Cover Image: Deep in Providence

Deep in Providence

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Member Reviews

This book hooked me from the first page. Although multi-POV, the girls' voices and lives were so distinct, and the intimate look into their feelings, hopes, heartbreaks, and desires was so visceral in the best of ways. Without any spoilers, this story was a breathless feast from start to finish. Riss M. Neilson is an awesome debut to watch out for, and I can't wait for her next book!
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One of my favorite books of 2022!! Riss M. Neilson weaves a magical story of sisterhood and friendship. This book really captures what it's like to be a teenage girl. I loved all three main characters'' perspectives. Also, Riss M. Neilson is Filipino and so is one of the mc's!!
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I have tried to listen to this audiobook several times, and the narrators just do not work. There's issues with volume levels because of whispering, and since this story is told from multiple POVs but with ONE narrator, it makes it incredibly difficult to follow along to.
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I was sucked into this story on the first chapter. There are so many heartwrenching moments that you just want to step into the book and hug the characters. We are following 3 best friends Miliani, Inez, and Natalie as they are dealing with the death of one of their other best friends. Miliani asks her friends to help bring Jasmine back from the dead. Alohough the main plot of the book is about them trying to bring their best friend back, it also has so many interesting side stories that makes you want more of every single story line. Sometimes I find it hard to keep up when there are so many points of view, but this book was so well done it was easy to keep it separate. I would 100% recommend this book to someone.
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3.5 stars

This was a beautifully written story told from the point of view of 3 best friends, Miliani, Inez, and Natalie, after the death of the 4th member (Jasmine) of their group. In their grief, they turn to the magic that some of them had learned from their family in hopes of bringing back their dead friend's spirit. There were moments when reality blended with dreams (waking or otherwise) and I wasn't always so sure what was happening. What I loved was that although the story was told from different perspectives, the three voices are quite distinct and I never had trouble making the switch. As you learn pretty quickly, Miliani, Inez, and Natalie are best friends, but they (and Jasmine) grew up very differently and their reasons for working with magic are very different from each other. 

My one complaint about this book, which is why I think 3.5 stars is a good rating:

What I did not like as much was Miliani's deception of her friends (and her mom, but it was more her friends that bugged me) and proceeding without really considering Darleny at all. It actually made me feel a lot of sympathy for Darleny, even when she was deliberately rude to Miliani and her friends.

Without this piece, I think I would have liked this story more. The characters were very well-written and as you follow the story and learn more about each of the girls and their families, their choices and feelings make a lot of sense. Even though Leanne was more of a supporting character, her story was just as important as Natalie's and I like that they normalized what she did to make ends meet AND that her partner was on board with it. And while Dev and Harriet were not prominent in the story, you could see how important they were to the development of the girls, even as grumpy as Harriet seemed to be at the beginning. Truly there was more to like about this than to dislike which is why I decided to round up to 4 stars. It helped that Miliani finally came clean and it helped her come to terms with her grief; it helped all of them. I think I was also more willing to forgive because I understood from the ending that deep grief can sometimes make you consider actions you would never consider otherwise. 

One other comment--the pacing is on the slow side, and at 480 pages, it may seem a bit daunting for readers, but the pacing fits the storyline. These girls are absolutely grieving and there are moments when you feel as they feel--that their pain will never end. As teenagers that feeling is probably intensified and it also doesn't help that many of the adults in the story are just as messed up. It gave me a glimpse of what it might be like to grow up black and brown in Rhode Island. There are so few books set in that area of the country, so that was definitely one of the things that caught my eye. 

Content warnings include drug addiction, drug overdose, discussions about abortion, incarceration for assault, discrimination, and abuse. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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thank you so much to Colored Pages Blog Tours and Henry Holt to provide me with an early copy in exchange for an honest review!

after being surrounded by so many romance contemporaries, this one was a breath of fresh air. it was kind of slow at the beggining but the three POVs made me story fly without realising it. i truly adored learning about this new type of magic, it's been such a long time since i've read a story about witches set in the real world and based off another culture, so it was something so unique that i really enjoyed, tho i wished i knew how the girls came to learn more about it. every single character was different, their issues were not the same as the other and they had their way of acting that made them compelling i wanted to hug them all the time. i never got bored from any POV, the mix was enjoyable and the chapters were short, even more perfect. the issues that were dealt with here were something I wasn't expecting at all: teen pregnancy, grief, losing a friend, what is love and how to deal with family that is toxic for you, i feel it's such a powerful story and i wasn't expecting anything about it. and the setting being in the early 2000's without all the technology we have now was something fresh as well.
overall, a very enjoyable book that made me gasp out loud in several times and super interesting magic system. i hope it's read more because it sooo deserves it!
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*4.5 Stars*

After Jasmine dies unexpectedly in a car accident, Miliani cannot accept this fate and decides that she must do anything in her power to bring her back. So she starts learning spell and takes classes with her estranged aunt and convinces her other friends, Inez and Natalie to resuscitate here. But magic has a cost and nothing is so simple.

