Member Reviews

He took a bite of the warm apple tart; the sweet tanginess coating his tongue with pleasure. He savored each bite, not knowing when he would get another chance to eat something so delicious. He glanced down at the silver coin in his hands, flecks of blood covered the face. Something bad was coming, something evil was brewing. And he wasn’t sure who he could trust.

Forging Silver Into Stars brings the reader back into the worlds of Emberfall and Syhl Shallow from Brigid’s Cursebreakers series. Reuniting with old characters and meeting new ones as unrest is building against the king and his magic. An insurrection trying to come to fruition.

Told from the perspective of three characters, a blacksmith named Jax, a baker named Callyn, and the familiar face of Tycho, you’ll be brought into a wild, fantastic story as the king’s life is threatened and a battle ensues. It was such a fun trip back into these lands and reading about these characters again and I can’t wait to see how this series unfolds!

If you’re a fan of fantasy, lovable characters, murder plots, and enjoyed the Cursebreakers series (which I recommend reading first), then you don’t want to miss out on this new series!

TW: Murder, Death of a Loved One, Death of a Child, Miscarriage, Physical Violence, Alcoholism, Ableism.

Was this review helpful?

I cannot overstate HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS BOOK!! I honestly think I like it better than the original trilogy?? I was so excited to dive back into this world, and these characters drew me in immediately. The stakes are high, and we get to see snippets of the lives of familiar characters from the original trilogy as well as discover different parts of the universe with our new trio of faces; Callyn, Jax, and Tycho. The chemistry is actually unbelievable, and I love how everyone navigates relationships- be they friendships, romantic relationships, or relationships of loyalty as they also navigate the political upheavals of their realms, all set a few years after the ending of A Vow So Bold and Deadly. I'm beyond grateful that I got to read an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley, but also slightly put out that I now have to wait AT LEAST A YEAR for book 2!!?? Going to be rereading book 1 in the meantime for sure!!

Was this review helpful?

𝐈 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲, 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐚𝐫 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤…𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞’𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐠𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐟 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐬, 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐟 𝐰𝐞’𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐥𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞.

“𝐈’𝐦 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞.”

“𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐜𝐫𝐲 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭. 𝐁𝐢𝐠 𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞.”

𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐈’𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐮𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐭𝐡 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐬. 𝐈 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐋𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐀𝐥𝐞𝐤 𝐤𝐞𝐩𝐭 𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐞𝐧’𝐬 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬, 𝐬𝐚𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐞𝐫. 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬𝐧’𝐭. 𝐇𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐬𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬.

“𝐋𝐞𝐭’𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡.”


This book was absolutely fantastic!! As someone who came into this series brand new, having not previously read the Cursebreakers Trilogy I was at no disadvantage understanding this story…I only highly regret not reading it so that I could meet some of these characters sooner!!

The story follows 3 points of view with the first being Callyn, the daughter of a baker whose mother was lost in the war between the kingdoms and whose father worked with a secret uprising trying to “save” the kingdom of Syhl Shallow and “protect” their queen. As the book opens we meet Callyn and her younger sister Nora as they lose their father to the king’s magic and struggle to find a way to still live and thrive on their own. The second POV comes from Jax, a blacksmith and Callyn’s sole childhood friend who lost his foot in an accident at a young age. Also in dire straights, we meet him as he discovers the family forge owes a large sum of money in taxes due to his abusive father’s alcohol habits. When a noblewoman comes to the forge seeking his father to deliver a message, Jax takes matters into his own hands and proves himself trustworthy to the woman and to the lord who she is covertly passing the letters to. Seeing it as their opportunity to raise enough money to pay both the forge and the bakery’s back taxes, Jax inflates the sum of money that he will accept to hold and deliver the messages, turning a blind eye to what they may contain. But when a twist of fate leads the King’s Courier Tycho right to the forge and to Jax and Callyn they realize that they may have gotten themselves in far over their heads and may end up not having to worry about paying their taxes if they are discovered and subsequently hung for treason. Tycho, our third and final POV, himself is also trying to find his way and see how and where he fits. After a few missteps lead him to being in a few wrong places at the wrong times, he also finds himself embroiled in the schemes between the uprising known as the Truthbringers and the king himself. What results is a twisting and turning game of political fantasy roulette where allegiances and sides are ever changing, motives are to be questioned at every turn, betrayals run rampant, and in the end it is a race to see who can be one step ahead and who will ultimately come out on top.

