, as well as a mediator when Marynka and Zosia argue. The poor girl is long suffering.

The author’s note mentions some of the events are loosely based on late 18th century Polish history. I really enjoyed how Polish culture, including food, clothing, and traditions are woven into the background. Setting most of the plot during Karnawal season lends an atmosphere of festivity and mystery that adds to the story.

This novel will appeal to fans morally gray, ambitious characters and the enemies to lovers trope, especially readers who enjoy the fantasy genre.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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The Midnight Girls by Alicia Jasinska is a sapphic young adult fantasy, perfect for those looking for a wintery read. Set against the backdrop of a kingdom inspired by 18th century Poland, Jasinska invites readers into an immersive world of magic, monsters, and stolen hearts. 

From the first page, the rivalry between Marynka and Zosia is set up to be a major driving factor in the book. Both are servants to witches (Red Jaga and Black Jaga respectively), and they are frequently pitted against each other when gathering hearts for their mistresses. The cat and mouse nature of Zosia and Marynka's rivalry was so much fun, especially when it evolved from rivalry to romance. 

I absolutely love morally grey characters - I think Loki was one of the first I was ever introduced to while reading. There are multiple characters with questionable morals in this book, but Zosia was my favorite. I had a lot of fun puzzling her out. On one hand, she disagrees with what the witches are doing and wants her freedom. On the other hand, she willingly sacrificed innocents to get the power she needs, seemingly with little remorse. A good origin story that explains why morally grey characters got to the point in time that we see them always hooks me, and Ms. Jasinska delivered all that and more. 

One less obvious aspect of the book I really enjoyed was the magic structure. Witches and the number 3 tend to go together a lot. For example, three fates, three Sanderson Sisters, or even the three aspects of Hecate (mother, maiden, and crone). Ms. Jasinska puts her own spin on the number three by giving the apprentices powers based on the time of day. Beata is nicknamed Morning, has a bright and cheery demeanor, and serves the nicest of the Three Witches of Lechija. Zosia, by comparison, is dark and standoffish, fitting her role as Midnight and servant of the cruelest of the sisters. 

While I think this book is currently planned as a standalone, I would be thrilled if the author announced some type of companion piece (novella, short story, or full book - I’m not picky).  Beata needs her own story - she played second fiddle to Marynka and Zosia a lot in this book, and there's so much that could be explored. A story covering just the three sisters would be cool too - there would be a lot for the author to cover just with their relationship alone. 

Readers who enjoy sapphic romance, the enemies/rivals-to-lovers trope, and fast reads will enjoy this book. A bit bloody and violent at times (these witches have a thing for stealing hearts and leaving the bloody body for others to find), but nothing that would deter me from recommending it to young adult readers and older.
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I downloaded this book on a whim, and was so pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it! This is morally grey sapphic rivals-to-lovers excellence. 

In this book, we're following three servants to three sister witches who draw power from different times of the day - Morning, Midday, and Midnight. Marynka (Midday) and Zosia (Midnight) are our main POVs, but Beata (Morning) also plays a large role in the story, and I really loved seeing their relationship and rivalry with each other. They have all been competing for years to collect the hearts of princes for their Grandmothers, and this time around, they're all competing for the heart of Prince Jozek - a prince with a pure heart, the rarest type of heart that grants the witch who consumes it immense power. 

This is a very character-focused fantasy, and for me, this was perfect. There isn't too much plot, but that's what I personally loved about it. If you need more plot in your books, you might not love it as much, but I loved getting to know our main trio, as well as the prince and his companion, Kajetan. The tension between all of these characters was so well done, and I really think Jasinska did a really great job at making you feel sympathetic to all the characters, despite them all doing some pretty morally questionable things. 

The writing is very atmospheric, and I think is the perfect book for a cold winter's day and a hot beverage. It has very folktale/fairytale vibes, and the imagery reminded me a lot of Howl's Moving Castle (the Studio Ghibli film, not the book) if it took place in the wintertime. I haven't read Jasinska's debut novel, but I'm definitely now very interested in picking it up - I enjoyed her writing style a lot.

