Cover Image: The Midnight Girls

The Midnight Girls

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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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This was such a fun read!! I'm normally not the biggest fan of fantasies but I could not put this one down. The world-building was very unique and I really enjoyed these ladies very much. If you're craving some sapphic villans this is the book for you!
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Thank you to Sourcefire Books and Netgalley for the ARC of this book. All opinions are my own. 

Alicia Jasinska has absolutely done it again! I fell in love with The Dark Tide. From the minute I heard about this, I knew I had to have it and it did NOT disappoint! This is easily going to be one of my favorite books of the year. This sapphic enemies to lovers is full of everything I love and crave and it's beyond well done. It's dang near perfection. This was EVERYTHING! 

The pining in this is immaculate. The tension between Zosia and Marynka is so compelling and makes this story a hundred times better, which is impressive with how incredible Jasinska's writing is. Her ability to show not tell had me feeling like I was right there in Lechija for Karnawal. The magic Is well developed and I found the concept of getting their magic from their respective Jaga's. The dynamic between Zosia/Midnight, Beata, and Marynka as they try to each get the pure Prince's heart is compelling. The action kept me on the edge of my seat and unable to put this down. Every character that was introduced was well done and fit into the puzzle so well. I think that Jasinska really took it up a notch with this. It was everything I want and need in a YA fantasy. 

I wish I could put into words how fantastic this book was and how much I loved it, but they're hard to find. The only thing that continually comes to mind is perfection. Seriously, if you need a YA fantasy, pick this up! It will take you on a journey and make you fall in love with Midnight too!
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Marynka and Zosia both serve witches who have gifted them with magic, magic that turns them into monsters. Both need to acquire a certain prince's heart. One wants to prove herself, the other to take the power for her own. But there is more at stake than just their feuding.

A rich fairy tale artfully painted with European storybook strokes, whereas the color and vibrancy surrounding the girls makes you feel like you're in a Baz Luhrman costume drama, if he was doing wintry, magical, adventurous fantasy.

The narrative is quite inviting and tickles our imagination as the girls' actions, thoughts and observations help build an interesting world. Their rivalry, uneasy companionship and growing feelings for each other are so enjoyable to read. The POVs flow beautifully into each other, tinged with imaginative embellishments of figurative speech, fulfilling glorious images.

Marynka is a handful and craves acceptance. She is fun, light, reckless and summer. Zosia is more shy, cautious and controlled, she wants to be powerful. She is dark and winter. We also have Beata, who appears to be the sweetest, is the dedicated to the mission type, sort of strict and supposedly the sensible one amongst them. The antithesis is absolutely entertaining. They are all powerful and dangerous.

The enemies to lovers trope (which I personally love) has been turned on its head. Their encounters are humorous or gasp-worthy or both. How they are both trying to win while simultaneously keeping the other from succeeding. A fiery competition between wonderfully opposing forces. The emotional turmoil is palpable.

The narrative sparked questions and thoughts like: Winning isn't everything, the journey to success is more important. Aspiring for more is a good thing. Does love conquer all? Do soulmates exist? This was an exhilarating, magnificent story of monsters you love and made me an avid fan of Alicia Jasinska.
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This was a super fun twist on your traditional fantasy story with a hero and a villain - instead we get two villains! This sapphic fantasy novel is completely different from the "normal" witchy and magical stories you are accustomed to. In addition to having 2 villains, this one also has a Polish theme, with glimpses of Polish history incorporated within it. This one also makes the reader think about topics such as "f you are raised to be evil, are you then destined to be evil; how hard would it be to choose a different path for yourself; and can rivalry be put aside for a chance of love or will old wounds always fester?

I truly enjoyed this one and would recommend to anyone looking for a very unique YA fantasy story.
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I recommend this one. It's a good book and everyone should read. Of course I would love to have this book in my bookstore.
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I really wanted to love this title but overall it was just okay for me. I never felt truly grounded in the setting, the character's relationships to the witch "grandmothers", or to the plot never felt like it cohered as it hinges on these relationships. The pacing was good but did not lead to a memorable finish. I'm very interested to see where Alicia Jasinska's writing goes from here but this one just wasn't a perfect book for me like I expected!
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The Midnight Girls is a YA fantasy book that revolves around two rival girls (who can also transform into monsters) and their competition to steal the prince's heart for the witches they serve. Their rivalry is extremely flirtatious, but it also puts them in lots of bloody and intense situations. There's a lot of fighting and running around and sabotaging. The world the characters live in is inspired by Poland in the late eighteenth century and much of the clothes, food, and culture is drawn from there.
The two main characters, Marynka and Zosia, were so much fun to read about both as individuals and as a pair. The side characters also were well developed and added a lot to the story. I loved the enemies-to-maybe not anymore romance arc.
The writing flowed quickly and the story was easy to devour. I was surprised when I got near the end because time flew as I read this book.
This was my first Alicia Jasinska book but it won't be my last! I highly recommend this sapphic fantasy book to anyone who likes the genre.
Thank you so much to NetGalley for this ARC to read and review!
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“No matter how dark the night, a new day always dawned. The sun never, ever failed to rise.”