Deep in Providence was, in my opinion, above all, a book about grief. And it really resonated with me. I truly felt the characters' pain and could relate to it in a way.
I found the magic system to be really complex and intriguing in the best way.
The characters were all layered and came with a lot of flaws that made them so very real to me. The relationships between all four girls were also intricate and help me situate the characters a lot of the times.
I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end and I do love my witches especially when there's a little queerness added in there. The plot really kept me on my toes and I didn't see a lot of the twists coming.
So, if you like witches I'd definitely recommend you check out this one and I'll be looking out for more books from this author!
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Thank you to Colored Pages Tours and Henry Holt for providing a physical copy in exchange for an honest review and promotion. All opinions are my own.

This was incredible.

This book is about witchy powers, grief, and friendship. It follows three best friends after they lose their fourth member. Each of the girls is dealing with the loss differently, but then Milani convinces Natalie and Inez to raise Jasmine from the dead.

I still haven’t gathered all my thoughts from reading this one but I loved this book! I was invested in the characters from the get go and I loved all the magic and the way it worked.

Rep: Black-Filipina sapphic cis female MC, Latina cishet female MC, Black cishet female MC with anxiety, queer Black cis female side character, various Black, Latine and Filipine side characters.

CWs: Death, grief, mental illness (anxiety), pregnancy, abortion/miscarriage, blood, sexual content. Moderate: addiction (parental side character), child neglect and abandonment, drug use/abuse, forced institutionalization of side character, sexual assault, religious bigotry, medical content, sexism, misogyny, outing. Minor: car accident (off-page).
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I have had my eye on this book for a while now and was really looking forward to diving in! I was not disappointed, but I also did not enjoy this read as much as I wanted to. While I loved the writing style and distinctive voices of the characters, I found that the plot dragged a little bit in addition to the heavy content. Deep in Providence is full of Black Girl Magic, however readers should be aware that a lot of emotional content comes in tandem with the magic. I loved how each character had their own voice that was unique! With multiple POV books it can often be hard to distinguish between different voices, but I knew instantly who was narrating based on the writing-- not just the title of the chapter. I think I would have enjoyed this book at a different time in my life, and I will definitely be returning to it when I am more equipped for the heavier material! Readers who love witches, sisterhood, and Black Girl Magic will love this book!
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A great mix of magic and life following a group of friends dealing with grief and individual struggles. Haunting, emotional, magical, and thought-provoking. This was a wonderful exploration of friendship and I loved the different characters and their own stories.
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Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC!

“She opened the window to let the cold air inside, but the stench of death only got stronger as the minutes ticked by.”

Deep in Providence follows Miliana, Inez, and Natalie after the death of their close friend Jasmine. Each of their perspectives are showcased in the book, and from the beginning, you can feel the grief they are feeling. 

The novel tackles topics from grief and teen pregnancy to addiction and outing, making it a relevant read for many. I was a big fan of the writing throughout. I dislike a lot of books with contemporary settings because of the lack of creative writing style, but the paranormal aspects of Deep in Providence gave it the immersive atmosphere it needed. 

This book is so beautifully written from start to end. Deep in Providence is a debut novel, and I can’t wait to see what the author, Riss M. Neilson, creates next.
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It is a story of three best friends Miliani, Inez and Natalie who lost their fourth member in a group and are determined to bring her from the afterlife.

This story revolves around witchcraft, friendship and their bond.💞
When Miliani proposed the idea of a blood bond to help their deceased friend Jasmine to come back, their lives turned upside down.
And their individual lives at the risk where they also have to fight with their secrets and insecurities and powerful magic.

🗯 multiple P.O.V of Miliani, Inez and Natalie are there and the chapters are well written and the characters are well developed.
🗯 l love their friendship and the bond they share is so special.💞
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Thanks to the Macmillan/Fierce Reads team for my copy of Deep in Providence!

Miliani, Natalie, and Inez are reeling from the recent loss of their close friend Jasmine. Together, they often dabbled in magic, witchcraft, voodoo, etc, the term depending on who was speaking on it, and some took it more seriously than others. But Jasmine's loss brings out a dire need to delve deeper into the craft, because legend and experience from relatives says that there's a possibility to bring her back. It sounds great in theory, but magic demands sacrifice, and the realm of the beyond is a door, meaning anything can come forth.

This novel is a tale of exploring loss, grief, possibility, and how far some will go to try and make themselves "whole" again. 

And I have to be honest. It was a little rougher than I expected it to be. The pacing was quite slow, but the further you get into the book, the more you understand why, though I still wish it was a little shorter. Aside from that, these characters handled their grief and every day problems in a way that made them seem very real, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Also, Neilson seemed very knowledgable about the craft which made the book even more visual for me.

Overall, though, I'm still not quite sure how I feel but this book definitely came across so very strongly and I teared up at some bits, especially at the end.

Congrats to Riss M. Neilson on bringing us such a hard-hitting, heartfelt read. 

