Cover Image: The Midnight Girls

The Midnight Girls

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Member Reviews

Do I read Alicia Jasinka's books simply to get the serotonin release from reading women love women fantasy? maybe. Are Alicia Jasinka's books wonderful regardless? Yes, yes ,yes!!
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Thanks Netgalley and publisher for the opportunity to read and review. 
It was magnificent story centering around two  villain witches that are tivals since childhood. It's not often that a story revolves around villains, which is the first thing that drew me for the book. Each character in this had a significant role for the development of the story. I was rooting for Orince Jozef, whose pure heart is the one that the witches want. It was amazing to see how rivalry can birth truest friendship and how behind all bad deeds the girls do stays the desire for power, but also the simple wish for freedom. I wished to see more of Josef though. There was incredible creativity wooven into creating the setting, the inspirations from the Polish folklore and even the names of the witches - Morning, Midday and Midnight. It was a fantastic read. Hope to see more from the author.
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Thanks to NetGalley & Sourcebooks Fire for the early copy in exchange for an honest review.

There are three witches, Morning, Midday, & Midnight. They have apprentices that they use to collect materials and power, and power comes in the form of pure hearts from royalty. At the start of the book, Midday has tried her best to follow her witch's orders for years, but Midnight's apprentice constantly one-ups her. Midday has had it and makes a plan with Morning to finally show up Midnight once and for all....problem is though, Midday has thoroughly enjoyed the rivalry with Midnight all these years. What if she doesn't want to *really* defeat Midnight anymore? What if she wants something more?

I found it to be a very entertaining and low-key read which was nice to read. I really enjoyed the magic system and the Morning/Midday/Midnight angle with magic, it was awesome! 

I'd say the only issues I had was that the second half of the book felt a bit rushed. I would've preferred this to be two books, actually. The first one could be focused on Midday/Midnight as they grow into their roles and their rival relationship and the second one could include the action that appears in the second half of this book. I would've really liked to see some of their early magic attempts as well as early fights with each other. I also started really rooting for the Prince and his kinda-boyfriend and I had trouble wanting to see the witches succeed when this Prince dude was better than all of them combined. I mean, that's the point of morally grey protagonists, but still...haha. 

Fun adventure/fantasy book with a fascinating romance!
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The Midnight Girls was a non-stop ride through the beautiful wintry Polish countryside during the Karnawal season. Two young servants, Midnight and Midday, who have been in a competition since they were children, are both tasked with stealing (literally taking it from his body) the heart of the prince. As they get to know each other, however, the stakes have never been higher, and each girl must decide what is truly important to her--this new friendship that has become something more, her freedom, or her devotion to her master. 

This is the story of Zosia and Marynka, two powerful witches, who fall in love. This story is beautifully told, but there is so much more here too. This is a story of female power, of desire for that power, and the villainy it takes to hold power that strong. This is a story of magic and Polish folklore. There is action, adventure, friendship, high-stakes, and this book kept me on the edge of my seat. Additionally, Alicia Jasinska's  prose was lush and lyrical, and so beautiful. The world-building was exquisite, and it was perfect to read as the first snowfall of the season happened outside of my window. This book was a joy to read. I loved getting to know all of the characters, but was so enraptured with Zosia and Marynka that I didn't ever want to stop reading it. And it kind of left off on a cliff hanger, so hopefully we get to see them again. 

I will definitely be adding this to my collection, and I can't wait to tell my teens about it. 

Recommended for grades 8+.
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This book was one I was looking forward to a lot. Lesbian witches? A bisexual prince? I was sold. This book was incredibly action packed, fast paced, and full of twists and turns. The only thing I would say was that I did want to see a bit more of the prince. His relationship with his "friend" who betrayed him was so interesting to me, I wanted more. I also wanted to see more romance between Midday and Midnight, it didn't happen right until the end despite their obvious attraction. Other than that it was incredible!
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I really enjoyed this book. I love the rivalry between our main characters, Marynka and Zosia. They are two young women that were taken in as servants to two witches when they were younger. They have been competing to collect hearts of princes for so long that I was very interested to see how their relationship would develop. I really liked both of them. Two different personalities but can find common ground assuming they are not trying to out do the other. The romance was good. You can feel the tension brewing along with a competitive sort of friendship and enjoyable banter. 

