Hello and welcome to my stop on this blog tour!
Thanks to #Pridebooktours for making this book available to me! I saw Black girls on the cover and I knew it was going to be good. I dare you to find a book with a Black girl on the cover that you think isn’t good.
With this book, I hit the Jackpot. I absolutely loved this duology. I have a long review for you!
You might notice ads in the middle of this post. Your girl is just trying to make some money, so check them out if you are interested. It helps out the blog!
The Good Luck Girls
This duology is marketed as Six of Crows meet The Handmaid’s Tale. Considering the fact that I have read the former and not the latter, I can tell you that it definitely gives you six of crow vibes with the friendships and the heist section of the story. But before I spoil this book any further, I will give a very brief review of the book by highlighting the world that it is set in.
Set in the Country of Arketta, the rich get richer and the poor gets poorer. The poor sell their children in hopes to either provide the children better lives or to have less mouths to feed in the family. There are also families who have their children taken from then by landowners because of a debt that they would never be able to pay because they can never in their life time work enough to pay themselves out of debt (Sounds a lot like Slavery to me – Read the book for more)
These children (girls in particular) are taken to welcome houses (these girls are then called The Good Luck Girls – an unfortunate name to be honest), where they are branded and feed till they turn sixteen years old, when they supposedly become ‘proper women’. The requirement now, is that they have to sleep with men for the rest of their lives or if they are ‘pleasing enough’ a landowner might decide to buy them from the welcome house and make the girl his property.
This where we meet Clementine who has just turned 16 and is about to be raped by the man who has hired her for the night. She accidently kills him and this is the catalyst for the duology. She is found by her older sister Aster and some other girls in the welcome house, Violet, Tansy and Mallow. They forge an escape plan and they escape from the welcome house in search of ‘The Lady Ghost’
Once the word of their escape spreads to the father of the man that was killed he send out a search party. This is how we get to know more about the brands on the girls (called Favours- which burns when they cover it up or hide it from plain sight), the magic of Arketta, the crossing of the boundaries, the people who live underground, the ghosts who torment and watch and the strength of hope and purpose.
I will continue the review of the duology in the next book so has to avoid spoiler
I gave this book 3.5 stars
I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 stars
The Sisters of Reckoning
Thanks to #Pridebooktours for making this book available to me.
Check out my review of the first book- I laid down the basic magic and power imbalance in Arketta.
I will start this book with a long list of Trigger warnings because this duology has so much that it would be wrong for me to recommend it without a proper list
5. Child Abuse and Statutory rape
6. Human Trafficking
8. Gore [Hanging, Skin burning e.t.c.]
9. Blood purity
There are probably a couple more but these are the ones that I could think off when I was reading the book.
Now that is out of the way, let me tell you why this should be you next read.
The girls found the lady ghost (happens to be an underground operation that helps good luck girls cross the border into Ferron for a better life. Aster joins the Lady Ghost while the rest of her friends and sister moved on. Except Violet who was left behind when they were last captured by McClennon. At the start of this book, we find out that McClennon lied that the girls were killed when he captured them and that seemed to have calmed his people down while he saved face. He soon announced that he was going to open more Welcome houses and that girls would have their first night at the age of 13! Yes I said Thirteen. That man needed to be hanging by his balls (I don’t give sh*t). Anyways, Aster finds out that Violet was still alive and she scales up floors to go find her.
This is when we realised that Violet also had a plan and it involved the young McClennon son, Derrick. Derrick was giving us typical white saviour vibes in the the first half of this book. I mean, he wanted to help out the Good Luck Girls but he was not ready to accept and acknowledge the privileged life he had lived at the expense of the girls. I loved how the author was able to touch on that without making it mean out of place in the story.
I do not want to spoil it but a lot of stuff happened in this book you really need to read it. I was turning pages so fast with this one. Now for one of my favourite things about this book, the love quadrilateral relationship between Aster, Eli, Violet and Derrick! Gosh, I loved the way trauma and sexuality was handled in this book. It definitely brought the topic to the fore front.
Do same sex relationship stem from trauma experienced from the opposite sex? – While this might be a flaming question in a lot of circles, the way it was addressed in this book gave me a different perspective. Aster like Eli a lot and you could tell from the first book. But her relationship with him was uncomfortable for her because of PTSD from her time at the Welcome House (which is understandable). One would suggest that with a bit therapy she would be able to manage her PTSD, but when you read the relationship with Derrick who she had no feelings for whatsoever, you could tell that the discomfort was when she was with Eli and not just around men in general (not to say that she was not hypervigilant around men). – At this point in my reasoning, I started to think ‘Maybe she is fluid or she is Bi or Pan’ my thoughts went wide and honestly (because I am selfish) I wanted her to have both Eli and Violet.
But when she was with Violet who she had once hated, she could relax. She could be herself, she could share her problems and her disappoints. With Violet a lot of things became very easy. Touching was easy, she was not hypervigilant, she was comfort. But she did not know that she was into Violet until it Raven pointed it to her. The panic she felt was the confirmation that she need. She got defensive and lashed out at Raven but once she took time to think about it. It was no longer about her trauma and her past at the Welcome House but about her future and who she felt herself around.
This book is just genius.
There are other topics that this book address, things like ‘Wealthy and Religion, Privilege, Fear, Love, Relationships, Acceptance. Honestly, I could go on and one with this book but I will stop here to avoid more spoilers
My favourite quote from this book “Our suffering became their currency. They get rich off it. And they say it’s all justified because we’re criminals”
This just spoke to me so deeply. I felt it in my bones.
While this book was a good conclusion to the story, I am itching for more!
I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars