How to Support Indie Bookstores Without Breaking Your Book Buying Ban

How to Support Indie Bookstores Without Breaking Your Book Buying Ban

Every time I visit a bookstore, I make a point to buy something. The reason? Well, it’s an indie bookstore and all small businesses benefit from sales, continue to stay open, and keep local business…in business.

But what if you’re on a book buying ban? It’s definitely hard to resist temptation especially when you walk into a store you want to support. Over the years, I’ve cultivated a few different ways that you can still support an indie bookstore without breaking your book buying ban. It’s a little bit about being creative with your purchases and giving yourself grace to gift yourself with a book.

So if you’re like me and want to continue to support a local indie bookstore without breaking your book buying ban, here’s some ways you can do that:

Buy the bookstore’s merchandise

Most bookstores that I go to nowadays have merch. It’s a mug or a t-shirt or tote bag with the name of the bookstore on it. I love merchandise like this because it’s not a book and it’s a great way to support the bookstore. I also visit a lot of bookstores while on vacation, so if I can take home a little souvenir of the bookstore visit, then it makes me happy.

Buy a book you’ve already read, but don’t have a copy of

I do this all the time and never count purchasing a book I already read as part of my book buying ban. The point of most of my bans is to not accumulate more unread books and adding them to my TBR. However, if there’s a book you borrowed from the library or bought through your e-reader, you can easily pick up the actual book at a local indie bookstore and immediately add it to your shelf. You don’t have to worry about crippling your mountain of a TBR and you can remember all the good times of reading the book. This goes double if the book is beautifully printed.

Buy a gift for a friend or family member

This is a super easy way to share the gift of books, support a local indie bookstore, and not break your book buying ban. Because it doesn’t count if it’s for a friend, right?

Attend a bookish event

Many indie bookstores host author events. If you’re excited about a new book being published and you see the author is speaking at your local bookstore, this is a great way to attend the event, grab a copy of the book, and support the bookstore all at the same time. And if the event is being hosted IRL, you can even meet the author and get your book signed!

Plan your trip and purchase one book

This one is a tough one because if you’re like me, you want to buy the entire store. But if you plan out your buys before you go or if you plan to buy just one book, then you can buy a book without the guilty feeling that you’ve bought too many. Whenever I plan a bookstore visit, I make a point to plan out the book I want to buy. Then, it’s the only book I pick up. Of course, this could be a dangerous trip because one book can easily lead to four books, but at that point it’s sheer will keeping me from buying too many.

Buy something other than a book

Many of the bookstores I go to always have more than just books. It could be anything from hosting local artists and their work to bookish t-shirts to artwork and posters. There’s a variety of things outside of books that you can pick up to support the business and not break your book buying ban. Perhaps it’s a pretty mug or a silly greeting card to send to your friend, the point is that there’s many ways to support an indie bookstore without buying a book.

The last thing I want to say is that I never feel guilty for buying a book at full price at a bookstore. Sometimes I look at my receipt and take in a huge breath because of how much I spent, but then I think again about how I’m supporting this business and keeping the doors open. I’m a huge fan of cheap books whenever I can get them, but the magic of a bookstore and the hard work these small businesses put into creating an open and inviting store is well worth the price.

Pub Day Picks // June 22, 2021

Pub Day Picks // June 22, 2021

MMmm I love the smell of new books in the morning. Happy Pub Day! Today’s another great day with some great reads. From the continuation of the Henna Artist story to someone who is looking to change her own destiny. I think the one I’m most excited about is the anthology of stories based on Black teen love and the warm summer nights.

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi

In New York Times bestselling author Alka Joshi’s intriguing new novel, henna artist Lakshmi arranges for her protégé, Malik, to intern at the Jaipur Palace in this tale rich in character, atmosphere, and lavish storytelling.

It’s the spring of 1969, and Lakshmi, now married to Dr. Jay Kumar, directs the Healing Garden in Shimla. Malik has finished his private school education. At twenty, he has just met a young woman named Nimmi when he leaves to apprentice at the Facilities Office of the Jaipur Royal Palace. Their latest project: a state-of-the-art cinema.

Malik soon finds that not much has changed as he navigates the Pink City of his childhood. Power and money still move seamlessly among the wealthy class, and favors flow from Jaipur’s Royal Palace, but only if certain secrets remain buried. When the cinema’s balcony tragically collapses on opening night, blame is placed where it is convenient. But Malik suspects something far darker and sets out to uncover the truth. As a former street child, he always knew to keep his own counsel; it’s a lesson that will serve him as he untangles a web of lies.