This isn’t a 5 stars because I felt like a lot was going on and it didn’t flow that well for me. There is a war brewing but seemed like it wasn’t that important in the end and was just thrown in there now and then. The rivalry between Marynka and Zosia was the main part of the story I enjoyed, along with the complicated relationships they have with Beata and the witches they serve. I wish the ending was explored a bit more. The most enjoyable part for me was the rivalry and action. Few surprises which were good but overall an interesting fantasy romance. 

*Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
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This book was a pleasant surprise.  I was honestly going into it thinking maybe I would skim some of it, but I was hooked on every line! I love the whole cat-and-mouse, rivals set up with f/f romance, for some reason it just hits differently.  The wit and quick tongues made me laugh out loud!

What I really loved about this book is that the characters were completely opposite, but their chemistry didn't seem pushed, if that makes sense.  A lot of times when characters are such polar opposites, I feel like their chemistry doesn't make any sense at all.  This book, however, had me rooting for them from the first mention of the rivalry.  

I really hope there is a companion novel.  And the side m/m romance was so heart wrenching just - ugh, I love it.  I need a physical copy and I will probably listen to the audiobook when it comes out too LOL.
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Two witches compete for the heart of a prince literally.   But the two witches end up falling in love with each other instead.   An enemies to lovers story.    The main characters aren't all good...   not the noble, self-sacrificing type that you would expect in a fairy tale....  But they are complex and grey....    An interesting read...  finished it in a day.  

Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc.
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The Midnight Girls is the perfect wintery book to curl up with beside a roaring fire and just let the author take you on a wonderful journey full of magic, villainy and compelling characters. With a glorious slow burn sapphic rivals to lovers relationship with cat and mouse dynamics, this book will have you hooked.

The Midnight Girls is told through two perspectives, Marynka and Zosia. These two girls were taken in by witches at a young age to be their servants and have been in competition with each other ever since. They have such a fun dynamic due to this rivalry and constant need to one up each other and I loved seeing this explored in the novel. Especially in the context of their villainy and willingness to go to extreme lengths to beat the other. Watching this dynamic shift and change as they got to know each other and began caring about each other was great too. I felt that the shifts in their feelings were wonderfully executed to remain  true to the characters’ natures.

I also loved Marynka and Zosia as individuals. Their perspectives each felt unique and distinct from one another and I really enjoyed reading from them both. The contrast in their characters made for really great dynamics between the two and I could easily wax poetic about how much I loved the night and day contrast between them and its links to their individual characters. I also adored the fact that they were truly monstrous and never softened. Speaking of characters, I also really enjoyed Beata’s character, as well as the Prince and Kajetan.

Something else that really stood out to me about this book was the setting. The Midnight Girls takes place in a snow cloaked fantasy world inspired by Polish history. It has a gorgeous wintery atmosphere that I absolutely adored. The politics also made this book really interesting. The author’s note says that the world of this book is inspired by late 18th century Polish history and you can really feel that the country is on the brink of great change and revolution and I liked how our main characters interacted with this political background.

Overall, I absolutely adored The Midnight Girls. I highly recommend picking this one up if you’re looking for some monstrous girls being unapologetically ruthless, all while falling in love set against a gorgeous wintery backdrop. I was already excited to read Jasinka's debut but after loving this one so much I will now be hurrying to pick it up.
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This was such an interesting YA fantasy read, with a Polish touch.

The premise for this one was interesting - two enchantresses vying for a prince's heart. I was intrigued. I also was there for the enemy x enemy love. 

Whilst this one took me a while to yet into (like most fantasy), I really enjoyed it, and I was here for it also being sapphic as heck. The writing just made it super immersive, and I really did enjoy the cultural aspects.