e-ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley

3.75 stars(rounded up to 4) for The Midnight Girls by Alicia Jasinska. This is a story about three witch servants: Morning, Midday, and Midnight, who are sent to physically steal the pure heart of a prince. Midday and Midnight have been rivals for years, always trying to best one another to hearts. But getting this heart and delivering it to their witches is going to be their hardest task yet. Along the way they discover there could be so much more to their lives than delivering Prince Hearts and being servants to the Jaga witches!

This story is told in a dual POV between Midday (Marynka) and Midnight (Zoisa). My favorite part of this story was definitely the characters. Midday is the type of person who does not give up despite failure and adversity. She has always been considered second in power to Midnight and has had to work hard for everything. This portrays a beautiful message about growing through failure. Midnight also has her own story. She wants to live her own life and is not willing to be a servant for anyone anymore. As these two have been competitors for years, it makes for some great banter when they finally come across each other. You will definitely enjoy their building relationship which is VERY slow burn. The romance definitely takes the back seat in this story. I also enjoyed Prince Jozef and thought he was very admirable. He ends up playing a vital role in the story between the two girls. You can’t help but hope that he does not get killed! 

The location of the story, Lechija, is loosely based on Poland at the end of the eighteenth century. The story is told in the wintertime and there are fun aspects here such as snow covered forests and sleigh rides. This definitely makes for a fun winter-time reading vibe! I did appreciate the pronunciation guide at the beginning given the names of the characters were based on this culture as well.

My main complaint of the book was that the first two acts were repetitive. Midday and Midnight try multiple times to kill the prince and aren't successful. Mostly because their rivalry ends up getting in the way. It was very "rinse and repeat” for the first half of the book. I also had a difficult time with the dual POV. Sometimes I would get lost on who was the narrator of the chapter. The author frequently switched between the servant names and real names of the characters and sometimes it was just too much. There were too many M names out there and could be confusing in the first half of the book before we had a good sense of each individual character. I had a hard time keeping track of the dialogue at points because of this. I also feel like there was not enough backstory into the politics of the land till the end. I was confused by interactions between the King and the Tsarina, the ambassador, the previous war, and how it all truly came together until the last part of the book.

In the end, I think this book had a fun and different premise. The third act was certainly interesting and entertaining, and I think it ended in a good place. Goodreads states it’s a standalone but I think it was left very open in the end for other books. I’m always a fan of reading books where the main characters are villains or at least morally-grey and enjoyed Midday and Midnight’s growth throughout the book. There was also great LGBT representation. Overall I would recommend this to fans of YA fantasy with LGBTQIA+ characters, slow burn romance, and a fun winter vibe!

TW/CW: Violence, murder, kidnapping, avalanche, parental abandonment

“Was there even a word for a rival that you also wanted to kiss?

Review posted to goodreads, instagram, amazon, and barnes and noble
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The Midnight Girls is a sapphic fantasy rival to lovers stories about two girls who are the servants of two sisters (and rival) witches and who have been raised to compete against each other but have never directly met. The concept is so fascinating and although it was a very slow starter for me I ended up really enjoying myself. 

The world-building is gorgeous and the interweaving of folklore and fantasy is flawless and incredibly beautiful. A lot of the imagery is top tier. The writing is atmospheric and decadent and suits the story marvelously. The characters are all well developed (although I had a hard time warming to Marynka). The two MC's- Marynka and Zosia balance each other wonderfully, they have such different personalities and perspectives that it's intriguing to watch them interact and develop a relationship with each other. The third 'witches servant' Beata is also well-rounded and despite being portrayed as the 'weakest' she's anything but and has a lot going on in her own arc. 

I have to say though, I was absolutely enamored with the background dynamics of  Kajetan and Józef and desperately want to see more of their story/past and overall dynamic, it was so interesting. 

This is morally grey, queer, beautifully written, and just a lot of fun. Overall I really enjoyed this. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.
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'The Midnight Girls' follows the main character, Marynka, who is the apprentice of a witch. For as long as she's been an apprentice, she has thrived on competing against a rival apprentice. A girl she's never met. A girl she calls Midnight. The story focuses on three apprentices viying for the pure heart of a noble Prince. 