Having read Defy the Night I knew I loved Brigid Kemmerer’s style of writing, but now I know there has to be some kind of magic in her books because this is the second time I’ve been unable to put down a book of hers and have fallen madly in love with the characters. Tycho, Callyn, and Jax are all incredible, stand out characters and make all of the difference in this story. If you’re looking for your average strong, confident, kick butt, fierce leads you won’t find them here…but the lead characters you do find are just as strong in their scars and brokenness and are each finding their true strength as a result of it.

Callyn’s character resonated with me deeply. She was someone who just desperately wanted to make her parents proud, do what they would have done, continue their legacy, and at all costs do whatever needed to be done to take care of her little sister. Because of this it did lead to her not only falling in with the Truthbringers but also falling for the lord collecting the messages, Alek. Watching her navigate right and wrong and learn who SHE was and what she wanted HER legacy to be was powerful, and seeing her strength balance so delicately with her vulnerability was beautiful. Plus that little twist at the end for her has me wondering exactly what she truly does know about her parents and her past and has me excited for the future.

Tycho and Jax. They are hereby my babies and I will burn the entire world down if anyone lays a single finger on them or ruins their happiness. Watching them individually, being inside their heads, and seeing the strength they portrayed in their own ways being marred by the scars that haunt them (Tycho in his past, and Jax in his reality) was heart wrenching. Tycho in his silent desperation to feel something, anything, constantly trying to be stronger than the memories that haunt him, and Jax trying to overcome the long held belief that his father constantly reinforces of his entire existence being nothing but a misfortune, and then seeing how they reconcile those things in order to come together first as acquaintances, then as friends, and then ultimately as lovers was so well done. Watching them process through their own individual trauma together, and then watching them slowly build trust in each other and find a way to heal and grow together had me emotional more than one time. And I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. My. Heart. Seriously, I could NOT love these two more!!!

We saw a fair bit of both King Grey, Queen Lia Mara, their daughter Sinna, Prince Rhen, and Princess Harper and seriously I loved them ALL. Rhen and Harper won my heart over instantly and while Grey and Lia Mara’s storyline was much heavier my GOSH their characters were just as good as they were complex and I fell in love with them too!! Again, I didn’t read Cursebreakers beforehand like I wanted to but I DEFINITELY will be doing so as soon as possible so that I can get to know these characters more!!!

There are some slight trigger warnings which I’ll include below, but otherwise this book had everything you could want. Political intrigue, race against time, conspiracy, betrayals, vaguely descriptive spice, MM and MF pairings, magic, shock value (for all the things I did see coming, there were 3 things that got audible gasps out of me), and a slight cliffhanger that left me content with the fate of our characters but also wanting answers to SO many questions. I cannot WAIT to see where this story goes and what lies ahead for these characters!!

Thank you SO much to NetGalley, Bloomsbury, and the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

TW/CW: Violence, blood, miscarriage/child loss, loss of a parent, physical abuse, sexual abuse, rape, violence toward animals (out of mercy and not), and past trauma/triggers.

Was this review helpful?

CONTENT WARNING: violence, blood, death of a parent, child abuse, ableism

While I must admit that I wasn’t thrilled with the last book in the Cursebreakers series (A Vow So Bold and Deadly), I did miss the incredible world that Kemmerer has built. And I especially missed my favorite character from that series—Tycho! So when I saw a new spin-off series that heavily features Tycho, I couldn’t wait to start reading. And this one didn’t let down my high expectations.

We have three POV characters—Jax, Callyn, and Tycho, and I loved the way these three characters intersect. Jax and Callyn are best friends from the small village of Briarlock, struggling under the weight of loss, poverty, and other hardships. Callyn’s parents are dead, leaving her to take care of her younger sister, run the family bakery, and everything comes to a head when she receives a visit from the tax collector, informing her that they owe a significant amount on the bakery. Jax is a blacksmith who had a foot amputated as a result of an accident, and his father has never stopped berating him for that or blaming him for his mother’s death at his birth. When he receives a note from the tax collector, both of them are in a serious situation.

When an opportunity presents itself for these two to earn some money, they don’t have the ability to turn it down, because if they do, they’ll lose their homes and businesses. But what seems like easy money turns out to open a huge can of worms, changing everything about their lives, including their friendship.

So many of the roles are reversed in this series—as opposed to loving Grey and hating Rhen, I found myself actually develop a grudging respect for who Rhen has become and not loving Grey as much. And with a conspiracy afoot in Syhl Shallow, I never quite knew who was trustworthy. But I definitely loved seeing Tycho actually get a little romance in his life, and it made me happy to see that he chose a guy who adores him. Jax and Callyn come across as a little flatter than I’d have hoped, to the point where I looked forward to Tycho’s chapters much more than the other two.