Rating: 4/5
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2.5/5
Let’s start with what I did like about this one. The magic elements, while not unique, is well crafted and the three girls’ different magic meshed very well together (and against). We have the three times of day - Morning, Midday, and Midnight - who each have their own specific magic that correlates to their time of day, but there is also a small splash of like holy magic I guess is a good way to describe it with Kajetan and and some of the Royal Guard. There are other stories of religious magic that exists but aren’t shown in the story and I like how Jasinska incorporates this contrast in magic in comparison to the three witch’s.

I was totally feeling the setting and the winter feel of it all. This was a great December read even though there isn’t snow on the ground quite yet, it felt like it reading this. Jasinska does a beautiful job describing the setting and making it feel like a winter wonderland. But besides the setting, the magic aspects, and two characters (that I’ll get to soon), I just wasn’t a huge fan overall. 

The competition between Marynka and Zosia became utterly annoying very quickly. I know their banter between each other and their internal conflict over the other is supposed to create a special tension between the two of them, but it was so annoyingly obvious from the start that they liked each other. I got so sick of their inner monologues about the other - especially Marynka.  This made me root for the Prince more than anything because I didn’t want to see either of these brats win. I also felt terrible for Beata the entire stroy because Marynka constantly ignores her to internally obsess over Zosia, and Zosia seems to look down on her all the time. But Beata is a loyal friend - has to be to put up with Marynka’s crap - and really deserves so much better. She didn’t even have any chapters from her P.O.V. and she was my favorite character.

I know Jasinska was going for a somewhat historical fantasy based off of the events in Poland at the end of the 18th century, but the problem is that the politics didn’t matter to the main characters. I feel like basing a setting and side plot on historical events only works if the main character(s) are effected or show interest or emotion for what is happening. Marynka and Zosia are focused on beating the other at getting the Prince’s heart and everything else feels like insignificant background noise. Jasinska tried to get the politics to work and seem important, but none of it felt significant because the prospectives we’re reading through don’t care. It just made me want chapters from the Prince’s P.O.V. There was this constant disconnection with this part of the story, and complete annoyance at the other.
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I enjoyed The Midnight Girls, but I'm a little conflicted about how much I enjoyed it, because it felt like something was missing in the story. I enjoyed the dynamic between Marynka and Zosia, as well as Beata, and seeing how their character arcs evolved over the course of the story. The setting was inspired by Poland, and the winter descriptions were very atmospheric, which I enjoyed. It was also very cool to see mentions of the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) coexisting in the story's region and to see representation for each group of people in the cast of characters. The LGBTQ+ representation of the story was also fantastic, and is a main focus since the book is told from Marynka's and Zosia's perspectives. This is going to be a great recommendation for me to give to customers looking for books as they transition from MG to YA, as there aren't any intimate scenes, which we definitely need more of with the heavy trend to upper YA. Though anyone not okay with gore might want to stay away from this one, as some of the injuries and battle scenes are graphic.

However, it still felt like something was missing. And the more I thought about it, the more I've concluded it's in the magic system and the overall drive of the characters. The story utilizes a soft magic system approach, meaning the rules of the magic are not explained or analyzed in depth. This can sometimes work very well, but here it just really wasn't clear to me what the point of the magic was, because it didn't feel deeply connected to the main characters and their mentors. At the end of the book, I still didn't know what the witches do with their magic. Maybe I missed something, or maybe there isn't supposed to be a point because of the fact that it's a villain/monster story and this was an intentional choice on the author's part. Or maybe it's simply the fact that I like going in depth with worldbuilding and with stories, so I tend to enjoy series more than standalones. Bottom line is, I think it was more me than it was the writing, since I'm still glad I read the book. Hence the four stars.

Buy, Borrow, or Bypass: I would suggest borrowing this one. I'm glad I read it, and I would still recommend you give it a read, but right now I don't see myself rereading this one. Though, to be fair, I'm still kind of considering buying a copy for my collection since Charlie Bowater did the cover art and I love her work. :)
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This Polish fantasy is a great winter read. Marynka (Midday) has worked hard for years to win her adoptive witch grandmother's approval. Her grandmother took her in as a child and gifted her with magic. Grandmother needs to eat princely hearts to gain more power, but she cannot take them on her own. So Marynka must steal them.