All in all, I'm so glad I took a chance on this one and gave it a go! I don't see a second book listed on Goodreads yet, and I'm desperately praying that there will be a book 2, because I just want more time in this world with these characters. If you like dark, atmospheric YA fantasies, rivals to lovers, and morally grey characters, I think you'll really enjoy this one!
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This was definitely one of my most anticipated books of 2021, as soon as I read morally grey sapphic rivals to lovers, I just knew I had to get my hands on it. And while I can say I devoured this book in a few days, I was left still wishing I had been given more. The setting was amazing and atmospheric, and it felt as though I had been transported into Polish history. What I felt let me down, however, was the characters themselves, who felt kind of two dimensional, and the romance felt at times forced and underdeveloped. While saying this, I did still enjoy reading it and would like to explore the author’s other work.
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I loved the characters and their development - I thought they were well introduced, and had an excellent and engaging dynamic. 
The setting and lore was well done and unfamiliar to me, which made me enjoy the story even more. 
I feel like the pacing was maybe a bit slow, which made me put it down a few times because I got a bit bored, but it did pick up. 
I'm all for more sapphic stories especially in fantasy, and I absolutely loved the tropes explored in this.
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Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for providing me with an excerpt in exchange of my honest review.

Alicia Jasinska really, really knows how to make a book 1. very sapphic and 2. you be able to love the relationship between the two. The book focuses on a historical setting in Poland where these girls are monsters and it's really something I love to see. There are multiple parallels between relationships in the novel, both romantic, non romantic and it's wonderful to see and wonderful to see all those characters flourish in the under 400 pages you are given. There are some books I find myself at loss to say many things about, which doesn't mean it's a bad thing, sometimes it is but for this book this is the opposite. All I had to say when I finished this was "my beautiful, effervescent sapphic monster girls". The characters I delved into when reading and hardly put it down if I didn't need to, it gripped me and I loved the world Alicia Jasinska brought these characters and the readers into. Do I need to say more honestly?
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This twisted fairytale had 'A Gathering of Shadows' vibes to it (except not as intricate). I like Jasinka's creative take on Baba Yaga. Three young servants, Marynka, Beata and Zosia, are competing for the favor of their witch masters Red Jaga, Black Jaga and White Jaga. The story, although a bit simple, begins with Marynka being sent on a task to get a Prince's heart. Goofy and savvy, her character is immediately likeable. As she grows, so does her resentment (resentment or love?!?) of Zosia (ohhhhhh the angst). When they're unexpectedly all thrown together seemingly after the same prize sparks fly. I loved Zosia's delightful badness. I would've liked a more layered plotline though. It was a little ridiculous that Marynka and Zosia had no indication who each other was until the first fight with Jozef. The book would flow much better if they had recognized each other before traveling together. It seemed to me like they did, so the "shocking" discovery that they were Midnight and Midday by that point in the book was unnecessary. The ending was seriously fantastic. Overall if you like fairytale retellings check this one out. I liked the beginning, the middle lagged a bit but the end redeemed it. The writing is good, the story is captivating and cute with a dash of darkness and the characters are developed. The Midnight Girls releases either Dec 7th or 28th 2021 check with your bookseller to preorder. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS for my free review copy. I'm told a certain book box will be doing a special edition next year. 🖤🖤🖤
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I went into this novel knowing next to nothing about it and left it pleasantly surprised. Sapphic romance isn't something I usually get to enjoy, so that was a pleasant change of pace. Speaking of pace, something about the flow of this was a bit rough, a little hard to follow at times. Overall, though, this wasn't an unpleasant experience.
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“’I know we’ll fight. I kind of like fighting with you. And sometimes I like watching you be reckless. It makes me want to act that fearlessly. I meant it when I said together we’d be unstoppable. And if you think you can actually hurt me…’ She paused, chin lifting defiantly. ‘You can’t. You won’t. You know better than anyone that I’m not easily defeated. I can take anything you give me.’”