I found this book to be okay at best. I DNF it, and only got a third of the way through. It gets better as you continue to read, but I honestly cannot see how or why this story is so long. 

The book is in the format of multiple perspectives, this being of Marynka and Zosia. However, although I found Zosia to be a likeable and misunderstood character. The character of Marynka is someone I would personally enjoy hitting with a frying pan. This is ultimately the reason I didn't finish the book; as she was so boisterous and irritating, and just so, so big headed. I couldn't stand her. 

Rated 2 stars - Solely because I liked the idea of the story, and the world building was incredible.
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Absolutely loved this one! The magic system was amazing, and I loved the two main protagonists! Very much highly recommend!!
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Sapphic rivals-to-lovers make villainy look fun in this ya fantasy standalone. Inspired by late-18th century Poland, the world is brimming with dark forests hiding heart-eating witches and towns and cities hosting a religious milieu of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. External imperial forces may vie for control of the area, but there are internal magical threats to fear, as well. Our story centers on three monsters created by the Jaga sisters in the forest. These monsters are teenage girls honed into weapons that steal princes' hearts. All flavors of heart are fair game for our predators, but the story follows them as they seek out the ultimate prize: a pure heart. Marynka and Zosia have always been rivals, but this is a competition like no other, one with higher stakes and fewer secrets between them.

It's a furious, action-packed standoff as our monsters try to outperform one another and win the prize. They are unapologetically vicious and powerful as they pass through the upper echelons of society to get close to his royal highness. The tension between the two is palpable and fraught as they come to understand one another as something other than the competition. The third monster, Beata, creates an interesting counterpoint, not caught up in the mutual frenzy.

The world-building here is decadent and festive even with the dark patina of magic and the looming imperial threats. The sapphic romance is chaotic and heartfelt, with an equally resounding mlm love story at the periphery. While the hunt for the heart is resolved by book's end, it still leaves us with a bit of an open ending regarding how these girls will move forward and stake a claim on their own future. I enjoyed the read, especially appreciating the anti-imperialist sentiment, even if our monstrous girls don't exactly take up the cause.
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The Midnight Girls is an atmospheric novel with Polish folklore weaved in. Marynka and Zosia are the main characters competing against each other for a Prince's heart, not in the way most people would though. As monsters, they go after pure hearts to take back to their grandmothers who had rescued them when they were younger. 

I enjoyed both of the girls as characters but I truly enjoyed Beata who for me was underestimated by all throughout the novel. She was focused and never let her emotions deter her from her task. Personally, I think that Marynka and Zosia got distracted by their thoughts and emotions too soon in the novel for a book that is marketed as villain x villain. It felt more like rivals than enemies but that could be a personal thing and my preference for morally grey characters. 

The writing was absolutely beautiful and I found it easy to get into the novel. I was entertained the whole time and I liked the various aspects of the magic each character possessed. It added intrigue and variety to a small magic system. The romance was excellent but as stated before, I feel like it got too much in the way of the enemies' relationship. I did find the pacing to be a little bit slow and was hoping for more hearts to take since this was a stand-alone. If it were a series then I would understand the one heart focus throughout the entire novel. but that is a personal preference. 

Overall, this was a good novel. It was great to read about different folklore than the majority of other books and the characters were interesting. Although the romance and pacing did bring my rating down some, I would still recommend this to other readers and my friends. 3.5/5
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The Midnight Girls is a dark Polish inspired fantasy, and I absolutely loved it. Marynka and Zosia perfectly fit the enemies to lovers trope. Their story was fun and creepy. Loved all the magic. Strong witchy girls are the best.
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Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the e-arc!
The midnight girls caught my attention in the first paragraph. I was pulled into this world by the writing and the atmosphere. I had a great time following Midday and Midnight stories
That said, it's not a book that will remain special to me and I probably won't reread it. But if you wanna enjoy a read about sapphic girls doing what they most to survive and their relationship with each other this book is for you!.
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The Midnight Girls is a sapphic enemies to lovers ya fantasy about two girls Zosia and Marynka who were taken by witches when they were young to be servants. Throughout the years, both girls have been in competition with each other to see who can get the princes’ hearts. Literally. 

The story itself was beautifully written and the details for the world were astounding. I loved the wintery vibe and the Polish setting. The romance was more of a slow burn and I really enjoyed that. Reading from both the girls prospectives kept the book fast paced and intriguing. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend picking this one up if you love monster girls and their ruthless ways.

Thank you SourceBooks Fire and NetGalley for the e-arc!
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