Cover Image: The Midnight Girls

The Midnight Girls

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Member Reviews

this book was available in the "read now" section when i discovered it and even though enemies to lovers are the trope i most read, sapphic enemies to lovers is something that i do want to read more of, and this was a perfect book to start. 

the world building was great, and there are a lot of elements in the fantasy that i do not see a lot in the ones i've read, which is always good for me. to put it simply, this was one amazing book to escape to.
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Star Rating: —> 4.5 Stars

This was a monstrously GREAT read! I cannot believe it was a debut! It is surely one to be celebrated! Jasinska did an AMAZING job with this very much character-driven novel. I look forward to seeing, and most DEFINITELY *reading,* more from this author!!!

WHEW! What a captivating, chaotic (in the best way, of course), & brilliant read!! I flew through this book in what felt like only moments, and was completely obsessed with both the characters and the adorable sapphic relationship before long. 

Marynka and Zosia were complete opposites but seemingly fated to be, with their vicious, villainous competitions and mutual obsessions turning into a BEAUTIFULLY DONE back & forth with addictive chemistry, before long, edged on by the powerful clashes between Marynka's fiery temperament and Zosia's calm but blade-sharp wit. 

The unique & *monstrous* magic of Morning, Midday and Midnight was beautifully depicted, and the Polish setting added a fascinating twist to the book overall. There are some pacing issues, but nothing that changes my opinion too much. I just loved this so much!!

Thank you to the author, netgalley & the publisher for the e-copy in exchange for an honest review!
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Villanous, sapphic, rivals to lovers are here to steal your heart....figuratively and literally.

The Midnight Girls was a witchy fantasy full of Eastern European lore and monstrous girls. While the middle of the book dragged on a bit, I had a fun time following Marynka and Zosia's rivalry as they sought Prince Jozef's pure heart. All of the characters and relationships could've been developed more and the themes introduced in the final third of the story deserved to be expanded on more. However, the overall vibes were fantastic and left me wanting more Marynka x Zosia content.
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The book begins with Marynka, who’s 12 years old and is on her first mission to bring a heart of a prince to Grandmother, the Red Jaga.

The book has some sort of witches but they’re more like monsters with claws and pointy teeth and each of them got different powers and is nicknamed Midnight, Midday, Morning – each one of them is unique on their own appearance and also what they’re capable of.

I really enjoyed a couple of tropes touched into this book such as: enemies to lovers but the sapphic version, the grumpy/gloomy type, anti-heroine all these elements in the book made the book even more interesting. I really enjoyed the competition between Zosia and Marynka and the fact the girls were the monsters going after the guy's hearts and not the way around – this was definitely a new change in between my reads. I also enjoyed the friendship between Beata and Marynka, I found Beata to be different than the other two girls almost like quiet and shy type but so powerful once tested.

As much as I enjoyed the book there were also a couple of things I felt were missing. I really wanted to feel more chemistry between Zosia and Marynka especially since this is a sapphic book, I felt that part of it was missed. In the beginning, there was some chemistry between them but after that just died down and I couldn’t feel anymore the tension, the chemistry their enemies to lovers heat – it felt platonic.

Their powers also aren’t really explained properly how they work, if they have any limitations or if they can actually lose their powers, we just know that the three girls all have been requested by a Jaga (Red, Black, White) and they gave the girls a new chance to live and also powers but other than that this subject hasn’t been touched that much, and I felt it is a shame because their powers were amazing and we needed to know more about it.

The character development I don’t think there was any. From the beginning, the girls considered themselves monsters and until the end, their minds hasn’t changed, and neither them, they didn’t grow up to be better or to do any changes for themselves and considering the things they went through with the Jaga’s I would’ve thought they want to change something for themselves.