However, Midnight, grandmother's sister's servant, keeps getting in the way. Midnight only seems to be getting more powerful, and Midday does her best to keep up. But Midnight often gets to the hearts before Midday, leading to a fierce rivalry (at least on Midday's side).

Their paths cross at Karnawal, a days long winter celebration where everyone shows up and parties, including a prince with the purest of hearts. As they both vie for his heart, they learn more about each other and start to question their true feelings for each other.

Along with some good world-building, there are a lot of great moments in this book: a masquerade ball, a romantic ice skating scene, an ill-fated sleigh ride, magical transformations, and an enemies to lovers slow burn. I also loved how Midday's and Midnight's story line was mirrored by the prince and his friend.

I really enjoyed this book, as long as I didn't think too hard about the magical aspects. I wanted more context about what the witches' purposes besides competing with each other and more background about how exactly the magic works. I also felt like with how convicted Midnight was to her mission, she could have just turned into shadows at any moment and stolen the heart. She didn't need to wait for cover like Midday, so why did she?

I also wish this was a duology! I think the ending left a lot of room for a second book, and I felt like there was a lot more to learn about this world.
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Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for giving me access to an eARC to review!

Definitely an interesting concept, but I just wished we had more time to establish the protagonists' years of being rivals. We got a couple of chapters at the beginning giving kind of like a summary of their rivalry, but I would have loved to see them interacting and their relationship changing over the time they've known each other - I feel like I was being told that they were long-term rivals without seeing much of this. We also sadly didn't get to see much witch-stealing-hearts content either tbh which was a little disappointing.

I found the dynamic between the prince and the priest a lot more interesting than the relationship of the main couple, and didn't feel like we got to know a lot about our witches apart from the fact that they were rivals and had different feelings about their jobs as witches. I think just a little extra time spent establishing these two characters and their dynamic would have made the slow-burn rivals-to-lovers more interesting to me. But this was definitely a solid read, and I think it's a good addition to sapphic YA fantasy without being super heavy on the romance. The pace picked up a lot near the end, but I just wanted a bit more from it!

Big Shadow and Bone vibes - there was a scene between the priest and one of the witches that was giving a lot of Nina/Matthias energy, and the prince reminded me a lot of a Nikolai type! I also think that the witches had more interesting relationships with the prince and the priest than with each other tbh...and there was the inclusion of some elements of Polish history/culture that weren't super fleshed out though there were a lot of references to Polish culture/food/dress which was nice! Also love a snowy setting!
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Bright Morning serves White Jaga. Midday serves Red Jaga. And Midnight serves Black Jaga. The servants of the witches know that if they succeed in bringing the hearts of princes to their mistresses, they will be rewarded with magic powers. If they fail, they will be eaten.

With enchanted sleeps, midnight masquerades, capricious witches who serve as mother figures, and a poetic writing style, this book is a beautiful fairy tale. The setting is inspired by Polish history and the three servants are as different as morning, noon, and night - each with her own ambitions and dreams, each wonderfully captivating in her own way. Strong, interesting, and heart-hurtingly admirable. Anyone who loves powerful female characters, fairy tales, Disney's Frozen, and Naomi Novik's books will definitely find this a worthwhile read. Also, if you're someone who wants everyone to be gay, this is a book for you.

My only complaint is that the ending was too open-ended for a standalone; I would have preferred a definitively happy ending for everyone. How can you make me love the characters and then deny them the happy ending you've convinced me they deserve?
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This is my first book from this author and I’ll definitely be going back to read her first book The Dark Tide at some point! This books strong point is it’s characters, especially Zosia and Marynka! I also highly enjoyed the wintery 18th century Poland setting.