TW: death, blood play/magic, child loss, abortion, drug addiction, toxic parental relationships
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

When their best friend Jasmine dies in an untimely car wreck, Miliani, Inez, and Natalie make a pact to bring her spirit back, whatever the cost.

I enjoyed this book quite a lot, although it was much different than I expected. While there was a lot of magic and spirits, the story itself was much more driven by our three living friends as they navigated their unique life challenges. This book is ultimately about grief and sacrifice, and I’d definitely recommend it for anyone who prefers a character-driven story.

My biggest qualm is that this is an incredibly slow read. It is necessarily slow — we spend good time getting to know our characters, traveling through their emotional arcs, so the pace is definitely beneficial to the story. It just wasn’t quite the quick, spooky magical read I thought it would be.

That said, it was beautiful, and there was definitely enough spooky magic to go around. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Miliani, Inez, and Natalie’s lives, and the ultimate resolution to their stories was bittersweet and heartwarming.
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Set in Providence, Rhode Island, Deep in Providence explores many issues revolving around  the main characters, a group of high school best friends: Miliani, Natalie, Inez and Jasmine. The novel is told through multiple POV's as three girls all deal with the untimely death of their friend, Jasmine. While I am a fan of storytelling with multiple POVs, at times, especially the first half of the book, I did have some trouble keeping the characters straight because they spend  so much time together, and they are from the same neighborhood. This is nothing that a little note taking on my behalf couldn't have easily solved, though. Providence, itself, at times, felt like a character in and of itself, lending the overall atmospheric mood of the novel.

The three friends work together, with Miliani leading the way to utilize magic to root their deceased friend, Jasmine, to Earth so that they don't have to say goodbye to her. With the help of Mili's aunt, the girls practice and strengthen their magic to prepare for the ultimate spell that will bring Jasmine "back". But the question is, at what cost? They soon learn that magic has great power but also a steep price. There are several concurrent subplots focused on each girl's experiences including romantic relationships, loss of family members, addiction, crime, unplanned pregnancy, and the conflict between religious beliefs and the use of magic.

While I enjoyed her debut and can't wait to read what Riss M. Neilson has in store for her readers next, I did feel it was a bit long, and it could've been shortened a bit. I think this would have improved the clarity and flow of the narrative. Overall, it was a good read with great representation.
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This book was hard to read, for several reasons. First, it begins with a funeral, and the death of the teen pervades the book, as does the grief of her friends. Second, there are several difficult themes in this novel - themes based on the lives of real teens, including, but not limited to, sexuality, teen pregnancy, loss of a parent due to death, absence of a  parent due to deportation, and absence of a parent due to drug abuse. Also, this book was written from the points of view of several characters, and while the title of each chapter identifies the character, the characters' voices are not sufficiently distinct to identify any other way, which makes keeping track of which character's point of view is being offered in any particular chapter somewhat difficult.

This novel is about a group of teenage girls, high school seniors, who lose a friend to death. Jasmine, the deceased teen, was out looking for another of the group, and died while looking, in a fashion that was never clearly explained. Each of the girls in the group deals with her grief in a different way, but ultimately, as a group, they channel their grief into a ritual based on the magic of the Philippines, intended to anchor Jasmine's soul in a fashion that allows them to communicate with her. Interwoven into this are multiple relationships, a teen pregnancy, a parent in drug rehab, jobs, peer relations, family interactions, and school. For those who like this type of novel, it was very well done, but it simply isn't my preferred genre; when the synopsis mentioned magic, I was expecting something more fantasy based, but this is gritty reality, with teen girls surviving any way they can, and doing whatever they can to get by.

I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my review, which I am leaving voluntarily.
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this is such a fantastic read. the characters are all so interesting and well developed. i also adore the diversity and think the all the representation is done super well. this is a spectacular witchy read  that you should definitely check out when it comes out on the 31st!
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Three points of view for this book about three friends, Miliani, Inez, and Natilie  who want to use magic spells to bring back there friend, Jasmine. who was killed in a car crash.  Miliani is the lead with the deep magic she had learned from her grandfather.  Story reveals the grief these teens go through.  Story moves along but I didn't complete the story as I just saw these girls getting too deep into magic.
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When we think of diverse books, we usually think of diverse characters. This book not only has diverse characters but has a setting that really diversified my bookshelf. Set in Rhode Island (home of the author), this book really shows the diversity of the area that I wasn’t aware of.

But it also tells an amazing story! It deals with my grief and how this group of friend reveals themselves in a plan to resurrect a member of the group. I enjoy how each members culture and support system (or lack of) played a part in their character and their choices. At some points, their choices were infuriating, but I liked that you see the "descent" into madness as they are all dealing with the grief and fallout in different ways. 

I received a free finished copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This story was everything I wanted and needed. I loved everything about it and. Now I want more. The characters were intriguing, the story/plot was fantastic, and the writing style was quite impressive. I could read this book a second time and wouldn’t be bored at all!
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