There was also a really interesting subject that has never been explored, the relationship between Kajetan and Jozef, it was just quickly mentioned they’re soulmates and that was it, which I really, really wanted to know more because that would’ve been such a taboo subject considering Jozef was a prince and loving his enemy. You also get some more diverse characters in the book but they’re just quickly mentioned and that’s it, they’re not actually part of the plot of the story.

Overall the book has been interesting and captivating, I only felt some things were missing in order for this book to be 5 stars in my opinion.
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I love this cover artist (looked up, her name is Charlie Bowater)! Whenever I see a cover by her, the book seems to immediately climb up my TBR pile. It doesn’t hurt that this seemed like the perfect wintery/Christmas fantasy story that gives off hints of “The Night Circus” with its story of dueling sorcerers. And luckily the whole “fighting for the heart of a prince” thing seems like it is just a clever ruse for the true romance at the heart of the story.

Two powerful women find their new friendship quickly put to the test when they discover they each are after the same prize: the pure heart of the young, hapless prince. But nothing is what it seems, and this heart isn’t sought for such soft things like love. No, instead Zosia and Marynka each want the rare power that comes from a heart so pure. As their magical competition grows, so too does the risk they each take in being discovered, for magic is feared and persecuted. But Zosia and Marnka are both discovering that as equal as their determination is to win the prince’s heart, so too may be their growing attraction.

This was a bit of a tough read for me. Mostly because I definitely didn’t dislike it, but I also struggled to really get through it for some reason. There was a lot to like here, but it just didn’t seem to land right. One of the things I liked the most was the story’s roots in Polish culture and fairytales. The descriptions of the town, the fables and legends seen in the festivals, and the food were all lovely and refreshing. I also particularly liked the fact that it was set in winter during a winter festival, a time of year and setting that one doesn’t often see in fantasy stories. There’s definitely something uniquely cozy about reading books featuring others dealing with the winter weather while you are snuggled up in a blanket with hot tea.

I also didn’t mind the two POV characters. But again, I just didn’t mind them. This was another duel POV story, and while I didn’t have a strong preference for one POV over another (usually my problem with this format of storytelling), they also simply read as very similar voices. They each had unique goals and approaches to their task of winning the prince’s heart, but if you plopped med own into a random chapter, it would take some mention of these fact for me to know whose head I was in. The writing was fine for both of them, just not particularly strong overall.

I also struggled with the pacing of the story. I felt like it not only started out rather slowly, it all wrapped up quite quickly in the end. Things fell together much too easily and, overall, the plot seemed to rely far to heavily on the romance to carry the reader through. It wasn’t a huge problem, and I’m sure most readers will be there for the romance mainly anyways, but it did feel a bit rushed and a bit of a let down. Overall, however, I think this book will appeal to readers looking for a wlw fantasy story to c0zy up with this winter!

Rating 7: A fairly middling story in itself, but a sweet fantasy love story that will still likely appeal to many who are looking for a romantic read for the winter season.
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I was all about the premise of this book when I first heard of it. I mean a villain-villain sapphic fantasy where two witches are competing against each other to literally steal a prince’s heart and fall for each other instead? Steal as in cut chest, eat heart, not the romantic kind of stealing? Sold. And they’re mortal enemies due to their umm, professions? Super sold.

So imagine my disappointment when the actual execution left me wanting. The story has an ethereal fairy tale quality to it, which could be theoretically great but it sort of made things feel juvenile, very YA. Which also would be fine, except these girls are supposed to be so good at being all bad, but turns out they’re laughably bad at carrying out their plans when it counts? I mean I know it’s for “reasons”, but it does make the story fall flat. It’s fun and all to watch both Zosia and Marynka being unapologetically villainous (occasionally joined by Beata), but it does feel like they’re playing at it sometimes. I don’t think I’m explaining it right, but it’s all very superficial.