Blackout by Various Authors

Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teen love to this interlinked novel of charming, hilarious, and heartwarming stories that shine a bright light through the dark.

A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…

A first meeting. 

Long-time friends. 

Bitter exes. 

And maybe the beginning of something new.

When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.

Beloved authors—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—celebrate the beauty of six couples and the unforgettable magic that can be found on a sweltering starry night in the city.

Star Eater by Kerstin Hall

Elfreda Raughn will avoid pregnancy if it kills her, and one way or another, it will kill her. Though she’s able to stomach her gruesome day-to-day duties, the reality of preserving the Sisterhood of Aytrium’s magical bloodline horrifies her. She wants out, whatever the cost.

So when a shadowy cabal approaches Elfreda with an offer of escape, she leaps at the opportunity. As their spy, she gains access to the highest reaches of the Sisterhood, and enters a glittering world of opulent parties, subtle deceptions, and unexpected bloodshed.

A phantasmagorical indictment of hereditary power, Star Eater takes readers deep into a perilous and uncanny world where even the most powerful women are forced to choose what sacrifices they will make, so that they might have any choice at all.

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey // Book Review

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey // Book Review

I picked this one up as a little break from the heavier fantasy novels I’ve been reading lately. I didn’t want to slump and luckily, this did just the trick!

Here’s more about Very Sincerely Yours

Teddy Phillips never thought she’d still be spending every day surrounded by toys at almost thirty years old. But working at a vintage toy store is pretty much all she has going on in her life after being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend. The one joy that she’s kept is her not-so-guilty pleasure: Everett’s Place, a local children’s show hosted by Everett St. James, a man whom Teddy finds very soothing . . . and, okay, cute.

Teddy finds the courage to write to him, feeling slightly like one of the children who write to him on his show. He always gives sound advice and seems like he has everything figured out–and he pretty much does: Everett has a great support system, wonderful friends, and his dream job. But there’s still that persistent feeling in the back of his mind that something’s missing.

When a woman named Theodora starts writing to Everett, he is drawn to her honesty and vulnerability. They continue writing to each other, all the while living their lives without meeting. When their worlds collide, however, they must both let go of their fears and figure out what they truly want–and if the future they want includes each other.

My Thoughts

You can always rely on Kerry Winfrey’s writing to pull you from the edge of a slump. Seriously, her stories are always interesting, entertaining, and so laugh out loud funny that I found myself turning a little red in public with how loud I was.

Teddy reminded me a lot of myself when I was younger. Having been dumped by a guy who never appreciated me or how I helped him, I felt exactly where Teddy was. It was also that period in my life where I wanted to find something for myself and figure out my next step. While my “Teddy Time” list was a little bit different than the main character, I definitely resonated with her lost feelings and wanting to do things I wouldn’t normally do.

I also struggled with holding back a lot of who I am in public and with friends. I would always put other people first and put my feelings aside because they weren’t as important. Or so that’s what I thought. It was lovely to see Teddy go through the same kinds of struggles especially after a pretty heinous breakup that made me lose sight of what really matters.

Everett was such an interesting character that I could relate to as well. I’m a bit of a workaholic, so I can relate to him always trying to figure out how to make things perfect. But I will note that this book felt more about Teddy finding herself and helping out Everett than it was Everett figuring out his next steps and helping Teddy out. In fact, I don’t think Everett did much to help out Teddy aside from giving her the space to be herself. She took the initiative to try new things, say no to him, and figure herself out.

I absolutely loved that the email theme kept running throughout the story. I was worried it would be one of those elements that would get the story going and then it would fall off by the end. So happy that it was even used in the epilogue and that really helped to keep that theme (and the title of the book) threaded throughout.

I also really liked how Teddy’s ex was an antagonist that kept on showing up like some indigestion after eating a giant burrito. It reminded me a bit of Kate Winslet’s character in The Holiday and how she tried so hard to push him away, but kept being lured back. It made for an interesting component to the story.

I kind of wish Gretel played a much bigger role in the book. It seemed a bit strange that she was introduced in the beginning of the story, but nothing really came from it other than being a vehicle to connect Everett with Teddy. I wanted more especially when she’s a self-proclaimed “old woman” at the age of twelve. I also wish there was more conflict. Granted, I know the struggle to find oneself and overcoming the obstacles of perfection are tough, but I would have personally enjoyed it more if there were some higher stakes.