Marynka and Zosia are fighting with each other to literally win the princes heart, one to eat it herself and one to prove herself worthy to the witch she is a servant for. Both girls are equally monstrous, in fact, they can even change form into the monsters of Midday and Midnight, respectively. They’re both complete opposites of each other, with Marynka being fiery, wild, and reckless and Zosia being cold, restrained and calculated. It’s no wonder the two are enemies, but when they finally meet each other (without realizing who the other is) they learn that they have more in common with each other and maybe perhaps even feelings for each other.

I really enjoyed getting this story from the villains rather than the heroes, and seeing how they became what they are and how it’s impacted their lives and experiences was fun to read.

Originally, I had wanted to know more about the kingdom of Lechija and the situation it’s in and how it related to the story of these two girls, but then I realized that if my schooling had covered other countries histories instead of just it’s own, I might actually have been able to spot connections from this book to actual history, and since that failing is on me and not the book it didn’t impact my rating in any way.

This was a little bit on the slower side, but as I said, the characters were so intriguing that I hardly noticed and got through the book rather quickly. I did also enjoy the writing style, it was very easy to read and follow along with.

While this is a standalone and it works well that way, there is definitely room for a sequel or even a companion novel, which I would definitely read if one was ever announced!

Overall, if you like character driven stories, monstrous girls and enemies to lovers then I definitely recommend you check this one out!
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I originally found out about this book browsing NetGalley, and after reading it, I'm honestly surprised I haven't seen more hype for it! It was an exciting 1800's Poland-inspired fantasy filled with an exciting festival, awesome morally grey characters, and a slow burn sapphic relationship.

I found this book to be a tad on the slower side - the best part of it is far and away the characters. Our two protagonists are absolute monsters - quite literally! Zosia and Marynka are in a race to see who can steal the prince's heart first, and the battles and tricks they pull on each other kept me engaged the whole way through. I also really liked how they stayed true to themselves and their goals. Even by the end of the story, they were still monsters and quite vicious. And the banter! The back and forth between these two was incredible. The side characters were also incredibly well-thought-out! Despite having less page time, I was just as intrigued by Beata and Prince Josef's stories as I was Marynka and Zosia's.

If you like your fantasy to have lush and gorgeous settings, then this is definitely a story for you! I'll admit that my knowledge of Poland's history is limited, to say the least, but coming purely from an enjoyability standpoint, the backdrop was absolutely incredible! I'd love to be able to go and experience Karnawal as the characters did, it truly made for an atmospheric story - which is no small feat when you're writing a YA fantasy novel under 400 pages!

This is a smaller detail that doesn't have much to do with the content of the story itself, but I really appreciated the fact that Jasinka included a pronunciation guide in the front! I honestly wish more fantasy did that - it definitely has to be one of the harder to pronounce genres!

Overall, this was just such a fun sapphic fantasy! It's obvious that Jasinka loved writing this, and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future!
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HIGHLIGHTS
~gloriously monstrous monster girls
~you don’t need to eat your heart out, they’ll do it for you
~scythes are sexy now
~if the ice-masks melt, you’re soulmates
~dress to impress terrify
~Witches Do It Better

I cannot tell you how much I love the premise of two girls fighting to win the same prince’s heart…so they can eat it.

And Jasinska absolutely pulls it off. Marynka and Zosia are not-quite-witches – in fact, they’re the servants of witches; Red Jaga and Black Jaga respectively. But full-on witches, it seems, cannot touch the pure of heart – and yet it’s those pure hearts, when eaten, that strengthen a witch’s power. Which is why they take servants; girls who are born mortal, but who are given enough magic to be able to turn into monsters. To hunt and kill the pure-of-heart their mistresses desire.

To be honest, a normal human probably wouldn’t make the distinction between witches and their servants – Marynka and Zosia can ride the wind, summon fire or darkness, and transform into terrifying creatures with iron teeth and flashing claws. Even Beata, the softer servant of the gentler White Jaga, can unleash devastating light and rip soldiers to pieces with her talons.