I was looking forward to the tension between them, but I didn’t really feel it or I just didn’t care. I was, in fact, more invested in a secondary and diametrically opposite love story happening at the same time. And even though this ended up being a fairly quick read, I wish it was a standalone because now I need to know what happens next but I don’t know if I care about the main heroines (villains?) enough to continue.
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Literally such a fun, unique fantasy. I loved the romance and the premise, and was just completely sold from the start. Would definitely recommend to everybody. Fresh ideas like this are exactly what ya romance needs!
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ARC copy provided in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes my rating or review.
Buddy read with my darling Ashley!


Three Minute Thoughts:
The Midnight Girls was everything I wanted and more! I lived and breathed for the sapphic relationship between our MC’s, full of crackling chemistry and heartstopping kisses, and the constant competition between Zosia and Marynka was wicked and exciting – let’s just say I couldn’t put this book down. The Polish-inspired world and wars were fascinating to read about, and I’m so excited to read more by this (Aussie – like me!) author. Such an incredible, captivating, and quick-yet-powerful read!

The Extended, Long, and Very-Probably-Messy Review:
I love, love, LOVED this book! It was fun, gasp-worthy and chaotic – and I loved every bit. Set in a fantasy world of witches that ruled over individual hours of the day, and who gathered servants to pit against one another, you can best believe I was crazy excited to learn more about the magic of this unique land, and I was not let down! The powerful witches who controlled morning, midday and midnight were fascinating to hear about, but even more brilliant were their prodigies and servants – our three main characters.

“Midday, Morning, and Midnight, three tragic girls who had been saved and taken in by the witches”.
(This quote may not be in the published version of this novel, it was copied from the advanced reader’s copy.)

This book was definitely character-driven, but that wasn’t a problem for me, as I loved our characters. Our most prominently central character, Marynka, was an absolute favourite of mine almost instantly. She was reckless, loud, and made drawing people’s attention an absolute art, and her personality burned as bright as the name Midday would denote. Usually she would be everything that irritates me, but Alicia Jasinska wrote her character so beautifully that I fell in love with her like that. Her polar opposite, and our second MC, Zosia, was equally powerful but preferred the darker, quieter times of day – as a witch of Midnight should – shown with her propensity to caution (well, as cautious as one can be when ripping hearts out of chests) in contrast to Marynka’s daring streak. Zosia definitely grew on me throughout the story, and by the end of the epilogue, she was as dear to me as Marynka.

And then there was Beata – precious, overlooked, darling Beata. Honestly, I thought Beata deserved so much more page time, because I couldn’t help but love her combination of pure angel and brutal witch. I do love that this book is a standalone, but if it wasn’t then I would pray with all my heart for Beata to find love in a sequel! What a sweetheart. Not that I’m saying she was meek – because she certainly wasn’t, all three of the girls were powerful and strong and willing to do wicked, horrid things to get what they wanted – and who doesn’t love sapphic villains??

“I won’t go back to that forest with its never-changing sky. I won’t stand in the shadows with my head bowed and my hands laced behind my back waiting for instructions. I am tired of always living in the dark. I am tired of being someone’s pet monster. I am tired of all this.”
(This quote may not be in the published version of this novel, it was copied from the advanced reader’s copy.)

Ahh and the romance! I won’t say too much about it, but rest assured, I loved it. One of my favourite sapphic couples ever, I have to say!! I wish the book was longer so we got more of them, though I did love what a short read this was, as it really made you feel that no time had passed when you picked it up. Such gorgeous writing!

This was a chaotic review, and for that I’m sorry, but it’s almost 1am and I’m calling it a night! Thank you so much to author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC copy provided in exchange for an honest review❤.
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The Midnight Girls is everything I could've asked for in a sapphic ya fantasy book. Enemies-to-lovers, monster girls, and morally grey characters. Not to mention, it was a fast, easy read.

Our side characters are just as entertaining as the main cast, and offer more queer relationships. there's a good mix of good, bad, and everything in between.
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This is an entertaining, quick paced read. I enjoyed the story of three girls who embody Morning, Midday, and Midnight as they apprentice to sister witches. The witches give the girls power in exchange for bringing them hearts of princes and apparently there are a lot of princes out there haha. Marynka, aka Midday, loves to compete with Zosia, aka Midnight, for the hearts but when they meet in person for the first time she starts to have some romantic feelings as well.

