Cover Image: The Midnight Girls

The Midnight Girls

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Member Reviews

This book had an interesting concept and I liked the setting inspired by Eastern Europe. I also liked the idea of a book told from the anti-heroes' POV. However, other than manner in which the characters gain power, they seemed generic. Because I couldn't connect with the characters, the plot didn't hold my interest. Technically, it was clear, with only a few grammar/wording errors here and there. Overall, easy to digest, but not compelling and not a book would reread.
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The Midnight Girls is such a fantastic and dark and beautiful read. Marynka, as Midday, is absolutely amazing. I love her character so much, her brashness and her fearlessness make her such a captivating lead. Zosia, as Midnight, is another amazing brilliant character. I loved her quiet confidence and her yearning to be free is so relatable. I loved the constant rivalry between Marynka and Zosia, and how it grew and became so much more. The tension they created was palpable and I honestly couldn't decide who I wanted to root for between the two. The prince, Josef, and his 'friend,' Kajetan, were such good secondary characters, and their story could easily have made them the leads in this. The setting and world are so rich and I loved the bit of history we get of Poland and the folklore this is tied to. Such a rich and beautiful story, I want so much more!
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This was a very fun and enjoyable read. The story was intriguing and the characters compelling. I was quickly captivated by Marynka and Zosia, their slow burning romance, the unfolding story being told and the unique world everything was happening in. This was a very different read and that was a great thing.
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We get this two wicked rivals competing for the prince’s heart only to discover that they might be falling for each other. So, I certainly enjoyed reading this book. At first glance, I thought it was just some kind of typical sapphic fantasy book but it definitely kept me intrigued after I picked it up. The book was fun, somewhat light-hearted and Marynka’s interaction with the other characters was amusing to say the least. 

Both Zosia and Marynka were great characters. Beata included. Although I have to say I liked Zosia’s character more. However, this was a four-star for me because I wasn’t really given a shedding light on the entire world-building of the story. I think that the plot was narrowed down that it literally just revolves around Marynka and Zosia fighting over the prince’s heart and making sure the other one doesn’t get in the way. And it kind of frustrated me seeing that the other was so close to getting the prince’s heart, she instead, fights her rival during the chase, resulting in the other not being able to get what she wanted and leaving the prince still alive.

Another thing is in the later chapters wherein Red Jaga and Marynka meet again because Beata called for her. And a couple of pages later, Red Jaga was killed by the prince himself. Like the scene itself (idk if it was the climax of the story) was sort of anti-climactic to me. I thought that Marynka and Zosia would fight together against Red Jaga, but we get the prince killing the witch instead. Not to mention, Kajektan was still alive given the fact that he's human and the witch injured him bad. So I didn't really know how to feel about that at all but it certainly left me empty. 

With that being said, I think that this book was overall an interesting read that'll keep you up for hours until you finish it. The plot was nice, although the world-building and the background of a few events could've been given more information, and the characters were pretty much well-written that it didn't take me long to eventually reach the last chapter.
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3.5 / 5 stars

This book had all the makings of a book that would have been a 5 star read for me.

It had developed and interesting main characters, a unique take on magic systems tied to the time of day, secondary characters that I wanted to have a whole novel dedicated to them, a backdrop of a country on the brink of war, and a healthy dash of political intrigue. And yet, for some reason, I could not get into this story. The writing was done well, and the flow of the story worked.

A huge part of my childhood was the movie Stardust, and this book echoed some elements of that. I think this book could definitely be for someone else, but right now, at this moment in time, the book was just not for me. There was just something about this story I could not get into.
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A vibrant, lovingly vicious romance set in fantasy Poland between two rival monster girls who eat the hearts of men, The Midnight Girls was an unexpected delight this year.

Marynka is Midday, the fiery servant of Red Jaga, who has been competing with Midnight, Black Jaga's servant, for years. The two of them are more monster than girl, having been turned into creatures of iron teeth who can command fire and shadow. And of course, as the day and night are wont to do, they fall in love.

That alone (sun and moon lesbians!) would be enough to sell me. Add in a dash of politics, a romance on the side that rather perfectly foils the main one, and a cool magic system? I'm invested.

