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The Lost Coast

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The spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths, shrouded in the mist, magic, and secrets of the ancient California redwoods. Danny didn't know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms The spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths, shrouded in the mist, magic, and secrets of the ancient California redwoods. Danny didn't know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they're ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn't just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta's tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.


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The spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths, shrouded in the mist, magic, and secrets of the ancient California redwoods. Danny didn't know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms The spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths, shrouded in the mist, magic, and secrets of the ancient California redwoods. Danny didn't know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they're ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn't just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta's tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.

30 review for The Lost Coast

  1. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    ((heavy sigh...)) Danny and her mom move to Tempest, California after Danny randomly selects it from a map. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the choice but things are not always as they appear. Is something drawing her there? The Grays, a group of high school girls, who happen to be queer witches, also live in Tempest. One of their group, Imogen, has recently turned up without her personality and with sea glass eyes. What happened to her? Then she wanders into the woods and doesn't come back ((heavy sigh...)) Danny and her mom move to Tempest, California after Danny randomly selects it from a map. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the choice but things are not always as they appear. Is something drawing her there? The Grays, a group of high school girls, who happen to be queer witches, also live in Tempest. One of their group, Imogen, has recently turned up without her personality and with sea glass eyes. What happened to her? Then she wanders into the woods and doesn't come back. She's their Regina George so the Grays feel lost without their Queen Bee. They basically recruit Danny into their group, discovering she has a power for 'finding' things, they begin their mission to get Imogen back. All of her; mind, body and spirit. I love this cover. I love the representation. I am intrigued by the premise. The format did not work for me. I was as lost as Imogen most of the time. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I had to start a chapter over because my mind was wandering and I had no idea what was going on. There were so many perspective jumps and time jumps. I normally do not mind that at all but this just was all over the place. The writing is pretty but is it possible to be too pretty? In my opinion, the substance of the plot got buried under all the whimsy. I am sure there will be many readers who will absolutely adore this story. I just unfortunately was not one of them. If it weren't for the great rep and lush atmosphere, I most likely would have given this two stars. It hurts my heart to write this as I have been greatly anticipating this release. Alas, there is a reader for every book and I am just not the reader for this one. Thank you so much to the publisher, Candlewick Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I always appreciate the opportunity to provide my opinion on new releases.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) in exchange for an honest review. I give this book 3.5 stars which rounds up to 4. I had such high hopes for this book, but it ultimately did not live up to my expectations. Let’s start with what I did like. I liked the diversity. There was a lot of sexual (lesbian, ace, etc.) and racial diversity. One of the girls was Filipino which I was super happy about since I’m Filipino. I love seeing Filipino representation. I al I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) in exchange for an honest review. I give this book 3.5 stars which rounds up to 4. I had such high hopes for this book, but it ultimately did not live up to my expectations. Let’s start with what I did like. I liked the diversity. There was a lot of sexual (lesbian, ace, etc.) and racial diversity. One of the girls was Filipino which I was super happy about since I’m Filipino. I love seeing Filipino representation. I also liked the aesthetic of the book. The descriptions perfectly captured that foggy, mystical, Northern California vibe. Now on to what I didn’t love. There were a lot of point of view changes throughout the book which really made it difficult to understand especially in the beginning. Each POV would last for only a few pages so it ended up being a bit jarring and all over the place. As for the storyline, it wasn’t exciting. It felt kind of blah to me until the end which is when things finally got interesting. I also wished the book focused more on June and Hawthorn. They were my two favorite characters and I wanted to explore more of their backstory. Overall, this book had some good moments (Queer POC witches for the win!), but didn’t reach its full potential.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    between Spellbook of the Lost and Found, Wild Beauty, Toil and Trouble, and this, I'm just going to call magic gay now and have it done with releases: May 14, 2019

  4. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    Look if you need a book that has a heart full of fierce love for trees and queer girls -- just go read this book and dissolve your soul into it. It was the witchy tale I really wanted The Curses to be and it's a love letter to intersectional rep (there's black, queer, bi, nonbinary, Philippine, fat, and ace). It definitely goes for a ethereal style, more whimsical and untethered. I really felt for Danny (I feel like she might've been undiagnosed adhd but the book doesn't say that) and her wander Look if you need a book that has a heart full of fierce love for trees and queer girls -- just go read this book and dissolve your soul into it. It was the witchy tale I really wanted The Curses to be and it's a love letter to intersectional rep (there's black, queer, bi, nonbinary, Philippine, fat, and ace). It definitely goes for a ethereal style, more whimsical and untethered. I really felt for Danny (I feel like she might've been undiagnosed adhd but the book doesn't say that) and her wandering soul and inability to keep out of trouble. But falling into friendship (and then into love) stories always have a special place in my heart. Also there's dark magic, ghosts, redwood trees and murder, so YA KNOW. Have fun.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Acqua

    The Lost Coast is the perfect book for the readers who have been looking for an f/f, not as male-dominated Raven Cycle. It's an atmospheric story set in a small town surrounded by magical redwoods, following a group of queer witches. And I loved all of it. The first thing I thought when I finished this book is that sometimes, stories that acknowledge your pain but aren't shaped around it are exactly what you need. I've read many contemporary books that dealt directly with homophobia and so contain The Lost Coast is the perfect book for the readers who have been looking for an f/f, not as male-dominated Raven Cycle. It's an atmospheric story set in a small town surrounded by magical redwoods, following a group of queer witches. And I loved all of it. The first thing I thought when I finished this book is that sometimes, stories that acknowledge your pain but aren't shaped around it are exactly what you need. I've read many contemporary books that dealt directly with homophobia and so contained a lot of it, and ones that ignored its existence entirely. But the contemporary-set stories I want are the ones that don't ignore homophobia exists, and that have little to none of it anyway. Stories that aren't about the queer experience, but that are relevant to it anyway, not just because of the characters' identities, but also because of the themes they deal with. The Lost Coast is a story about how much difference having a community and finding your people can make, even before you have found yourself and your own power. It's a story that has a sense of recklessness to it, but also reminds you how important it is to have others to ground you. On the other side, it's a story about how not wanting to find or acknowledge your own power leads you to not notice your ability to do harm, and makes you dangerous. I won't lie, I knew I would love this book from the moment the main character first sees the redwoods and is fascinated by them. (You really can't go wrong with trees.) That mix of awe and longing and a little bit of fear - that's something I'm familiar with. The atmosphere made me feel as if I were right there, and made the woods feel magical, so that when the book got to that one sex scene in the woods, my only reaction wasn't "you're so going to get ticks" (even though I still thought it; but oh well, it's contemporary fantasy). The writing is also really good. I think the vague, airy tone that Capetta's writing has is much better suited to this multi-PoV non-linear contemporary fantasy novel than it was to a mystery like Echo After Echo, in which it didn't work at all for me. It's not easy to develop many characters in a standalone that is shorter than 400 pages, but this book did it. All the Grays (which I kept wanting to call "the Gays") are well-drawn, and so are their dynamics - they're all in love with each other and you can feel that. They are: 🌲 Danny, white, queer. She's the new girl in town, and she's looking for something, even though she doesn't know what that something (someone?) is yet. She tends to wander, and I mean that physically. As I said, her emotions toward trees were very relatable. 🌲 Rush, white, fat, queer. She's coded as neurodivergent, she has sound-taste synesthesia (I love reading about synesthesia. My brain does similar weird things too), and her magic comes from music. At the beginning of the story, she's looking for her lost ex-girlfriend. 🌲 Hawthorn, black, bisexual with a preference for men. She's quiet and bookish, but no one should let that mislead them - she's the source of Witch Knowledge™ in the group and not to be understated. 🌲 June, "femme as fuck" lesbian, Filipina. Has chronic leg pain. Looks soft but will fight you and win (after all, she is the one with knife magic). She has a big family and it's said that she was raised Catholic and is questioning her faith. I loved her. 🌲 Lelia, gray-ace, non-binary (she/her). Sharp and sarcastic but secretly soft. She says she doesn't want to date, so I also read her as aro (but I wish this book had specified if she was or not), and she's the "resident tree expert", and isn't that relatable 🌲 Then there's Imogen, the mysterious, powerful water witch who was once part of the Grays, and is now missing. I loved most of this book, and I'm rating it five stars, but maybe it's more of a 4.5, because there were some things that didn't work for me. The sex scene had a simile that made me cringe so much that it deserves a mention (please don't compare body parts to books), and I don't really know how I feel about the ending. On one hand, I get why the author chose to leave this book open-ended, but... I wanted to know how the characters would deal with some Things that had happened. Especially since the ending hints at f/f/f polyamory.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Helen Power

    Synopsis The Lost Coast is a highly literary coming of age tale of a group of teenage witches, self-named the Grays.  Their leader, Imogen, has gone missing, and they’ve tried nearly everything to find her. But when Danny moves to town, she brings with her a unique type of magic that might just be what they’re looking for, in more ways than one. ~My Thoughts~ This book is beautifully written, and the words are like poetry on the page.  It reminds me a little bit of a literary version of an 80s Synopsis The Lost Coast is a highly literary coming of age tale of a group of teenage witches, self-named the Grays.  Their leader, Imogen, has gone missing, and they’ve tried nearly everything to find her. But when Danny moves to town, she brings with her a unique type of magic that might just be what they’re looking for, in more ways than one. ~My Thoughts~ This book is beautifully written, and the words are like poetry on the page.  It reminds me a little bit of a literary version of an 80s movie, with a bunch of lost kids trying to find their place in the world, but in this book, they’ve found their place--with each other. There are many different points of view expressed throughout the book.  We get a lot of chapters from Danny’s point of view, and others from the Grays’, but we also get the perspective of the other high school students, which provides context for why the Grays feel so out of place in their little, traditional town.  To reinforce themes of magic in the book, Capetta occasionally provides the point of view of the trees and the ravens, which could be groan-worthy, but it somehow works. Capetta doesn’t only jump points of view frequently, but she also jumps in time. We get to see what the characters were doing and feeling years earlier, weeks earlier, days earlier.  Capetta takes the “show, don’t tell” approach quite literally with these flashbacks, and it works well in this story. While it could have been hard to follow, the transitions between timeline jumps are seamless.  I almost feel like this style would have been better suited to a novel that has an element of time travel, but the back and forth really works to create a mystical, surreal feeling to the entire book.   You have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy this book.  It's literary, not a plot-driven romantic-mystery.  While it is a mystery and a romance, the emphasis is on the language, and Capetta effortlessly elicits strong emotions from readers with her careful word selection. One complaint I do have is that the book didn’t quite feature enough magic for me.  I love books that have a strong theology that the author has created, a way of magic that just is, but Capetta didn’t spend much time on this.  It would have been acceptable if the magic of this world was simple, but Imogen, for instance, is highly powerful, and it would have been a stronger story had the limitations of magic been explained, or at least demonstrated for the readers.   Another issue I have with the book is that there are too many fascinating characters that don’t get enough attention because there are just so many of them.  For instance, there’s a character named Emma Hart, and we meet her halfway through the book. Her storyline is heart wrenching and beautiful, and I wish that Capetta hadn’t included her in this book and instead written an entire book dedicated to her story. Instead, her backstory gets glossed over in a quick chapter.  Even with other characters, Capetta barely has a chance to scratch the surface of who they are.  There better be more books coming in this series! I recommend this book to anyone looking for an exquisitely literary take on queer witches.   *Thank you to Candlewick and OLA Super Conference 2019 for the ARC for review* This review appeared first on https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/ Instagram | Blog | Website | Twitter My 2019 Reading Challenge

  7. 5 out of 5

    Renee Godding

    Actual rating: 2.5 stars Many thanks to Candlewick Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. “Spellbooks tell you how people have done magic in the past” June explains. “they’re pre-made. Magic is like love. You see how other people do it, you have the stories and instructions they leave behind, but then you have to figure out how you do it.” Imagine equal portions The Raven Boys and Spellbook of the Lost and Found and sprinkle in a little dash of The Craft and a hint o Actual rating: 2.5 stars Many thanks to Candlewick Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. “Spellbooks tell you how people have done magic in the past” June explains. “they’re pre-made. Magic is like love. You see how other people do it, you have the stories and instructions they leave behind, but then you have to figure out how you do it.” Imagine equal portions The Raven Boys and Spellbook of the Lost and Found and sprinkle in a little dash of The Craft and a hint of The Devouring Gray. The result should be something resembling The Lost Coast. Between Californian red woods, magical realism and a witchy friend group, I had high hopes for this novel and was over the moon to receive an advanced copy from the publisher. Whilst it lived up to my expectations in some regards, I was quite disappointed in others, leaving me with mixed feelings in the end. To start off with the good: The Lost Coast largely delivers what it says on the tin. It’s a story of a close-knit, diverse group of queer witches that find friendship and acceptance among each other. If you want to get your diversity kick on; this is the place for you, as diversity seems to have been the first thing on the author’s mind when writing this. Both racial-, sexual- and bodily minorities are represented and you can tell the authors passion for the subject from her perspective as a queer woman herself. I also loved the setting: the foggy and majestic Californian red woods were a perfect choice to serve as the background of a witchy story. Amy Rose Capetta does a beautiful job of bringing the ancient trees, the vibrant foliage and the earthy forest air to life with her writing style that strikes the right balance between lush and readable. I had never read anything by the author, but I’d definitely count the writing style among the pleasant surprises this book offered. My only problem with the writing was that the author sometimes “overtells” things, especially when it comes to points she’s clearly passionate about. Her point will be crystal clear to the reader by the scenes she has just shown us, but she at times can’t resist to tell us the exact same thing literally as well. I’m not sure if it’s a lack of faith in the reader, or in her own ability to bring something across, but it’s unnecessary in my opinion. I felt this especially when the author talked about the characters sexuality, and the acceptance of diversity. That repetition, combined with the clear (and admirable) passion of the author, does come at the risk of almost lecturing the reader on the topic of diversity. Although I don’t think it crossed that line, it was close at times. That also brings me to my next disappointment: the characters themselves. Because the author had such a large focus on their diversity, I feel like some of the development of the rest of their character arcs got lost along the way. It’s something I notice more and more in the last year or two since the surge in popularity of LGBTQ+ books, especially in YA. I have a post on my website all about this coming up, so I won’t go into detail on it here. The short summary is: I’m all for diversity, but even more for equality. A sexuality is not a substitute for a developed personality, and an underdeveloped gay character is still an underdeveloped character, no matter the best intentions by the author. The framework for a great cast of characters was there: I’d just like to see a little more depth and development in them. Finally, I don’t feel the plot was as exciting or unexpected as I was hoping for, mostly due to some pacing issues. I’d have liked the beginning to be a little slower, to ease us into the different POV’s, whereas the middle part could have used a little more action. I did very much enjoy the ending. In the end, I think this is a book that will find a large and loving audience out there, even though it wasn’t a favorite for me. If you like books that focus on LGBTQ+ friendships, or any of the books I mentioned at the top of my review, ánd you enjoy those alternative witchy vibes: this one might be for you!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)

    I want to thank Candlewick and NetGalley for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review I really believe that this book is one of my biggest disappointments of this year, not because it's bad but because I thought I would love it, and I didn't, so I ended up a little sad after finishing it. Sometimes it happens, you know, you have a book that doesn't feel like it's made for you, and while everyone loves it you don't know what's going on, well, that's me, lol. The book has some g I want to thank Candlewick and NetGalley for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review I really believe that this book is one of my biggest disappointments of this year, not because it's bad but because I thought I would love it, and I didn't, so I ended up a little sad after finishing it. Sometimes it happens, you know, you have a book that doesn't feel like it's made for you, and while everyone loves it you don't know what's going on, well, that's me, lol. The book has some good points that I would like to highlight below and also tell you a little about the things that didn't quite convince me 2.5/5 ⭐️⭐️💫 You can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought. The book begins by following Danny, she has just moved with her mother to Tempest, California. There she meets a group of queer witches who call themselves The Grays, and soon Danny discovers that it wasn't a coincidence and that on the contrary, they attracted her to the city with a spell because she has something that the girls need. Danny can find Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, disappearing since a night that goes into the woods alone. I'm going to do this review a little differently than what I usually do, and I'll separate it in two points, I'll talk a little bit first about the things that I liked and then what just didn't work for me. Things I liked... The Diversity : This book is really beautiful in terms of diversity, the book follows a group of queer witches so there's a lot of sexual rep (lesbian, bisexual, ace, etc) but we also have racial diversity and body positivity , which's great and I always appreciate when an author writes about a group of girls so different from each other, but so united at the same time. I think this will make many people feel identified and can see themselves in the characters which is wonderful, we all deserve good reps in books Atmospheric Setting : The places where the story takes place are so beautiful and atmospheric I really loved them, besides I feel they're my kind of places since a lot happens in the woods and I adore the plots in woods and more when there's witchery in the middle . If you concentrate a lot you can even feel that you're there, so I think great work. Things I didn't like... Plot Construction & POVs : I had a lot of problems to understand the plot in general, I started and the constantly POV change was already a problem for me, in general, this doesn't bother me, the short POVs can be entertaining and also make you go fast through the story, but it's very difficult when it's not clear who's narrating each part, and also you don't even know where you are, or at what moment of time is happening, as they jump from the past to the present, and all this was a big impediment for me to enjoy the book . Because, being 100% honest, it was very difficult to understand something of what was happening. I've heard several people say it's a whimsical story and I agree, but maybe it was too whimsical for me.Maybe the idea of ​​the author was to give us an ingenious, mysterious and complicated plot, but OMG, I couldn't connect and is really disappointing, especially because I would like to tell you a little more about what it really is about, but I don't think I can because I'm not sure neither myself. There are chapters that are simply there and don't contribute in any way with the plot. There are chapters that are about Crows and others about some of The Grays and others are about Danny, and although I tried very hard to understand, I couldn't do it, and it's a shame because it has everything I love in a book, from witches to an atmospheric place, but the plot construction is simply not for me, it's very messy Some important parts and "revelations" happen in a rush so I haven't been able to enjoy them, there are some things that happen out of nowhere and it's very hard for me to visualize them in my head, due to all my confusion about what was really happening Sadly, I couldn't connect with any of the characters, even though I know it's not them, it's me lol, really. Maybe because I was so lost in I couldn't concentrate on them, although perhaps in another story I would have enjoyed them. I think that if this wasn't an ARC maybe I wouldn't have finished it, and it hurts me in my soul to say it, but it's real. It's the first time this year this happens to me, but I just feel that the book is, honestly, not for me, you know? and it's really difficult to express what I feel with words, so I apologize because maybe the review isn't so clear as I would like it to be. Not for this, I wouldn't recommend it, I can tell you that it's a book about queer witches, located in a beautifully atmospheric place where I would like to get lost in, and it has a very whimsical plot. If you feel like reading it, go for it!!, IT'S NOT MY THING but I've seen that most people are loving it, so maybe this is an unpopular opinion and that's fine.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dahlia

    Without even having read The Raven Boys, I feel like I can safely make this my answer to "Do you have anything like TRB but wlw," aka a question that comes pretty much every single month to the LGBTQReads Tumblr. Atmospheric, romantic, and wildly gay. I love Amy Rose Capetta.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julie Zantopoulos

    Review to come-but this was a good one. "That girl might have magic in her heart, but never forget how much of her power is handed right to her by other people." Imogen is lost and the Grays want her back and so they call for Danny and she listens. Rush, Hawthorn, June, Lelia, and Imogen are the Grays and Danny may be new to town but she's not new to magic or kissing girls. So, when Danny falls in with the Grays, the local witches that inspire a bit of awe and fear in the locals, she's right at ho Review to come-but this was a good one. "That girl might have magic in her heart, but never forget how much of her power is handed right to her by other people." Imogen is lost and the Grays want her back and so they call for Danny and she listens. Rush, Hawthorn, June, Lelia, and Imogen are the Grays and Danny may be new to town but she's not new to magic or kissing girls. So, when Danny falls in with the Grays, the local witches that inspire a bit of awe and fear in the locals, she's right at home. All of the Grays are queer in some way, and it's written on the page that they're ace, bi, lesbian, or queer. There are gender and pronoun discussions, discussions about being ace but still enjoying kissing, about not liking being touched, etc. The diversity that is woven into these characters is beautiful and respectful and I adored every single bit of it. "I've waited forever to meet a girl who doesn't treat her body like a natural enemy." Also, can we just be here for girls supporting girls (whether they're romantically linked or not)? The friendships and relationships in this book are pretty phenomenal even if there is a bit of a power imbalance within them. The Grays are using Danny to get their friend back and she's unsure if that means they'll want/need her anymore and still, they all respect one another. I will say that Danny's relationship with her mother was underdeveloped and explained and that really bothered me...but other than that the relationships were A+. "The trees keep us company as we ride. They keep our secrets, and we never have to ask. ...Maybe that's why girls like us are always in the woods." Have I mentioned that the Grays are witches, that they all have their own power, unique and lush and important to the story? That there are a woods that has unnatural storms, hollow treats that Hermits live in, and climbable trees that beg for girls to explore? The setting is lush and beautiful and I was living for it. "I made every choice myself, including the bad ones. Especially the bad ones. Some of those are the choices I'm most proud of." This is not a novel full of whimsical magic but rather dense fog that can transport you, ghosts that can entrap you, and a hunger for power that can lead you down paths you can't venture back from. There is murder and bloodshed, bones and fear and all of it is intoxicating. If you're looking for a feel good, everyone ends up alive and happy novel, this ain't it. However, it is a beautifully written tale of women, love, friendship, and the lengths we go to in order to find our place in the world. "I've found the heart of another secret: the Grays are always touching and kissing each other because so many before us couldn't. Each kiss carries the weight of so many kisses that never were. Every touch is an invisible battle won." Everyone deserves to have love and friendship like the girls of this novel have. They deserve the comfort of touch and the closeness that is afforded to women and often not men. Honestly, such a stunning novel of diversity, badass motorcycle riding babes and soft ladies with power. I loved it a lot.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    ♦ Video Review ♦ The Lost Coast is a beautifully atmospheric novel about witches, female friendship and being unapologetically queer. “They were in love with each other, and that was good. Love wasn't the problem. It was losing it that could hurt the Grays.” I usually don't feel very drawn to stories about (modern day) witches but The Lost Coast intrigued me because I loved Amy Rose Capetta's Echo After Echo and all things queer, so I honestly didn't even care that this was a witch story! And ♦ Video Review ♦ The Lost Coast is a beautifully atmospheric novel about witches, female friendship and being unapologetically queer. “They were in love with each other, and that was good. Love wasn't the problem. It was losing it that could hurt the Grays.” I usually don't feel very drawn to stories about (modern day) witches but The Lost Coast intrigued me because I loved Amy Rose Capetta's Echo After Echo and all things queer, so I honestly didn't even care that this was a witch story! And I also ended up not minding the witchy elements at all and actually loved that all the girls had different abilities and things they felt more drawn to. My absolute favourite aspect of this novel is how queer it is. And that's not just because of the f/f romance with a beautiful sex scene, which is something I hugely appreciate. But all the girls in the book are queer and so unapologetic about it. Having this diverse group of girls all being so openly queer is something that made so incredibly happy. I also loved how Danny is so casual about making out with girls because I feel like YA does not often show that it's totally cool to just casually make out with all kinds of different people, if they're all okay with it! Seeing a girl behaving that way, especially with other girls, is something I have huge appreciation for. As I said, all the girls are queer but I wanted to write down all the specific identities featured in this book as well. There's Lelia who is non-binary (she/her pronouns) and "not allo". Hawthorn is black and bisexual. Rush is fat and June is Filipino. I also think that there was a huge polyamorous energy between the girls but this never gets mentioned in any specific way. “The way she walks, at home in her skin, with all the doors open wide, is what I want. She turns back to me and smiles. Rush wants me with her, and she doesn't have to cast a spell to convince me. She is the spell.” I totally loved the structure and writing style and it really worked for this story. In the beginning the writing felt a little bit distant and until the end I had some issues getting really emotionally connected but I ended up not minding this at all. The writing is so lush and beautiful that the feelings and thoughts of the characters came across incredibly well! The story switches between different points in time and point of views and included things like the whole school and "the trees" as well. I personally absolutely love perspectives like these because they create a certain atmosphere that just fits these kinds of witchy novels perfectly. In general the atmosphere was so easy to grasp and I felt completely engrossed in it. “The Grays are always touching and kissing each other because so many before us couldn't. Each kiss carries the weight of so many kisses that never were. Every touch is an invisible battle won.” If you love novels that center a group of girls that all love each other unconditionally and without any limits, this is a novel for you. It fits perfectly with stories like SAWKILL GIRLS or SUMMER OF SALT that all show a strong bond between queer girls. I loved this novel with my whole heart and am so glad queer girls out there get to read it. ♦ Booktube Channel ♦ Twitter ♦ Instagram ♦ I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Danika at The Lesbrary

    What a wonderful, queer, west coast story. I mean, six queer witches amongst the California redwoods? I was already hooked. But this story is told in a dreamlike way that mirrors the magic the characters have. Each chapter jumps between time periods and perspectives (Danny--the main character, The Grays--the witches, the Ravens, the Trees, the students at their high school, etc), giving a piecemeal account that lowed remarkably organically. I spent this book waiting to reread it, because I was l What a wonderful, queer, west coast story. I mean, six queer witches amongst the California redwoods? I was already hooked. But this story is told in a dreamlike way that mirrors the magic the characters have. Each chapter jumps between time periods and perspectives (Danny--the main character, The Grays--the witches, the Ravens, the Trees, the students at their high school, etc), giving a piecemeal account that lowed remarkably organically. I spent this book waiting to reread it, because I was letting all the characters and time periods wash over me. I'm bad with names, so I knew that a book with 6-7 main characters would be confusing for me, but that didn't take away from being enthralled with this story. It makes my heart happy to read YA that is so queer. This is a group of queer witches that includes a demisexual character, a nonbinary character, a bisexual character, a main character who identifies as queer, someone with synaesthesia, a character with a limp, and characters of colour. They use the phrase "femme as fuck" in conversation. There's also an on-page f/f sex scene, which is still pretty rare in YA. One of my favourite parts of the book was when Danny realizes that part of the reason that the Grays touch so much is that they recognize that people like them have been denied this in earlier times, that every kiss is also in tribute to the queer people who were not able to openly kiss the people they wanted to. I'm looking forward to rereading this on a breezy October afternoon, getting wrapped up in this story of chosen family and finding your own magic. This deserves a lot more attention.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Seema Rao

    Magical ~ Immersive ~ Remarkable tl;dr: This book keeps California weird California is a country in and of itself. The landscapes and the people vary so drastically. There is so much California north of San Francisco, and so much of it is unspoiled. Having spent time there, I was thrilled to find this book. But, I wasn't even close to prepared. Capetta's novel is exceptional. Reading so many books, I rarely feel as if a book is truly novel. Capetta's story truly feel special and new. The writing i Magical ~ Immersive ~ Remarkable tl;dr: This book keeps California weird California is a country in and of itself. The landscapes and the people vary so drastically. There is so much California north of San Francisco, and so much of it is unspoiled. Having spent time there, I was thrilled to find this book. But, I wasn't even close to prepared. Capetta's novel is exceptional. Reading so many books, I rarely feel as if a book is truly novel. Capetta's story truly feel special and new. The writing is crisp and accessible, and the characters are well drawn. For me, the greatest strength is how she weave whole story out of atmosphere and emotion. This book stays with you, making you see your own environs with a more magical eye. (And, notice how my review says little about the story). Well, if you love reading, grab this book. It is so broadly accessible. Of course, a lover of YA or of magical tales will like it, but everyone will. Also, don't read too many descriptions. Let this fast read unfold anew for you. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    laurel [suspected bibliophile]

    DNF at 8% This is another It's not you, it's me book. I have a hard time enjoying books about precocious, artsy and altogether too whimsical and mysterious teens. It's why I hated The Raven Cycle, despite absolutely adoring The Scorpio Races, and why Truly Devious annoyed me as much as it did. So why did I request it? Because I was getting strong The Craft vibes from the summary that overwhelmed my lingering sense of Oh boy it's The Raven Cycle all over again, and anything that is queer and set in DNF at 8% This is another It's not you, it's me book. I have a hard time enjoying books about precocious, artsy and altogether too whimsical and mysterious teens. It's why I hated The Raven Cycle, despite absolutely adoring The Scorpio Races, and why Truly Devious annoyed me as much as it did. So why did I request it? Because I was getting strong The Craft vibes from the summary that overwhelmed my lingering sense of Oh boy it's The Raven Cycle all over again, and anything that is queer and set in the Pacific Northwest instantly catches my attention. 8% in isn't really far enough to make a judgment, but I'm already not super fond of the writing (a bit too lyrical, with descriptions that make my eyes cross trying to figure out what it means because to me it felt a little overly complicated—sitting at her mother's side, holding her fingers below the white-tipped nails, and a bit too description heavy). Even when I got to the part about the boy (because this is how all YA dudes are described—to the point where every time I see a YA girl talking about "a boy" my eyes roll back into my head) being impaled through the chest with a falling tree branch, so hard that it stuck him into the ground I was like, naw, I'm out. (view spoiler)[I mean, the way it impaled him is nearly physically impossible unless he was either a) lying on the ground already or b) leaning backwards and looking up, because branches don't fall that way unless there's a hurricane-force wind blowing them through the forest like a frisbee and then...well, you'd have more problems on your hands than just one tree branch (hide spoiler)] Additionally, these kids are hiking into the redwoods wearing cutesy little sandals and flowy skirts that barely hit the tops of their thighs (ok, one girl was wearing shorts and nothing else (?) and another was wearing shorts and a tank top, but my point stands), looking like rejects from Coachella 2007 and just...nope. 1) Mosquitos are a thing (depending on where you are in the redwoods, the time of year and how much mosquitos love you [note, this if last bit applies, location and season do not matter, they will find you]). 2) Ticks are a thing, particularly in summer. 3) Poison oak is really a thing. Dress appropriately for all your woodsy outings people. And now I feel like a grandma. I feel that there's some good queer girl rep in this book, and that people who enjoyed magic ensembles with groups of mysterious and angsty teens (not a jab, btw) like The Raven Cycle will enjoy this, but it's not for me. I received this ARC from Netgalley for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elke

    i received an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion. please be reassured this made me cry on merit alone and is now my favourite book ever this was so beautiful i have -for the first time in months- an urge to make art or create something that mirrors the light from this book towards other people so they too, can be reached. instead i'm sitting here trying to write something when i only have tears and a heart that's full and a little bit broken and a lot patched up. maybe it'll come out better i received an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion. please be reassured this made me cry on merit alone and is now my favourite book ever this was so beautiful i have -for the first time in months- an urge to make art or create something that mirrors the light from this book towards other people so they too, can be reached. instead i'm sitting here trying to write something when i only have tears and a heart that's full and a little bit broken and a lot patched up. maybe it'll come out better in art. i'll see later. I’ve found the heart of another secret: the Grays are always touching and kissing each other because so many before us couldn’t. Each kiss carries the weight of so many kisses that never were. Every touch is an invisible battle won. this was the queer witch book of my dreams and i didn't even know i dreamed of one. i am extremely raw and unravelled at this moment so i will maybe come back to this later to fill in more things. now, the only thing i can say is that when June mentioned the pain in her legs first, my heart leapt so fast i thought it would trip over itself. i don't want anyone to be in pain, but i do want to read about people in pain being there for the whole story. for us to be present and part of something and heroes and friends and there. there for everything, even if it means the group slows down because in pain we can't go as fast all days. “I’ll do it,” June said, even though today was a six on the scale of one to barely walking. The pain in her leg had the cold, heartless glitter of snow. that the polyamorous undertones and strong bonds and life friends that you've only known for a little while and the fact that i could imagine queerplatonic relationships made me cry. that the writing was beautiful and everything touched in this atmospheric magic. that this book was magic. magic in the way books are magic. in the way representation and diversity are magic. in the way we, as marginalised people, are magic. that this book was about us. This book is for everyone who is finding out who they are, where they belong, and who they belong with . This book is for the different ones, especially those who live where it’s very hard to be different. I see you. I think you’re magic. that i felt seen by different characters at different times and by this book always. that hawthorn says "bisexual black witch with a pretty strong lean towards masculine folks" because there it is, on page acknowledgement that you can be bi regardless of your gender and the gender of your partner. that those things, or the way you lean most, don't take away your bi card. that the book asks "what word fits you in a way that makes you happy at this very moment? Lesbian? Bi? Pan? Queer?" acknowledging that it can be different and grow and change and that all those words are right and okay and can be right for you but don't have to be that it talks about boxes and how they don't always define us or fit forever but that nothing and nobody shies away from using the words they use for themselves. It has nothing to do with how lovely and kissable Sebastian is. Even with all the girls I’ve hooked up with, I sometimes find myself wanting to kiss a boy, and that makes it harder for a lot of people — I won’t declare myself and stick to one side of a fence. I don’t know how to explain that I don’t even see the fence. i just. there's so much more to be said about this book. these Grays, but i don't know if i have the words. here are some of theirs & all the rep: Lelia: white, gray ace, nonbinary ("she is fine, at least for now" (this part is OV)). She likes kissing if it's not about rushing to other bases. "I don't date anyone." (so also aro? not my lane, not my answers or my questions, really.) June: "a girl of the girly type variety and i like girl-types." Filipino mom. "Lyme disease had taken the concept that June's immune system would fully recover." Rush: "Fat. Queer. White." has synesthesia. Hawthorn: "bisexual black witch with a pretty strong lean towards masculine folks" Danny: "Queer. it feels right to me. Less limiting in who i am, who i'm with. Less based on whether or not i even feel like a girl on any given day." "I kiss a lot of people, mostly girls." also! i remembered i did not talk about this yet but omg the pov changes! i love books like this! i love perspective switches, and especially if it's from places or things you usually don't expect (the trees! the ravens! (think "The Sun Is Also A Star" and "Sawkill Girls") and other people and pairs and groups and wow) and the writing style. everything is just. soft and atmospheric and beautiful and - more gushing to come here, later, probably. all my love for this book and this author and these characters. And then they see another girl wafting through the forest. Hawthorn stops moving. June and Lelia stop whispering paint over each other’s skin and secrets in each other’s ears. Rush stops singing. They trade looks. These girls have mastered the art of looking at each other. Everything they do is heavy with meaning, like they’re slipping stones in each other’s pockets to keep their bodies from floating away in a riptide. tw's: death/accidental murder, murder, mention of a parent dying of cancer in the past, on page sex (one scene) and references to sex, disapproving family members, probably homophobia see endless quotes i loved (i would share all my 52 kindle highlights if i could- definitely buying this to highlight and hold these words in my hands) ✨ I’d seen a dozen rainbow flags between San Francisco and this stretch of wildness. Every single one felt like a welcome sign. ✨ “Are you okay?” she asks. My brain clicks through answers. “Yes. No.” “You can hold both things at the same time” ✨ “Time isn’t the only way to know someone,” ✨ “She thinks if you get really attached to a single word for someone, that’s not good, because how can a whole person fit inside one word? And then maybe they find one that fits better, or they use more than one, or they never find one that fits — that’s the natural flow of things. But I happen to think that words are important, too." ✨ And my mom might be okay with gay, but queer would make her cringe. I’m shaking with the power of it. ✨ If there was any bit of fog left in my body, it clears as I stare at the Grays. I drink in curves and angles. I blush at unforgiving beauty. ✨ They were in love with each other, and that was good. Love wasn’t the problem. ✨ She looked mad, but I knew the anger was just something she’d slapped on over her guilt so she felt fully dressed. Guilt was a naked feeling. ✨ (//sex) "I'm ready," Rush says. And I believe her. When I push my hand between her legs, they fall open like a book that’s been waiting to be read. She covers my hand with hers, gives me a guided tour of what she wants. I make circles to keep her safe. I make figure eights, tiny eternity symbols. I’m afraid, the whole time, that I’m on the exact edge of losing her. But she said this is what she wanted. And I believe her. ✨ I give her the people she came from: the family that never built her a safe home, the friends that became an entire world. I give her the stories I found when I was looking for her. I give her back to herself, beautiful and confusing and more than anyone could possibly take in at once, the way the far side of a redwood can only be guessed about from where I’m standing. ✨ I find something inside me shaped like confidence, and I spin it into a bridge that’s not really solid but might be solid enough for three girls who aren’t fully there. ✨ Danny is light on her feet, and watching her pour herself into the work is a bit of shine against black clouds. This girl is a silver lining come to life. Gray turned bright and beautiful. She picks up bones and puts them back down. She hummingbirds around the skeleton. It took them long enough, but the Grays finally start paying attention to the girl in front of them. This is how the Grays fall in love. This is how the Grays do everything. In the weirdest possible way. This is how they go down. Together.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Claudie Arseneault

    DISCLAIMER: I got my hands on a ARC of this in exchange for a honest review! THE LOST COAST is my latest stop on my never-ending quest to keep up with the asexual and aromantic rep available out there. This is a thrilling and utterly unique book, with an eerie writing style that really adds to the ambiance. It also has an amazing high content of queer girls haha. To some extent, the slippery POV made it difficult to distinguish all the witches in the Grays--like their characteristics blended toge DISCLAIMER: I got my hands on a ARC of this in exchange for a honest review! THE LOST COAST is my latest stop on my never-ending quest to keep up with the asexual and aromantic rep available out there. This is a thrilling and utterly unique book, with an eerie writing style that really adds to the ambiance. It also has an amazing high content of queer girls haha. To some extent, the slippery POV made it difficult to distinguish all the witches in the Grays--like their characteristics blended together. I think it's part of the goal (they are a group, a unit, as much as they are individuals) and I just personally would've wanted it balanced a little more towards grounding us in June, Lelia, and Hawthorne, who by virtue of not being the LI get a less attention and tended to blur more. This is especially true because for most of the novel, discovering the Grays and their magic and their relationships is... all the plot, almost? When the pace picks up at the end, you're really in for a great ride, though. I don't remember picking up anything truly negative about the ace rep. Lelia is non-binary (she/her), gray ace and uninterested in dating (the aromantic label was, once more, really conspicuously absent despite the entire scene being people introducing their labels or stating they prefer not to employ them). It also does the thing where allosexual and asexual are presented as points at both ends of a spectrum, which is even weirder considering gray-aceness would be... really hard to place on such a line? Anyway, it's not a line, folks. It's a small part of the novel, and what's there was fine that I recall (it almost feels forgotten, after that, tbh), so if you want a story about queer witches that happen to have an acespec character, this is a good pick! If you expected that to have an impact... revisit your expectations. One of my favourite thing about this book is that despite it being clearly established that the Grays are not in a romantic relationship all together (some of them have romantic relationships in-group and out-group, but not all), it's really obvious that their collective friendship/existence as a witch unit is massively important.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor (bookishcourtier)

    There were so many things I loved about this book. The characters were amazing, the writing was beautiful and littered with metaphors and imagery which I adored. I loved the whimsy of the concept and the story. The only thing I would criticise is that at times the plot felt a little bit messy, and didn't really flow perfectly. But aside from that, this book was so good and I definitely want to try more books from this author!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    When I first heard about this book and read "queer witches" I was there. I was there before it was written. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations. First off, let me say how grateful that Candlewick and Netgalley approved me for this arc. Although I wanted to love it, the execution was way off for me, and it could not save it. The setting of northern California was fantastic, and the atmosphere was magical. Throw in a group of diverse, queer witches trying to find their lost sister b When I first heard about this book and read "queer witches" I was there. I was there before it was written. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations. First off, let me say how grateful that Candlewick and Netgalley approved me for this arc. Although I wanted to love it, the execution was way off for me, and it could not save it. The setting of northern California was fantastic, and the atmosphere was magical. Throw in a group of diverse, queer witches trying to find their lost sister be recruiting another, and you'd think we'd have some terrific story-telling. The characters were so unique, and I wished we had more time with each of them. The platonic love between them was refreshing. But the thing that was throwing me off was the setup. We jump from POV to POV so quickly that it's a bit jarring. Not jarring in that we switch POV's, but that we have to get comfortable in a setting that fasts forwards and I never felt truly grounded. I was a bit confused plot-wise since it moves so quickly without much information. I never truly connected to the character's, as I never really had time. Then it ended and that was that. I hope others enjoy it, as I am sure they will since we all have differing opinions. I did hope for more and I suppose my expectations were too high.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Candlewick Press. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book.  Well. Well. It's been exactly a week since I finished this book, and I'm still not quite sure what I read. I'm going to do my best to try to make sense, but mostly I'm just going to be confused and probably revert to one syllable words. There were Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Candlewick Press. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book.  Well. Well. It's been exactly a week since I finished this book, and I'm still not quite sure what I read. I'm going to do my best to try to make sense, but mostly I'm just going to be confused and probably revert to one syllable words. There were a couple of reasons I was SO excited for this book. Amy Rose Capetta's book, The Brilliant Death, was a brilliant read in 2018, and one of the easiest fantasy books I've ever read. I was in deep. When I heard she was writing a book that involved possible murder, a coven of queer witches, and woods in California, I was SOLD. It sounded like the perfect storm of a good book, and I was pretty ready to take on magical realism. Conclusion after reading this book: I, Book Princess Mandy, will never be ready to take on magical realism. There were just things I did NOT get. I tried so hard, but it took me foreverrrrrr to figure some things out. It took me about 10 chapters to realize that Imogen wasn't dead? I think in the first or second chapter, it is stated that Imogen is found with seaglass in her eyes, and well, I assumed that meant death? But then she popped up in the school hallway a few chapters later and I'm like OH, GHOSTIE NOVEL NOW??? YAY. Only to have to Sherlock out later on that she's apparently walking around like a zombie?? MAYBE??? I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND IT. And that's the entire thing with this novel - I still don't understand much of it. There were things that I got, but there are still SO SO many things that I don't get. I kind of just sat there going, well, um, I'mma keep going and hope that makes sense, until I ran out of pages and nothing still didn't make much sense. I'm still not really sure if it was the book or me or WHAT, but I really can't elaborate on plot items, because like, IDKKKKK. Plus, it would have helped a bit more to have a more structured narrative. Each short chapter would jump to something new - whether it was narrated by Danny, The Grays (as a collective), stories about two specific girls, birds, etc. There were moments that I really liked having this jump around, but sometimes it did leave me even more confused because it was so jumpy. Characters-wise, I did really like Danny as a narrator. You feel her go through a journey in this novel, and find out where she belongs and how she fits in the world. Finding the Grays is like finding herself in the world, and you see her desperation and desire to be a part of something that she has longed for forever. I did really enjoy her as a main character, and she was messy and realistic. The other characters felt like they had a bit of haze around them, and I never got the full picture for them, but they were still intriguing and dynamic. Capetta brings us such a wholly diverse group of characters as well. From bi to lesbian to gender fluid to ace, there was so much rep from these queer witches. There was also black and Filipino rep in the Grays along with fat rep. From all the Capetta books I've read, she is a master at creating such diverse characters that let so many readers find themselves in the pages that they might not have had the chance to a few years ago. The last thing about this book was the mood/feeling. It is wholly engrossing and captivating. As you might have gotten, I didn't have any clue what was going on at parts, but I still couldn't stop reading. I imagine this book is like what you feel if you were feeling high. Like, that's what I felt after I finished it. But when I was reading it, it certainly felt magical and like I was surrounded in fog on this lost coast. 3 crowns and a Belle rating. This was a wholly engrossing but also super confusing read. I think it might be in part with the fact that I struggle with magical realism, but other parts just confusion in general with the book. It did have its magical parts, and the diversity was amazinggggg.

  20. 4 out of 5

    J.A. Ironside

    Many thanks to Candlewick Press for the ARC Initially, I found this a little hard to get invested in. The main pov character, Danny, is difficult to get a bead on initially and it feels like she is keeping the reader at arms length. As you read further, you see that this is deliberate. Danny is lost in her own life and she doesn't have answers for the reader - which is sorta ironic given what her talent turns out to be. Danny and her mother recently moved from a conservative small town in Michigan Many thanks to Candlewick Press for the ARC Initially, I found this a little hard to get invested in. The main pov character, Danny, is difficult to get a bead on initially and it feels like she is keeping the reader at arms length. As you read further, you see that this is deliberate. Danny is lost in her own life and she doesn't have answers for the reader - which is sorta ironic given what her talent turns out to be. Danny and her mother recently moved from a conservative small town in Michigan to the much more liberal Tempest in California. Danny, who is still working out her sexuality and where she fits in, meets a group of girls who seem to be expecting her. There was a fifth girl once but she's missing and Danny can find things. Time is of the essence for this group of witches, however. Mysterious deaths are occurring... You need to give this one room to develop but it's well worth it if you do. This is a spellbinding tale of magic, sisterhood, friendship, acceptance and love. The sparse prose is more literary than you normally see with YA but it perfectly fits the tone of the book. This is also a great book for diverse representation. (The entire coven is queer for example.) If you're looking for something very typical in YA then this may not be for you. Rather than offer answers, this book examines what the right questions are. Don't expect one true loves for example, but instead enjoy the fact that many different kinds of love are celebrated in the bonds that the Greys feel for each other. In the end this will resonate most with those who once felt or still do feel, out of place in their own lives. It's not quite perfect - there are one or two minor plotholes for example - but it's such a beautiful book that it doesn't matter. Recommend for those who like intelligently written literary fantasy featuring queer witches.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily (emilykatereads)

    This book is magic in ways I've never read before. The atmosphere is incredible and we're introduced to a uniquely diverse group of queer witches. This book is everything I wished for and I was ready to fall in love, but it just didn't quite do it for me. I won't lie, there are many amazing things about this book. The execution of the story just wasn't for me. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the story though. I enjoyed the journey and characterization, and it helped keep a confusing plot afloat This book is magic in ways I've never read before. The atmosphere is incredible and we're introduced to a uniquely diverse group of queer witches. This book is everything I wished for and I was ready to fall in love, but it just didn't quite do it for me. I won't lie, there are many amazing things about this book. The execution of the story just wasn't for me. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the story though. I enjoyed the journey and characterization, and it helped keep a confusing plot afloat. The biggest win in this book is the atmosphere. I cannot emphasize enough how much I'm here for queer witches in an incredibly diverse group in the magical forests of northern California. Capetta's descriptions are captivating and really bring the story to life. It's truly magical. The next amazing thing about this book is how great every character is. We're introduced to the Grays early on, and every one is unique in their own way. We get so much representation within this group, as well as a special love between all of them. It was very polyamorous in a way, and brought platonic love onto the page in a way I've never seen before. It was refreshing. We need to see more love between friends like we see in this book. Danny goes through an internal journey of discovering herself throughout this story as well. She begins at a rough time in her life, and moves to Tempest to start over. The story alludes back to past moments, and we see how Danny is changing and dealing with discovering new things about herself and finding a place where she belongs. However, my biggest issue with this book is the plot and how it was executed. The POV switches up quite frequently, which isn't necessarily my problem as I often love switching POVs, but it wasn't done well in my opinion. I know others will love this, but in my experience, it made it really hard to enjoy this story the way I wanted to. I felt like I was constantly witnessing the story from a distance, and never quite connecting to the characters or what was happening. And in terms of plot, it really feels like not much happens, and even as we reach the most climactic moment, I didn't feel the emotions a book normally makes me feel during the most intense moments. This book wasn't bad, I'd just hoped for so much more from it. I do really appreciate it for what it is though. I would warn that it's not the most exciting plot wise, but if you're in for an incredibly atmospheric and slow read, then I'd definitely recommend it. Link can also be found on my blog! *ARC provided by Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review*

  22. 5 out of 5

    andrea caro

    This book was hella gay and had witched and I loved it. There was also a mystery, but the writing slanted so flowery that I didn't realize I was in a mystery until 2/3rds of the way through the book. I loved it, though it took me forever to read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    This might be a bit hard for me to review.  It's the type of book where not a ton happens, but what happens isn't really what I can write about.  I will say right off that it's a very magical book and it surprised me how much I liked it when I sometimes struggle with books like this.  I'm a fan of more fast paced books and this isn't one of those.   Danny and her mom were living in a small town in Michigan.  Danny started to feel this weird pull.  She would wander without thinking about where she This might be a bit hard for me to review.  It's the type of book where not a ton happens, but what happens isn't really what I can write about.  I will say right off that it's a very magical book and it surprised me how much I liked it when I sometimes struggle with books like this.  I'm a fan of more fast paced books and this isn't one of those.   Danny and her mom were living in a small town in Michigan.  Danny started to feel this weird pull.  She would wander without thinking about where she was going or who she was with.  She would just disappear.  Her mom wasn't thrilled with all the girls she was kissing either.  They decided that a move might help.  When looking at a map of the US, Danny picked Tempest, California without knowing anything about it.  She just knew she needed to be there. I loved reading about Danny's vision of California for the first time.  Especially the redwoods.  There is a quote early on in the book that really stuck out to me.  I have this exact feeling, but in Southern California and not Northern.  I don't believe there was a spell or anything, but I feel a pull there and no where has ever felt like home as much. "I'm joking, but the truth is I feel every difference between this place and the one where I grew up.  The food is better.  The Mexican food is infinitely better.  People smile at strangers.  But there's a difference that I don't know how to talk about, something in the air that must have a chemical interaction with my blood." The Grays are a group of queer witches from Tempest that practice magic in the woods by their homes.  One of the girls, the strongest, Imogen, went missing in the woods.  The rest of the Grays cast a spell to find someone that can help them find Imogen.  That person ends up being Danny.  She didn't know she had magic, but the Grays helped her find it.  The book weaves through time and perspective to figure out the mystery or where Imogen went, and why two people have been killed since Danny showed up. The atmosphere in the book was so perfect.  The woods, the massive trees, and the fog.  I was definitely pulled into the mystery, but I also really liked all the people.  Maybe not Danny's mom so much, but that was because it felt like she thought Danny kissing girls was a phase or her acting out.  But everyone else.  They were very open about their sexuality and there is sex in the book.  While Danny questions some of her choices, there is never really any shame for it except from her mom.  And that was just a small part. I could go over each character, but I feel like it's important for you, the reader, to learn about them slowly while reading the book.  The diversity was great.  None of them were perfect and they made mistakes.  And I always appreciate a book that shows teenagers as the imperfect people that they are (or adults).  I ended up giving this book 4 stars.  Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me a copy for review.   Quote above is taken from an arc and may change before final publication. 

  24. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Corgel

    Let me start off with the fact that I enjoyed a ton of the things Capetta was trying to do. There's a whole bunch of diversity here that spans race, gender identity, class, and sexuality. That diversity, while is important to each character, is not the defining characteristic of them. It centers around a group of teen witches who have lost a friend and are trying to get her back. That friend becomes the mulligan in a pretty unique mystery. There's magic creatures and people. But the huge drawbac Let me start off with the fact that I enjoyed a ton of the things Capetta was trying to do. There's a whole bunch of diversity here that spans race, gender identity, class, and sexuality. That diversity, while is important to each character, is not the defining characteristic of them. It centers around a group of teen witches who have lost a friend and are trying to get her back. That friend becomes the mulligan in a pretty unique mystery. There's magic creatures and people. But the huge drawback for me was the attempt to create more of a mystery by jumping the story around too much. If you are not a fan of a non-linear story telling style, then this will frustrate you to no end, despite the characters and writing. There were times where the story would jump to the trees or other animals in the woods that this mostly takes place in, that I thought was really unnecessary. It felt like Capetta was driving home the fact that the setting isn't quite what it seems, and I thought it was redundant. Like I got it, we know of a girl who is here but not really, her friends all have some preternatural abilities, and the new girl has an ability but we don't know it yet. Other than that, I loved the richness of the story, and the world building. We know Imogen went... somewhere, but we don't really get to see what that place is as a whole until near the end of the story. Each young woman has their story, and is well developed and relatable. Also, there's a ton of drama that, while at times is a little much, makes it really feel like a teenager is narrating it. Which Danny, the new girl, does for most of the book. This is a good, if a little messy young adult book that has some great themes in it. Recommended. I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    BetweenLinesAndLife

    The strongest and most memorable factor of this book is for sure its writing. It enriched both the atmosphere and the dynamics between the characters. Unfortunately, that is the biggest plus here. By no means this is a bad book at all, it's truly a good read, it's just mess in its execution. We have multiple POVs and multiple time jumps that just don't feel structured and planned out well enough. We never got to properly know the characters or their motivation, which made me so disconnected to th The strongest and most memorable factor of this book is for sure its writing. It enriched both the atmosphere and the dynamics between the characters. Unfortunately, that is the biggest plus here. By no means this is a bad book at all, it's truly a good read, it's just mess in its execution. We have multiple POVs and multiple time jumps that just don't feel structured and planned out well enough. We never got to properly know the characters or their motivation, which made me so disconnected to their story line. I never quite got the core of the story. The fact that they were so unapolocatially themselves, queer and witches and proud of that, held such a wider significance in who they are and especially who they are in regards to the people who came before them but never had the change to live their lives properly. That had so much more potential to be explored. We never truly got what happened to Danny in Michigan, we never got to know the characters fully and I just wished there would have been more time exploring them and their backstories than quickly jumping around.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Crazy4Books

    The beginning was a little difficult to get into with all the characters being introduced, but they're each so different from one another that once I got to know them better it was impossible to get them mixed up. The main character Danny has been searching for a place where she fits in when she meets the Tempest witches and finally feels like she's exactly where she wants to be. I could totally relate to the need to find a group to call your own. Seeing the coven slowly accept her as one of the The beginning was a little difficult to get into with all the characters being introduced, but they're each so different from one another that once I got to know them better it was impossible to get them mixed up. The main character Danny has been searching for a place where she fits in when she meets the Tempest witches and finally feels like she's exactly where she wants to be. I could totally relate to the need to find a group to call your own. Seeing the coven slowly accept her as one of them while she worked on finding one their missing sister witches was extremely satisfying. I really grew attached to their little group and loved how they all supported each other, even when mistakes were made. The female friendships were just amazing. I do feel like there could have been a couple more mother daugther scenes, but I did like that some parents were actually involved. I love the wide range of representation within their group. We have Danny, a queer girl with a fondness for kissing other girls, and Rush, a fat queer witch with a condition called synesthesia which lets her taste words. Then theres June, a sapphic Filipino and Leila, a nonbinary gray ace. We also have Hawthorn the black bi who started the coven and Imogen the lost sapphic witch. I appreciated how they were all more than their labels. They each had their own personalities and backstories. Out of all of them I think Rush was probably my favorite, but June was pretty great too. Theres also a sapphic romance that turned out better than Id hope considering one of them was already in a relationship. I liked that we got to spend time from some of the other witches perspectives both in the present and in the past, but one of the flashbacks when the witches were very young was a little confusing and it's purpose was never explained. I really enjoyed the atmospheric redwood forest and the witches different affinities. The magical elements were a little vague, but it worked for the story. I would have loved to know even more about the ravens and the redwood trees, especially after getting some chapters from their point of view. The mystery did a great job of keeping me engaged. My theory as to who was causing trouble in the forest was right, but there were many other elements I didnt see coming. I loved the message and the overall themes in this book. The point it made not to shame Danny for wanting to kiss a bunch of different girls meant a lot to me. There was also the desire to show affection for all the people before them who couldnt that really resonated with me. I just loved how it was so very unapologetically queer. Its definitely a book Ill be recommending to a lot of people. *This book was received for an honest review

  27. 5 out of 5

    Crowinator

    First line from my Booklist review: "In Capetta’s dreamy, enigmatic tale, a restless teen finds friendship, love, and self-acceptance among a coven of queer witches." I loved this book, though I think it's not quite what I expected. The writing captures the same dreamy, creepy, poetic essence that Nova Ren Suma or Frances Hardinge do, but has less actual plot underneath; it's a slow-burning character study of some fascinating, enigmatic people making up a supportive (though not conflict-less) fou First line from my Booklist review: "In Capetta’s dreamy, enigmatic tale, a restless teen finds friendship, love, and self-acceptance among a coven of queer witches." I loved this book, though I think it's not quite what I expected. The writing captures the same dreamy, creepy, poetic essence that Nova Ren Suma or Frances Hardinge do, but has less actual plot underneath; it's a slow-burning character study of some fascinating, enigmatic people making up a supportive (though not conflict-less) found family. The mystery--what happened to Imogen? who or what is doing dark deeds in the woods?--is drawn out a little too long and then resolved in a rush. I will say, at times the poetic details obscure, rather than enhance, meaning, such as(view spoiler)[ when Haven finds her sister Imogen with “two dark but misty pieces of sea glass where her eyes used to be” - I thought that meant dead, but it meant she was just dull and without personality but still living. The Grays talked about her being missing, but what they meant was, her mind was gone. (hide spoiler)] Other times they bring forth surprisingly incisive metaphors. Similarly, the non-linear timeline and non-traditional shifting perspectives can make important plot points easy to miss (I did find myself confused a few times, especially at the end), but they also highlight the wandering, elusive nature of these teens and their story. I also have to say, though, I am not bothered by chapters narrated in the royal we, chapters narrated by a flock of ravens or a grove of trees, or chapters narrated by two people switching perspectives instead of one person telling one story. I like it when authors take risks like that to create a different mood or a nonlinear story, and I think Capetta was successful, though it made the plot more cryptic than it needed to be. This book is a mood and I was here for it. Finally, I love the way the Grays discuss their sexual and gender identities; it's blessedly authentic, as they embrace the power of words to express self-identity but are resistant to being boxed in by labels. It's eye-opening for Danny, who comes from a more conservative area where being gay is different enough, much less using words like "queer" or "nonbinary". I think a lot of teens will respond to it, how normalizing it is, especially the notion that sexual and gender identity can be fluid and not fixed for all time. This is a lot of love in this book, familial love, love between close friends, and romantic love, and it was all so well-portrayed. Ultimately, this book is about finding a place to belong after being lost for so long.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anniek

    Actual rating: 2.5 I was sent an eARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This seems to be a clear case of "It's me, not you". But somehow, this book really didn't work for me. Let me start by saying, I loved the writing style! It was so poetic, and I especially loved it combined with the LGBTQ+ rep, because this was honestly described beautifully and I really did love that. However, it took a long time for the story to take off, and by then, the story became overwhelmin Actual rating: 2.5 I was sent an eARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This seems to be a clear case of "It's me, not you". But somehow, this book really didn't work for me. Let me start by saying, I loved the writing style! It was so poetic, and I especially loved it combined with the LGBTQ+ rep, because this was honestly described beautifully and I really did love that. However, it took a long time for the story to take off, and by then, the story became overwhelmingly confusing for me. This, combined with a lack of character development, made it very hard for me to feel invested in the story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    yvee

    3.5 stars I really liked this, but some parts fell flat for me. I really would have liked to see hawthorn, june, and lelia be more fleshed out. I got lelia and june confused sometimes and I think that tells you a lot about the characters lol. but it was wonderfully sapphic so uhhh love that for me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Manon the Malicious

    *3.5 Stars* I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Did your hear that crash? That was my expectations falling to their doom. I requested this book on Netgalley not having read the summary because in the first line of it there "queer witches" and that's all I needed to know. Or so I thought. I'm being way mean which isn't fair because this book wasn't bad, not by a long shot, but I expected so much more. Danny just moved to Tempest, California with her mom when she ends *3.5 Stars* I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Did your hear that crash? That was my expectations falling to their doom. I requested this book on Netgalley not having read the summary because in the first line of it there "queer witches" and that's all I needed to know. Or so I thought. I'm being way mean which isn't fair because this book wasn't bad, not by a long shot, but I expected so much more. Danny just moved to Tempest, California with her mom when she ends up at a party that has her stumbling in the woods. There, she meets the Grays, four teenage witches and friends who tell her they had been waiting for her. As Danny grows closer to them, she uncovers her powers and does everything she can to help them. As I mentioned, I was very sure I would love this but I just had so much trouble getting into the story. As much as I liked the characters and even if I enjoyed the storyline, it was very hard to read because of the writing style. And that's very much a me problem, I just can't get into books when the style is so lyrical. Maybe it's because English is my second language, who knows? Anyway, that really put me off and I had a lot of trouble focusing and being really engaged in what was happening. Also, the different points of view and flashbacks didn't help me focus... Still, if you like a lyrical story, as I wish I would, you should definitely read this one, especially thanks to the queer representation that was amazing.

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