I liked that this flew by and had some fun fight scenes with a bit of underlying romance. I did think it could have delved a bit deeper into the world and I would have liked more of an ending. I would totally read a spinoff of Jozef and Kajetan as they have a lot of history together and sort of an enemies to lovers vibe.

This is definitely a fun book and I'm looking forward to more from the author!

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all opinions are my own. Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for the copy
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*3.5 Stars*

The world building reminded me of the Bring Me Their Hearts series by Sara Wolf, where there are different witches who bring children/teens back to life to be their heartless monster servants, yet with a different very rushed plot. I was super excited for this read (I mean, look at how pretty the cover is!) but for some reason the book fell a little flat. At times it felt like the book jumped around a lot with no actual direction or purpose and I found my attention waning. I wanted a lot of magic and battles and danger, but instead there was more angst and inner turmoil than I was interested in.

I did like how the world did not care who was a romantic partner, there was no issue or judgment, and soulmates were destined and could be anyone. I really liked that the story was dual narrated by two different voices, very much opposites, and the interaction between them was at times hysterical as well as real and occasionally violent. The main characters are enemies to lovers (which was done perfectly so if you like that trope this is a great option!), with the battle of wits and challenges that go along with it, and gender was not really relevant, it was more about the person (at least in my opinion). Every main/important character in the story is lgbtq+ so if you are looking for a clean (only one real kiss right at the end) standalone fantasy read with some flavor here you go
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a free ARC of this book!

5 stars.
This was such a captivating Polish-inspired fantasy! I absolutely loved Marynka and Zosia, and loved that this book centered on morally-grey sapphics. I love the enemies to lovers trope, and this book did it so well! I loved the setting, it was so evocative and magical. I also loved how unapologetic the witch characters were about literally tearing hearts out of men's chests, AND how unapologetically sapphic this book is. It did not hold back from making Marynka and Zosia as gay as possible, and it was amazing. Loved it!
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The Midnight Girls is a Polish inspired fantasy that is perfect for winter. 
I absolutely loved this book! I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of enjoyment that I experienced, but what else could I have expected from a villains sapphic fantasy. In my opinion, this book is already supremely underrated and needs to be picked up by more people.
Between our two chaos main characters, court intrigue, and lovable side characters, there is nothing not to love! I seriously cannot recommend this book enough. Fans of The Cruel Prince and the Grishaverse will love this story. 
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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If I had one word to describe this book, it would be delightful. I am not ashamed to admit that I originally requested this book (and subsequently bought a finished copy before I even read it) based mostly on the stunning cover and the fact that it’s a fantasy stand-alone novel. Although now that I’ve read it, I can confirm that the inside of this book matches the fantastic outside.

What I loved the most about The Midnight Girls is that Marynka and Zosia are both unrepentantly monstrous - there is no redemption arc for these monsters, mostly because they are perfectly happy with being monstrous. Which was entirely refreshing.The competition between them was just so much fun to read, it’s been a while since I was so engaged with a book. I’ve also very rarely read an enemies to lovers trope that was done quite so well. The yearning was A+, as was their denial of their feelings (and the subsequent realization of those feelings).

The secondary characters were also so well-written and nuanced. It’s always wonderful when a character does something unexpected, but after thinking about it, you realize that it’s completely in character and the author had actually laid the seeds for it much earlier in the book. There is also a wonderful use of the only one bed trope that actually made me laugh out loud. The world itself made me want to research Polish history and folklore, which is always a sign that the author knocked the world-building out of the park. And the epilogue is probably one of the best I’ve read, it was unexpected but wrapped things up perfectly. 