The Jagas are sisters and competitive, always boasting about their servants, and although Marynka and Beata are friends, neither of them know Zosia as anything other than her nom-de-plume Midnight (just as Marynka is Midday and Beata is Dawn, titles that come from their mistresses powers). Marynka is obsessed with Midnight, in fact; when they’re sent after the same pure heart, Midnight almost always manages to get to it first and steal it away, but Marynka wins just often enough to make her fierce about it instead of resigned. It doesn’t help that Red Jaga is always criticizing Marynka for not being good enough and failing so often.

And then a prince of legendary goodness returns from exile, and all three girls are sent after him.

By the lakesides the green-skinned rusalki were busy singing sweetly with the frogs, luring men to watery graves, their voices mixing with the muezzin’s call to prayer carrying from the emerald minarets of nearby mosques.

The world Jasinska has created is heavily drawn from Polish myth and history, which I know almost nothing about – but I know that I absolutely fell in love with the kingdom of Lechija, where magic is not just believed in, but omnipresent; there are rusalkas in the lakes, and the Jagas in their forests (forests of eternal night, dawn, and midday, respectively), but there is also magic wielded by humans. The witches call this ‘divine’ magic, and it’s one of the only things that can really hurt them, but it’s woven into the fabric of human life, with priests and prophets and princes alike being able to use it, and enchant objects with it that anyone can then use. There are swords that burst into holy flame, masks of ice that melt when you see your soulmate, characters who can read the future in the stars. It’s not idyllic – Lechija is in a very tense political situation, and everyone is holding their breath lest one wrong move tip them over the edge into war – but it is really, really beautiful. It doesn’t hurt at all that Midnight Girls is set during Karnawał, which is one big carnival-holiday that allows for lots of gorgeous, opulent costumes and horse-drawn sleigh rides. The gift for description that was on full display in Jasinska’s debut The Dark Tide is given free and wonderful reign in her sophomore novel as well.

But more than anything, Midnight Girls is a character-driven story, and I will be amazed if any reader can resist Marynka and Zosia. Marynka is louder, bold and fierce and fiery; Zosia is cool and restrained and detail-oriented. The chemistry between them is instantaneous and searing, in the best take on the rivals-to-lovers trope I’ve yet seen; every time they clash, every time one of them ruins the other’s plan or chance at the prince, every time they go for each other with claws and teeth – it sizzles. But there’s more to each of them than their rivalry; Marynka is desperate for the approval of her witch, Red Jaga, whom she calls Grandmother; Zosia is just as desperate to run away from Black Jaga. Both their lives hinge on this prince’s heart; Marynka, because every failure might be the one that makes Red Jaga so fed up she kills her; and Zosia, because without the power it will give her, there’s no way she can escape Black Jaga and survive.

It’s not just about their rivalry as the servants of witches; they’re both fighting for their lives as well.

She needed her there. It went beyond desire, beyond ambition. Aiming to outdo the other girl gave Marynka a goal, a purpose, something to strive for, something to look forward to. … She hadn’t realised how much she’d come to rely on her presence. When had Midnight become so integral to her life, when had their constant clashes stopped feeling like an intrusion, a threat, and started to feel…vital.

But the rivalry is definitely a huge part of it.

Oh, how Marynka wanted to see her frustrated, furious, desperate, just once. She wanted to see her on her knees. She wanted to ruin Zosia as thoroughly as Zosia did her without even trying.

Probably my favourite aspects of both characters is their amorality – although that’s probably not the right word for it; what I love is that they revel in their monstrousness, are thrilled by their own strength and power, glory in it. Zosia is self-conscious about her monstrous form and believes it’s hideous, and she wants to stop taking hearts – but even she loves her magic, and both girls are excited, not afraid, by the other’s magic and monstrousness. They find each other’s monster-forms breathtaking and beautiful. The scene where they both see each other in those forms for the first time is one of my favourite in the book, especially because, in the same scene, we see how the regular humans react to their monstrous visages with utter horror. That contrast – the horror of normal people vs the awe and appreciation and attraction Marynka and Zosia feel at seeing each other in their full power – is just gorgeous.