This book has the same magical world-building as the Cursebreakers series, which was a pleasure to return to. While it took me a while to get fully immersed in the story, once I was, I struggled to put it down. It’s a bit slower-paced in the beginning, but then picks up rapidly towards the end. And the plot twists follow the same pattern—not many at first but arising faster towards the end. While there isn’t a ton of action for most of the book, just mostly setting the scene and figuring what’s actually going on, the parts towards the very end are action-packed. It’s definitely wroth the read.

Was this review helpful?

This was a great spinoff in a world we know! Loved the world building and learning more about it! The characters were likable and I can’t wait for book 2!

Was this review helpful?

Forging Silver into Stars is the start of a spin-off series set in the same world as the Brigid Cursebreaker series. This one focuses on a side character named Tycho, who will soon take center stage in this book. The same problems brew from the previous books two warring countries, Emberfall and Syhl Shallow, one with magic and one where magic was all but banished but now is ruled by a new Queen and her Magesmith Husband, who is the brother to Emberfall Magic owning King. There is a romance that brews between Tycho and a blacksmith named Jax, who lives in a tiny town so far removed from court politics that you never suspect treason is brewing there. Jax and his best friend, Callyn the baker, are wrapped up in a treason scheme because they are desperate to keep their homes and businesses from the tax collector. Both have their reasons for distrusting magic, and in the end, once the truth comes to light, start to trust it a little more—a fantastic start to the spin-off series.

Was this review helpful?

This book is definitely going to make its way on my top 5 read of the year 2022 and I’m more than happy about it. It was such a gripping fantasy read for me, with strong protagonists and fun secondary characters. So, undoubtedly a full five stars read.

Was this review helpful?

Brigid Kemmerer never disappoints. It was a perfect blend of unique story, phenomenal word building with the super amazing and entertaining characters. Overall, it’s 5 stars read for me.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this book. The plot was well paced and the characters were enjoyable to read. I would recommend this book to friends and would enjoy reading additional books from this author.

Was this review helpful?

I was trying to find a reason to keep reading at about 25% and about 30% I realized that there might be a M/M romance. I looked up a few reviews and found out that's true. I don't read those so I DNF.
Before I DNF I realized since I hadn't read the first trilogy that I felt like I was missing some of the story. It CAN be a stand along but felt as though so much background that I was missing out on. I didn't realize it was a spin off series.
The beginning was pretty slow and was only semi holding my interest. This is reflected in my rating. For those looking for a M/M romance of a main character and have read the first trilogy this would be a better fit for them.
Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Since I did DNF mainly at no fault of the author and my own for personal preferences, this is the only place I'll be reviewing and rating.

Was this review helpful?

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

I have read all the books I can by Brigid Kemmerer and they're always so fascinating! This one is a spinoff of her beauty retelling. I kind of wanted to go back to the main characters of the other books just to revisit them but this was also a great read! My favorite world by her is still Defy the Night though.

Was this review helpful?

This book is a spin off of the Cursebreakers series that I have read. It was fun being back in the world. However, this book was really hard to get into. I loved the first two books in the curse breakers and I loved the authors other series Defy The Night. But this one did not grab me like the others. A quarter the way through, I was still struggling to get into the story. The plot did pick up and it was a decent read, but not my favorite by this author.

Was this review helpful?

Jax and Callyn have been friends forever but now they find they maybe on opposite sides of the issues facing their small town in Syhl Shallow. While Callyn continues passing messages for the stranger who came to town, Ajax is forming a relationship with the Royal courier. Magic is what devices the citizens, but will it the divide the friends?

Was this review helpful?

This is a YA fantasy. It is a spinoff from another series, which I had not read. I could tell it was a spinoff or a continuation based on hinting at some back stories. However, I fully followed this, and totally enjoyed it.

This is told from 3 points of view. 1. Callyn, a baker. 2. Jax, a blacksmith who is Callyn's best friend. 3. Tycho - a messenger for the King. I love stories that are told from multiple points of view - I believe they make the
story deeper.

There are a group of people who are opposed to the King and his magic. Some of them want to overthrow the King, some believe the Queen needs to be rescued and don't realize there are differing agendas in the rebellion.

There is drama, magic, romance, fighting, mystery.. All of the things you want in a YA fantasy.

Thank you to the author, the publisher and #netgalley for the ARC which did not impact my review.

Was this review helpful?