I completely adored this book, and would highly recommend it to fans of fantasy romance. While this one is technically shelved as YA, I think there’s enough cross-over appeal that it will appeal to fans of adult fantasy as well. I actually loved this one so much that I immediately bought the author’s debut book!
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While I do love a series, sometimes having just a standalone novel where you can sigh in satisfaction at the end is perfection. And The Midnight Girls offers just that. Our two mains are fighting against each other, quite literally, in order to kill the prince and steal his heart. The characters were great and well developed. I loved how you got to know them right along with them figuring out each other. And as they build so does their romance. Great for fantast fans looking for something new without wanting to start an entire series.
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The Midnight Girls is a lovely, sapphic YA fantasy following the rivalry between two witches’ servants as they fight for the heart of the most pure prince in the land. Midday wants to make her grandmother, the Red Witch, proud, but she has always felt like she’s one step behind Midnight. Midnight, the Black Witch’s servant, who can control shadows and manifest fear in every city she enters. Midday thinks the winter festival is the perfect time to catch the prince off guard and finally beat Midnight. But when she finds out more about her mysterious rival, Midday starts to rethink everything she knows about her world and what it means to be a monstar.

Alicia Janiska writes beautifully evocative descriptions of the winter wonderland, the fantastical clothing and festivities, and the magic that Midday and Midnight create. The writing made me shiver like I was right there in the snow with everyone. Janiska also develops both Midday and Midnight with alternating POV chapters that dive into each girl’s motives and deepest aspirations. Although they are villainous characters, they are complex and caring in their own ways, and I found myself rooting for them both from the beginning. Finally, I loved the side characters, including Morning (the White Witch’s servant), the prince, and the prince’s former best friend. They were all snarky and fun in their own ways and helped round out the story in the best way.
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Thank you @sourcebooksfire for the egalley to review 📖 This is an Eastern European (I believe, Polish) inspired #yafantasy novel that is familiar enough to the genre for you to quickly settle into the story but also completely beings it’s own magic, atmosphere, and charm. We follow two 18 y.o. girls in dual perspective who both serve the main witches of the land. They have magic, can transform into frightful monsters, and often find themselves competing against each other for princes hearts (literally, not romantically). Their latest assignment is a doozy and strangely brings them together when tensions between them and their witches is at its highest. Our main characters felt fully fleshed out and dimensional, as did the supporting cast, and there was solid character growth from both girls by the end of the story. For me, the strongest element was the writing and atmosphere…so vivid, and it drew me in right away and transported me into this snowy magical kingdom. I also thought the overall representation in the book was good, too. I gave it a 4.5/5 ⭐️ and if you’re looking for an awesome YA fantasy, look no further!
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In Alicia Jasinska’s The Midnight Girls, Marynka and Zosia are servants bound to sister witches who require just one thing from them- the collection of hearts. And not just any heart will do, as the witches seek the purest hearts to consume. Marynka and Zosia have been competing for years, always attempting to best each other. When Marynka learns that Zosia has a secret desire for freedom, the race for a prince’s incredibly pure heart is on. Set against a dazzling festival, their rivalry is put to a perilous test. 

The Midnight Girls is a magical, atmospheric adventure. One of my favorite things about Alicia Jasinska’s writing is her sensory prose, creating stunning visual images with her words. She has designed an intriguing magical world, shrouded in mystery and superstitions from old fairy tales. Watching Marynka and Zosia interact was a delight! Their banter and fierce competition will make readers unable to look away, while soft romantic vibes permeate every scene. I felt deeply invested in all of the characters, bound to ancient and powerful forces. They all have excellent motivations for their morally grey actions, so you can’t help but hope they succeed. The Midnight Girls has fantastic LGBTQ+ rep, including main and side characters. Readers of Shea Ernshaw and Erin A. Craig will particularly enjoy this book. 