Overall, this was such a fun and entertaining book to read. It definitely took me out of my slump and perfect for those hot summer days when you don’t want to get too involved in a story.

I received a copy of Very Sincerely Yours from Berkley for free. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.

Pub Day Picks // June 15, 2021

Pub Day Picks // June 15, 2021

Happy Tuesday and yet another Happy Pub Day. There’s always a magic in the air when new books release and I’m so excited to share a bit of that magic today. One book is actually a book with magic and the other is a fun little romcom to enjoy this summer. I think I’ll be enjoying both books!

Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury

A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him.

After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic.

Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?

With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey

A charming and heartwarming new romantic comedy by the author of Waiting for Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey.

Teddy Phillips never thought she’d still be spending every day surrounded by toys at almost thirty years old. But working at a vintage toy store is pretty much all she has going on in her life after being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend. The one joy that she’s kept is her not-so-guilty pleasure: Everett’s Place, a local children’s show hosted by Everett St. James, a man whom Teddy finds very soothing . . . and, okay, cute.

Teddy finds the courage to write to him, feeling slightly like one of the children who write to him on his show. He always gives sound advice and seems like he has everything figured out–and he pretty much does: Everett has a great support system, wonderful friends, and his dream job. But there’s still that persistent feeling in the back of his mind that something’s missing.

When a woman named Theodora starts writing to Everett, he is drawn to her honesty and vulnerability. They continue writing to each other, all the while living their lives without meeting. When their worlds collide, however, they must both let go of their fears and figure out what they truly want–and if the future they want includes each other.

Letting Go of Bookish Things That No Longer Serve You

Letting Go of Bookish Things That No Longer Serve You

Do you ever look over the stuff you’re working on and think to yourself that maybe you’ve taken on too much? I always worry that my plate is super full, but I can shuffle things around and get some more on there. I feel like I’m at the Thanksgiving table and there’s just too many good items to eat and very little space left, so I try to make some time to evaluate my plate and see what I can take off or push over for something else.

Over the weekend, I was doing a bit of soul searching trying to figure out what about reading is bringing me joy. Yes, I not only Konmari my things, but my life. If you’re like me and put your hands in a bunch of pies, it’s always a good idea to take a look at what you’re enjoying and what you want to let go of. It’s easy to take on a bunch of projects and ideas, but it’s another to actually get them done. When I go through this process, I always consider what makes me happy. Because if you’re not happy or interested in what you’re doing, then you’re going to make your life a bit more of a chore. It always feels so overwhelming when I have too many pies and not enough hands, so I dug through all the things I want to accomplish and what I want to let go of.

Ultimately, what I realized is that my reading life is changing. I can’t read as much as I wanted and I need to come to terms with that sad truth. And one of the things I’ll be letting go of is reading challenges. It’s a bit too much for me to challenge myself with reading when I already challenge myself to read a certain number of books a year, run a book club, and do everything else. I’d much prefer if my required reading was limited to one or two books a month rather than half my TBR.

So I’m letting go of my Hugo Awards challenge. I know this was a challenge I made for myself and I have plenty of time to read, but it’s become more daunting to try and read all the books I need to read before the award show. I also have a huge backlist of books that I want to read as well and juggling all of that plus new releases and book club books, it makes reading such a chore. I was really excited to take on reading all the books for the Hugo Awards, but at the same time it feels more like work than enjoyment. I don’t want to feel that way especially with a hobby I love to do because there’s so much room to do different things.

I’m also letting go of keeping up with my Netgalley score. I do still receive books through Netgalley and plan on submitting my reviews, but this also became such a chore for me. Read and review, read and review, and it doesn’t help that Netgalley suggests an 80% feedback rate. I’ll just read the books that I want to read and if it just so happens to coincide with a Netgalley book, then I’ll take the time to submit those as well.

I won’t be completely abandoning the books, though. The list had some great options to read, but I don’t think I’ll be reading them with the timelines I set for myself. This brings up a bigger conversation about what really matters when it comes to reading. I know many of us struggle with a crippling TBR, a small amount of time to read or you’re dealing with some real world stuff that’s keeping you from your books. I struggle with the same kinds of issues and I try my best to read as much as I can, but I also have to remember that this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

I don’t plan on ending my love affair with books and reading any time soon and I want it to be a lasting relationship that takes me into my golden years and beyond. But if I’m forcing myself to read, pushing myself when I’m tired from work or unmotivated, I know that that relationship will end sooner than later.

