Cover Image: The Scratch Daughters

The Scratch Daughters

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Member Reviews

This book was one of the best sequels I’ve ever read! 

Our characters in this book are messy, fun, interesting, and most of all some of the most well written characters I’ve ever seen. 

Sideways’ arc in this book was incredible and sucked me in from the very first page. Them struggling with living without their specter, their relationships with the girls, and balancing their normal life with their magic one was extremely well written and makes me feel for them so much. Mr. Scratch is also spectacular and is always there for Sideways and the other Scapegracers. I loved the information we got about his old coven and his feelings on everything that happened. I feel like it added a lot of depth to the story that we hadn’t seen before. 

The girls in this book were amazing too. They were in it a bit less than they were in The Scapegracers but their roles in the story were just as important. I loved Daisy’s character arc and how she dealt with some of the things she was going through. Yates remained an absolute angel and Jing was perfect too. I loved how they each had their own stories going on that didn’t involve Sideways (fully) 

Shiloh!! I don’t want to say anything else about them since I don’t want to spoil the story but I would just like to add in here how much I love them. <3 

The plot of this book progressed at a very steady pace and didn’t feel rushed at all which I loved. I think the way the story went and how the characters reacted to it all felt very natural and wasn’t dragged out to long either. Madelines response to having her specter taken was very realistic too and I can understand why she did it even if I still absolutely hate her. I’m hoping she gets what’s coming to her in the next book. 

Boris and Julian <3 

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book!
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Scapegracers was one of my favourite reads and I have been excitedly waiting for the second book and WOW it did not disappoint! The queer representation is just spot on, I have been recommending it to all my students in our LGBTQ+ society. Seeing the community being written about so beautifully and truthfully gives this book an edge that I cannot put into words.
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4.5 stars

i’ve been anticipating this sequel for almost two years and it did not disappoint. i loved it. the character dynamics were just as interesting and fun as ever. the dialogue popped. i need any possible sequel in my hands immediately.
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I love the first book a lot, and this book ramps everything - especially the queerness - up several notches. I can't wait for the next book in this series.
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I really like Clarke's writing style, which is even better in this book than in the first volume. These are dangerous sentences with slarp edges. The plot is sharp and dangerous, too.
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The Scratch Daughters is a great follow up to the Scapegracers. I started this story and I was little confused then I realized I had missed the first book so I went and read that one first. Once I was all caught up, I flew through this story! I need more badass lesbian witches in my life. This story does not make gloss over the harsh reality that many queer people faces. Instead The Scratch Daughters faces this head on in a beautiful and powerful manner. This story is full of love, pain, acceptance, traume and witchcraft. It's all so beautifully written and this is type of story that can make someone feel less alone. It can change lives and make people feel seen and that's the best part of books. This one is so so important and I'm so glad I found it. I can't wait to share it with all my people.
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Thank you, Erewhon, for allowing me to read The Scratch Daughters early!

I loved Scapegracers and the way it reminded me of The Craft and The Scratch Daughters was no exception. It spectacularly continued the story of Sideways.
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There’s something about witchy, queer vibes within a coven that I can’t not read. The Scratch Daughters is the follow up book in this series and it lived up to the first installment. 

The writing is incredible. H.A. Clark is able to story tell so well that I can picture the story as easily as I can a movie. The story is so well done that I could not put the book down. Also, Sideways is a fantastic character. 

Growing up, I didn’t know of any books that explored LGBTQ+. Knowing that so many YAs will benefit from representation in this book makes my heart sing. 

Rating: 3.5/5 because the first 30% was pretty slow for me. Rounding up to a 4.
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The Scratch Daughters takes everything glorious about Scapegracers and elevates it to the next level. 

Witches, witch hunters, gay stuff, covens, girl gangs, talking about the issues in small towns and dealing with complicated family stuff. It’s all there. 

I was less than 5 minutes into reading when I started to cackle out loud, and just…didn’t stop until I finished the book. 

We pick up with Sideways and the Scapegracer coven a few months after the incident that lost her soul with them hexing shitty boys while trying to figure out how to find Madeline again. Between the inner squabbles of the coven as they try to figure themselves out, and Sideways trying not to feel like she’s dying with Mr. Scratch being the only thing keeping her up and running, there is a lot here about trauma and queerness and feeling alone. 

It follows the through line of seeking out Madeline so that Sideways can get her soul back, and delivers an excellent story as the world gets bigger and darker with every page. 

I couldn’t put it down, between being stressed over characters having interpersonal stuff, and the big bad witch hunters being a PROBLEM. 

Compulsively readable this story about a coven finding their way, and fighting back against a shitty world and misogynistic witch hunters is a queer balm and the perfect sequel. I just can’t wait to see where it goes next. R
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This review is not fully spoilers free but I don't treat character's identity as a spoiler. If a character comes out at any point in the book my review will use the correct name and pronouns all along. This reviews does reveal a few plot points happening in the first third of the book

I have read the Scapegracers a few months ago in a single afternoon and assumed I would remember enough for the sequel. My assessment was slightly wrong because it was rough to directly go back into that one without a refresher. Mostly I had forgotten what I was supposed to know about the personalities of the Scapegracers girls so please refresh your memory before reading this one.

