Book Review – The Wren Hunt

Title: The Wren Hunt (The Wren Hunt #1)

Author: Mary Watson

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Publication date: February 8th, 2018

432 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family’s enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good.

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.

Review

There would be consequences, I knew that. There were always consequences, usually teeny tiny consequences that you hardly noticed. But the small things added up over time, until eventually they formed one big thing that could crush you beneath its weight.

Mary watson, the wren hunt

The Wren Hunt is the start of a duology following Wren, a young augur about to take an internship wit a house of judges, in order to try and steal a map from them. Set in Ireland, The Wren Hunt posits two gifted groups; judges and augurs. Judges are able to commune with nature and augurs have different abilities centered around understanding patterns and being able to manipulate the world around them. The two sides are constantly at war, and the judges are winning. Wren must tip the scales back into the augurs favor before it is too late, or does the universe have a different plan in store for her?

Whew, this book was A LOT. I spent most of it very confused, and am actually still pretty confused. The book starts of with Wren being chased through the woods by a group of young judges, which apparently happens every year. Apparently the only reason this occurs is because her name is Wren and they must hunt the Wren. Seriously, already it started off weird. Also, I feel like I never got a good explanation for why this happened EVERY YEAR on the same day. But I digress. The events of the book are confusing.

If you like a book where the characters are likable and have redeeming qualities, this book will not fulfill that desire. Even the seemingly great characters end up being terrible, and the MC is no better. I spent most of the book internally yelling at Wren for her actions, and frankly I did the same for most of the supporting characters as well. In a war between augurs and judges, no one plays fair.

I will say, this book had a magnificent plot twist towards the end that I DID NOT see coming in the slightest. I felt more convinced after that that The Wren Hunt was worth my time reading. I picked it up because I was approved for the sequel, The Wickerlight, on Netgalley and I really do NOT like to DNF books. The twist was able to move this book into a solid 3 star book for me.

Lastly, the cover is gorgeous. Simple. Classic. Fitting. The Wickerlight cover matches in style, if not color. I am a fan of a good, simple cover sometimes. YA books lately have been KILLING it with these amazing, colorful, detailed covers – but sometimes I appreciate sleek and simple. The romance is okay – I’d classify it as a slow burn, lovers to enemies romance trope which is not even in my top five of romance tropes. But hey, if you like those, check this book out!

Overall, a mid range book for me. The writing is beautiful and mysterious (which leads it to be confusing), and I enjoyed that it was set in Ireland.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – Call It What You Want

Title: Call It What You Want

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA/Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

384 pages

5/5

Goodreads Synopsis

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

Review

Hello book friends! Back again with another eARC review 🙂 Special shoutout to Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books for sending me this galley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Guys, I am obsessed with this book, I quite literally read it all in one day. Once I started, I just couldn’t put it down. I would die for Rob and Maegan and will stand in the way of anyone hurting them!!

CIWYW was such a cute, contemporary novel. This is the first title I’ve read by Brigid Kemmerer (I do own A Curse So Dark and Lonely but have yet to pick it up) and I am impressed. She officially has a fan for life. I read so many YA Fantasy novels that I forget how much I enjoy a good, contemporary novel. This book is written from two perspectives – Rob and Maegan’s. This is nice because you get a slice of the story from both points of views and in their own voices.

So let’s start off with the characters. I am a sucker for some lonely, messed up characters!! Rob and Maegan are struggling with very real, and very personal problems while trying to survive their senior year of high school. They are learning to navigate life as social rejects. Rob’s dad embezzled many in the town out of a whopping 7 million buckos and Maegan cheated on the SAT’s, which ended up invalidating 100 students scores. Both of them are hurting and have resulting trust issues of others from the backlash of their peers. They are thrown together to do a math project and neither of them are happy about it, they both would prefer to be alone. Rob and Maegan quickly learn to lean on each other, and begin to explore the idea of having close friends again.

There is a love story between two characters, an LGBTQIA character (no love story for him womp womp), and some sneaky Robin Hood themes. It begs the question – is it wrong to steal if you are using the items for good and not evil? It is a theme that is highly explored, and is an interesting concept.

Frankly, I loved CIWYW and have preordered a copy as a result of reading this. The love story is SO well done – reading Rob’s point of view was so important. The topic of respecting woman is brought up at one point, and Brigid did such a good job of presenting a teenage, male character that was interested physically in the girl – but acted (and thought) with nothing but respect for her wishes and comfort levels in intimate situations. It was honestly a breath of fresh air in a time when this topic is difficult to navigate.

Upon finishing CIWYW I almost immediately went back to reread a few scenes that stood out of me (okay, the romantic scenes – I’m a sucker, alright?!) and this is a huge sign for me that it is a five star read. The fact that I wanted to go back to relive big moments doesn’t happen with every title I pick up. Frankly, my sole gripe about this book is that there isn’t a follow up book to go with it! I need more Rob and Maegan!

In conclusion, pick this one up if you like a good high school romance, Robin Hood, real teenage angst and issues, and some well built characters. This would be a great beach read for the summer!

Enjoy, book friends!