Marynka stared at Zosia.

Zosia stared at Marynka.

Prince Jozef of Lechija snapped out of his trance, stared back and forth at them both, and screamed.

It underlines the girls’ otherness, how they’re different, how they don’t fit with other humans – and that makes them frightening. But because we also see each girl through the other’s eyes, we also see them as glorious and beautiful, wild and magical. Their otherness is something to celebrate; certainly something they celebrate, unrepentantly. And I just flat-out loved that so much.

These are literal monster girls who are completely unashamed of their monstrousness, and that is exactly the kind of monster girls I want.

Marynka didn’t dress to please people. She dressed to startle them, to make them uneasy. She didn’t dress so that they would look at her and see something they wanted to touch and taste. She wanted them to look upon her and be afraid. She wanted their knees to tremble when they beheld her. She wanted their voices to crack with visceral fear at her approach.

And I loved their relationship, and how it developed. I suspect some readers might get a little bit ‘hurry up and kiss already!!!’, but I found it funny and almost kind of adorable how Marynka, especially, refused to acknowledge that what she was feeling went a fair bit beyond rivalry. It’s cute! I realise they’re fighting with scythes and throwing avalanches at each other, but I’m sorry, they are cute. Even if it would be a coin toss to see which of them ripped me apart for calling them that, it’s still true. I’m a sucker for romances where the reader can see quite clearly how emotions and FEELS are developing, but the character or characters take longer to put it together, and that’s very much the case here. It’s all so believable, and intense; Jasinska builds it up carefully and deliberately, so that their falling for each other feels inevitable. It’s wonderful.

Marynka swallowed around the sudden tightness in her throat. She’d always believed Midnight thought of her as someone weak and unworthy, someone beneath notice. But now she was looking at Marynka like she truly meant what she was saying, like she really did want her to come with her. Like Marynka was a prize, as rare and unobtainable as a prince’s pure heart.

Speaking of relationships: initially, I was a bit concerned that Beata, aka Dawn, the servant of the third witch White Jaga, was going to get sidelined and forgotten about; that she’d been stuck into the story just because three is a better number than two, especially for witches and magic. But while Marynka and Zosia are absolutely the headliners, Marynka and Beata’s friendship is an important thread woven through the story. I’m not sure Marynka makes the best best friend, but events make it very clear that the relationship goes both ways; Beata may mostly serve as Marynka’s support, but when push comes to shove, Marynka is willing to do anything to help Beata and keep her from being hurt. I never got the sense that their friendship was as intense or important as the relationship between Zosia and Marynka (even before the rivalry starts to develop into something else) but it didn’t feel tacked on to the story either.

One thing that did bother me was all the politics going on in the background – Dawn, Midday and Midnight are going after a prince, so politics plays a part in the narrative, even if it’s one that’s of virtually no interest to them (after all, human politics don’t and can’t affect witches). There are a lot of overheard conversations, a few lectures-via-dialogue at the reader, tension between some of the secondary characters, and honestly? That did feel contrived and unnecessary. Especially when it’s set up as being so incredibly important to the humans…but doesn’t affect the narrative, and thus the main characters, at all. I wish it had either been made more important, so that it played a real part in the story, or removed, because as-is it’s just…meaningless clutter.

And I have to admit that I didn’t love the ending. Things are mostly resolved, but a few important things kind of aren’t. This was the case with The Dark Tide as well; I’m crossing my fingers that Jasinska is leaving herself room to write sequels, because damn it, I am pining for a Dark Tide sequel, and I would joyfully pounce on a follow up to The Midnight Girls too!

Those are pretty minor gripes, though, and the latter especially is easy to fix: buy the book, flail about how amazing it is, and then go buy Dark Tide as well. If they sell enough, we’ll get sequels – and I promise, after reading The Midnight Girls (and/or Dark Tide, tbh) you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure Jasinska gets to write more sapphic witchy books!!!
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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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