I just think it's neat that in this world that's so very heavily based on Poland, not only do all three big Abrahamic religions coexist, they also have their own magic systems based on their respective mythologies (e.g. Jewish golems and Muslim djinn). I absolutely love it when European fantasy reminds readers of the diversity that was always there, historically. And I always love when religion in books can form the basis for magic that is as powerful as folk magic.

I enjoyed the concept of Marynka and Zosia, though I was ultimately a little underwhelmed. It burned a little too fast, a little too explosively for my personal tastes, and the development didn't feel smooth, especially near the end. I did love the beginning, though, with these two yearning, touch-starved idiots navigating their messy emotions. I was in a similar boat with the side romance, even though I liked how the relationships matched each other thematically.

But anyway, I think the book was well-crafted, with the themes of change and liberations heavy in every aspect of the novel. It's set in a time of political turmoil where people are fighting for their freedom, and the characters themselves are fighting free of the systems that have bound them for so long. There is a third servant, Beata/Morning, who has given up fighting her witch's abuse, who serves as the opposite angel on Marynka's shoulder while Zosia sits on the other, urging her to choose freedom. I really liked the concept, but I did feel that Beata was an underutilized character. If this book gets a sequel, I would love to see more about her.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and I sure hope this is just the start of a long trend of monster girls who can tear people apart.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

If I had a nickel for everytime I loved a fairytale YA book about ripping princes' hearts out, I'd have two nickels which is not a lot but it's weird that it happened twice. The Midnight Girls is a lovely, winter-y fairytale set in medieval Poland that gives us

- unapologetic monster girls
- rivals to lovers
- bloodthirsty witches
- sapphic romance and
- Karnawal magic

Marynka, Beata and Zosia are servants of the Black, White and Red Jaga, bloodthirsty witches whom they have to bring princes' hearts. Marynka and Zosia have been in an unspoken contest for who can collect more bloody tokens for years so it's no surprise they both set their sights on the same prince. During Karnawal season, in the heart of the snowy kingdom of Lechia, Marynka and Zosia dance around each other while they try to capture Prince Jozef's heart. Things complicate further when the two develop feelings for each other.

So this was really lovely. It is the perfect read for winter and it made you feel as though you were in a sleigh with some furs around you driving through the snow at midnight. I loved the setting of medieval Poland and how prominent the folklore and fairytale elements were. I've always associated Eastern European fairytales to be a lot more spooky and bloodthirsty than Western ones and that is definitely true here. The atmosphere is pretty dark while not being bleak. Poland at that time was also a melting pot of Christians, Muslims and Jews which I personally didn't know but was glad the book included.

Marynka and Zosia are not good people, they are monstrous and savage and they do not apologize or change themselves. I really loved that aspect of both their characters because it is so rare that we don't get a goody two-shoes heroine in YA. Their romance, spurred by fierce rivalry, was well-developed and their will-they-won't-they banter really kept me hooked. I also really enjoyed the side characters like Beata and Prince Jozef who did have quite a lot of depth for side characters.

All in all, The Midnight Girls was an entertaining, fast-paced read that's perfect for the holidays. I recommend it to fans of The Bear and the Nightingale.
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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own. 

The Midnight Girls promised to be fun and chaotic, and it delivered. The queer villain trope is reclaimed to great effect here, with I loved the central theme of badass, cutthroat girls who come together in an incredible execution of fantasy rivals/enemies-to-lovers. 

Marynka and Zosia are such great characters. I love how they share that commonality of going to extremes to get what they want, but they also have so many differences too, which further  fuels the tension. But ultimately, it’s a believable transition from being at each others’ throats to falling for each other, and I love when two people who want to burn the world down (or commit some other dastardly deed) come to the realization that they can accomplish more together. It’s also a nice contrast to the archetype of many comp titles, where the “good” character tames the “bad” one, and while that’s a perfectly valid fantasy, I love that they’re both bad and neither feels the need to compromise for the other. 