This is the perfect book for when you want to escape to a wintery, witchy forest where magical heart-hunting is fiercely competitive. The Midnight Girls is the ideal book for anyone who enjoys a sapphic, enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn romance. The Midnight Girls is available now. Thank you so much to Alicia Jasinska, Sourcebooks Fire, and Netgalley for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

For publisher: My review will be posted on Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon, Storygraph, and Barnes & Noble etc.
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*4.25 stars*

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Zosia, Marynka, and Beata are the servants to the Jagas, each tied to a time of day (Midnight, Midday, and Morning respectively). Their goal is to collect hearts for the witches they serve. Zosia and Marynka have been in a fierce rivalry to obtain the most hearts for years, without ever meeting face to face. Now, both sent to capture the pure heart of a prince, they head to the festival of Karnawal and finally collide.

This had all of the monstrous girl sapphic vibes that I was looking for!!! All of the girls *literally* transform into monsters whenever they use the powers they were granted by the witches. The fierce rivalry between Zosia and Marynka transforms into something even more powerful, and the struggle between these girls of dealing with their feelings for each other and their desire to obtain the heart first is central to the plot. But despite the intense competition between them, they also understand each other better than anyone else.

This novel was so gorgeously written. It is based on 18th century Poland, and I loved reading all of the cultural references. The prose really transformed the words on the page to a winter wonderland, and the setting was absolutely enchanting. The plot was fast paced, with the girls getting more and more monstrous as the story went on. Beata also added layers to the story, because as Morning she in the girl that is stuck between Midnight and Midday (both literally and figuratively). This is a beautiful story with themes of learning to stand up for your self and making your own way in the world outside of the way that you were raised.

This book is the perfect wintry monstrous sapphic fairy tale!
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Having really enjoyed Alicia Jasinska’s debut novel, The Dark Tide, I was thrilled to learn Jasinska was writing a follow-up novel—The Midnight Girls. Sometimes when I have high hopes for a book it can backfire on me; I usually try to temper my expectations for this reason. Even if I didn’t quite manage to temper my expectations, The Midnight Girls delivered exactly what it promised: magical and monstrous bad girl protagonists, a thrilling rivals to lovers romance, all set in a decadent and devious winter wonderland of a setting inspired by late-18th century Poland.

Both our protagonists, Zosia and Marynka, serve powerful and mysterious witches, Black Jaga in Zosia’s case, and Red Jaga in Marynka’s cast. Foremost among their duties as servants is to deliver hearts to the respective witch they answer to. Already longtime rivals, this rivalry goes from ember to inferno when both of them have designs on the heart of the same prince. 

Zosia and Marynka were both compelling characters and really stole the show for me. I was invested in both of their individual arcs and loved their dynamic together - huge sun/moon dynamics, which is always a favourite of mine. The shift in their relationship from antagonistic to not was well done, which I feel is difficult to pull off in a YA novel and is a transition that has disappointed me in the past. It was so refreshing to see young women being allowed to be ruthless, ambitious, powerful, and monstrous, especially within the context of a sapphic novel and relationship, an even rarer find. 

Aside from the main characters, there is a lot more to love. The descriptions of Karnawał and the ongoing revelry are breathtaking, first in their aesthetics and later as tensions mount for Marynka and Zosia. Beata, a prominent side character and confidant of Marynka, was not only sapphic as well but provided a unique, emotion-provoking counterpoint to the perspectives of our protagonists. And finally, there is an MLM romance between two side characters for your added dose of MLM/WLW solidarity.

The Midnight Girls was one of my favourite YA novels in a long time. It’s clear Jasinska has my number as far as hitting character archetypes, tropes, and emotional beats that resonate with me, and I couldn’t be more glad. If you want a great standalone YA fantasy featuring villainous sapphic protagonists, an intense whirlwind of a WLW romance, and crystalline clear historically influenced settings, this one is worth checking out. I can’t wait to see what Jasinska has in store next and I will definitely be pre-ordering at this point; she has made a fan of me!

Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and NetGalley for an advance reading copy. All opinions are my own.
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