**3.5 STARS**

Content Warning: Violence, Kidnapping, Abuse, Mention of Rape

I requested this book because it was written by Brigid Kemmerer but I didn’t realize it was a spinoff of The Cursebreakers series until I started reading it. I felt myself rebelling against this book because I didn’t love the ending of that first series. It was okay, I just didn’t think I’d return to that world again – yet here I was with Grey, Lia Mara and of course Tycho (who I vaguely remember).

This new series is set in Shyl Shallow and is told by three perspectives: Tycho, Jax – a blacksmith in Shyl Shallow, and Callyn, a baker and Jax’s best friend. It took me awhile to get into this book because I didn’t know what we were doing back here…is there a story to tell? Well – it seems like there is no happy ever after still and there is a growing faction of people who are opposed to King Grey and magic. The plan is to eliminate him and save the queen (but she doesn’t need saving). But things don’t go as planned.

I did like that this was Tycho’s story. He’s traveling between Grey’s court and Rhen’s Emberfall a lot and those two always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I just never liked how the previous series ended, I guess. But I did my best to concentrate on Tycho’s side of things. I love that he meets Jax – they have an attraction that gets kind of steamy. I felt bad for Jax because his dad abuses him and he is just trying his best to survive it. As for Callyn -I liked meeting her but then she lands in the morally grey area, especially when Lord Alek comes around and I’m not sure what will happen to her in the sequel. In this story no one is perfect.

Grey and Rhen are back for a little bit but like I said I don’t have happy feelings for either of them. The beginning of this story took awhile to get into but I did find myself caring about Tycho and Jax by the middle of it all. As for Cal and Alek? Ugh – all I feel are red flag alerts. I think it’s supposed to be an enemies to lovers romance building but I think I hate Alek…so, can he redeem himself in my eyes? I don’t know! In relation to the story…do we need to be back in this world? It just feels like an unending cycle and no one will come out totally happy, with magic or not. I am intrigued about the scravers though! But enough for me to want to read book two? I’m still not sure. I did enjoy the second half of this book though so we shall see.

Why you should read it:
*you loved The Cursebreakers series, want to revisit old characters and the same world (you should read The Cursebreakers series if you haven’t)
*M/M romance
*political intrigue and some good action at the end

Why you might not want to read it:
*wasn’t happy with the previous series
*relationships are constantly tested in this series

My Thoughts:

I went into this book kind of wary of returning to Shyl Shallow and Emberfall and yes I struggled to get into the story in the beginning because I wondered – was there really a story to tell about this world again? But I found myself invested midway to the end of the book. I liked Tycho and Jax’s romance and am sort of intrigued by Callyn and Lord Alek – but also warning bells are going off on those two also. I wasn’t as interested in being around Grey and Rhen again, I have bittersweet or maybe just bitter feelings about how that relationship turned out. I think Nakiis’s story would be enough to pull me back into the next book. For fans of The Cursebreaker series, you will love this spinoff because all the old characters are there, and it’s a familiar world. For the not so big fans of the series, you may want to skip this one…unless you are as curious as I was, then you should read it.

Was this review helpful?

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I devoured it in three sittings. I really enjoyed the plot about the faction trying to kill the new king. I thought it was interesting and well-written and it kept me guessing. As far as characters go, I always liked Tycho in the original Cursebreakers trilogies and I loved seeing him older and more confident in this book. He and Jax are super relatable and I loved them both, apart and together. I also really enjoyed seeing Tycho's developing relationship with Prince Rhen.

Now. The subplot about the Royal Challenge that is proposed as a way to unite the two countries made absolutely no sense. Emberdall and Shyl Shallow are at peace, but that peace is tenuous, and the royals think it's a good idea to have a challenge and pit the countries against each other? Not to mention the fact that it will give the faction wanting to plot the king ample opportunity to kill said king? I'm still shaking my head at this 12 hours after having finished the book. It felt like the author was trying to give herself a way to get the king away from his family so that the events in the climax could take place. I'm disappointed the author couldn't didn't find another way to do this because using the challenge as a plot device felt so contrived. I could see exactly where it was going as soon as it was brought up.

The other thing that didn't work for me was Callyn, Jax's best friend. I did not like her. She was naive, easily manipulated, a terrible friend to Jax, and used her past to justify her actions. But those justifications, like the Royal Challenge, felt forced, like the author was trying too hard to convince the reader that what she was doing was okay. Callyn did see plenty of character development, though, and I didn't hate her so much by the end, but her chapters were sadly kind of flat and boring. I ended up skimming several in the middle.