Another highlight is the setting. While the book’s release date was delayed, likely due to supply chain issues, it’s still coming out in winter (for the Northern Hemisphere folks anyway), so the vibes are still very appropriate. It really evokes that sense of a really cold place, and I also liked the vibes of 18th century Poland that were conveyed through the world building. And Alicia Jasinska has a writing style that sucks you in, making you feel and experience the setting. 

This book is beautiful, immersive, and fun in equal measure. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, morally gray sapphic fantasy romance.
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✨Sapphic rivals to lovers ✨

Marynka had had to bring a prince's heart to the witch Red Jaga or else she would've been punished. She had gone to complete her mission only to find someone else had already taken his heart. It was Midnight, Black Jaga's new student. Over the years, she keeps besting Marynka and stealing her hearts. Marynka cannot afford to keep losing and is determined that this next heart will be hers. She will make her master proud and prove that she's better than Midnight. 

This book was so delightfully gay. I loved it so much! The story follows a very exciting rivalry between two witches' servants. They keep bickering and sabotaging each others' attempts at getting the prince's heart. The tension between them is immaculate. 😌
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This was so good! I'm not seeing anything about the story being continued, which is a damn shame because I would LOVE to see more of these characters. Actual , well-developed, morally ambiguous, sapphic monster girls. Yes please.
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This is what I want from a sapphic enemies to lovers book! So many books are described as enemies to lovers but I can assure you that the Midnight Girls is truly an enemies to lovers romance. 

The book is set in fantasy Eastern Europe/Poland and I did appreciate the author using nicknames and then having to explain what it meant. 

Three girls, witches' servants are sent to hunt for a prince's heart during karnawał and the story takes full advantage of the setting and time period. There's a masked ball scene! Battle scenes! Ice skating! 

The chemistry between the main characters was incredible, I had to check if it was Young Adult because the author fully understood the homoeroticism of enemies to lovers assignment. I have saved so many "I hate her" quotes that border on desire. 

There's also conflict besides the romance with the witches, the Prince and the war and at no point did it bore me or I didn't like the direction it was taking. 

I would absolutely enjoy a sequel or a short story set after the book. I really want to see more of this universe
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This was an interesting read for me. I often enjoy a magical retelling of historical events in time. This book, however, I feel had some major pacing issues. Though world-building should further the plot, I often found part of the book explaining something that had previously happened before moving on to another plot point. Beata is clearly in love with midday, but you don't find out until she relays the deal she made to midnight that she's seen this situation reiterated multiple times and knows her love is unrequited. Other than there being a temporary foil and used as a reason for one of the grandmothers to show up, beatka doesn't have many purposes. 

The same happens with Selim and Kas, they have religious emblems that repel morning, midday, and midnight but it's not explained past that. It also makes me wonder if emblems have such a  repelling like nature to the girls, how was midnight able to exist within the monastery. 

That said the historical aspect of Poland versus Russia was enjoyable. I wish it could've been delved into more the group the prince was aligned with and if he met his goal of fighting for Poland's independence. I give this book  a firm 3.5
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I can't give this any less than four stars for wintry Polish vibes and witches and sapphic love. It was, however, not my most preferred kind of Slavic fantasy. It has a lot of fights, and shooting fireballs out of hands, when what I prefer is a little more spellbinding and enrapturing. So if you have a taste for fast-paced fantasy, here you go.
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I love anti-heroes and The  Midnight Girls give us not one, but THREE anti-heroes?  Granted the third is not featured as much as the first two, but they're all so delicious I cannot complain.   I was hooked from Chapter one.  Marynka is someone who I would never want to be friends with but love reading from her perspective.   She's like a bulldozer once she sets her mind on something, damn the consequences.  Zosia is the exact opposite, slow and calculating.  I love how their perspectives contracted and complimented each other.  A true slow burn enemies to lovers trope done super well.  

The secondary characters are well fleshed out too.  I low key love Beata because I can just imagine the amount of love and patience needed to deal with someone like Marynka.  Józef and Kajetan, yes! I cannot wait to see what their journey is.  Though.. real talk, how many princes exist in this world?  I feel like there must be a million for the amount the three witches devour.  Or do they just name a new one everytime an old one kicks the bucket? Haha.