It’s time for me to take my own advice, my time to read what I want. Perhaps I won’t read all the books, but at this point in my life, it’s more about quality vs. quantity. It’s about being able to read the books I’ve been eyeing and not be tempted to take on too much. So here’s to the new chapter of my life. I’m very excited to read for a very long time.

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo // Book Review

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo // Book Review

Oh Leigh Bardugo, you are such a treasure for me and one of my all-time favorite authors. I’d been feeling a bit of a Shadow and Bone hangover, so I knew I needed to pick up where I last left off in Leigh Bardugo’s books. Now, I don’t know what the future will hold for the Grishaverse, but I can definitely say there’s a lot more story to tell.

Spoilers ahead, so please read with caution!

Continue reading “Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo // Book Review”

One Last Stop by Casey McQuistion // Book Review

One Last Stop by Casey McQuistion // Book Review

Well, the hype is wild for this one and it has every right to be. I’ve seen it all over Instagram and for Pride, it’s the perfect F/F romance to make you fall in love with love. It was an incredible story with so much heartwarming feelings and a little bit of sci-fi.

Here’s More about One Last Stop

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

My Thoughts

I had such a good time reading this book. It’s filled with such fun anecdotes, delicious foods, subway rides, and tons of romance. August and Jane were such a lovely couple and I wanted to follow them to the ends of the earth just hearing their stories. Their romance truly made the book and I honestly was on pins and needles worried that it wouldn’t work out for them. Granted, that wouldn’t make this book a true romance, but there was that emotional build up that maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t work out.

I need to talk about New York. I’ve been reading a lot of books that take place in New York City and as a native New Yorker, it’s making me miss my family and home very much. I loved the inclusion of some great Brooklyn highlights especially the subway rides and food. You’re not a real New Yorker until you’ve fallen in love with a complete stranger on the subway and then never seen them again. Casey McQuiston really got that right when she wrote that into the book.

The sci-fi elements were really good and well researched. It’s not necessarily time travel, but maybe some sort of quantum jumping or existing between parallel worlds. Either way, I just loved that it wasn’t something simple like time traveling and worked so well with the story. The electricity between the August and Jane made so much sense to me and I loved the dedication to make that part of the story.

As the second book by Casey McQuiston, I think she’s hit her stride. She’s got a style for herself that’s a bit different than the rest and speaks so much with the younger generation, but the fun surprise is that it also speaks to older generations and brings the two generations together.

Overall, a great read with a great romance. I was filled with love and happy feelings while I read it and I’m so excited for what Casey McQuiston will write next.

I received a gifted audiobook copy of One Last Stop from St Martin’s Press. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.

Pub Day Picks // June 8, 2021

Pub Day Picks // June 8, 2021

Happy Pub Day! It’s Tuesday and I’m very excited about today’s books. I’ve been eyeing both of these for quite some time and I can’t believe it’s finally the day they’re all out. While it’s a bit lean this week, the books are quality. Here’s what I’m excited about publishing today.

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid

In the vein of Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestseller Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden’s national bestseller The Bear and the Nightingale, this unforgettable debut— inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology—follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant.

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline—her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman—he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.

Girls at the Edge of the World by Laura Brooke Robson

Set in a world on the edge of an apocryphal flood, this heart-stoppingly romantic fantasy debut is perfect for fans of Rachel Hartman and Rae Carson.

In a world bound for an epic flood, only a chosen few are guaranteed safe passage into the new world once the waters recede. The Kostrovian royal court will be saved, of course, along with their guards. But the fate of the court’s Royal Flyers, a lauded fleet of aerial silk performers, is less certain. Hell-bent on survival, Principal Flyer, Natasha Koskinen, will do anything to save the Flyers, who are the only family she’s ever known. Even if “anything” means molding herself into the type of girl who could be courted by Prince Nikolai. But unbeknownst to Natasha, her newest recruit, Ella Neves, is driven less by her desire to survive the floods than her thirst for revenge. And Ella’s mission could put everything Natasha has worked for in peril.

As the oceans rise, so too does an undeniable spark between the two flyers. With the end of the world looming, and dark secrets about the Kostrovian court coming to light, Ella and Natasha can either give in to despair . . . or find a new reason to live.

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess’s traitor brother.

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.

But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan // Book Review

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan // Book Review

I may be 20 years too late to be reading this series, but I’m also the type of person who believes books can be read by anyone. I’m so glad I picked up Percy Jackson for the first time ever. It’s slowly becoming my new favorite series and I hope to read more from them in the future. But let’s talk about the first book because this is where it all begins.

Here’s More about The Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him.

My Thoughts

I don’t read much middle grade, so I’m never sure what to expect. The stories I’ve read in the past are the ones I grew up with (A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter), but I was a little too old for these books and so they went unread for very long.

I have to say, I’m impressed. And it’s my own ignorance that I didn’t know how good Percy Jackson was and how I would love this story just as much as I was a teenager reading books. I know these books aren’t necessarily written with me in mind, but I still enjoyed it. This is one of those stories that when you’re a kid, you’ll imagine yourself hoping to be a demigod. You’ll hope that in some way your family was close to a god or goddess and that you carry a tiny bit of that blood in your body.

I absolutely loved the usage of Greek mythology. I’ve been recently learning more about the Greek myths and seeing those bits and pieces played through the story so expertly made me very excited to keep reading. Of course, it’s all the main players like Zeus and Poseidon and Hades, but then there’s the three fates, Medusa, centaurs and satyrs, magical swords, and so much more. It’s rich and immersive and even if you don’t know too much about Greek mythology, you’ll be able to follow along.

I also love that Percy is just a fish out of water. Without any knowledge of who he is or even what god his father is, he kind of jumps in and hopes for the best. I do think things are a bit easy for him, but at the same time the situations he finds himself in are more than what any kid at that age could handle. If anything, Percy feels more mature with a good understanding of what’s happening. He didn’t even seem too freaked out by the fact that he’s a demigod. His friends were also such interesting people with fully developed personalities that differ from Percy’s, so you get some comic relief and the occasional serious talk.

And the adventure they go on was not for the faint of heart. Honestly, I don’t even think I would be okay with some of the situations Percy and his friends find themselves in. I love that their friendship is dynamic and they all bring something to a fight. Where Percy might lack, Annabelle can join in and the other way around.

Overall, this is a fun story filled with friendships, hard journeys, and some very real truths. The twist at the end also made me very excited to see how the rest of the series goes and I’ve already put book 2 on hold at the library. I cannot wait to see what happens to Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Seven Fantasy Books Based on Greek Mythology

Seven Fantasy Books Based on Greek Mythology

I recently started watching this documentary series called Great Greek Myths where they share all the tales of Greek mythology in a way that’s digestible and offers all the kinds of iconography and art dedicated to the gods. It made me really fall in love with Greek myths and also a better visualization than what I learned in school. I’ve been collecting stories based off Greek mythology for years, but something about these stories never sticks with me when I read them. Maybe it was my lack of understanding these stories that I couldn’t fully appreciate it. But now, I’m ready to tackle them again and wanted to share a few with you too. It may have taken me my entire life to finally appreciate Greek mythology, but I’m here now and I’m ready to read all the Greek mythology retellings. *This post may have affiliate links.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

Ariadne gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel

Circe by Madeline Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child – not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power – the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

Built on the groundwork of the Iliad, Madeline Miller’s page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, which continues to wage bloody war over a stolen woman—Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman—Briseis—watches and waits for the war’s outcome. She was queen of one of Troy’s neighboring kingdoms, until Achilles, Greece’s greatest warrior, sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Briseis becomes Achilles’s concubine, a prize of battle, and must adjust quickly in order to survive a radically different life, as one of the many conquered women who serve the Greek army.

When Agamemnon, the brutal political leader of the Greek forces, demands Briseis for himself, she finds herself caught between the two most powerful of the Greeks. Achilles refuses to fight in protest, and the Greeks begin to lose ground to their Trojan opponents. Keenly observant and coolly unflinching about the daily horrors of war, Briseis finds herself in an unprecedented position, able to observe the two men driving the Greek army in what will become their final confrontation, deciding the fate not only of Briseis’s people but also of the ancient world at large.

Briseis is just one among thousands of women living behind the scenes in this war—the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead—all of them erased by history. With breathtaking historical detail and luminous prose, Pat Barker brings the teeming world of the Greek camp to vivid life. She offers nuanced, complex portraits of characters and stories familiar from mythology, which, seen from Briseis’s perspective, are rife with newfound revelations. Barker’s latest builds on her decades-long study of war and its impact on individual lives—and it is nothing short of magnificent

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.