Sunday, August 9, 2020

Book Review: Garden of Thorns and Light by Shylah Addante

Book Summary
When Amethyst Faye was six years old, she was almost stolen by a monster in the woods on the same night her mother mysteriously disappeared. Ten years, a half dozen psychiatrists, and a slew of diagnoses haven’t made things any better; she is still plagued by nightmares, ridiculed at school, and misunderstood by everyone from her teachers to her counselor to her father. And lately she’s been sprouting thick green thorns out of her skin.

When the paranoia doesn’t end, and the treatment options run out, she’s faced with a choice between inpatient treatment or spending the summer with a grandmother she hasn’t heard from in a decade.

Summer at Gran’s in Morgan Springs wins out, just barely, and only because a backwater town sounds marginally more interesting than a mental institution. Amethyst draws the attention of Ben, the boy of her dreams, and Absynth, the creature from her nightmares. Although neither of them is what she expected, Amethyst realizes both Ben and Absynth are exactly what she needs to heal her heart and harness the fairy magic she’s inherited.

Unfortunately for Amethyst, trying to walk both paths could get her killed, but having to choose between them is far worse.

Flo's Review
First things first: #coverlove! Look at the luscious green and all the colors!

I've found myself back in the world of faeries with Garden of Thorns and Light. The interesting thing about faeries is seeing the different interpretations and iterations. The fae in this story were unlike any I had encountered before, and so it was interesting to learn their lore. Introducing much of the backstory through the book Amethyst got from Gran instead of a big info dump at the beginning of the story was also a good idea. It took a little bit to get to what felt like the magical heart of the story, but once we were there, the story took off. I wanted to scream at Amethyst way too much for the decisions she made, even though I understood why she made them. I found myself flying through the last few chapters of the book as I eagerly hoped everything would work out.

I would have loved to learn more about Ben's family and their experience, but it would make sense for that to come in the (hopefully!) second book. I've got two favorite parts of this story. First, I love the way the real world meets the fantasy world. They dance together, circle each other, but are still two distinct places -- the garden and the forest, in particular. And secondly, Ben. Because, Ben.

Garden of Thorns and Light publishes September 15th from Month9Books. I received an advance readers copy in exchange for my honest review.

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