I'm not sure if this is suppose to be a stand alone or (at minimum) a duology.  If its a stand alone, I would give it 4.5 stars, if duology I would give it 5.. mostly due to this spoiler point/question:  

Both Red Jaga and Beata mentioned that Midday and Midnight are always fall for one another.  Its been a relationship that has been repeated several times throughout the years and I really hope there is a second book that goes into explain/explore this.  Why does it happen?  Both Zosia and Marynka don't give it much thought in the first book and I'm hoping the reason for that is because they were too busy fighting/escaping death and one that will ponder more in a second book.  If this was a standalone then this is definitely a thread that either should've been cut, or explored more.. but if a duology then, BRING IT! 

Thank you Netgally and Sourcebooks Fire for the e-ARC!
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A wonderful eastern european inspired fantasy with a rivals to lovers slow burn?? I personally was hooked by this premise from the start, this whole story was so magical and the monster girls in this story don’t actually change for anyone?? or eachother which i personally loved, I loved the side romance in this as well with the prince and his best friend to enemy. I’m so compelled to pick up another work by this author after seeing the complex character dynamics and the wonderful fantasy elements. 4/5.
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I wanted to like The Midnight Girls more than I actually did. It's an easy read, with a plot that moves along at a decent clip (albeit one in which...I feel like not that much reeeeally happens), and the setting and atmosphere are gorgeously wrought. But the character work is weak for me, with protagonists who just feel flat and under-developed, which means I don't care much about their relationship - which is, really, the entire point of the book. I was promised angry, monstrous girls, but they somehow just feel like the vaguely evil version of every other bland fantasy heroine. Mediocre protagonists but for villainous types, this time. Just didn't work for me.

Like I said, though, the overall atmosphere is excellent! It’s got a gorgeous, rich setting, one that isn’t used particularly often in YA fantasy, and the descriptions of masked balls and sleigh rides and feasts of pastries and all the icy delights of Karnawal are evocative and appealing. And it does, after all, provide exactly what it's being sold as, so readers looking for that specific dynamic, who are maybe less easily frustrated than I by weak character development, should come away satisfied. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Impeccable Eastern European vibes, amazing romance and a vicious rivalry. Don't know what else you need in your story but this one probably has it. I really loved this book and I think it was an interesting world with great characters.

I do wish there was a bit more worldbuilding and lore but that's a small complaint. Can't wait for more from this author.

For more thoughts check out my video review - https://youtu.be/W4EFHl0l7EE
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The Midnight Girls is a Polish inspired fantasy about heart stealing monster girls, both trying to kill the same prince and take his heart. It has a sapphic rivals to lovers romance, magic, witches, beautiful winter vibes, and a lot of girlbossing. Great fun and an author on my auto-buy list.
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4/5 cups of coffee from me!

This was such a great book! Perfect villains and perfect f/f enemies are lovers trope (I'd say enemies to lovers but read and find out). I really enjoyed the competitive streaks of both our servant girls to the witches. The Polish lore and dedication to making it so amazing truly made this a strong read.

The pacing was well done, and as a standalone, Jasinska did what every reader can ask for; gave us a fun and satisfying ending, but also one that lets you know that their world, their story, continues.

There are handsome princes and princesses, history at play and magic both holy and 'evil.' Again, so many great things packed into the book.

I do wish we would have had more of Midnight and Midday together, but I get why it was done this way, it's how the author wanted it and it works.

Again, great read. I would highly recommend to almost anyone. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I wasn't convinced by this book at first, but somewhere along the way I was caught up in the pure fun of it. The two main characters are very easy to latch onto, as is their growing relationship, which feels satisfyingly real and messy (as well as delightfully ludicrous). It is a fun change to have broadly villainous characters in this kind of story without making the reader feel guilty for indulging that, and I wonder if it could have even gone further. I do think the prose is too blunt and functional (even for a younger target audience), and the ending (and perhaps the whole story) is a bit of a blur, but the story shines through. I'm not normally a big adaptation advocate, but I think this would work perfectly as a fun film romp, where the characters and spectacles could stand out even more, less constrained by writing.
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