I think it’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with this book!!! Seriously, holy shit. Guys. If you’re even slightly interested - PREORDER IT!!! It’ll be out on December 28th, 2021 ⏳

Set in a Polish-adjacent fantasy world, The Midnight Girls is about two monsters who are constantly competing to cut out the hearts of the pure. Called Midday (Marynka) and Midnight (Zosia), these monsters are competing to steal the prince’s heart (l i t e r a l l y) 🫀🗡

Marynka and Zosia have SO much chemistry. It was so refreshing to read about them. I mean we’ve got morally grey protagonists, rivals to lovers, sapphic elements, monster girls, etc. What more can I even ask for?! They’re honestly so chaotic and exist to try to destroy each other (and also maybe…. kiss?!).

This was an easy 5 stars, no question about it. It was extremely original, I’ve never read anything like it!! I do wish there was more romance, but honestly it was so on brand for the characters that I loved how it ended.✨

“‘Of course I hate her!’ Marynka snapped, flushing. The sheer violent intensity of this feeling—it had to be hate, didn’t it?”
(omg marynka stop 😂)

Thank you to NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!
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In her follow-up novel to "The Dark Tide," Alicia Jasinska once again stars angry girls in an enemies-to-lovers arc, but fails to capture the same magic and thrilling atmosphere as before. 

While "The Midnight Girls" gets its points for having a gorgeous setting and magic dripping from every scene, it feels too rushed, too heavy-handed, and too simplistic. 

One thing that truly did bother me about this book was the way trauma and abuse were handled. Both of our main characters are abused, and while one recognizes it, the other always makes excuses. Personally, I think this would have made an interesting dynamic if the abuser hadn't been made to seem so sympathetic and "did something good" at the end. It felt gross and sloppy, and we never see our main character realize that the abuse she suffered was wrong. This plot point should have been extremely nuanced, but Jasinska sacrifices the exploration of abuse for the romance instead. 

I also feel as though Jasinka falls into the problem of having diverse side characters for the sake of having diverse side characters instead of letting them actually contribute to the plot. Which is heavily disappointing and a huge problem. 

As with other Jasinska books, the romance felt very perfunctory and simplistic, which I don't always mind, but there is little-to-no character development here other than "angry girl gets less angry." Their romance almost feels forced and less romance than lust. Don't get me wrong, I love the "monsters loving monsters" trope, but I honestly wasn't in love with either character because they felt very two-dimensional. 

My biggest complaint with this book is that there is so much going on — revolution, betrayal, abuse, romance — and it is all so incredibly complicated, and the reader never gets to see that explored. Decisions made by characters feel rushed or don't make sense. Also, there is some HEAVY plot magic going on to ensure these girls don't get caught after their first attempt on the prince. 

After the Dark Tide, which felt more fairy tale than story and thus avoided many of the criticisms above, "The Midnight Girls" was a disappointment that could have held so much more potential.
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For some reason, my fall TBR is full of queer fantasy and I am not complaining. The Midnight Girls features a rivals to lovers queer fantasy which warmed my cold heart. That line between a rival you can't get out of your head, who you think of all the time, and realizing why. All the nuances between tension and chemistry. The romance story line in The Midnight Girls with this passionate rivalry mixed with will-they-won't-they is thrilling. 

This dual POV was a fabulous tool to explore that tension. To see Zosia and Marynka through each other's eyes. The times they're pitted against each other and fighting in close quarters. But what I loved the most was how The Midnight Girls looks at monstrous girls. At girls who you underestimate with the allure of softness, only to be torn apart with claws. How we can be pushed to become colder, to learn that the love we crave lies in our value. And how 'monstrous' not only can mean dark and dangerous power, but also that lack of 'softness'.
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the midnight girls is definitely an enjoyable read, with monster girls, sapphics, great worldbuilding and lots of tension!
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