The beginning is the roughest part of the book and I was a bit disappointed reading this part thinking it was going to be a 4 stars book. Sideways is rattled by the loss of their specter and the writing wants to reflect that but it wasn't messy in a way I was enjoying it. And then came Shiloh. After the first Shiloh scene, in the church, I knew that if the book kept this up it would be a 5 stars read. 

The characters have a single goal from beginning to end and I appreciated that the problem created at the end of the first book was not resolved in the first third of the book but rather took its time. It's not plot-heavy and let the characters breathe and have their own arcs (notably Daisy, Shiloh and Sideways).

Let's talk about Shiloh. When we first meet Shiloh they've been kicked out by their family and are homeless. Immediately my brain reads this scene assuming that it's because Shiloh is trans. But it does not go that way and I assumed that my trans radar was off. And THEN- well I was proven right 5 chapters later. I loved Shiloh and their entire arc. I have also in my notes that Boris and Julian were so great at taking them in and just were great at parenting in general.

To paraphrase Clarke's Nona review "dyke drama" is what happened here. There were two scenes of queer confrontation that I can summarise as "one character pushes another's character against the wall and it's supposed to be a bit aggressive but we're all gay here so we know". The Coven is faced with the reality of Sideways' suffering and their past deeds and this creates conflict.

Sideways affirms themself even more as a butch which I love to see (more butches in YA you know) and comes out making them one of the very few nonbinary lesbian we have. We love butch lesbian who aren't girls (it's me!)

Lastly this book saw everyone avoiding the label lesbian and said "I respect you but that's not me"

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review
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Literally could NOT put this book down. I’ve never been more invested in witches until this series. Sideways Pike is one of my favorite book characters EVER. Handsdown, I couldn’t stop texting my friends between chapters telling them they need to add this to their release calendars for October. You have a reader for life.
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I have mixed feelings about this book. For the most part I enjoyed reading this book, but there was unfortunately a point where I debated DNFing it. I liked this book and am wanting to know what happens next with the characters, but I don’t know if I liked it enough to read it again or purchase it. However I can think of friends that would enjoy this book and I would buy it for.
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The sequel to The Scapegracers is everything I had hoped it would be. The Scratch Daughters is unapologetically queer, and it’s a book I look forward to recommending to my students in our Queer Readers book club!
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The Scratch Daughters is every bit as beautiful as its predecessor.  

Sideways Pike pursues her stolen soul, there’s teen drama, witchy angst, horrible men, and it’s gayer than any book I’ve read.  It’s queer, with every possible meaning of the word.  Half of it has the airy breathyness of a dream and the other has is horribly, bloodily real.  It’s perfect literally from the epigraph to the last word.

It’s about queerness in the face of a hostile world, and loving in spite of hate.  It’s about trauma and gender and sexuality and girls.  It loves girls as much as anything I’ve ever read.  It loves transfemmes and transmascs and non-binary people and it does it constantly without exception.  It’s about breakups, and trying to live when it feels like your heart has been torn out.  It’s about being queer in rural America.  It’s about parents, their love or lack thereof, and how royally they can fuck up a kid.  It’s about loving people when you’re angry with them, so furious you could scream and still knowing that you would do anything to protect them, because they’re your people.

I don’t have the words to say how much it means to me.
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This had everything I was looking for in a new read. Witches, magic, drama, and danger.  I loved every page and I could not put this one down.  I can not wait for more and I really need to add book one back on my TBR just so I can read it again. This was an edge of your seat story that readers will enjoy.
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The Scratch Daughters really delivers on taking its chaotic teen magic premise further. We get a lot more about the nature of queerness, with several characters exploring their identities; there is also a clear momentum carrying us from where book 1 ended to the climax of this one. I think taking the friendship group into rough terrain is a natural and well-handled step, although the cost is that we don't get as much time with the friendship combos (and some of the characters could do with a bit more spotlight). But this was great as a followup, and leaves things ready for what I hope will be an emotionally satisfying end.
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I have enjoyed the first book in the series The Scapegracers and was hoping that there would be more in the world. The Scratch Daughters has a lot to live up to and I believe it did, the story was beautifully done and it had great fantasy elements. The characters were what I enjoyed from the previous book and they felt like real people. H.A. Clarke has a great writing style and I will look forward to more by the author.

"The Delacroix House dusted in snow was a bear trap for Hansel and Gretel. It looked delicious, like its wooden curls and pink turrets would crack between the teeth like wafers, the shingles coated in chocolate, the edging licorice ropes. The place you find when you’re cast out and dying and fresh out of breadcrumbs. It was a witch house, after all."
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