The final thing that annoyed me was the destruction of relationships. In the Cursebreakers series, the author took what should've been sacred relationships and ripped them to shreds. She did the same thing here for the sake of angst and drama, and I am not pleased.

Did I like this? Yes, but not as much as I'd hoped. Will I read subsequent books in the series? Obviously. I care too much about the Cursebreakers characters not to. I'll just curb my expectations when I do.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for the advanced copy.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed reading this continuation of The Cursebreaker series, but from new perspectives. I wasn’t crazy about the third Cursebreaker book…Grey, Rhen, Lia, and Harper were getting tiring but this was a fresh, revitalized take on the world and characters (plus some new ones). The story pulled me in pretty quickly and, except for just a little bit in the middle that dragged, it was an engaging read and I breezed through it.

One of the things that bothered me in the third Cursebreaker book was the discord between Grey and Tycho, so I was really happy to get his perspective and see more of his story in this book. My heart broke a little for Jax and Cal, being so afraid of him in the beginning, when we know that they so don’t need to be. It, and the book as a whole really, is such a stark representation of the distance and disconnect between class lines, how vastly different the world is depending on your place in it and how it shapes pretty much everything in your life; and I found that really thought provoking. I’m looking forward to the next book and can’t wait to see what happens!

Was this review helpful?

Let me start by saying that this book was EVERYTHING. Brigid Kemmerer has knocked it out of the park with this one. Fans of her Cursebreaker series will love this new adventure featuring our baby Tycho and new characters, Jax and Callyn. New readers will also love this one since everything you need to know is perfectly explained.

Honestly everything about this book was so perfect. Kemmerer said this has been her longest book, but it really didn't feel long. It was so fast paced I couldn't believe when I got to the end.

Pick up this book! You will not be disappointed.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

First of all, I highly recommend you read the Cursebreakers trilogy BEFORE you dive into this one unless you want to be a little lost and very spoiled about what happens in that series.

Now! I really did enjoy this book and loved seeing what happened to our favorites from the Cursebreakers trilogy. There was a moment or two where I was afraid that I was possibly being queerbaited, but I was immensely relieved when that did not turn out to be the case and that couple is just… perfection. To the author- I’m so sorry I doubted you for even a second.

The book started out a bit slow- there was a lot of set-up, and I definitely preferred Jax and Tycho’s POV chapters to Callyn’s earlier ones (it gets better later) but that might just be because I’m biased. Overall, this was a nice continuation of a series I already loved.

Was this review helpful?

This story beings about 4 years after A Curse So Dark and Lonely series ends. Jax and Callyn are doing what they can to bring money into their family’s businesses, as the collector’s have come calling. Magic was banished but now Grey has married their queen, Lia Mara and has brought magic to their kingdom.

Kemmerer has an easy flow to her writing. It’s easy to get pulled into the story. She’s great at creating emotion and keeping the story exciting. She has had characters that have real physical ailments (Jax is missing part of his leg) and I love her for showing their struggles but for showing how they work through it.

While I expected to complain about this really being book 4 to A Curse So Dark and Lonely (really? Why does it have a different series name when there are the same characters?) My bigger problem with this book was the intimacy.

Excuse me while I get on my soapbox for a bit; Kemmerer started pushing the grounds of what I feel is comfortable in YA with her last book, A Vow So Bold and Deadly But in this book, she crossed the line of where I’m comfortable (see down below in the summary). My preference of intimacy in YA coincides with what I believe teens should be experiencing in YA books; closed door scenes. I get it, a lot disagree with me but I feel that certain intimacies are pushed too early and too much for teenagers. I love it when books have healthy outlooks on intimacy but don’t give details. Closed door scenes (before the scene progresses much, the scene ends, or a “door is closed” so the reader does not experience it) still allow there to be intimacy without the details. This book is labeled 13 and up and I’m mortified by thought of 13year olds reading it.

Putting the intimacy aside, I really did enjoy this story, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have. A lot of parents come to me with requests for their teens for books, and the one requirement I hear again and again is that they prefer minimal intimacy until their kid is older. The next request I get is minimal language (usually F words which is why I number those but nothing else). Knowing I now can’t recommend this series is heartbreaking as she has become a favorite YA author.

I’ve seen many posts about praising Kemmerer for writing ‘intimacy after trauma’ and while I commend her for this, I stand by my opinion that it should not be in books for teens. If it had the label of NA (New Adult) then I would not be on my soapbox. There would be a mention down below in the summary and that is it.

Ok I’m off my soapbox! You have the info, now you can decide what is best for you or your family!

Was this review helpful?